Worming a Russian tortoise - Help

Rainbow Tortoise

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I took my 1 year old Russian tortoise to the vets (just for a check-up) and they said they could worm him if he hadn’t already been wormed by the place we bought him from. I wasn’t aware the tortoises needed worming but the vet said that young tortoises that are kept together can often have worms when you get them. I went to the place I got him from (a garden centre) but they said they sometimes worm them but not all the time and that they don’t know if mine has been wormed. I am concerned about this as I don’t know if to worm him or not. The vet said it could be harmful for him to have too much worming stuff. Should I get my tortoise wormed? Any help is appreciated.
 

SweetGreekTorts

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Did the vet take a fecal sample to test? Or do you notice any worms in the poo?

There's no harm in worming. I use Panacur granules and add a little water to each dose to make a paste. Then I take part of my tortoise's food and stir it into the paste so it gets coated with the medication. Has always worked for me.
 

Rainbow Tortoise

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The vet didn’t take a fecal sample and I haven’t seen any worms in his poo. So I should be alright to let the vet worm him? The vet said they would use some liquid. I just want to be sure that he is alright and definitely doesn’t have worms.
 

SweetGreekTorts

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If there is no serious concern for worms, then first I would try the advice provided in this forum about diet and enclosure suggestions. Once those are where they should be, the tortoise will start thriving more. If that is the case, you save yourself some money from vet expenses. If still not gaining weight, then I would suspect worms or parasites. Sometimes just a few enclosure and diet changes are all that is needed.
 

ZEROPILOT

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There is no protocol for worming a tortoise that hasn't first been diagnosed with worms.
Either your vet is trying to get an extra buck from you or your vet is one of the many that are too proud to admit that they know little to nothing about tortoises.
The "wormer" is a poison. A specific poison for a specific parasite.
To treat for parasites you may or may not have is ridiculous and dangerous. I mean would he/she just be guessing what to use? Could have pinworms? Could have roundworms? Could have a respiratory infection?
And even a small infestation is usually not anything that requires treatment as many tortoises, especially wild caught tortoises like most Russians have a small parasitic load and they live just fine without intervention.
My first tip: Find a new vet. One that knows tortoises.
Tip two: Visit the vet only when there is an issue. Or to get a check up with a baseline that can be used later to determine growth and health.
Please understand that I'm not being hard on you personally. It's just the volume of stories we get about vets that think they know it all and don't.
 
Last edited:

Tom

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To offer medicine without a diagnosis is not a good practice. Which worms does the vet want to treat for? There are many different types and different meds are needed for the different types.

As ZEROPILOT explained, I would not put these toxic chemicals into my tortoise without a diagnosis for what I was treating and a good reason to treat them.
 

Cathie G

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There is no protocol for worming a tortoise that hasn't first been diagnosed with worms.
Either your vet is trying to get an extra buck from you or your vet is one of the many that are too proud to admit that they know little to nothing about tortoises.
The "wormer" is a poison. A specific poison for a specific parasite.
To treat for parasites you may or may not have is ridiculous and dangerous. I mean would he/she just be guessing what to use? Could have pinworms? Could have roundworms? Could have a respiratory infection?
And even a small infestation is usually not anything that requires treatment as many tortoises, especially wild caught tortoises like most Russians have a small parasitic load and they live just fine without intervention.
My first tip: Find a new vet. One that knows tortoises.
Tip two: Visit the vet only when there is an issue. Or to get a check up with a baseline that can be used later to determine growth and health.
Please understand that I'm not being hard on you personally. It's just the volume of stories we get about vets that think they know it all and don't.
I sooo totally agree. Most sources just give you a generic answer that can do more harm then good.
 

Rainbow Tortoise

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Thank you for your help. I have found a new vet and if I am concerned about any health issues I will make sure he has been tested before treatment - this is what I should do, right? The worming treatment was just a liquid that they said treats worms. The vet didn’t specifically say a type of worm. Thank you for all your help.
 
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