Florida Iguana & Tortoise Breeders
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Tortoise Health

Common Questions

Many people ask me questions to try to determine if their tortoise is sick or not.  Check their activity level, make sure they are moving around as normal. Watch them walk, a weak animal will walk a little then sit down then walk a little then sit down they won’t motor around staying up on all fours.  

Do a physical exanimation check for shell hardness, especially on the bottom. Look at their eyes see if they are runny, look for hydration, dehydrated animals  eyes sit back in the eye socket. Look carefully at their skin, make sure there are  no abbesses or peeling, look for redness.  Feed each animal and determine if they are eating properly.  Isolate each animal in a Rubber made bin. Supply heat light.  Wait to see how long they take to defecate, check the stool for  consistency, color and bulk make sure it is firm not lose or runny. a healthy tortoise won’t take long to defecate. If you don’t get a stool in a few hours, you can add a little water for stimulation,  this should produce a stool in a short period of time,  If you have added water this will change the consistence of the stool keep that in mind.  Smell their breath and smell their skin, you should not detect a bad order. Bad breath can be pneumonia.  Bad skin odor can be wounds or rotting skin.   Check the tops of their heads, and their “Forearm’s” the meaty part of their front legs. You’re looking for a nice round tissue plump looking legs. Check the back legs also.  Skinny animal’s legs are thin, their legs look flat rather than round,  the tops of their heads are flat or sunken in not round.  If you have multiple animals compare one to  the other until you are able to determine leg plumpness.  This is basically my step one procedure.   

Step 2 would be actually doing some diagnostic work.  if you have questions or comments or suggestions please email me. if you would like more article’s like this please let me know. if you have articles topics you want me to elaborate on, please send them along as well. 

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