1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

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

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

  1. RACCOON EGGS

    RACCOON EGGS New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2017
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Minnesota
    Glad to hear he is still doing ok. It is so impressive he has made it this far! Keep up the good work and thanks for the update.
  2. omhoge

    omhoge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    71
    Trophy Points:
    18
    As the weather finally warms up after this long bitterly cold early Spring the turtle is responding and getting much more active.
    Like all of us, he's eager for Summer to really start.

    We're continuing the antibiotic shots but I had to jump through some hoops to refill the Fortaz/Tazicef script.

    It's apparently on a big back order and our normal pharmacy, Best Pet RX, could not get any or even a possible ship date.
    Apparently the impact to the hurricane in Puerto Rico has also caused a national shortage of syringes.

    The Best Pet RX agent did call around and finally found some Tazicef at the large Animal Hospital where we had his CAT Scan done,but they say they have to record of every examining him
    and would require he be brought and examined in order to get the medication from their pharmacy.

    Thank goodness for his Vet and Nurse, they were able to stock Tazicef at the clinic's pharmacy and they even ordered me abox of the syringes so I don't have to worry about that part for a while. (I still have a bunch of extra needles for them,I change the needles after prepping the syringes so it's the sharpest possible point when going into reptile skin. I keep 6 - 8 syringes ready in the freezer so I don't have to thaw the whole bottle each time).
    They don't deliver like Best Pet does so I had to go uptown to get them, but we spared the turtle a stressful hospital visit.

    He's generally the same and doing pretty well, all things considered, occasionally congested and drooling, still eating well and pooping regularly.
    The dry skin sore on his neck seemed to be recurring, but the Vet said it may take several shedding cycles for it to completely
    go away; which makes sense since the sore is getting much smaller each time it shows up. I'm giving him soaks more often now,
    and OTC Neosporin if the sore looks open, and zinc cream if the scab looks really dry and crunchy.
    Its hard to apply since the spot is way up on his neck, so I have to pet and cajole him into letting me pull his neck out
    far enough to dab it with my little finger.

    He's been walking around a lot and revisiting all his favorite hiding spots, and finding good new ones to keep me
    on my hands and knees looking for him.
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
    orv, daniellenc, Jay Bagley and 2 others like this.
  3. vladimir

    vladimir Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    689
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    Pennsylvania
    Glad to hear it :)
    Jay Bagley likes this.
  4. RACCOON EGGS

    RACCOON EGGS New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2017
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Minnesota
    Good to hear he is still doing OK. Keep up the good work!
    Jay Bagley and vladimir like this.
  5. RACCOON EGGS

    RACCOON EGGS New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2017
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Minnesota
    It has been a while since an update. How are you guys doing?
    Jay Bagley and vladimir like this.
  6. vladimir

    vladimir Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    689
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    Pennsylvania
    I hope The Turtle is still doing well :tort:
    Jay Bagley likes this.
  7. omhoge

    omhoge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    71
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Hi Racoon Eggs and Vladimir, thank you so much for checking in!

    I've thought a few times to post an update, but worried the daily details of long term illness get very boring very quick from the outside.
    We've had issues getting his meds and syringes, I don't understand how these things can "go on back order". But his vet has been remarkable
    finding alternative sources. And I did learn never to tell anyone in a turtle group who your vet. is, or you are likely to get the reply we did:
    "NOOOOOOOOO she is HORRRRIBLE! You HAVE to take him to my vet!" Never mind our positive experiences, his response to treatment,
    or the fact that "my vet" is over 200 miles away, we don't have a car, and just getting him there would stress him out tremendously.
    But I'm chalking that reply up to passion :~)
    We actually laughed out loud when we saw it and and been quoting that email a lot in the most dramatic voices we can muster.

    The turtle had a great Spring and became more active The decline is continuing though, albeit slowly. He's getting progressively more tired and drools more. But he sure loves heat waves! And still has some active periods.

    Remarkably he's still eating twice a day or more, pooping weekly, and peeing daily.
    Our most increased effort is keeping him very well hydrated, frequent baths, and he's often drinking from his water bowl on his own.
    At least twice a week I find him out looking for his food before I deliver it and don't have to pet or cajole him before eating.

    Though very lethargic, he seems more active on the weekends when we're around him more.
    When we let him roam the room and he'll walk around, sometimes even seeking an open area where sun is shining on the floor,
    or setting himself near our feet or where we were just sitting. He is still an expert at hiding, but it feels like he wants to be where he can see us more now. If turtles even feel such urges, I like to think he does, but I'm probably projecting my own affection on him.

