Swollen neck

rachellain

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Jul 21, 2022
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Hello all, kept meaning to do an update on here and have finally gotten around to it.
Start off by saying Sam is well and back to normal so the injections worked like every other time and the vet discharged her without further treatment.
The blood and lymphatic fluid results showed high calcium, phosphorus and protein which the vet said all backed up that she is in reproductive stage and should be spayed - always with that option!
I have since spoken to a member of the local tortoise club who suggested cutting out certain foods to see if that makes a difference. Sam likes kale and apparently that can affect the calcium/phosphorus balance. The vet didn't mention this at all or even ask what Sam eats.
Results also showed "liver levels up" which the vet said was due to tissue damage in swelling.

I asked the vet more about the option of spaying and she said that no other spays she has done has the tortoise been swollen. All egg bound, showing symptoms of digging and going off food which Sam does not do. I cannot see how she thinks spaying her will solve this swelling issue. Apparently the longer it's left the harder it will be to spay Sam as she will have adhesions from previous scarring making it harder to get everything out. She pushed me to go back next May and have the spay done but I said I would think about it.

I'm going to try and change a few things and hope that next year she doesn't swell, and if she does I'll apologise to the vet and say I wanted to try a different, non evasive, way first.
The lady at the tortoise club suggested keeping Sam awake longer and waking her up sooner from hibernation. Plus growing things that she would eat on her natural habitat such as cactus. Does anyone else do this and if so any idea where I get some from?

Thanks for all your time and advice.
Rachel
 

Yvonne G

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I'm sort of thinking that the swelling is going down on its own in spite of the injections. My way of tortoise-keeping is to 'wait and see.' If the tortoise is eating and acting normal I don't do anything about anything - swollen neck skin, drippy nose, limping, etc. I wait and see.

Can you do a little research and see if there's another tortoise vet you can go to for a second opinion? I'd hurry and go before the swelling has gone completely, but don't allow any invasive treatment, just get an opinion.
 

Comet

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Rachel - Our tortoise, Comet, developed the swelling around the neck that looks just like your photos about two and a half weeks ago. This happened in just a few hours. In the morning she looked fine, then in the evening, she looked like a mess. In addition, her eyes were swollen shut. Took her to the vet and they put her on an anti-inflamitory, pennicillin, and something for a respiratory infection. They also did blood work to test for liver, renal, or other organ failures All tests came back negative. The vets (at least four were in consutation) are at a loss as to what might be causing this. Scorpion sting and snake bite have been ruled out. As of today, her eyes are now both open and she moves around with a decreased, but near normal amout of energy (for a tortoise). She is also started eating again. Howeve the swelling around her neck does not seem to be going down. The vet wants to start another round of the anti-inflammatory to see if that will help. If you have any other info your havent shared yet, could you please pass it along? Hopefully this will resolve itself over time. That is about all we have right now.
 

rachellain

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Jul 21, 2022
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Rachel - Our tortoise, Comet, developed the swelling around the neck that looks just like your photos about two and a half weeks ago. This happened in just a few hours. In the morning she looked fine, then in the evening, she looked like a mess. In addition, her eyes were swollen shut. Took her to the vet and they put her on an anti-inflamitory, pennicillin, and something for a respiratory infection. They also did blood work to test for liver, renal, or other organ failures All tests came back negative. The vets (at least four were in consutation) are at a loss as to what might be causing this. Scorpion sting and snake bite have been ruled out. As of today, her eyes are now both open and she moves around with a decreased, but near normal amout of energy (for a tortoise). She is also started eating again. Howeve the swelling around her neck does not seem to be going down. The vet wants to start another round of the anti-inflammatory to see if that will help. If you have any other info your havent shared yet, could you please pass it along? Hopefully this will resolve itself over time. That is about all we have right now.
Hello,
So sorry for the delay in replying and sorry to hear you are also going through this with your tortoise. There's nothing that I haven't shared, unfortunately for you. I just looked up what Sam was treated with and it was Rimadyl (anti inflammatory) and Marbocyl (anti biotic). My tortoise always seems to have a bit of a respiratory infection going on at the time, not that the vet says it is linked to her swelling, but I always think it must be. She said the next one we could try if this didn't work was Gentamicin, not sure if that helps you. Previous years she has had Baytril and Metacam.
Really hope Comet gets better soon
 

mark1

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didn't read all through this thread , maybe it's been mentioned ? but have they checked her thyroid ?? possibly why the vet wants to spay her ? i have seen where some of the giant tortoises do have thyroid problems, and females are like 10x more likely to have a thyroid issue ..........
 

rachellain

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didn't read all through this thread , maybe it's been mentioned ? but have they checked her thyroid ?? possibly why the vet wants to spay her ? i have seen where some of the giant tortoises do have thyroid problems, and females are like 10x more likely to have a thyroid issue ..........
Hi, they have never mentioned thyroid, so I doubt it was checked, though if it was then all was fine. All I know is that they did blood work at my request this year. I will ask about thyroid if it happens again next year. Thank you
 

mark1

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Luckily we didn't have to go to that as all was cleared up. I know the vet said it would as if all else failed. Thanks
i've used amikacin before on a very tiny turtle , every dose was followed with subq fluids ....... it did work .........
 

mark1

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Comet

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Hello,
So sorry for the delay in replying and sorry to hear you are also going through this with your tortoise...
Thank you for your reply! I appreciate the names of the meds you have used. The vet wants to put Comed on an antiinflamitory again, but not sure what the name is. We are hoping that will help, or this will clear up on it's own. It's frustrating not having a diagnosis and just treating the symptoms.
 
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