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Has new tortoise died?
Posted: 11/04/2011 by bsa1

Hi,hope someone can help. We bought a year old spur thigh from a shop in Basildon yesterday. It seemed lively yesterday and this morning in its new home. We gave it a bath this morning and it was moving about. We noticed this evening that it has not moved now for about 4 hours. It seems unresponsive, its eyes are open and its head seems to have moved back into its body. Can anyone suggest any thing we might try please??

Re: Has new tortoise died?
Posted: 11/04/2011 by VivTPG

Hi, Click and drag me down to the editorto the site.

Tortoises do slow down as they sense the evening coming on to sleep, this is normal.

I'm not sure if you are suggesting other problems, as long as you have the correct temperatures, 30C under the basking spot and 20C in the rest of the table, this will ensure the tort can warm itself up enough to want to feed.  In the morning you could give it a warm bath to encourage it to drink to keep it well hydrated.

Can you tell me what set up you have and what you are feeding it. 

Here is a link to our care sheet on spur thighs, which tells you the best way to look after them

It would also be a good idea to take a poo sample to the vet to have it checked for worms and parasites which are common in pet shop bought torts that have been imported.

Let us know how you get on, regards VivienneClick and drag me down to the editor

Re: Has new tortoise died?
Posted: 11/04/2011 by bsa1

Hi Vivienne,
We have a basking lamp and UV lamp at one end of the table, we have tried giving it another warm bath tonight but it shows no signs of life and has not moved at all.It does not seem to blink or react to movement.
It has not eaten since we picked it up but did drink yesterday. It has pooed about three times today, once during the bath this morning.

Re: Has new tortoise died?
Posted: 11/04/2011 by VivTPG


  • is the tortoise reacting to you moving its limbs (arms/legs), they usually pull them back in? 
  • has the tortoise shown any symptoms of a runny nose or breathing problems? 
  • did the tortoise not make any movement at all in the bath tonight?

It seems too quick for a tortoise to pass away this quickly if it was ok during the day and showing no symptoms, unless it was a sick tortoise when sold to you.

Let me know how you get on, regards Vivienne

Re: Has new tortoise died?
Posted: 11/04/2011 by DavidWYork

When you try to press rear feet in towards body is there no resistance or movement? Even hibernating torts react, albeit slowly. If you are just WATCHING and seeing no reaction that is another matter...they can spent hours not reacting if cooled or tired. In a deceased tort head usually flops and eyes sink inwards. I am at this point optimistic that you are being pessimistic   ...if that makes sense! Keep us informed of any developments, and if needed, get to a vet as soon as you can. Regards, David nr York

Re: Has new tortoise died?
Posted: 12/04/2011 by bsa1

Thanks for all the posts, much appreciated.
There was no response at all to any of the tests you suggested and no movement after the bath. It was still the same this morning so I took it back to the shop where they also put it in a bath and had no luck, I waited there for 15-20 minutes with no change so got a refund. We did contact a vet as well last night who was out on call but did suggest the tests mentioned above.
I have now got two lovely little torts from a very helpful breeder in Kent who kindly agreed to see me at short notice. The two new ones have settled in very well, are exploring, eating and burrowing - everything that the other one wasn't.
I only wish we had found this website sooner and avoided all the heartache. Don't believe everything you see on a pet shop's website!!- A reputable breeder is a safer experience.Thanks to both for your help and interest.

Re: Has new tortoise died?
Posted: 13/04/2011 by VivTPG

Hi glad to hear you have two new torts from a breeder.

But sad to hear of your first tortoise.  Unfortunately we hear this same story so often, this is why we set the group up to educate people to stop buying imported torts, which through no fault of their own are plucked from the wild or bred on tortoise farm, are exported to this country in horrific conditions and vast numbers, placed in glass tanks or vivariums, fed the wrong diet and sold to the unsuspecting public with dreadful after care advice!!  There rant over!!! lol  So glad you found our site and you can now give a great home to two little UK bred torts!! 

Would love to see some pics of them, regards Vivienne


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