Is my tortoise dead?

Adixon5

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For starters, I have an 8 year old male Russian Tortoise. I bought him from a pet store and unfortunately wasn’t very educated on how to care for him, so I apologize for anything I say in the following message that may seem like an obvious red flag or something!
Anyway, mid February I noticed he went from being very active and eating everything I put in front of him, to slowing down and not finishing everything I put in his dish, to not eating at all. He was halfway under a log I have in his enclosure (tail end was sticking out) and I thought he was hibernating so I left him alone. I kept the basking light on and poked his foot every now and then and he would react to it so I let him be thinking all was okay. 4 or 5 weeks had passed though and I was getting worried since he hadn’t moved in so long. He never spent this much time without moving like this. So I took him out and put him in warm water under his basking light.
I started to notice that he was turning red under his top shell near his back end and immediately started to panic. I searched the internet and couldn’t find anything that sounded like his symptoms. I would put my hand in front of his face and he wouldn’t pull in to his shell like he used to, he would let me touch his face before making an attempt to pull his head in but he still didn’t pull in all the way. He was sort of limp too. My mom said he was probably just dazed from hibernating and that I should keep him warm to wake him up from his hibernation, so that’s what I did. I soaked him again and he was moving back and forth a tiny bit and I thought it was a good sign! The next day went about the same way and I thought he was waking up/getting back to normal.
Well, when I left my house at 9am the next morning he was still in this state but when I got home around 8pm I found him with dried blood all over his mouth/chin and coming from his nostrils. I feel like maybe he got too hot because the light was pretty much right over him all day long. I panicked and put him in water but he wasn’t reacting. I opened his mouth and it was full of blood too, and his mouth wouldn’t close all the way anymore after I did this. Limbs still limp and eyes seemed sunken in. His plastron is all red/pink too. I read that tortoises can look dead without actually being dead though so I’m just really looking for some closure. There are no reptile vets near me but my mom called a few and left voicemails telling them what happened, they called back and didn’t have much to say though.
It has been 2 days since I found him with blood on his face and when I pick him up a smelly clear yellowish liquid leaks from his butt. I’m pretty sure he’s dead but I just want to be sure that he is before I bury him. I feel terrible about this and blame myself for not taking the best care of him. Anything someone could tell me though would really be appreciated! I hope the pictures can help too.
IMG_2883.jpg IMG_2901.jpg IMG_2902.jpg IMG_2898.jpg IMG_2979.jpg IMG_2945.jpg
 

Bambam1989

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The red coloration throughout the shell sounds to me like a severe case of septicemia.
Yes, it sounds very much like your tort has passed and has already started to show the first signs of enternal decomposition with the leakage.
I do not consider myself an expert and so I fully recommend getting opinions from some of the other members here on the forum.
I am sorry for your loss, it is always hard to lose a pet.
 

Adixon5

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The red coloration throughout the shell sounds to me like a severe case of septicemia.
Yes, it sounds very much like your tort has passed and has already started to show the first signs of enternal decomposition with the leakage.
I do not consider myself an expert and so I fully recommend getting opinions from some of the other members here on the forum.
I am sorry for your loss, it is always hard to lose a pet.

Thank you so much!
 

MissMarg&me

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I am sorry this happened. I have found life is filled with moments that if we are paying attention provide us with opportunities to learn and improve and grow. Tortoises are sometimes hard to read for inexperienced people. They are not mammals like us. The older we get the more experience we accumulate. Maybe one day what you went through with this tortoise will help you save another ones life.
 

Bee62

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I am the same opinion like @Bambam1989
This tort is dead and he died because of a sepsis. The red spots all over the shell show this.
I am sorry for your loss, but it seems to me that you have made some bad mistakes.
Hibernation is not easy. It is not leaving the tort sleeping with a full stomach and intestine under the basking light. The food will start to rot in the intestine and that has caused the sepsis and killed your tort.
Leaving him alone as you did 4 - 5 weeks was wrong.
The beak and claws of your tort were overgrown too.
When you want to keep a new tortoise please read in the care section all you can find here in the forum about the specie you are keeping and please read a lot about hibernation.
 

