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Tortoise problem walking out of hibernation?

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by thomas130, Mar 14, 2011.

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  1. thomas130

    thomas130 New Member

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    Hi guys

    Five months ago we lost our tortoise in the garden. Just by luck we found her again aleast a foot underground. She seems very alert etc but very weak on legs she came move them around etc but she cannot pick herself properly. Usually we hibernate her in the she only for 4 months. Because we lost her and the winter we had it was quite rough for her and it's the first time she had to do for herself.

    It's been around 48 hours now. She took one bite out out of some lettuce apart from that nothing else.

    Is there something wrong with her I more worry about her walking does she simply need time to back to strength to be able to life her wait again. Regarding eating I would assume we will want another couple of days before she wants to start eating again.

    Any advice would be great.
  2. bikerchicspain

    bikerchicspain New Member

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    What are the temps like where you are?
    It could be that she is cold, you will need to get her under some sort of heating device, if it's because she is cold once under a heat lamp she will start to move around and eat,

    Good luck
  3. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

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    First of all, what kind of tortoise is it?

    If the tortoise hibernated outside, then DON'T bring it in the house and warm it up. If you do that, you may as well set up an indoor habitat with lights, heat, hiding place, food and water dishes, until the weather warms enough for her to go back outside.

    If you truly think there is something wrong with the tortoise, then take it to the vet.

    When tortoises first wake up from hibernation they are cold clear through to their core. It takes quite a while for them to get that body temp back up to where they can move freely.

    I just leave mine alone outside. They come out of their house and sit in the sun for a while, then they go back into their house. They move stiffly and slowly. These are desert tortoises I'm talking about. The Russians, being so small, warm up pretty fast. It only took them a couple days and now they're running around the pen and all warmed up![hr]
    Hi Thomas130:

    Welcome to the forum!! Is your name Thomas? And may we know where you are?
  4. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART

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  5. GBtortoises

    GBtortoises Active Member

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    The tortoise should be allowed to slowly warm up to the lower end of the activity range out of hibernation. Definitely not exposed to extremely high temperatures and extreme light. Once they are alert the next thing should be fresh water. A hibernating tortoise does not expel wastes during hibernation and the first instinctual function that they have is to flush their body of those hibernation wastes and in the process rehydrate themselves. After that, the tortoise can be exposed normal activity temperatures and light intensity. I wait until the following day to offer any food, once their warm and active. I try to make sure that it's very good quality, high fiber foods. The high fiber is very important to re-establish their gut bacteria which aids in properly digesting and processing foods. Water should be offered daily at least for the first week or so and frequently after that.
  6. thomas130

    thomas130 New Member

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    Just to give you guys more information she is a Russian tortoise she only small.

    Usually by now she would be eating but she has only had a tidy piece of lettuce. We have given her daily baths one to get rid of all the dirt and to help hydrate her.

    I have been told that sometimes it can take up to a week for them to start eating again, it has nearly been 72 hours so far. My main issue at the moment is with her legs she can move them around ok, but doesn’t have any strength like she used to have. She can't pickup her own weight very well. She can get places but not like she used to. Just she simply need time to get strength back or is this sign of something being wrong.

    At the moment apart from the daily bath we are leaving her alone to sleep in her vault.

    We have contacted a vet and want to give her a few more days in the mean time any advice would be great.
  7. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

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    A really cold tortoise can't pick up their weight very well. Has she been able to sit in the sun and warm up?
  8. thomas130

    thomas130 New Member

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    No she has'nt been outside I just left her under her lamp.
  9. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    Was she healthy and good weight when she went into hibernation? I would soak her in a warm babyfood soak. That way she might absorb or drink some nutrients.
    Does she look skinny?
    My guy just woke up too. He is moving slowly, but seems ok. It was warm the day he came out, but since then, not so warm.. but he is still awake..
  10. bikerchicspain

    bikerchicspain New Member

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    I would weigh her to see how much weight she has lost, especially if you kept a weight and growth chart before.

    You said you usually hibernate her for 4 months, Does that mean you wake her up or do you let her wake by herself,
    In my opinion an animal should not be woken from hibernation unless it is for health and safety issues. :tort:

    She could have anything from just waking up slowly to having an infection or worms.:(

    How are her eyes are they bright and alert,sunken?
    Breathing?
    mouth colour?
    Is she holding her head up or is it drooping?

    Any of these symptoms and you need to get her to a vet..
  11. thomas130

    thomas130 New Member

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    Hi guys

    Just to let you she which turns out to be a he is now with the vets. He also a Herman

    Basically we found the issue with the legs was that he tried to get himself out but was trap so his legs are swore at the moment. That also put a tube into its stomach to get some fluids and food. They say he is healthy regarding eyes alertness etc. Just feel dehydrated

    Why that can't promise he should be fine :)

    Thanks for advice in earlier posts
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