PLEASE SOMEONE HELP (tortoise upside down)

Tortski

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I know I'm not one to talk (still sorry about how difficult I am, people who've helped me before) but I would say that you should try to post pictures of the entire cage (after changes) including one that shows you got rid of the glass. If you do that they might have a better idea of what's going on (yes, I do see the irony, to those who've met me before).
It might also be your tort's personality, or he is begging for something. My tort climbs his wall whenever he wants more food (he doesn't flip, but he does get close sometimes) and like someone has already said (sorry, I forgot your name) he could just be entertaining himself. My boy used to wedge himself in between his glass and log so he can get to the top of the log, and fall on his face. I think you might just need to put stuff in the corners (if you already did that, I'm sorry, I don't have the best memory)
 

Big Charlie

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Guys I appreciate all the help and everything I really do but I don't believe the enclosure, tempature, humidity, or enrichment items are the issue to this. I believe all of the questions that were asked are beginning and if not are very rhetorical and I find myself to keep answering the same questions. Like I said I appreciate all the help but if u still wish to put in ur input please read this post from the first comment so u know exactly what's going on because i really wanna get to the bottom of this issue but i keep getting asked the same question by the Same people. Please don't think I am being rude, I just want the best for my Sulcata and me answering the same questions isn't helping, I really appreciate everyone's concern and please don't think i am trying to be rude.
This question has been asked and answered many times on the forum. Your tortoise's behavior isn't unique. I get 6200 results in a search: https://tortoiseforum.org/threadloom/search?query=flipping&tab=698 You could read some of those threads to see how others solved the same problem. Eventually they outgrow it.
 

teresaf

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Just an fyi....a little tort like that don't need a big backyard. In fact I would cage him in if putting him out. Birds, racoons, possums, stray cats can get in your yard and take off with it. ESPECIALLY birds. There's a reason people don't see baby tortoises out and about. They know to hide down in their burrows....
 

Robrocphilly

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Guys so I was at school and I logged onto my live camera to check on my baby sulcata and I noticed he was flipped over so I called my neighbor and she ran over and flipped him back over and has been sitting with him for the past hour and now he wont stop flipping over. His terrarium is completely blacked out so he cant see out, its winter here also so he hasnt been outside for as long as ive had him but i really just dont know what to do now. He was flipped over for about 10mins from what I can tell from the cameras. I just got off of the phone with all my associates who work at surrounding veterinary clinics and they told me he might have a Vestibular infection which is similar to Vertigo in the way that they become very uncoordinated and don't really know what they are doing, I schedule another appointed with my friend but he doesnt go in until friday and when I get home today from school I have to go straight to work. I really dont know what to do to help him. He is currently in a very large ceramic bowl inside him terrarium away from his basking light but the ambient tempature is 80F. Someone please help me figure out what to do, ive never ran into this situation before.
(sorry for all the typos Im in class and needed to rush this forum post and dont have time to correct)

@Tom
Possibly vertigo??
 

sbohonos

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This has been happening with my baby Sulcata lately. He does not do it in corners and there are no reflections since it is a wooden Tortoise House. He does it while trying to climb the little half log shelters that I have. I haven't checked any of the other 6200 search results mentioned, but it just seems like my little guy is just curious and exploring.

I feel bad though that his neck isn't long enough yet to flip himself back over.

I have six other aquatic turtles and the bigger ones can flip them selves back over when they end up flipped over when I let them roam around in the yard on weekends.

One thing I noticed in this thread was somebody mentioning a drowning hazard. Not sure if I should start a new thread, but just curious of this point since I let my Sulcata swim with the other aquatic turtles for 20 mins a day to moisten up his rear end since it gets crusty sometimes. He just floats around like on a tube on an endless river at a water park - seems to enjoy it.

I haven't had any issues with bacteria with any of these guys hanging out with each other btw if anyone was wondering.
 

Melis

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This has been happening with my baby Sulcata lately. He does not do it in corners and there are no reflections since it is a wooden Tortoise House. He does it while trying to climb the little half log shelters that I have. I haven't checked any of the other 6200 search results mentioned, but it just seems like my little guy is just curious and exploring.

I feel bad though that his neck isn't long enough yet to flip himself back over.

I have six other aquatic turtles and the bigger ones can flip them selves back over when they end up flipped over when I let them roam around in the yard on weekends.

One thing I noticed in this thread was somebody mentioning a drowning hazard. Not sure if I should start a new thread, but just curious of this point since I let my Sulcata swim with the other aquatic turtles for 20 mins a day to moisten up his rear end since it gets crusty sometimes. He just floats around like on a tube on an endless river at a water park - seems to enjoy it.

I haven't had any issues with bacteria with any of these guys hanging out with each other btw if anyone was wondering.
Just to clarify, you let your sulcata "float" in a tank with your water turtles? Like as in he can't touch the bottom, and is in the same container as the aquatic turtles at the same time??
I'm hoping I misinterpreted your post...
 

sbohonos

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Yes, he just floats, he does not sink, so doesn't need to touch the bottom. That is why I am confused about the drowning hazard comment.

