sick sulcata (impaction?)

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dyager

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Well took her to UC Davis Vet Clinic yesterday as she is lethargic and not eating. Tried soaks and put her n the house, etc with no change. The vet said I can get her today and will have to do under the skin injections for hydration, guess they will show me how, and lots of warm soaks. The xray showed a big impaction in intestines, and the above treatments may not work, then surgery would be the option, and I am not in favor of that. Has anyone dealt with this type of problem and maybe have some additional things I could try? The vet was going to do an enema before I get there and see if this does anything. Just looking for more information. So far into this for just under $1,000.
 

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Re: sick sulcata

Not to long ago, someone on here had told a story of...and I'm not trying to be funny....someone who had taped a vibrator to a tort to help loosen an impaction. I'm no expert, just parroting what I read.
 

dyager

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RE: sick sulcata

Lasciels Toy said:
Not to long ago, someone on here had told a story of...and I'm not trying to be funny....someone who had taped a vibrator to a tort to help loosen an impaction. I'm no expert, just parroting what I read.

You know I thought about some way to vibrate the tub she takes her soaks in,, warm water and a little jiggling. May be on to something there! Will try anything at this point. Thanks
 

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RE: sick sulcata

You can squirt some mineral oil down her throat and up into her cloaca. Then put some warm water in your bath tub (after you've cleaned and rinsed it real good) and just leave her in there for at least a half hour...longer is better. Check on her frequently to make sure she doesn't tip over. When they scramble around trying to get out it causes the impaction to loosen up and come out.
 

dyager

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RE: sick sulcata

emysemys said:
You can squirt some mineral oil down her throat and up into her cloaca. Then put some warm water in your bath tub (after you've cleaned and rinsed it real good) and just leave her in there for at least a half hour...longer is better. Check on her frequently to make sure she doesn't tip over. When they scramble around trying to get out it causes the impaction to loosen up and come out.

The problem with getting her to move around at all, is that she isn't. She will move her legs a little, but not walking by a long shot. Just gave her her pain med and 400 ml of lactated ringers. Never gave injections toa tortoise before, and man are they strong. She gets at least 2 soaks a day for at least an hour with her heat lamp on right over her. Still not eating, and the xray showed she was pretty compacted with stuff. If this doesn't work (and I have to give it a month) then UC Davis will take her and do the surgery and then if she survives, she will be theirs. And I am fine with that, just as long as she gets better one way or the other. That's the update. have to give the fluids and injections for a month!
 

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What material is the suspected items impacted inside? Sand, Wood Chip substrate???

I dealt with an old male desert tort that was impacted solid with sand...I soaked him 2 and 3 times each day for no less than a couple hours each time....even forgot about him one time for a few hours---although he was not bothered by it...lol...

He would not eat, for well over a month solid (likely more than that) and he was in poor shape and feather lite....it took me like 5 + weeks straight before he even showed any sign of much interest in a bite or two of food....he would literally crap dirt...hence the joke, so old you fart dust---well, in his case he eventually began to move the sand out by crapping out perfectly round sand balls....I did not even realize it was him at first....I was blaming everyone who came into my office for tracking in dirt and sand...then I realized what was going on....after a bit of time of passing the sand balls...he finally picked up on appetite and then of course that helped to move more out....soaking to me was the key factor and I spent alot of time laying on the ground with him, making sure I kept bugging him to open his eyes and annoyed him some....I did not want him to sleep himself away....which they seem easily able to do....I think he piggy backed on my will until his was strong enough again....

On a side note and strictly for the point of sharing; I personally did not want to put him through that highly invasive/intrusive surgery....actually I had already decided that I would not put him through that...but that was my personal decision....and trust me I was soooooo happy the day I came in and found his first tootsie roll poo in the middle of my office....lol ....I was so excited I left it there for everyone to see....
 

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Use the bathtub in the house and make the water deeper than you normally would. The legs moving along with the warm water will usually get things moving. The mineral oil will help too.
 

dyager

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ascott said:
What material is the suspected items impacted inside? Sand, Wood Chip substrate???

I dealt with an old male desert tort that was impacted solid with sand...I soaked him 2 and 3 times each day for no less than a couple hours each time....even forgot about him one time for a few hours---although he was not bothered by it...lol...

He would not eat, for well over a month solid (likely more than that) and he was in poor shape and feather lite....it took me like 5 + weeks straight before he even showed any sign of much interest in a bite or two of food....he would literally crap dirt...hence the joke, so old you fart dust---well, in his case he eventually began to move the sand out by crapping out perfectly round sand balls....I did not even realize it was him at first....I was blaming everyone who came into my office for tracking in dirt and sand...then I realized what was going on....after a bit of time of passing the sand balls...he finally picked up on appetite and then of course that helped to move more out....soaking to me was the key factor and I spent alot of time laying on the ground with him, making sure I kept bugging him to open his eyes and annoyed him some....I did not want him to sleep himself away....which they seem easily able to do....I think he piggy backed on my will until his was strong enough again....

On a side note and strictly for the point of sharing; I personally did not want to put him through that highly invasive/intrusive surgery....actually I had already decided that I would not put him through that...but that was my personal decision....and trust me I was soooooo happy the day I came in and found his first tootsie roll poo in the middle of my office....lol ....I was so excited I left it there for everyone to see....

