TWINS!

Tom

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My feeling has been that as the yolk sac was absorbed, the two shells might become extremely close together or even become joined at the center of the plastron making the tortoises appear to be, or even actually be, attached to each other like Siamese twins, hence I have always attempted to separate them before that could occur.

I guess that if Tom decides to wait it out with his twins rather than trying to separate them early on, he will be able to provide us with the answer to that theory.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your insight and experience here. Thank you.

I was all set to separate them, but then I read this part from your previous post:
The trick is doing it at just the right time. IE, when it appears that there is no actual vascular connection, but just fleshy looking tissue.

The whole thing looks highly vascularized, and I'm not sure where to clamp or cut.

My babies usually absorb their yolk sacs in a day or two, and I was hoping this would work itself out.

In the past, any time I've seen any sort of damage or infection in the yolk sac, it results in the death of the baby, so I've been more than a little nervous about messing with it. I will defer to your knowledge and experience here though, if you think I should attempt to separate them.

Here they are today:
IMG_3586.JPG

IMG_3589.JPG
 

zovick

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Hello Tom,

The area still does look fairly vascular. I believe that if you clamp or tie off the red area right in the center to cut off the circulation, the blood vessels will begin to retreat into the abdominal cavities of the respective tortoises and the tissue will begin to dry up. Once that happens, you can cut through the area which then has no blood vessels and separate the babies. If you have a hemostat, clamp right in the center of the vascular area, then wait till tomorrow morning and cut right along the sides of the beak of the hemostat with a scalpel or X-acto knife on either side, leaving the dead tissue in the beak. What you are trying to do in this clamping off process is make sure that there is not a communication of the blood vessels between the two tortoises which could possibly become permanent. It doesn't appear that it will, but I cannot say for certain it would not happen.

It might be that the separation of the two will occur naturally if you do nothing at all, but we don't know that. Certainly you can wait to see if that tissue becomes less vascular looking in another day or two to the point where you dare to cut through it without doing anything to cut off the circulation first.

It's a judgment call for you to make, I would say.
 

HermanniChris

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Congrats Tom. Very cool. As Michaela said, I did successfully separate and begin raising twins. They'll be 2 this fall. Had I known this video would go viral, I would have done a better job on it, however, it does show how we did it and here it is:


The twins are alive and well and even though one is considerably smaller, it thrives and continues to grow.
This is a recent photo:
ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1499083701.403980.jpg
 

cdmay

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Tom....here is a thread from a number of years ago. Sorry about the images---Photobucket is jerking everyone's account around now---
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/cherryhead-triplets.32460/

Anyway, they were successful separated by ligation with catgut and then clipping the yolk-sac membrane. All three survived for several months until I (stupidly) used horticultural moss in their enclosure that had been treated with pesticides.
 

Tom

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What method did you end up going with to separate them?
When the connection reached a thin point, I tied it off with some dental floss in that area. They were separated the next morning. Now, I'm using Vetricin to keep the area from getting infected and I'm cleaning their box twice a day to keep the "germ" load low.

Little Danny is really active and energetic. More than his "normal" counterparts even.
 

Tom

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Bad news. Arnold didn't make it. Don't know what went wrong. Everything looked okay on the outside.

Little Danny continues to look great and seems like he's doing very well.
 

leigti

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Bad news. Arnold didn't make it. Don't know what went wrong. Everything looked okay on the outside.

Little Danny continues to look great and seems like he's doing very well.
Oh no! I'm sorry about that. Are you going to have a necropsy done just to see what went wrong or what the insides were like? I know it would probably be expensive but it would also be very interesting. I'm glad the little one is doing fine.
 

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Aw, that's too bad Tom. Thanks for sharing the experience. Im glad Danny is still looking good.
 

Yvonne G

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That's too bad. I would have expected the smaller one to not make it.
 

Tom

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That's too bad. I would have expected the smaller one to not make it.

Me too. Who knows what was going on the inside.
Oh no! I'm sorry about that. Are you going to have a necropsy done just to see what went wrong or what the insides were like? I know it would probably be expensive but it would also be very interesting. I'm glad the little one is doing fine.

I'm curious too, but not so curious that I'm going to spend hundreds of dollars.
 

Tom

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More sad news. Little Danny didn't make it either.

I'm becoming a bit superstitious about yolk sac issues. Any time I've seen any kind of ulceration or lesion on a yolk sac, the baby dies. Maybe its just unlucky coincidence, but I've had a 100% death rate with this issue. This has happened with one sulcata, one leopard and one russian now, in addition to these egg-mates. I realize that four instances does not make a scientific fact, but from where I'm sitting, yolk sac issues are a death sentence.
 
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