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Radiated blocked.

Discussion in 'Tortoise Health' started by Anyfoot, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone.

    I just received 3 radiated torts 3 days ago.
    There is a problem with one of them.
    It has what looks like small pieces of wood coming out of the cloaca. Looks to me like it's been eating some spiny foliage. Anyway it's also dragging its back legs as though it's in pain. It's more like waddling like a duck than dragging. It can't even climb out of the water dish.
    I noticed immediately something was wrong when I got it home. The cloaca was bulging and we could see the blockage. We carefully pulled out what we could. It's obvious the tort is straining whilst trying to push. I'm soaking this tort twice a day for 30 mins. I actually thought it was getting better but today it looks like what ever is blocked is back.
    Is it possible a blockage can cause a tort not to use the back legs correctly.
    Also it can't bend its tail around like it should be able to.

    I fed it some mango on Sunday when I realised what was going on, hoping that fruit would aid loosening the blockage. It ate a bit and not eaten since.

    The breeder is being very helpful and contacting his vet for advice tomorrow. He's willing to refund me or exchange animal.
    Obviously I want to help and keep this animal.
    Anyone got any advice please.

    Photos are in order of what's gone off. You can see on the paper towel what came out.

    Last photo is the cloaca today.

    IMG_1640.JPG IMG_1642.JPG IMG_1644.JPG

    IMG_1652.JPG IMG_1655.JPG IMG_1665.JPG IMG_1666.JPG
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    You can lubricate around the edge, around the blockage. Take a syringe (no needle) with a pointed tip and squirt mineral oil in along the edge of the blockage. You can also pick at it and break it up, getting out what will come.
    TammyJ and Anyfoot like this.
  3. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    I too was going to mention the mineral oil. Maybe try feeding lots of cucumber, aloe, lettuces to make it easier for him to pass things and hopefully the blockage.
    Good luck, keep us posted.
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  4. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I'll get a syringe and some mineral oil today and give this a go.
  5. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    How are things going? Any updates for us?
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  6. zovick

    zovick Well-Known Member

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    I would recommend soaking the tortoise twice daily in lukewarm water for about 30 minutes each time. Also would try the mineral oil to lubricate the cloaca as Yvonne suggested. Continue breaking up and puling out with tweezers whatever fecal matter is showing at the cloacal opening as well.

    So far, it doesn't look too bad, and I think you have caught it in time to avoid a bigger problem with the animal.
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  7. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday we got quite a bit more out of the cloaca. I gave her a warm carrot juice soak for her second soak, the thought process was maybe she would drink it because of the flavour, anyway after about 20 minutes she had a very very big drink. This made me happy. I soaked in water after to rid any carrot stains. In the water I could see her urinating and trying to push, so there is still a blockage.
    Earlier in the day I was fearing the worst because she just laid with head out for hours but after the soak perked up.

    This was today's stuff. Looks Ike moss to us.
    Breeder said they only feed greens. I think this one has been eating some bedding maybe.
    I worry about other 2 but they seem active, eating a bit and are very alert.

    1st photo is how she was for 3 hrs.
    IMG_1671.jpg IMG_1677.JPG IMG_1680.JPG
  8. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    Almost forgot. Not syringed anything in the cloaca because we are struggling to get a syringe. When we mention mineral oil we get looked at like aliens. What is it? Vegetable oil, olive oil ?
  9. zovick

    zovick Well-Known Member

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    Mineral oil is a petroleum by-product. It has many uses, including being a mild laxative. It is also the liquid in some of the electric radiators used by many people on this forum to heat their night box tortoise enclosures.

    Where are you trying to buy the mineral oil? Here in the US, it is sold in most if not all pharmacies and even grocery stores.
  10. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    In the pharmacies. Is it the same as castor oil?
  11. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    No sir. Castor oil is from pressing the seeds of the castor plant.

    I wonder if there is some reason mineral oil isn't sold in the UK???
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  12. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    That sure looks like long fibered sphagnum moss to me. Does the breeder use any in the baby enclosures?

    This is why I don't use it and recommend other people not use it too. All of mine of all species try to eat it. I've tried to use use many times and I don't understand how so many people use it without it being a problem like this...
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  13. zovick

    zovick Well-Known Member

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    Castor oil is derived from the seeds of the castor oil plant as opposed to mineral oil which is produced during petroleum distillation. Hence, they are not the same, but do have similar laxative qualities if taken by mouth.

    For your purposes of lubricating the anal opening/cloacal contents, they might be interchangeable. Mineral oil is very smooth and slippery. I don't have experience with how castor oil feels to the touch, but if it seems slippery, it may work as well.

    The other idea I would present would be to use Vaseline (petroleum jelly) instead of mineral oil. If you warm it slightly, you will be able to get it into a syringe. If a syringe is not handy, just put it on a cotton swab and swab all around and even inside the opening where the feces is attempting to come out.
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  14. Bambam1989

    Bambam1989 Well-Known Member

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    I have been using live moss layed out like a carpet... I started out using the dry(rewetted) moss in the hides but Clunker just packed it down until it was inseparable from the substrate.
    He likes the fluffy green moss and nibbles it on occasion... Hopefully green moss is safe!
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  15. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    In the UK they call it something else. Try white oil, liquid paraffin, paraffinum liquidum (Latin), or liquid petroleum.
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  16. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    Mineral oil (or liquid paraffin) is non absorptive, that's why it's good to use as a lubricant for problems like this.
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  17. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I wouldn't use it. I'd remove it ASAP, especially if you see him nibbling on it. How much does he nibble when you aren't looking?
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  18. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    Just got in from work, 1st things 1st, tortoises:D

    I think things are looking better.
    It's the first time I've seen his tail swung to the side, which he couldn't do before because it was swollen around the cloaca(I think).
    He's drinking a lot of water, I'm making the assumption this is a good thing. He's had 4 long drinking sessions already in this soak.
    It looks like he's urinated, but it's brown.

    He's now standing tall in the bath.

    Thoughts please.

    IMG_1707.JPG IMG_1712.jpg
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  19. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    Well he's a bit lively now. Watch the last 20 seconds. He's stood high on the back legs.
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  20. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    This is the first time I've seen him use the back legs correctly. Now I'm happy. He's still a bit wobbly but a vast improvement on dragging the legs.
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