Clear Liquid Coming From My Tortoise's Mouth.

Michelle522018

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Oct 17, 2018
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Myrtle Beach, SC.
I have a 19 year old Spur Thigh that is 150 lbs. This past year we moved from South Carolina to a colder climate in upstate NY. I have been using a small heater to keep him warm when the temperature drops. A short while ago I noticed that he had odd head movements as if he was itching and rubbing his head against his front legs. It was then that I noticed after touching him that there was a clear liquid coming from his mouth. With closer inspection I noticed he had some threads in his mouth from the blanket that I cover him with. I quickly removed these threads from his mouth. I am monitoring him closely and he is resting and he is acting close to normal but not 100%. Is there concerns that I should have? Does anyone have any advice they can give me to make sure that my tortoise's mouth and throat are clear of all fibers, considering that it is very hard getting his mouth completely open and not having my fingers amputated by his beak. I thank you all in advance for any help or advice that is given. Happy belated Holiday and God Bless.
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Michelle - first of all, I wanted to let you know that covering a cold-blooded animal with a blanket does absolutely nothing regarding keeping him warm, and, as you have found, it may be harmful if he decides to eat the blanket. Since tortoises don't make their own heat, being under a blanket doesn't help him. He gets his heat from outside sources. Hopefully,if he actually ate any of the blanket, it will pass without causing any trouble.

A large tortoise such as yours, needs either a dedicated warm room, or a space in a warm garage or basement during the winter. They need room to walk and exercise, in order for their digestive tract to work properly. Your tortoise needs a heat source that he can sit under to warm up (but not close enough to burn his shell). If your small heater keeps the whole room where his is kept in the 80s, that's good, but he'll also need the light/heat to sit under and bask.

So, get rid of that blanket, and give him a heat source - either a pig blanket or radiant heat panel - and warm up the whole room he's being kept in.
 
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Yvonne G

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After re-reading your post it came to me that the tortoise may have a respiratory infection from being allowed to get too cold. Rubbing the eyes, fluid from the nose or mouth, all symptoms of a respiratory infection. If this is the case it's pretty important to get his space warmed up to 80-85F degrees and keep it there. After the symptoms are gone, you can allow a SLIGHT drop in temperature at night.
 
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