Sudden death

Miette

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Apr 29, 2015
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Hey all. I'm new to this forum, and sadly I have to start with some bad and sad news. I had a Hermann's Tortoise, said to be a male, for quite a long period of time - almost 10 years. My parents bought him from a pet store, and they told us to keep him on sawdust, and feed green salad leaf as a basic food, and give cucumber and some other stuff. They said to offer him water when the weather gets really hot and so we took him home. We named him Miette, and for the many years that passed by, he was with us. Went on vacations with us, where he enjoyed being out in fresh grass and water, and was happy and active. In a few simple worlds, he grew up with us, and my sister and I grew up with him. A week ago my father calls me telling me he has some sad news, and that Miette has passed away. We took him to the vet immediately, but in the morning vet told us he did die indeed, and so we buried him. He said something about bacterial infection, and said it could be his lungs or kidneys, but more likely kidneys. I thought my life would never be normal again, and went through a great grieving period. I felt guilt, shock, depression, felt hopeless, blamed myself, blamed Miette, blamed family members. I had sleepless nights, and cried, was full of anger towards myself, world, everyone. It was like a brother died to me. I browsed internet loads, and I think I was not the best owner. He did not have fresh water available all the time, only sometimes, nor I bathed him. Maybe I did not even let him out to walk enough, or one day when he was drinking water like a maniac, I did not think he could be sick. I did not hug him and tell him how much I love him, I did not get a chance to say goodbye. It is just to many what if and only if. But everything was working perfectly for many years, how could I even think that I did something wrong? I followed the given instructions and I swear to God and everything I love that all the bad things I did, I did it out of pure ignorance. It was so unexpected, something I could not think of in my worst nightmares... I never saw him dead, but my sister who found him says his eyes have sunken badly, no reactions, and that his shell has started to turn blue, plastron was dark blue/purple, and edges of his carapace have started to turn blue. I never read anything about shell changing color after tortoise dies, so can anyone tell me anything more about it? His shell was also well-formed and shiney, and never had any problems. He will be greatly missed and never forgotten. I had to share this with you guys, and the pain is to big, and ignorance and questions in my head are killing me. I now read much more about their needs and habitats, and plan to get 2 new Hermann's. I will name them Mia and Ette, after my beautiful boy Miette. And I will be overly-cautios. But there again, I feel guilty because I will offer them a better life than what Miette had. If only I knew... :((((
 

Tom

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Take it easy. No one is born knowing these things, and we are ALL still learning and improving. You are no different than any of us. Learn from past mistakes. Strive to do better. Try to help others learn from your mistakes, which is exactly what you have done with this post.

If you get two new ones, I suggest you house them separately. Tortoises should not be kept in pairs.

Welcome to the forum. I hope that we can help you accomplish your goal of learning and being a better keeper.
 

Yvonne G

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Welcome to the Forum!

It sounds to me as if you received this tortoise when you were a youngster. At that age, you expect your parents to know everything. You took care of the tortoise the way you were told to.

Now that you're older and know the avenues available to you to do your research, you will have a much better idea as to how a tortoise needs to be set up and cared for.

One tortoise is just fine. They neither need nor want companionship.
 
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Jodie

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Sorry you lost your friend. Blaming yourself will not help. Welcome to the forum. We are all here to help you with your next one, and understand your pain and loss.
 

crimson_lotus

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I feel your pain. I had five parakeets when I was young and four died while I was away at college. Looking back I could definitely have improved their care..but I'm also suspicious as to why they all died around the same time while I was away...Regardless, it is an awful experience, and I'm sorry for your loss.

I also agree that tortoises should not be kept in pairs unless you are willing to house them separately. It's stressful and they could potentially hurt one another.

Good luck with your research and make sure to double check this forum if you find any conflicting information. We're here to help.
 

Tidgy's Dad

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I wish the circumstances could have been different, but hello and a very warm welcome to Tortoise Forum.
I lost two tortoises when I was young due to not knowing how to care for them properly.
We are all learning still, but this forum provides the most complete and up to date information on tortoise care available.
I am very sorry for your loss, but your experience will make you a better keeper in the future.
Bless you.
 
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