Hormone Implant for Male TGG with a one track mind - 2016 edition

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,588
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
A few people have asked to discuss this, so I have opened a new thread.

The full story 2012-14 can be seen in these threads
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread...-tgg-with-a-one-track-mind.48004/#post-461301

http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/hormone-implant-for-male-tgg-with-a-one-track-mind-2013.70814/

http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/hormone-implant-for-male-tgg-with-a-one-track-mind-2014.92930/

In a nutshell, we had a pretty bad time with Joe 2011-12. He had an URI. Then he followed that up with excessive testosterone levels that led him stop eating and drinking and he got repeated liver infections.

His testosterone reading was 59.5

Having got a very bad reputation for bad behaviour at my vet, he was given a Suprelorin hormone implant in 2012. This works by flooding the system with testosterone, which seems counter-intuitive, but after 3 weeks of even worse behaviour Joe settled down and started eating and gained weight and hibernated successfully.

Post implant testosterone was 0.3

Mark, my vet, said the implant is used in zoos so they can keep groups of male animals of all types together and it's even used on over-aggressive male birds. This is an exotics practise - they have an elephant calving expert! He had no record of it being used in tortoises, so had no idea how long it would last, but decided write Joe up as a paper. In fact he treated another male tort a few weeks later as well.

Spring 2013 and his testosterone was still 0.3

Roll forward to spring 2014 and Joe came out of hibernation fighting. So I took him straight back to the vet who described him (with a grin) as "a swine" and the implant was done again. His testosterone was at 16.35, nowhere near the 2012 level, but still high.

So two years later, where are we?

Joe came put of hibernation relatively well behaved. He's been butting things throughout this, but he has been eating and drinking and gaining weight. All good :)

BUT... his behaviour is deteriorating. This last week his pacing is getting much, much worse and he has bulldozed through his fence twice which he has never done before.

So the jury is out and I am monitoring his weight and eating. I will not rule out another implant this year though I would prefer not to if I can.
 

Rue

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2016
Messages
1,259
Location (City and/or State)
Canada
Very interesting. And good to know it can be done and is so helpful with the issue.
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,588
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
I think that I should emphasise that males will be males. They butt, they bully, they mate with everything and anything available and some bite (not Joe fortunately)

Joe continued to butt and mate with things after the implant, but nothing like as badly and he was more easily distracted by a good looking dandelion on his way to investigate you.

This is no panacea for an easy life of tortoise-keeping. It was done purely for Joe's health and I will only do it again, if his health looks to be at risk.

It's not cheap either. I can't remember the 2014 bill, but around £70 comes to mind just for the implant. Blood tests for testosterone are extra and had to be sent away; my vet couldn't do them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rue
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top