Major problem after hibernation

Whinhill

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Hi,
I've had a hibernation disaster and need your advice.
First the terrible news. yesterday I woke my tortoises from their fridge based hubernations (all 21 of them 10 Ibera Greeks, 11 eastern hermann's) the hermann's are perfect. But I've lost 5 of my Iberas 4 appeared the not come out of hibernation, they looked fine physically but just never worke up, one more died overnight.
So some details
Losses
2 sibling females 2.5 & 2.2 kg respectively age circa 5 4th hibernation since I've had them, slightly puffy eyes
Male around 1kg age about 14, 7th hibernation for me, woke up but died overnight.
Female 450g 2years old 1st hibernation (her sibling is fine)
Male around 5 750g 3rd hibernation for me
Method of hibernation,
Fridge method, temp range 2-6 oC, kept in ventilated boxes in hay, monitored for weight loss ever 2weeks. Fridge vented daily for air exchange
Duration 3months 2 days
Pre hibernation prep, bought in from my tortoise paddock late September 2013, kept in a tort table, weekly soakings. Temp 22-24 oC . Mid December feeding stops, jan 1st daily soaks, Jan 9th cooling day in garage, jan 10th fridge hibernation begins. All Iberas had great Jackson ratios (I never hibernate any animal that is borderline with 0.2 or less on Jackson's ratio)
Apart from being devastated, what went wrong? Why just the Greeks and not the hermann's? They all had the same prep and the same fridge.

Thanks in advance

Ian
 

sissyofone

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Omg, Im at loss for words. I am so sorry to hear. I dont know anything about hibernation. I wish you the best with the others and i hope someone else will come along soon who knows more.
 

Yvonne G

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I think the only way for you to know for sure would be a necropsy. But I do know that if a tortoise is even a tiny bit sick or has any kind of infection, the tortoise slows down and hibernates, but the germ doesn't.

This is a terrible thing to have happen, and I totally know how you feel. I was entrusted with a little old lady's whole herd of Texas tortoises, 3.4, that she had for many, many years, but was getting too feeble to go out in her back yard to take care of them. The first year I hibernated them, all the males died. I felt doubly bad - 1 because I lost the tortoises, but 2 because she trusted me to give them a good home and I killed them.
 

Whinhill

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Well quick update, just offered the survivors some romaine, all are eating well.

Re infection yes it's a possibility, I'm a pathobiologist (although my specializations fish diseases) so I've got culture plates taken and incubating already. I'll see our department's vet re necropsys tomorrow (but she's a mammal person so probably not going to be that much help)
 

Whinhill

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Yvonne, you're so right I really feel I've let these guys down. They are real pets to us, especially mojo our 14year old male (who looked ok yesterday, but died overnight) he was a real character and a charmer both with us and his ladies.
 

ascott

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Yvonne, you're so right I really feel I've let these guys down. They are real pets to us, especially mojo our 14year old male (who looked ok yesterday, but died overnight) he was a real character and a charmer both with us and his ladies.


I am sorry that you are faced with this terrible situation....I wonder have you used the exact fridge and the exact set up this year as prior years? I mean you describe a variable on age/size for the torts...how was their lay out in the fridge in relation to the ones who ultimately passed vs the torts that lived? How old is this fridge? I see that you live in Maine? I am curious as to why a fridge is needed? Again, just curious?
 

bouaboua

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So sorry for your loss. I like to continue watching this thread and learn. Thank you for sharing.
 

Livingstone

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That's really interesting because it seems to be totally random. Anything come off the culture plates?
 

kimber_lee_314

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How awful!!! I can't even begin to imagine such a scenario! It almost seems like they got too cold. Is it possible the the temps were lower than you thought - like the thermometer was faulty? Hermann's are very hardy tortoises - which may be why they made it and the greeks didn't. So very sorry for you. Please keep us posted if you have any new information.
 

Whinhill

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Thanks everyone, no infectious disease evident or gross pathology on PM. I'm awaiting histology results.
 

snaofreno

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Hi Whinhill: any further info? You and your story are still on my mind. Bless you.
 

dmmj

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Sounds like a mechanical failure of some kind to me. to lose so many and sort of random, is the fridge in good working order? Did the dead ones die in the same area of the fridge?
 
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