Devastated- my tortoise has died - WHY?

Nztortoise

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Hello everyone, I’m new to this forum but have been keeping and breeding Hermann tortoises for many years. I live in NZ so we are in the middle of summer here to just to clear up that this is not a hibernation related problem.

This morning I found a 21 year old female dead in her enclosure. I have owned her for the last 10 plus years and she has always been fit and healthy, I’m absolutely devastated. She was fine yesterday, moving around and eating and dead today. I had seen no signs of her being unwell and she had not lost any weight. She was in a pretty bad way when I found her, very swollen, bleeding from the mouth, bottom and shell - I believe this has happened after death though due to the gases in her stomach.

I’ve spoken to a tortoise expert friend who believes the only thing to cause such a fast decline is poisoning (unlikely as my others all appear fine) or perhaps she was egg bound? I’m very concerned as my females and juveniles live together so I’m hoping it’s not some disease.

Has anyone heard of anything similar? Do you think it would be worth getting a vet to xray her to check for eggs?

Sorry for the long winded first post
 

Ray--Opo

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Maybe @HermanniChris can help you out. Could someone from outside of the property gave her something accidentally or maliciously? Sorry again for your loss.
 

Moozillion

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Hello everyone, I’m new to this forum but have been keeping and breeding Hermann tortoises for many years. I live in NZ so we are in the middle of summer here to just to clear up that this is not a hibernation related problem.

This morning I found a 21 year old female dead in her enclosure. I have owned her for the last 10 plus years and she has always been fit and healthy, I’m absolutely devastated. She was fine yesterday, moving around and eating and dead today. I had seen no signs of her being unwell and she had not lost any weight. She was in a pretty bad way when I found her, very swollen, bleeding from the mouth, bottom and shell - I believe this has happened after death though due to the gases in her stomach.

I’ve spoken to a tortoise expert friend who believes the only thing to cause such a fast decline is poisoning (unlikely as my others all appear fine) or perhaps she was egg bound? I’m very concerned as my females and juveniles live together so I’m hoping it’s not some disease.

Has anyone heard of anything similar? Do you think it would be worth getting a vet to xray her to check for eggs?

Sorry for the long winded first post
I'm so sorry for your loss. :(
I wish I had some idea to shed light on this tragedy, but I don't.
 

EllieMay

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Has anyone heard of anything similar? Do you think it would be worth getting a vet to xray her to check for eggs?

I definitely think it’s worth getting checked out. You don’t want to leave a possibility open for your other torts if it’s at all preventable... I too am very sorry for your loss. Please let us know if you find anything else out. Your story may help one of us save a life later..
 

HermanniChris

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Sorry to hear of this loss.
Typically the only things that cause random deaths are either poisoning or herpes-like infections. Were there any new additions to the group within the last 12 months?
 

TortoiseRacket

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Sounds like some type of poisoning. Could the water she had been drinking cointain chemicals? Same with food? My baby turtle just passed away. The water for the water change was left out for 24 hours but that wasn’t enough apparently. It took 2 seconds for me to feed my geckos and when I turned around he was dead. I’m so sorry and I hope that helped!
 

Pastel Tortie

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Hello everyone, I’m new to this forum but have been keeping and breeding Hermann tortoises for many years. I live in NZ so we are in the middle of summer here to just to clear up that this is not a hibernation related problem.

This morning I found a 21 year old female dead in her enclosure. I have owned her for the last 10 plus years and she has always been fit and healthy, I’m absolutely devastated. She was fine yesterday, moving around and eating and dead today. I had seen no signs of her being unwell and she had not lost any weight. She was in a pretty bad way when I found her, very swollen, bleeding from the mouth, bottom and shell - I believe this has happened after death though due to the gases in her stomach.

I’ve spoken to a tortoise expert friend who believes the only thing to cause such a fast decline is poisoning (unlikely as my others all appear fine) or perhaps she was egg bound? I’m very concerned as my females and juveniles live together so I’m hoping it’s not some disease.

Has anyone heard of anything similar? Do you think it would be worth getting a vet to xray her to check for eggs?

Sorry for the long winded first post
Is your enclosure open at the top, or fully enclosed by screen or something similar? I'm wondering whether another animal could get inside the enclosure, or drop or carry something in that the tortoise might have eaten...? I know here in the U.S, ingesting a firefly (lightening bug) can kill a bearded dragon.

Is there any animal or plant in your vicinity that's considered highly toxic?
 

Yvonne G

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Aw geez, that's too bad. I'm afraid you'll never know the cause without a necropsy. But realize this: tortoises, being prey animals, don't show illness until they're really sick. Because in the wild, the one who slows down and looks ill is the one that gets preyed upon. So she may have been ill for a long time. It may even have been something as simple as she got a piece of substrate stuck in her throat and choked to death. There's just no way of knowing. If it were poisoning, you would have seen foaming at the mouth, etc. It's really too bad you lost this tortoise. I'm sorry.
 

TammyJ

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Any clues yet as to why she died? I am sorry you lost her.
 
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