Is my tortoise dead?

Lando1305ftw

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I got a greek tortoise hatchling a few weeks ago. Last night I had him out of his cage while he was asleep and while he was in my hand he peed and then stretched out his legs and then his head bt 3 times. Since then he has not responded to touch. Last afterwards he felt extremely limp and did not respond to touch. Now, this morning his front legs are stiff and back legs less so but they aren't responding to touch. I just don't know what I did wrong. I've taken him out of his cage before and he's been fine.
 
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I’m so sorry you are experiencing this. Handling alone should not have caused the tortoise to die. There must have been an underlying cause. Hatchlings are very sensitive. If there has been no movement from last night and no response to touch of out stretched exterimities that’s a sign your tortoise has passed. In veterinary medicine we are able to check for a heart beat with an ekg or doppler but when those aren’t available we check for a palpebral reflex, which is the blink of an eye when touched. You can try this if the head is out and eyes are open. Even if they are closed you would get a response for trying to open the eyelid. Without a response it’s safe to say your little one has passed. 💔
 

Lando1305ftw

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Joined
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Location (City and/or State)
Texas
I’m so sorry you are experiencing this. Handling alone should not have caused the tortoise to die. There must have been an underlying cause. Hatchlings are very sensitive. If there has been no movement from last night and no response to touch of out stretched exterimities that’s a sign your tortoise has passed. In veterinary medicine we are able to check for a heart beat with an ekg or doppler but when those aren’t available we check for a palpebral reflex, which is the blink of an eye when touched. You can try this if the head is out and eyes are open. Even if they are closed you would get a response for trying to open the eyelid. Without a response it’s safe to say your little one has passed. 💔

Thank you for your help, he didn't respond when I tried to open his eye but I couldn't really do it too well as his face is very small. I'm still trying to identify why he died though. I took him outside on my hand and was gonna set him down on my table so I could watch him and he peed in my hand (Which he had never done before) and stretched out his body in an odd way (which I had never seen). Do you know what this could've been? He hasn't responded to me since then
 
Joined
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Messages
22
Location (City and/or State)
California
Thank you for your help, he didn't respond when I tried to open his eye but I couldn't really do it too well as his face is very small. I'm still trying to identify why he died though. I took him outside on my hand and was gonna set him down on my table so I could watch him and he peed in my hand (Which he had never done before) and stretched out his body in an odd way (which I had never seen). Do you know what this could've been? He hasn't responded to me since then
Unfortunately I do not have a good way of knowing what caused it but this is normal involuntary body behavior at the time of death. We see this exact thing in all species when they are euthanized. The bladder muscles relax and release all the urine stored inside, the extremities will also relax from the muscles and they go limp. If you want answers you can have your vet do a necropsy on your tortoise. The sooner you take it the better to preserve the tissues for cellular examination. It’s best to keep the tortoise in the fridge till you can get it there. Ask for a necropsy with pathology to have it looked at on a cellular level not just a general overview, which won’t get you many answers. The cellular view can tell you much more about all the organ function, possible toxicity, bacterial or parasite overgrowth.
 

method89

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We need to know specifics about your setup. temps, lights etc. Post Pictures if you can.

Where did you get him from?

While we probably wont be able to pinpoint exactly what caused him to pass but we can probably get close
 

ZEROPILOT

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Tortoises can and do go into a coma like state when they are very ill.
I had this happen to me. One of my tortoises died. Nothing I did, including poking her in the eyes illicited a response. She was limp, dead...
The next day I went to dig her a grave and she was in a different spot. She had moved.
She eventually recovered and is fine today.
Because of this I always suggest waiting 48 hours to bury a dead tortoise. But unfortunately, yours may actually be dead.
Since this happened days ago, I imagine that you already have your answer.
If he or she is in fact dead, I'm very sorry.
 
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