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5th week into hibernation
Posted: 24/11/2008 by tortoise7

Hi


I am in the winding down process for hibernating Molly, and I know she ate 2 days food after she last poo'd and before I started the wind down. I have had to take her into her 5th week because she has not passed it through yet. I give her baths every morning and keep the temps above 13 to keep her digestive system moving, but what do I do if she still doesn't pass the food through by the end of the 5th week? She is a big girl starting weight 2500 and length 23cm but would it be wise to take her into the 6th week?
Will be gratefull for advice
Regards


Jane

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 24/11/2008 by ElaineTPG

By this time the bathes would be cool but try to give her a warmer bath for longer, top it up if necessary and see if this starts the digestive system. The day time temp at 13c is just ticking her over and isn't warm enough to 'move' anything through her system which it should be at this stage. Let's know what happens and perhaps other keepers may add to this with some hints,

HTH Jane get back to us if it doesn't

Elaine Click and drag me down to the editor

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 24/11/2008 by tpgNina

Just a long shot, but could she have poo'd and eaten it? I guess that still constitutes food in her stomach though.

Nina

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 24/11/2008 by tortoise7

Hi

I do keep her in the bath for quite a while ( 20-25mins keeping it warm) and she  tries to go several times with bubbles come out of the back, but nothing happens.

Jane

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 24/11/2008 by ElaineTPG

This could be the signs of an empty bowel. It might just have been that you have missed it. With that length of bath I would say that the deed has been done. What did she eat?

Elaine

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 24/11/2008 by tortoise7

Hi

Do you think it would be safe to hibernate her this week-end even if I don't see else?

Jane

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 24/11/2008 by tpgNina

I think it will probably be OK, Jane. The thing is, if the food has left her stomach, and is in her intestine, then it's OK if she goes into hibernation. We sometimes see tortoises poo in hibernation, but that is OK because the food must have been in their intestine when they went into hibernation. It is if it is in their stomach that it is bad, because it can rot there. I don't have a tortoise as large as yours and so am not familiar with how long it takes for food to go through them (but I think I heard somewhere that the larger the tortoise the longer it takes). Sorry I can't be of more help.

Nina

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 24/11/2008 by ElaineTPG

If it is weeds Nina as far as I am aware 3 weeks for it to pass through, shop bought much quicker so less likely to absorb any goodness from the food and much more mess to clean up.

Elaine Click and drag me down to the editor

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 24/11/2008 by tpgNina

Hi Elaine,

But the temperature in the enclosure is just above 13C (I don't know how long it has been that low) -- could that make the digestive process slower, or stop it? You're much more experienced in this than I am, so I am sure your advice is sound.

Nina

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 24/11/2008 by tortoise7

Hi

13c has only been  for the last week, previous to that it was 20 - 28 for the 1st 2 weeks, then falling down to 18c mostly 15c occasional 13c. She has had a bath every day. Molly was feed on a mixture of weeds and romain with a very small piece of melon just to coax her to eat, so it wasn't very heavy food. So would the food if it is there be in the intestines by now, making it safe to hibernate?
Thanks

Jane

 

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 24/11/2008 by ElaineTPG

I would think so Jane. I would also try not to give her Melon, it is high in sugar and upsets the gut flora. Having fed her this I would imagine it would have speeded up the gastric track activity. Go for it and just keep a close eye on her during hibernation (as if you weren't), passing urine is more of a problem.

And to think they use to just put them out in the garden Click and drag me down to the editor.

Take care

Elaine

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 24/11/2008 by tpgNina

Hi Jane,

Your temperatures sound fine. What I do is always keep the 25C - 30C temperature at the hot end, but I reduce the number of hours that it is on from the original 12 hours a day, gradually down to 8 hrs, 4 hrs, 2hrs, and then nothing. I sort of figure that while she is at that temperature, even if it is only for an hour or two, that some digestion can go on -- but I'm sure that the way you are doing it is fine too.

