Scorpion sting

Lokkje

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My 60+-year-old desert tortoise Tiny Tim was stung by a scorpion last Friday. He was very ataxic and I heard him bumping and slamming around on the patio. I took him to Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital in Mesa Arizona and he was given 5 days of meloxicam and is still on injections of enrofloxacin. Happily, he’s improved enormously and is doing much better. I have had desert tortoises here in Phoenix my entire life and had started keeping them back when they were being sold at pet stores here over a half century ago. My desert tortoises have been breeding for years and I have had as many as 200 at a time all of which were placed in appropriate homes. I no longer have breeding desert tortoises and just have Tiny and two females bred in my yard. I’ve seen nothing on any postings about scorpion bites on this forum and I joined after I acquired a leopard hatchling and was unsure of what to do with it. Has anyone had any experience with scorpion bites? I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to have an excellent veterinarian assess and treat my tortoise promptly. She informed me that many of the tortoises that are stung do not survive. Even though it was one sting in 60 years I am now paranoid about the scorpions and I’m not sure what to do as they’re obviously just part of desert living. Any suggestions?
 

Yvonne G

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Yipes! I've always seen where desert tortoises share burrows with rattlers, jack rabbits, scorpions, etc. and that these roommates don't cause harm to the tortoise. What was the situation that caused the scorpion to sting the tortoise? Thankfully, there are no scorpions in my area, but because of that, I don't know how to answer your question. Here's a link to an old thread about scorpions and tortoises: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/scorpians.32424/

I love the dog picture in your avatar. Is he laying on his back?
 

Maro2Bear

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There are lots of folks on the Tarantula.Forum that keep scorpions. Wonder if someone over there might have some good info as well on this issue.

We have lots of critters here, thankfully no scorpions!
 

Lokkje

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Thank you for the link. I have no idea how Tiny Tim got stung. I just found him ataxic in the backyard. The vet told me it’s more likely tortoises get lethargic and they start foaming at the mouth than ataxic and the scorpions rarely leave a mark on a tortoise when they sting. He was ataxic, foaming at the mouth, and his eyes were very watery. I’ve planted lavender extensively to try to repel the scorpions. My three desert tortoises live outside in our backyard and mostly burrow under the citrus trees as it’s cool since they’re deep watered weekly. As I have dogs and tortoises I won’t use any form of pesticide or chemical. I also like to feed the quail and don’t want them harmed. For the most part I’ve always just cohabitated with scorpions as they mostly stay outside and eat unwanted bugs. I’ve lived in Arizona my entire life and never had a scorpion sting any pet before.

Thank you for noticing my dog, Jilly. She is 15 years old and a chocolate Labrador retriever. She loves to lay upside down and have her tummy rubbed. Her nickname is Punky.
 
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