Urgent! Our Sulcata is frozen. Please help!

Animal mom

New Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
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9
Location (City and/or State)
Utah
Not sure the best forum for this post. I also put it in the Sulcata forum:
We have a ten year old Sulcata. It is bitterly cold where we live now, and she has a custom built heated enclosure /house for winter. We've never had a problem with her before in winter with this enclosure. Last night she broke out and got into the yard and we didn't know. We checked on her about 9pm and she was in her house and healthy and moving around. It snowed all night. It was about 10 degrees outside overnight. We found her this morning about 10 am, frozen and covered in snow outside her house by our fence. I called the exotic pet vet who told us to do several lukewarm/warm baths throughout the day for a couple days to rewarm her. It's been 12 hours with no signs of life. She is currently dry between soakings and in a heated bathroom. I don't know what else to do. I'm so so sad. We lived in a warmer climate until a few years ago when employment brought us out here. I feel awful and heartbroken and don't need any admonishment, I just need advice and help for what to do right away. The vet lives four hours away And there is a snowstorm so I can't get her there. The local vets have no experience with exotic animals and didn't have any ideas other than warm baths. observing her physically: Her eyes were half open originally and now they are mostly closed. Her limbs were frozen stiff but are now soft and somewhat movable but not flaccid. However they have not changed position. I don't see any breathing movements or air from her nose but I expressed some liquid gently from her nostrils. Her head can move back and forth gently but cannot be extended. I haven't tried hard, just wanted to see if I could help her head to extend and retract to get some air into her lungs, but no luck. She seems warm though she is still cold inside her shell by her neck. This is all the information I have. Please help if you have any ideas or if there is any hope. The vet seemed to think there was a good chance she would revive, but considering she had food in her stomach, I don't know if she will. I've heard it can freeze and cause internal damage even if she does revive. I'm just sick about this. I'm so sad.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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10 degrees all night?

I'm sorry, but your tortoise is gone. There is no coming back from that. I have no words that will make you feel less awful about this. I wish I could turn back time.
 

Animal mom

New Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
Utah
10 degrees all night?

I'm sorry, but your tortoise is gone. There is no coming back from that. I have no words that will make you feel less awful about this. I wish I could turn back time.

That's what I'm afraid of. But for my kids' sake, I have to try everything to give her the benefit of the doubt. I couldn't let her go without consulting the experts here first to get any other ideas I might not have thought of :( thanks for the response.
 

Tolis

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Aug 10, 2020
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Cyprus EU
Same happened to Kamp kenan a couple of days ago but he managed to slowly raise the temp back up and saved his monitor. Then of course Florida is not so cold. So sorry for your loss.
 

pcrealty

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2020
Messages
101
Location (City and/or State)
Wynnewood
Not sure the best forum for this post. I also put it in the Sulcata forum:
We have a ten year old Sulcata. It is bitterly cold where we live now, and she has a custom built heated enclosure /house for winter. We've never had a problem with her before in winter with this enclosure. Last night she broke out and got into the yard and we didn't know. We checked on her about 9pm and she was in her house and healthy and moving around. It snowed all night. It was about 10 degrees outside overnight. We found her this morning about 10 am, frozen and covered in snow outside her house by our fence. I called the exotic pet vet who told us to do several lukewarm/warm baths throughout the day for a couple days to rewarm her. It's been 12 hours with no signs of life. She is currently dry between soakings and in a heated bathroom. I don't know what else to do. I'm so so sad. We lived in a warmer climate until a few years ago when employment brought us out here. I feel awful and heartbroken and don't need any admonishment, I just need advice and help for what to do right away. The vet lives four hours away And there is a snowstorm so I can't get her there. The local vets have no experience with exotic animals and didn't have any ideas other than warm baths. observing her physically: Her eyes were half open originally and now they are mostly closed. Her limbs were frozen stiff but are now soft and somewhat movable but not flaccid. However they have not changed position. I don't see any breathing movements or air from her nose but I expressed some liquid gently from her nostrils. Her head can move back and forth gently but cannot be extended. I haven't tried hard, just wanted to see if I could help her head to extend and retract to get some air into her lungs, but no luck. She seems warm though she is still cold inside her shell by her neck. This is all the information I have. Please help if you have any ideas or if there is any hope. The vet seemed to think there was a good chance she would revive, but considering she had food in her stomach, I don't know if she will. I've heard it can freeze and cause internal damage even if she does revive. I'm just sick about this. I'm so sad.
If there are still some signs of life. use an outdoor heating lamp ASAP or bring the tort into the house.

Temporary Tort Enclosure.jpg
 
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