Trip To The Vets - Need Advise!

Joined
Jul 23, 2018
Messages
34
Location (City and/or State)
Croydon
Hello All,

So last night took my new lil rock to the vets and have to say, very very well behaved!!! Not in the slightest scared or trying to hide out in the shell, instead was being very inquisitive and wanted to explore :)

The vet has mentioned a few things that I am hoping I could get some advise on...

- IT’S A… GIRL!!! Finally got it confirmed that it is a girl (I know I posted a pic and a lot of people told me it was but just wanted to be 100%) So the name… She is called Tatty <3

- I have noticed since having her that she struggles to eat so mentioned this to the vet has looked at the lower jaw and said that there is a lot of side to side movement and was concerned so took an X-ray but everything came back fine and is in the correct place/ alignment, but will be monitoring it...
Has anybody else come across or experienced anything like this at all?

- The vet also mentioned that her beak is slightly over grown and might need a trim down (going back in a few weeks to check if it has worn down naturally and if not needs a trim)
Is this okay/ normal and not going to hurt or stress her?!

- The vet has also said that I shouldn't hibernate her this year due to the fact that;
* I have only had her about a month or so and don't know her well enough
* She is a bit light (going back in two weeks to check weight gain)
* The fact she failed hibernation last year (even though previous owners said she has been fine in years before)

So I am a first timer for overwintering and just want to know what is best, she isn't sleepy at the moment and still eating well but want to know;
* How long do they need the UV and Heat lamps on for, is there a set time like12hrs of light to imitate the summer hours?! but what about the heat?!
* Do they require any extra foods/ supplements or vitamins during this time?!
* Is there any strange or abnormal behavior to be expected?!

As always thank you for taking the time to read and advise, massively appreciated!!!
 

Moozillion

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
10,530
Location (City and/or State)
Louisiana, USA
Hello All,

So last night took my new lil rock to the vets and have to say, very very well behaved!!! Not in the slightest scared or trying to hide out in the shell, instead was being very inquisitive and wanted to explore :)

The vet has mentioned a few things that I am hoping I could get some advise on...

- IT’S A… GIRL!!! Finally got it confirmed that it is a girl (I know I posted a pic and a lot of people told me it was but just wanted to be 100%) So the name… She is called Tatty <3

- I have noticed since having her that she struggles to eat so mentioned this to the vet has looked at the lower jaw and said that there is a lot of side to side movement and was concerned so took an X-ray but everything came back fine and is in the correct place/ alignment, but will be monitoring it...
Has anybody else come across or experienced anything like this at all?

- The vet also mentioned that her beak is slightly over grown and might need a trim down (going back in a few weeks to check if it has worn down naturally and if not needs a trim)
Is this okay/ normal and not going to hurt or stress her?!

- The vet has also said that I shouldn't hibernate her this year due to the fact that;
* I have only had her about a month or so and don't know her well enough
* She is a bit light (going back in two weeks to check weight gain)
* The fact she failed hibernation last year (even though previous owners said she has been fine in years before)

So I am a first timer for overwintering and just want to know what is best, she isn't sleepy at the moment and still eating well but want to know;
* How long do they need the UV and Heat lamps on for, is there a set time like12hrs of light to imitate the summer hours?! but what about the heat?!
* Do they require any extra foods/ supplements or vitamins during this time?!
* Is there any strange or abnormal behavior to be expected?!

As always thank you for taking the time to read and advise, massively appreciated!!!

So glad she had a good visit as the vet!

I’ve not had the side-to-side jaw problem with my tort, so will wait for others to comment on that.

An overgrown beak seems pretty common, and trimming it is a good idea- especially done by an experienced person. Many of us feed our torts on slates or large terra-cotta plant saucers to help keep the beak in trim naturally. Chewing on cuttlebones also helps keep her beak worn naturally.

I agree 100% with the vet about not hibernating her! ALL his reasons are good!

Everyone has different ways of dealing with torts that could brumate naturally, but this is what I do:
I don’t know what kind of tort you have, but I don’t hibernate (brumate) my Herman’s tort. Her winter enclosure is a large plastic pond insert connected with her old “baby” enclosure in my back room. Total space about 3ft x 8 ft. It is about 2/3 filled with garden soil and covered with a couple inches of dry leaves from my back yard and several plastic plants for cover. There are 2 large terra-cotta plant saucers in it: one for food and one for water. I have a MVB on a timer hanging over 1 end. I keep the deeper soil well hydrated and the surface soil dry.
Being inside the house, the room gets the same heat as the whole house. I have 2 thermometer-hygrometers in the enclosure so I can make sure the humidity never falls below 50%.

