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Not eating and losing weight
Posted: 20/10/2009 by winnie

My horsfield Queenie who is aged at around 6+ years seems to have stopped eating. I noticed a week or so ago that she had slowed down on her eating and seemed to spend most of her time digging down and sleeping but for the last 2-3 days I haven't been able to get her to eat anything. With me being worried I decided to weigh her early this month. On 14 september she weighed 358g, on 4 october she was down to 355g and on 20 october she'd dropped again down to 352g. I've been reading through the hibernation info but there isn't much on weights and when I'm to hibernate her. Any advise would be greatly appreciated as I'm starting to panic. This is my first hibernation so not to sure on what I'm supposed to do and when.

Re: Not eating and losing weight
Posted: 20/10/2009 by Laraine

Have a look at this link to another section on this site, you will find advise about hibernation, It is important that in the wind down period you bathe every day, this encourages the gut to empty and to keep the tortoise hydrated.

Laraine

Re: Not eating and losing weight
Posted: 20/10/2009 by winnie

I have read this but don't recall it saying when you should hibernate. Also, because I think I'm correct in saying, that the Jacksons Ratio doesn't apply to Horsfields so how do I know that she has good weight. What I was trying to find out is whether the "not eating thing" is Queenie starting her own wind down?

Re: Not eating and losing weight
Posted: 22/10/2009 by TPGDarren

Hi Winnie,

Many tortoises start winding themselves down this time of year either due to a reduction in temperature, decreasing day-time light or their body-clock kicking in. The most important thing with hibernation is that the tortoise has been healthy and eating steadily over the year to permit a steady weight gain.

What method of hibernation are you considering?

Darren

Re: Not eating and losing weight
Posted: 22/10/2009 by winnie

Hi Darren, I was going to use the fridge method as I've read that that's the best way to keep a steady temp even though people gasp in horror when I tell them. Haven't bought it yet but going to argos this week to get one. How long do I have to run it before I use it and what weight should my tort be?

Sorry for repeating questions but I'm starting to lose my bottle due to her not eating and losing weight even though it's a natural thing for her to do.

Re: Not eating and losing weight
Posted: 22/10/2009 by TPGDarren

Hi Winnie,

 

There isn't a tried and tested weight scale for Horsfields. If a tortoise has had a steady weight gain and has been illness-free throught the summer and is fit and healthy, there is no reason why he/she won't be fine.....particularly in a well set-up fridge.

I'd be inclined to set the fridge up for a good week to check the temps with a max/min thermometer.

http://www.tortoise-protection-group.org.uk/site/files/Fridgehibernationmethod.pdf

 

HTH

TC
Darren

 

 

Re: Not eating and losing weight
Posted: 22/10/2009 by winnie

Hi Darren, many thanks, that's a big weight off my mind and has reduced my stress levels (for now). Queenie has put a lot of weight on since I got her in May (maybe a little to much) but I'm hoping that this won't be a prob and she keeps enough on to see her through the big sleep. Many thanks again.

 

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