Dead baby tortoise

tglazie

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Hi guys,

Long time no post. Sorry about that. Life has been rather difficult as of late. Not really interested in getting into it.

I have a bit of a conundrum. One of my radiated tortoises passed away suddenly last night. Blood has been pouring from her nose and mouth today, 12 hours following her passing, and it maintains a sticky consistency, like half congealed super glue. She wasn't a small beast, 5 inches SCL, born in August of 2015. She's always been a shy thing, but ate well enough, drank water during her twice daily soaks. Yesterday, she didn't eat, went straight to her shelter, and when I pulled her indoors, she appeared to be struggling for breath. I figured she may have just had a hard day. I checked her nares to ensure nothing was blocking them, and they seemed clean. I was going to call the vet for an emergency visit this morning, but she was already dead.

Given the quick onset, I'm wondering if this could be intranuclear coccidiosis. I'm also wondering if I have anything to worry about with the others. I'm also uncertain as to how she might have contracted this disease, given that I maintain my animals in isolation. Necropsy is scheduled for later this week. I took a look at the blood and mucus under a microscope and didn't see anything unusual, but I don't really have training for this sort of thing. I mean, sure, I can identify worms in a fecal smear, but that's about it. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.

T.G.
 

Maro2Bear

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Sorry to hear this sad news. Was your tort outside in a contained enclosure or roaming freely in a large pen/run.? Is it possible something blew in & was eaten...—> food poisoning. ?
 

iAmCentrochelys sulcata

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Hi guys,

Long time no post. Sorry about that. Life has been rather difficult as of late. Not really interested in getting into it.

I have a bit of a conundrum. One of my radiated tortoises passed away suddenly last night. Blood has been pouring from her nose and mouth today, 12 hours following her passing, and it maintains a sticky consistency, like half congealed super glue. She wasn't a small beast, 5 inches SCL, born in August of 2015. She's always been a shy thing, but ate well enough, drank water during her twice daily soaks. Yesterday, she didn't eat, went straight to her shelter, and when I pulled her indoors, she appeared to be struggling for breath. I figured she may have just had a hard day. I checked her nares to ensure nothing was blocking them, and they seemed clean. I was going to call the vet for an emergency visit this morning, but she was already dead.

Given the quick onset, I'm wondering if this could be intranuclear coccidiosis. I'm also wondering if I have anything to worry about with the others. I'm also uncertain as to how she might have contracted this disease, given that I maintain my animals in isolation. Necropsy is scheduled for later this week. I took a look at the blood and mucus under a microscope and didn't see anything unusual, but I don't really have training for this sort of thing. I mean, sure, I can identify worms in a fecal smear, but that's about it. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.

T.G.
hope you feel better.
 

jmaneyapanda

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Jul 14, 2012
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Hi guys,

Long time no post. Sorry about that. Life has been rather difficult as of late. Not really interested in getting into it.

I have a bit of a conundrum. One of my radiated tortoises passed away suddenly last night. Blood has been pouring from her nose and mouth today, 12 hours following her passing, and it maintains a sticky consistency, like half congealed super glue. She wasn't a small beast, 5 inches SCL, born in August of 2015. She's always been a shy thing, but ate well enough, drank water during her twice daily soaks. Yesterday, she didn't eat, went straight to her shelter, and when I pulled her indoors, she appeared to be struggling for breath. I figured she may have just had a hard day. I checked her nares to ensure nothing was blocking them, and they seemed clean. I was going to call the vet for an emergency visit this morning, but she was already dead.

Given the quick onset, I'm wondering if this could be intranuclear coccidiosis. I'm also wondering if I have anything to worry about with the others. I'm also uncertain as to how she might have contracted this disease, given that I maintain my animals in isolation. Necropsy is scheduled for later this week. I took a look at the blood and mucus under a microscope and didn't see anything unusual, but I don't really have training for this sort of thing. I mean, sure, I can identify worms in a fecal smear, but that's about it. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.

T.G.
A rapid bleeding from the nose and mose that was not black, digested blood would indicate some ulcering in the esophageal canal. Id be concerned soemthign toxic was ingested.
 
L

LasTortugasNinja

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Sounds like a poisoning to me as well. could the neighbors have put out rat poisoning that she got into?
 

zovick

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Is there any possibility the tortoise got extremely overheated in the sun? That might result in the signs you described.

Has the tortoise been defecating normally? Another possibility might be some type of gastric or intestinal blockage, impaction, or puncture. I once had a gorgeous 10" male Radiated Tortoise die within a 24 hour period for no apparent reason. Necropsy on him revealed that he had ingested a twist tie which must have been in the trimmings of greens I was getting free from my local grocery store and using as a filler food during the winter. That was the last week I ever took "greens trimmings" from any stores.

I also once lost a very beautiful female Indian Star Tortoise whom I noticed was not eating one day and turned up dead the next day. Necropsy on her dumbfounded me. Her gut was entirely filled with the Aspen Bedding substrate which I had been using at that time for my Star Tortoises. There were no food items anywhere in her entire gut, it was just jam packed with aspen shavings. I had never seen that tortoise eat even one bite of those shavings, either. None of the other tortoises ever showed signs of problems with those shavings, but needless to say, I took them off the shavings the day I learned the necropsy results and never used Aspen Bedding for anything but my snakes again.

