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Turtles/red foot tortoise


My year old tortoise has a red sack hanging out of his bum not sure how long it's been out near st vet is 2 hours away and I can't get in till tomorrow at 3

Hi Angela,

It's almost certain that your tortoise has a prolapse.  He needs to see a vet as soon as you can get him in (tomorrow).  Get him off substrate and onto clean, wet paper towels.  He needs to be kept moist so the area doesn't dry out.  Spray the area down every few hours.  You can also try soaking the area in a heavy sugar solution (50/50 sugar/sterile water) to shrink the tissue and see if it will retract.  But even if it does, the tortoise needs to go to the vet for diagnosis and further treatment.  Usually they need to stitch the prolapse in for at least a few days so it doesn't reoccur.

Because of your tortoise's age, it's most likely an intestinal prolapse, not penile.  This can be due to problems with how the tortoise is being kept.  If you can post back and let me know exactly how you have him set up (enclosure, substrate, temps, heat/UVB, diet), I can help you pinpoint if any changes are needed.  Good luck, and let me know how he's doing.


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Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.


I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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