Help- my tortoise is not eating

Jennabisson

New Member
Joined
May 15, 2021
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Jersey, Channel Islands
Hello all,

I would really appreciate any help I can get! I live on an island where are vets aren’t great with tortoises.
When my Herman tortoise woke up from hibernation a week later her leg and shoulder got swollen. We took her to the vet who x-rayed her and said that she had a blockage and she was dehydrated. They also said she could have some type of infection which was causing the swelling. She stayed at the vets for 3 days and they hydrated and fed her and when she came home we were taking her back every 3 days for antibiotics for 6 weeks. They then said they were still unsure about what was wrong with her and that although the swelling in her shoulder (next to her neck/head had gone down her leg was still swollen and she doesn’t really use it. They cannot do anything and we have called the zoo but they will not give any help so any advice would be amazing!
She still has a swollen leg and she doesn’t want to eat but she drinks a lot of water and she is still acting like herself except the loss of appetite.
Please can anyone give any advice or advise if there is anyone I can call and speak to to get advise please.
Thank you so much in advance.
Jenna
 

TaylorTortoise

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
634
Location (City and/or State)
Abington
Hello all,

I would really appreciate any help I can get! I live on an island where are vets aren’t great with tortoises.
When my Herman tortoise woke up from hibernation a week later her leg and shoulder got swollen. We took her to the vet who x-rayed her and said that she had a blockage and she was dehydrated. They also said she could have some type of infection which was causing the swelling. She stayed at the vets for 3 days and they hydrated and fed her and when she came home we were taking her back every 3 days for antibiotics for 6 weeks. They then said they were still unsure about what was wrong with her and that although the swelling in her shoulder (next to her neck/head had gone down her leg was still swollen and she doesn’t really use it. They cannot do anything and we have called the zoo but they will not give any help so any advice would be amazing!
She still has a swollen leg and she doesn’t want to eat but she drinks a lot of water and she is still acting like herself except the loss of appetite.
Please can anyone give any advice or advise if there is anyone I can call and speak to to get advise please.
Thank you so much in advance.
Jenna
Sounds like it could be kidney or liver related? What are you feeding your tortoise? Can we see pictures of the enclosure and set up please
 

Lyn W

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5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
20,281
Location (City and/or State)
UK
HI Jenna and welcome.
Can you post some pics of her and her enclosure and tell us about her age and where the blockage they found was? Is she peeing OK and passing urates?
I'm not a health expert by any means but it's good she's drinking. Are you giving warm soaks too (baby bath temps)?
 

wellington

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Tortoise Club
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Sep 6, 2011
Messages
39,464
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
She could possibly not be eating because some antibiotics do that to tortoises.
Where is the blockage and did they do anything about it?
Soak her in warm water and add baby food puree carrots to the warm water. This may get her eating on her own but she will also take in some of the nutrients.
Other than that, follow what the others have said with the details we need to better help you further.
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
20,281
Location (City and/or State)
UK
This is the most up to date caresheet that will help you with general care
 

Jennabisson

New Member
Joined
May 15, 2021
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Jersey, Channel Islands
Thank you for all your replies. She no longer has the blockage they think it was a snail or something that I hadn’t realised she’d eaten before going in to hibernation. She has been weeing and pooping like normal and I have been trying to feed her on anything leafy and green. The vet gave me a sachet of critical care powder that you make up into a paste and I have managed to get some of that in her. She is bathed in wam water twice a day for at least 30 minutes. She doesn’t have an enclosure we live on a farm and she roams the house and goes in to the garden whenever she wants but she gets brought in and put by the aga at night and she sometimes will move to in front the fire but generally she goes where she likes with my other tortoise but at the moment she is not using the front leg that was swollen so she hasn’t been moving much.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Jan 9, 2010
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Location (City and/or State)
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She doesn’t have an enclosure we live on a farm and she roams the house and goes in to the garden whenever she wants but she gets brought in and put by the aga at night and she sometimes will move to in front the fire but generally she goes where she likes with my other tortoise but at the moment she is not using the front leg that was swollen so she hasn’t been moving much.
The quoted material above is likely your problem. They should never be loose on the floor or in areas where human activity takes place. Its a recipe for disaster in many possible ways. We see it here over and over, and you are seeing it now.

Likewise, tortoises should never live as pairs. It causes terrible chronic stress and the signs of territorial behavior and aggressiveness, are usually missed by most people.

Are they the same species? Species should never be mixed. It is often the case when two or more different species are housed together that all sorts of unusual mystery ailments appear.

As you've noted, most vets don't know what they are doing. What antibiotic are they injecting into your tortoise. Due to their ignorance, some vets do more harm than good.

Where and how do your tortoises hibernate? At what temperature?

With answers to the above questions we can help get you going the right direction. You will need to make two enclosures and keep each of them contained in their own correctly designed and safe space. There will need to be heating and lighting supplied for them during the times that Mother Nature isn't cooperating.
 

Jennabisson

New Member
Joined
May 15, 2021
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Jersey, Channel Islands
They have lived together for 10 years they are both Herman’s and both girls.
They have an area with a heat lamp that they go under separately throughout the day.
The antibiotics are called Ceftazidine
They have always gone in to their hibernation box when they are ready and then we move the box to our shed.
 
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