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Member Since 17 Apr 2015
Offline Last Active Apr 20 2015 08:17 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Nervous New Owner

20 April 2015 - 08:19 PM

Dear All, What a great response in my hour of need, thank you. To respond to some of your points. I have definitely been stumbling around here. On coming out of hibernation I had her under under a lamp that she could walk away from and into the cold. She was then under a lamp that was too hot creating a spot nearer fifty degrees. I think now I have it about right with the temperature below the lamp about 30 degrees and about 15 in the colder corners. I have added a uv bulb too recently which I had not realised was important. There is no underfloor heat source. She is on aggregate (small stones and sand mixed) but scrabbles it away a good deal. We have lots of space and I could make her a larger enclosure. What size? I had imagined her living outdoors but am not sure now if that is possible. I know she had been kept inside and not hibernated before she came to us last September. Her weight to length ( looked up on an ancient pamphlet) suggested that she was more than heavy enough to go into hibernation. I think her problems began post hibernation with (as the vet noted in the shaming paperwork)'bad husbandry'! Her feeding habits have been in stages. First she ate a good deal of cucumber (and not much else) and then apple (and not much else) and now seems to like dandelion flowers and leaves with little interest in anything else.I have been trying to tempt her with grated carrot, apple, lettuce, chard, She has taken chunks of cuttlefish and I saw her eating an old piece of lime mortar when she was outside. Is she telling me she needs calcium? I have been relying on a friend who has had two Hermann for twenty years for advice. I copied his hibernation box. Wooden, lined with polystyrene on the inside. Filled with shredded paper. A lid with air holes to allow a little air but no access for mice etc. I had her outside in the autumn for a few weeks and she gradually became less active. My friend rang me when he was putting his into their box and I did as he did. So much for the past. Today she ate well and I have given her two baths in warm water(no Marmite) She takes on about 10 grammes each bath. Is bathing good? Is two baths enough or too much?

In Topic: Nervous New Owner

20 April 2015 - 08:11 PM

Shelly is fairly new to us, We believe she is a Horsefield about ten years old. She is 14cm long. We hibernated her this winter( her first time) and all went well until she came out of hibernation. She got an viral infection and had a course of antibiotics at the vet. Her nose was bubbling and she did not eat. Now about six weeks on her infection seems to have cleared and she is eating and fairly active. I have been giving her baths most days and sometimes adding marmite (on the vets advice) Her weight is not going up however which worries me. Yesterday she ate nothing but today is eating. She came out of hibernation at 930g and has now fallen to 840g. How concerned should I be? She is living in the plastic box that she arrived with(73cm x 43cm) and has a warm spot at one end (30 degrees underneath). We sometimes put her in the garden on a warm day but  finds a cold corner and head plants. She does not seem to want to bask in a warm spot to get going but to head for the cold. Although I do not like to see her in a confined space I suspect she does better there than outside. I have never had a tortoise before and am ignorant as to their behaviour, this has been a steep learning curve! Any advice from experienced owners would be very helpful....