Kasia

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For starters, I have an 8 year old male Russian Tortoise. I bought him from a pet store and unfortunately wasn’t very educated on how to care for him, so I apologize for anything I say in the following message that may seem like an obvious red flag or something!
Anyway, mid February I noticed he went from being very active and eating everything I put in front of him, to slowing down and not finishing everything I put in his dish, to not eating at all. He was halfway under a log I have in his enclosure (tail end was sticking out) and I thought he was hibernating so I left him alone. I kept the basking light on and poked his foot every now and then and he would react to it so I let him be thinking all was okay. 4 or 5 weeks had passed though and I was getting worried since he hadn’t moved in so long. He never spent this much time without moving like this. So I took him out and put him in warm water under his basking light.
I started to notice that he was turning red under his top shell near his back end and immediately started to panic. I searched the internet and couldn’t find anything that sounded like his symptoms. I would put my hand in front of his face and he wouldn’t pull in to his shell like he used to, he would let me touch his face before making an attempt to pull his head in but he still didn’t pull in all the way. He was sort of limp too. My mom said he was probably just dazed from hibernating and that I should keep him warm to wake him up from his hibernation, so that’s what I did. I soaked him again and he was moving back and forth a tiny bit and I thought it was a good sign! The next day went about the same way and I thought he was waking up/getting back to normal.
Well, when I left my house at 9am the next morning he was still in this state but when I got home around 8pm I found him with dried blood all over his mouth/chin and coming from his nostrils. I feel like maybe he got too hot because the light was pretty much right over him all day long. I panicked and put him in water but he wasn’t reacting. I opened his mouth and it was full of blood too, and his mouth wouldn’t close all the way anymore after I did this. Limbs still limp and eyes seemed sunken in. His plastron is all red/pink too. I read that tortoises can look dead without actually being dead though so I’m just really looking for some closure. There are no reptile vets near me but my mom called a few and left voicemails telling them what happened, they called back and didn’t have much to say though.
It has been 2 days since I found him with blood on his face and when I pick him up a smelly clear yellowish liquid leaks from his butt. I’m pretty sure he’s dead but I just want to be sure that he is before I bury him. I feel terrible about this and blame myself for not taking the best care of him. Anything someone could tell me though would really be appreciated! I hope the pictures can help too.
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Sorry if I sound harsh ( honestly I’m not)...but I am mad at you for that that you were able to make photos of him in this state and you saw the singhs but you didn’t take him to a vet to ease his suffering by a simple euthanasia. I don’t know if money is the case, and truthfully I don’t care, putting him trough all this is just terrifying to me. Lack of education is not enough to justify a horrible death.
 
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Adixon5

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New York
I am the same opinion like @Bambam1989
This tort is dead and he died because of a sepsis. The red spots all over the shell show this.
I am sorry for your loss, but it seems to me that you have made some bad mistakes.
Hibernation is not easy. It is not leaving the tort sleeping with a full stomach and intestine under the basking light. The food will start to rot in the intestine and that has caused the sepsis and killed your tort.
Leaving him alone as you did 4 - 5 weeks was wrong.
The beak and claws of your tort were overgrown too.
When you want to keep a new tortoise please read in the care section all you can find here in the forum about the specie you are keeping and please read a lot about hibernation.

Yeah I’ve learned my lesson, I won’t be getting a new one because I don’t want this to happen again. I really feel terrible about his death.
 

Adixon5

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Sorry if I sound harsh ( honestly I’m not)...but I am mad at you for that that you were able to make photos of him in this state and you saw the singhs but you didn’t take him to a vet to ease his suffering by a simple euthanasia. I don’t know if money is the case, and truthfully I don’t care, putting him trough all this is just terrifying to me. Lack of education is not enough to justify a horrible death.

I understand your anger, I said in the beginning that I really didn’t know how to care for him. I realize I did things wrong now. I also said there aren’t any reptile vets near me, I would’ve taken him somewhere if I knew where to go. I don’t think a cat and dog vet would have put him down without knowing what was going on with him. I called reptile vets and they suggested he was electrocuted? It didn’t make any sense.
I took photos so I could post them and find out what was happening. The redness wasn’t there when I first took him out, it appeared once I put him under his light & overnight it seemed. This was only 3 days ago too. It’s happened so fast...
 

Adixon5

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I am sorry this happened. I have found life is filled with moments that if we are paying attention provide us with opportunities to learn and improve and grow. Tortoises are sometimes hard to read for inexperienced people. They are not mammals like us. The older we get the more experience we accumulate. Maybe one day what you went through with this tortoise will help you save another ones life.

Thanks for the kind words. I’m young and this unfortunate experience has taught me a lot. I just know I won’t be owning another tortoise, I never want this to happen again :( hopefully I will be able to give advise to other tortoise owners though so they don’t do what I did.
 

vladimir

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I'm so sorry for your loss. I appreciate your honesty and helping us all learn from your experience. Maybe the pictures will help someone else before it is too late.

I hope maybe one day you can adopt another tortoise as they truly are wonderful pets. I hope this experience doesn't ruin that for you.

So sorry again
 

Bee62

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Yeah I’ve learned my lesson, I won’t be getting a new one because I don’t want this to happen again. I really feel terrible about his death.
People learn from positive and negative experiences. I am sorry that yours was negativ, but it seems to me that you have learned and are willing to learn a lot more.
From this forum you can learn all about tortoises. A new tortoise can be happy and healthy with the right care from you.
Don`t let a negative experience make you insecure.
 

Adixon5

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I'm so sorry for your loss. I appreciate your honesty and helping us all learn from your experience. Maybe the pictures will help someone else before it is too late.

