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Pebbles was presented at the surgery early in March. Her owner reported that she was not waking up from hibernation properly.

During hibernation tortoises live on reserves of fat. For various reasons some tortoises don't start eating on their own after hibernation. Pebbles, a 10 year old female Mediterranean tortoise, was such a case.

Pebbles had not been eating for two weeks when examined, was dehydrated and losing weight. Blood samples showed she was severely dehydrated. Intensive fluid therapy by mouth was initiated. The nursing staff also tried environmental enrichment- taking her outside in the sun.

Initially she was too weak to walk around, so had to be carried around in a small pet carrier. Warm water baths were given three times daily by staff and owner (hopefully she enjoyed it). Despite this she did not start eating and a stomach tube was inserted under anaesthesia and three times daily feeding of a special food was started.

After two weeks of this and further rehydration fluids by injection Pebbles slowly started picking at food. After a further week the tube was removed and Pebbles is now racing around the garden with her mate.

Pet Tortoise .co .uk
Useful source of information about caring for tortoises >> more

Pinebank Veterinary Surgery, 85b London Rd, Maidstone, Kent ME16 0DX
Tel: 01622 755098