Egg like discharge

Oscar1

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Hi
My 19 year old Herman tortoise passed away last night. She's not been herself the past 10 days or so. Lethargic, not eating, head out stretched on the ground. I bathed her 4 days ago and a large white discharge was excreted. Still wasn't herself after. Bathed her yesterday and a creamy yolk like substance was excreted. Went to sleep as she normally did and sadly found her passed away this morning. I'm heartbroken and think I've done something wrong. She was my little mate 😢
 

wellington

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Sorry for your loss. The first discharge sounds like a hard urate or possibly a bladder stone. The second may have been due to having hard urates or stones which can be caused by dehydration or improper diet.
 

Tom

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Hi
My 19 year old Herman tortoise passed away last night. She's not been herself the past 10 days or so. Lethargic, not eating, head out stretched on the ground. I bathed her 4 days ago and a large white discharge was excreted. Still wasn't herself after. Bathed her yesterday and a creamy yolk like substance was excreted. Went to sleep as she normally did and sadly found her passed away this morning. I'm heartbroken and think I've done something wrong. She was my little mate 😢
The white stuff sounds like urates. Concentrated urates will also sometimes take on a yellow tinge. How often did you soak your tortoise? Did you ever see it drinking on its own?

Did she live alone? Was she living indoors or out? Did she have suitable areas for egg deposition?
 

zolasmum

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Sorry to hear such sad news. 😩 It’s been really hot & dry in your neck of the woods - way beyond normal. Perhaps the drought & heat caught up with her. Regardless the cause, it’s always sad.
lI'm so very sorry - it has been horrible weather for little tortoises - our Zola has been in a strange mood for several days, and his insides seem upset.
Was she your only tortoise? Zola is our only one, and he is 22 - he is very precious to us, and we would be lost without him, so I can understand how you feel.
Perhaps, in time, you will feel ready to have another little friend - in which case, there are people on this forum who can help and advise you
Angie (from Devon)
 

Yvonne G

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I'm really sorry this happened. I doubt you did anything wrong. My first impression was that she had a bladder stone. The only way to know this would have been X-ray. If that was the case, it certainly was NOT your fault. The other thing was maybe she was egg bound and one of the eggs broke inside her. You couldn't have done anything about that either.

Nineteen years,wow! did you have her that long? Were you able to save pictures of her?
 

LeoTheWaywardTortoise

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Hi
My 19 year old Herman tortoise passed away last night. She's not been herself the past 10 days or so. Lethargic, not eating, head out stretched on the ground. I bathed her 4 days ago and a large white discharge was excreted. Still wasn't herself after. Bathed her yesterday and a creamy yolk like substance was excreted. Went to sleep as she normally did and sadly found her passed away this morning. I'm heartbroken and think I've done something wrong. She was my little mate 😢
I’m so sorry for the loss of your baby. We’ve only had our Sulcata, Leo, for eight months but we would be devastated if anything happened to him. Wish I had some words of wisdom, but all I have is deep sympathy and empathy. Again, just so very sorry. 😢❤️‍🩹
 

zolasmum

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What has the weather there been like? What makes it horrible for tortoises? What have the highs and lows been?
It has been extremely hot and very very dry - records have been broken. I think it has been the same in Hull, but I don't know the actual numbers. The tortoise will never have encountered such temperatures, and I know our one is not at all happy about it, so I thought that might have added to the problem.
Angie
 

Tom

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It has been extremely hot and very very dry - records have been broken. I think it has been the same in Hull, but I don't know the actual numbers. The tortoise will never have encountered such temperatures, and I know our one is not at all happy about it, so I thought that might have added to the problem.
Angie
I looked up the weather in Hull going back to July, and the highest of highs said 86F (30C). Does that sound right? Or was it actually much hotter than that? Please forgive my ignorance of your climate, but its one of the places in the world I've never been to and my impression is that it is relatively cold and clammy most of the year, with occasion summer warm spells into the 80sF (27-31C). Am I wrong? Please educate me about your climate. I hate being ignorant!