    Thanks again for asking, I appreciate it.
    Kasia, vladimir and Toddrickfl1 like this.
  8. RACCOON EGGS

    RACCOON EGGS New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2017
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Minnesota
    Glad to hear he is doing well! Keep up the great work!
    vladimir likes this.
  9. omhoge

    omhoge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    71
    Trophy Points:
    18
    The turtle had a nice upswing the last two weeks. He slept pulled in, which I haven't seen him do since he first took ill, and even played the foot pushing game. He's sliding back to his prior condition now and honking sometimes. But so far no worse than he was, and the upswing was very sweet despite the bitter reality of long term illness. There are no longer any objections from him with his meds, I still can't believe what he lets me do now. He's been eating even more during the Summer, and has pooped twice a week for the past couple. Poop..., how funny what we take comfort in late in life.
    Kasia, Melis, TammyJ and 1 other person like this.
  10. vladimir

    vladimir Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    689
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    Pennsylvania
    @omhoge happy to hear it! I was actually just looking at this thread earlier to see if there were any updates.
  11. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Messages:
    1,680
    Likes Received:
    1,050
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Jamaica
    Thanks for caring for this guy! And don't ever think that your long posts may be boring - we here are very interested in learning and sharing any information we may have or that may be given on our favourite creatures!:)
    Kasia and vladimir like this.
  12. omhoge

    omhoge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    71
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Thank you, TammyJ!

    Well the turtle has been having a great last half of Summer. Lessened respiratory symptoms and increased activity and appetite.

    I'm continuing the meds, after a short break the symptoms were returning so I started them up again.
    The oddest thing is that the drooling and nasal bubbling happen after he chows down on red peppers. It's one of his favorites, I'm not sure yet if it's just from eating a lot, he eats just as much of other foods. I'm looking for a pattern there.

    My thoughts are turning to ways to keep him very warm and very hydrated when the seasons change. If nothing else, lots of warm baths.
    I don't want to get our hopes up, but I think he'll see the one year mark since his diagnosis.
    Kasia, Melis and vladimir like this.
  13. omhoge

    omhoge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    71
    Trophy Points:
    18
    This week marks a year since the turtle was diagnosed with "a large tumor, most likely cancer".

    Though he still has issues, and major ups and downs, the difference from his nearly-dead posture a year ago is striking.
    Fighting back whatever the respiratory infection was, was the biggest step.

    He's still on a decline and still on his meds, and I'm deeply grateful he's stuck around.
    We love this turtle so much, and after such a long time his behavior has definitely adapted to being with us.
    Even now I can't really imagine him not being here.

    The key for giving him red peppers is to chop them smaller, I think because they're firmer they may be harder for him to swallow.
    Mushrooms have become the go-to food to make sure he eats (used to be oranges), and he'll still gobble them up with finely chopped coarse greens.
    And he's still pooping regularly.

    Thank you all so much for your interest and support! It has helped a lot knowing I'm not alone in this turtle-loving-madness.

    Excelsior!
    TechnoCheese and Melis like this.
  14. vladimir

    vladimir Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    689
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    Pennsylvania
  15. Arzu78

    Arzu78 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2018
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location (City and/or State):
    San Juan, Puerto Rico
    I just finished reading your story, the whole 6 pages, shedding happy tears for you guys, God Bless
  16. RACCOON EGGS

    RACCOON EGGS New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2017
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Minnesota
    You have done such a great job taking care of him! What a lucky tort to have you!
  17. omhoge

    omhoge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    71
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Arzu78, I cannot believe you read the whole 6 pages! I did a quick scan and golly I repeat myself a lot, I hope it helped you sleep well if nothing else. To be fully honest, I didn't post much of the bad days, which are there too. RACOON EGGS always looks so happy when the news is more positive, I couldn't help it.

    I have more to think about now. That "mass" has me wondering, and when I wrote his nurse and vet about the one year mark, even the nurse said: "maybe it isn't cancer". Perhaps it is a cyst or some other benign tumor. He still has trouble breathing and anesthesia for a biopsy scares me. Removing it would surely involve opening his plastron and patching the piece back on. I don't think I could put him through that or if he'd even survive it.

    Maybe I need to shift out of "hospice mode" thinking. I don't know. I cannot help but think those bad days will return. This past week he honked again for the first time in quite a while. The meds still very much seem to help, I'm shy of changing anything there either.

    But you know..?, pondering his treatment is much better than making his funeral arrangements.

    RACOON EGGS, really we're the lucky ones to have such a personable tortoise who's willing to stick out a few decades with us.
    Melis likes this.
  18. Arzu78

    Arzu78 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2018
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location (City and/or State):
    San Juan, Puerto Rico
    I hear you!!! These sullys are STRONG and RESILENT, when our Jack got sick, our vet wished he was older in order to be able to operate, that type of surgery is common, although it sounds “horrible” ... In the end I beleive you’ve got to go with your gut feeling, you are the one in the 24/7 situation, I think you will do the best for him ... I suffer my pets health issues as I did with my kids and do now with the grandkids, keeps me from sleeping when they’re sick Best of luck
Similar Threads: Turtle streatching
Forum Title Date
Tortoise Health Any turtle tips or tricks? Oct 10, 2018
Tortoise Health Shell Rot or Shedding - Spotted turtle? Oct 9, 2018
Tortoise Health Help - new box turtle lethargic, swollen eye Oct 4, 2018
Tortoise Health Fly River Turtle - Shedding Skin or Fungus? Sep 11, 2018
Tortoise Health Gulf Coast Box Turtle Jul 5, 2018

Share This Page