What is wrong with my Russian Tortoise?

by Christina

I have two russian tortoises, a boy and a girl. The girl is about 10, i believe and has never had any problems as far as i could tell. They live downstairs, where it is a little bit chillier than the rest of the house, but they have a heat lamp, and seem to be just fine. They just came out of hibernation a few weeks ago. The male is now up an about all the time. Lately the female has been acting really weak and tired. It hadn't moved for a few days, and i actually thought that it was dead. When i touched her, she didn't respond, but after I picked her up to look at her, she eventually moved, but not like she usually does. Usually she struggles to be put down, but this time she just opened her eyes and seemed as if she was too tired to do anything. Im not even sure if she has been eating.

I dont think that she is pregnant because the male has been trying for years, but the female never payed him any mind, i assume because the bedding is to shallow to nest in.

Today, i noticed that she did move to the water bowl. I decided to look her over to check if she had a problem that i could identify (resperatory infection, etc.) and i noticed that the skin on her face is peeling a little bit. Around her chin, there seems to be a red area as if it is chaffed, or possibly inflamed. Im not sure. To be honest, i really dont know how to tell whats wrong in this situation, if anything, or how to treat it. Is there cause for concern? Is my turtle sick or have an infection or something? Should i separate her from the male? What should i do?

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May 25, 2009
The exact same thing happened to me!
by: Anonymous

After hibernation my female russian was very tired and unmoving and she had a little bid of skin peeling arond her neck-but no blood or cuts-and my male was fine. The male was eating all the food because she did not want any. But now she is fine. I actually think she is going to lay eggs because her and the male are now big enough to produce fertile eggs and she is constanly digging running away from the male more often. My male also has been trying for a 2 or 3 years but he was never aggressive enough and my female was not large enough.

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