My Herman”s digs herself into the soil to sleep, but I dig her out every 2-3 days so she can eat, drink and pee. I also soak her for 30 min. This appears to have worked well enough for the 6 years we’ve had her.

Best of luck with Miss Tatty!!! [emoji2]
 

Moozillion

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
10,530
Location (City and/or State)
Louisiana, USA
Oops: I forgot to add that I also have a small heater in that room and keep it warmer than the rest of the house. We turn off that heater every night so she can have a normal temperature drop, but that room- like our house- does not get below 68*F at night.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2018
Messages
34
Location (City and/or State)
Croydon
So glad she had a good visit as the vet!

I’ve not had the side-to-side jaw problem with my tort, so will wait for others to comment on that.

An overgrown beak seems pretty common, and trimming it is a good idea- especially done by an experienced person. Many of us feed our torts on slates or large terra-cotta plant saucers to help keep the beak in trim naturally. Chewing on cuttlebones also helps keep her beak worn naturally.

I agree 100% with the vet about not hibernating her! ALL his reasons are good!

Everyone has different ways of dealing with torts that could brumate naturally, but this is what I do:
I don’t know what kind of tort you have, but I don’t hibernate (brumate) my Herman’s tort. Her winter enclosure is a large plastic pond insert connected with her old “baby” enclosure in my back room. Total space about 3ft x 8 ft. It is about 2/3 filled with garden soil and covered with a couple inches of dry leaves from my back yard and several plastic plants for cover. There are 2 large terra-cotta plant saucers in it: one for food and one for water. I have a MVB on a timer hanging over 1 end. I keep the deeper soil well hydrated and the surface soil dry.
Being inside the house, the room gets the same heat as the whole house. I have 2 thermometer-hygrometers in the enclosure so I can make sure the humidity never falls below 50%.

My Herman”s digs herself into the soil to sleep, but I dig her out every 2-3 days so she can eat, drink and pee. I also soak her for 30 min. This appears to have worked well enough for the 6 years we’ve had her.

Best of luck with Miss Tatty!!! [emoji2]


Hello Moozillion,
The vets is always a funny one for all animals and wasn't too sure how she'd be, but wasn't bothered :)

Thanks for reading and the advise, Tatty is nearly 8yrs (30th Sept 2010 - hatch date) Hermann's tortoise.
I have a slate slab for her and she also has a cuttlebone but doesn't seem too interested in it...
Just out of interest why do you choose not to hibernate when this breed can be?

My partner has just finished building stage 1 of our indoor enclosure (very proud of him for building it - post to follow about enclosure) which is 5ft by 2ft and will have an upstairs also the same size - stage 2. The 'nest' as I like to call it (sleeping area) is a mix of Coconut Husk Fiber and Bamboo leaves which she loves to nestle down in at night. The main area is made up of a base layer of Sterilized Topsoil, Sand and Limestone Grit and topping that I have Orchid Bark - have to say I have noticed that the soil is getting everywhere and don't like it so might have to think of an alternative as well as the Bark she seems to be struggling walking over.
 

Moozillion

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
10,530
Location (City and/or State)
Louisiana, USA
Hello Moozillion,
The vets is always a funny one for all animals and wasn't too sure how she'd be, but wasn't bothered :)

Thanks for reading and the advise, Tatty is nearly 8yrs (30th Sept 2010 - hatch date) Hermann's tortoise.
I have a slate slab for her and she also has a cuttlebone but doesn't seem too interested in it...
Just out of interest why do you choose not to hibernate when this breed can be?

My partner has just finished building stage 1 of our indoor enclosure (very proud of him for building it - post to follow about enclosure) which is 5ft by 2ft and will have an upstairs also the same size - stage 2. The 'nest' as I like to call it (sleeping area) is a mix of Coconut Husk Fiber and Bamboo leaves which she loves to nestle down in at night. The main area is made up of a base layer of Sterilized Topsoil, Sand and Limestone Grit and topping that I have Orchid Bark - have to say I have noticed that the soil is getting everywhere and don't like it so might have to think of an alternative as well as the Bark she seems to be struggling walking over.
I don't brumate her because I'm kind of an anxious person. I've heard many success stories about brumating, but I've also heard horror stories. I would have to use the refrigerator method if I were to brumate her. I know lots of people do. But I would miss her, too. Since the scientific data SO FAR says they don't HAVE to brumate to be healthy, I have opted not to.
Once I read that BEARS, who are so famous for hibernating, actually BRUMATE, but clearly do just fine in zoos where they are up all year when they are kept in warm bright conditions, that pretty much clinched my decision.
I could well be wrong about any of this- this is just my take at the current time.
 
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