Hibernation and liquid vitamin

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Jun 7, 2021
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Colorado Springs
Just took my Russian tortoise to the vet for a check up. She recommended we hibernate him. This makes me nervous. I really don’t want to kill my tortoise. Any tips?
The vet also recommended Flukers liquid reptile vitamin twice a week. Does anyone use this? Good idea?
 

Yvonne G

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If your Russian tortoise is full grown, then in my opinion, a good diet is all he needs, no vitamins.

I allow all my brumating species to brumate in the winter. Makes tortoise-keeping for me much easier. However, brumation isn't without its pitfalls. Quite often a tortoise will die during brumation. In fact, this past winter I lost my very first desert tortoise, Mi-Shell, who I had for over 40 years. When she didn't come out of the shelter where all the desert tortoises brumated I took it apart and found her empty shell.
 

ZenHerper

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If you are not breeding, brumation is not a requirement.

But you can do a managed winter cool-down inside his regular habitat where you basically turn off the heat lamp(s) and let him rest at room temperature. Appetite disappears, but a weekly soak should be done to maintain hydration and to do a general health check.

This is easier done in countries where "room temperature" is 60-65*F. If you house (or his room) stays warmer, then you will need to offer food and basking heat on occasion.

Your tortoise should be full-sized, at a good weight, and very healthy before considering any sort of winter cooling. Lots of adult torts living indoors will slow down in winter as a response to shorter day length and other subtle environmental cues (air pressure, electromagnetic changes, etc.), so be prepared to let the habitat cool down if he chooses to scale back his activities.
 

Mrs.Jennifer

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Just took my Russian tortoise to the vet for a check up. She recommended we hibernate him. This makes me nervous. I really don’t want to kill my tortoise. Any tips?
The vet also recommended Flukers liquid reptile vitamin twice a week. Does anyone use this? Good idea?
I have a Russian here in Connecticut. I have never brumated him in the time I’ve had him (14 years). He does slow down in the winter with the shorter days. He also eats a bit less. However, because I am not confident in my ability to brumate him, I don‘t dare try. I believe that a poorly executed brumation is much worse than none.
 
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