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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11354
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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I think I have a desert tortoise and she just threw up some

Customer Question

I think I have a desert tortoise and she just threw up some of what I fed her last night. She's never done this before. I'm worried and not sure what to do.
Submitted: 1 year ago via TotallyTortoise.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. I'm sorry to hear of this problem.

You are right to be concerned. Whenever a tortoise vomits, it is a very serious symptom. Sometimes it inficates a heavy parasite infestation. Very few worm medications are safe for tortoises, and they have to be obtained from a vet. Vomiting can also indicate a foreign object in the digestive system, infection, a tumor, and many other serious conditions. I know you would like a home treatment, and I would love to give you one, but unfortunately, this is a situation where there isn't one. Your tortoise needs to be examined by a reptile vet. The vet may need to do some blood work and take an x-ray in order to reach a diagnosis. This link will take you to a directory of reptile vets:

In the meantime, you took an excellent first aid measure by giving her a soak. You can repeat that twice a day to keep her hydrated. A towel will not keep her warm. That's because we warmblooded animals give off body heat, and being covered helps hold it in. Cold blooded tortoises give off no body heat, and must have an external source of warmth. So, make sure the area directly under the basking light is at 90*F in the daytime. The coolest part of the habitat should be 70*F. That gives the tortoises a range of temperatures to choose from.

If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I hope you'll be able to quickly find a vet and your tortoise will reach a full recovery.


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