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Constipated Sulcata

Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by Nessa, Dec 7, 2017 at 2:44 AM.

  1. Nessa

    Nessa New Member

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    Hi everyone!

    I lost my sulcata for 4 days. I got her back a week and a half ago, and since then, she has not pooped. I have been giving her long soaks everyday. Today was extra long, one hour. Not sure if that is too long to soak a sulcata. I was just sitting with her making sure the water stayed warm and she pooped, but nothing happened. Today she did not pee either, however, yesterday she did and she is very hydrated from the looks of her pee.

    She ate grass 2 days ago, but for some reason she did not want to eat the pumpkin I gave her. The pumpkin had mineral oil on it. She is usually happy with the pumpkin even if there in mineral oil added. I decided to put mineral oil on the grass she was nibbling on in front of her, which I was able to get mineral oil in her that way to assist with the constipation. Yet, even with the mineral oil, she has not pooped.

    It does not seem like she is trying to push anything out though. Today she did not eat. I tired the pumpkin again :( She is a little bit lethargic, but it is also getting cold where I live (Southern California, Los Angeles area) and my other torts have been staying out of the cold as well. I brought her into the house today and she was walking around and active.

    My question is, should I wait for her to poop of her own with regular soaks everyday? Or would any of you recommend that I just go ahead and take her to the vet. I have read on another thread that someone's sulcata did not poop for 4 weeks and kept giving soaks everyday and finally popped the 5th week. The recommendations were to be patient, but I am just worried that if I wait it might get worse. I would rather not pay over $100 for a vet if I don't have to, but if I do I am more than willing to do so.

    Thank you everyone for your help!


    Also, if you are interested in the story of her getting lost and how I found her, click the link :) https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/missing-lost-sulcata-tortoise.162332/
  2. Alaskamike

    Alaskamike Well-Known Member

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    It is possible she ate something while “ on the run” that is not passing easily. But the change in weather also has an impact on metabolism. Their internal body temp needs to be 80f+ to metabolize food.

    I would wait & monitor movement & intake. Is there any other food she will eat like watermelon, bell pepper, cucumber ? Sometimes these will get things moving.

    Good fortune to you & your tort.
    Nessa and Bee62 like this.
  3. Nessa

    Nessa New Member

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    She is in an insulated and heated dog house so in terms of her being warm, there is no problem there.

    I really appreciate the advice, I will go to the store today and see if I can pick up a variety of food that she usually loves and see where that takes me.

    Thanks again!
  4. Darrell Simpson

    Darrell Simpson New Member

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    I noticed my 45 lb male Sulcata will poop in his water dish after drinking and soaking in it first . A trick the vet did to get a fecal from my bearded dragon was to soak him in a few inches of warm water . Of course not to warm , I wonder if that would encourage yours . I use a hot water tank drip tray from home depot as a water dish , its only a few inches deep and he climbs in and out of it easily .
  5. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    What is the temperature in the dog house?

    How much time is the tortoise spending outside in the warm sun, and how much time in the house on the cold floor?

    Daily soaks are the way to go, but the lack of appetite is concerning me. This time of year, lack of appetite is usually due to cold temps. If the tortoise got too cold at night or during the day while it she was away from you, it can take a couple of weeks to recover and get "normal" again. Some people will see this after the power goes out and their tortoise gets cold in its outdoor box. Takes a little while for them to get back on track sometimes.

    Increasing the heat might help with this. I set my boxes to 86 in winter, so they always have somewhere to go warm up on the colder days.

    Sometimes a car ride will break things loose too. Put her in a plastic tub and go for a drive. The warmer it is in the car the better. Strip down to a T-shirt and shorts and drive around with the heater on. Remember that where they come from the high is near 100 almost every day. If you ain't sweating and uncomfortable, it ain't hot enough yet.
  6. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    I understand that she must have been outside because she was lost, but I just wanted to make sure you understand that they really need the walking activity to keep their inner works working.
    Tom likes this.
  7. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Yvonne makes a good point! Where are you soaking? If you soak in the bathtub, they will usually start the tortoise soaking march pretty quick, and that usually breaks things loose in the GI tract.

    Its no problem to soak for an hour or more. It won't hurt a thing. I have a friend who soaks his young ones for 5-6 hours a day out in the sun, and those are some of the healthiest nicest looking babies I've ever seen.
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