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Spot Post Hibernation Anorexia in your tortoise

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Wakey wakey, rise and shine! It’s that time of year again, time to get those sleepy tortoises out and bed to enjoy the lovely warm weather (hopefully..).

The ideal time period for hibernating tortoises is usually between 4-12 weeks but should be NO LONGER than 12 weeks. If your tortoise is left in hibernation too long, this can be a common cause of post hibernation anorexia.

What is post hibernation anorexia?

For those of you who don’t know, post hibernation anorexia is when a tortoise does not eat in the days/weeks following hibernation. They are in a weak state during this time with low energy levels and are prone to infection and illness. It is very important that their weight and diet is monitored during this time, to make sure they return to their normal self.

Should my tortoise see the vet after hibernation?

It’s a great idea to let the vet check your tortoise over shortly after awakening; that way they can make sure they are healthy and advise you of anything you’re unsure of.

How will I know if my tortoise is unwell?

It is important to see a vet after hibernation if any of the following apply:

  • Your tortoise hasn’t eaten within 7 days
  • Your tortoise hasn’t drank or urinated within 4 days
  • Your tortoise has lost 10% or more of their body weight
  • There are signs of trauma from hibernation
  • Discharge from the eyes, nose, mouth or cloaca

Contact your local surgery now to book in for a post hibernation check with the vet and get your tortoise summer ready. 


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