the best carrier for a tortoise?

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Hello all!

I've been getting different info on when desert tortoises hibernate but the common month I'm seeing is October. Anyway since this is my first time with Chibi I decided to take her to the vet to see if she's healthy enough for hibernation. But I'm not sure how to transport her, I was thinking of just getting a small box container that's not clear. Will that work? If so, how should I cover the top? OR does anyone have suggestions on what else to get?

side note, why are pet carriers so pricey?? like damn.
I also wasn't sure what thread this question fit in, apologies.
 

zolasmum

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Hello all!

I've been getting different info on when desert tortoises hibernate but the common month I'm seeing is October. Anyway since this is my first time with Chibi I decided to take her to the vet to see if she's healthy enough for hibernation. But I'm not sure how to transport her, I was thinking of just getting a small box container that's not clear. Will that work? If so, how should I cover the top? OR does anyone have suggestions on what else to get?

side note, why are pet carriers so pricey?? like damn.
I also wasn't sure what thread this question fit in, apologies.
She is small, so I would think a fairly strong cardboard box, lined with a couple of old towels, and a mat of absorbent paper towels (because many tortoises poo when in a car) and a handle of card and sticky tape would be ok. A bit more towel to go over the top of the tortoise, as well.
I just sit Zola on my lap, on a towel, and he is fine - I'm not driving, obviously.He just goes to sleep.
Angie
 

wellington

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How long have you owned the tortoise?
Most vets don't have enough knowledge of tortoises to know if they are healthy enough to hibernate.
We recommend owning the tortoise for at least a year or very close to it before hibernating. This way you have an idea if the tortoise is eating, pooping, peeing,eating, basking, doing all the normal stuff and is adjusted to it's new home. If all seems well and there are no concerns then it should be good to hibernate.
Without a vet taking xrays, s/he will no less then you about how the tort has been doing.
 

Tom

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Hello all!

I've been getting different info on when desert tortoises hibernate but the common month I'm seeing is October. Anyway since this is my first time with Chibi I decided to take her to the vet to see if she's healthy enough for hibernation. But I'm not sure how to transport her, I was thinking of just getting a small box container that's not clear. Will that work? If so, how should I cover the top? OR does anyone have suggestions on what else to get?

side note, why are pet carriers so pricey?? like damn.
I also wasn't sure what thread this question fit in, apologies.
A plastic opaque tub with the lid on is the way to move them. I put a towel on the bottom and bring a plastic bag to put the soiled towel in and a replacement towel or two. You can also use substrate. The lid is not air tight, and there will be plenty of air to breathe. Much like a hooded falcon, restricting the vision reduces the stress.

Most vets know very little about tortoise care. They will happily take your money, but often will do things that are detrimental like "vitamin" injections.

I begin brumation prep in late October or early November. You need to have to correct environment for this so you can control temperatures regardless of the weather, and give your tortoise to correct amount of time to empty its gut and get hydrated.

Here is more on that with pics:

If you scroll down to post #19, there is an explanation of what to do and how to do it:

Questions are welcome.
 
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How long have you owned the tortoise?
Most vets don't have enough knowledge of tortoises to know if they are healthy enough to hibernate.
We recommend owning the tortoise for at least a year or very close to it before hibernating. This way you have an idea if the tortoise is eating, pooping, peeing,eating, basking, doing all the normal stuff and is adjusted to it's new home. If all seems well and there are no concerns then it should be good to hibernate.
Without a vet taking xrays, s/he will no less then you about how the tort has been doing.
do you guys think I should cancel then? I had her for maybe two months now? I did want them to check her beak since she has a chip. This is also one of the clinics i found on list from tortoise.org.

what do you guys recommend I do? I don’t want them to give her vitamin shots like Tom mentioned ;-; or be scammed
 

wellington

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If you have only had her two months you'd be best to keep him up this winter seeing you really don't know much about her, unless you know how she was taken care of this past year and that she hadn't been sick.
Post a pic of the beak and someone here can help you with what to do.
I have had my tortoises since 2011 and never seen a vet.
I had one female for a few years and took her to a vet only to have her injected with oxytocin because she was possibly egg bound. Otherwise I will not take them unless they get sick with a URI or something I can't handle myself.
 
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If you have only had her two months you'd be best to keep him up this winter seeing you really don't know much about her, unless you know how she was taken care of this past year and that she hadn't been sick.
Post a pic of the beak and someone here can help you with what to do.
I have had my tortoises since 2011 and never seen a vet.
I had one female for a few years and took her to a vet only to have her injected with oxytocin because she was possibly egg bound. Otherwise I will not take them unless they get sick with a URI or something I can't handle myself.
My grandparents had her for a bit before I was finally able to get my hands on her after some convincing. They're pretty damn old so I know they couldn't do as much as they should. And we have no idea how she was with her previous owner. This goes to how I'm not sure about what to do for hibernation and if those two months with me are enough. She's active, eats well (If I'm far away enough), poops often, and still thinks soaking is the devil's work. but if people are saying to hibernate after a year of getting their tortoise, then should I do that? I'm so conflicted about what to do.
I'm scared about a vet check-up now since it might be dangerous.
(will post a beak pic tomorrow, she's in for the night)
 

wellington

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If your grandparents had her before you, then they would know right, if they had any issues with her? If between you and them it's been close to a year and she's been fine this whole time then it should be safe to hibernate. If it's only a few months between the two of you that you've had her then you might want to consider keeping her up this year.
 
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If your grandparents had her before you, then they would know right, if they had any issues with her? If between you and them it's been close to a year and she's been fine this whole time then it should be safe to hibernate. If it's only a few months between the two of you that you've had her then you might want to consider keeping her up this year.
god I wish I could get adequate info out of my grandparents. mid 80s and limited english causes a lot of communication issues. I would assume if there was any serious visible issues then they would know. Reading about tortoises not showing signs of sickness early on I guess brought up a lot of worries for a first time tort mom so I’m over thinking everything.
I’m feeling better asking asking for advice here! I think you’re right on it should be fine for her to hibernate.
 

JMM

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I would follow the advice others have given here. Brumation comes with some risk and is not absolutely necessary. Use the time to practice being a tort parent and ensuring your tort is on a schedule that includes, proper hydration (daily soaks), good plane of nutrition (see care sheets), exercise and a proper housing set up.

While your tort might have minor issues now, none are likely urgent. I would strongly advise you to use this time, while you don't need a vet, to find a vet with lots of tort experience. Torts are unique--they are not like other reptiles and the shell makes it difficult to examine them, perform surgery, etc. Good tort vets are very difficult to locate--there aren't many out there. Depending on your exact location, individuals on here might be able to guide you. You need to find someone and cultivate a relationship so that when you need them, you have confidence they know what they are doing and you can get in to see them immediately. At some point (hopefully never, but it happens to almost every tort owner) you may need a vet immediately (tort is injured, doesn't eat, becomes lethargic, has respiratory infection, etc.). At that point, you don't have time to be hunting for a vet (it can take days or weeks to find a tort vet and it may take days or weeks to get in).
 
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