Baby Sulcata Tortoise swollen legs and dragging hind legs behind him.

Lisa Hamm

New Member
Sep 11, 2016
Location (City and/or State)
Wildomar, CA
Help. I just noticed on Friday night that one of my baby sulcata torts was pulling himself along with his front feet and dragging his hind feet behind him. The vet was already closed. He now also has swelling in all four limbs (worse in the hind limbs). He is eating. I soak all the babies minimum once a day in lukewarm water and sometimes twice a day. I feed them dandelion leaves, kale, cactus, flowers and spring mix. Their habitat has is a 4ft by 4ft turtle table with heat lamp and UV light bulb. In addition there is a tupperware enclosure with a hole cut out so they can go in to for the night. This enclosure is warm and humid. The substrate is a mix of equal parts Zilla Fir & sphagnum peat moss and Zoo Med Forest Floor bedding 100% cypress mulch. This mixture is kept moist and the humidity in the tupperware container is between 70 and 80% with temperature of 85 F.

Does any one have any ideas on what to do NOW. I am worried that waiting until tomorrow for the vet to open may be too late.

History: He/She was hatched straight out of the ground with about 20 other babies last week. It's shell is not as nice like the others (looks kind of sunken, dry and dimpled). All the others are doing well. I don't know if he possibly ingested some of the bedding and has a blockage or if he is just sickly and maybe has kidney failure or ?????

Any advic
e would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance


Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 23, 2008
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
It's really impossible for us to help you. He needs to see the vet ASAP. It might be some sort of kidney problem, or blockage. No way to know.


Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Nov 13, 2016
Location (City and/or State)
Hello @Lisa Hamm
Are there news about your baby ?
Your description of the baby`s issues sounds to me that the baby has kidney problems.

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