HELP! (upside down in the water)

Carol S

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I am glad your tortoise is doing better. How terribly frightening for her and also for you to come home from work and finding her upside down in the water dish.
 

Ciri

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it's really good that you took her to the vet, given the situation. You're doing really well at tuning into her, and taking care of her. She is young, so she will be more vulnerable to flipping herself and not being able to flip her self back over. It just takes some time to figure out how to work the equipment! She'll get the hang of it eventually. Best wishes to you and your little one for a speedy recovery.
 

katfinlou

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Wishing your little one a full and speedy recovery. How lucky is she to have found such a great owner in you!!
 

Randi

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My issue is giving meds! She uses those front legs like armor to block her face haha. I feel bad pulling on her front legs to get her out. I tried injecting it into a small piece of fruit but she's too mad to eat it. Any advice on oral meds?
 

peasinapod

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My issue is giving meds! She uses those front legs like armor to block her face haha. I feel bad pulling on her front legs to get her out. I tried injecting it into a small piece of fruit but she's too mad to eat it. Any advice on oral meds?
I am sorry, I have no experience whatsoever. :(
 

Ciri

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My issue is giving meds! She uses those front legs like armor to block her face haha. I feel bad pulling on her front legs to get her out. I tried injecting it into a small piece of fruit but she's too mad to eat it. Any advice on oral meds?
I read this and have been racking my brain to think of a solution. Putting the meds in her food is a really good idea. Maybe in time she will settle down and eat the fruit. My veterinarian has never given me oral meds to administer. I remember asking him about using oral meds, and he said that it's very difficult to get them to swallow it, and not aspirate it. And that's if you can even get the meds in their mouth. When I have trouble doing what my vet told me, I call the office and see what they want me to do. Of course, your vet may not be in today. If that were the situation and I had to figure out a way to get the meds in, I would first soak the tortoise early in the morning. Then hopefully she will have had some time to urinate if she needs to. I would put the meds in a syringe with no needle and very gently insert the tip into her cloaca (anus). Put it in just barely far enough so that you can administer the medication – like 1/4 inch. It's important not to insert it too far because that could cause harm. I would administer the medication that way, since they are able to absorb things through their rectum. But hopefully she'll soon become more cooperative and eat it in her food.
 

peasinapod

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I read this and have been racking my brain to think of a solution. Putting the meds in her food is a really good idea. Maybe in time she will settle down and eat the fruit. My veterinarian has never given me oral meds to administer. I remember asking him about using oral meds, and he said that it's very difficult to get them to swallow it, and not aspirate it. And that's if you can even get the meds in their mouth. When I have trouble doing what my vet told me, I call the office and see what they want me to do. Of course, your vet may not be in today. If that were the situation and I had to figure out a way to get the meds in, I would first soak the tortoise early in the morning. Then hopefully she will have had some time to urinate if she needs to. I would put the meds in a syringe with no needle and very gently insert the tip into her cloaca (anus). Put it in just barely far enough so that you can administer the medication – like 1/4 inch. It's important not to insert it too far because that could cause harm. I would administer the medication that way, since they are able to absorb things through their rectum. But hopefully she'll soon become more cooperative and eat it in her food.


If you administer medicine anally it is absorbed faster by the body and is much stronger, as it doesn't go through the liver for example. I wouldn't do this without consulting your vet, as it may be harmful or that it may only be advisable afted changing the dosage!
 

Randi

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The vet made administering meds look super easy. She had her fingers near the rear pushing her legs in to push her out in the front, then she grabbed her front feet and pulled them out and stuck the syringe near her face. She hissed and the vet got it in. I'm a single person doing this for the first time and it's very awkward. I feel like I'm hurting her. And then when i manage to get the syringe past her legs, her legs pin it together and i can't see if it's in her mouth
Ahhh going to try the food again now that she's calmer
 

crimson_lotus

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At first my vet gave me oral meds too, and it was hilarious (even though it really shouldn't be) since I first put it all over her favorite food, which is Mazuri. She was SO excited when she saw the treats...and then she tasted it. She kept trying to eat it and gagged every time, like what the hell?! what did you do to my delicious food?
 

