not hibinated ...but asleep all the time?

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not hibinated ...but asleep all the time?

Postby karen54 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:54 pm

Hi
so I posted a couple of months back about my horsefield tortoise Derek who seemed to go off his food...the vet i saw told me he had bad worms and gave 2 treatments and advised me to not allow him to hibernate this winter
His advice was keep his lights on and offer food and bathe him well Ive tried all that but gradually even though his heat and light lamp are on he wont come out of his inside sleeping quarters...he certainly wont eat...if he moves about i get him out to check him and if he has his eyes open I give him a warm bath...but hes all but gone into hibernation mode without being hibernated...is this safe?? i cant force him to sit under his lamp or eat? should i actually put him down now in a box as Ive said previously hes virtually hibernated but in his cage
Any advice would be most welcome thanks
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Re: not hibinated ...but asleep all the time?

Postby Sandy » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:13 pm

karen54 wrote:Hi
so I posted a couple of months back about my horsefield tortoise Derek who seemed to go off his food...the vet i saw told me he had bad worms and gave 2 treatments and advised me to not allow him to hibernate this winter
His advice was keep his lights on and offer food and bathe him well Ive tried all that but gradually even though his heat and light lamp are on he wont come out of his inside sleeping quarters...he certainly wont eat...if he moves about i get him out to check him and if he has his eyes open I give him a warm bath...but hes all but gone into hibernation mode without being hibernated...is this safe?? i cant force him to sit under his lamp or eat? should i actually put him down now in a box as Ive said previously hes virtually hibernated but in his cage
Any advice would be most welcome thanks



This is difficult as you should not hibernate a tortoise after worming treatment, but horsfields have a very strong urge to hibernate when temps and light levels drop.
I hope Andy can help here or someone with more experience of worming late and hibernation.
I personally would not have wormed so late in the year:0(
And the vet could not have had experience with horsfields and hibernation:0(
Sandy
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Re: not hibinated ...but asleep all the time?

Postby karen54 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:24 pm

Hi Sandy
My own vet doesn't deal with tortoises so I enquired at another local vet who did..I took Derek because hed stopped eating which was unusual other years he has wound down slowly but this was almost like an over stop over night...the vet checked him out everywhere and said he looked in good health he suggested worming him and that,s when he found he had rather to many Ive bathed him quite a few times which he seems to have enjoyed but he hasnt eaten since oct his weight hasnt gone down dramatically and he still feels heavy but i simply cant keep him awake...he was walking around up till nov but now he wont comre out of his cage I,m so worried
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Re: not hibinated ...but asleep all the time?

Postby Sandy » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:13 pm

karen54 wrote:Hi Sandy
My own vet doesn't deal with tortoises so I enquired at another local vet who did..I took Derek because hed stopped eating which was unusual other years he has wound down slowly but this was almost like an over stop over night...the vet checked him out everywhere and said he looked in good health he suggested worming him and that,s when he found he had rather to many Ive bathed him quite a few times which he seems to have enjoyed but he hasnt eaten since oct his weight hasnt gone down dramatically and he still feels heavy but i simply cant keep him awake...he was walking around up till nov but now he wont comre out of his cage I,m so worried



Unfortunately horsfields will stop eating when we have a sharp drop in temps, and this year our Autumn has been so variable. With the odd big drop then warm the next day.
If they were outside and temps drop they just dig down, unlike my ibera.
Sorry not to be of more help:0(
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Re: not hibinated ...but asleep all the time?

Postby gettingwarmer » Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:14 am

Hi Karen,

I live in a warmer and brighter climate so it may have been easier for me, but I had a similar situation with my horsfield the first winter she was with me. She also went through worming treatments--my feeling (and the vet's) was that this contributed to her waning appetite.

It took much more light and warmth than I imagined to keep her awake. I kept her in a warm room, heated with a space heater, and two uvb floodlights on the warm end of her pen. The lights were on timers to go on and off at slightly different intervals throughout the day--I hoped this would simulate passing clouds (yeah I was desperate!), and encourage her to change positions from one light to the other, in addition to giving more opportunities for thermoregulation as sometimes both lamps were on at once and she could bask between the two.

Some extra background heat (space heater) may encourage Derek to wake up and stay up. When he wakes up, keep bathing him and be persistent with offering a variety of foods. I know it's difficult, especially in winter, but if you can find something irresistible to him, you may be able to sneak in more variety gradually. Lenore loves pansies, dandelions, mallow flowers, hibiscus . . . or if you can only get store bought food, the more colorful baby greens--purple ones--or a stronger scent/flavor--escarole.

My feeling was that I had to make life tempting enough for her to agree to deny her nature and stay awake until real spring arrived. When it did, she happily went back to her natural horsfield ways.

If you can, find a tortoise specialist vet. The vet I have isn't, but she's nearby, always learning, and reaches out to experts far and wide when she has questions. For that I trust and value her immensely.

Best wishes for Derek's health. Please keep us posted on his progress.

Stephanie
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Re: not hibinated ...but asleep all the time?

Postby Stuart » Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:27 pm

gettingwarmer wrote:
I live in a warmer and brighter climate so it may have been easier for me...It took much more light and warmth than I imagined to keep her awake. I kept her in a warm room, heated with a space heater, and two uvb floodlights on the warm end of her pen...

Stephanie


I concur with Stephanie: keeping awake torts (that would normally/naturally hibernate) requires replicating normal high summer conditions - ie keeping the environment as bright as possible and ambient (background) temperatures as they would be in summer, with suitable basking spots too.

I find that a basking spot alone doesn't always do it - eg depending on the housing and the position of lamps, the heat from a basking lamp might not reach the corner the tortoise has decided to dig down into, even if it's on all day. So adding extra basking lamps and using any other means to raise the general air temperatures is the way to go.
Stuart
Hermanns (old female and 6 home-bred offspring), iberas (two), kbn (rescue), leopard, horsfield (rescue), stars (2 - long term loan), red-eared sliders (5)
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Re: not hibinated ...but asleep all the time?

Postby Avatar » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:17 am

And if possible, try to put the tortoise enclosure in a place where natural light can reach (eg. near the window). Mine always perk up when they see sunlight. Though the UVB ray is lost after passing the window, it is the warmth and brightness that wake them up :)
Regards,
Gloria

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