How and when water slider turtles hibernate at home

Duration and causes of hibernation in the wild

Aquatic turtles hibernate (overwinter) when too low temperatures drop below 15° and remaining at that level for a long time.Their sleep lasts from 4 to 6 months and depends on the size of the reptile. The smaller the bug, the more time it requires for sleep.

Features of the hibernation of pet turtles

Pond slider turtles living at home, hibernate only in rare cases. This condition is seen in isolated individuals is achieved by artificial means or by manipulation of the host.

Turtles go into hibernation at low temperatures, so living conditions with optimum temperature eliminates this need.
Because of the reduced daylight hours in winter, reptiles are sleeping more than usual, but not lose activity.

IMPORTANT! Hibernate might be a wild turtle, brought into the house shortly before falling asleep. In this case the animal does not have time to adapt to new living conditions.

If trying to lull the turtle in the home, it is possible to face the following challenges:

  1. The deviation of the parameters of humidity and temperature. Too low rates may lead to the death of a pet.
  2. The penetration of insects. The intruders entered the winter, can cause damage to the sleeping turtle.
  3. Deterioration. Hibernation takes a lot of resources from the body, so sick animals at risk of complications.

Signs of hibernation

The state of hibernation is not rare confused with death. For peace of mind check slider turtle at several points, allowing to understand what it is exactly hibernate:

  1. Jaw. Try to pull the lower jaw down and leave your mouth open. Reptile should try to close the jaw.
  2. Eyes. A cold metal spoon, leaning against the eye of the pet needs to start the reflex of the cornea. If the turtle will try to draw disturbed on or opens the eyelids, reason for concern.
  3. Reaction to heat. Pond slider turtle in hibernation, placed in a container of warm water (30°), begin to move the legs.

The rest of the signs of hibernation include:

  1. A decrease in the activity. Pet behaves sluggish, get in the corner of the aquarium, keeping the stillness, and refuses to leave the house for a walk.
  2. A poor appetite. In addition to the loss of activity for a reptile refuses favorite food and reduces the usual amount of food.
  3. Increase the duration of sleep. Long time guests accompanied by frequent yawning.

Rules for the care of a sleeping turtle

Upon detection of the first signs of the coming wintering at slider turtle be sure to consult your vet who will examine her and tell what you need to do if the reptile really hibernate.

At the time of hibernation, consider the following guidelines:

  1. Lower the water level. The turtle buries itself in the ground, where a long sleep without ascents to the surface. The production of oxygen by a special membrane in the cloaca and oral cavity.
  2. Turn off additional lighting. The pet will have to go to the bottom to maintain heat, so turn off the filter and watch the water level. A wrong move will destroy the thermal layer and the small level of water will freeze to the bottom.
  3. Eliminate feeding. Because of the slower digestion turtle digests eaten before meals for several months.
  4. Follow the health of the pet. Homemade turtles sleep in November, when there is a reduction of daylight, and sleep for about 4 months. It happens that the reptile does not Wake up in February. In this case we have to Wake up the pet yourself.

If the turtle appears to be an active or come February, then gradually increase temperature and lighting to normal. The recovery period takes 5 to 7 days.

Feed your pet only after return to usual activity, but not earlier of 5th day.

IMPORTANT! After the end of winter take the pet to a veterinary clinic for examination. The doctor will determine the possible complications and prescribe timely treatment if necessary.

The feasibility of artificial hibernation and rules for the preparation

The status of wintering a positive effect on the reproductive system of reptiles, so experienced breeders engaged in breeding, send the Pets to sleep on their own.

IMPORTANT! Insufficient experience and lack of good reasons to enter the turtle into a state of hibernation is not recommended so as to take care of her at home is very problematic.

Preparation for hibernation involves the following steps:

  1. Increasing the size of the diet 2 months prior to falling asleep. During the winter the turtles don't eat and lose almost half its weight. Without layers of fat, the supply of nutrients and vitamins, the animal may die.
  2. Cancel feeding 1 week prior to hibernation. Further reduced the water level.
  3. A gradual decrease in temperature during 10 days. Turtle is a little slack at a temperature of below 15°, and at a temperature below 10° fall into hibernation.
  4. A gradual reduction in photoperiod for 10 days. Reduce the operating time of the lamps, unplug the filters and increase the humidity of the room.
  5. Bathe the reptile at the last day before hibernation. The tub with warm water will help to relax and empty the bowel.

IMPORTANT! Check the sleeping turtle every 3 days and spray the soil with water to maintain humidity.

Remember that at the time of hibernation is prohibited:

  • to awaken and re-lay pet;
  • to arouse the reptile to increase the light of day;
  • to spend swimming, triggers the process of urination, in contact of the shell with water;
  • to continue the dream with a strong reduction in body weight (animal loses more than 10% within 1 month);
  • to prevent long-term cooling below 0°.

In addition terrarium you can use a special container made of plastic. Before use it must:

  1. Fill with substrate (peat, sand, moss, sphagnum) 10-30 cm, dry leaves or decorative pieces of bark. Matched good tank shall be vented, and the substrate should remain dry even in high humidity.
  2. Cooling on the balcony, in the basement or in the refrigerator for several days.
  3. Place in a cool, but protected from drafts, at a temperature of from 6° to 10°. To warm the hibernaculum is not necessary, as it can cause early awakening and disorientation of the animal.

After waking up a turtle bathed in warm baths to restore the usual temperature and to run internal processes.

IMPORTANT! If after wintering reptile shows weakness and seems exhausted, then go consult a vet to find out the cause of the symptoms.

How to avoid hibernation?

So the turtle can hibernate make sure you have the optimum temperature conditions of her detention:

  1. Water. The temperature should be 22°-28°. Any reduction will lead to reduced activity and a gradual slowing down of internal processes.
  2. Drying. The island is used by turtles for heating, so the temperature here can reach up to 32°.

The reason for dormancy may be a lack of vitamins. Make sure a sufficient amount of ultraviolet or take a vitamin injection in the veterinary clinic. It will not allow the turtle to hibernate due to the lack of nutrients.

Because of the complexity of the process and the high risk to introduce a reptile into a state of hibernation is not recommended. If in nature the process occurs naturally and its time is determined by biological rhythms at home, the responsibility lies solely on the owner.

How and when water slider turtles hibernate at home
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