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How much are vet costs for tortoises?

NeonAmnesia

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Joined
Jan 20, 2020
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14
Location (City and/or State)
Texas
I adopted a Russian tortoise on Saturday, was given everything I needed except for a uvb lamp which I'm getting very soon. His name is Dante by the way.

Before I ask anything else I want to take him to a vet first so I can rule out any sickness. If I go to one what do I ask/tell? How much are the usual costs for health checkups? I'm in Texas if that helps but I guess it just really varies depending on who I go too.

Some behaviors I've observed is not very much. I gave him a warm bath yesterday. He walked and digged for a few seconds then slept (I dried him off with a towel before putting him back in his enclosure). Yesterday he was sleeping most of the day, probably ate but didn't actually see him eat. But the food was almost gone so I assumed he did. If this has nothing to do with him being sick, could this lack of movement be because I don't have a uvb lamp yet? I do have a heating lamp (the previous owner gave me that too along with a stand with it). Any ideas why he isn't moving much?

Im not able to give info on the temp because I don't have a thermometer yet. But if it helps my room is at a constant 78 F (26 C). In the winter it usually gets to 80 F (27 C). So I'm hoping Dante's enclosure isn't too cold since I leave the heat lamp all day except at night.
 

ZEROPILOT

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If it is eating and acting healthy, a vet visit may not be required.
IF (And it's a big if) you have a vet nearby that actually knows how tortoises work, you can get a check up. Then use that as a baseline for any future issues.
Finding an actual tortoise vet is hard.
Finding a vet that wants to perform all sorts of injections and treatment so that they can learn at your expense is all too common.
I generally spend between $150 and $300 per visit.
But I only visit if I see an actual problem with one of my tortoises. Or if I take in a new one.
My vet is fantastic.
I'm very lucky.
 

ZEROPILOT

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South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
I went to a non-tortoise vet and it was about $35 (but I do not recommen) I got a new vet that specializes in exotics and it was $75 for a well-being and fecal/worm testing
Bringing a tortoise to a vet for a "wellness exam" that doesn't know what's normal for a tortoise is kind of comical.
But then again...I'm a smartass.

Lots of tortoises have worms. Maybe even most of them?
Finding them shouldn't be an automatic knee jerk for poisoning the tortoise to kill the worms.
So many vets want to do that....And give useless vitamin injections, etc.
Its rough out there.
If you like your new vet..
P.M @Yvonne G and give her the address, etc so that the vet can be added to our list.
 

lilly_sand99

Active Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Messages
275
Location (City and/or State)
Marshalltown IA
Bringing a tortoise to a vet for a "wellness exam" that doesn't know what's normal for a tortoise is kind of comical.
But then again...I'm a smartass.

Lots of tortoises have worms. Maybe even most of them?
Finding them shouldn't be an automatic knee jerk for poisoning the tortoise to kill the worms.
So many vets want to do that....And give useless vitamin injections, etc.
Its rough out there.
If you like your new vet..
P.M @Yvonne G and give her the address, etc so that the vet can be added to our list.
Yes yes, i realize it is silly. But I watched a Facebook video from the POV of a vet saying that if the person in video brought in their tort months before they could of saved the tort from MBD, I was literally losing sleep because at that point that tort had never seen a vet. And I follow everything from here so I know I’m doing ok. But I just really needed someone to actually look and poke at my tortoise to reassure me. And my exotic vet told me my tort didn’t have worms or suggest any medications. Lol they have a paying customer just to tell me my tortoise is ok.

(as for the first vet office, I worked there at the time and felt bad not going to them🤷‍♀️ 10/10 I still do not recommend)
 

Yvonne G

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Vet costs differ from vet to vet, and from geographical area to geographical area.
 

DesertGirl

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Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
249
Location (City and/or State)
Fabulous Las Vegas, NV
I adopted a Russian tortoise on Saturday, was given everything I needed except for a uvb lamp which I'm getting very soon. His name is Dante by the way.

Before I ask anything else I want to take him to a vet first so I can rule out any sickness. If I go to one what do I ask/tell? How much are the usual costs for health checkups? I'm in Texas if that helps but I guess it just really varies depending on who I go too.

Some behaviors I've observed is not very much. I gave him a warm bath yesterday. He walked and digged for a few seconds then slept (I dried him off with a towel before putting him back in his enclosure). Yesterday he was sleeping most of the day, probably ate but didn't actually see him eat. But the food was almost gone so I assumed he did. If this has nothing to do with him being sick, could this lack of movement be because I don't have a uvb lamp yet? I do have a heating lamp (the previous owner gave me that too along with a stand with it). Any ideas why he isn't moving much?

Im not able to give info on the temp because I don't have a thermometer yet. But if it helps my room is at a constant 78 F (26 C). In the winter it usually gets to 80 F (27 C). So I'm hoping Dante's enclosure isn't too cold since I leave the heat lamp all day except at night.
Welcome. Where in TX? I can recommend a fantastic exotics vet in Mansfield if you’re anywhere near DFW. Couple hundred if you do X-rays.
 

Lyn W

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Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
18,354
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hi and welcome. Well done for giving a tort a new caring home.
Tort vets are pretty expensive in the UK too.
This is the best place for up to date information and if you follow the caresheets and advice given then hopefully you won't need one too often.
Look in the Species section and you will find a good caresheet for Russian torts, that will tell you all about diet, temps and bulbs needed etc, humidity and substrate etc.

http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/ is very helpful for avoiding the problems made by others and www.thetortoisetable.org.uk is a good guide to tort safe foods.

If you post pics of your enclosure you will get feedback on whether it is as safe as possible for a tort - most of us have made mistakes and needed to tweak things when we start so don't be put off if you are told you need to make changes, we all love torts and want them to be safe and happy.
 
Last edited:

NeonAmnesia

New Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Texas
@Lyn W
The enclosure was given to me along with the tortoise and other things. I will try to upgrade to a larger one soon.
20200129_211452.jpg20200129_211459.jpg
Also today he seems very active and even ate food from my hand. I gave him another warm soak a few hours before.
 

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