Tortoise rescue advice

piperpoduje

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Feb 18, 2021
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Oregon
Hello! My family is thinking of rescuing a tortoise that is currently on craigslist. Although we have experience with tortoises and many other reptiles, we are looking for some advice. This tortoise was found on the side of the road and was turned into a pet store. The owner of the pet store says he hasn't eaten or pooped in almost a month. It sounds like she is regularly soaking him, giving him food and keeping him under UV lights but not too much success. After doing some research, many people seem to recommend repta-boost and different mineral soaks for the tortoise. We are planning to follow this advice in hopes of improvement. We currently have a vet checkup scheduled for this coming week. If anyone has any advice on what to do before the appointment, we would love to hear it. We don't have our hopes up, but will do the best we can with correct heating, bulbs, a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables, and the repta-boost supplement. Please let us know,
Thanks
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
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Yes, it is a Russian tortoise.
Tortoises can not digest food at temperatures below 80•F
Is it possible that it is kept too cool?
That could cause serious issues and would explain the not eating.
If not I'd place him in a shallow bowl of warm water with carrot or sweet potato baby food in the Hope's that some nutrients get taken in through drinking.
Russian tortoises should not eat carrots or sweet potatoes. But in this case, it might jump start eating behavior.
It sounds like he needs to see an actual tortoise veterinarian. Because so little is known about his past history or even his current issues.
 

piperpoduje

New Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
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Location (City and/or State)
Oregon
Tortoises can not digest food at temperatures below 80•F
Is it possible that it is kept too cool?
That could cause serious issues and would explain the not eating.
If not I'd place him in a shallow bowl of warm water with carrot or sweet potato baby food in the Hope's that some nutrients get taken in through drinking.
Russian tortoises should not eat carrots or sweet potatoes. But in this case, it might jump start eating behavior.
It sounds like he needs to see an actual tortoise veterinarian. Because so little is known about his past history or even his current issues.
Since he was supposedly found on the side of a road, we would not be surprised if he was cold. We recently had a big freeze here, but the lady said he was turned in before it happened. I am pretty sure he is being kept on heat and UV, although she has only confirmed UV. When we pick him up we will a have heat bulb ready, and will make sure it is producing enough heat. I have heard about the carrot and warm water, but not baby food. It sounds like a great idea, and we will go pick some up. Sadly, we don't have too many exotic vets in our area. We have an appointment for a vet that does some exotic pets, but if we have no luck there we will do more research to find a more specialized vet. Thank you for the advice! I will let you know how it goes. :)
 

Jan A

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295
Location (City and/or State)
Boulder, CO
Since he was supposedly found on the side of a road, we would not be surprised if he was cold. We recently had a big freeze here, but the lady said he was turned in before it happened. I am pretty sure he is being kept on heat and UV, although she has only confirmed UV. When we pick him up we will a have heat bulb ready, and will make sure it is producing enough heat. I have heard about the carrot and warm water, but not baby food. It sounds like a great idea, and we will go pick some up. Sadly, we don't have too many exotic vets in our area. We have an appointment for a vet that does some exotic pets, but if we have no luck there we will do more research to find a more specialized vet. Thank you for the advice! I will let you know how it goes. :)
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for rescuing the tort. There are lots of experienced tort owners on this forum gladly helping with answers to questions.
 

piperpoduje

New Member
Joined
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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Oregon
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for rescuing the tort. There are lots of experienced tort owners on this forum gladly helping with answers to questions.
Yes! I am glad there are so many people out there to help. We are hoping for the best, so we can have another buddy.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
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Since he was supposedly found on the side of a road, we would not be surprised if he was cold. We recently had a big freeze here, but the lady said he was turned in before it happened. I am pretty sure he is being kept on heat and UV, although she has only confirmed UV. When we pick him up we will a have heat bulb ready, and will make sure it is producing enough heat. I have heard about the carrot and warm water, but not baby food. It sounds like a great idea, and we will go pick some up. Sadly, we don't have too many exotic vets in our area. We have an appointment for a vet that does some exotic pets, but if we have no luck there we will do more research to find a more specialized vet. Thank you for the advice! I will let you know how it goes. :)
A lot of unfamiliar vets are "injection happy".
Don't allow him or her to give the tort a vitamin injection.
In fact, just mentioning that would indicate that a vet knows nothing about tortoises.
 

piperpoduje

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Location (City and/or State)
Oregon
A lot of unfamiliar vets are "injection happy".
Don't allow him or her to give the tort a vitamin injection.
In fact, just mentioning that would indicate that a vet knows nothing about tortoises.
Will the injection be harmful to the tortoise? We will keep that in mind when going to the vet.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
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Just suggesting a vitamin A shot will tell you that your vet is reading old, bad information and knows very little.
He/she is just getting paid to experiment on your animal.
It is very common.
And it's very bad.
Not that your vet is horrible. They might be fantastic. I just wanted you to be pre warned about what not to allow
 

piperpoduje

New Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Oregon
Just suggesting a vitamin A shot will tell you that your vet is reading old, bad information and knows very little.
He/she is just getting paid to experiment on your animal.
It is very common.
And it's very bad.
Ok, we found a reptile vet that is nearby and left them a voicemail in hopes of an appointment. They haven't responded yet, but after we get him we will see how bad it is. If it is bad we plan to take him as soon as possible, no matter which vet. After reading some forums about injections, we will ask that we don't get. I never realized how unnecessary they were. Thank you for the advice
 

piperpoduje

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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Oregon
Sadly, after trying nearly everything we could, we took her to the vet today and decided our best option was to euthanize the tortoise. We have not seen any improvement in the last 4 days, and the doctor suspects she has metabolic bone disease. She says after probably $1,000 of treatment, there is still a chance that she won't make it. We were really hoping she would be fine, but we tried our best. We still don't know how long she was outside, and what that situation was like for her. Thank you for all of your kind suggestions, have a great week. 🙃
 

Jan A

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Messages
295
Location (City and/or State)
Boulder, CO
Sadly, after trying nearly everything we could, we took her to the vet today and decided our best option was to euthanize the tortoise. We have not seen any improvement in the last 4 days, and the doctor suspects she has metabolic bone disease. She says after probably $1,000 of treatment, there is still a chance that she won't make it. We were really hoping she would be fine, but we tried our best. We still don't know how long she was outside, and what that situation was like for her. Thank you for all of your kind suggestions, have a great week. 🙃
I am so sorry for both you & the tort. She is not suffering any longer. But there is no worse feeling than to have to put an animal down because they're suffering. Thank you for caring.
 
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