What happened to my tortoise?

by amy

I live in Phoenix and it was 106 degrees today. My tortoise is only a year and a half old. He lives inside. He was scrathcing at his cage today so I had my son put him outside. We always do this. He has not been drinking his water when I bath him. I have been feeding him his green leafy vegetables but ice buerg lettuce too in hopes that he takes in some water that way.

I went to bring him inside this evening and he was sleeping and not responsive to my touh. I put him in some water to arouse and wake him. Nothing happened. I started checking his little legs and they are stiff. I am pretty sure he is dead. What happened to him?

There is nothing wrong with his shell and the vet seen him about 6 months ago and said he looked great. He hasn't changed any. Did the heat get to him and if so why? He has been outside in the sun numerous times.

I am so sad and I am terrified to let my other tortoise go outside now.

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Jun 03, 2011
by: Anonymous

I just had the same thing happen to two Russian tortoises. I put them outside in the same weather and same enclosure that they've spent ~1000 days in. This morning they were basking; this evening they were dead. I'm heartbroken and so very, very confused. Did you talk to a vet? Any insight you're able to share? Thanks.

Jul 28, 2010
Dead Tortoise
by: Shelly

You are probably correct in saying that your tortoise is dead. I am so sorry.

When you put a tortoise out in the sun, you must always be sure there is place for it to go to cool off. Because a tortoise is cold blooded, its body will take on the temperature of its surroundings. If it is 106 degrees with no relief, then your tortoise's internal temperature would have reached 106 degrees. This is why many tortoises burrow -- to get away from the heat.

That is the only guess I can make. You will still need to get sunlight (UVB rays) onto your other tortoise because a tortoise needs UVB rays to metabolize calcium. No calcium, no shell. That's a sure way to kill a tortoise.

You may want to consult with your vet about other possible problems that may have happened.

Keep it slow and steady.

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