How To Know If My Ground Tortoise Is Pregnant
If you have a pet as a female tortoise, you already know that under appropriate conditions it can become pregnant and it is of great importance that you can detect this situation as soon as possible to adapt the environment of your pet to your specific needs and to be able to go to the vet before any sign indicating problems during this phase.
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It may seem that when dealing with a turtle it becomes more difficult to notice certain special situations, such as pregnancy, but with the right knowledge and patience you can know exactly what is happening to your pet.
In this article by YourCatCareguide we will clarify some aspects of the reproduction of the tortoise and explain how to know if a tortoise is pregnant .
The turtle is a vertebrate reptile of oviparous nature, that is, that reproduces with eggs . There is a wide variety of different breeds and even some species live protected once they are in danger of extinction. To prevent your turtle from suffering any damage, you should always be careful about the other pets you have at home.
To know more about reproduction and pregnancy of the turtle , you should know that in healthy conditions, it reaches sexual maturity at approximately 7-10 years of age, and from this moment, if you couple with a male tortoise the process begins of turtle reproduction, which can be summarized as follows:
- Copulas occur between the months of April and June.
- The female turtle has the ability to keep the sperm inside to fertilize the eggs it is putting on, this sperm can be preserved and be functional for 3 years.
- In each pregnancy the female puts between 2 and 12 eggs, although this value varies depending on the species in concrete.
- Egg hatching occurs between August and October.
It should also be borne in mind that incubation is shorter at a higher temperature, which may influence hatching.
As we mentioned earlier, there are many types of turtles and this reproductive cycle refers specifically to the land turtle .
Signs of pregnancy on the turtle
To know if your turtle is pregnant, you will need to use a palpation technique to check if there are eggs inside.
For this you have to feel the abdomen following these steps:
- When you do, it is normal for the turtle to resist and do not want you to move.
- You should take advantage of your movement to lock one of your hind legs, support one of your fingers inside the paw and prevent your movement as well.
- Blocking one of your legs will give you access to the side of your abdomen, the area in which you should pay special attention.
- Gently press one or two fingers on the side of the abdomen to palpate; if the area is soft it is because you are feeling viscera, but if you notice a spherical and hard shape, it is because your turtle is pregnant.
Although abdominal palpation is the most feasible method of confirming a turtle’s pregnancy , we can also observe signs of pregnancy in its behavior, since when a turtle lays eggs it begins to dig several holes in the ground and at this moment it is very important that it contains with soft soil to do so, otherwise it may retain the eggs, which poses a serious risk to your pet.
During pregnancy the turtle should pay particular attention to certain signs which, while not indicating a problem during the breeding season, may indicate a disease:
- Red and swollen eyes
- Nasal discharge
- Lack of appetite
- Carapace problems
- Spots on the skin
- Weight loss
- Difficulty breathing
- Swollen head
In the presence of any of these signs it is important to consult the veterinarian as soon as possible, since as we refer these may indicate some disease, which will gain even more relevance if our turtle is in a state of gestation.