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Impaction: HOW LONG TO WAIT BEFORE GO TO VET?

leopardforlyfe

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
Missoula, MT
COMPLETE MYSTERY, PLEASE READ:

Sorry for the delay in posting Lupe's progress. Lets just say that it has been a bumpy ride....

First off, thank you everyone who gave advise and insight! I really appreciate it! I did my best to do everything I could which included:

-Soaking sometimes as much as 2-3 times a day 40 mins-1 hour
-giving her cactus, mineral oil, and pumpkin (though she would never eat the pumpkin)
-kept her enclosure and soak water nice and warm (85-110 degrees in different areas of enclosure)
-tried to get her to walk and exercise
-even put my face scrubber (that vibrates) under the bottom of her shell to loosen things up...

And after exactly 2 weeks, Lupe has yet to poop. But the mystery just STARTS there.

So 2 days ago I took Lupe to an exotic animal vet. They took x-rays and sure enough she is impacted. They gave her an enima and sent her home, telling me to start adding fiber back into her diet and cut back on mineral oil and cactus and to cut back on the amount of soaking I was doing. It seemed strange that her advise was so contrary to everyone here on the forum, but I figured I would try it for a few days to see if there was any progress.

SO...This morning she was acting normally until she was in her soak. I noticed she was doing the thing where they go underwater and suck their heads and arms in, and I thought, maybe she is gonna poop! Only she didn't. She just stayed in there. I kept an eye on her and thought, maybe she is just really trying to get everything out. Until I noticed she wasn't moving. I took her out to look at her and she was COMPLETELY LIFELESS. Totally limp, her limbs seemed somewhat swollen and her eyes were also swollen shut and red! I was freaking out, patting her shell and trying to come to terms with the fact that she was very likely dead. I couldn't believe it though, and after a minute or so passed and I ran over to the faucet to run her under some cold water to try and get her to wake up. Eventually she did show some sign of life! and slowly mucus started bubbling out of her nose and mouth and then eventually out of her whole body! It was scary, but she seemed to wake up more and more as the more mucus that came out.

I took her back to the vet and they said that she may have respirated some of her water while soaking...? I am so confused as to why in the world she would have done that and why she wouldn't have come up for breath if she was struggling to breathe...? Genuinely confused, YET THANKFUL! So thankful that she is now seemingly okay. The vet did get her an antibiotic shot in case there was any water that was left in her lungs.

One thing that also happened that seemed less important, though mysterious, is that when I picked her up out of the water and as she was coming too she had pooped out a BUNCH of mineral oil. Like A LOT. I have been giving her mineral oil on all of her food for the past week and a half and this point and was noticing that it seemed to pass right through her as she would poop out a tiny bit of it during every soak. But apparently, I was wrong in thinking that most of it was coming out. I think she was struggling (probably because of the impaction) to get it out. I only add that bit as just a bit of caution about the use of mineral oil with impaction. I'm sure it has helped other torts out there, but I have a feeling that maybe I gave her too much, or something went sideways with it. I'm not sure. Maybe just be weary, or at least VERY observant when feeding it to your tortoise.

All that to say, she is doing amazingly well for having been seemingly a total gonner this morning. Praise God! But the poor girl has had it rough as of late. Any insight into what may have happened and any advise as to how to proceed is MOST welcome! Thanks again for your time and care!
 

TammyJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
2,870
Location (City and/or State)
Jamaica
I don't think anyone meant for you to give her large, continuous doses of mineral oil. Of course that would not be advised. Too much of anything is good for nothing. But I am glad that she seems to be improving! I hope it continues and that she will be completely herself again soon.
 

leopardforlyfe

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
Missoula, MT
I don't think anyone meant for you to give her large, continuous doses of mineral oil. Of course that would not be advised. Too much of anything is good for nothing. But I am glad that she seems to be improving! I hope it continues and that she will be completely herself again soon.
Very true! I didn't think I was overdoing it at the time, but I guess I was. Just confused at to what happened exactly-didn't seem like it was really from the mineral oil per se, but it could have been. Not sure.
 

MikeT307

New Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2020
Messages
28
Location (City and/or State)
Florida
Glad that your little tort is on the rebound. Good thing you got it to the vet in time! Any thoughts on what it was eating to cause the impaction?
 
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