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HOPIES STORY

Discussion in 'Aldabra tortoises' started by ALDABRAMAN, Sep 15, 2013.

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  1. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    Back in early 2006 we had strong suspicion that we had missed a fourth clutch of eggs laid by one of our highest producing females (Sandy) based on disturbed soil and the fact that she is a nest guarder! The next morning we dug and never located the nest. She guarded the site for several days and continued to disturb the area as she always does. About thirty days after our first attempt to locate the nest we decided to perform a major search that ended up taking us several hours of careful and diligent digging. the nest site was finally located and contained five eggs. All five eggs were retrieved and placed into incubation for development. Initially they all appeared to be fertile and developing. Finally, on June 4th one of the eggs pipped! The little guy had a very difficult and challenging time getting out of the egg. When he did clamber out he looked very dehydrated, however appeared strong and had a strong appetite. After several days of hydration and feeding he appeared to be a normal healthy aldabra hatchling. Once his egg sack was closed he was treated just like a normal hatchling and showed all signs of normal and healthy development. He thrived for the first four years of his life. Last year he began to show signs that his rear legs were weak, prompting us to maintain closer observations of him. We noticed that his appetite was diminishing and selective. Then we realized that he was not defecating or urinating at all. Straight to Dr. Doug Mader in Marathon, Fl. for a full evaluation. After a complete examination and several tests he thought that Hopie possibly had a spinal cord injury. A feeding tube was inserted for medication and food delivery directly into his stomach. After several weeks his overall strength and appetite had returned. He was actually doing great with the exception of his hind legs seemed to have full range limitations. After several additional months his feeding tube was removed and he appeared to be thriving again with the exception of his rear legs having some difficulties. He maintained this condition for almost a year. last month he began to show signs of not defecating or urinating and his drinking and eating was fast declining. Back to Dr. mader who opted the best course of treatment was to insert another feeding tube for food, water, etc. No medication this time. Dr. Mader feels that Hopie has lost all control of several organs and his rear legs based on the x-rays, cat scans, and an actual MRI from a human hospital, showing a narrowing of his rear spinal cord. He appears to be in no pain or discomfort and he is alert and loves being outside in the sun with his cousins. Our plan is to continue the recommended direction of Dr, Mader and hope for the best!

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    JoesMum and Oxalis like this.
  2. mike taylor

    mike taylor Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Man I don't know how to help you with the problem your having . But there are some aldabra keepers here on the forum that maybe be able to help . He is a handsome little guy.

    Sent from my C771 using TortForum mobile app
  3. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    * Thank you!
  4. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    Wow Greg. That's so sad. I was almost afraid to keep reading. I thought it was going to have a worse ending then it did. Hopie is so lucky to have such a dedicated Dad. Fingers crossed that he can pull out of this as much as possible and live a long good life without pain. Did the other eggs from that nest survive or was Hopie the only one?
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  5. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    * It is sad!

    * We are hopeful, Dr. Mader is at odds with a significant recovery at this point!

    * All five were fertile and actually made it thru several stages of development, however no other survivors!
  6. TommyZ

    TommyZ Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Sheesh, got me wellin up here. I hope everything works out for the best. Poor lil guy... Luckily hes with you.
  7. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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  8. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    Wow, it's probably a close miracle that Hopie even developed to hatch out. He is so beautiful. Looks like in the pics he's a real trooper though. Sounds like you have a great vet. Hopefully he can figure out a great plan to stop or improve the progress.
    I would have loved to see the faces on the members of the hospital that the MRI was taken at.:D. Please keep us posted on his IMPROVEMENT! (Positive thinking here) Or (if things go the other way too- this is in a low whisper, don't want to think about this way)
    Give him an extra goodie more often too:D
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  9. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    * Our thoughts also!

    * Thank you and he is!

    * We feel very fortunate that he is our primary tortoise vet!

    * He actually took Hopie himself for the procedure!
    Oxalis likes this.
  10. Jacqui

    Jacqui Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises Moderator 10 Year Member!

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    May I ask exactly what his tube diet is and how often you do it?
  11. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    * Primary ingredient!

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  12. bigred

    bigred Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    That tort is lucky to have such great keepers
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  13. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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  14. fauzi_alda/cata

    fauzi_alda/cata New Member 5 Year Member

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    Very sad indeed.. But very fortunate to have you as his keeper.. Wish both of you the best!
  15. thatrebecca

    thatrebecca Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Wow, the pictures with the feeding tube really tell the story. The amazing thing is how happy and healthy and, well, HOPEful he looks. Well done and good luck to you and Hopie!
  16. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    * Thank you!

    * Thank you!
  17. Jessicapinkie1

    Jessicapinkie1 New Member 5 Year Member

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    awe ur such a great dad!!!
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    I pray he does very well and lives a long wonderful life :)
  18. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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  19. lynnedit

    lynnedit Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    What a story, Greg.

    Does the vet think that the spinal cord narrowing will improve, or that he will grow out of it?
  20. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    * Unknown at this time. We are hopeful that improvement is possible!

    * He is starting to pass food and actually eating some selective solids on his own. We are encouraged with this new progress!
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