Eggbound?

Barbara ONeil

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Gravesend
I think my Mediterranean Spur-thighed tortoise has been trying to lay an egg for 2 days. How can I help her?
 

zovick

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I think my Mediterranean Spur-thighed tortoise has been trying to lay an egg for 2 days. How can I help her?
Verify whether there are any eggs inside the tortoise first via an X-ray. If shelled eggs are noted and she is indeed having trouble laying them, then you can give the tortoise a shot of lutalyse or oxytocin to induce her to lay the eggs.
 

Barbara ONeil

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Aug 2, 2021
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Location (City and/or State)
Gravesend
Verify whether there are any eggs inside the tortoise first via an X-ray. If shelled eggs are noted and she is indeed having trouble laying them, then you can give the tortoise a shot of lutalyse or oxytocin to induce her to lay the eggs.
I am sorry I have no facilities for doing any of this and I have found our local vet to be useless where tortoises are concerned being more interested in horses and very expensive pedigree dogs for which they have hospital facilities.
Is there anything I can do myself please?
 

Barbara ONeil

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I am so sorry I have no facilities for doing any of this and have found our local veterinary centre to be useless where tortoises are concernerned being more intetrested in horses or pedigree dogs for both of which they have hospital facilities. Is there anything I can do myself please?
 

zovick

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I am so sorry I have no facilities for doing any of this and have found our local veterinary centre to be useless where tortoises are concernerned being more intetrested in horses or pedigree dogs for both of which they have hospital facilities. Is there anything I can do myself please?
You could look for a true exotics vet.

Failing that, you might try soaking the tortoise in lukewarm water for about 30 minutes a couple times daily. After the soak, apply mineral oil around the cloacal opening with a cotton swab to lubricate it and hopefully, the egg will come out.
 

Barbara ONeil

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Even if that vet doesn't know anything about torts, he should be able to do an x-ray and identify an egg.

Just don't let him do anything else.
They charge for a consultation and for every single service even if there is nothing to be done! After various unhappy experiences I now have no faith in them even for my cat. (£600.00 for 2 visits for minor surgery - with no "stay")
However there is good news. At 03.10 this morning Nosher laid a large perfect-looking egg about 1.25 inch in diameter and 1.75 inch long. I don't know how she managed it! Now she is happily rushing around all over the place.
I do have two questions - How long is it before eggs hatch (assuming it is fertile)? and is there anything else I should be doing if it does? I have cared for her since she was 5 weeks old over 10 years ago with a companion,
Thank you very much Zovick and Karen for your support.
 

Barbara ONeil

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I know absolutely nothing about hatching eggs, but @zovick does. He is very knowledgeable, and you can trust what he says. :D

I'm really glad she laid her egg! Have you looked around for more?
None yet .. if any. She is now having a well-earned sleep which unusually leaves smaller Titch to enjoy his meal in peace. She was not called "Nosher" for nothing.
About eggs - Thank you, I will look on the info. sheets first and e-mail Zovick if necessary.
 

zovick

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None yet .. if any. She is now having a well-earned sleep which unusually leaves smaller Titch to enjoy his meal in peace. She was not called "Nosher" for nothing.
About eggs - Thank you, I will look on the info. sheets first and e-mail Zovick if necessary.
Most tortoise eggs will normally hatch in about 90 to 110 days if incubated at about 87-88 degrees F.

They need to be kept in a covered container which will keep them from drying out. It is also good to spray or mist them once or twice a week without changing the orientation of the egg (IE, the top must stay on the top without being moved or tilted excessively so that the embryo doesn't become detached from the blood vessels which are nurturing it).

In my early days, I put my eggs in peanut butter jars (which were very wide-mouthed in those days) or very small glass terraria with loosely fitted tops and just put them on top of my gas water heater or my electric refrigerator which would generally keep the temp up in the mid to high 80's. You could test this with an empty jar or container to see what temp you could achieve on top of your refrigerator or water heater or you could buy an inexpensive incubator such as a Hovabator and incubate your egg in that.
 
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