Egg Bound?

MrDarcy

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Oct 18, 2020
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Leicester
Hi Guys,

I took my horsefield to the vets a few days ago- there was bit of weird behaviour so went to check up.

It turns out that she's trying to lay- they said they'd give an injection to try and help along but unfortunately no eggs have appeared (xray confirmed eggs). They said to bring home for a week and see if they appear but if not, its likely they'll have to op to get them out.

Has anyone had any experience of this? Aside from the cost implications, what's rate of recovery/ is it fair to do this?

Help pleasrA
 

turtlesteve

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Sep 23, 2012
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How big is she? Are there any shell deformities that would prevent her from laying? Does she have a place where she can dig a nest? I have never had one get egg bound but I would think surgery would be a last resort. Tortoises can retain eggs for a long time, sometimes many months, because of either stress or inability to find a suitable nesting site.
 

MrDarcy

New Member
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Location (City and/or State)
Leicester
How big is she? Are there any shell deformities that would prevent her from laying? Does she have a place where she can dig a nest? I have never had one get egg bound but I would think surgery would be a last resort. Tortoises can retain eggs for a long time, sometimes many months, because of either stress or inability to find a suitable nesting site.
Around 10, and no deformities. There's alot of nice hidy holes, sloping soil etc. I know they can be picky! I didnt actually know thats what she was trying to do!

I was worried about recovery time, if surgery was fair on them etc if it was needed...
 

turtlesteve

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Around 10, and no deformities. There's alot of nice hidy holes, sloping soil etc. I know they can be picky! I didnt actually know thats what she was trying to do!

I was worried about recovery time, if surgery was fair on them etc if it was needed...
10 what - years? Age is not important, how large is she (length of carapace)? If she is large enough to lay eggs and doesn’t have any deformity or other problem, I’d be tempted to wait a bit. I assume the X-ray showed eggs that looked normal, since you didn’t mention otherwise?

I have seen articles / pictures of instances where surgery was needed to remove eggs but obviously that’s very invasive for a tortoise. They can recover from it but will take a very long time to heal.

What was the weird behavior?
 

MrDarcy

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Oct 18, 2020
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Location (City and/or State)
Leicester
10 what - years? Age is not important, how large is she (length of carapace)? If she is large enough to lay eggs and doesn’t have any deformity or other problem, I’d be tempted to wait a bit. I assume the X-ray showed eggs that looked normal, since you didn’t mention otherwise?

I have seen articles / pictures of instances where surgery was needed to remove eggs but obviously that’s very invasive for a tortoise. They can recover from it but will take a very long time to heal.

What was the weird behavior?
Mouth gaping a bit (initially I thought respiratory infection as there were some strange noises too!) Then going weirdly stiff. In hindsight I should have known this was eggy behaviour, but my immediate thought was respiratory. She's defo big enough for eggs.

The eggsray (see what I did there) was normal- the vet said one vet said one was on the larger side, but shouldn't cause a prob). They said have a week at home with various types of places to nest. I'd obviously like to avoid surgery for her sake and my pocket. Said if she shows any signs of distress etc then take her back and they'll review where the eggs are as the might be able to poke and break them if they're on their way but stuck...

I've got 3 different areas at present- one with sloping soil near heat lamp (she seems to prefer this spot), a pedal bin on its side with loads of soil and slopes (vets suggestion) and then another thats sheltered but not dark with deep substrate.

She seems to dig alot, do lots of leg wiggling, stays for a bit and then move on so not really sure what's happening. The pedal bin is the most recent addition, so ill wait til tomorrow for the full reaction
 

Tom

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Again, what is the straight carapace length of your tortoise?

How deep is the substrate in the laying areas you've provided?
 

turtlesteve

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
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Messages
448
Mouth gaping a bit (initially I thought respiratory infection as there were some strange noises too!) Then going weirdly stiff. In hindsight I should have known this was eggy behaviour, but my immediate thought was respiratory. She's defo big enough for eggs.

The eggsray (see what I did there) was normal- the vet said one vet said one was on the larger side, but shouldn't cause a prob). They said have a week at home with various types of places to nest. I'd obviously like to avoid surgery for her sake and my pocket. Said if she shows any signs of distress etc then take her back and they'll review where the eggs are as the might be able to poke and break them if they're on their way but stuck...

I've got 3 different areas at present- one with sloping soil near heat lamp (she seems to prefer this spot), a pedal bin on its side with loads of soil and slopes (vets suggestion) and then another thats sheltered but not dark with deep substrate.

She seems to dig alot, do lots of leg wiggling, stays for a bit and then move on so not really sure what's happening. The pedal bin is the most recent addition, so ill wait til tomorrow for the full reaction
The substrate needs to be deep - at least 6” but maybe deeper if she is over 6” long. It also needs to hold its shape (she needs to be able to dig a hole with vertical walls and have it not collapse inward). It sounds like she is trying to dig a nest, sometimes they will dig many times before laying.
 
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