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Sulcata Bladder Stone Surgery

Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by DozerCooley, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. DozerCooley

    DozerCooley Active Member

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    Hi all! I am new to this forum as well as new to being a tortoise parent. We recently adopted a sulcata from our local pet store who randomly had an owner surrendered sulcata there looking for a new home. With very little knowledge and absolutely no experience with caring for a tortoise of any kind we opened our home to this little girl, who we named Dozer. We researched nonstop every sulcata tortoise fact, opinion and experience of other owners in order to try to give our girl the best life possible. We began to get suspicious that there might be something "off" with Dozer about two weeks into her coming to live with us. She constantly kept trying to pass gas/poop nonstop.

    As this was the only symptom we noticed and she continued to have an extremely healthy appetite we deiced to give her a little time to see if it was just due to the fact that she was now living in a new place with possibly a different diet. Finally going on week 3 we decided we needed to be sure there wasn't something more going on with her and we took her in to the vet to get checked out. They immediately saw some light pinkish coloring on her plastron and thought this was a pretty good indication she was septic. They decided to keep her over night and do a full workup on her including a CT scan. We got the call the next day that the CT scan revealed a bladder stone that was so large it was taking up more than 1/3 of her entire insides. This was reeking havoc on her entire body as the stone was pushing all of her organs around and making it every difficult for her to have a bowel movement. She has no chance at survival without surgery to remove the stone. We have elected to proceed with the surgery and she will be having the procedure done this Thursday 1/10/19. During the surgery they will be cutting through her plastron, pulling out her bladder, removing the stone and then putting everything back together again. They will also be removing a decent size slice of her very back scute area as they believe this may be a part of the stone issue happening in the first place as they believe her back scute is deformed enough that it is holding her tail tight against her anus so that she can't really move her tail at all to poop. They believe both the deformed scute, the bladder stone and her slight pyramiding is all due to the previous owner not caring for her properly.

    So with all that said we have a few questions: first has anyone had a sulcata or tortoise of any kind go through this surgery and are willing to give us some insight on what the expect during the recovery process - we've been told it will take around 12-18 months for it to fully heal. Second what can we do to make sure she doesn't ever get another bladder stone?

    Thank you in advance and please keep Dozer in your thoughts this Thursday and throughout her recovery.
    I will attach some photos of our girl as well as the CT scan of the enormous
    bladder stone.

    Thanks!
    Ashley

    dozercornell1.jpg dozercornell2.jpg 7.JPG 8.JPG 1.JPG 2.JPG 4.JPG 5.JPG 6.JPG
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  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    My gosh, Ahley. That stone is huge!

    I'm not on my computer, and don't know how to copy/paste on this device, but do a search for posts by Maggie18fan about her tortoise Bob and his stone. Bob died because of bad after care by the vet who did the surgery. You could see he was bleeding under the shell repair, yet they did nothing about it. They also sent Maggie home with Bob while he was still under anesthesia.

    My advice is to leave the tortoise with the vet until he is totally awake, and all looks well.

    It takes a very long time for the shell to grow back together. Be sure to continue the antibiotics until they 're gone, and follow the vet's instructions.
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  3. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    That stone is huge. Thoughts and prayers with you and Dozer for a successful outcome.
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  4. vladimir

    vladimir Well-Known Member

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    Wishing you and dozer a successful surgery and quick recovery. Keep us posted!
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  5. TriciaStringer

    TriciaStringer Well-Known Member

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    Poor Dozer! Please keep us posted.
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  6. Mo & Bolt

    Mo & Bolt Member

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    Best wishes for your dear torts surgery . Well done for taking her on . Once you get a tortoise they quickly find their way into your heart . Gill
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  7. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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  8. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Please suggest to your vet that the stone can be analyzed for free at the University of Minnesota's urolith center. www.urolithcenter.org for details.


  9. Ray--Opo

    Ray--Opo Well-Known Member Platinum Supporter

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    Wow! My thoughts and prayers will be with you. Please keep us updated.
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  10. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    This is such a good idea. Having it analyzed may tell you why the tortoise got it in the first place.
  11. Big Charlie

    Big Charlie Well-Known Member

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    OMG! That is huge! How much does Dozer weigh? My prayers and hopes are with you that she comes out of this perfectly!
    Someone on the forum recently had the last scute cut or filed down for the same reason.
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  12. Melis

    Melis Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts are with your family and dozer!

    I lost my girl due to complications of a bladder stone. I will be following closely and sending positive thoughts!
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  13. DozerCooley

    DozerCooley Active Member

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    Thank you all so much for your input and all the thoughts, prayers and love for our girl Dozer. I think that's a great idea to have the stone sent out to be analyzed, I'll definitely be doing this. Any info on what caused this and how to prevent another one is invaluable. As for Dozer - we just adopted her 3 weeks ago and we're told that she's 3 years old and last we weighed her she was around 5 1/2 pounds.

    We begin the first step towards surgery tonight as we've had to clear her enclosure out of all food as she's not supposed to eat anything starting tonight until after surgery on Thursday. She's going to be one mad little tortoise tomorrow when she wakes up to all of her delicious greens having vanished.
    Wish us luck!
    Thank you all so much!!
  14. Miscally

    Miscally Active Member

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    Wishing you and Dozer all the very best.
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  15. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

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    Good luck with Dozer. I have a baby sully named D8 Dozer! We call him Dozer for short. I wish him the best. It may be a long struggle to get him bake to health but it is worth the effort, in my book.
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  16. vladimir

    vladimir Well-Known Member

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    I was surprised to see a stone that large in such a small sulcata. Hoping and praying for a successful surgery and speedy recovery! :<3::tort:
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  17. Ray--Opo

    Ray--Opo Well-Known Member Platinum Supporter

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    Best of luck to you and Dozer.
    Here is a question for anyone. Is there food or foods that causes stones?
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  18. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    Yes, a diet high in oxalates does the deed. That coupled with not enough water. Clover is high in oxalates, and my sister's tortoise lived in a clover field.
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  19. DozerCooley

    DozerCooley Active Member

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    So sorry to hear of your loss :(
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  20. Ray--Opo

    Ray--Opo Well-Known Member Platinum Supporter

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    Oh no. Opo,s favorite is clover. Right now it is dead and Opo is learning to eat grass.
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