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Ask Joan Your Own Question
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 17425
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 20+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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Customer Question

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Submitted: 23 days ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 23 days ago.


My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years with special interest in reptile and reptile rescue.

You who question did not com through and does not tell me what type of Reptile you have. Can you elaborate on the information?


Customer: replied 23 days ago.
I have a horsefield tortoise it is around 18months old not sure what sex it is.I have on a number of occasions recently found it on its back,luckily I have been around to flip it back over but is it dangerous for a tortoise to be on its back and could there be a medical reason why its happening?
Expert:  Joan replied 23 days ago.

Let me ask a few questions to help.

Do you house inside?

Do you have a UVB bulb, strength, age of bulb, brand linear tube or compact coil?

Do you give supplements?



Customer: replied 23 days ago.
Nothing has changed and yes he stays indoors at a temperature suited to him.He went for a check up in September and the vet was very happy.
Expert:  Joan replied 23 days ago.

When I hear about this problem I always check on the UVB light as they are only good for 6 months. They will still give light, but after 6 months they looks the ability to give UVB rays. This can start a progression of Metabolic Bone Disease which can cause the flipping over. That would be the only medical issue. The UVB needs to work with a daily calcium supplement, that is why I asked about the supplements.

Tortoises do flip over easily and if left too long they can be injured because the lungs can compress and it makes it hard for them to breathe. Being vigilant is very important to be sure that then do not stay on the back very long. Some tortoises will flip if there are itemem in the enclosure the get the sell caught on. If your UVB is up to date and you give a calcium supplement, then most likely your tortoise is just a bit clumsy and flipping over.


Expert:  Joan replied 23 days ago.

Did you have any further I could address about this issue? I would be happy to continue to discuss them with you. If he was just checked out in September, I am pretty sure it is just a little clumsiness.


Customer: replied 23 days ago.
I have made an appointment with the vets.I am pregnant am I ok to habdle my tortoise?
Customer: replied 23 days ago.
Handle my tortoise?
Expert:  Joan replied 22 days ago.

Yes as long as you wash you hands well after handling, there should be no problem.Congratulations on the baby. I am sure the tortoise will be fine and he is lucky to have you. Please let me know what the Vet says after the visit. If I have addressed your concerns, please take a moment to rate my service.



Expert:  Joan replied 20 days ago.

Checking in on you and your tortoise. Hope the information was helpful