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My tortoise passed

peanut's palace

New Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
ca
Hello,

I just got home today and found that my baby had passed on. He was not feeling well the past 3 days, I was planning on bringing him in to the vet today, but I found him dead right as I got home from work. I'm just posting to try and figure out what might have happened as I'm broken inside and at a loss of what happened.

The past 2 days he was lethargic, not eating, not drinking as usual despite long warm soaks. Initially, I was worried that he may have an impaction since a day before he started getting sick I had caught him eating some small stones while we were outside and he hadn't been pooping these last 2 days. Reading others posts, I was soaking him in warm water for long periods to encourage a movement and hope he would hydrate some.

Starting yesterday, I noticed he was wet around the mouth and making a kind of clicking sound, and my wife said she saw some yellow in his mouth, so I also was thinking maybe he had a respiratory infection, but he was fine days before getting sick, he was active and had huge appetite as usual and didn't seem to have any difficulty breathing. He didn't have any nasal discharge or any of that.

I feel terrible, my wife and I tried to give him a good life and then he suddenly passed within a 3 day span. Could an impaction cause death this quickly?

He was ~3year old marginated tortoise. He lived mostly inside in a 4x6ft tortoise table with a MVB and I had recently just got a 10.0 t5 bulb installed. His temperatures ranged from ~100 in basking area to 68 f in cool area. His hideaway was kept around 70-80f at night. We did feed a lot of mixed herb salad from the store but would sprinkle miner-al a couple times a week as well as give mazuri and weeds from the backyard pretty frequently. He always had clean water and we would soak him once a day to ensure hydration.

I had difficulty keeping the humidity up, it was around 40-50s. Substrate was a mix of organic soil, coco coir, orchid bark and fir bark.

I don't know how this happened....I knew he wasn't feeling well but it happened so fast and now i feel absolutely terrible that I didn't take him in sooner.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
83,738
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Aw, darn it! This is so sad. I'm sorry, I don't have any words of wisdom for you. The only way to really know what happened is to have a necropsy done. Because he was so young, what's "normal" in impaction cases probably wouldn't apply. An impacted tortoise may last a very long time, just withering away and getting thinner and thinner and more and more sickly. To have died in only three days, I don't know what to say, except that I'm so sorry.
 

Ink

Active Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
119
Location (City and/or State)
Virginia
I am so sorry.
 

Carol S

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
2,499
Location (City and/or State)
Alta Loma, CA
I am so sorry for your loss. It is so devastating to lose a beloved pet.
 

peanut's palace

New Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
ca
Thank you all for your condolences, my wife and I feel so guilty and we should have brought him to the vet sooner. My wife told me that the night before he passed he was showing some open mouth breathing and became even more lethargic. We are now thinking that he had acute pneumonia or i don't know.....it's just unbelievable how quickly it took ahold of him. We both thought initially he was just feeling unwell and constipated so trying to treat that, but maybe he had respiratory symptoms we weren't noticing or he was hiding them well until the end.

We loved him dearly and feel terrible. I just don't understand how it happened so quickly, I wish I knew what we did or should have done differently besides get him to the vet sooner.
 

ZenHerper

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
242
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
((Hugs))

Species that are still essentially wild do not show symptoms of illness until very late.

Our brains are weird places to live. This interval of time will spin and spin in your mind for a while while your brain catches up to your new reality and tries to make sense of it all, simultaneously. Be kind to yourself while this is happening to you.
 

turtlebean

New Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2020
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
Connecticut
I am so very sorry for your loss. I myself have gone through the loss of a baby turtle, not tortoise, but i’m sure it hurts just the same. I hope you and your wife don’t take the loss too hard, and understand that you probably gave that little guy the best life!

Please keep us updated if you find out any more updates or information about what caused your tortoise to become ill so quickly.

Good luck with everything,
Julia R.
 

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