Edema

Yingg

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Hello. This is my first post here, so please tell me if I am doing something wrong. My vet told me that my tortoise has edema, basically what she said was that the tortoise had liquid under her skin. what are the causes of this edema and how can I fix it? Is it something that can be pulled out with a syringe (by a vet of course) or should I change her diet, sunlight exposure, etc etc. thank you everyone.
 

EppsDynasty

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I am NO expert but as I understand it this is caused from either to much protein, or lack of proper enclosure size. You will have to give some more details such as the enclosure size and temperatures. We will also need to know species of tort and diet.
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Hello!
Can you also post photos of your tortoise and its enclosure? And the details asked in previous post.
 

TammyJ

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Hi and welcome! I am curious about your vet. If they think your tortoise has Edema, what do they think causes it? Surely you gave your vet the information that might help the vet to find out what caused it? What did your vet tell you or ask you? Also please can you post some pictures of the tortoise so we can try to help you more? Thanks!
 

Yvonne G

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Edema is usually resorbed. Please answer the questions posed above and post pictures of the animal.
 

Yingg

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I am NO expert but as I understand it this is caused from either to much protein, or lack of proper enclosure size. You will have to give some more details such as the enclosure size and temperatures. We will also need to know species of tort and diet.
Yes she is 15 year old russian. She eats lettuce, apples, carrots, mustard greens, dandelions from the yard, maybe weeds too... and I've seen grass similarly. Oh, and some broccoli and red/purple cabbage. her enclosure is small, but she's usually outside most of the time. only when it gets rlly cold at night, I'll leave her in there. Think of one of those massive plastic tubs, but wood. so she's mostly outside, I suppose her "enclosure" size then is half an acre. (The fenced in portion)
 

Yingg

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Hi and welcome! I am curious about your vet. If they think your tortoise has Edema, what do they think causes it? Surely you gave your vet the information that might help the vet to find out what caused it? What did your vet tell you or ask you? Also please can you post some pictures of the tortoise so we can try to help you more? Thanks!
they said that they don't know and they will have to run tests that cost nearly 1k. I gave them my tortoise, and the vet says that she is healthy but has some edema. she just said she doesn't know and she has to run tests. i will post pictures of my tortoise shortly.
 

Yingg

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Hi and welcome! I am curious about your vet. If they think your tortoise has Edema, what do they think causes it? Surely you gave your vet the information that might help the vet to find out what caused it? What did your vet tell you or ask you? Also please can you post some pictures of the tortoise so we can try to help you more? Thanks!
Hello again, I'm not quite sure if I can post images to my original post. Ive replied with them here. Thanks!
 

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TammyJ

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What tests are they planning to give him that will cost that enormous amount of money??!! Sounds like this is going to work out just fine for only one individual -- the vet!!! Familiar with this kind of situation. So disgusting.
 

Yingg

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Hello!
Can you also post photos of your tortoise and its enclosure? And the details asked in previous post.
Yes here are pictures of my tortoise. her enclosure is the whole yard. I can't really take pictures right now, but think lawn, mulch, lots of trees and shrubs, and a whole section of slate for her to bask. There is also a pond with lots of rocks so she can walk and file down her claws. I am away right now and I'm not sure when I'll be back. Here are old pictures I have of her. Thank you! (Also I'm replying because I'm not sure how to edit my post.)
 

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Yingg

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What tests are they planning to give him that will cost that enormous amount of money??!! Sounds like this is going to work out just fine for only one individual -- the vet!!! Familiar with this kind of situation. So disgusting.
Oh my gosh really?! I thought that was normal. she said the blood test ALONE will cost me 630$, and I was very shocked. thats why I'm here to get second opinions. I thought surely it wouldn't cost that much, but this is the only vet who mentioned this issue (And the only one tortoise currently sees.) so genuinely, I wouldn't know better if the amount was right or wrong! i feel bad for second guessing but money is tight for me now. If i had it then I would definitely pay, I don't want her to suffer. (ps tortoise is active and still loves eating basking and doing her strange tortoise yoga under the sun.)
On top of that, she said she doesn't know what the issue is so she may have to do more tests. And then if tortoise needs antibiotics, they are nearly 300$. So, just under 1k give or take
 

zovick

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Oh my gosh really?! I thought that was normal. she said the blood test ALONE will cost me 630$, and I was very shocked. thats why I'm here to get second opinions. I thought surely it wouldn't cost that much, but this is the only vet who mentioned this issue (And the only one tortoise currently sees.) so genuinely, I wouldn't know better if the amount was right or wrong! i feel bad for second guessing but money is tight for me now. If i had it then I would definitely pay, I don't want her to suffer. (ps tortoise is active and still loves eating basking and doing her strange tortoise yoga under the sun.)
On top of that, she said she doesn't know what the issue is so she may have to do more tests. And then if tortoise needs antibiotics, they are nearly 300$. So, just under 1k give or take
Edema is frequently caused by kidney failure. A good blood test should tell you if the tortoise has kidney failure, but then the question is whether or not it is treatable. It may not be treatable in some cases. It doesn't sound to me as though the vet is very well versed in tortoise care, personally.

