Desert Tortoise Hibernation

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spearson

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My desert tortoise was on her back last week for several hours after trying to climb into a raised flower bed. Since then she has not eaten and appears to be going into hibernation. The vet wants to force feed her - any thoughts?
 

Laura

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IF you are going to hibernate her.. you dont NOT want her to go into it with a full gut..
I would NOT hibernate her if she is not doing well. set up a warm place for her and keep her awake this winter. You will also need lighting to make her think its summer and not winter..
 

Yvonne G

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Tortoises can go an awful long time without eating. I would NOT force feed her at this time. If she was upside down for quite a while, she might just be a little depressed. Where are you located? The weather has a lot to do with if a tortoise eats or not. Here in Central Calif. the nights are down into the 50's and the days are in the high 70's. That's pretty cool compared to what my tortoises are used to. None of them are eating very well.

If you are truly worried about your tortoise, then bring her indoors and set her up with a light so she can warm up to above 80 degrees. If she still doesn't eat, then maybe she's cleaning out her system to prepare for hibernation. They stop eating a couple weeks prior to the really cold weather so that their digestive tract is clean. If she was fine before the "incident" then she's probably still fine. DON'T force feed.
 

spearson

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Thanks for your reply. I live in Albuquerque. Myrtle is now drinking lots of water and appears to be getting more energetic, but I am bringing her in at night since it is cooling down (around 50). During the day it gets up to around 86 here so she goes outside and basks in the sun. I also have been giving her warm baths daily for about 15 minutes. I believe she will be ok for the winter, even if she doesn't eat. She ate a lot this summer and she is still is a good healthy weight. She is at least 55 - 60 years old and she lived in my parent's backyard in northern California for 45 years. One time she somehow got under the house and survived for 2 years - I don't know how. This is only the 2nd year that I've had her here, so I'm a little nervous and want to do the right thing.
 
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