Very sleepy Hermanns

Post your pictures and any questions here of European tortoises e.g. Ibera Spur Thigh, Ibera Graeca, Marginated, Hermanns, Kleinmanni and we include the Horsfield tortoise. Also, do add pictures of Mediterranean tortoises you have seen in the wild.
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tots1
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Joined: 04 May 2019, 08:43

Very sleepy Hermanns

Post by tots1 » 04 May 2019, 08:54

Hi everyone, I am new to this website and am in need of some guidance please. I rehomed a 7 yr old Hermanns tortoise approx. 2 months ago. He was in a bit of a state, so we have fed him properly, made a massive indoor table and bathed him regularly as he was filthy. He became energetic and whizzed around the living room but now he has slowly gone off his food and just sleeps all day and night and barely eats. I contacted the previous owner and they said he had a short hibernation last May and the same in Oct. Has any one got some advice please? Regards Tim

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Nina
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Re: Very sleepy Hermanns

Post by Nina » 04 May 2019, 09:32

Hi Tim,

Welcome to The Tortoise Table and congratulations on rescuing this Hermanns!
First of all, it is very odd for a tortoise to have a hibernation in May -- it's not really cold enough, and I'm not sure what a short hibernation in October means either. Do you know where he 'hibernated'? Tortoises require a temperature of around 5C to hibernate, and when it gets up to about 10C they begin to wake up and will start losing body fat if not fed. It sounds to me like he might just have been off colour and not actually hibernating.

But let's deal with the situation you have now. Can you tell me what the temperatures are, directly below the heat source and at the height of your tortoise's shell (a thermometer mounted on a nearby wall will not give an accurate reading)? You want temps of about 30C directly under the light/heat and about 20C at the cooler end of the table-- and well done for building him a large table -- that is great and he should thrive there.

If your temperatures are pretty good then it is possible that your tortoise has some form of parasite -- most likely worms. This isn't a big problem and can easily be got rid of, but it might be a good idea to check. Do you know of a good reptile/exotics vet near you (an ordinary vet usually isn't what you want, as they have very little training in reptiles). We have a list of recommended vets on our website here:
https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/tor ... M1MtKR7m9s
It's organised by county, but depending on where you live in your county there might be a vet in another county that is closer. If you can't find one then let us know and we'll try and find one for you. You will need to take a relatively fresh sample of poo with you. If he isn't eating then he might not be pooing either, but do see if you can get a sample (and it will keep fresh in a sealed container overnight in the fridge if necessary). You can also send a sample of poo off to be tested and we can give you details of that if you need them.

Could you possibly post a photo of your set-up? It might just be that something in the set-up needs a small tweak to bring him round. Sorry I can't be more definite at this stage, but we'll do all we can to help you get this little one back on track.


Nina

t

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lin
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Re: Very sleepy Hermanns

Post by lin » 04 May 2019, 12:41

IHiya from me too and welcome.

Adding to Ninas advice, I am wondering if you are in the UK, because last May was very very hot with temps way up in the high 20's low 30's so the tortoise more than likely entered into estivation rather than hibernation. Estivation is a state of animal dormancy, similar to hibernation, although taking place in the summer rather than the winter.
And now we are having this cold snap perhaps he is not happy with the temp drop after a sunny and warm couple of weeks. Just a thought.

Well done to you for taking him on and offering him a great life with you.

Lin

tots1
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Joined: 04 May 2019, 08:43

Re: Very sleepy Hermanns

Post by tots1 » 04 May 2019, 19:32

Hi, my lighting consists of a 45watt uv heat lamp, temp 30-32 deg during day time and an ir lamp for night, putting out 22-24 deg. He was in a filthy vivarium when he arrived which could suggest possible parasite problems, also I have a boston fern in the run area which he doesn't really touch and sphagnum moss in his house and sterilised topsoil as base for him to ferret around in. We are in the uk. I am just about to bathe him and clean the table out to see if I can get him going.

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lin
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Very sleepy Hermanns

Post by lin » 04 May 2019, 19:41

I love keepers like you Tim. Worth your weight in gold.

The temps seem fine, are you taking them at the heigh of the tortoise shell under the heat and not on the wall alongside the lamp? Your infra red light...is it putting out any light for the night because if it is you would be better off with a ceramic and can I double your 45w is UVB and not UVA.

The worm testing is a good idea, as Nina said, sometimes the root of all problems and tweeking should sort him out.

Lin

tots1
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Joined: 04 May 2019, 08:43

Re: Very sleepy Hermanns

Post by tots1 » 04 May 2019, 20:31

Temp at floor level is approx. 30 and top of shell height is 31.4 approx. He has had his bath and is a nice clean boy and has done is business on the carpet! He is quite lively at the moment. I will have a look at ceramic lighting tomorrow and if the weather is warm enough a trip to the garden, a trip to Axminster vets is on the cards as well. Thanks for the pointers it is really appreciated, all the best.

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Nina
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Re: Very sleepy Hermanns

Post by Nina » 04 May 2019, 20:43

Many thanks for answering the questions, but could we just check again about your 45w uv light? Could you tell us exactly what kind of bulb it is (is it a fluorescent bulb or a mercury vapour one)? It's just that what you need is a bulb that produces UVB (because the uvb causes vitamin D3 to be produced in the tortoise's skin, and that enables it to absorb and use the calcium in its diet), and it sounds like maybe the one you've got is a UVA bulb -- which is different. It's just that 45w sounds very low for a conventional mercury vapour uvb bulb. Also, 45w sounds a bit low to be producing temperatures of 30C directly beneath it -- so I just thought I'd check to make sure that '45w' wasn't a typing error.

Cheers,
Nina

tots1
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Joined: 04 May 2019, 08:43

Re: Very sleepy Hermanns

Post by tots1 » 04 May 2019, 21:51

Hi, my mistake, I was looking at the wrong box, it is a mercury vapour D3 basking lamp, 160 watts uva and uvb and infra red heat by arcadia.

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Nina
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Re: Very sleepy Hermanns

Post by Nina » 04 May 2019, 22:15

Whew -- that all makes sense then. You've got a good bulb so that side of thing is fine, and your temperatures seem good too. I really don't think you need the infra red light on at night though -- tortoises like dark and a drop in temperature at night -- just like they would have in the wild, and in most modern homes it doesnt' get too cold at night to warrant any extra heat. If the temperature dropped below about 12C or 13C at night then I would put extra heat in, but as Lin said maybe a ceramic heat emitter (CHE). could be used. They are like a ceramic bulb and give off heat but no light. I used to live in a really cold house with no central heating and I had a CHE on a thermostat so that it went on whenever the temperature dropped below about 12C or 13C.

So it sounds like you've got everything absolutely right in the set-up, and a visit to the vets is a good idea. Do make sure that you see a vet who is qualified to see reptiles/exotics -- that is very important where tortoises are concerned -- and good luck. I think this little tortoise has been very fortunate to find a home with you! Let us know how you get on.

Nina

tots1
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Joined: 04 May 2019, 08:43

Re: Very sleepy Hermanns

Post by tots1 » 05 May 2019, 08:13

Thank you

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