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Torts Update
Posted: 23/11/2015 by George Norman

Hi Tom

My husband and I took our baby torts back to the vets today (one of the recommended vets on the website list) so I thought I would update you on their progress and also the recommendations from the vet. 
He was happy that Esio Trot (the bigger of the two) was recovering well from the infection. Both youngsters were wormed as Norman's (the smaller tort's) weight was a bit of a concern. 
I was really surprised as he advised us to take them out of the table and put them into a tank insulated with polystyrene, or a vivarium. He said that because the mortality rate in hatchlings is high and due to Norman's small size, a viv is more suitable as it keeps them warmer and therefore more actively eating. He said he advises all owners of torts up to four years old to do this.  
He also wasn't happy about our older tortoise being in the fridge and said he would be better in a box inside a box in the garage - even though I assured him that I understood the importance of minimum/maximum temps etc.  He did say that he has seen many 'Frozen' tortoises over the last few years who have either died or had to be put to sleep. I guess this is the very sad downside of the fridge method not being carried out correctly. To be honest, I've been happy with the way my fridge hibe has been going and I haven't had to worry about milder weather making him too warm - although the last few days it's been extremely cold, so I've had to be extra vigilant with the temp inside the fridge.  The instructions in the care sheets on this site are concise, easy to follow and explain explicitly where care should be taken and I followed them to the letter, so I'm not concerned that I have done George any harm. 
Anyway, I just thought it was worth mentioning how things were going, especially the vet's conflicting advice re the vivarium! I'm obviously worried now as I was sure I was doing the right thing for them with a table - it certainly seems to me like a nicer way to live for them, rather than being in a glass tank!
Thanks again for all your help :-) 

Re: Torts Update
Posted: 23/11/2015 by Tom

Vets on the list are recommended by members rather than the TPG.

I've noted some on the list who are known to have odd ideas in husbandry matters.

For many years the fridge method has been used for many temperate species of reptiles & amphibians, not just tortoises. 

Re. vivs - the vet contradicts the advice of some of the leading authors in chelonian husbandry.
I breed many babies every year & they live outside from 3 days old in late May to mid-Septemer, it can be chilly at night ! What would the vet say ! 

I'm not sure why you were concerned about the fridge temp in recent colder weather. I assume that the fridge is in the house.

Let us know what you decide & how things progress.



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