Elderly tortoise id

conor5

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Hi, hope this is the right place for this, my family pet tortoise is (presumably) old and dying :( and going to be euthanised this week unless anything changes, but today someone asked me what species he is and I realised I don't know. So was wondering if anyone could give it a shot at which species you believe he is from these pictures. I have an idea of what he is based on looking online at pictures and descriptions, but I won't say what my hunch is just to not maybe influence what you see and see if my guess was correct. (By the way don't actually know he's a male, just has always been that way to us and also has a big tail which I read was a male dimorphism in tortoises ages ago)

Heres a few pictures of Fred and a video of him eating before he was as sick:
IMG_20210728_172615424.jpg
IMG_20210728_172634162.jpg
IMG_20210728_172715635_MP.jpg
IMG_20210728_172738424.jpg

Thanks for your help!
 

Yvonne G

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I'm going to GUESS a very old Hermanns.

So sorry to hear he can't be cured.
 

TaylorTortoise

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Hi, hope this is the right place for this, my family pet tortoise is (presumably) old and dying :( and going to be euthanised this week unless anything changes, but today someone asked me what species he is and I realised I don't know. So was wondering if anyone could give it a shot at which species you believe he is from these pictures. I have an idea of what he is based on looking online at pictures and descriptions, but I won't say what my hunch is just to not maybe influence what you see and see if my guess was correct. (By the way don't actually know he's a male, just has always been that way to us and also has a big tail which I read was a male dimorphism in tortoises ages ago)

Heres a few pictures of Fred and a video of him eating before he was as sick:
View attachment 329953
View attachment 329954
View attachment 329955
View attachment 329956

Thanks for your help!
I am so sorry :(
I do see redness on his plastron which could arise to be some sort of infection possibly of the organs.
I assume you have had your tort for quite some time now?
How is his enclosure set up? Any changes to anything? Daily soaks and correct diet?
 

Sarah2020

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Fred looks lovely and what a great shell. He appears to have been looked after over the years. Sorry if he is sick and end is near.
 

conor5

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I'm going to GUESS a very old Hermanns.

So sorry to hear he can't be cured.
Looks like you've got an eastern Hermann's tortoise, Testudo hermanni boettgeri
Thank you! Yes this is what I actually guessed, he looked just like the 'Dalmatian tortoise' variant of T.h. boettgeri as I saw here (https://www.hermannihaven.com/comparing-hermann-s-tortoise-subspe), when he was healthier I'm glad you came to the same conclusion! And thanks for your condolences Yvonne.

I am so sorry :(
I do see redness on his plastron which could arise to be some sort of infection possibly of the organs.
I assume you have had your tort for quite some time now?
How is his enclosure set up? Any changes to anything? Daily soaks and correct diet?
Thank you for your care, yes he has an infection of some kind, gunky eyes and spewing liquid from his mouth/nose were the main things noticed. He woke up several times this last winter so I assume he had it back then even, and hasn't had a proper appetite since then.

We've only had him around 7 years actually, given to us from an very elderly couple who had him, and apparently found him on a drain around 1978 so he's of unknown age aha.

His enclosure is just a dog kennel (for a small dog) with straw laid down which he wonders in and out of and he's in the garden much of the day, until recently now he doesn't venture far from it's doorway :( I don't know if would be worth keeping him inside for a bit but the weather hasn't been bad? And I do soak him once or twice daily yeah, but he hasn't eaten anything for over a month now as far as we've seen. He's had 3 rounds of antibiotics but only the 1st one had much effect.
 

Yvonne G

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Have you had X-Rays to rule out bladder/kidney stones?
 

Sarah2020

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Just as a suggestion when you soak him you could add some mashed up soft carrot to see if he will take any food. Good luck with Fred
 

conor5

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Fred looks lovely and what a great shell. He appears to have been looked after over the years. Sorry if he is sick and end is near.
Oh thank you :) nice to hear as he's a bit insecure about his looks since the neighbours' shiny tortoises came over showing off and stuff. Thank you for your well wishes
 

Yvonne G

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Oh thank you :) nice to hear as he's a bit insecure about his looks since the neighbours' shiny tortoises came over showing off and stuff. Thank you for your well wishes
I hate to say it, but your neighbor's shiny tortoises may be the reason old Fred is sick. Not a good idea to allow a tortoise who has lived alone for years come in contact with other tortoises. . . especially different species.
 

conor5

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Just as a suggestion when you soak him you could add some mashed up soft carrot to see if he will take any food. Good luck with Fred
Coconut oil can shine him up to boost his street cred.
Ooh ill try the mashed carrot (he used to love carrot) and also get him nice and blinged up thank you :p

Have you had X-Rays to rule out bladder/kidney stones?
Unfortunately getting him X-rayed would require a reptile specialist, which costs too much for us as it's £200 for a first meeting, but I think the spewing liquid from his mouth may rule it out anyway. Infact didn't mention he had some snotty stuff coming out of his nostrils like he had a runny nose for a while too.
 

Sarah2020

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The nose excrete can be that he is cold. Maybe he needs warming up.
Here is the care sheet that may provide some advise.

 

conor5

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I hate to say it, but your neighbor's shiny tortoises may be the reason old Fred is sick. Not a good idea to allow a tortoise who has lived alone for years come in contact with other tortoises. . . especially different species.
Oh he was sick already when he met them, but I didn't ever consider that actually, woops :/ probably didn't help... will bear that in mind for the future, it makes sense of course. And silly to put the healthy tortoises with sick Fred too now that I think of it :s. Luckily was only a short visit as they didn't get on very well as they were too boisterous.
 

TeamZissou

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Thank you! Yes this is what I actually guessed, he looked just like the 'Dalmatian tortoise' variant of T.h. boettgeri as I saw here (https://www.hermannihaven.com/comparing-hermann-s-tortoise-subspe), when he was healthier I'm glad you came to the same conclusion! And thanks for your condolences Yvonne.


Thank you for your care, yes he has an infection of some kind, gunky eyes and spewing liquid from his mouth/nose were the main things noticed. He woke up several times this last winter so I assume he had it back then even, and hasn't had a proper appetite since then.

We've only had him around 7 years actually, given to us from an very elderly couple who had him, and apparently found him on a drain around 1978 so he's of unknown age aha.

His enclosure is just a dog kennel (for a small dog) with straw laid down which he wonders in and out of and he's in the garden much of the day, until recently now he doesn't venture far from it's doorway :( I don't know if would be worth keeping him inside for a bit but the weather hasn't been bad? And I do soak him once or twice daily yeah, but he hasn't eaten anything for over a month now as far as we've seen. He's had 3 rounds of antibiotics but only the 1st one had much effect.

Yes it's hard to tell if it's Dalmatian vs Eastern sometimes. A shot of the rear leg area, between the carapace and plastron, to check for the absence or presence of the ingunial scute would help.
 

TaylorTortoise

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Your tort needs to be in an enclosure, not a dog crate. Please provide heat lamps if you do not already provide inside. Needs daily soaks, clean water and food dish fresh food always, fresh water, make sure he is pooping and peeing of course to make sure there is no impaction. Try to make these adjustments. I would keep your tort indoors monitored in an enclosure with good heat source, and fresh substrate not straw/hay. Please make adjustments. provide a hide on one side and a basking spot for the warm side. This should help with the runny nose discharge of the mouth. Sounds like a human congestion cold if you ask me!
 

conor5

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Your tort needs to be in an enclosure, not a dog crate. Please provide heat lamps if you do not already provide inside. Needs daily soaks, clean water and food dish fresh food always, fresh water, make sure he is pooping and peeing of course to make sure there is no impaction. Try to make these adjustments. I would keep your tort indoors monitored in an enclosure with good heat source, and fresh substrate not straw/hay. Please make adjustments. provide a hide on one side and a basking spot for the warm side. This should help with the runny nose discharge of the mouth. Sounds like a human congestion cold if you ask me!

Thank you for your suggestions, I will try to take it on board thank you. I do offer him fresh food every day and left with him if he doesn't take but yea he hasn't eaten in over a month like I say :/ (also give him soak and water too). Unfortunately cannot move him inside unless he could be kept at room temp, which I'm reading isn't warm enough anyway.

Tbh I believe the dog kennel (wooden kennel, not a crate) is ok because he can wonder in and out of it and all across the garden, with natural substrate, light and heat, and the inside of dog house is sheltered for night and rain. I am trying to find a spot heat lamp for the dog house like you suggest probably will get a lamp for mornings and cold days and one for nights?

https://www.reptiles.swelluk.com/swell-basking-heat-lamps-screw-fitting/
https://www.reptiles.swelluk.com/swell-nightglow-heat-spot-lamp/

Biggest problem is getting the electricity out there to a lamp holder. Will probably try a waterproof extension reel I think.

I will try see about getting nicer substrate from my local petshop too thanks!
 

Buckeye Girl

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He has a dog house outside? Is it store bought or did you make it? That is a good idea. My guy has a cave right now that he hangs out in outside, but it won't work in winter. I could easily winterize a dog house for him and it would be CUTE! Do you have pix? Details?
 

MenagerieGrl

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Since he is on antibiotic's, you might inquire if there is another type of antibiotic. What ever is affecting him, might have a resistance to the biotic he is currently getting. Just a thought....
 

maureen allenza

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Thank you! Yes this is what I actually guessed, he looked just like the 'Dalmatian tortoise' variant of T.h. boettgeri as I saw here (https://www.hermannihaven.com/comparing-hermann-s-tortoise-subspe), when he was healthier I'm glad you came to the same conclusion! And thanks for your condolences Yvonne.


Thank you for your care, yes he has an infection of some kind, gunky eyes and spewing liquid from his mouth/nose were the main things noticed. He woke up several times this last winter so I assume he had it back then even, and hasn't had a proper appetite since then.

We've only had him around 7 years actually, given to us from an very elderly couple who had him, and apparently found him on a drain around 1978 so he's of unknown age aha.

His enclosure is just a dog kennel (for a small dog) with straw laid down which he wonders in and out of and he's in the garden much of the day, until recently now he doesn't venture far from it's doorway :( I don't know if would be worth keeping him inside for a bit but the weather hasn't been bad? And I do soak him once or twice daily yeah, but he hasn't eaten anything for over a month now as far as we've seen. He's had 3 rounds of antibiotics but only the 1st one had much effect.
 
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