Chelonoidis chilensis: problem after hibernation

dafaher

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Oct 2, 2016
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1
Location (City and/or State)
Ciudad de Buenos Aires
Good morning, everyone! I'm new to this community and all the topics that I read seem very interesting. Thank you all for sharing your knowledge and experience about these beautiful animals.
I have a male tortoise named Martino, he's 30 years old. For the first time in all these years he had an intermittent hibernation (due to climate change). I'm from Buenos Aires (Argentina) and we just had a winter with temperatures up to 24°C-25ºC, which is both unusual and alarming.
Martino awoke 15 days ago and I called the vet because he doesn't want to eat. The vet made a medical checkup before hibernating (blood and stool tests) and a new one now, but everything seems fine. The thing is, he recommended me to stimulate his appetite with a vitamin supplement (it's a kind of yogurt), and I asked him if I should put a lamp in the terrarium, he said yes. Martino spends his spring and summer in the garden but when autumn arrives and he begins his hibernation, I put him in a terrarium inside my house, in a room where the temperature is more balanced.
Whenever the weather is nice I leave him sunbathing for 8-9 hours a day, his levels of calcium and vitamin A couldn't be any more perfect. But the problem here is the environmental temperature. I never had the need to buy lamps because it never happened before, so I'm lost. And I thought I should ask people with more experience than I.
I need to buy a heat lamp, don't I? I don't think he needs a UVA/UVB lamp because, as I said before, he spends hours sunbathing.
I'll start with a heat lamp and will see if he regains appetite with a more consistent temperature. I must be honest, the vet said he was perfect but I'm quite worried because he already woke up but didn't eat in 15 days (except for one day -a warmer day, 25ºC-...he ate a few bites of tomato), so I'm sure he must be already exhausting his energy reserves. It's like that now he woke up, he doesn't know whether to sleep or waking up so he's still the whole day with open eyes, or just sleeps. I keep him hydrated, I administer him water daily with a needleless syringe and he also takes warm baths.

I would appreciate any tip or suggestion. And of course, thanks in advance!

Ps: I'm very sorry about my english, it's quite rusty.
Additional info: today was the day he walked more. He walked two meters to a shady spot because it seems that the sun was already bothering him. I attach a pic of my boy the day he ate a little bit of tomato.

CAM00038.jpg

CAM00038.jpg
 
M

Maggie Cummings

Guest
Please be patient. Your American is fine, it's just that Chaco tortoises are very rare here, so a lot of us experienced keepers want one, but know not much about them. I'm going to call Kelly, @tortadise and he'd probably answer you after work. I know we have another chaco keeper who I have begged for a baby from, but I can't remember who now, probably why he wouldn't just give me one...haha
Welcome, and you'll hear from an expert soon......
 

tortadise

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Tropical South Texas
I've never hibernated any chilensis. They always seem to perish and expire from it here. I'd keep him very well hydrated, have somewhat warm days and cooler evenings. I know your going through early spring right now. So in time the temperatures will warm up more. A heat lamp during the day and perhaps ambient at night. I'd offer nopales or tunas. Tomatoes aren't the best for them and not a natural consumed food source. Has the grass started to grow and get green yet? What sort of enclosure do you have him in. Could you provide a photo?
 

tortadise

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Ah another question too, are you taking him inside and outside currently? What times are you doing this? What are the temps outside versus inside when or if he does out.
 

Valeria

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Joined
Oct 14, 2018
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hi, (Dafaher, check más abajo!)

first at all: sorry for my English!
I´m brand new here, I logged in the forum because I saw this post and I´m very happy to find another guy with a chilensis.

I was reading another posts about chilensis, and I want to share a general answer:
in my country, at this time (2018) is prohibited to buy and sell any tortoise, I´m not sure about another ones; but chilensis is not allowed for sure. Because it's in extinction in freedom.

You only can receive an old one as a gift from someone who can´t care for him/her anymore... and I suppose you can´t travel to another country with him/her legally.
I don´t share the policies... or better said, the lack of policies to raise them and released... and the illegal hunting is huge.

The land is huge here (that difficult controls), and there are a demand (for this and from another countries) that favor the illegal hunting.
And there are very high mortality in captivity from illegal hunters (I´m not sure where I have read, but remember about more than 90% died). That favor extinction too, because they are not very prolifics...

You can come to Argentine and to live here if you want to raise them!
we can build a sanctuary if we can collect founds from all people interested...

Well, I pass a little to spanish to ask to my fellow neighbor!
I can´t say in english that, I´m not very good to speak in english (and I dont like google translate very much)
best regards to all, I´m going to write again and to share photos of mi tortoise in a few days.
Valeria
------------------------------------------------------------------
Hola, dafaher, ¿cómo está Martino?
Yo también soy de Buenos Aires, y tengo una tortuga chilensis (me enteré hace poco la especie o raza o como se diga), la mía tiene casi 50 años, creo. También macho.
Desde hace dos años su vida tuvo un abrupto cambio, porque pasó de vivir en una casa con jardín (donde la cuidaba mi madre) a vivir en un departmento con patio y terraza, sin tierra ni pastito (y que la cuide yo!), así que estamos adaptándonos...

Este año es la primera hibernación completa que pasa dentro de casa.
En un grupo de facebook me dijeron que acá que "bruman" no que "hibernan", y que se despiertan muchas veces.
Me dijeron que le diera bañitos de agua no muy fría (que no se le sumerja la nariz, pero que le tape la cola, el agua), porque se hidratan por ambas puntas, digamos (eso no lo sabía), porque se despierta y está como boba, no come, camina unos pasos y se vuelve a quedar dormida de golpe (en inverno).
Y con los calores que hay últimamente, se ha despertado varias veces.
(mirá que para digerir la comida precisan que se mantenga la temperatura varias horas por arriba de 18ºC ,para que puedan digerir por completo, porque son de sangre fría, así que no regulan la temperatura, y si después que comieron baja a menos de esa temperatura les queda la comida en la panza a medio camino y les fermenta; así que si no quiere, no le insistas, es como que se dan cuenta que el calor no va a durar, me parece!)

La mía siempre comió pepino, pero en el jardín tenía pastos varios y flores, y lombrices y babosas, caracoles (se ve que los precisa por el calcio, son un snack crocante para ella!), y ahora, sólo vive a pepino (porque no me come otra cosa) y me preocupa que a su dieta le falten miles de cosas.

Así que ahora mi preocupación es hacerle un sector con tierra... encontré dos cajones de madera, de pino, que tiraron (como de 50 cm por 1 metro) y estoy viendo cómo armarlo, en un sector del patio donde hay sol en verano.

otro día regreso, quiero aprovechar a hacer algunas cosas antes de que se acabe el día.
saludos cordiales,
Valeria
 
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