Our Tortoise Died Suddenly, Not Sure Why.

Chubbs the tegu

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2019
Messages
5,060
Location (City and/or State)
Ma
How heartbreaking for you. 30 years. My Persian cat died a few years ago at 27 yo. I still cry if I think about her. Our sweet desert tort came to us completely unexpectedly after the cat passed on. The tort saved our lives from sadness. Please don’t beat yourself up. Thirty years? You certainly did all the right things! I am so sorry for the loss of your little shelly friend.
Wow! 27yo cat.. never seen a cat that old
 

maggie3fan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
2,560
Location (City and/or State)
Corvallis Oregon
SO sorry. 30 years... That is a long time with a pet.

It sounds to me like poisoning. So many people allow their tortoises to have access to poisonous, or unknown plants, and most of the time the tortoises ignore the bad stuff. This leads some people to the mistaken conclusion that: "Tortoises have survived for millions of years without our help. They know what not to eat." Wrong. I work with a lot of exotic vets because of my job, and sadly, this happens all the time. I don't think people hear about it much because few people pay for a necropsy to determine a positive COD, and no one tells their friends and family about sad pet deaths. I don't. I don't like to bring it up. Anyhow, I see many cases of tortoise getting sick and usually dying from ingestion of poisonous plants every year through my vet friends.

Lesson for everyone: Don't let your tortoise have access to any plants that you are not 100% sure of, and watch out for new things popping up in your outdoor enclosures. I had deadly nightshade pop up in one of my enclosures this year. No idea where it came from and luckily they didn't eat it before I pulled it out and threw it in the garbage.
I have deadly nightshade this year also...and it seems to be so damned invasive. I'm getting a little OCDC about finding it and destroying it....I'm pulling it out by hand...
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
20,570
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
So sorry to read this. We lost Joe immediately after hibernation. We had had him for over 40 years. In his case, the vet found a tumour. The mucus thing is typically a respiratory problem.

If a tort goes into hibernation not 100% fit, it is likely that any illness will take hold during hibernation apparently as the tort’s immune system also becomes less active.

I can’t identify the plant, sorry. I showed it to my ecologist daughter and she’s not sure either. Perhaps @Iochroma could take a look?
 

KBeam

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2018
Messages
61
Location (City and/or State)
Central Illinois
So sorry! I had a baby tortoise die suddenly and it turned out that he aspirated a tiny piece of hibiscus into his lungs. We would never have known if our neighbor, who is a professor at the veterinary school, hadn’t asked to necropsy him with some wildlife veterinary students. My point being, that there are things you can’t anticipate, and don’t beat yourself up too much on top of your grief.
 

JonM

New Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2020
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Devon, UK
Thanks @KBeam @WildeAxel @JoesMum @Chubbs the tegu @maggie18fan

Sorry some of you guys lost your shelled friends too, particularly @JoesMum losing Joe after 40 years. We are now waiting for the plants we originally suspected to flower but at the moment we think they are ok afterall so like @JoesMum said sounds like it was acute respiratory disease. Quite why Wanda kept straining and lifting her rear I guess we will never know, as she did a pee ok and had been doing BMs and had never been bred from and not shown any signs of wanting to lay.
 

Hottrodk10

New Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2017
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
Citra, Florida
people always assume because it's a "wild animal," it's wise to the ways of nature
I think by having pets. we know they are anything but. They eat wrong things, take nosedives of great distances, don't hibernate correctly, etc., and they die. We just always see the LIVING ones in nature, so we assume all is well always.

Animals are more or less a toddler--just smart enough to get into things and find that ONE thing they shouldn't touch. So deal w/ ur pets like a very young child and don't leave them unattended outside of their enclosures.and always examine an area thoroughly *before* allowing them to roam.
I try to tell my Husband this Constantly :/ -- he thinks I'm "overprotective" of our critters smh

I'm so sorry for your loss <3
 

mark1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
1,213
Location (City and/or State)
ohio
sorry to read about your tortoise , 30yrs certainly is a good life for a captive tortoise , i'd consider him one of the lucky ones to have ended up with someone who cared for him that long ……… i'd agree with JoesMum , coming out of hibernation is a common time to have a RI turn into pneumonia ……… as far as lifting the rear , in turtles and tortoises the pelvis and abdomen are as involved with breathing as are the shoulders ……….. the plant does look like mock strawberry leaves , which look like wood or water avens leaves , don't know if they are found in the UK , but none of which I believe are toxic ……… condolences on your loss , long time to have a pet ……...
 
Top