I hope maybe one day you can adopt another tortoise as they truly are wonderful pets. I hope this experience doesn't ruin that for you.

So sorry again

Thank you, I’m hoping this post will help others too. Especially the pictures. I searched and searched for pictures that looked similar to what my tortoise had and without knowing the name of what happened to him, I couldn’t find anything that looked similar. Maybe someday I’ll get another one but I need to be sure to do the proper research before that happens. Thank you for your kind words though [emoji17]
 

Rhea

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This is horrible and administration should close this and delete it. It has upset me beyond all means! The photos are very upsetting and gross. I am trying to be nice but this is not fair to this poor animal. No words can be said to express the horrific pain he dealt with. It saddens me so much to see this.
 

stardustytort

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I'm sorry for your loss, and I am more sorry for the tort that passed. They were 8 years old and could live decades more, but was taken care of wrongly. A simple google search or even looking on this forum could have saved this tortoise's life. Beginners should never hibernate tortoises, especially if they don't know that the beak and claws need to be groomed with a few rocks in its habitat or with cat-clippers. Hibernation is in cold weather, not hot. Anyways, I hope this little guy is foraging in someplace nice up there, and I hope that you can forgive yourself for the passing, I know it can be hard.
 

Bee62

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This is horrible and administration should close this and delete it. It has upset me beyond all means! The photos are very upsetting and gross. I am trying to be nice but this is not fair to this poor animal. No words can be said to express the horrific pain he dealt with. It saddens me so much to see this.

I can understand well that you are angry and upsetted, but the tort is dead and nothing can change this. But other people might learn from what happend by reading the thread and so I am not your opinion that this thread should be deleted.
 

Jay Bagley

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I am very sorry for your loss. If you ever get another tortoise, at the first sign of any problem please ask for help. There's lots of people on here that are very knowledgeable and always willing to help. Just don't wait until you think it's dead to ask.
 

Adixon5

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I'm sorry for your loss, and I am more sorry for the tort that passed. They were 8 years old and could live decades more, but was taken care of wrongly. A simple google search or even looking on this forum could have saved this tortoise's life. Beginners should never hibernate tortoises, especially if they don't know that the beak and claws need to be groomed with a few rocks in its habitat or with cat-clippers. Hibernation is in cold weather, not hot. Anyways, I hope this little guy is foraging in someplace nice up there, and I hope that you can forgive yourself for the passing, I know it can be hard.

I know he could have lived a long time, I always looked forward to living my life out with him. I did a lot of searching but without knowing the name of what happened to him, I couldn’t find anything. I looked up various ways of “redness under shell” and couldn’t see anything that looked like him. I searched this forum and made a membership too but couldn’t figure out how to write a post until I found that I could download it on my phone. By that time it was obviously too late anyway. I did look for help..all over...nothing really helped me.
I’ve trimmed his beak before too and would try to get it shorter I but could never get a good grip on it, he didn’t let me. I didn’t want to stress him out or something by forcing it. A rock would’ve been a good idea. His mouth opened wide enough to eat though, I made sure of that. Same with his claws, I didn’t want to hit the nerves by trimming myself. I let him roam freely a lot in the house but he didn’t move far, since the day I got him he wasn’t very active. I just thought he was grumpy...
I hope he’s feeling healthy and free up there too and that someday I will be able to forgive myself for this. I can’t believe how oblivious I was and it’s really been eating away at me that I let this happen [emoji20][emoji20][emoji20]
 

Pearly

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I know he could have lived a long time, I always looked forward to living my life out with him. I did a lot of searching but without knowing the name of what happened to him, I couldn’t find anything. I looked up various ways of “redness under shell” and couldn’t see anything that looked like him. I searched this forum and made a membership too but couldn’t figure out how to write a post until I found that I could download it on my phone. By that time it was obviously too late anyway. I did look for help..all over...nothing really helped me.
I’ve trimmed his beak before too and would try to get it shorter I but could never get a good grip on it, he didn’t let me. I didn’t want to stress him out or something by forcing it. A rock would’ve been a good idea. His mouth opened wide enough to eat though, I made sure of that. Same with his claws, I didn’t want to hit the nerves by trimming myself. I let him roam freely a lot in the house but he didn’t move far, since the day I got him he wasn’t very active. I just thought he was grumpy...
I hope he’s feeling healthy and free up there too and that someday I will be able to forgive myself for this. I can’t believe how oblivious I was and it’s really been eating away at me that I let this happen [emoji20][emoji20][emoji20]

I am so very sorry for your loss. I totally get your remorse. Try to channel all this energy into something good now. Do all that is possible now to make this experience count, make some difference, maybe to another tort, or another ill-prepared new keeper who gets a cute tort thinking “how hard can it be??”the pain of your loss, guilt, remorse, amounts to lots of energy. Put it to work, in whatever you see fit, something that helps another tortoise or more tortoises. This way your tort’s death will not be in vain.
 
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