A controversial constipation remedy

maggie3fan

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One time when Bob was alive and close to or over 90 lbs or so... he tried to climb the 3 high cinder block wall and flipped. I was not home and when I found him he had tried so hard to right himself he'd made a track in a circle around himself thru the grass and into mud, he'd pooped and peed horrible and he was not struggling at all. His eyes were half slits...I righted him as carefully as I could but he still went THUD as he then fell over.... his eyes looked better, but he was strange for about a half an hour...
 

wellington

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One time when Bob was alive and close to or over 90 lbs or so... he tried to climb the 3 high cinder block wall and flipped. I was not home and when I found him he had tried so hard to right himself he'd made a track in a circle around himself thru the grass and into mud, he'd pooped and peed horrible and he was not struggling at all. His eyes were half slits...I righted him as carefully as I could but he still went THUD as he then fell over.... his eyes looked better, but he was strange for about a half an hour...
Im sure when flipped for a long time it is not only deadly for the big guys specially but very hard on their entire system. You could tell by the circle he dug how hard he tried to save his life. They probably give up realizing this is the end or they are just out of steam.
Mine have never been flipped for a long time. Probably why they never pooped.
 

MenagerieGrl

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Im sure when flipped for a long time it is not only deadly for the big guys specially but very hard on their entire system. You could tell by the circle he dug how hard he tried to save his life. They probably give up realizing this is the end or they are just out of steam.
Mine have never been flipped for a long time. Probably why they never pooped.
Wow. . . I can only imagine what they are thingking after attemptng to "right" them selves after an extended period of time...
This thread has given me a whole NEW perspective of the potential severity of the situ.
Thank you @Armadilloguy for bringing this subject up, it has been a conversation I have learned from.
 

Toombsk16

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Alright, everyone. Long-time listener, first-time caller.

I "discovered" a potentially controversial yet very effective remedy for constipation in tortoises.

Before I explain, I want to clarify that I did quite a bit of research over the years before performing this, and concluded that, in my opinion, wasn't abusive despite what some big-time reptile enthusiasts may be led to believe.

I also want to clarify that since I definitely take my tortoise's health very seriously, I performed this with patient and attentive care. She was in my hands the whole time and was prepared to stop immediately if something looked wrong.

Many (if not all) tortoise owners have experienced a flip-over, whether it be a few minutes after it occured or when they arrive home from work, and unless the tortoise is very heavy or got cooked by its heatlamp, the tortoise is fine after getting righted or righting itself, if not a bit dazed and back to normal after a nap.

I have caught my tortoise on her back after trying to climb in her enclosure multiple times (this enclosure was promptly mad flip-proof, so don't worry) and each time was minutes after the flip occured, which is when I either righted her helped her right herself to get her used to helping herself if I'm ever gone. Despite this, the first result on google says that ANY period of time a tortoise spends on its back can prove fatal, due to its internal organs putting pressure on its lungs. This confused me, because if this were the case, my tortoise would've died a long time ago. This contradiction (like the many other annoying contradictions in reptile care) frustrated me, so I researched the specifics.

I learned from compiling information I gained from various sources (articles, YouTubers, reptile experts etc) that it's not necessarily that black and white. Small tortoises, such as mine, have lighter organs and far less mass being pressed against the lungs, and as such take hours upon hours to even make an impact on breathing, and would usually die from their heat source overheating them in their vulnurable belly-up position before they suffocate. Large tortoises, on the other hand, wouldn't do so well, as their heft is enough to crush their lungs, so I want to clarify that if I had a sulcata, the following procedure would definitely be abuse.

Before I make my final admission, there's a big detail that needs to be addressed: tortoises void their bowels when they are on their backs.

Have you guessed it yet?

My tortoise hadn't pooped for a week (light eating but no other symptoms), I got worried, and after many warm baths with no result, the lightbulb went on. I picked her up, cupped her shell-down in my hands and watched. I watched attentively for about 60 seconds for signs of breathing problems (with an intent to right her if I saw them, which I didnt) and as expected, the week old blockage was released.

I put her back on her feet and she's happy as a clam, even more peppy than before.

A single minute of discomfort resulted in a remedy for an actual health issue (which I will prevent with the proper dietary additive in the future, I'm considering pumpkin)

So, what do you think? Am I an abuser? Or did I do what was necessary? Was a minute on her back more stressful than a trip to the vet plus commute? Does that level of discomfort equate to inexcusable suffering?

(Note: Im not suggesting this as a mainstream remedy for anybody)
Hello, my family and I are proud to have a new baby Sulcata (Obi’) as part of our family. We did a lot of research before taking on a lifelong commitment.

I think you did your due diligence and I’m so glad you had such a positive result. I find it so unfortunate that the internet is littered with so much misinformation that it’s hard to know what to believe. It’s kind of like researching human health conditions. Results go from one end of the spectrum to the other.

How you went above and beyond to explain your cautiousness tells me you really care and want the best for your Tortoise.

I don’t think you did anything cruel, wrong or careless.
I’m coming to the conclusion with ours that in the big picture, Tortoises are relatively new to the pet community and there isn’t decades or centuries of knowledge with animals like dogs who are completely domesticated.

Tortoises especially over turtles (in my opinion) really do make wonderful pets. They are engaging, friendly & fairly easy to care for. (As long as their few very important needs are met) We are very happy and honestly excited that we have our Tortoise which we will be able to pass along to one of our young, but grown children. I find something very special about that as well as the peace of knowing he will be properly cared for & stay in our family for his entire life.

Thank you for the time you took to explain this treatment! Tortoise ??
 

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