Is my tortoise dead?

Droosie

New Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2016
Messages
10
I am panicking as my horsfield tortoise has spent two days very still. I've had him a number of years and he does hibernate for a short period each year. He woke up a few weeks ago and he's beenindoors ever since and very active . Eating and drinking well, has looked bright eyed and healthy.

Two days ago he partly buried himself which given the cold snap here isn't surprising. However, I don't know what's made me check but just had a feeling that something wasn't right,

Lifted him up and eyes seem slightly sunken, I've checked his muscle tone and I'm not sure what I'm expecting to see except I have never known him to be this unresponsive to handling, I gently pulled at his limbs and they spring back but also seem a bit floppy if that makes sense. ....but no more floppy than usual.

If he's asleep then he is well asleep...

I've had him under the light today but there is no change and that's concerning me.

Got a herp vet I can ring but how easily can they tell if he's passed on or not.

He's a gorgeous boy, I've no idea how old he is as he was my Mum's tortoise and she got him from a couple who needed to re-home him. He is a real character who has loads of garden space in the summer and who enjoys dandilions, and various flowers . I adore him and can't believe I might have lost him.

Any advice welcome,
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
39,013
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Any update?
So sorry if you lost him.
If there is still hope, keep this in mind. Once they wake from hibernation and have eaten, they should not go back into hibernation. They have to be prepared for hibernation and have an empty stomach.
Not sure if only a couple days with food in its stomach and hibernating is long enough for the food to cause problems. However, food rotting in the stomach during hibernation can kill them.
Hope he is fine.
 

Droosie

New Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2016
Messages
10
I gave him a warm soak and there's nothing ...no response at all. I am thinking the worst tbh.

I've a herp vet nearby and I'll give them a ring tomorrow and ask if they will just confirm death. It's just so unexpected though and he's such a character, I'm going to miss his company in the garden this summer.

Yes he did hibernate and woke up a few weeks ago. He's been fine ever since until two days ago. Just been having his baths and food as usual.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
23,844
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
I personally had a tortoise behave just like this.
Even poking her in the eye with my finger did nothing.
She'd been "dead" for 48 hours after surviving two rounds of antibiotics from a mysterious illness. And an esophogostamy tube operation.
I waited for the next day to bury her because of bad weather and the next day as I was taking her outside to say goodbye she began moving again and within a week was eating and walking again.
Always wait 48 hours is my opinion.
Unless there are smells or insects, etc. That otherwise indicate decomposition.
They can go into a deep "reset" when they are ill. It's a coma and not death.
This seems to be uncommon. But it does happen.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
39,013
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Agree you should get confirmation as you are unsure.
I hope its something like Zeropilot's went thru. Mention it to the vet. In the mean time keep him warm 80 day and night. Do not put him under barking temp. Fingers crossed it's one of the very rare "coma" like rarities.
 

Droosie

New Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2016
Messages
10
Thanks all, I took him into my vet this morning. They are going to do a Dopplar to double check and let me know but still zero response this morning and eyes very sunken in now.

Would love it to be an issue like Zeropilot had. Sadly it's been over 48hrs now so I suspect the worst.
 

lymcBoris

Active Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
102
Location (City and/or State)
Scotland
Thanks all, I took him into my vet this morning. They are going to do a Dopplar to double check and let me know but still zero response this morning and eyes very sunken in now.

Would love it to be an issue like Zeropilot had. Sadly it's been over 48hrs now so I suspect the worst.
So sorry for your very sad situation. 😔
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top