My star tortoises are dead

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SWan

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My pet stars, Rafael & Splinter had died. I had them for 4 years. Don't know what happened.....I kept them indoor. Last week, Rafael's shell was very soft. I fed him vitamins and made sure he had afternoon sunlight in the house. He seemed to get better....shell was getting harder but there was a tear on his lower jaw. At the same time, Splinter was not eating but he was heavy and his shell was hard and good. Yesterday, I put them in the garden.....hoping natural sunshine would do them good. They were under the sun for awhile, then I put them under the shade of trees. When I brought them into the house, Rafael was dead. His head and limbs were out (not hidden in his shell). This morning, Splinter had died too. Same....head and limbs were out....sort of hardened. Can someone tell me what happened? Why my tortoises had short lives?
 

SWan

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kimber_lee_314 said:
I'm so sorry! It's so hard when we lose our little ones.

Kimber, thanks. I am really fond of these little creatures but already lose confidence keeping them as pets again.
 

Kymiie

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I had a hatchling, he dies on me! Not a star, a hermann!
It made me feel I didnt want another one as I didnt want it to die again!
But I got another one.. an older one! He has laster 1 yr so far with me! Hatchling laster 4 month!

So dont be afraid to have another, Sorry for your loss! Its hard, but fight the battle!

xx
 

SWan

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Kymiie said:
I had a hatchling, he dies on me! Not a star, a hermann!
It made me feel I didnt want another one as I didnt want it to die again!
But I got another one.. an older one! He has laster 1 yr so far with me! Hatchling laster 4 month!

So dont be afraid to have another, Sorry for your loss! Its hard, but fight the battle!

xx

Thanks for your encouragement. I understand tortoise can live to more than 100 yrs old....this is one of the reasons I prefer tortoise as pet....but 4 years?
 

K412

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I'm deely sorry for your loss.
Please don't give up. I had an experience once a longtime ago with a very unsavory reptile flipper. My frog died in less than a day.
I didn't want to have them anymore but I learned a lot and am a better keeper because of it.
My heart goes out to you!
Takce care, Kelly
 

SWan

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K412 said:
I'm deely sorry for your loss.
Please don't give up. I had an experience once a longtime ago with a very unsavory reptile flipper. My frog died in less than a day.
I didn't want to have them anymore but I learned a lot and am a better keeper because of it.
My heart goes out to you!
Takce care, Kelly

Thanks, Kelly. Unless I'm able to find out the cause of death, I will not make another attempt. I am fearful history may repeat itself.
 

jobeanator

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it honestly sounded like they had MBD. stars are very touchy depending on your conditions you have them living in. but if there shells were soft, thats usually due to MBD.
 

samstar

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do you do a regular feces test? I feel feces test should be done every 6 months
 

Yvonne G

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I'm so sorry that you lost your two star tortoises. One thing to consider, besides the MBD (soft shell) is that there was some sort of poison on the plants in the garden.

Also, whenever you put the tortoise outside, you need to be sure there is a place where they can go to get out of the sun.

Where are you located? Some of the imported stars are heavily infested with parasites. We can give you better information if we know where you are and where your tortoises come from.
 

JourneyTort

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How did you have them set up in your house, what was your set up like, what did you feed, did you supplement? Did they have access to daily sun outside if not, did you use MVB? Did you provide them with calcium supplements?

Just trying to figure out why you would loose both of them at 4 years of age?

If you let them outside was it something they ate? As Yvonne stated, Fertilizer, etc.?
 

Redfoot NERD

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There is a disease [ similar to AIDS in that it will lay 'dormant' for long periods/years ] common to stars that virtually all of the LONG TERM keepers in the USA have had to contend with. No real symptoms and in a day or two they are just as you described. The actual name slips my mind.. I'm sure Douglas (elegans) knows exactly what I'm talking about.

I acquired 5 ( 2000 captive hatched ) in 2004.. and added two confiscated 4" 'ers two years ago. [ after quarantine ]

Last year on two different occasions two of the '00 died virtually overnight! If you kept them that long.. it most likely wasn't anything you did or anyone here suspected.

I know of - or have never seen/had - any turtles/tortoises die without long term symptoms EXCEPT Indian star tortoises. IF anything ever happens to these I would never have Indian Stars again!

Maybe you can relate to these ( follow 'Species Profile link also ).. http://www.turtletary.com/stars.html

I know how you feel...

NERD
 

SWan

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jobeanator said:
it honestly sounded like they had MBD. stars are very touchy depending on your conditions you have them living in. but if there shells were soft, thats usually due to MBD.

I thought so too but MBD will cause pyramiding, right? My stars did not have it.

samstar said:
do you do a regular feces test? I feel feces test should be done every 6 months

No, but I noticed the feces was very dark.

emysemys said:
I'm so sorry that you lost your two star tortoises. One thing to consider, besides the MBD (soft shell) is that there was some sort of poison on the plants in the garden.

Also, whenever you put the tortoise outside, you need to be sure there is a place where they can go to get out of the sun.

Where are you located? Some of the imported stars are heavily infested with parasites. We can give you better information if we know where you are and where your tortoises come from.

Poison? I don't think so, because plants & grasses are growing healthy. Yes, there were shades that they could walk to. I am in Malaysia, bought my stars from a pet shop....not sure of their birth country. Infested stars are commonly from which country?

JourneyTort said:
How did you have them set up in your house, what was your set up like, what did you feed, did you supplement? Did they have access to daily sun outside if not, did you use MVB? Did you provide them with calcium supplements?

Just trying to figure out why you would loose both of them at 4 years of age?

If you let them outside was it something they ate? As Yvonne stated, Fertilizer, etc.?

Yeah, I am puzzled what caused their death but I "think" it could be due to some kind of "spreading" disease.

