Had a scare with food stuck on roof of hatchlings mouth

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Turtledude

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The past 5 days or so i would notice food always hanging out of Tortles mouth.(i renamed him to Tortle) It appeared real cute at first. The past few days he has been inactive so i started to get worried. I gave him a long warm soak and he finally opened his eyes and started getting some energy. Normally he always opens his eyes and squirms around a little when i pick him up but this time his eyes were closed the whole time even a bit after he was soaking. Well when he started getting energy I was examining him and he did an open mouth yawn sort of thing and he had ALLOT of food stuck to the room of his mouth. I felt horrible i didnt notice this earlier but it explained why all of a sudden he kept having food hanging out of his mouth.
He must've had a hard time eating.

I had a breeding colony of siebenrockiella crassicollis in the past and they normally come from overseas with shell/mouth rot so I knew you normally use a hook(unsharp of course. the shape is the perfect tool) to force the mouth open when dealing with mouth rot. He is still a hatchling so i worried about chipping the beak. I luckily enough had a plastic coated garbage tie so i bent the tip in a hook like shape. I couldnt bring myself to brute force it open because i was worried about scratching the roof of his mouth or his toungue with it and hurting him..even though it was plastic coated its just so small in there with him being so young and it felt like it could cause the roof of my mouth to bleed if i scraped it with the corner of the thing. I noticed when I would hold him verticly he would open his mouth a little. I got it in there and he thought it was food so would use his one arm to try to tear it as if i was feeding him a leaf. it was green in color afterall lol. him trying to tear it wasnt helping but i eventually got the food stuck in his mouth to come off the roof of his mouth in one big clump which he then swallowed. Now its all flesh colored in there again thank god.

Anyways just wanted to share the problem and solution i used and get thoughts/experiences from anyone else who may have had this happen before. He eats a lot of hibiscus and when you break up the leaves they can be a little slimy/sticky. I'm curious if its the sticky leaf juice that caused it or if the pieces are too big or what. i normaly break it up by hand and its been fine in the past. guess I will start chopping it up more fine just in case.
 

Annieski

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I'm not an "expert"--but if this is a "baby"---perhaps you should moisten his food a bit with water and spread it out a little so he can't bit off more than he can chew [so-to-speak] at one time. And perhaps add another soak to his daily routine, just in case he's a little dehydrated. Just my thoughts.
 

Stephanie Logan

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Wow, that is a scary story. Good for you for staying calm and composed and figuring out the right approach for your little friend...it's good to know of the possibility of this happening since they seem to have so many frailties/vulnerabilities when they are babies.

Hope Tortle's nomming normally now! :D
 

Turtledude

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Thanks guys. Today he's been sluggish. He's normally a ball of energy but he does have off days every now and then. He didnt eat much. He normally eats allot. I had tried the opposite and dried the hibiscus thinking it was the stickiness the fresh stuff can be. I hadn't read your post yet. He had some food hanging out of his mouth today and he had a chunk of food stuck to the roof of his mouth today. Its allot less than yesterday but still there. I got it out the same way. I had a hibiscus leaf that wasnt dry but was flimsy..somewhere between dry and fresh. I got it all wet and tried feeding it to him by hand. he ate just a few bites then tried to swallow it. i watched him attempt to swallow it quite a few times to no avail. he got it stuck on the roof of his mouth again. i held him a little verticly to see it better and he continued to try to swallow and I noticed he was salivating. because some bubbled from his closed mouth. it was slimy but not frothy. I was relieved to see him salivate as that was one of my fears. Also he pooped while i was holding him which relieved me to see him poop since it had been a few days since a confirmed one. and after awhile of him not being able to get the hibiscus off his roof of his mouth i got that bit out too the same way. he kept trying and trying to swallow and get it off the roof of his mouth. No more hibiscus until i get this figured out. i will try miners lettuce soon. its waxy in consistancy. If the miners lettuce has the same problem i guess i'll have to take him to the vet :(

I'm starting to think the hibiscus being stuck there previously maybe damaged the roof of his mouth somehow and now food is more prone to stick there as it heals. Because he has eaten allot of hibiscus before with no problems both fresh and also dried since he doesnt always eat them all and some dries over time till he gets to it later. He's salivating...hes pooping. I really dont know though. Maybe he normally gets some stuck to the roof of his mouth and i havent noticed. ive never seen him struggle to swallow it like that though. A waxy food like miners lettuce will tell me i guess. being waxy should keep it from clinging to the roof of his mouth and tell me something. If not then i guess im looking at some kind of damage on the roof of his mouth or some sort of mouth/throat infection :(
 

Turtledude

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YEY! When I started him on the miners lettuce he ate just a little bit. It didnt get stuck to the room of his mouth at least but I was still worried because he didnt eat hardly anything the whole day. This morning I gave him a nice long warm soak and afterwards he ate ALLOT ravenously :)
 
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