Most tortoises hibernate during the winter months; this controls their growth and reproductive cycle. This can be a risky time as their immune systems are lowered and as owners, we are often worried and stressed during the period whilst they sleep.

At Portland Vets we can manage the hibernation process for you. This includes a pre-hibernation vet examination, the wind down process (4 weeks), hibernation in an environmentally controlled fridge with bi-weekly weight and visual checks. Then the wake up process  (1 week) including another vet examination.

Wind down would start at the beginning of November and they would be woken up after 12 weeks hibernation at the end of February. Or sooner if younger, a bespoke plan will be tailored to each individual tortoise based on their initial veterinary examination and faecal count.

Hibernation is risky and things can go wrong no matter how much preparation we do, if they are already at the vets help can be provided quickly.

We advise a vet check in August/September along with a faecal worm count to ensure they are healthy before hibernation. Any problems found at this stage may be treated or perhaps hibernation would be held off that year. If you have a tortoise and this is something of interest to you please call Portland Vets at East Grinstead for more information 01342 327799 or email

PRICE LIST 2019/20

  • Vet Exam and Faecal Worm count £68
  • 4 weeks stay for wind down and 1 week stay for wake up £143
  • Plus Hibernation at £15/week

If you would like to hibernate at home after your tortoises veterinary examination and faecal test, please download the plan below. This details a standard plan and has a table for you to log weights etc during hibernation.


For more general information please to our exotics page.