Redfoot NERD said:
There is a disease [ similar to AIDS in that it will lay 'dormant' for long periods/years ] common to stars that virtually all of the LONG TERM keepers in the USA have had to contend with. No real symptoms and in a day or two they are just as you described. The actual name slips my mind.. I'm sure Douglas (elegans) knows exactly what I'm talking about.

I acquired 5 ( 2000 captive hatched ) in 2004.. and added two confiscated 4" 'ers two years ago. [ after quarantine ]

Last year on two different occasions two of the '00 died virtually overnight! If you kept them that long.. it most likely wasn't anything you did or anyone here suspected.

I know of - or have never seen/had - any turtles/tortoises die without long term symptoms EXCEPT Indian star tortoises. IF anything ever happens to these I would never have Indian Stars again!

Maybe you can relate to these ( follow 'Species Profile link also ).. http://www.turtletary.com/stars.html

I know how you feel...

NERD

Terry, thanks for this useful info. <There is a disease [ similar to AIDS in that it will lay 'dormant' for long periods/years ] common to stars that virtually all of the LONG TERM keepers in the USA have had to contend with.> You really mean ALL stars? I went to the pet shop for advise and the owner was also puzzled, especially since my stars had been with me for 4 years.

DonaTello said:
Oh that is so sad! I'm very sorry for you....

Yup, a double blow...
 

Stephanie Logan

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Such a sad story, I am very sorry you lost both of your pets.

I don't know much about tortoises, but it does seem that Stars are very fragile. They and Sulcata seem to be the two most vulnerable species to illness, disease and "failure to thrive".

I hope you can start over again someday, maybe with a hardier breed of tortoise, though I think I've read that other species aren't very easy to acquire in Malaysia. Best wishes to you.
 

Redfoot NERD

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SWan.. I mean the G. elegans from the 'mainland' of India.. AKA Indian Star tortoises. "Micoplasm"(sp?) is a disease common to Indian Stars. Sri Lankan stars are reportedly much more hardy.. virtually ploblem free.

From reliable sources: captive hatched kept separated from any/all others do not carry the disease. However at the younger ages they are more prone to respiratory problems. At 4" SCL they can tolerate high humidity as long as the temps are mid-80's F minimum.

I've never known sulcata to be problematic.

Terry K
 

jobeanator

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i have a sri lankan star and they are supposedly hardier species if kept at the right temps. as terry stated, i honestly believe IMO, keeping there basking temps at 90 degrees to 100 degrees is a necessity to keeping your star alive and healthy. i also believe daily soaking and calcium suppliement during feeding is essiential. this is just my 2 cents, hope this helps!
-joby
 

-EJ

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This is quite common with imported Stars. This is also why I suggest treating with flagyl ASAP when they are acquired.

Odds are you didn't do anything wrong. Some Stars are extremely suseptable to renal failure.

I suspect it has to do with protozoa.

If you had them for 4 years... not to make you feel bad... it could have been prevented.

To put this in perspective... I just lost 2 that I had for longer than you had yours.

They can be very delicate and very hardy... depending... on what, I don't know.

SWan said:
My pet stars, Rafael & Splinter had died. I had them for 4 years. Don't know what happened.....I kept them indoor. Last week, Rafael's shell was very soft. I fed him vitamins and made sure he had afternoon sunlight in the house. He seemed to get better....shell was getting harder but there was a tear on his lower jaw. At the same time, Splinter was not eating but he was heavy and his shell was hard and good. Yesterday, I put them in the garden.....hoping natural sunshine would do them good. They were under the sun for awhile, then I put them under the shade of trees. When I brought them into the house, Rafael was dead. His head and limbs were out (not hidden in his shell). This morning, Splinter had died too. Same....head and limbs were out....sort of hardened. Can someone tell me what happened? Why my tortoises had short lives?
 

SWan

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Redfoot NERD said:
SWan.. I mean the G. elegans from the 'mainland' of India.. AKA Indian Star tortoises. "Micoplasm"(sp?) is a disease common to Indian Stars. Sri Lankan stars are reportedly much more hardy.. virtually ploblem free.

From reliable sources: captive hatched kept separated from any/all others do not carry the disease. However at the younger ages they are more prone to respiratory problems. At 4" SCL they can tolerate high humidity as long as the temps are mid-80's F minimum.

I've never known sulcata to be problematic.

Terry K

How to differentiate a Sri Lankan star & an Indian star? I searched in the internet and am still unable to tell the difference. Is Mycoplasma contagious to human?

terracolson said:
We have you in our thoughts.

Thanks!

jobeanator said:
i have a sri lankan star and they are supposedly hardier species if kept at the right temps. as terry stated, i honestly believe IMO, keeping there basking temps at 90 degrees to 100 degrees is a necessity to keeping your star alive and healthy. i also believe daily soaking and calcium suppliement during feeding is essiential. this is just my 2 cents, hope this helps!
-joby

Thanks for your input. Appreciate it.

-EJ said:
This is quite common with imported Stars. This is also why I suggest treating with flagyl ASAP when they are acquired.

Odds are you didn't do anything wrong. Some Stars are extremely suseptable to renal failure.

I suspect it has to do with protozoa.

If you had them for 4 years... not to make you feel bad... it could have been prevented.

To put this in perspective... I just lost 2 that I had for longer than you had yours.

They can be very delicate and very hardy... depending... on what, I don't know.

You mean the protozoa caused renal failure? I think in general, there is insufficient study conducted on tortoise. Unlike fish, there are so many types of medication available in pet shops and the symptoms are easily identified and treated. But still, I was told tortoise is one of the easiest pet to keep and can easily live to more than 100 yrs old. After reading so many cases of tortoise deaths in this forum, I am not too sure anymore.
 
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