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

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

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  1. TortMom6

    TortMom6 Active Member

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    I just found this thread and read it all! What you are doing for your beloved pet is absolutely amazing. The Turtle and you will be in my prayers.

    Because of this story, I've decided to take all 3 of my shell babies in for regular vet visits, so that if anything ever happens to one of them I'll catch it early.

    My Juliet (three-toed box turtle), Littlefoot (Leopard tortoise), and Gilbert Fitzwilliam (Greek tortoise) send their love and support to The Turtle and to you.

    Thank you for sharing.
    vladimir likes this.
  2. omhoge

    omhoge Active Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Arzu78, thanks a million for the support and good wishes!

    TortMom6, wow, I'm glad this long tail helped! I know so little about the bigger world of tortoises, I just know one particular one very well. And this forum has been a great help.

    Cheryl Hills, thank you for that idea, I haven't heard of "pet scan" for cancer, I'll ask the vet. To be honest though, we're weighing visits to the vet very carefully, it causes the Turtle a lot of stress and it takes a couple days or more for him get back to normal.
    After his one year mark, and an amazing and active Summer, I tried giving him a break from the antibiotic injections. But after a week his congestive mucus-y symptoms came back so I started them back up. In six days he was back where he was before the medication break. This week he needed his expectorant for the first time in a while.

    ShirleyTX, congratulations on your new tortoise companion! You sound well on your way to being a very fine keeper! I still vividly remember the Turtle's first night with us when we adopted him and learned he likes red food after snatching up a toy barbie shoe we didn't notice on the floor but he went right after (forgive if I repeat myself). During the first couple years we had to learn when to hover and when to ignore him, specially to eat, now he prefers the attention very much (well, except when he wants to hide and spy on us). I can recall him playing the foot pushing game very early on (which is actually how they fight), but it took a long time to get where we are now. The first many times I tried to clip his nails or file his beak, it was like wrestling a kraken!

    It's true, he's attached and very aware. After his first visit to a vet, not a great one for turtles like we have now and with loud dogs in the lobby, he was completely freaking out in the box, but as soon as we got to our door he heard Donna Summer blasting and smelled the incense for the holiday and completely settled down. He doesn't like incense really and we keep him away from it now, but that night it told him he was home. He also responds very differently to other people, somehow he knows who we are. I'm sure most everyone here has experiences like these, you cannot underestimate how aware and smart they are simply because their brains are smaller. (said with the accepted risk of over-anthropomorphizing )

    Last night and this morning taking care of some recurred symptoms, I was reminded, Yet Again, how very different Time is for tortoises.
    They can get sick very slowly, then get well very slowly, shed and grow and heal sores slowly, adjust to new locations gradually, and as we monitor things I have to mentally stretch out that time line and remind myself he operates at his pace and his time, not mine. If he has to be in a new room, I make sure to hold him like usual many times since that is a "place" he knows. The only thing he does quickly is change his mood, gobble orange, or find a new place to hide to make us search for him.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  3. vladimir

    vladimir Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the update! Glad he's still doing well :tort::<3:
  4. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

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    Many hugs for what you are doing for him! And for you!
  5. Arzu78

    Arzu78 Active Member

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    One day at a time
  6. omhoge

    omhoge Active Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Apology for the delay. Cheryl Hills, I asked his nurse and unfortunately the PET scan is not available for animals. Thanks for the idea though.
    Turtle is starting to show his usual seasonal slowness, though he's very warm, he still responds to the seasons some how. That added onto his general slow down scared me at first, but otherwise... well the same, a bit slower. He gets active in his bath every day, then that seems to tier him out till the next feeding time when I still often find him already looking for his food with that sideways "and where is it?" glare he gives when he beats me to the feeding corner.

    onward!
  7. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

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    It was worth a shot. I sure hope he does good. You really care for him.
  8. omhoge

    omhoge Active Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    This was quite a week and the Turtle gave me a scare. He had a rough weekend last week, Monday he was more congested than he's been in a while.
    Besides his antibiotic, I made sure to give him his expectorant whenever his breathing sounded very wet or there was drooling or bubbling. It all helped, drooling and bubbling stopped, but he was super lethargic.

    Then in his bath on Wednesday he went nuts. Scrambling against the bowl like he was finishing a marathon, and pooped like a rocket ship!
    I lost count how many times I had to change the water, and his last poop was only a couple days ago. Absolutely nothing new in the diet either.
    Pen is plenty warm and humid.

    I think he just went on another symptom roller coaster ride. Since that manic bath he's been more active than he's been in a while.
    I have no idea what super-charged his batteries. I wish I did. It's Winter and cold here, so him just being awake and a little active is what I hope for.
    Seeing him scamper and poop all over?
    It was pure Joy... really stinky Joy.
  9. Kasia

    Kasia Well-Known Member

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    I wish you both more joyful days ahead....:)
    ScStange891 and Cheryl Hills like this.
  10. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

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    He sure is hanging in there! :)
  11. TortMom6

    TortMom6 Active Member

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    I'm really glad he's still doing well. It sucks he had some bad days, but I'm happy he perked up, even if it wasn't nasally pleasant.
    You might have posted the answer to this and I forgot. Did you ever get a firm diagnosis on The Turtle?

