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Help please
Posted: 04/05/2015 by Hlr123

My tortoise is 35 years old and as soon as he comes out of hibernation every year lives in an outside pen with a house.  This year since waking up he has eaten nothing.  He never eats tortoise food, only fruit and vegetables, but despite trying many things, I can't get him to eat anything.  He 's spent a few days in a box inside the house and has also been to the vets where he was given antibiotics and a vitamin supplement, but still no change.  He's back outside but tonight I found him in his pen, in the rain, not in his house where he always goes into in the early evening.  Does anyone have any idea what might be wrong please?  Thank you

Re: Help please
Posted: 05/05/2015 by


You have been lucky in the past, torts need some help in the period after hibe.. 
The weather in the past few weeks has been poor for much of the time. He probably has post-hibernation anorexia, which needs specialist treatment. It is caused by incorrect husbandry. Possibly there may be another problem.

I suggest that you give him an area in the house & find a way of getting the temperature up to 28C*. Put him in 2cm of tepid water for a few minutes 3x a day. He ought to feed within a day or two.

Failing that ask your vet to put you in touch with a specialist vet, so that he can be hospitalised until feeding well. There is also a list of 'reptile' vets in the green box on the left.

Tortoises need a greenhouse or large cold frame to help them get going after hibe., rather than a 'risk it' approach. 


* This temperature must be measured, as too high a temp. can be lethal.
Let us know what happens please.

Re: Help please
Posted: 05/05/2015 by Hlr123

Thank you so much for your advice.  We're putting the tortoise in a room with a radiator on and will stand him in water three times a day as you suggest.  I've found details of a nearby specialist vet, and will contact them in a couple of days if things don't improve.  Will post again in a couple of days to let you know what happens.  Thank you again


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