Randi

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Hopefully the fruit will distract her from the medicine that lurks inside hahaha.
 

Ciri

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I am thrilled to hear that the kiwi and watermelon worked!!! It is so much nicer to administer meds with persuasion. Keep us posted on her progress.
 

Randi

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I have a question about diet..

I will explain her life prior to me owning her. She arrived at Petsmart in December of last year. She stayed in quarantine because after a few weeks of her being in the store, she was showing signs of fungus. I had found out about her at the beginning of July, this year. At this point, her fungus turned into rot and the only left to do was injections. The store did not want this expense anymore and was going to euthanize her. A friend told me about all this and I decided to adopt her out of the store. I went to look at her to see what kind of shape she was in. She was being kept in a five gallon tank, with soil that was soaked. She had a 25W heat lamp and no UVB source. Her plastron was incredibly soft and the skin was coming off in places. I decided I'd like to try and fix her. I set up a tank downstairs away from all my animals, where nobody goes so it's quiet as well. I tested the temps and humidity for a few days before bringing her home. I found out she only was offered kale and carrots at the store which she never wanted to eat.

I brought her home and offered her spring mix, red and green leaf lettuce as well as dandelion greens dusted with calcium. She ate for hours. She had weird shell deformities as well when I got her. It was as if the middle of her shell (the seam?) was sinking in? It's almost gone now so I'm assuming it was a nutrition thing? I was feeding her three times a day as well as bathing her 3 times or more a day with scrubs for her plastron.

Her fungus/shell rot was visibly gone within three weeks of treatment. She has been cleared by a vet as well. She just needs her plastron to level back out skin wise after losing so much. I'm now wondering how often I should be feeding? I feed twice a day with a bath before every feeding and misting her tank with warm water twice daily. I have an incredibly long food list that I have compiled after reading threads - it goes through cal/phos ratios, oxalate concentrations, etc of foods and frequencies of what to feed. She gets fruit once every week, with this week being an exception for her medication. She also gets hard boiled egg once every two weeks. She weighed in at 51 grams at the vet after this flipping in her water dish thing from weighing 55 grams two days before at home.

Is feeding her twice a day too much? I'd like a smooth and even shell. I've read that skipping a day a week would be beneficial but I don't feel as though in the wild they would often skip eating unless they've had a big meal? I've also read that humidity can play a role in pyramiding and uneven shells. She lives on cypress mulch and it's misted twice daily. I scoop out about two inches and replace once a week. Then every two weeks I sanitize the inside of the tank and her objects.

Sorry for the long read but I wanna make sure she is well taken care of.

Pics: her shell on her first night home, shell after three weeks of treatment, and pics of her
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Randi

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She also has Exo-Terra halogen fixtures for heat and then Aquatic Life T5 lights for UVB. I dust her food for one meal and the next two meals are calcium free. I then dust again and so on..
 

Jodie

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Wow, what a difference TLC made for this little one. Good for you! I am a Leopard girl, so can't help you. Wanted to tell you good job though. You are obviously doing something right.
 

Randi

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Thank you so much. I took her in so I could give her a better life. And to hear that it appears as I'm doing that, it's inspiring. The support and guidance on this site is amazing. Thank you.
 

crimson_lotus

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You're a wonderful person, not many people would do what you did. Great job with her!

I had the same question about how often I should feed my tortoise. From this forum, I felt the general consensus was once a day, although be aware what is high calorie and what is not. I personally feed my redfoot once a day, fruit every 5 days, Mazuri twice a week, and greens on the remaining days, sometimes dusting the greens with some herbal tortoise hay from Tortoise Supply to make it less bland. She also loves brusselsprouts, squash, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes...so many foods are available to them. Oh, and sometimes I feed her boiled shrimp/chicken/egg...I tried snails once as well...I feed her protein once a month, however a lot of keepers do the 2 week thing like you do.

Keep in mind that my girl is a few years old, your redfoot looks pretty young.

But yeah, my point is you're right about their diet in the wild - they definitely wouldn't not eat for a day or two.
 

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