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Desert tortoise not eating after near drowning

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by Susan J, Jul 9, 2019.

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  1. Susan J

    Susan J New Member

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    Need some advise. My tortoise nearly drowned last August. Hasn't eaten anything since event
    Seen vet numerous times. Tube feeding blood work antibiotics. Still not eating. Blood work show some liver damage but not failure. Should I continue to seek vet care or leave him be? Any advice would be good.
  2. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 10 Year Member!

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    I would leave alone, maybe try some baby carrot food soaks.
  3. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    He hasn't eaten for almost a whole year? They can go a very long time without food, but that's really way too long. What kinds of foods are you offering him?

    My thought on the subject, and ONLY because he hasn't eaten in almost a whole year, is to have the vet put an esophagostomy tube into his stomach and feed him that way. The tube goes into an incision in his neck, so it doesn't interfere with his mouth, should he eventually decide to eat on his own. If you do go this route, bear in mind that a tortoise's digestion is not like ours. What you put into his stomach today may not empty into the digestive tract right away, so you don't want to put too much. I would feed him a small amount every other day.

    Please keep us informed as to how this little guy is doing.
  4. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    I agree with soaking him in the baby carrot food baths, and also would ask what food is he being offered? Where is he being kept? Can we see some photos? We would like to help. Nearly a year without eating? Whew.:eek:
  5. Susan J

    Susan J New Member

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    I have tried everything he used to love. Lettuce, squash, rose petals, melon. The vet did put feeding tube in several time into his stomach to help kick-start him to eat. nothing seems to work. I was hoping that if I backed-off from vet care that maybe he would start eating on his own. we may be dealing with brain damage or his sense of smell has been impacted. he does sniff at food, but just won't take a bite. so frustrating.
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