The member formerly known as captain awesome
10 Year Member!
- Aug 15, 2008
- Location (City and/or State)
I apologize. I did not read my last post before I posted it. I mean that it is a simpler surgery now.
Excuse the pun, but, Good Point! I have often wondered why they can eat prickles from cactus in the wild and it doesn't phase them.There is no reason why the screw shouldn't pass through harmlessly. Soak the tortoise daily to get the GI tract moving and feed a lot of spineless opuntia pads for the water contents and lubrication properties. Keep the soak water warm through out and leave him in the tub for an hour.
In the wild, tortoises eat fully spined regular cactus, and those nasty spines pass through with no problem. If you've ever looked at a turd from a grass eating species, you know they don't digest everything. I would not do surgery if it were my tortoise, but I would be checking every turd until I found it, and also looking for any indication that there might be a problem. Lethargy, lack of appetite or a change in behavior would make me immediately consider surgery.
Also, what type of fencing are you making? Tortoises need a visual barrier type of fencing, or they are likely to damage themselves. If you are using chainlink or hog wire, add a visual barrier along the bottom. You can use 16" tall by 8 ' long strips of plywood for this. One sheet of ply will get you 24' of coverage. Since your tortoise is small, you can use 12" high strips and get 36' of coverage per sheet, but you might have to go taller once he gets bigger.
Post a plastron shot showing the tail and anal scutes and we can tell you if you've got a male or female.
Especially at a teaching hospital where a student will be doing the work with the supervision of a vet. The student will be a doctor, but not a full fledged vet. Give your tort plenty of hay along with the cactus, and wait and see.