Dead tortoise or not?

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
20,652
Location (City and/or State)
UK
I hope all is well with your little guy.
 

zeewiciwan

New Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
Malta
I recently had a case where a tortoise had died unexpectedly. I planned to bury her the next day and when I looked the next morning, she was looking back at me, alive.
A word of warning about tortoises that look dead. They can and do go into a coma like state and sometimes come back out. I've found that it is not all that unusual.
I even touched my tortoises open and glassed over eyeball. No reaction.
Any tortoise that has died I would strongly recommend that you wait at least two days to dispose of them. And do not assume that any tortoise with limp and dangling arms are dead.
I almost buried a live animal.
My herman tortoise just died. He came out of hibernation about 3 weeks ago and hasn't eaten for the past week. Yesterday I found maggots around and inside his tail, took them out and took him to the vet who said he probably has internal infection and kidney failure. Gave him a antibiotic shot and parasitic drops and told me to soak him in vitamin and mineral solution. This morning he hardly responded. I kept him heated well but after a few hours he became stiff. Went to vet and he confirmed he is dead. Am still hoping he is not but was going to bury him in a few hours and now i stumble upon your post. he does not smell yet. kept him warm still. Do they still keep retracted in their shell when they die? I really do not wish to bury him if he is still alive. Don t really know how the vet came to the conclusion as he was busy and saw the tortoise alone.
 

Court562

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
90
I just had one die. They stay in the shell, and hang their legs. You will notice a smell (you'll know it when you smell it). Eventually, the shell gets soft and squishy. I even tried placing her in water, but she never came out.
 

Court562

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
90
I forgot to mention her shell went from bright to dull with blue and purple spots.
 

theguy67

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Sep 13, 2009
Messages
587
Zeropilot- I have had the same thing happen to one of my female red foots years ago. She was limp, lifeless, then came back to normal.
 
M

Maggie Cummings

Guest
I pull on a leg to see if there's resistance. If there is, they're alive, if no resistance dead. Then I wrap them up and put them on the washer overnight, if there's no movement by morning, dead and buried. I waited for 24 hours to make sure Bob was dead. Then I dug him up the day after I buried him just to make sure he was dead, and I missed him. It was yucky, been raining. Thought I was standing in mud, it was blood.
 
M

Maggie Cummings

Guest
I pull on a back leg, if no resistance, dead, if resistance alive. If dead I put them on the washer and if they are in the same position in the morning, dead. I also touch an eye, it will move if alive. I kept Bob in the house for over 24 hrs before I buried him. I'd go in from time to time hoping I could feel a breath. It was a nightmare
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
24,227
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
I pull on a back leg, if no resistance, dead, if resistance alive. If dead I put them on the washer and if they are in the same position in the morning, dead. I also touch an eye, it will move if alive. I kept Bob in the house for over 24 hrs before I buried him. I'd go in from time to time hoping I could feel a breath. It was a nightmare
I touched...Even poked Bertha in the eyes and yanked and poked everything else that I could touch. No response.
I was 100% convinced that she was dead. If I missed anything, I don't know what it was.
I know how much Bob meant to you. I really can't relate. I'm sorry that you didn't have the same outcome.
 

Pearly

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
Messages
5,294
Location (City and/or State)
Central Texas, Austin area
I pull on a leg to see if there's resistance. If there is, they're alive, if no resistance dead. Then I wrap them up and put them on the washer overnight, if there's no movement by morning, dead and buried. I waited for 24 hours to make sure Bob was dead. Then I dug him up the day after I buried him just to make sure he was dead, and I missed him. It was yucky, been raining. Thought I was standing in mud, it was blood.
Maggie, I'm very sad for you. All of us here loved your Bob. I know how devastating losing him must have been. I think it's incredibly brave of you that you're willing to re-live those painful times just to help others sort out similar or related events.
 

mctlong

Well-Known Member
Moderator
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
2,658
Location (City and/or State)
SF Valley, SoCal
I pull on a leg to see if there's resistance. If there is, they're alive, if no resistance dead. Then I wrap them up and put them on the washer overnight, if there's no movement by morning, dead and buried. I waited for 24 hours to make sure Bob was dead. Then I dug him up the day after I buried him just to make sure he was dead, and I missed him. It was yucky, been raining. Thought I was standing in mud, it was blood.

I'm very sorry to hear about Bob. I know he meant a lot to you.
 

mctlong

Well-Known Member
Moderator
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
2,658
Location (City and/or State)
SF Valley, SoCal
Did you trek past the deadfall and into the acrid smelling ancient indian burial ground to bury him?

Did he come back "different"?

"The barrier was not meant to be crossed. The ground is sour."

I recently had a case where a tortoise had died unexpectedly. I planned to bury her the next day and when I looked the next morning, she was looking back at me, alive.
A word of warning about tortoises that look dead. They can and do go into a coma like state and sometimes come back out. I've found that it is not all that unusual.
I even touched my tortoises open and glassed over eyeball. No reaction.
Any tortoise that has died I would strongly recommend that you wait at least two days to dispose of them. And do not assume that any tortoise with limp and dangling arms are dead.
I almost buried a live animal.

What a terrifying thought. Glad you waited a day before burying!
 

Carys999

New Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
3
Old post I know, but in hope and desperation I've come across this today, my little Russian Two year old Sheldon has metabolic bone disease and is in a real bad shape, we have been giving him repto boost baths and last night he was drinking which is a first this week, he seemed a lot more active. This morning he is unresponsive and lifeless, any advice on how to wake him out of this state if he is not dead as I fear? I'm bathing and keeping him warm, but I am losing hope quickly
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
24,227
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
I have no experience with MBD.
I'd keep him warm and undisturbed in general.
Bertha was found alive in the box I was going to bury her in 48 hours later.
Some times they shut down to "REBOOT".
Sometimes they shut down and die for real.
Did you get your tortoise with MBD already?
Has the UVB requirement been met?
 

Carys999

New Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
3
No I had him from 10months old roughly 2 years ago, he's still a baby, I've been away at university and sadly I believe he's developed this in the past few months, we were ill informed when we were given him from the pet store and I believe it's due to his diet that MBD developed. He's under the light and heat at the moment and I'm bathing him in reptoboost, he's still floppy, eyes are covered anyway due to the deficiency so I can't tell if they're sunken
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top