If none of the above problems are to blame, INC would be my next guess. It comes on suddenly as you described and kills the animal(s) in a few days or even less sometimes. Very difficult to treat also. Keep an eye on your others to see if any of them seem lethargic or stop eating in the next 24 hours or so. One of my friends lost his entire group of Radiated Tortoises in about ten days or two weeks due to INC. Hopefully this same thing will not happen to you and your group.

Good luck and very sorry to hear about the problem.

Bill Z
 

Yvonne G

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Any bleeding, oozing, etc. that happens after the animal has died can not be attributed to what caused the death. As the animal decomposes, gasses form inside and the pressure causes the blood, etc.

Please let us know the necropsy results. We learn from this, and from posts like Zovick's above.
 

Tom

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@tglazie , I missed this thread earlier this week. Poisoning, or ingestion of a venomous insect or foreign body would be my first guess.

So very sad that you lost such a magnificent animal, but I hope its not anything contagious. Please let us know what the necropsy reveals.
 

Tom

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Is there any possibility the tortoise got extremely overheated in the sun? That might result in the signs you described.

Has the tortoise been defecating normally? Another possibility might be some type of gastric or intestinal blockage, impaction, or puncture. I once had a gorgeous 10" male Radiated Tortoise die within a 24 hour period for no apparent reason. Necropsy on him revealed that he had ingested a twist tie which must have been in the trimmings of greens I was getting free from my local grocery store and using as a filler food during the winter. That was the last week I ever took "greens trimmings" from any stores.

I also once lost a very beautiful female Indian Star Tortoise whom I noticed was not eating one day and turned up dead the next day. Necropsy on her dumbfounded me. Her gut was entirely filled with the Aspen Bedding substrate which I had been using at that time for my Star Tortoises. There were no food items anywhere in her entire gut, it was just jam packed with aspen shavings. I had never seen that tortoise eat even one bite of those shavings, either. None of the other tortoises ever showed signs of problems with those shavings, but needless to say, I took them off the shavings the day I learned the necropsy results and never used Aspen Bedding for anything but my snakes again.

If none of the above problems are to blame, INC would be my next guess. It comes on suddenly as you described and kills the animal(s) in a few days or even less sometimes. Very difficult to treat also. Keep an eye on your others to see if any of them seem lethargic or stop eating in the next 24 hours or so. One of my friends lost his entire group of Radiated Tortoises in about ten days or two weeks due to INC. Hopefully this same thing will not happen to you and your group.

Good luck and very sorry to hear about the problem.

Bill Z
Thank you for all this insight Mr. Z. Frankly, I'm not sure how this sort of thing doesn't happen more often. A lot more often. I'll bet that it does, but that few people pay for a necropsy. I can't imagine NOT having a necropsy done for any unexplained death, but the sentiment I've heard is that the animal is already dead, so why spend a bunch more money on it? I suppose that logic works if you have only one tortoise, and are never planing on ever having another one.
 

tglazie

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Hello everyone,

Apologies for the late reply. Here's an update.

Ingestion of a foreign body was the culprit. Evidently a bread tie ended up in some of the topsoil I'd aged up to spread over the chicory in their enclosure. Probably got into the mix with mulch processing (people leave all sorts of things in mulch pickups, turnsout, even string, twisty ties, zip ties, all manner of binding for trellises and what have you), and me keeping it on the north end of my property for three years didn't allow enough time for it's erosion. Sometimes it's the one in a million that comes around, and the little baby doesn't know any better.

So, from this point forth, I'm sifting all of my topsoil and fine mulch through a quarter inch mesh, help weed out the possibility of such pollutants. I will sift this down further in the case of any soil added to the baby tortoise enclosures. Things like this make me wonder why I don't acquire more land and just periodically rent a mulcher, make a big pile in some partial shade, au naturale. Damn. A real haymaker there.

T.G.
 

Hutsie B

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So sorry you lost your tortoise. It sounds like you did everything right and it is just a fluke. I hope the rest of your tortoises are ok. again, sorry to hear the loss of your beautiful tortoise.
 

Pastel Tortie

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Hello everyone,

Apologies for the late reply. Here's an update.

Ingestion of a foreign body was the culprit. Evidently a bread tie ended up in some of the topsoil I'd aged up to spread over the chicory in their enclosure. Probably got into the mix with mulch processing (people leave all sorts of things in mulch pickups, turnsout, even string, twisty ties, zip ties, all manner of binding for trellises and what have you), and me keeping it on the north end of my property for three years didn't allow enough time for it's erosion. Sometimes it's the one in a million that comes around, and the little baby doesn't know any better.

So, from this point forth, I'm sifting all of my topsoil and fine mulch through a quarter inch mesh, help weed out the possibility of such pollutants. I will sift this down further in the case of any soil added to the baby tortoise enclosures. Things like this make me wonder why I don't acquire more land and just periodically rent a mulcher, make a big pile in some partial shade, au naturale. Damn. A real haymaker there.

T.G.
I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing the findings. It's a good reminder that we all need to be more conscientious and more careful. My household go through any potential substrate very carefully, but I think we will be even more careful and vigilant in the future.

I'm thinking now of an office intern I knew years ago, who painstakingly removed every single staple from every single document she put in the recycling bin... Never anything asked of her, she did it on her own. Right now I'm wishing we had more people like her. She'd make an awesome tortoise keeper.
 

enchilada

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now i am scared... im gonna dump all my home depot mulch substrates and switch to coconut coir
 
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