Weight loss

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Weight loss

Postby ejs » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:17 pm

Hi all and particularly Andy

I have a hermanns tortoise. She is female and went into fridge hibernation on 1 January after a wind down period from 1 December. All proper procedures were followed and her start weight when I put her into the fridge was 1663 g. On 7 January she had lost 4 g and weighed 1659g. Today I weighed her again and she had lost a further 14 g and now weighs 1645g. This is marginally over a 1% loss and as such I am concerned. The fridge is kept at between 4 and 6 degrees.

Should I take her out? Should I give it more time to see if her weight stabilises?

Please can you advise?

Thanks

Emily
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Re: Weight loss

Postby Sandy » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:40 pm

ejs wrote:Hi all and particularly Andy

I have a hermanns tortoise. She is female and went into fridge hibernation on 1 January after a wind down period from 1 December. All proper procedures were followed and her start weight when I put her into the fridge was 1663 g. On 7 January she had lost 4 g and weighed 1659g. Today I weighed her again and she had lost a further 14 g and now weighs 1645g. This is marginally over a 1% loss and as such I am concerned. The fridge is kept at between 4 and 6 degrees.

Should I take her out? Should I give it more time to see if her weight stabilises?

Please can you advise?

Thanks

Emily



It could be she is still settling in, but still moving around. Which would tend to say your fridge temps are not quite low enough for long enough.
1% is not a big loss, as they can over the whole of the hibernation loose up to 10% of body weight.
I would check her over well, to see if any mucus from the nares, and if you gently touch their should be a reaction. You also should only weigh at night when its
coldest.
And monitor your fridge over the whole day, to see if the fridge is really accurate. As outside temps can affect fridge temps:0)
Sandy
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Re: Weight loss

Postby ejs » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:04 pm

Hi Sandy

Thank you for your response. The fridge is fairly constant between 4 and 6. I have had 3 thermometers in there since the beginning of hibernation and they are alarmed. She has not moved around and when I weigh her I take her out...plonk her on the scales and then put her back. The whole process takes only around 3 minutes. Nose, eyes, tail.... All look normal.

I can reduce the temp by a degree if you think that will help. However all is identical to last year when she only lost 1g in six weeks.
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Re: Weight loss

Postby Sandy » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:57 pm

ejs wrote:Hi Sandy

Thank you for your response. The fridge is fairly constant between 4 and 6. I have had 3 thermometers in there since the beginning of hibernation and they are alarmed. She has not moved around and when I weigh her I take her out...plonk her on the scales and then put her back. The whole process takes only around 3 minutes. Nose, eyes, tail.... All look normal.

I can reduce the temp by a degree if you think that will help. However all is identical to last year when she only lost 1g in six weeks.


Well when putting in a fridge for the first two weeks at the slightly lower temps allows them to settle down a lot quicker. After that those temps should be fine provided it does not go up higher than six.
Try putting in bottles of water to help stablise the temps more.
If you are really worried (with your head not heart:0) ) then just get your tortoise up. I know its so easy to worry when they lose weight. I personally would not be worried just yet:0)
Sandy
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Re: Weight loss

Postby ejs » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:26 pm

Hi Sandy

Thank you. The water bottles have been in there since day 1. I have kept the temps on the fridge at 5 which gives the range of 4 to 6. If I turn it to 4 the range seems to go from 2.5 to 5 which I think may be a little low.

Although I think I would rather take her out, I think the sensible thing to do will be to keep her going and weigh her again on Thursday to see if the weight has stabilised.

I do hate this time of year.

Emily
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Re: Weight loss

Postby Sandy » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:14 am

ejs wrote:Hi Sandy

Thank you. The water bottles have been in there since day 1. I have kept the temps on the fridge at 5 which gives the range of 4 to 6. If I turn it to 4 the range seems to go from 2.5 to 5 which I think may be a little low.

Although I think I would rather take her out, I think the sensible thing to do will be to keep her going and weigh her again on Thursday to see if the weight has stabilised.

I do hate this time of year.

Emily



Lol my tortoises are buried under ground so have no idea if they have lost weight or not:0)
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Re: Weight loss

Postby bsmith » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:06 pm

Hi Sandy

I would love to let my torts hibernate in the greenhouse as you do, but need some work doing on it beforehand. I often wonder, have you ever had any that don't come up in the spring? and if they don't, do you manage to find them?

Regards
Barbara
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Re: Weight loss

Postby Sandy » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:24 pm

bsmith wrote:Hi Sandy

I would love to let my torts hibernate in the greenhouse as you do, but need some work doing on it beforehand. I often wonder, have you ever had any that don't come up in the spring? and if they don't, do you manage to find them?

Regards
Barbara



One year a smaller ibera went down (around 450gms) further than most of the adults do, so I had to dig down and find her. She might well have come up on her own, but I was not going to take any chances:0)
Most of my adults go down just below the surface, until it gets much colder. And you can see (if you monitor often) where abouts they go down, so I generally have a good idea where they are. And in over 25yrs (fingers crossed) they have all come up raring to go once the soil begins to warm up:0)
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Re: Weight loss

Postby bsmith » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:18 pm

Hi Sandy, I think that is great and plan to achieve that one day. Its just getting someone to do the work needed on my greenhouse. A couple of my torts were trying desperately to dig down this year but I couldn't take the risk, so they are in the fridge as usual. Do you put anything over the soil to keep the temps up such as carpet or blankets? I am trying to improve the soil in my greenhouse also as it is quite clay like. It is getting better and I have large grasses growing in there which the torts love to burrow underneath. Hopefully, I will be able to leave them to their own devices one year as it seems the most natural thing for them to do.

Regards
Barbara
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Re: Weight loss

Postby fethiyeman » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:58 pm

Hi All,
So far!? the temperature in the ground where i live in Essex has not dropped below 2.2 ( 12Dec) since the 31st of October 17 and averaging out about 7 degrees so i would think Josie thinks she's in some tropical clime during her long sleep??
John
and Bonnie & Clyde and the sleeping Josie
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