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Don't you think it's weird? We can put a man on the moon, but we can't sex a young Aldabra.

Discussion in 'Aldabra tortoises' started by TortyDxb, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. TortyDxb

    TortyDxb Active Member

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    I mean, there must be some physical signs .... some behavioural, some chemical indicators...

    I can't believe we haven't got a full light on this, and many other things (like the deep ocean), yet we are out there in space.
    wellington and ALDABRAMAN like this.
  2. orv

    orv Well-Known Member

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    Oh . . . I'd wager that Contesting is possible. Can you afford to wait? Unless you are a breeder, what does it matter? Enjoy your friend and per, regardless of it's gender.
  3. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    Until we can develop X-ray vision, to be able to see through the shell to see if there's a penis, we just have to wait and see.
  4. zovick

    zovick Well-Known Member

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    Young tortoises CAN be sexed. The procedure is called endoscopy. It is best done by a veterinarian who has been specially trained to use an endoscope. Briefly, a small incision is made in the rear leg socket and a tiny fiber optic cable with a light is inserted into the body cavity. The vet maneuvers the tip of the cable around so that the testes or ovaries of the tortoise can be viewed on the screen of the endoscope. At that point, a picture can be taken to preserve the image and the pictures are often given to the tortoise owner on a CD.

    Here is an example of what is received from a good veterinary endoscopy procedure:

    Attached Files:

  5. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    @zovick beat me to it…

    There was an excellent presentation on this procedure at the TTPG conference two years ago. The vet showed many examples and thoroughly explained the whole process.

    One of our members here bought two Aldabras that were surgically sexed. One of them died a couple of months later due to septicemia. Done correctly, this procedure is safe the vast majority of the time, but it is not without risk.
  6. zovick

    zovick Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure the septicemia in the Aldabra arose from the endoscopy and not some other unrelated problem? Two months post-op seems like quite a long time later for that to occur.

    Regardless of the exact cause of that incident related above by Tom, there is always risk involved in any surgical procedure; infection, as Tom mentioned, or a bad reaction to or even a failure to come out of the anesthesia, since most vets I know anesthetize the tortoises for doing this procedure. The safest thing to do is simply wait and see what sex a tortoise may be when it matures, but many humans are not blessed with the patience of Job and want virtually instant gratification. Additionally, endoscopy can save a person the heartbreak of buying and growing up 5 or 6 tortoises to adulthood and ending up with all the same sex as happened to me back in the early days with my Radiated Tortoises.

    As an additional note, Dr. Steve Divers, the veterinarian who literally "wrote the book" on chelonian endoscopy, always gives the tortoises an antibiotic injection when the procedure is completed as a precaution against infections, plus keeps them under observation at the animal hospital for three days before releasing them back to their owners.
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  7. orv

    orv Well-Known Member

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    How do I edit my post
  8. kingsley

    kingsley Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi Bill , Tom is referring to a group of young Aldabra that I got in 2014 from a dealer/ importer/broker in Florida, they were supposed to be surgically sexed 2males and a larger female microchipped etc etc with the best warranty in the business!! The so called female died within 4 weeks of arrival, finicky appetite and aloof. Upon necropsy , the entire body cavity was full of peritonitis!! I still have the CD from the Necropsy. The Vet involved (well known Herp Vet in phoenix) suspected the surgical procedure done over seas as cause. The advanced infection would have taken every bit of 4 weeks or more to reach its stage. I gave the dealer every opportunity to correct the situation but he never did. He wanted more money for the replacement than the original purchase price , that didnt make any sense!! Further to add insult to injury , he accused me of wrong doing as far as husbandry, and when i questioned his warranty, evasive, and full of excuses!! The other two Aldabra are still under my care and they are thriving ,well over 100 lbs each (they were just 7 lbs each when i got them in April 2014 )and under the best of care!! And they are supposed to be surgically sexed males!!! But from the look of things one looks FEMALE!!! Go figure!!
    I will never do business with this person / outfit ever again!! Its a small world out there !! and the US Tortoise community is even smaller and close knit.

    Please note the sexing of the Aldabra group purchased by me was done over seas!!! We have the Best Vets here in the USA and I have the utmost confidence in them. I will be taking my Young Galapagos group that I got a few weeks ago to one in El Paso Texas shortly.
  9. kingsley

    kingsley Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    FYI I am a valid CBW holder for Galapagos Tortoises here in Arizona , and the tortoises will be taken across the Arizona/ Texas border for the sole purpose of surgical sexing and returned back to the Arizona address on file. My Galapagos tortoises came from a reputable breeder in Florida, and I am very happy with them thus far.
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  10. RafaelEspinoza

    RafaelEspinoza New Member

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    How long until a tortoise gender can be identified?
  11. kingsley

    kingsley Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    It becomes obvious at around 27 inches straight carapace length, The tails begin to drop and the overall shape becomes more elongated on the males. I was also informed that males tend to have more scales on the tail (17-19) and the females around 12.
    I am not aware of any scientific data that supports this , and any expert opinion is most welcome on this subject. @ALDABRAMAN ??
    ALDABRAMAN likes this.
  12. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    It is different for different species, and for different individuals within a species. It has more to do with size than age, so that is also a factor.

    What species are you inquiring about?
  13. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    ~ So sorry, i have gotten several communications regarding customers from he same source with a multitude of issues and concerns. I will go no further, once again very sorry for your loss.
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  14. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    ~ I have heard the same, however never made any effort to validate this theory with any of ours.
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  15. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    ~ There are, however many simply do not spend enough time observing and/or do no have the proper environment to observe the differences.
  16. mike taylor

    mike taylor Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    You would think they could be sexed through the cloaca .
  17. RafaelEspinoza

    RafaelEspinoza New Member

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    A hermann tortoise. Idk but that fact not knowing his/ her gender is parts of the joy of owing one. But like how lomg would i have to wait to know for sure. I think he she is about 2 months old. Im not 100 percent sure. 20171209_174911_Film4.jpg
  18. WithLisa

    WithLisa Well-Known Member

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    It really depends on how they are kept (food, temperatures,...)
    My Hermanns are hibernating a few months every year just like they would in the wild, so I won't be able to sex them until they are at least 4-5 years old.
    But with heat 24/7 and lots of cat food it may only take a few months.
  19. RafaelEspinoza

    RafaelEspinoza New Member

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    Wait they can eat cat food? What other food can they eat lol never know that
  20. kingsley

    kingsley Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I apologize I was thinking we were talking Aldabra!!! agree with Tom on the subject in general all species.
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