Tort suddenly aggresive?

CassandraSue

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Hi all - Longtime lurker, first time poster ...

I have two Russian male torts given to me 8 years ago by a friend who couldn't care for them anymore. They have always been housed together and seemed to like each other's company just fine, sharing the hide, basking together, etc.

Current problem: One of the guys developed an abscess, so I took him to the vet for treatment, then kept him separated from his pal for a couple of weeks to help him stay clean. He was depressed and not eating, so the vet suggested I move them back together (minus substrate) to see if he would improve. I bought them a nice new tort table and reintroduced them. The one who was ill suddenly started eating much better ... but I noticed he's getting all up in his friend's story all of a sudden! Pecking at him, bouncing his head. Neither of them has ever done this before.

Could it be the new enclosure? The healing process? Will they ever like each other again?

Sorry so long. I'm just sad! Thanks!
 

Sarah2020

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Yes, I have seen the pecking, nodding head and the odd flip. Sadly time to say goodbye and rehome one of them or arrange separate enclosure. They are OK solo and do not need a friend. If unaddressed there could be an injury or one will become bullied and unhappy.
 
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ZEROPILOT

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Thanks everyone. Fortunately, since I bought the new enclosure, I now have two suitable "homes" for them. I'm just eager for the sick guy to feel well again (but fortunately, he's eating like a champ these last few days)!
It's important that they can't see each other now. Or the bullied tort can still feel intimidated and the bully will still try to get to him.
 

Tom

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Hi all - Longtime lurker, first time poster ...

I have two Russian male torts given to me 8 years ago by a friend who couldn't care for them anymore. They have always been housed together and seemed to like each other's company just fine, sharing the hide, basking together, etc.

Current problem: One of the guys developed an abscess, so I took him to the vet for treatment, then kept him separated from his pal for a couple of weeks to help him stay clean. He was depressed and not eating, so the vet suggested I move them back together (minus substrate) to see if he would improve. I bought them a nice new tort table and reintroduced them. The one who was ill suddenly started eating much better ... but I noticed he's getting all up in his friend's story all of a sudden! Pecking at him, bouncing his head. Neither of them has ever done this before.

Could it be the new enclosure? The healing process? Will they ever like each other again?

Sorry so long. I'm just sad! Thanks!
Tortoises should never be housed in pairs. Russians are probably the worst for this. Sharing the hide and basking together is subtle aggression. One has been telling the other to get out of its territory. They can sometimes survive this way for a period of time without serious injury, but the low grade stress is still not good for them.

This is most likely the cause for the abcess. One bit the other.

Good thing they will be separated going forward.

Most of the info you find from pet shops, websites, vets, breeders, and experts is wrong. Here is the correct care info:
 
TortoiseSupply.com

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