If you are not certain about spending the $$ and the tortoise is otherwise acting and eating fine, maybe the best thing to do is nothing at all. IE, don't bother going back to the vet unless things get much worse.
 

wellington

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Yes she is 15 year old russian. She eats lettuce, apples, carrots, mustard greens, dandelions from the yard, maybe weeds too... and I've seen grass similarly. Oh, and some broccoli and red/purple cabbage. her enclosure is small, but she's usually outside most of the time. only when it gets rlly cold at night, I'll leave her in there. Think of one of those massive plastic tubs, but wood. so she's mostly outside, I suppose her "enclosure" size then is half an acre. (The fenced in portion)
Stop the apples, they shouldn't have any fruit.
Going off of what zovick mentioned it could be, what if you had only blood work done for a kidney test. I would start there.
 

Yingg

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Edema is frequently caused by kidney failure. A good blood test should tell you if the tortoise has kidney failure, but then the question is whether or not it is treatable. It may not be treatable in some cases. It doesn't sound to me as though the vet is very well versed in tortoise care, personally.

If you are not certain about spending the $$ and the tortoise is otherwise acting and eating fine, maybe the best thing to do is nothing at all. IE, don't bother going back to the vet unless things get much worse.
I see, she is still very active. Today she walked nonstop for hours, and still lounged as usual. What could be the cause of this liver failure though? And if there is a fix, what can I do to make her more comfortable? Thank you!
 

Yingg

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Stop the apples, they shouldn't have any fruit.
Going off of what zovick mentioned it could be, what if you had only blood work done for a kidney test. I would start there.
Oh, okay. no apples then. Thankfully she had them only like... once a month, lol. If I manage to get the money I will do the test. However, if it turns out to be a kidney issue, what could I do from there? Find the cause and address it (What is a possible cause anyway...) Or is it pretty much not treatable ..? sorry for asking all these questions, I just want to give her the best life I possibly can.
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Hi!
Reduced kidney function can be due to infections, incorrect husbandry and diet and perhaps some other reasons.

Vets can diagnose and address acute kidney failures and infections.

Without a vet you can ensure proper care (no matter if it's a renal infection, kidney failure or not, your tortoise will benefit from it):
1. Keep tortoise well hydrated with regular soaks, provide clean, fresh water all the time.
2. Don't overdo with calcium and vitamin D3 supplementation. With tortoises living outdoors you likely won't need any dietary D3 at all.
3. Proper diet - more fiber and less protein, good Calcium to phosphorus ratio. E.g. cut down clover and alfalfa grass (typical component in many commercial pellets) which are high in plant protein, add more variety of weeds and leafy greens. Only lettuce and dandelions is not a good diet yet they are fine as a part of variety.

Does your tortoise pass urates, what consistency?
 

EppsDynasty

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@Yingg .... You say lettuce, are you talking about Iceberg? This is just a dart in the dark but maybe not enough of the fiber and other things needed for a healthy diet. If it is Iceberg STOP feeding it, it's only value is it's water content. I am tending to listen to @zovick here. He is FAR more knowledgeable about doctor things since he is a Dr. If it is a kidney issue your kinda in a boat your not in control of, it will dictate what is going to happen and your kinda just along for the ride trying to do things that may help. The vet is a no go in my opinion. Where in CA are you?
 

Yingg

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Hi!
Reduced kidney function can be due to infections, incorrect husbandry and diet and perhaps some other reasons.

Vets can diagnose and address acute kidney failures and infections.

Without a vet you can ensure proper care (no matter if it's a renal infection, kidney failure or not, your tortoise will benefit from it):
1. Keep tortoise well hydrated with regular soaks, provide clean, fresh water all the time.
2. Don't overdo with calcium and vitamin D3 supplementation. With tortoises living outdoors you likely won't need any dietary D3 at all.
3. Proper diet - more fiber and less protein, good Calcium to phosphorus ratio. E.g. cut down clover and alfalfa grass (typical component in many commercial pellets) which are high in plant protein, add more variety of weeds and leafy greens. Only lettuce and dandelions is not a good diet yet they are fine as a part of variety.

Does your tortoise pass urates, what consistency?
yes thank you for all the tips! her urates are clear and watery, sometimes it's a bit brown. (slightly). the white part is always egg white consistency
 

Yingg

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@Yingg .... You say lettuce, are you talking about Iceberg? This is just a dart in the dark but maybe not enough of the fiber and other things needed for a healthy diet. If it is Iceberg STOP feeding it, it's only value is it's water content. I am tending to listen to @zovick here. He is FAR more knowledgeable about doctor things since he is a Dr. If it is a kidney issue your kinda in a boat your not in control of, it will dictate what is going to happen and your kinda just along for the ride trying to do things that may help. The vet is a no go in my opinion. Where in CA are you?
no i am not feeding iceberg. it's red leaf, green leaf, arugula, those sorts of things. it's sad that i can't help her, i hope i can make her more comfy though. i'm based just below the bay area. can you recommend a good vet?
 

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