Tortoise hibernating and foaming at mouth

Bennygal

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Hi There,
My Greek tortoise who is about 45 years old is hibernating in our conservatory in a run.
Today I heard a very loud squelching sound and went and opened the run to check what the noise was.
I found her semi-awake with clear bubbles coming from her mouth- quite a bit.
I've wiped them off, but am worried about if there is something more I should do.
She is hibernating at ambient temperatures and is not in direct sunlight and hasn't eaten for about four months due to being asleep. So that rules out food poisoning or heat exhaustion.
I can ow hear her moving around and suspect she is waking up.

Any ideas- is this an urgent vet visit? Is this normal?

Has anyone experienced the same and what did they do?

Thanks in advance.
 

Yvonne G

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Sounds like you need to get her up and give her a good soak. Put her in a tub she can't climb out of and add warm water until it comes up to the middle of her sides.

I've never run into this in all my years of tortoise-keeping. Any chance she was bitten by a spider or something?
 

Bennygal

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Sounds like you need to get her up and give her a good soak. Put her in a tub she can't climb out of and add warm water until it comes up to the middle of her sides.

I've never run into this in all my years of tortoise-keeping. Any chance she was bitten by a spider or something?
Hi Yvonne,

Thanks for your response, there is the possibility of a spider bite but I can't be sure.

Would putting her in the bath make her come out of hibernation early?

She doesnt live in a vivarium, shes a little bit of a free spirit so we cant put her out the garden at the moment.

Liz
 

Yvonne G

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Not necessarily. You can soak her then put her back in the cool spot. But because of the foaming, I would be inclined to set her up in an indoor enclosure for the rest of the winter and keep her awake to make sure she's not sick.
 

Tom

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Hi There,
My Greek tortoise who is about 45 years old is hibernating in our conservatory in a run.
Today I heard a very loud squelching sound and went and opened the run to check what the noise was.
I found her semi-awake with clear bubbles coming from her mouth- quite a bit.
I've wiped them off, but am worried about if there is something more I should do.
She is hibernating at ambient temperatures and is not in direct sunlight and hasn't eaten for about four months due to being asleep. So that rules out food poisoning or heat exhaustion.
I can ow hear her moving around and suspect she is waking up.

Any ideas- is this an urgent vet visit? Is this normal?

Has anyone experienced the same and what did they do?

Thanks in advance.
What is the temperature where the tortoise is?
 

Bennygal

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Not necessarily. You can soak her then put her back in the cool spot. But because of the foaming, I would be inclined to set her up in an indoor enclosure for the rest of the winter and keep her awake to make sure she's not sick.
Thankyou
 

Tom

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About 16 c or lower- not cold- probably not cold enough.
You are right. That is not cold enough to hibernate. Your tortoise might have a respiratory infection from being kept too cool for too long, but not quite cold enough to hibernate.

You need to gradually warm it up, rehydrate it and keep it in a warm enclosure until it gets well again and you can move it back outside in the warmer weather.
 

Bennygal

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Thanks, Tom,

I have been checking on her today and there has been no more foam.

She won't drink out of a bowl, (super fussy, I've inherited a prima donna Tortoise!) so we have got some cucumber and are going to try and encourage her to eat some. Once we've woken her up and she is being active and I'm sure she's not going to go back into hibernation as I understand its quite bad for them to have stuff in their belly if they go back to sleep.

As for a warm enclosure, perhaps I will keep her in the run and ensure she is in the spare room with the door closed, as it's like an oven in there. Plus I have a heat lamp which Ill put her underneath.

Thanks for the advice, I really appreciated it. I've inherited her and she was just allowed to roam around a garden for 45 years before we got her. She's definitely got her own ways.

Liz
 

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