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New To group! Help Desert Tortoise has pink-reddish Marks on Shell

Lisa Marie

New Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2016
Messages
1
CB8FAD91-8AEE-440C-A7FF-76A1DB2BEC54.jpeg Help! My Jackie was stuck in his Burrow. I think it collapsed around him. After Middle of March I got very worried he still had not come out! And when I looked in his burrow it was filled with Dirt where a tunnel use to be. I couldn’t get a shovel in there So for a few days I dug out the dirt with whatever I could find. I dug as far as I could go! No Jackie! Well today He came out! He looked like a rock not a turtle! The dirt had formed around his body and started to dry like cement. I’m thinking his burrow collapsed on him during the rains. I gave him two baths but his shell doesn’t look right. I don’t know what this pink-red is on his shell. it looks like it’s @ surface of his shell.. almost like blood. It’s also on front of his arms. Does anyone know what this is? Also he is not walking right I filmed him! His back legs seem weak or something he is not lifting himself up to walk. His front legs are fine! I hope he is ok. He doesn’t seem to have any respiratory issues (which is good news) He drank a lot and ate some. Should I be worried? Top of shell is ok. Male Desert Tortoise he is about 8-10 yrs

BB8934FF-33C8-4085-8804-06336F2E50F3.jpeg 0E0E90F4-17F4-4593-969B-27FB6DF9E443.jpeg 90E59B01-5A87-43A2-8C18-3AD4BB99F7D7.jpeg CB8FAD91-8AEE-440C-A7FF-76A1DB2BEC54.jpeg
 

SweetGreekTorts

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Joined
Jun 12, 2018
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912
Location (City and/or State)
Tucson, AZ
I recommend taking him to an exotic vet. The pinkish-red coloring could be septicimia, which is an infection in the blood and can be fatal if not treated.

Plus if he's not walking right and displaying other concerning symptoms, a Vet should check him over to find out what's going on.
 

KarenSoCal

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Tortoise Club
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Jul 8, 2017
Messages
1,993
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
You said the dirt was packed around him. I wonder if there was something in the dirt that stained him? Maybe try a soft tooth brush?

For his legs, they could have been cramped into the dirt, unmovable. Maybe he just needs a few days to limber up, eat and drink, and let his heart settle down after his near-death experience.
 

ascott

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5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Messages
16,147
Location (City and/or State)
Apple Valley, California
View attachment 269365 Help! My Jackie was stuck in his Burrow. I think it collapsed around him. After Middle of March I got very worried he still had not come out! And when I looked in his burrow it was filled with Dirt where a tunnel use to be. I couldn’t get a shovel in there So for a few days I dug out the dirt with whatever I could find. I dug as far as I could go! No Jackie! Well today He came out! He looked like a rock not a turtle! The dirt had formed around his body and started to dry like cement. I’m thinking his burrow collapsed on him during the rains. I gave him two baths but his shell doesn’t look right. I don’t know what this pink-red is on his shell. it looks like it’s @ surface of his shell.. almost like blood. It’s also on front of his arms. Does anyone know what this is? Also he is not walking right I filmed him! His back legs seem weak or something he is not lifting himself up to walk. His front legs are fine! I hope he is ok. He doesn’t seem to have any respiratory issues (which is good news) He drank a lot and ate some. Should I be worried? Top of shell is ok. Male Desert Tortoise he is about 8-10 yrs

View attachment 269362 View attachment 269363 View attachment 269364 View attachment 269365
I would bet he was back filled in by gophers or squirrels. They will enter the burrow as it begins to cool...the tort is usually already hunkered down and the furry little B%a$stards begin to remodel the burrow to close the big gapping hole and back fill it....and then access it through underground and or other above ground small holes.....and it gets packed super solid right around the tort....I do not have an answer for the red color....it does look like the surface and I would agree, use a gentle tooth brush and warm water and gently go over an area and see if any of it transfers onto the brush or lightens on the shell.

I would not stress the tortoise by a vet visit. Right now that tort is at one of its weakest points and needs water, sun, food offerings (sometimes it can take a couple weeks for the normal appetite will begin to show) and his familiar home/yard.

Beautiful gladiator by the way...trademark gorgeous eyes....happy he made it out of the back fill. I live here in California near where they naturally live (well, what is left of the area anyway) and even so, I discourage brumation outdoors if you can. There are sooooo many variables that they run into here that they would not run into in their very specific special natural area.....
 

TammyJ

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Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
2,819
Location (City and/or State)
Jamaica
I have no idea except that if it was me, and a good exotic or reptile vet was available nearby and he could comfortably be transported there, I would take him for a check-up just in case. He may have been squashed and got internal damage/infection.
 

ascott

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5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Messages
16,147
Location (City and/or State)
Apple Valley, California
I have no idea except that if it was me, and a good exotic or reptile vet was available nearby and he could comfortably be transported there, I would take him for a check-up just in case. He may have been squashed and got internal damage/infection.
Tortoise are a solitary animal. This specific species of tort is super solo. They like to not be fussed with and a vet visit straight from brumation, in my, opinion would be super stressful. While a trip to the vet certainly makes the human "feel" better...this is not about the human. Just saying.
 

TammyJ

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Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
2,819
Location (City and/or State)
Jamaica
Lisa Marie, are you still there? How is he now? Any news?
 

TammyJ

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Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
2,819
Location (City and/or State)
Jamaica
Tortoise are a solitary animal. This specific species of tort is super solo. They like to not be fussed with and a vet visit straight from brumation, in my, opinion would be super stressful. While a trip to the vet certainly makes the human "feel" better...this is not about the human. Just saying.
I see your point. Just that he may survive the vet trip if he is not injured and if it was me, I would take him just in case he is injured, and it could save his life if he was treated by the vet. A decision either way could be the wrong one.
 

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