Post Hibernation Anorexia in Tortoises

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It is a sad reality that many tortoises have historically been badly hibernated. One can truly say that they have survived despite their poor husbandry, rather than ‘it’s what we have done for the last 30 years so it must be ok’.

Tortoises do everything slowly, they get sick, get better and die ‘slowly’. So when a tortoise is presented sick, it is typically well on its way to dying, so the clinician must fully understand the whole situation. Why has it happened, what is going wrong, what organs are failing, how do we find out, what can we do etc. etc.

So the typical presented post hibernation tortoise, probably hasn’t eaten for 3-4 weeks after waking up and is also typically severely dehydrated.

In this webinar, we will discuss the cause, problems, diagnostics, treatments and prognosis of these patients. These tortoises do require proper invasive therapy and clinicians must know what to do.

Neil heads the avian and exotic department at Great Western Referrals in Swindon, where he runs the only ECZM approved avian residency in the UK. He gained his RCVS Specialist Status in 1992. Neil received his FRCVS in exotic bird medicine by examination in 1996 and became a Diplomate of the European College of Avian Medicine and Surgery in 1997. Neil has lectured widely on the international circuit and contributed to over 20 books. Neil received the Mackellar Award in 1991, the Melton Award in 2002, the Dr TJ Lafeber Avian Practitioner Award in 2004 and the Hunting Award in 2005 and the Helga Gerlach award ‘excellence in avian medicine’ in 2011. Neil is currently Senior Vice President of the European College of Zoological Medicine and President of the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation.. Neil has held a part time senior lecture post at Bristol University,
for the last ten years but he is primarily a clinician – doing the job, full time with exotic patients, primarily parrots and raptors.


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