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Hernia Truss/Girdle

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Marcushunt7, Aug 25, 2011.

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  1. Marcushunt7

    Marcushunt7 New Member

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    Our 70 year old tortoise has bilateral hernias. They don't harm her but are getting bigger and the vet pretty much said that there's not much that we can do. He mentioned trying to make a truss to stop them from getting worse. Do any of you have experience with this and if so, we'd appreciate any tips. Thanks,


    Marcus
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

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    Hi Marcus:

    Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

    May we know where you are?

    I don't understand how you can see a hernia on a tortoise. Was this discovered with X-ray? Would it be possible for you to show us a picture of this problem?
  3. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum....I am with Yvonne on the question, also, what type of tortoise do you have? We LOVE PICS :p:p
  4. Marcushunt7

    Marcushunt7 New Member

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    Hello Yvonne and Angela, I'm located in Los Angeles, CA. It's a California Desert Tortoise and the hernias are visibly bulging from either leg. We thought about a stocking of some sort, however it would be nearly impossible to keep on the leg. I'll take a pic when I can.

    Thanks,

    Marcus
  5. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

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  6. Jacqui

    Jacqui Out living in my yard.... Staff Member

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    In no way am I belittling the danger your tortoise may be in or your worry about it, but I am finding this rather interesting. Not glad it's happening, but am glad your posting here about it. I just never even imagined they could have hernia issues. Am looking forward to seeing those pictures. Side question here, is the Vet your seeing a reptile Vet? Also not saying anything negative about the Vet, just being curious is all.

    Has he always had this problem and it's just getting worse or has it just shown up recently?
  7. Marcushunt7

    Marcushunt7 New Member

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    I'm actually not trying to find out what it is as she's been to a fantastic reptile vet who diagnosed it as bilateral hernias, but rather trying to find out if anyone has any experience in making a truss/girdle for a turtle. They look very similar the the pic on the link in the above post. Surgery really isn't an option, so containing/preventing further bulge is the main goal.
  8. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

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    I'm sorry to sound like I'm picking on you, Marcus, but your vet may be wrong in her diagnosis. If the tortoise is suffering from kidney failure, providing some sort of external girdle or truss to push the edema back into the body cavity may really be harmful to the tortoise. I really doubt very much if a 70 year old tortoise would all of a sudden have some sort of hernia, especially on both sides. I'm 90% positive what you're seeing is edema, which is excess bodily fluid build up. We DO see a lot of this, but in all my 40 plus years of tortoise-keeping, I've NEVER seen a hernia that pouches out in front of the back leg. You need to try to help the tortoise absorb and pass this fluid, and not be trying to push it back up inside her.
  9. Marcushunt7

    Marcushunt7 New Member

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    I appreciate all of your replies but let me clarify. This isn't a new issue. She was adopted 10 years ago from a vet with these hernias. My girlfriend is also a vet and we took her to a special reptile vet. All diagnosing them as hernias. She's healthy and often lays eggs. Theory is that the hernias stemmed from pushing eggs sometime ago.
  10. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

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    Oh...ok, sorry, Marcus. I guess we (read "I") jumped to conclusions because we didn't have enough information. I would hate to have only answered your question about fitting a truss, then come to find out the truss damaged the tortoise. So it looks like you have everything under control.

    I don't think there is any kind of truss that you can make up to help with the bulges. But necessity is the mother of invention. Maybe you'll come up with something.

    I'd still like to see pictures.
  11. Jacqui

    Jacqui Out living in my yard.... Staff Member

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    Glad you clarified things about the Vets. Do the hernias bother her in any way? Can't wait to see a picture to really see what we are talking about, where they are, and how large. This is all new for me. So she had to push so hard to lay eggs is the guess? Currently laying eggs does not make it any worse? Sorry I keep bugging you for more details. :rolleyes:
  12. Robert

    Robert New Member

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    Marcus,
    Are you able to reduce the hernias? If so, and I'm just thinking out loud and not trying to tell you something that you don't already know, the truss/girdle would need to be put in place when the hernia is in a reduced state. Stabilizing a hernia in a non reduced state, at least in humans, is counterproductive and can lead to an increased risk of incarceration of the hernia.

    You mentioned stocking, have you tried it? I wonder if an infant stocking or cotton tube sock (with the toes cut off) would work. My concern would be increased pressure when the tort tries to draw her legs in.

    Another thing to try might be Coban. It is an adhesive elastic wrap. I believe it is made by 3M. It is like a cross between athletic tape and an ace bandage. It's not quite as stretchy as an ace bandage, and not quite as sticky as athletic tape. You may be able to reduce the hernia and then wrap a piece of Coban and adhere it to itself. It has some stretch so it might work. (I have never seen the adhesive of Coban used on a reptile, so I cannot vouch for it's safety, but it might work.)

    Please keep me posted on what you try. I am always fascinated by improvised animal assistive devices. As Yvonne mentioned, necessity is the mother of invention.

    Good luck.
  13. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART

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  14. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer

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    I'm no help here, but welcome.
  15. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum.....we would love to see pics of your girl....not that i want to see the bulges, I just wanna see her face....I love to see the faces and eyes of these awesome creatures.....

    Hey, have you tried to contact San Diego Zoo/Desert Tortoise line? I bet that very question may get some peanuts going and perhaps a bunch of nuts will come up with a solution.... :D[hr]
    hi....please go and look at the pics in thread from "hey hey from utah" here on the forum, that beanie can surely be modified ?????? just a coincidence, I think not.... there are no such things... :)
    (in my opinion :p)
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