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Turtle is streatching neck, gaping, and making the sound!

Discussion in 'Tortoise Health' started by omhoge, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. vladimir

    vladimir Well-Known Member

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    sending tortoise hugs :tort:
  2. omhoge

    omhoge Member

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    Thank you Vladimir. He had a good weekend and Martin Luther King day and ate a lot. He's getting more tired lately, and is sleeping a lot.
  3. RACCOON EGGS

    RACCOON EGGS New Member

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    Good to hear he still has an appetite.
  4. omhoge

    omhoge Member

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    He's actually been eating more lately! It's so confounding sometimes; the other day he had a pretty bad morning and I thought "this is it, time to start planing the end" then when I got home from work he was completely back to his "new normal" no signs of congestion or anything else new. Over the weekend he was much more active, walking all over the place and trying his best to get stuck in narrow spots he hasn't visited in weeks.

    I had a long talk with his nurse, like most things with tortoises some extra time is needed to form any opinion. She said to give any of the final warning signs three days to repeat. (Baring of course extremely bad stuff.). At least now we've got everything planned out for when that time comes, whenever that may be.

    The injections I was so afraid of do not seem to bother him at all, and the antibiotics are definitely helping him a lot at this point.
    Kasia, Jay Bagley and Taco*mom like this.
  5. vladimir

    vladimir Well-Known Member

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    that's great to hear! We've been thinking about him.

    (does he have a name, by the way? :) sorry if I missed it )
    Jay Bagley and Taco*mom like this.
  6. omhoge

    omhoge Member

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    Thank you so much for keeping him in your thoughts, vladimir.
    Honestly 99% of the time we call him "The Turtle" or if speaking to him directly "Turtle!" I kid you not.
    Please forgive me for being very shy about mentioning any real names in public forums, though I'll feel duty bound to when the time comes for his obit.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
    vladimir likes this.
  7. vladimir

    vladimir Well-Known Member

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    Awww. I completely understand. No worries :<3:
  8. omhoge

    omhoge Member

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    Thanks for understanding. You've caught in a sentimental moment, Vlad, I just really miss him chasing me around. I'd tap my foot and he'd come running in that funny way turtles do, and would chase me all over the place. But he is still around, isn't in discomfort, and I'm very grateful to him and for him.
    He ate a ton today. Hoping for a big poop at bath time tonight.
    vladimir likes this.
  9. vladimir

    vladimir Well-Known Member

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    Yep, enjoy the little things
  10. omhoge

    omhoge Member

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    I teased The Turtle yesterday that he is quickly catching up to Sarah Bernhardt as Camille for the longest running death scene on record.

    He really freaked me out last week, he stopped eating for a few days and was very lethargic, and I dreamt of him which is unusual.
    Then suddenly he started eating a lot and walking around a bit without the signs of mucus or congestion. Just the mouth breathing.
    I was about to make the final call, then he ended up having a very good week and weekend and was a lot more active.

    He is also more likely to eat if I hold him and pet him awake before putting him by his food.

    The antibiotics and expectorant are definitely helping to ease the symptoms and keep him comfortable.
    I've been giving him the expectorant directly into his mouth as needed. I'm still amazed at what he lets me get away with.
    But it's much more reliable than putting it on his food.

    He's started getting little black dots on his head and neck which I attribute to the cancer. We found a cremation place that specializes in pets.
    He keeps rallying every time I think 'this is it', I cannot predict how much longer he'll stay around, and am really glad I didn't jump the gun last week.
    Kasia likes this.
  11. vladimir

    vladimir Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the update! I'm glad he's doing as well as can be expected
  12. RACCOON EGGS

    RACCOON EGGS New Member

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    Thank you for the update. You are doing an amazing job caring for him and keeping him comfortable.
  13. omhoge

    omhoge Member

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    Thank you for saying that, Raccoon Eggs. But what else could I do?
    He's been our beautiful turtle for more than half my life.

