Tortoise very weak mouth/not opening mouth

Dosu

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Hey everyone,
3 days ago, my tortoise suddenly stopped eating food on her own. I thought that maybe she wasn't hungry, however today, when I went to hand feed her some lettuce, it seemed like she was having troubles opening her mouth to eat. At first, she would maybe open her mouth a millimeter or two to try to eat, which she failed at, then afterwards her mouth just stopped opening. It's been 3 days of no food and I'm really worried. She has never been like this that past year and half so this is very new to me. (I made sure her temps are correct and she has been getting soaked in a warm bath every day)
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks!

Vid of when she was trying to eat:
(As you can see in this video, her mouth movements are very weak and sluggish. Now she isnt opening her mouth anymore, either by choice or maybe she is unable to. She has never refused food from me)
 

Tidgy's Dad

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Three days without food is not a problem for the poor girl, they can go quite a considerable time without eating.
But this is a worry, I would try to gently prise open the mouth to see if there is an obvious problem inside with her soft palate, tongue or the edges of her jaw.
Is she still drinking ?
 

Dosu

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Three days without food is not a problem for the poor girl, they can go quite a considerable time without eating.
But this is a worry, I would try to gently prise open the mouth to see if there is an obvious problem inside with her soft palate, tongue or the edges of her jaw.
Is she still drinking ?
Yeah, she's still drinking. I'll try to open her mouth tomorrow morning once she wakes up. Do you think that this could be serious? Has anyone encountered something like this before? I'm extremely worried.
 

Tidgy's Dad

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Yeah, she's still drinking. I'll try to open her mouth tomorrow morning once she wakes up. Do you think that this could be serious? Has anyone encountered something like this before? I'm extremely worried.
Well, it's good she's still drinking, and she still seems strong on her legs, just a bit lethargic with the eating.
I've no idea if it's serious, I hope not, but I'm no vet.
I would try tempting her with a special treat, maybe even something safe that's she's not normally allowed and see how she does with that.
I have seen torts behave like this before, even my Tidgy did it once, but they seems to recover in a few days, though I can't guarantee that's the case here.
I have no idea why.
Hopefully someone else will be along in a bit.
 

TammyJ

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If she is no longer opening her mouth at all, could it be lockjaw? (Tetanus?) Maybe a trip to a reptile vet would be the best thing. Maybe there is injury to the jaw...who knows? Hopefully, a good reptile vet can tell you after examination.
 

Dosu

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Well, it's good she's still drinking, and she still seems strong on her legs, just a bit lethargic with the eating.
Yeah that's exactly it! She is moving normally and is still is quite active, she's just not opening her mouth for some reason.

If she is no longer opening her mouth at all, could it be lockjaw? (Tetanus?) Maybe a trip to a reptile vet would be the best thing. Maybe there is injury to the jaw...who knows? Hopefully, a good reptile vet can tell you after examination.

That seems quite probable, because one thing i noticed is that even though she isn't opening her mouth, she still is bringing her head next to the lettuce which is odd if she has no intention of eating. I'll try soaking her in more water tomorrow and manually opening her mouth. I'll take her to the vet if this continues for 1-2 more days.
 

TammyJ

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Yeah that's exactly it! She is moving normally and is still is quite active, she's just not opening her mouth for some reason.



That seems quite probable, because one thing i noticed is that even though she isn't opening her mouth, she still is bringing her head next to the lettuce which is odd if she has no intention of eating. I'll try soaking her in more water tomorrow and manually opening her mouth. I'll take her to the vet if this continues for 1-2 more days.
If it's tetanus it's serious and likely fatal if not treated with appropriate antitetanus shots by a vet, and even so it may be too late. IF it's tetanus.
 

Tidgy's Dad

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Yeah that's exactly it! She is moving normally and is still is quite active, she's just not opening her mouth for some reason.



That seems quite probable, because one thing i noticed is that even though she isn't opening her mouth, she still is bringing her head next to the lettuce which is odd if she has no intention of eating. I'll try soaking her in more water tomorrow and manually opening her mouth. I'll take her to the vet if this continues for 1-2 more days.
Again, i'm no vet, but i doubt it's tetanus somehow, more likely mouth rot, but hopefully not even this.
Do you have specialist herp vets in your part of Kuwait ?
Remember, ordinary dog/cat type vets can be worse than useless.
 

Dosu

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@Tidgy's Dad @TammyJ

Thanks for your replies!
I'm doubtful it's tetanus since there are no metal objects in her enclosure ( unless if tortoises can get tetanus another way? )

I'll open her mouth tomorrow morning and see if there is anything there that is visible. Finding a vet here is very difficult and also expensive. It costs $100 to open a file for a pet which excludes consulting/treatment fees so I'm hoping the vet would be the last resort.

I'll update tomorrow! Crossing my fingers it's nothing serious.
 

Tidgy's Dad

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@Tidgy's Dad @TammyJ

Thanks for your replies!
I'm doubtful it's tetanus since there are no metal objects in her enclosure ( unless if tortoises can get tetanus another way? )

I'll open her mouth tomorrow morning and see if there is anything there that is visible. Finding a vet here is very difficult and also expensive. It costs $100 to open a file for a pet which excludes consulting/treatment fees so I'm hoping the vet would be the last resort.

I'll update tomorrow! Crossing my fingers it's nothing serious.
Indeed.
Best of luck to you both.
 

Dosu

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@Tidgy's Dad @TammyJ

It seems that my tortoise has died during the night. I honestly cannot determine the reason why she got sick and died. She had all the right temperatures, humidity, soaks, calcium and food. Its honestly really baffling. I guess this is life, sometimes it just can't be controlled...
 

Tidgy's Dad

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I am gutted.
So, so sorry.
I remember you first posting nearly two years back when you found the tortoise and have seen your posts many times since, you tried so hard for her.
The only way to know for sure would be a necropsy, but I doubt you will want to go in that direction.
It is possible she had a genetic disorder or had been brought up too dry as a hatchling.
Make sure she is actually dead. Sometimes tortoises go into a kind of coma when they are very sick and may appear dead. If she is still limp and not stiff with sunken eyes, you might try giving her a long warm soak.
But she is probably gone.
My most heartfelt condolences.
 

Dosu

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@Tidgy's Dad
Thank you very much for your kind words. Yeah, two years ago I stole her from my neighbours after finding out that they were abusing her etc. It's seems like either her injuries caught up to her or as you mentioned, she might not have been hatched in the right conditions.

I soaked her for a long time in warm water but no avail, there was no movement and her limbs were very stiff so I'm 100% sure she died. I hope she rests in peace and thank you for your help with Lexa for the past 2 years, I really appreciated it.
 

TammyJ

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I am very sorry she did not make it. You really tried with her and cared, and that's all you can do.
 

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