Hormone implant for male TGG with a one track mind - 2013

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JoesMum

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It's a long time since I've posted, sorry. Family and working life have kept me busy. I though I'd give an update to the tale of Joe and his testosterone implant. The full story from last year is on this thread

A summary:

August 1970: Joe came into our lives and has hibernated successfully every year until...

March 2011: Joe had a respiratory infection on coming out of hibernation and struggled to recover. Lack of weight gain meant he was unable to hibernate for the next winter.

Winter 2011-2012: Joe took over the dining room and hated every minute of his captivity. Used to 300 square yards plus of garden, he was not happy in a 7' x 5' "table". Weight gain was acceptable, but not huge.

Spring 2012: The sun came out, Joe went back outside and he went on the rampage. Constant pacing of our large garden. Butting and mating with anything and everything. The sex obsession was so bad that he wouldn't eat and wouldn't drink. His weight dropped to an all time low of 2.1kg (normally 3.1 kg) and he had repeated liver infections.

June 1 2012: Our vet decided enough was enough and gave Joe a testosterone implant of the kind they give to zoo animals when they need to keep mixed groups of males together.

After 3 weeks where Joe was probably worse than ever, he suddenly became mild mannered and started eating properly. His Testosterone level pre-implant was 59.5 and had dropped to 0.3 (normal is around 5 apparently) Joe calmed down and gained weight.

December 1 2012: Our mild autumn meant that Joe finally hibernated, weighing 3.1kg, which was just as well because this last Spring has been diabolical... so much snow! Joe is "double boxed" in our garage for hibernation with a thermometer keeping an eye on the in-box a temperature and an electric radiator set on its frost setting to make sure the garage never drops below 3C (37.4F) I checked up on him and weighed him every 2-3 weeks. He lost no weight at all for the first 3½ months

April 12 2013: After 4½ months Joe awoke. He had lost 150 grammes (7 oz) in weight, about 6%, and was up, about and eating within 24 hours.

April 26 2013: Vet checks the testosterone again. It's still reading 0.3 which tallies with his still mild behaviour

Today: (I actually got the April test result today) I would say his Testosterone level has increased in the last 3 weeks. He is behaving more like normal Joe. You now have to keep an eye on him to make sure you don't get your ankle knocked painfully while gardening or hanging out the laundry. He is eating a huge amount, both what I give him and grazing the garden, and his weight is up to 3.2kg. When he's not eating, he enjoys lapping up the heat.

It will be interesting to see how the summer progresses. The vet cannot be certain how long the implant lasts. He's writing Joe up as a research paper and, although Joe was the first, at least one other aggressive male has received the same treatment since (I met him and he's a biter!).

If things stay as they are, I'm happy not to repeat treatment!
 

wellington

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Glad all is well with you and Joe. Fingers crossed he doesn't get worse. I think you forgot something? Like an updated pic of JOE:D
 

Jacqui

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This is very interesting and could be helpful to many if it works well. Do you know how the other tortoise is doing? What are the possible side effects? I too look forward to keeping up with how things continue to go.

P.S. Glad your back. I have missed you.
 

JoesMum

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Well, as this is experimental in tortoises, the side effects were unknown. However, the implant used is very commonly used in all species, not just reptiles, by vets.

My vet had used it successfully in other reptiles such a bearded dragons... it lasts about 8 months in a bearded dragon... and had not seen side effects in reptiles. Apparently the same implant in a cockerel lasts about 12 weeks, so the effective period really does vary a lot!

As for the biter, he's a new man. Very well behaved at the moment. He's just through hibernation too.
 

AZtortMom

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Wow! That is very cool! Thank you for sharing :)


Life is good
 
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