Male Gopher Tortoise

Signlament & History

A male Gopher Tortoise was found in a yard. On physical examination, contusions and hemorrhage on phallus, cloaca, and right prefemoral fossa are detected.

Craniocaudal Dorsoventral full body Lateral lateral full body


Within the left mid-coelom, there is a 9 cm, round, mineral opaque structure, with concentric lucent and mineral opaque rings. The colon is subjectively distended and contains a large volume of heterogenous, gas and mineral opaque fecal material.


Large cystolith. Probable constipation.


Tortoises have a bilobed and highly elastic urinary bladder. Cystoliths can be an incidental finding on this species. Cystolisths have been associated with cloacal prolapse and dystocia in reptiles. The presence of the large cystolith and the inflamed and enlarged phallus and cloaca may contribute to a degree of constipation.


Miller HA. Urinary Diseases of Reptiles: Pathophysiology and Diagnosis. Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine, Vol 7, No 2 (April), 1998: pp 93-103.

Wellehan JF, Gunkel CI. Emergent Diseases in Reptiles. Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine, Vol 13, No 3 ( July), 2004: pp 160-174.