I'm afraid I have no idea if the food would be in the intestines now -- I'm sure it would be in my tortoise, but she is only 215g, so a very different case from yours. Elaine thought your tort was fit to hibernate, and she has a lot more experience than I do.

Nina

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 24/11/2008 by tortoise7

Hi Elaine
Thanks, I felt that was the way to go, but needed some expert advice just to confirm. I wasn't happy about the melon but it was the only way I could get Molly to eat. it worked and she started to eat for England which sort of excused the small piece of the bad selection.
Dreading the actual putting her into the fridge, although I am happy with the fridge temps, they have been really steady for 10 wks now. I know they will fluctuate when she first goes in but I have been testing with the box which she will be going in, stuffed with shredded paper and a carton containing sustrate equaling her body weight. Fingers crossed this theory pays off.
Thanks everyone
Jane


 

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 24/11/2008 by tortoise7

Hi

Forgot to ask. I am going to put her in the fridge on saturday evening, so when should I stop the baths, as from now or until Thursday?
Thanks

Jane

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 24/11/2008 by ElaineTPG

Personally I bathe up until the morning they go in and dry them well, i leave them in the towel so as they dry off through out the day and they go for the 'BIG' sleep once dark. Others may differ but it has worked for me. 

Elaine

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 24/11/2008 by tortoise7

Hi Elaine
At this stage are the baths for drinking or for keeping the digestive system going?
Thanks

Jane

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 24/11/2008 by ElaineTPG

for drinking Jane. It is important that they keep water so as they remain hydrated during hibernation. At the beginning of winddown it is to encourage urination and defication (sorry to late for correct spellings). Cooler bathes and because it is a 5 not 4 week winddown judge for yourself she may well be deep into hibernation that you decide to let her go in earlier. You know your tortoise and if during bathing she is not awakening nor drinking then stop and let her her go into a natural hibernation.


HTH


ElaineClick and drag me down to the editor

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 25/11/2008 by tortoise7

Thanks- well I think we are there now. I am trying to be positive about the hibernation as I have done everything that should be done and Molly has no ailments and a good body weight, so I keep telling myself it will all be OK. Click and drag me down to the editor

Jane

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 25/11/2008 by tpgadmin

Good morning Jane

I've read all the thread and would agree, Molly is more than ready to hibernate. I put Michael, one of my male Hermanns, in hibernation yesterday and I've had to get up extra early just to check he is OK. Of course he is, but it doesn't stop me worrying like no doubt you will be over the next few weeks - we all do. I think it shows how caring we are.

Good luck and now let Molly to enjoy her well deserved sleep.

Helen

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 25/11/2008 by tortoise7

Thanks Everyone

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 25/11/2008 by ElaineTPG

Jane Once you see Molly at the end of hibernation with a 'spark' about her you will feel more confident with each year that goes by. We're here to help if there are any more niggels. Sounds like you have done everything just perfect for Molly, well done!

Elaine Click and drag me down to the editor

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 25/11/2008 by tortoise7

Thanks Elaine

Just one more thing.. When I put her in on Saturday night, what will I be looking for that could be wrong, apart weeing or trying to climb out? as I have read that if anything is going to go wrong it will happen at the beginning of hibernation or at the end!!!
Jane

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 25/11/2008 by ElaineTPG

"Could go wrong" not having a glass of wine at hand to celebrate all your efforts! Hopefully Molly will be fast asleep that on Saturday morning you won't want to bath her as she is so sleepy and she will naturally go into the fridge when it becomes dark. Just give her a good amount of substrate to snuggle down into and i'm sure she will be fine. Someone will be online if you have any questions or last minute doubts. THINK POSITIVE!

Regards

Elaine

Re: 5th week into hibernation
Posted: 25/11/2008 by tortoise7

That gave me a chuckle Click and drag me down to the editor 
Last minute nerves...... I've got a grip now

Thanks

 

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