Getting desperate with Ares desert tort

NancKj

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Please help me guys...Ares recovered from his acute post vet visit crash. Still not eating or pooing tho, which was original issue. Day 19. Very sluggish until I get him moving on lawn or in pool, then he acts perfectly "normal". All he wants to do is go back to his house. Will not even look at food. Nothing. New xray shows he is still full of gas, but impaction has moved. Vet wanted to stomach tube mineral oil again. I said no because of what happened last time vet did that. He is getting meloxicam for pain daily.
Do you think there is any hope? 19 days of no food. Should I take him to yet another vet? Calabasas All Animals, or even to the board certified specialist at Access in Culver City?? I di not just want to watch him fade away and die!!
 

TammyJ

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I am so very sorry about this. I understand how you feel and hope he survives. Long, warm soaks in water to where plastron meets carapace. Add some coconut water or pedialyte, and some carrot baby food to the water. Keep water comfortably warm. Watch him while he is soaking. When you take him out of his warm soak, put him in his warm enclosure. Always have fresh food right outside of his hide. Good luck.
 

NancKj

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Thank you TammyJ. I am doing the soaks twice a day and will keep it up. Daytime temps now are quite warm, high 90s. Last night got as low as 63. Is that too chilly for him in his condition? He is in his outdoor pen with a somewhat insulated house. Should I bring him into the house at night where I keep it around 77?
 

TammyJ

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You absolutely need to keep him warm at night!
 
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mark1

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19 days without food is not dangerous ........i had a turtle not eat from end of august to mid june the following year ....... he did hibernate (was pretty cold) for 4 months of that though, but he was definitely extremely ill at month 8 or 9 , he's fine today ....... until they find the cause of the impaction and clear it up i doubt your tortoise is going to do well ...... well hydrated and summer temps , in 19 days , imo , it should have passed ........ x-rays leave a lot to guessing when it comes to soft tissue , good vets are amazingly good at guessing off an x-ray .......... my opinion , take him to the molnar guy , see if you get a similar opinion ...... i'd think the mineral oil , along with some contrast and additional x-rays would help see how serious this is .........

Reptile Medicine: It’s Not Always Fun
 

NancKj

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I appreciate the advice, mark 1, and I wiil take it and call the Molnar guy Mon am. They are closed today. In the meantime I will keep him warm, keep soaking and making him walk around. I think I will stop the meloxicam for now because of its potential to irritate stomach lining as it is a NSAID like ibuprofen.
 

TammyJ

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I am not sure it's a good idea to halt a course of antibiotics. I have heard it's not good unless you have been told by your vet to stop giving it, after consulting with him or her.
 

TammyJ

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I am not sure it's a good idea to halt a course of antibiotics. I have heard it's not good unless you have been told by your vet to stop giving it, after consulting with him or her.
Of course, it all depends on a possible unknown, like how your tortoise is actually responding to the meds.
 

NancKj

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Of course, it all depends on a possible unknown, like how your tortoise is actually responding to the meds.
Of course, it all depends on a possible unknown, like how your tortoise is actually responding to the meds.
I agree about the meds, but this particular drug is not an antibiotic. It is anti inflammatory, so can be stopped without harm. I just have to watch for any sign that he is more uncomfortable, in which case I would restart
 

wellington

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Must keep him 80-85 day and night and still give a basking area. Make sure the soaks are in a large container he can move around in. Keep him moving for most of the soak. Keep water warm and deep, up about half way up the shell but where he can keep head out.
Try give him a car ride daily. Most tortoises will poop in a car ride.
Keep him hydrated is important. Eating, they can go a long time without food.
He likely will not poop as he may not have any poop to poop out without the eating.
@Yvonne G
 

JMM

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You definitely need a vet with expertise in torts asap. Try and get into Dr. Molnar in Calabasas. I don't know how far you are from this vet, https://lbah.com/ but they are another good option. You may want to contact Access as a backup. This is going on far, far too long.
 

NancKj

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Thanks JMM. Both vets I have been to so far claim extensive experience with exotics including reptiles. Already have a call in to Access. They will get back to me hopefully tomorrow. Dr Molnar is less than 4 miles from me. Planning to call first thing tomorrow am
 

JMM

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Good luck. Unfortunately, having experience with exotics or reptiles is not the same as having tort experience. Torts have a very different physiology and metabolism than other reptiles. Their anatomy, particularly their shell presents a unique challenge. Thus, you need someone who is very experienced with dealing with medical issues (and surgical approaches) of torts.
 

NancKj

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I completely agree. However, when I find a vet that claims to be proficient in reptiles, and call them and say, do you have experience with CDTs and they respond, "oh yes, we see them all the time". I assume they are competent. My error. I should have asked how many they treated actually survived...
 
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