If that weather data is correct, then it is just barely getting into the comfort zone of a hermanni, with night time lows in the 15-18C range and daytime highs around 30. A little sunning in the cool morning will get them up to operating temps, and then they would likely hide in the shade from the mid day heat and sun. These numbers are how my climate is for 3 months in spring and another 3 months in fall. Our winters see daily highs from 15-32C and lows usually 0-7C over night. Summer is right around 37C every day with occasional hot spells hitting 43-46C for a week at a time, and night time lows usually around 16-18C.

I point all this out to illustrate that your "hot" summer weather, is really ideal weather for this species. You may be acclimated to cooler temperatures, but the tortoises need it warmer.
 

zolasmum

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I suppose I am assuming that if a tortoise was used to our climate then a sudden dramatic change in the weather to what for here in the UK is exceptionally hot would be upsetting. I live in Devon, in the southwest, and I was also assuming the heatwave was affecting Hull - further north,where the tortoise is - in much the same way. Both this tortoise and Zola are 20-ish, so are adapted to uk weather.
Thank you for clarifying all this , anyway - it was just an impression I had, obviously wrongly.
Angie
 

Sarah2020

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I looked up the weather in Hull going back to July, and the highest of highs said 86F (30C). Does that sound right? Or was it actually much hotter than that? Please forgive my ignorance of your climate, but its one of the places in the world I've never been to and my impression is that it is relatively cold and clammy most of the year, with occasion summer warm spells into the 80sF (27-31C). Am I wrong? Please educate me about your climate. I hate being ignorant!

If that weather data is correct, then it is just barely getting into the comfort zone of a hermanni, with night time lows in the 15-18C range and daytime highs around 30. A little sunning in the cool morning will get them up to operating temps, and then they would likely hide in the shade from the mid day heat and sun. These numbers are how my climate is for 3 months in spring and another 3 months in fall. Our winters see daily highs from 15-32C and lows usually 0-7C over night. Summer is right around 37C every day with occasional hot spells hitting 43-46C for a week at a time, and night time lows usually around 16-18C.

I point all this out to illustrate that your "hot" summer weather, is really ideal weather for this species. You may be acclimated to cooler temperatures, but the tortoises need it warmer.
Just to respond......your correct with what you say normally " occasional sunny spells" however 2022 we have had a summer of no rain for months and high temp particularly in the south v's where Hull is in the North. We are now officially in drought with dried up rivers and coconut matting for grass. Our green pastures and fields are brown, basically highly unusual weather. Saying that my russian tortoise has thrived and been exceedingly active and loves going outside. You have to visit blighty (uk) one day :)
 

Oscar1

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Thanks for the replies and kind words. She had constant access to water in her tray. She lived indoors in our conservatory. Would wake up and usually want to go outside which I would let her. (weather permitting) She had access to water in the garden. The first discharge was of a very creamy white texture. The second was very much like an egg yolk. Both of these happened while she was in her bath. She's been having regular baths because of the warm weather. Her favourite food was cucumber. Partly because I used to sit crossed legs on the floor feeding her. She had a varied diet mostly lettuce based.
 

Tom

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I suppose I am assuming that if a tortoise was used to our climate then a sudden dramatic change in the weather to what for here in the UK is exceptionally hot would be upsetting. I live in Devon, in the southwest, and I was also assuming the heatwave was affecting Hull - further north,where the tortoise is - in much the same way. Both this tortoise and Zola are 20-ish, so are adapted to uk weather.
Thank you for clarifying all this , anyway - it was just an impression I had, obviously wrongly.
Angie
I don't think it was wrong. This is something I've pondered for a while. I grew up about 3 miles from what I once saw in a news report as "the best weather on the planet" according to whatever criteria they used to determine this. The weather there was always mild and comfortable year round, but I didn't know it was 'the best". Well my career now takes me all over thew world, and I moved north from my coastal town up into the high desert. Summers by the beach were warm and comfortable. Summers up here where I am now are like living in an oven during the day. I've acclimated and adapted. I did a job in DesMoines Iowa in December and January a few years back with temps ranging from -18C to - 13C most days. I had seldom encountered temperature like that ever I my life. Within two days I was acclimated. I was walking to restaurants near my hotel in shorts and tennis shoes, with a heavy winter jacket. There was one day while I was there where the temperature kept getting warmer and warmer I kept taking off layers until I was down to a T shirt and sweating profusely. I finally looked at a thermometer and it was all the way up to -5C. I had gotten used to -18C and -5C was roasting hot to me on that day.

My point is that people certainly acclimate and get used to their local weather, but I've always wondered if tortoises and other reptiles can do that. I'm inclined to think not. They need whatever temp they need to function. We can make more or less heat depending on climate. They can't. They can either get warm enough with ambient temp and some sunshine, or they can't. At least that's my perception of how they work. I don't think they can "get used to" cooler temps and function that way, but I've wondered if I'm wrong about this. My tortoises change their basking and activity patterns throughout the year to accommodate the outside temperatures, but it doesn't seem like they get used to it being warmer or cooler. They just bask more in winter, and hang out in heavy shade more in summer.

What have you observed there? I've always wondered about this.
 

zolasmum

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I don't have the sort of experience you have with tortoises - mine is based on just one 22year old Hermann's tortoise - but he is closely observed and we spend a lot of time with him. When it gets really hot (by our standards) he seems to become agitated - he runs around frantically, in a mood we call "I don't know what I want, but I want it NOW " !!!
He also tends to have runnier poop than usual. He eats much as normal, but his behaviour in general is different.
He has a couple of "love objects" which he gets very excited about sometimes,at any time of year, but this is something different.
Angie
 

Lyn W

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What has the weather there been like? What makes it horrible for tortoises? What have the highs and lows been?
Our weather patterns are changing drastically due to climate change and some areas have declared drought this summer because it's the driest spring and summer for 50 years.

Wales used to be wet all year around but we've had red extreme heat warnings for the last 4 or 5 days. The temps in my sun trap of a garden hit 128.4F yesterday and even at night the temps haven't been dropping much below 73F. Thankfully we should be back to daytime highs in the 70s now. This is the second time a 'heatwave' like this has hit us in about a month. Not what we're used to in the UK.
My leopard didn't spend as long as usual outside basking or even on the shade, he kept going back to his room, so I think he found it too hot.
 
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Lyn W

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I am sorry to hear about your tort, it may be too late and I don't want to give you false hope but if you haven't buried her keep soaking her for a while as sometime torts can go into a coma like state. It's pretty rare but it has happened that a tort has revived.

If you decide to give a home to another then please keep in touch with TFO and we can point you in the right direction for a carehseet that covers the best diet, and living conditions etc
 

Tom

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Our weather patterns are changing drastically due to climate change and some areas have declared drought this summer because it's the driest spring and summer for 50 years.

Wales used to be wet all year around but we've had red extreme heat warnings for the last 4 or 5 days. The temps in my sun trap of a garden hit 128.4F yesterday and even at night the temps haven't been dropping much below 73F. Thankfully we should be back to daytime highs in the 70s now. This is the second time a 'heatwave' like this has hit us in about a month. Not what we're used to in the UK.
My leopard didn't spend as long as usual outside basking or even on the shade, he kept going back to his room, so I think he found it too hot.
What was the high temp on that hot day? I mean ambient daytime high, not surface temp or temps in the sun. When we watch the news here it always tells us the expected highs and lows. Or when we look up the weather on one of several weather web sites or apps. Do they not do that in the UK?

Driest spring in 50 years due to climate change? Was it due to climate change 50 years ago when the previous record was set?
 

Oscar1

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I am sorry to hear about your tort, it may be too late and I don't want to give you false hope but if you haven't buried her keep soaking her for a while as sometime torts can go into a coma like state. It's pretty rare but it has happened that a tort has revived.

If you decide to give a home to another then please keep in touch with TFO and we can point you in the right direction for a carehseet that covers the best diet, and living conditions etc
Hi
I buried her this morning. She was very stiff when I said my last goodbye to her. My house and garden doesn't feel the same without her. Absolutely heartbroken. She was my little mate
 

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