Hole in Jaw

J_Alba1980

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Walter is a 3 month old Sulcata. I've had him about a month. He weighs 60 grams. Day temps 100 basking, 80 ambient, both on thermostat, humidity between 76 and 83%. Night temps at 83-86 on a thermostat. Humidity 85-90%. Diet is fresh grass clippings daily, tortoise pellets (softened with hot water), pansies, geranium, dandelion and the occasional piece of lettuce.
Last week I had family in town from across the country, and Walter was living in a friends room while we built his new enclosure. I watched his temps, but didn't see if he was eating well. Last Wednesday my family left (today is Wed so 7 days ago) and I noticed he had a lack of appetite, but was still eating. I figured he was bored, so I got him new grass and weeds. 3 days ago I noticed he was trying very hard to eat, but he couldn't open his mouth very wide and wouldn't grab onto the food. He wants to eat REALLY bad. He would rub his face with his front leg after trying to open his mouth. I started grinding up grass with some carrot baby food and trying to syringe feed him.. he said no thanks, and trying to make him open his mouth is incredibly difficult. Yesterday it progressed to a large lump on the corner of his jaw where the top and bottom meet. I read alot from this forum, and rubbed it gently with a q-tip, and alot of his skin came off the bottom jaw and a chunk came out off the corner, leaving a hole. Today, we went to the Vet. I was given Baytril 0.025mls IM every 3 days, and colloidal silver to bathe him and for his water dish to replace water. Prognosis is poor per the Vet.
I suppose I am looking for other people who have had this issue, any input about it, happy endings, tips on anything I can do to help him heal.
Thanks, and I hope to hear some personal experiences to give me hope!
 

daniellenc

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Is it an abscess? Not sure why prognosis would be poor if he’s medicated. I’d start extra long soaks twice a day to replace water and let it heal. He’ll start eating once healing sets in.
 

J_Alba1980

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Location (City and/or State)
Oregon
How long can he go without food? I"d hate for the wound to start healing only to have him die of starvation :(
 

daniellenc

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He can easily go weeks without food but water/hydration is key. Colloidal silver by his mouth worries me that stuff is pretty unsafe and shouldn’t be ingested. Is this a herp vet you went to? I also would not add it to his soaks and stick with water but I’m not a vet and maybe there are uses for this in reptiles just never heard of any.
 

J_Alba1980

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Location (City and/or State)
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It was a herp vet. She said the colloidal silver is safe to ingest, and drinking it would help soothe his injury and would kill bacteria and fungal infections. He is still drinking like a champ... at least it looks like he is. He makes his drinking face when he plunges his face in the water. I increased his soaks to twice a day for at least 30 minutes starting today, and I put him in his water dish every couple hours.
 
M

Maggie Cummings

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I live in Oregon as well. He will stop eating because of the Baytril. I've had several torts with missing jaws or holes in them. I soak them in carrots (baby food) when they stop eating. If you're not too far away and need some support, mentally or physically I could come and help. I use Betadine and Nolvasan, I wouldn't use that silver on any of my chelonia. I can also bring some pain meds for him too. I have 4 Sulcata and a buncha box turtles.
Tom or Yvonne will probably give you better advice
 

J_Alba1980

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Maggie, your only about an hour from me! Small world! So you guys recommend I stop the silver and use betadine or nolvasan instead. I can do that. Just pour it over the wound? What do you use for pain meds? I don't mean to be a pain, but I feel like the knowledge on this forum is invaluable to me and to Walter. I appreciate all input!!
 

ascott

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Maggie, your only about an hour from me! Small world! So you guys recommend I stop the silver and use betadine or nolvasan instead. I can do that. Just pour it over the wound? What do you use for pain meds? I don't mean to be a pain, but I feel like the knowledge on this forum is invaluable to me and to Walter. I appreciate all input!!


If Maggie is able to give you hands on, take that offer. Pain meds, not necessary---this is still a "wild" animal....they can endure without pain meds, I know, sounds harsh...but they are not sissy like us humans.....I would make sure to keep that area clean...I would get a small clean bottle, fill it with warm clean water and be sure to flush the wound a few times a day...I also would allow a self soaking spot for the tort to rest in....eating, the last thing the tort is harmed by is lack of eating ---for a good few weeks...but hydration and flushing is essential....I would also make sure that the enclosure is never below 80 degrees at all times...day and night, the elevated temp will bump the immune system into maximum operation..cold is not desirable while healing....also, be sure that no fly gets in their with him...they create a really creepy result (fly+ wound=, well, maggots....while they would eat away dead flesh, they tend to creep us humans out, likely a primal thing).....
 
M

Maggie Cummings

Guest
If Maggie is able to give you hands on, take that offer. Pain meds, not necessary---this is still a "wild" animal....they can endure without pain meds, I know, sounds harsh...but they are not sissy like us humans.....I would make sure to keep that area clean...I would get a small clean bottle, fill it with warm clean water and be sure to flush the wound a few times a day...I also would allow a self soaking spot for the tort to rest in....eating, the last thing the tort is harmed by is lack of eating ---for a good few weeks...but hydration and flushing is essential....I would also make sure that the enclosure is never below 80 degrees at all times...day and night, the elevated temp will bump the immune system into maximum operation..cold is not desirable while healing....also, be sure that no fly gets in their with him...they create a really creepy result (fly+ wound=, well, maggots....while they would eat away dead flesh, they tend to creep us humans out, likely a primal thing).....

I always forget the good advice you give, I apologize for that. I use Metacam to make them a little more comfortable. I would get some sterile water from Rite Aid and flush with that. Let me know what you want to do. I talked to Yvonne last night and she says flushing with that silver is quite healing. But she's not sure about ingesting it. You will see that you'll get a lot of advice, all different, but you have to make a choice and do what feels best to you. None of us would give you "bad" advice.
I'm retired so my time is free. Let me know....
 

J_Alba1980

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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Oregon
I'd be happy to enlist your support Maggie. I don't want to inconvenience you, but I"d love some eyes on him to give it to me straight. Should I box him up and bring him to you? Also, is it safe to post my number here for you?
 
M

Maggie Cummings

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I'd be happy to enlist your support Maggie. I don't want to inconvenience you, but I"d love some eyes on him to give it to me straight. Should I box him up and bring him to you? Also, is it safe to post my number here for you?
Or I can come to you, I love to drive. No don't post your number here....send it [email protected]
BTW....it's not any inconvenience to me, no worries
 

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