Hibernation section

All questions relating to hibernation can be placed here. It will make a good reference source for new keepers and keep hibernation related topics in one place, and easy to find.

Re: Hibernation section

Postby unhindered » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:04 am

After 4 weeks of not feeding my hermanns tortoise (JD) He was still not going to sleep, he had slowed down a lot and was sleeping more so I called my vet and he suggested stopping all light and heat - he was still in the house so it wasnt very cold. He still hadnt gone to sleep properly so as suggested I put him in the fridge last night awake. I have checked on him several times and this morning he moved a little so I still dont think hes hibernating. This is the first time I have hibernated him, he had been checked out by a vet previously so he is healthy to hibernate, I have had him 5 years but I found him so I have no idea if he has hibernated at all where he was before but he was underweight when I first found him. Anyway I just want to know whether I should persevere or just give up and feed him as he seems to be resisting wanting to hibernate, but it would be a shame after leading up to it just to give up! Many thanks
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Re: Hibernation section

Postby Joan » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:13 am

If you are happy that he is healthy to hibernate, which you seem to be, I would just leave him in the fridge and give him a chance to settle. Don't keep on checking him, wait twenty four hours!
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Re: Hibernation section

Postby unhindered » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:42 pm

Thank you I will persevere! Just very nervous having not done this before, thanks for the advice

Charlotte
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Re: Hibernation section

Postby unhindered » Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:20 pm

Ok so I just checked on him and he's still awake after being in the fridge for 3 days, not really sure what to do! I took him out to weigh him as I hadn't done it before I put him in. His arms and legs moved as they usually do when I pick him up and he poked his head out but didn't open his eyes, I know it probably seems like I'm worrying for no reason but I haven't done this before!

Many thanks,

Charlotte
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Re: Hibernation section

Postby Stuart » Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:04 pm

What temperature is the fridge in the part where the tortoise is? You're aiming for about 5*C.

Otherwise, they do move a bit when disturbed from the fridge. Movement in itself doesn't = awake. (In the wild, in a natural hibernation, it is known that they dig up/down in the substrate to self-regulate their temperature, without "waking up")

Assuming that he was OK for weight against length, I'd be tempted to leave him in there, and just keep an eye on him.

That said, my own haven't moved at all in their boxes in the fridge - to the extent that I have to poke them to check they're still alive.
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Re: Hibernation section

Postby unhindered » Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:44 am

OK thanks, I have had to keep adjusting the fridge as its in the garage so the temperature fluctuates, its never been above 5, i try to aim for between 3 and 7, but have spoken to my dad and im going to move the fridge into the conservatory which will hopefully mean i dont have to check the temp all the time! i guessed as his eyes were closed hes almost there, so should i just keep an eye and see what happens? I think his weight is ok, I had him checked out by the vet before winding down but forgot to actually make a note of his weight!

Thanks for the advice!

Charlotte
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Re: Hibernation section

Postby Stuart » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:47 pm

unhindered wrote:OK thanks, I have had to keep adjusting the fridge as its in the garage so the temperature fluctuates, its never been above 5, i try to aim for between 3 and 7, but have spoken to my dad and im going to move the fridge into the conservatory. Charlotte


Good idea to move the fridge. Temps in fridges do fluctuate - it's how they work - but they shouldn't be in a place which could get colder than the setting on the fridge - or the temperature will just drop to that lower temperature. (My tort fridge is in a walk-in pantry which is unheated and has an outside wall and window, so I've had to put a small heater in there to ensure the fridge doesn't get too cold!)
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Re: Hibernation section

Postby unhindered » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:38 am

I will definitely move it tomorrow I think it will help with my worrying about him all the time! Also how often should I check on him, I worry he's gonna die and I won't notice! I don't want to pester him though, because of the temp changing so much i open the fridge door at least 4-5 times a day to adjust the setting, but i dont touch his box, the first time was yesterday evening when i weighed him, sorry for all the questions!!

Thanks for your help,

Charlotte
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Re: Hibernation section

Postby Daryn » Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:38 pm

If you have the space in a spare room I would move the fridge to that as fridges are designed to work at normal room temperture's, if the room gets too cold and conservatories can get very cold the fridge wont heat up it will just get as cold as the room TBH.
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Re: Hibernation section

Postby Tortoise Trust » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:10 am

Please note. Start new hibernation questions IN A NEW TOPIC. I am locking this thread off as too many questions are getting buried in it.
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