Recurring penile prolapse


5 Year Member
Jul 21, 2015
Location (City and/or State)
My Harry is a rather unlucky tortoise, first he had a runny nose, which was treated by the vet, then he got picked up by a seagull (was missing for a day, then found his way home!), and now he has penile prolapse.

I noticed what looked like a penis (but not a healthy looking one) had been 'out' for a few days, so took him to the vet. The vet said it was a prolapsed penis. He took him into another room to fix it, then gave me some pevidine scrub. He said if it happened again to dilute the scrub with water, 'dunk' Harry in it, then ease the penis back in.

Well that was on Saturday, and now I see the same thing seems to have happened again. I followed the vets instructions, and made sure I cleaned the bits of substrate off his penis, but it's not retracting. Obviously I'm not being forceful, as I don't want to hurt Harry, and he certainly doesn't seem to be enjoying what's happening!

I've made a new vet appointment, but they can't see him until Wednesday. Is there anything you guys think I can do until then? At the moment he's in a box with a towel at the bottom, because I don't want his penis dragging along the floor of his tank and getting dirty again. Is this the right call? I also gave him a little soak in warm water.

Do you think there's a reason this keeps happening?

For background, he's a 12 year old spur thighed tortoise.


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Jul 3, 2014
Location (City and/or State)
NW Houston TX
You need to keep it moist. @Yvonne G should be able to help you. Some people make a paste out of sugar to help keep it moist. Keeping it moist and getting it back in is important because they may have to amputate it.

After you get it back in you need to find out why its happening and fix that underlying issue or it will just continue to happen. It is usually caused by the tortoise straining to go to the bathroom. Most common reasons for males is dehydration and excessive worms.

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 23, 2008
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Yeah, what tortdad said. Until you find out why he's straining, and fix that, it will keep happening (parasites, constipation, urinary tract stones)