The vet is not sure what could be plugging her up, as we only did the xray, but it is pretty long and just solid. Her previous owner had her in a sand filled environment and fed them all dog food. Yup, you read all that right. So I think I inherited the problem. I have been injecting 400 ml of solution under her skin and yesterday it was sunny so I put her outside after her soak. She finally walked a little bit and even straightened her tail out! Just gave her another injection of fluid and pain shot and now she is in for a nice warm soak. I have her on top of the clothes dryer with a heat lamp on her. I am hoping the ge ntle rocking motion of the dryer may get things moving a bit. We will see. Will be doign this for 2 weeks then back to the vet. I just want her to poop! She sniffs food and I have tried everything temping, but no luck. I will keep you posted on how she is doing.


Tom said:
Use the bathtub in the house and make the water deeper than you normally would. The legs moving along with the warm water will usually get things moving. The mineral oil will help too.

I appreciate the input, I will give anything a try!
 

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Hi Dan,
I just want to let you know I think it's wonderful what you are doing for her and I am praying for both of you :) I really hope she gets better
 

dyager

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Chainsawkitten said:
Hi Dan,
I just want to let you know I think it's wonderful what you are doing for her and I am praying for both of you :) I really hope she gets better

I appreciate the kind words and she seems to be making some progress. After the fluid injections she sleeps for a couple hours and then I put her in the sunshine and she has started walking maybe like 4-5 feet! Alot more than the last several weeks. It is a learning experience for me!
 

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dyager said:
Chainsawkitten said:
Hi Dan,
I just want to let you know I think it's wonderful what you are doing for her and I am praying for both of you :) I really hope she gets better

I appreciate the kind words and she seems to be making some progress. After the fluid injections she sleeps for a couple hours and then I put her in the sunshine and she has started walking maybe like 4-5 feet! Alot more than the last several weeks. It is a learning experience for me!

That's good news! I'm glad to hear that :)


Life is good
 

dyager

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Laura said:
mineral oil? that will help lubricate everything and maybe get it moving.. fluids are important too..

How can I go about getting the mineral oil into her? She gets her head tucked way in there when she sees me coming, probably thinks it's shot time again.
 

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You have to grab her behind her jaws and hold tight. Sometimes you can sneak your hand up over the top of her carapace (down low) and she can't see it coming, then when the head is out, grab.

You could also scoop out a bit from a small strawberry, put mineral oil in the strawberry, then pack some of the scooped out berry back over the hole. If she'll take it in one bite that's better than bites.

Occasionall, if you hold the tortoise head down, it will reach with the front legs and head towards the floor and you can grab.

Or laying it on its back sometimes gives you access to the head grab.

None of these things is pleasant for the tortoise, but the reason for doing it out ranks the unpleasantness.


But, please...don't rule out putting the tortoise in the human bath tub with lots of water. It really works. Just because she won't walk now, is no reason to assume she won't try to escape the tub. Believe me, she will.
 

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It may seem to you like her improvements are small, but believe me those baby steps are what gets the end results. It really is sounding very positive that she has started to move, even if just a tiny amount. Keep up the hard and frustrating work your doing.
 

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emysemys said:
You have to grab her behind her jaws and hold tight. Sometimes you can sneak your hand up over the top of her carapace (down low) and she can't see it coming, then when the head is out, grab.

You could also scoop out a bit from a small strawberry, put mineral oil in the strawberry, then pack some of the scooped out berry back over the hole. If she'll take it in one bite that's better than bites.

Occasionall, if you hold the tortoise head down, it will reach with the front legs and head towards the floor and you can grab.

Or laying it on its back sometimes gives you access to the head grab.

None of these things is pleasant for the tortoise, but the reason for doing it out ranks the unpleasantness.


But, please...don't rule out putting the tortoise in the human bath tub with lots of water. It really works. Just because she won't walk now, is no reason to assume she won't try to escape the tub. Believe me, she will.



Gotcha, thanks, will give it a try tonight


Jacqui said:
It may seem to you like her improvements are small, but believe me those baby steps are what gets the end results. It really is sounding very positive that she has started to move, even if just a tiny amount. Keep up the hard and frustrating work your doing.

We will keep at it! She is something else, and yup, every step is in a positive direction
 

dyager

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Hey, she peed! Well a puddle of water that smells like pee under the tail, is that pee? Is it a sign maybe that things are moving as I don't know much about their anatomy. Is all that stuff connected and can only come out one place??
 

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dyager said:
Hey, she peed! Well a puddle of water that smells like pee under the tail, is that pee? Is it a sign maybe that things are moving as I don't know much about their anatomy. Is all that stuff connected and can only come out one place??

Yup! That's pee! You know you are in the right place when you get excited about pee :p


Life is good
 

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Did you get some mineral oil into her? Both by mouth and via dropper into her cloaca? Whatever that big thing impacting her is, it'll be less painful coming out if it's lubricated. I know the vet didn't tell you to do this, but two of the most experienced members of this forum did, and frankly, they probably have a lot more experience unless the vet only does tortoises.

I'm sure the vet knows better than to do this, but a lot of human pain meds cause constipation. Do you know what the pain med is that you're giving her, or what class it's in?
 
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