Pothos Plant

More about VivTech

Check us out!


Remember to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more information on exotic pet care!


To download the original, full version of this article, please visit https://avtcp.org/uploads/3/4/4/2/34426410/desert-tortoise-bcs-2013-lamberski-po.pdf



Body condition scoring is an easy method to standardize in your own collection of tortoises and helps avoid the “daily blindness” that occurs when you see an animal day in and day out.  Subtle changes can be hard to notice when you see an animal every day.  Recording the body condition score of your animal monthly on your calendar, like you would record when your cat, dog, or ferret receives flea treatments, is vital to the long-term view of your tortoise’s health and is important for your veterinarian to know.

The body condition scoring method is based off muscle mass and fat deposits rather than weight.  It is important to note that this scoring method focuses on the energy reserves of the tortoise and will change with season, reproductive state, and health.


The original paper was written with the help of the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The information can be adapted to most tortoise and box turtle species however.


Keeping notes on your tortoises, box turtles, and other reptiles will help to establish a baseline of what is normal for that individual and what is abnormal.  It is important to know what is normal for your exotic pets during reproduction stages, good health, and brumation.  This not only makes you more knowledgeable about the animals in your care, it also supports the relationship between you and your veterinarian.  We at VivTech Products recommend looking for a veterinarian that specializes in reptiles and amphibians at ARAV.org, the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians.  These are veterinarians that have a keen interest in reptiles and amphibians and are willing to learn as well as teach.  Creating a symbiotic relationship with a vet is crucial to exceptional exotic pet care.

If there is NOT an ARAV veterinarian in your area, call one that is the closest and ask for a referral.  You would be surprised how many vets know someone that may help you!