Reptile

Have Reptile Veterinary Questions? Ask a Reptile Expert.

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

He isn't hibernating and he's alert when I handle him, but…

Customer Question
He isn't hibernating and...

He isn't hibernating and he's alert when I handle him, but spends all of his time buried in the mulch and doesn't eat. The temperature in his enclosure is closer to 60 now that it is winter even though I have a ceramic heat lamp on all the time.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What sort of animal are we talking about?

Russian Tortoise

Veterinarian's Assistant: OK. What is the tortoise's name?

Skippy

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Skippy?

This is my first year with him, his previous owner had him for 2 years

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Reptile
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Reptile Question
Answered in 1 hour by:
12/17/2017
Reptile Expert: Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist replied 7 months ago
Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11,925
Experience: Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
Verified
Hello and welcome. I apologize that no one responded to you sooner. Different experts come on line at various times. I just logged in and saw your question. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with over 20 years of experience keeping reptiles. I'm sorry to hear that Skippy is having this trouble. I'm working on some information for you now and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience.
Ask Your Own Reptile Question
Reptile Expert: Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist replied 7 months ago
Thank you for waiting. I suspect you got your information on care from a pet store, or perhaps from the previous owner, who on turn got it from a pet store. Unfortunately, such information is often wrong. It results in the deaths of thousands of reptile pets each year.At 60 degrees, Skippy is living in what is referred to as the “death zone” for tortoises. It’s too warm for hibernation, but not warm enough for normal activity. Tortoises kept in such chilly conditions usually end up getting sick and dying.Proper hibernation conditions for indoor tortoises are nearly impossible for most pet owners to maintain. The tortoise would need a special hibernation box; temps have to be steady and warmer than 32*, but cooler than 60*; humidity has to be just right and measured frequently. If any of these conditions are not right, the tortoise is likely to die.For that reason, it is far better to keep tortoises warm and prevent any attempts to hibernate. You’ll need to get an actual basking light for Skippy. The ambient temp range in his enclosure should be 75* to 85*, with the area right under the basking light at 95*. At night? The temp can be allowed to drop into the 70’s, but no lower. You can buy a basking light at most pet stores, or if you live near a farm store, you can buy a clip on light made to keep baby chicks warm for just a few dollars. Put a regular incandescent bulb on the fixture. Depending on the size of the enclosure, you may need more than one light fixture.Since Skippy hasn’t been eating, he is probably dehydrated. You can help with that by giving him a special soak. Prepare a shallow bath consisting of half Pedialyte and half water. Soak Skippy for 20 to 30 minutes twice a day until he begins eating again. Be sure to supervise closely.If warmth and soaks don’t result in normal activity and appetite, he may already be sick. In that case, he’ll need to be seen by a reptile vet.I want to give you some additional information, but my internet is not working properly. I had to borrow a phone with a different service provider to give you this much. I’ll give you more when service is restored, but warmth and the soaks are the crucial information you need right now. Let me know if you have additional questions. I’m glad to help.Anna
Ask Your Own Reptile Question
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with a reptile expertLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Anna Your Own Question
Anna
Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11,925
11,925 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.

Anna is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Thank you so much. Great knowledge of reptiles! Will use JustAnswer again if further problems arise.

StephanieKY

I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there.

Alice H.Jacksonville, Fl.

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Anna

Anna

Reptile Expert, Biologist

11,925 satisfied customers

Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.

Joan

Joan

Veterinary Technician

8,353 satisfied customers

35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.

PitRottMommy

PitRottMommy

Veterinary Nurse

353 satisfied customers

15 years experience in veterinary medicine, special interest in reptiles and arachnids.

Dr. Dan

Dr. Dan

Reptile Veterinarian

59 satisfied customers

13 years private, wildlife and zoo experience with reptiles, PLEASE rate my service when satisfied.

Dr. Leah Hill

Dr. Leah Hill

Reptile Veterinarian

16 satisfied customers

Veterinarian with almost 20 years of experience with small animals, birds, reptiles and pocket pets. Previous owner of 24/7 emergency, 8 doctor practice

Dr. Jaime

Dr. Jaime

Reptile Veterinarian

13 satisfied customers

Avian/exotic practice owner, founder of iguana rescue, worked with reptiles for over 18 years.

Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy

Medical Director

551 satisfied customers

2003 Graduate

< Previous | Next >

Related Reptile Questions
My tortoise is hibernating, and I have questions. My 5 year
My 5 year old Mediterranean (I think) tortoise is kept indoors, in an enclosure with sand on the bottom. He started hibertnating on his own 4 days ago by sleeping in/staying under his "tunnel". He's never done that for more than 2 days before. I did take him out twice to confirm that he looked fine (he did). I did soak him for 10 minutes in water about 7 days ago, and he did drink. Should I mix soil in the sand to keep him moist? I'm also concerned because the temperature in my apartment is around 69 degrees. Do I need to keep him cooler? How? … read more
Anna
Anna
Reptile Expert, Biologist
Bachelor's Degree
11,925 satisfied customers
We have an approx. 7 year old Horsfield/Russian tortoise. We
We have an approx. 7 year old Horsfield/Russian tortoise. We have had her for 7 months. She hasn't pooped in the last 6 days and she is eating, but not as much. She is very active and seems to be perf… read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,353 satisfied customers
I have a Russian tortoise that, after some neglect from a
I have a Russian tortoise that, after some neglect from a previous owner, will not eat. My name is Jenette. … read more
Anna
Anna
Reptile Expert, Biologist
Bachelor's Degree
11,925 satisfied customers
My tortoise Sian (18 years old, male testudo graeca) has
My tortoise Sian (18 years old, male testudo graeca) has always been well until this summer, when I first noticed a very slight pinky-orange colouring along his flanks. As this stayed into autumn and … read more
Anna
Anna
Reptile Expert, Biologist
Bachelor's Degree
11,925 satisfied customers
My Russian tortoise (15years old)will not stick s head out
My Russian tortoise (15years old)will not stick his head out from his shell.He hasnt eaten in a couple weeks and I'm starting to worry.he has adequate heat and U.V. And his diet has never changed.Also… read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,353 satisfied customers
We just got a tortoise yesterday. Since his bath, he is not
We just got a tortoise yesterday. Since his bath, he is not moving. The water was just touching his stomach so he could keep his head out of water and go under when he chose to drink. For the last few… read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,353 satisfied customers
We just got a Russian Turtle and she's not eating...should
We just got a Russian Turtle and she's not eating...should we worry? we read that they want to hibernate,but are wondering if light and temp for her should mimic underground conditions that would exis… read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,353 satisfied customers
We have an adorable Russian Tortoise named Buddy. We've had
We have an adorable Russian Tortoise named Buddy. We've had him for three year now and I don't know how old he is but he was full grown when we got him. Every fall since he's attempted to hibernate. W… read more
Anna
Anna
Reptile Expert, Biologist
Bachelor's Degree
11,925 satisfied customers
I just got a tortoise from a friend and its not very active.
I just got a tortoise from a friend and it's not very active. What are some of the reasons that this might be?… read more
Anna
Anna
Reptile Expert, Biologist
Bachelor's Degree
11,925 satisfied customers
Im forced by necessity to allow my 60 year old California
I'm forced by necessity to allow my 60 year old California Desert Tortoise to hibernate outside for the first time. She has always been put indoors to hibernate but the garage is just to warm to allow… read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,353 satisfied customers
I have a 2 yr old hermans tortoise. I have had him only 3 months.
I have a 2 yr old hermans tortoise. I have had him only 3 months. I keep reading contradictory advice about care for tortoises. He has been in a large outside garden enclosure since we bought him. How… read more
Anna
Anna
Reptile Expert, Biologist
Bachelor's Degree
11,925 satisfied customers
we live in bakersfield california and have a russian tortoise
we live in bakersfield california and have a russian tortoise in a large outdoor planter..last fall we 'lost track of him' in the fall and assumed he was gone...in april he 'reappeared'...we have not … read more
Anna
Anna
Reptile Expert, Biologist
Bachelor's Degree
11,925 satisfied customers
Why is my Russian Tortoise suddenly not eating Weve had him
Why is my Russian Tortoise suddenly not eating? We've had him for three years and this started about a month ago...… read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,353 satisfied customers
him last christmas, he had giarrdhea, but hes been well since Feb.
I live in Tidewater, VA and have an adult Russian tortoise. When I got him last Christmas, he had giarrdhea, but he's been well since Feb. Should I try to hibernate him outside or move him inside? It … read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,353 satisfied customers
When should I bring my hingeback tortoise in for the winter
When should I bring my hingeback tortoise in for the winter? I have him in an outdoor pen and am unsure at what temperature he needs to be inside. I live in Tidewater, VA… read more
Anna
Anna
Reptile Expert, Biologist
Bachelor's Degree
11,925 satisfied customers
5yr old horsfield..eyes & ears o.k., & is mobile, but just wont eat
We have a 5yr old Horsfield which came out of hibernatiion 3wks ago, but will not eat. He appears well, eyes & ears o.k., & is mobile, but just wont eat.… read more
Anna
Anna
Reptile Expert, Biologist
Bachelor's Degree
11,925 satisfied customers
I have an African Bells Hingeback Tortoise that was treated
I have an African Bells Hingeback Tortoise that was treated by a vet a week and a half ago for a respiratory infection. The doctor diagnosed every other day injections of .3 cc's of baytril. I have gi… read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,353 satisfied customers
Hi! I have a male Russian tortoise who will only eat red leaf
Hi! I have a male Russian tortoise who will only eat red leaf lettuce or Romaine. I sprinkle on vitamin A powder but he simply doesn't touch those pieces. Will this diet be enough to keep him healthy?… read more
Anna
Anna
Reptile Expert, Biologist
Bachelor's Degree
11,925 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x