You're in > TPG Members Forum > Hibernation > Hibernation Health Check

Hibernation Health Check
Posted: 11/10/2008 by Munster

Hi All

I just wanted to add this artical that my father found in the local newspaper (South Wales Echo) for us.

Test for Tortoises

'Tortoise owners have been offered the chance to ensure their cherished reptiles are healthy before they go into hiberbation. The International Tortoise Association will be holding a pre-hibernation health check session in the car park of the Waitrose supermarket in Palmerston Road, Barry, from 10am to 4pm on October 19. Contact Ann Ovenstone on 02920 531282'

Unfortunaly as Munster has been poorly we are not going to hibernate him this year, but I thought this was useful for other tort owners out there and maybe keep an eye out in your local papers to see if this is happening in your local areas.

I know that in Sully (not far from Barry) that there is a tortoise/reptile santary which after googling came up as part of the International Tortoise Association, I have been told that they do things like this quite often in and around South Wales.

I hope this is useful to anyone who may be worried about hibernation with the do's and dont. We would definatly have taken Munster if he had been well.     


Catherine, Jon & Munster Click and drag me down to the editor

Ps Munster is going great.

Re: Hibernation Health Check
Posted: 11/10/2008 by tpgadmin

Hi Catherine and Jon

At face value this sounds a really good idea doesn't it and thanks for sharing?  It's worth giving you an alternative view to think about - so here goes:

Up until a few years ago many tortoise organisations were doing this, but as a result of new knowledge through research only one or two are still offering these kind of services.

The Tortoise Trust is very strongly against such health checks for tortoises at a public event and the TPG do support this view.  Unfortunately, unless hygiene practices, are of an exceptionally high standard then tortoises can and do pick up infections from others.  For example one person handling one tortoise and then another without hand washing between.  I'm sure this organisation hasn't had any problems as such but I just wouldn't want to take the risk.

Those that carry out these events, in reality, believe they are offering a much needed public service, but if the health of even one tortoise is put at risk, then I'm not sure I would be taking my tortoise there.  If I wanted a pre hibernation check doing then I would take my tortoise to my vet who specialises in them and who, I know, makes good hygiene practices a priority. 


Re: Hibernation Health Check
Posted: 11/10/2008 by tortoise7

Hi Catherine & Jon

I must admit that I would never take my two to any of these events. Probably the people mean well but the risk for cross infection is so great it really isn't worth the risk. Like Helen says the vet is the best option, I know you have to pay for the consultation but you could end up paying much more than that if they catch anything. Hibernation is a very worrying time for tortoise owners, I know I will only be happy  when Molly wakes up after hibernation happy and healthy. That is what makes this site brilliant, we are not out there doing it on our own...



web designer: