Has my tortoise died?

JW088

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Can someone please help me. My tortoise has recently become inactive which I thought was him going into hibernation but I’m starting to think he has unfortunately died but im not sure if he is dead or if he is in hibernation. His legs have gone limp and his eyes have sunken in and the bottom of his shell has turned red. Please can someone tell me if he’s alive or not. Thanks
 

TechnoCheese

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I'm sorry, it sounds like he's passed. If he starts to smell, you'll know for sure, but the sunken eyes and limp legs usually mean they're dead.

Do you know what happened? If not, would you like for use to try to help figure it out?
 

TammyJ

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I would like to know why this tortoise died too, we should try to find out for future reference. There is another death similar to this posted here too, with a marginated tortoise.
 

JW088

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I'm sorry, it sounds like he's passed. If he starts to smell, you'll know for sure, but the sunken eyes and limp legs usually mean they're dead.

Do you know what happened? If not, would you like for use to try to help figure it out?
I have no idea how he has passed. Last Sunday he was awake and started to bury himself which I thought was for hibernation then a few days ago I stroked his leg to see if he would respond to touch and he moved then I checked him again today and he was cold, limp and his eyes were sunken in. What I really don’t understand is why the bottom of his shell has turned red. If you have any theories I would really appreciate.
 

TechnoCheese

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I have no idea how he has passed. Last Sunday he was awake and started to bury himself which I thought was for hibernation then a few days ago I stroked his leg to see if he would respond to touch and he moved then I checked him again today and he was cold, limp and his eyes were sunken in. What I really don’t understand is why the bottom of his shell has turned red. If you have any theories I would really appreciate.
When it happens while they're alive, a red plastron is a symptom of septicemia. I don't know the specific reason it happens after death, but I'm sure someone here does.

What species is he? What were your enclosure temperatures like? Basking, cool side, night, etc. What kind of heating element(s) were you using? What were you feeding? Could we get a picture of the enclosure?
 

JW088

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When it happens while they're alive, a red plastron is a symptom of septicemia. I don't know the specific reason it happens after death, but I'm sure someone here does.

What species is he? What were your enclosure temperatures like? Basking, cool side, night, etc. What kind of heating element(s) were you using? What were you feeding? Could we get a picture of the enclosure?
When it happens while they're alive, a red plastron is a symptom of septicemia. I don't know the specific reason it happens after death, but I'm sure someone here does.

What species is he? What were your enclosure temperatures like? Basking, cool side, night, etc. What kind of heating element(s) were you using? What were you feeding? Could we get a picture of the enclosure?
What is septicemia and would it have been a painful way for my tortoise to die?
 

TechnoCheese

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What is septicemia and would it have been a painful way for my tortoise to die?
Septicemia is a blood infection, and yes, it is painful. On this forum, I have generally seen it caused by food rotting in the tortoise's digestive tract because they are too cold to digest it, often when the tortoise has no heat source. If you share some information about how this tortoise was being kept, it would help us narrow things down.

However, I think that plastrons may also turn red after death, maybe due to decomposition. I have not actually seen many dead tortoises myself and I am not as confident as I would like to be on this, so I would want a second opinion.
 

JW088

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Septicemia is a blood infection, and yes, it is painful. On this forum, I have generally seen it caused by food rotting in the tortoise's digestive tract because they are too cold to digest it, often when the tortoise has no heat source. If you share some information about how this tortoise was being kept, it would help us narrow things down.

However, I think that plastrons may also turn red after death, maybe due to decomposition. I have not actually seen many dead tortoises myself and I am not as confident as I would like to be on this, so I would want a second opinion.
I have sent a picture of where he was kept taken last week before he had become inactive.
 

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TechnoCheese

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I have sent a picture of where he was kept taken last week before he had become inactive.
What species of tortoise is he? My guess would be Marginated or some kind of Greek, but it's a bit difficult to tell just from that picture. Did you get him as a hatchling, and how long did you have him?
His shell looks a little odd in that picture, like he has metabolic bone disease. It's difficult to tell from that picture and could be the angle, though.
What were you using to heat the enclosure, and what was the basking temperature? Did you have a UVB light or ever allow him access to sunlight?
Your enclosure is very small and the substrate is not suitable, but those two things alone, unless he ate the substrate and became impacted, would probably not have caused his death.
 

KarenSoCal

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Were you soaking him on a daily basis? I'm wondering if he was able to drink from that water dish. The sides are too high and too steep. Tortoises don't bend in the middle, so "up and over" actions are very difficult for them.
 
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