Inhaled Water

klawran1

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Okay so I think my Russian is trying to give me a heart attack on this lovely morning. He had his breakfast then his warm soak. The water was as deep as it always is, a little above the bottom of his shell, deep enough that he can submerge most of his head if he wants. That being said, he began to drink, then dunked his face under water. Well... He inhaled apparently. I read on a vet site to hold him upside down so I did that. He was breathing normally after a few minutes and the water stopped coming out of his nose. Every now and then he will exhale hard which sounds like a snort, but breathing fine otherwise. I have some questions about this. First, what would make him inhale water on purpose? I've soaked him the same way since he was a tiny hatchling and he's never intentionally inhaled water. Second, am I looking at a respiratory infection and vet visit in my very near future? Anyone have experience with this?
 

JoesMum

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It is perfectly normal for a tortoise to put its entire head under the water while drinking.

Don't panic!

They don't usually drown. Some do it and some don't. The ones that do very rarely come to any harm; they just scare new owners half to death :)

Are you sure water was actually inhaled or was it just being sprayed everywhere afterwards?
 

klawran1

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Positive. I've had this tortoise 9 years and this is a first for me. I dried him off to be sure it was actually dripping out of his nostrils. He's still making the snorting noise here and there, but he's walking around acting normal otherwise.
 

Yvonne G

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The other end of the nostrils goes into the roof of a tortoise's mouth, not down into his lungs. Consequently, tortoises drink through their mouths and noses at the same time. Perfectly natural and normal.
 

klawran1

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Acworth, GA
The other end of the nostrils goes into the roof of a tortoise's mouth, not down into his lungs. Consequently, tortoises drink through their mouths and noses at the same time. Perfectly natural and normal.
Good to know. He stopped making the choking/sneezing noise a few minutes ago and is back to wanting to murder me, so I'm guessing he feels fine now.
 

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