Yes, go ahead and try the soak. The water should be about 90*F.
What temperature was she exposed to?
Internal organ damage can occur from cold. That's why I asked the temp.
If she had gone into hibernation where the temp remained in the 40's, she would probably have been OK. If she stayed in her house, that would make a difference, too. If she came outside at all when temps were lower than that, cold could be responsible. It does depend a little on what kind of tortoise she is, but most of them do not do well with cold. The desert tortoises are more likely to hibernate in tunnels where they are safe, if they can go deep enough.. The Russians, Sulcatas, etc. need warmer temps. With them, it's best to bring them inside for the winter.
If the cold is to blame for her condition, there is little that can be done. Do provide a soak and keep her where it is warmer. If too much damage wasn't done, her body may be able to fight for life and gradually recover. There is no way to be sure, but it can't hurt to try. If you find that she is alive, provide two soaks per day. If you'll tell me what kind of tortoise she is, I'll give you the correct temps for her.
Glad you're soaking her. Let me know what happens.
You're welcome. I understand that you are in crisis. I feel helpless, too, that I can't give you more help. I woudl leave her inside for a few hours, keeping her between 75*F and 85*F.
Because we can't see them breathe, it is very difficult to tell if a tortoise or turtle is dead or alive. The head and legs often appear limp, and feel limp when you touch them. Eyes may be sunken, but that can also be a sign of dehydration in a living turtle. The eyes in a dead tortoise are usually open. The skin of a dead tortoise may feel warm to the touch, rather than cold. Eventually, the limbs and head will stiffen, but that can take from a couple hours to days.
In this case, I suspect internal bleeding. You've done a soak. Now keep her warm for about 3 hours. At the end of that time, let me know if there's any change.
That usually means fluid is coming out of the lungs. I am concerned that could be where the blood is coming from, too. The bubbles could mean she is breathing, but they can come out without breathing as well. There is nothing else you can do for now. Just keep her warm, and wait. I know that's hard, but there really is nothing more to do.
If the bleeding stops, she could survive. A clinic would definitely be the next step, but finding one that sees reptiles on a holiday weekend may be difficult. If you'll give me your zip code, I'll see what I can find.
Difficult as it is, that's all you can do. This link will take you to a directory of reptile vets:
If you don't find anything, I may be able to find others if i have your zip code. I'll be here off and on this evening, and will keep an eye out for any responses from you. I'm keeping you in my thoughts.
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I see you have opened a new question, asking about temperatures. You didn't need to pay twice to get that information; you could have posted it as a follow-up to this thread so you wouldn't have to pay twice. I would have closed the other question as a duplicate, but since another expert responded I'm not able to close it.
No one has done any studies to determine the exact temps that will kill. To do that, scientists would have to expose Sulcatas to low temperatures and wait for them to die. No one wants to do that. We do know that when exposed to temps below 50*F, they are very likely to get sick. When kept outdoors, their night time boxes should be heated at least into the 60's. The 70's are better yet. Some authorities even recommend the 80's. You can confirm this information on the following reputable sites:
Most experienced tortoise keepers and breeders believe anything below 40*F will be fatal. In your case, what it really comes down to is how cold her box was. If it stayed in the 60's, that would not be the cause of the problem. Even if temps are not cold enough to directly cause death, being chilly makes respiratory infections more likely. Such infections can spread to the lungs (pneumonia) or result in septicemia (blood poisoning), and if severe enough, result in bleeding from the nose or mouth. If not treated promptly, these infections are fatal.
I hope your tortoise made it through the night and you are seeing some signs of life. I couldn't find any closer reptile vets, but there is an exotic animal vet in Redding. You can give them a call to see if they see tortoises. Most exotic specialists do. Here is their information:
VCA Asher Animal Hospital***** |Redding,CA96002
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