Red foot cherry head tortoise health issue: Help? ?

SMK

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My cherry head is nearly 3 1/2 years old. I’ve never had much problems with her. She’s about 5+ inches and 2.2 pounds (1007 grams).

The past week- 10 days she’s become constipated: Straining to poop with only some brown liquid coming out, or occasionally small poop the size of a blueberry. I’ve been giving her warm soaks with reptiboost and electrolyte powder and pumpkin. I tried putting mineral oil on soaked kibble but she won’t eat it that way. Neither will she eat pumpkin or any greens or fruit I’m offering. She was eating fine before this.

Now I’ve made matters worse by attempting to use a syringe to inject warm water in the cloaca. She hissed and has now pulled in her tail even during the soaks. During the pandemic, my vet practice did away with their Exotics wing.

What can I do? Thanks for any help. ☹️
 

ZEROPILOT

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I'd stop the electrolytes and the enemas and continue with just warm tap water soaks and some very watery foods. Such as cucumber or melon.
If this persists, I'd then seek out a qualified vet because it could be a parasitic issue.
I hope that this will correct itself. If it doesn't. I'd google the nearest vet that has good reviews when it comes to tortoises.
I understand that it may not be close by.
In the meantime, can you post some photos of the enclosure, lighting and heating? We might be able to formulate a guess. Like is the temperature above 80f? Digestion can't fully happen much below that.
And theres the possibility of impaction. Maybe from an unsuitable substrate.
 
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SMK

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I'd stop the electrolytes and the enemas and continue with just warm tap water soaks and some very watery foods. Such as cucumber or melon.
If this persists, I'd then seek out a qualified vet because it could be a parasitic issue.
I hope that this will correct itself. If it doesn't. I'd google the nearest vet that has good reviews when it comes to tortoises.
I understand that it may not be close by.
In the meantime, can you post some photos of the enclosure, lighting and heating? We might be able to formulate a guess. Like is the temperature above 80f? Digestion can't fully happen much below that.
And theres the possibility of impaction. Maybe from an unsuitable substrate.

Thanks. I always keep the temp between 80 and 85. I try to keep the humidity high between 70 and 80. She was better when she was in her outdoor enclosure in the summer with a large humid hide and sunlight, and natural temps and humidity both in the 80s.

I used to use soil as a substrate, but now just some paper towels and damp forest moss. I can try and take pics later but can’t now as I’m not home. If things don’t change I will try and look for a vet. Thanks again.

Do you think she’ll pull her tail out again during the soaks?
 

SMK

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I'd stop the electrolytes and the enemas and continue with just warm tap water soaks and some very watery foods. Such as cucumber or melon.
If this persists, I'd then seek out a qualified vet because it could be a parasitic issue.
I hope that this will correct itself. If it doesn't. I'd google the nearest vet that has good reviews when it comes to tortoises.
I understand that it may not be close by.
In the meantime, can you post some photos of the enclosure, lighting and heating? We might be able to formulate a guess. Like is the temperature above 80f? Digestion can't fully happen much below that.
And theres the possibility of impaction. Maybe from an unsuitable substrate.
Addendum: I was just wondering, why do you think the electrolyte soak and reptiboost should just be replaced with plain water? Thanks.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
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Addendum: I was just wondering, why do you think the electrolyte soak and reptiboost should just be replaced with plain water? Thanks.
Those are more like last ditch effort type treatments.
Although something like PEDIALYTE is probably harmless. I also don't think its required in this case. I'd recommend it if the tortoise hasn't eaten in many weeks or months. But not in little more than a week. Warm water really is great all by itself.
The moss concerns me.
It gets eaten and is very difficult to pass.
Have you just placed it in there recently? I don't recommend leaving it in there.
I assume that he's only on the paper towels so that you can monitor his pooping?
Your temperatures and humidity are within the safety margin.
 

SMK

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Those are more like last ditch effort type treatments.
Although something like PEDIALYTE is probably harmless. I also don't think its required in this case. I'd recommend it if the tortoise hasn't eaten in many weeks or months. But not in little more than a week. Warm water really is great all by itself.
The moss concerns me.
It gets eaten and is very difficult to pass.
Have you just placed it in there recently? I don't recommend leaving it in there.
I assume that he's only on the paper towels so that you can monitor his pooping?
Your temperatures and humidity are within the safety margin.
I’ve removed the moss. Yes, the paper towels are to monitor pee and poop. I will keep trying; hopefully it will be resolved soon or I must go to an exotic vet.
Thanks for your help, very much appreciated.
 

ZEROPILOT

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If you ad a little carrot or sweet potato baby food to the warm water soak, I've seen that jumpstart the pooping and eating.
Hydration is much more important than eating right now.
 
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zovick

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Not sure where you were going previously, but this may help you: This fellow is an exotics vet and is highly recommended by other exotic vets that I know personally: Paul Raiti 17 W Grand St Mount Vernon, New York 10552-2146 914-664-2784
 

SMK

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If you ad a little carrot or sweet potato baby food to the warm water soak, I've seen that jumpstart the pooping and eating.
Hydration is much more important than eating right now.
Thanks, will definitely do this.
 

SMK

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Not sure where you were going previously, but this may help you: This fellow is an exotics vet and is highly recommended by other exotic vets that I know personally: Paul Raiti 17 W Grand St Mount Vernon, New York 10552-2146 914-664-2784
Thanks very much!
 

Toddrickfl1

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Long warm soaks should help. You want something big enough for the tortoise to move around in too, like the bathtub.
 
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