Hatching dies after three days

Lynn_123

New Member
Joined
May 31, 2020
Messages
1
Location (City and/or State)
Lincoln
Hi everyone, first of all I would to say I'm sorry, im a new tortosie keeper, my husband had one for a little while years ago but it was stolen. So we know a little bit but not experts and I'm probably going to say some stupid newbie stuff, or have missed huge red flags. The bottom line is that our baby tortoise died, we are devastated, and just want some advice on what could have happened and if we could have done anything wrong. We are currently feeling like the breeder is bullying us into thinking we did something wrong but we think the tortoise may have come to us sick. also sorry this is really long...

My husband picked up the tortoise from the store (the owner of this reptile store breeds her own). It's a 5.5 week old redfoot. I had been talking with the owner for a a few weeks and she knew he was coming but not at the store to handle the sale of the tortosie. We needed a few things as well (bedding, light fixtures, UV and heat bulbs and calcium) we had hides and a tub and a thermometer at home. The employee sold my husband a coil UV, when I got home and notices we both knew it was wrong and we're going to buy one of long ones instead in a few days. Onelce arriving home, the tortosie was soaked in warm water for 20 minutes. Then out in his enclosure, we put him on his food dish with some spring greens and a small bit of raspberry, he vomited yellow bile like stuff. We did a Google search and boiled it down to stress we did not call the store because they were closed. Over the next few days we could not get the tortoise to eat anything, it never peed or pooped. We soaked it twice a day for 20-30 minutes. The low side was 75-78 and the hot was 98 and right under the center was 100. The humidity was at 70. We never saw our tortoise basking under the heat, he always wanted to hide or be in his water. He did have a shallow water dish with fresh clean water available to him 24 hours a day. On the morning of day three without him eating we contacted the breeder who told us it was too hot, we moved the heat lamp up higher my husband also returned to the store to pick up some tortoise pellets that I guess they were supposed to give us when we picked him up. At this time the staff member also admitted to maybe giving us the wrong uv bulb but also didn't send my husband home with anything In it's place. When he arrived home he found the tortoise in the place as when he left (gone for about an hour) inside it's shell, he put the food out and left it, when I came home an hour later we checked and it was still like that and unresponsive. We tried soaking him in nice warm water for a long time but still nothing. At this point we sent a message to the breeder and didn't hear back until late the following morning. We believed that the tortoise passed when my husband was going to the store to get the food they forgot to give us. So he died on the third evening we had him. We did monitor him for 24 hours before we were sure he was dead and calling the breeder. Also some things to note were that he had his eyes closed most of the time and was doing a movement that seemed a little strange to me with moving his head back in an out of his shell. His shell felt a little soft but I don't really have anything to compare it to as this is my first tortoise. The breeder said she doesn't know what happened but has never had a baby tortoise die before. She said we had it too hot. We think our biggest mistake was not contacting the breeder on day two of it not eating, we honestly thought he just needed time to settle in a bit. The breeder also never provided us with a care sheet or instructions. Apparently she keeps them at a temp of 75 with no basking or cool area and only gives them water to soak once every day or so. She has offered us a few things to do to "refund" us but before we make a decision we want some opinions on what else could have happened? We do feel he was sick when we got to our home, but if we did something wrong we want to know that too. I do have access to a very good reptile vet that I have an amazing relationship with and could probably get a necropsy done. Does anyone think it's worth it?

Thank you so much for your time and my apologies for being a newb, we are truly heart broken.
 

method89

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
May 15, 2019
Messages
1,364
Location (City and/or State)
Malverne, NY
I believe you had him too hot with the basking light at 100... They don't really need to bask and definitely not at a prolonged temp as high as that. Read the care sheets below. Most of your questions will be answered


 

Toddrickfl1

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
6,670
Location (City and/or State)
Ga
100F is a little hot for a Redfoot but This tortoise was 100% sick when you got it. It wasn't anything you did. I would get a refund in supplies if you could but I wouldn't take another Tortoise. If your decide to get another go with a reputable breeder and not a Pet shop.
 

Maro2Bear

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 29, 2014
Messages
12,429
Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Greetings. Very sorry to hear this sad tragic story on your hatchling. There are many experienced Redfoot keepers who will be able to assist you. Good luck
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
24,227
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
100 degrees will kill a Redfoot tortoise.
Mine hide all day long whenever the temperature is above the lower 80s. They need a way to cool down.

And 70s is too cool to be in the water for very long.

I can't say for certain what happened to your little tort. Because I've seen some serious reaction to temperatures in a very short time.

Since it sounds like he arrived sick, I think you just got a badly started animal and then got some horrible advice.
Do some research, get your enclosure ready, and buy from someone else.
Maybe an older tortoise like a yearling would be a better choice? I don't know.
At any rate. I'm very sorry that you lost a tortoise.
Personally I would not spend money on a necropsy.
The cause of death might be too vague. Failure to thrive.....
 
Last edited:

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,068
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
I keep all my babies in a closed enclosure that is an overall temperature of 80-85F degrees - no hot spot, no cool spot. I use a tube type fluorescent UVB light with a radiant heat panel for heat.

In my opinion, because the baby's eyes were always closed, you received a sick baby.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
24,227
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
I keep all my babies in a closed enclosure that is an overall temperature of 80-85F degrees - no hot spot, no cool spot. I use a tube type fluorescent UVB light with a radiant heat panel for heat.

In my opinion, because the baby's eyes were always closed, you received a sick baby.
I agree.
And those parameters are perfect
 

Ink

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
1,262
Location (City and/or State)
Virginia
I am so sorry for your loss. It has happened to most of us here on the forum. I have learned from my mistakes. However there is nothing you can do when you receive a sick baby tortoise. If you decide to get a new one look here on the forum for breeders.
 
Top