Possible egg from male tortoise? I'm confused

Please note: This forum cannot diagnose animals or recommend specific treatments. Sick animals MUST be seen by a qualified veterinarian. General questions relating to disease prevention, the early recognition of problems, and recommended veterinarians may be posted here, however.

Possible egg from male tortoise? I'm confused

Postby markmcg » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:57 pm

Hi all - I'm getting quite confused at this stage. For a couple of weeks recently, my tortoise hadn't been eating well - barely touched food some days. I took it to the vet, and the vet diagnosed jaundice on Tuesday 22nd May, based on yellowing of the jaw. The vet started antibiotics - 5 doses, one every 2 days. After the 3rd, appetite picked up, and now it's back to normal. So it looks like that's cleared up.

However I came back this afternoon and discovered what looks like bits of eggshell in the enclosure. I've posted some pictures below, with old toothbrush for scale. It's somewhat hard and light, and there was some stick gooey stuff stuck to it. If I'd dropped a hen egg I'd think it looked like that. Also, nearby, was a patch of yellow goop, which looks very much like the yoke of an egg.

Two problems though:
(1) My tortoise has never interacted with another tortoise, male or female (although googling suggests females can lay unfertilised eggs).
(2) My tortoise is male - or at least, first the vet told me it was a female several years ago, then told me it was male early last year based on the piece sticking out in the picture below. Some googling suggests that it might be a female after all.

So have I got a misgendered tortoise laying unfertilised eggs?

Tortoise is nearly years old, and I can take more pictures if needed.

(I tried uploading the images to the forum but they were too big to display clearly)

Shell bits 1
https://imageshack.com/a/img921/3428/cRfR36.jpg

Shell bits 2
https://imageshack.com/a/img922/9553/huima3.jpg

Yellow goop
https://imageshack.com/a/img922/6579/Sn6PxS.jpg

Tortoise tail
https://imageshack.com/a/img921/9210/ohcheS.jpg
My Tortoise's name is "Leeloominaï Lekatariba Lamina-Tchaï Ekbat De Sebat", or Lelu for short (The Fifth Element is my favourite film). She was born in August 2010 and kicks ass :)
markmcg
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:35 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Possible egg from male tortoise? I'm confused

Postby Stuart » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:04 pm

The supposed pieces of eggshell, and the possible egg yolk, couldn't be anything else, I think. And, assuming that this is an inside enclosure, and there's no chance of a small bird's egg having been dropped in there? it must have been laid by your female tortoise!

Admittedly the protrusion illustrated in your last photograph certainly does look like other images I have seen of the tip of a male appendage...but I wonder if it could in fact have been a prolapsed female organ? (Quick Google search reveals some vaguely similar such.) Tail looks short too, suggesting female.

So yes, misgendered female laying infertile egg. (Assuming tortoise is of egg-laying age - the number was omitted when you referred to age? - scale of photos suggests big enough, though)
Stuart
Hermanns (old female and 5 home-bred offspring), iberas (two), kbn (rescue), leopard, horsfield (rescue), stars (2 - long term loan), red-eared sliders (5)
Stuart
Wiki Editor
Wiki Editor
 
Posts: 2189
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:43 pm

Re: Possible egg from male tortoise? I'm confused

Postby Sandy » Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:37 am

Stuart wrote:The supposed pieces of eggshell, and the possible egg yolk, couldn't be anything else, I think. And, assuming that this is an inside enclosure, and there's no chance of a small bird's egg having been dropped in there? it must have been laid by your female tortoise!

Admittedly the protrusion illustrated in your last photograph certainly does look like other images I have seen of the tip of a male appendage...but I wonder if it could in fact have been a prolapsed female organ? (Quick Google search reveals some vaguely similar such.) Tail looks short too, suggesting female.

So yes, misgendered female laying infertile egg. (Assuming tortoise is of egg-laying age - the number was omitted when you referred to age? - scale of photos suggests big enough, though)



Looks like a small prolapse to me too, and she looks female to me:0)
Sandy
< >
\0/
/_\
Sandy
 
Posts: 2824
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:15 am
Location: Kent

Re: Possible egg from male tortoise? I'm confused

Postby Tortoise Trust » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:18 am

Yes, it's an egg.

Yes, she is female.

No, you cannot accurately diagnose jaundice from a yellowish colour on the jaw. This is common in many species and does not necessarily indicate anything wrong at all.
Tortoise Trust
 
Posts: 8895
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:07 pm
Location: Almeria, Spain


Return to Health and Veterinary Topics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron