- Aug 28, 2016
- Location (City and/or State)
- Front Range of Colorado
I purchased a Russian Tortoise yesterday from a family that said they'd had him for 5-6 years, but they clearly knew nothing about tortoises (and I don't have a lot of room to talk as I've never had one before, but just felt like this guy needed to be rescued):
- He was living in a glass terrarium with barely any substrate, no rocks to climb on, and no calcium source
- They fed him timothy pellets, and said that he hadn't been moving or eating much lately
- His back legs seem injured or perhaps atrophied
- He doesn't seem able to walk...just kind of feebly moves his legs but without moving his body
- His toenails were super long
- He had an intestinal blockage that was black and about a half-inch long (isn't their poop supposed to be white?)
- He seems to be leaving slight blood spots under his body (see marks on the towel under him)...I think it's coming from his tail, but could be coming from the belly of his shell.
- I first put him into the outside enclosure I'd prepared in advance (not shown here), but then moved him back inside thinking it might be too chilly and exposed for him in his current state. Temps in Colorado are dropping to ~50 degrees Fahrenheit at night (~90 degrees during the day), and he's too weak to burrow.
- I submerged him in a bath for about 15 minutes, thinking that he might be dehydrated
- While under the warm water, I gently expressed the intestinal blockage (I'm wondering if this caused the bleeding)
- I clipped his toenails (thinking that might help traction in walking)
- I moved him inside for the night and left him in a dark space for 12 hours
- When the sun came up, I put him back in the home he's used for the last 5-6 years, and deepened the substrate. There's sunshine available for him at one end of the cage, but I put a hide box around him for now based on forum postings about darkness as a therapy for tortoise stress.