Sudden russian tort death

miketeach2012

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Hello! Opinions and recommendations needed.

I walked out to my russian tortoise enclosure this morning to find my russian tortoise casper dead. I picket him up to find his limbs limp and his head retracted into his shell (like he was sleeping). His eyes are open and not sunken in.
I am so distraught. I have no idea how or why he has passed. I spent a lot of time looking after him, feeding him and making his outdoor garden enclosure the best it could be. Iv'e read that the most common causes of death is RI in tortoises but casper never had any tells or issues this last week. Does anyone with more experience have any opinions on what pay have happened?

Thanks,
Mike
 

CarolM

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I am so sorry to read about your loss. The only thing I can think off is possibly a poisonous plant was eaten? But without you giving us any symptoms it will be difficult for us to be able to tell.
 

SweetGreekTorts

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Very sorry to hear this news. It's never easy to lose a tortoise, especially unexpectedly like this. Many members on this Forum have had this experience, including myself.

How big was your tortoise? Had he stopped eating and/or pooping? Any concerning behaviors? Any extreme hot or cold temperatures lately? Any bleeding, swelling, or discoloration? Can you describe or post photos of the outside enclosure? Was he outside 24/7?

There are many things that could have happened but hopefully we can help to narrow it down.
 

miketeach2012

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I am so sorry to read about your loss. The only thing I can think off is possibly a poisonous plant was eaten? But without you giving us any symptoms it will be difficult for us to be able to tell.

Thanks for the reply!
So Casper lived in my enclosed garden in my front yard. It contained organic plants and vegetables that he did eat, but all of these plants were tortoise friendly according to the books and articles I read on tortoise care. I am completely honest when I say there were no symptoms. The only thing I noticed was that he seemed to sleep in his den more then usual this past week. I didn't notice him NOT eating or passing waste but then again I am not around his crate outside all the time to be able to look. It was very sudden this morning when I first noticed him unresponsive.
 

miketeach2012

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Houston
Very sorry to hear this news. It's never easy to lose a tortoise, especially unexpectedly like this. Many members on this Forum have had this experience, including myself.

How big was your tortoise? Had he stopped eating and/or pooping? Any concerning behaviors? Any extreme hot or cold temperatures lately? Any bleeding, swelling, or discoloration? Can you describe or post photos of the outside enclosure? Was he outside 24/7?

There are many things that could have happened but hopefully we can help to narrow it down.

Thanks for the reply! He was about 4-5 inches i would say. He was still eating this past week. If anything he was eating a little less then past weeks but it wasnt anything alarming. I live in Texas. Temps range from 75-95 right now so temps are acceptable. No bleeding, swelling or discoloration at all. He is outside 24/7 in a garden crate about 5x5 square feet.
The only thing I noticed was that he was sleeping a little more and not as social towards me as he normally was.. thoughts?
 

miketeach2012

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Attached are photos of the outdoor garden enclosure..


NOTE: I DID buy this tortoise at a pet store. I know buying from a breeder online is better and I definitely learned from my mistake... I just read that its typical for wild caught tortoises to die suddenly due to disease. Maybe this was my main mistake..

IMG_1080.jpg IMG_1084.jpg
 
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KarenSoCal

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I have no idea what could have happened to Casper, but I'm so very sorry. What a terrible shock this must have been.

I have heard of some unusual cases where keepers thought their tort was dead, and it revived. I don't want to give false hope, but don't bury him yet.

@ZEROPILOT Do you have that thread you wrote about your tortoise?
 

ZEROPILOT

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I have no idea what could have happened to Casper, but I'm so very sorry. What a terrible shock this must have been.

I have heard of some unusual cases where keepers thought their tort was dead, and it revived. I don't want to give false hope, but don't bury him yet.

@ZEROPILOT Do you have that thread you wrote about your tortoise?
I couldn't that post.
I think that's because it's very old and inactive.
But, yes.
Wait 48 hours before burying or disposing of any dead tortoise.
Keep it warm and check for any signs of life after that time.
Tortoises can sometimes go into a deep state when they're ill. Looking and acting dead. But aren't. Especially if they are limp limbed and have shiny eyes.
Stiff and or stinky are obviously STRONG indicators that it is dead.
I did have a dead Redfoot that recovered as I was digging its grave. And let me tell you, she was DEAD!
Best of luck to you.
 
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miketeach2012

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Thank you @ZEROPILOT and @KarenSoCal . I really appreciate y’all taking the time to type such well thought answers. This is all really helping.
I came home to Casper with rigor and covered in ants. Disgusting. - Being sugar ants and never seeing them in his pen before I can say it’s pretty clear he is dead. I’ll be burying him this week.
Thank you all who responded. If I find it in my heart to get another Russian tortoise after this loss I’ll definitely be an active member here. I wish I would have joined sooner. Y’all seem like great people.

Thanks again.

Mike
 

vladimir

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Thank you @ZEROPILOT and @KarenSoCal . I really appreciate y’all taking the time to type such well thought answers. This is all really helping.
I came home to Casper with rigor and covered in ants. Disgusting. - Being sugar ants and never seeing them in his pen before I can say it’s pretty clear he is dead. I’ll be burying him this week.
Thank you all who responded. If I find it in my heart to get another Russian tortoise after this loss I’ll definitely be an active member here. I wish I would have joined sooner. Y’all seem like great people.

Thanks again.

Mike

I hope some day you find another tortoise in your life and come back to the forum :<3:
 
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