The aquarium for the aquatic turtles is a completely separate setup from the tortoise house. Like I mentioned, he gets this about 20 mins a day while I watch him. And yes, they are in there and curious about the Sulcata, but there have not been any negative interactions.

Do most Sulcatas not float? Is mine unique in that way?
 

Chizbad

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Yes, he just floats, he does not sink, so doesn't need to touch the bottom. That is why I am confused about the drowning hazard comment.

The aquarium for the aquatic turtles is a completely separate setup from the tortoise house. Like I mentioned, he gets this about 20 mins a day while I watch him. And yes, they are in there and curious about the Sulcata, but there have not been any negative interactions.

Do most Sulcatas not float? Is mine unique in that way?

I think you probably just shocked a lot of people
 

sbohonos

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I imagine maybe, since it seems most aquatic turtle owners have only that type, and most desert turtle owners only have that type. I was initially told he would sink to the bottom at a reptile super show by a Sulcata breeder. Thought I'd try - it was quite the contrary. No sinking and he seems to enjoy it.
 

Big Charlie

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Yes, he just floats, he does not sink, so doesn't need to touch the bottom. That is why I am confused about the drowning hazard comment.

The aquarium for the aquatic turtles is a completely separate setup from the tortoise house. Like I mentioned, he gets this about 20 mins a day while I watch him. And yes, they are in there and curious about the Sulcata, but there have not been any negative interactions.

Do most Sulcatas not float? Is mine unique in that way?
I don't think you should put your sulcata into contact with your aquatic turtles, not because of their interactions but because they could have pathogens that your sulcata has no defense to. It is never a good idea to mix species.

It is good for your sulcata to get soaked in warm water, but usually the water only comes up halfway up his body. There are older sulcatas that soak themselves in ponds that could be deeper. The drowning hazard I mentioned was when there is a deep water bowl in an enclosure - the tortoise could flip into the water bowl and drown because he couldn't flip himself back over.
 

sbohonos

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Ah k, as far as the drowning, that makes sense, thanks for the update.

As I mentioned, I haven't had any sickness issues with any of my guys/gals, thank goodness, but I keep both habitats quite clean . The aquarium gets weekly water changes and such.

If pathogens are really a serious, high risk, then maybe he won't get swim time anymore with the others. I would like to dig deeper with research and partially why I posted here to see if someone could point to facts regarding this. Maybe I've just been lucky that everyone is healthy.
 

Bambam1989

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Ah k, as far as the drowning, that makes sense, thanks for the update.

As I mentioned, I haven't had any sickness issues with any of my guys/gals, thank goodness, but I keep both habitats quite clean . The aquarium gets weekly water changes and such.

If pathogens are really a serious, high risk, then maybe he won't get swim time anymore with the others. I would like to dig deeper with research and partially why I posted here to see if someone could point to facts regarding this. Maybe I've just been lucky that everyone is healthy.
I knew that young sulcatas float. But I've also heard that once they get close to 10lbs they start sinking.
I have a couple of concerns about letting a land tort come in contact with water turtles. The first being- what is the water temp in your turtle enclosure? Young Torts should be soaked in warm water(my water is in the 95-98f range). If the tort is in water that is too cool it could get sick.
The second concern is pathogens/diseases being transferred. A water turtle could carry a pathogen and due to a natural resistant never get sick, but a land tort that comes from a different area may not have this resistance and become sick. Even the turtles can become infected by something the tort is carrying.
 

GingerLove

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Uh... does he like to float? My tortoise literally would think she was drowning and panic and pull her head in. Doesn't seem quite natural to see a tortoise floating around some place... Why not just have separate soak times again?
 

teresaf

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I knew that young sulcatas float. But I've also heard that once they get close to 10lbs they start sinking.
I have a couple of concerns about letting a land tort come in contact with water turtles. The first being- what is the water temp in your turtle enclosure? Young Torts should be soaked in warm water(my water is in the 95-98f range). If the tort is in water that is too cool it could get sick.
The second concern is pathogens/diseases being transferred. A water turtle could carry a pathogen and due to a natural resistant never get sick, but a land tort that comes from a different area may not have this resistance and become sick. Even the turtles can become infected by something the tort is carrying.
This happens with people too. My family recently moved to Florida from Ohio and three of the four of us were sick(with sniffles)for the first 3 months.
 

sbohonos

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Thanks for the replies guys and gals!

Bambam1989 - to be blunt, yet not meaning disrespect or intentional offense (honestly) :) - yes, I have heard and read they "could carry pathogens".

I am in Los Angeles and currently there is a Hepatitis A "outbreak" that started in San Diego recently in humans, and has been seen now in cases in LA. Should I stay home and not leave the house because I may come in contact with someone who "could carry pathogens"? Again, just making a point, no offense.

To GingerLove's comment, yes!, he genuinely seems to like it. He just motors around and has no issues with being under the water as a breathing obstruction/hazard.

So, should I take away his motoring/soak time with friends because of a minor risk? It would be great to know more about the likelihood or some stats on the probability of transmission. What happens in nature? Are there never bodies of water near the edges of deserts?

