Pre and Post Hibernation Checks for Tortoises


Paula Cornish is one of our Registered Veterinary Nurses who has completed an additional qualification in exotics husbandry and care.

When our Tortoise friends are waking up from hibernation and also before they are going to start hibernation, it is important that they are checked out to make sure they are the right weight and showing no signs of disease or illness.



During the consultation, Paula will check and discuss the following:

Pre-hibernation checks

  • Check weight
  • Look for any signs of illness, check eye’s, nose clear of discharge
  • Faecal sample preferable (at extra cost) to check for parasite burden
  • Discuss preparation of tortoise for hibernation
  • Discuss preparation of where tortoise is to be hibernated and temperatures to be hibernated at, how long hibernation should take place, how often to check on tortoise
  • Discuss what to do when it comes to waking up

Post hibernation checks

  • Discuss how/when woke up
  • Check eating/drinking normally
  • Check weight
  • Check for signs of illness as above
  • Discuss any worries owner may have
  • Refer to vet if required
  • Check husbandry as will need to be kept in some sort of vivarium/tortoise table until weather warm enough to go outside


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