    I hope you, your family, and The Turtle have a happy Christmas and a merry New Year. I'm wishing you many more good, happy, joy filled days together.
  12. omhoge

    omhoge Active Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Thank you, everyone, for your support and kind comments.

    TortMom6, regarding a firm diagnosis: We're basically going with what they said last year, that it's a large mass. Any attempt to biopsy or remove it I just think would be too much for him. Even on his good days, I'd be really afraid of sedation for him.

    We'll all be together and Turtle will be with us as we ring in the New Year, something we didn't think we'd be doing a year ago.
    A Happy Healthy New Year to you, your family, torts, and to all the Turtle's supportive friends here on TortoiseForum!
    Cheryl Hills, vladimir and Kasia like this.
  13. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

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    And same to you!
  14. ShirleyTX

    ShirleyTX Active Member

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    Is Turtle doing okay? My dad always said “No news is good news; bad news travels fast.” So I’m hoping Turtle is chugging along.
    vladimir likes this.
  15. omhoge

    omhoge Active Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Hi, ShirleyTX, thank you for asking. I've been meaning to check in here.

    The Turtle had a great holiday and New Years! I don't know if it was the festive spirit, or since we were all home, he was free to roam around his favorite room all the time, but he was a lot more active and less congested.

    He had a slump last week and was gapping and honking for the first time in a while. He's been warm, so I don't think it was the Winter chill that hit us so hard.
    But he's looked more dry lately and we've doubled his baths.

    I've been watching him during and after eating as much as I can. And I don't think the nasal bubbling is related to the type or chopping size of the food after all.
    It seems much more related to the voracity with which he eats. When he really gobbles his food, that is when his nose bubbles.

    The antibiotics and expectorant are still clearly helping him. I had to reorder the expectorant and it more than doubled in price.
    I was suspicious with the pharmacy and called his nurse. She said that this med. (guaifenesin) goes on back order a lot,
    and when it does, if owners can get it at all, she's seen the price jump tremendously.

    The same thing happened with syringes last year and I had a hard time getting any. How critical meds and instruments can go on back order at all is beyond me.
    But wouldn't you know it, the same thing happened with one of my own human meds and it took over three weeks to get it again.

    This morning he looked like he was feeling a lot better and I was almost late for work because of the endless poops in his bath.
    It is humbling to think exactly a year ago this week, we were pondering if we should let him go.

    A New Year of riding this roller-coaster with him was the best gift of all!
  16. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

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  17. RACCOON EGGS

    RACCOON EGGS New Member

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    Quite amazing how long he has made it, what an awesome tort! You, as always, are doing a great job.
  18. omhoge

    omhoge Active Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Well, rollercoaster have their dips as well.

    Last weekend the Turtle had a bad episode which started during his bath.
    He was as usual before, and I was trying to figure out: did he aspirate some water? was his dinner not chopped enough? did I let him get too warm?
    All I could think to do was give him his cough syrup and keep him propped up. He had trouble into the night, then, come morning, he was back to his "new normal".
    Part of this is learning to accept sometimes I just can't know exactly what's happening inside him and the only option is to do my duty to keep him as comfortable as I can.

    He's been more lethargic and eating less this week. He goes up with me to our little house today where he can roam his favorite room and always does better whenever he's there and gets more active every weekend.
    I got him to eat well this morning and told him to get packed today so we can rush up right after work.

    Thank you so much Raccoon Eggs, and to all you folks who are rooting for the Turtle! He really is amazing, he's become so brave that doing the injections is almost easy... *almost!*.
    vladimir and Toddrickfl1 like this.
  19. omhoge

    omhoge Active Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Perhaps a harbinger of Spring, or just a little shift of something inside, but the Turtle has been more active all of a sudden.

    Every day this week he's come out looking for his food, or come to it when I put it down without the usual coaxing and manually positioning him by it. He's been very active in his bath, pooping well, and reaching up his head higher to look around than he has in a long time.

    The sore on his neck reappeared, then a few days later was gone again. Still trying to figure that one out, but it clearly does not pain him. He does not wince or pull in when I clean it. I've been using Neosporin, or a zinc sulfate cream from the vet. The the zinc cream was the last treatment before it closed again. He's been well hydrated, I'm starting to suspect it is cancer related. The shell edges are very smooth.

    All I can say is: enjoy the upswings.
  20. vladimir

    vladimir Well-Known Member

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    Yay, glad to hear it! The Turtle is pretty amazing :)
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