Tortoises make great pets, and several of our staff keep tortoises!
Pre and Post hibernation checks
Once your tortoise is big enough (this depends on species and age), many owners hibernate the tortoise for a period of winter. The alternative is to maintain them in a vivarium, monitoring their activity and feeding to ensure that they maintain their weight and condition.
If you opt to hibernate your tortoises, we advise a pre-hibernation check, so that we can check your pets over and ensure that they are in good enough condition to hibernate. It may be that we advise a shorter period of hibernation, or that you do not hibernate your pet.
After hibernation, your tortoise should become active again, drinking and eating, to regain weight lost during the period of sleep. Post-hibernation checks may include a worming medication, as Tortoises are prone to worm infestations.
Tortoises should be wormed regularly, as uncontrolled worm infestations can cause intestinal blockages and ill thrift. We usually administer the dose by stomach tube, after careful weighing, to ensure that the dose is accurate.
Tortoises do not have teeth, and rely on their beaks for biting food into mouthfuls. The beak grows, just like a fingernail, and is worn down by feeding. If the beak becomes damaged, then it may not wear down properly, and the tortoise may starve. We can trim the beak. This enables the tortoise to feed itself again. This may need attention throughout the summer.
Female tortoises may lay eggs, even if they are kept on their own. Sometimes the eggs are not passed normally, and we may need to scan or radiograph your pet, to see if there are any eggs inside. If present, injections can help to sort the problem out.
Lizards, Iguanas and Chameleons
These species are kept in vivaria, as they need the temperature and humidity maintained at specific levels, depending on the species requirements. Skin disorders and poor appetite are common, and we are happy to check your pet and advise on their care.