Bambam1989 - To answer your question, the water in the aquarium is around 89-90 degrees F, so a little cooler than your soaking temp. I put my baby Sulcata right back into his house afterwards though with his heat lamp/UVB/night heat lamps and he seems to just go explore after the dip seemingly amp'd up a little, possibly from being refreshed?
 

teresaf

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My tortoise poops when he's soaked. I'm pretty sure most people's tortoises poop when they soak. So you're putting your tortoise in with your turtles and letting them poop in the water where they're living. The parasites that tortoises get from tortoises and turtles get from turtles is from their defecation. If you don't see the problem in that I don't know what else to say. Maybe your tortoise will be fine. I'm sure we all hope so. But down the line you just don't know. it takes a while before you find out the results of your actions. They might get sick today but you won't see the symptoms for 6 months. I think a lot of us know that sulcatas can swim. But we all know that sulcatas will drown also.

My mother once mistook a toad for a frog. She threw it in with her fish in the fish tank and it seem to do just fine. the next day she noticed it was dead at the bottom of the tank. Toads can swim.... But just like people in the middle of the ocean they can't swim forever. They die. If you accidentally forget your tortoises in the tank you will find him at the bottom of the tank. In all the time that I've had my tortoises I can count on one hand how many times i have accidently left them overnight in their water. I walked away from the tortoise and started doing other things and totally forgot. Luckily I keep the water in a warm area so they didn't get too cold but I'm sure they were unhappy about keeping their head above water for that long.... If there's ANY chance that that could happen to you I would stop this completely. You said you leave him in there for 20 minutes? that means you walk away.

I just don't want you to come back to a dead tortoises is all. If you're like me, the guilt would be with you forever.

On a different note if you think that your tortoise has friends you're in for an eye opener. Tortoises consider other tortoises competition for food. That's it. When they follow a tortoise around they're not trying to be friendly they're trying to push him out of their territory. When they 'sleep' together they're not sleeping together. one is being a bully and the other has shut down because he can't escape.

Many of us joined this website with tales of what they do with their tortoises; for instance, letting them run around their house, totally not acceptable here. The floor temperature is much colder than the area in their enclosure, you could accidentally step on them or crunch their head in the door or they can eat something dangerous to their digestive system(hair, dust bunnies)off the floor. All of these have happened to folks on this forum.
When we see something that appears dangerous for the tortoise we let our opinions be known to educate the owner and hopefully the owner doesn't get bent out of shape because we are just trying to educate everybody of the old outdated information or of dangerous situations that people don't realize are dangerous. You may think we are a little too careful with the tortoises but if there's even ONE chance in a hundred that it's dangerous why do it?

Sulcata tortoises in their native habitat don't swim. It's not necessary for their health. They walk. Perhaps instead of swimming you could increase the size of his home to make it so he can get his exercise in a safer way? If you had a tortoise that had a physical issue I can understand water therapy. We've actually seen that here on the Forum and it works but it's used for tortoises that are already bad off so the benefits outweigh the small amount of risk. I hope this helps clear up your responses from your original post. Oh and if I didn't already welcome you to The Forum... WELCOME!
 
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Bambam1989

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Thanks for the replies guys and gals!

Bambam1989 - to be blunt, yet not meaning disrespect or intentional offense (honestly) :) - yes, I have heard and read they "could carry pathogens".

I am in Los Angeles and currently there is a Hepatitis A "outbreak" that started in San Diego recently in humans, and has been seen now in cases in LA. Should I stay home and not leave the house because I may come in contact with someone who "could carry pathogens"? Again, just making a point, no offense.

To GingerLove's comment, yes!, he genuinely seems to like it. He just motors around and has no issues with being under the water as a breathing obstruction/hazard.

So, should I take away his motoring/soak time with friends because of a minor risk? It would be great to know more about the likelihood or some stats on the probability of transmission. What happens in nature? Are there never bodies of water near the edges of deserts?

Bambam1989 - To answer your question, the water in the aquarium is around 89-90 degrees F, so a little cooler than your soaking temp. I put my baby Sulcata right back into his house afterwards though with his heat lamp/UVB/night heat lamps and he seems to just go explore after the dip seemingly amp'd up a little, possibly from being refreshed?
It's really hard to offend me, so no worries on that.
Basically, the people on the forum can only offer their opinions and give advice. It's up to you(or anyone else for that matter) to decide if you want to take that advice.
My OPINION is that torts are solitary and do not need "buddies" and that it would be simple to create a new swim area for your tort with a plastic tub or even a kiddy pool and help reduce the risk of him becoming sick through contact with a species he is unlikely to naturally come in contact with.
You seem determined to let your tort swim, and though it is not something I would do with my tort, I can't provide any solid reason not to as long as he can find a place to get out if he wants to.
If you like seeing your tort swim in the tank with turtles then there really is no one who is going to stop you
That water temp is probably safe. My concern was that it would be room temp(70s). My little one always explores after his soaks- my theory is that he is making sure that everything is the same, seeing where I placed his food, and making sure there are no trespassers or predators.
Do you have any questions about his enclosure or anything? We like pics by the way...
We seem to have hijacked this thread @Yvonne G can you help?
 
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