    I've learned so much from him.
    Not the least of which is never to temp him to his food by wiggling a finger over it,
    because he may think it's a worm and take a taste of it later when you're asleep on the sofa.
    vladimir and TechnoCheese like this.
  14. orv

    orv Well-Known Member

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    I just discovered this wonderful saga about "The Turtle" and his epic struggle to live. I too am a cancer survivor (×2), with a strong will to keep going. Your love and care for Turtle rivals that of others on our forums, for which I am thankful. We lost our senior CDT, Tommy, during the winter of 2013 following more than 60 years in our family care. He simply failed to come out of hibernation. It was still difficult for us. Still, we have his mate of more than 40 years and son, now aged 44. Last summer we were blessed to be able to rescue two juvenile females from the Living Desert. I suppose that what I'm trying to convey is that as time goes by, and Turtle finally passes, you will have experienced and learned so much that you will be able to pass on to the caring for your next Turtle. Enjoy the life you have together for it passes so quickly. But indeed, life goes on. Thank you for all your sharing.
    kellygirl64 and vladimir like this.
  15. RACCOON EGGS

    RACCOON EGGS New Member

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    How are you doing?
  16. omhoge

    omhoge Member

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    Raccoon Eggs, you must be psychic, I was just thinking of writing an update.

    But first, thank you, orv. for sharing your stories and for your support. Hearing of both your cancer survival, and the loss of
    your 60 year shelled companion, Tommy, is comforting and helpful to know we're not lone in this kind of tortoise journey.
    I certainly know more than I did, and love this turtle more than ever.

    The turtle started waking up early and looking for his food on his own. A sure sign Spring is near!

    He's been having a great week, starting with a nice big poop in his bath. The congestion had been lees this week and he's been eating more too.
    I can't say why but am keeping up the antibiotics, he's still mouth breathing but hasn't needed the expectorant this week.

    The vet had to reschedule so I still have yet to get the black spots checked out.
    TechnoCheese and vladimir like this.
  17. omhoge

    omhoge Member

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    The Vet visit was good.

    The scab seems to be an understandable abrasion, probably worsened by his head pumping breathing. Because of the thickness the of clotting the medicine I was using probably was not getting to the open skin. She said she also sees this a lot in the Winter, though this one's been there a while. The black spots are just pigment changes and the graininess I felt was from the scab. The Vet cleaned the sore and gave me an antibiotic/anti-fungal cream to put on it every day… More Together Time! It did not seem cancerous to her, if it does not heal with the new cream in a couple weeks we’ll have to revisit it.

    I just have never had one like this happen before, the last one under his chin healed right up. The cream is a good idea to prevent any secondary infection.
    She said he seems the same to her as the last time: weight still good, mouth breathing, some congestion and tearing but not worse and he does not seem to be in discomfort. The turtle still felt plenty strong to them when they were working on him.

    He started bubbling there for the first time in weeks which she said could also be brought on by the trip up there and doctor visit stress. Her thought is the mass is growing slowly. You can never tell, but he may make it to the one year mark since his diagnosis!
    TechnoCheese, Kasia and vladimir like this.
  18. vladimir

    vladimir Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear he had a good vet visit!

    Thank you for the continued updates. We're all rooting for The Turtle :):<3:
  19. vladimir

    vladimir Well-Known Member

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    @omhoge Thinking about you and Turtle :tort::<3:
  20. omhoge

    omhoge Member

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    It's amazing, it really is. The turtle has made it to the Spring Holidays and is doing better than he was a few months ago.

    My guess is the secondary infection has been beating back enough to give him a little more energy.
    I've been debating giving him a break from the antibiotics, but they clearly seem to help him so much, I'm continuing them.
    The shots hardly bother him any more. He also tolerates the expectorant which I give as needed when he sounds congested.
    The neck sore is almost completely new skin, just the last phase now, applying ointment when it drys out.

    He gets winded easily and has episodes of labored breathing. But he's still waking up early on his own early looking for food,
    and he had a nice big poop yesterday. He's been eating well, actually taking some corse greens in with his treat foods.
    He even did the ramming against my foot thing a little bit last week, which he hasn't done in months.
    He props himself up on his stones by himself when he needs to. Generally he rests, watches us from the corner,
    and seems more or less comfortable.

    Our dear old turtle is still declining, thankfully a bit more slowly these past couple weeks.
    I'm very grateful we have such a good a vet and pharmacy service.
    Thank you, Vlad, and everyone for your thoughts, they help a lot.
    Kasia, vladimir and Melis like this.
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