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Impaction: HOW LONG TO WAIT BEFORE GO TO VET?

leopardforlyfe

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Help! My sweet little 4 month old leopard hatchling, Lupe hasn't pooped for almost 3 days and has been acting very lethargic. She does eat (thank God!) but definitely less than normal... I have caught her eating the smaller peices of her Forrest Floor brand cypress mulch recently and am worried she may be impacted. I have soaked her 2 or 3 times a day and no success yet.

Wondering, how long should I wait before I go to the vet? Should I go now? Wait a few more days? Also, I haven't tried mineral oil but I'm wondering where I should look for those syringes?

Would so appreciate any thoughts or advice!
 

Yvonne G

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It's not a good idea to wait if you think there's something wrong with a baby tortoise. They can go downhill quite fast and then it's too late.

You don't need a syringe for mineral oil. If you put it in their mouth without food, they could quite easily aspirate it because they don't feel it there. You put a tiny amount on a small leaf of lettuce, then roll the leaf up into a small cigar and hand feed him. But soaking for a long time sometimes helps them poop. Place him into a container he can't climb out of and add warm water up to the middle of his sides. Then place the container back into the enclosure to keep it warm and leave him soaking for a good half hour or more. But keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't tip upside down.
 

Maro2Bear

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Greetings... I’ll defer to Yvonne on all things tort related, but I’m just thinking that three days doesn't seem tooo long to go without a bm. Upload some pix of the enclosure, make sure you that you have both day/night time temps dialed in & increased humidity. Soaking in nice warm water every day.

What exactly are you feeding? Any cactus pads? Any aloe?


Good luck.
 

Tom

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A vet is likely to do more harm than good for a baby tortoise.

There are many reasons why you might be having an issue. Where did you get the baby, and how was it started? Most people don't start babies correctly and a large percentage of them die from it weeks or months after the sale, even though everything seemed fine at first. Give this a read for more explanation:
 

leopardforlyfe

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Missoula, MT
It's not a good idea to wait if you think there's something wrong with a baby tortoise. They can go downhill quite fast and then it's too late.

You don't need a syringe for mineral oil. If you put it in their mouth without food, they could quite easily aspirate it because they don't feel it there. You put a tiny amount on a small leaf of lettuce, then roll the leaf up into a small cigar and hand feed him. But soaking for a long time sometimes helps them poop. Place him into a container he can't climb out of and add warm water up to the middle of his sides. Then place the container back into the enclosure to keep it warm and leave him soaking for a good half hour or more. But keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't tip upside down.
Thanks Yvonne! Appreciate the insight! I've heard of people using the syringe to inject mineral oil into their rear end...sounds HORRIBLE. But if it helps, I'm happy to try. What are your thoughts? If I were to go to a vet, is there much they can do if there is a blockage? I'm almost certain that is what it is, as she is usually SO regular- she usually goes every time I soak her (twice a day). And she usually LOVES her food, and then all of a sudden she stopped all of that. She looks good otherwise and will still eat a little. Not to mention that she has been growing a few grams a week since I got her about 5 weeks ago.

Wondering if going to the vet is the best option...
 

leopardforlyfe

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A vet is likely to do more harm than good for a baby tortoise.

There are many reasons why you might be having an issue. Where did you get the baby, and how was it started? Most people don't start babies correctly and a large percentage of them die from it weeks or months after the sale, even though everything seemed fine at first. Give this a read for more explanation:
Hi! I believe that. I mean how many vets reaaaallly know about tortoises? I am skeptical for that reason.

I have also heard hat there's not much that can be done if your tort is experiencing that horrible hatchling failure syndrome. Such a horrible thing.

Sadly, I did purchase her from a place that I learned after the fact may not be so reputable... makes me so sad to think that they simply don't care. However, I have been keeping her in a humid environment and have been soaking her 2-3 times a day in the past weeks since I got her and she has seemed to be doing great. Eats a ton. Is growing steadily a few grams per week. I may be wrong, but I have a feeling it is just an issue with constipation, as she went from pooping 2 times per day to none, and seems like...she's trying to. Might be crazy haha, but is seems like it.

Not sure if I should just wait it out, or what. I was gonna start mineral oil and go from there. Wish me luck! And please do let me know if you have any other advice!
 

leopardforlyfe

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Greetings... I’ll defer to Yvonne on all things tort related, but I’m just thinking that three days doesn't seem tooo long to go without a bm. Upload some pix of the enclosure, make sure you that you have both day/night time temps dialed in & increased humidity. Soaking in nice warm water every day.

What exactly are you feeding? Any cactus pads? Any aloe?


Good luck.
Recently I have been feeding her cactus which she'll eat. Tried pumpkin and she is like, now way Jose to that. Anything else I should be feeding her?
 

Maro2Bear

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Recently I have been feeding her cactus which she'll eat. Tried pumpkin and she is like, now way Jose to that. Anything else I should be feeding her?

Tom pretty much lays it out here - https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/

but since you think it might be impacted, id double down on wet, juicy plants like mashed cactus pads, some cactus “tuna”, some aloe pieces cut up too. Id cut back on any pelletized food (if you feed that).
 

Tom

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Hi! I believe that. I mean how many vets reaaaallly know about tortoises? I am skeptical for that reason.

I have also heard hat there's not much that can be done if your tort is experiencing that horrible hatchling failure syndrome. Such a horrible thing.

Sadly, I did purchase her from a place that I learned after the fact may not be so reputable... makes me so sad to think that they simply don't care. However, I have been keeping her in a humid environment and have been soaking her 2-3 times a day in the past weeks since I got her and she has seemed to be doing great. Eats a ton. Is growing steadily a few grams per week. I may be wrong, but I have a feeling it is just an issue with constipation, as she went from pooping 2 times per day to none, and seems like...she's trying to. Might be crazy haha, but is seems like it.

Not sure if I should just wait it out, or what. I was gonna start mineral oil and go from there. Wish me luck! And please do let me know if you have any other advice!
How much does your baby weigh?
 

leopardforlyfe

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The "Breeder Failure Syndrome" ones usually stall right around 50 grams, so I doubt that is your issue.

I would up the temperatures a bit and continue the soaks. Cactus pads will help too.
Thanks Tom! I really appreciate this and all your advise! SO helpful!

Curious, is there a point, or number of days without pooping that you WOULD go to a vet? Do you know if there's anything a vet can do in the case of impaction? I ask because I have continued to soak her for up to an hour at a time multiple days a week. Her enclosure's temps range from 83-110 degree's (on basking), I keep it very humid like 80% or thereabouts, have been feeding her cactus and mustard greens soaked in mineral oil for about 7 days and not much has changed.

Wondering if there is anything more I can do and when it may be worth taking her into the vet? Thanks again for all your help!
 

leopardforlyfe

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Missoula, MT
Maybe try a warm 50/50 mineral oil and water soak. They do absorb through their cloacas
Okay, thanks! Have you had issues with impaction? How long did your tort go without pooping? Its been about a week for my sweet tort, and I'm beginning to wonder if I should do something more drastic? Don't know what that would be, but...Any advise is so welcome!
 

TammyJ

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If she has been seen eating the cypress mulch...? Don't know how good that can be, or not good, in the matter of possible impaction.
If you decide to take her to a vet, make sure it is a (1) Reputable, Qualified Reptile Vet with plenty of Experience of Tortoises. (2) Same as (1), and (3) Same as (1) and (2). Seriously. You don't want to lose your precious little pet to an inexperienced general "vet" who really does not know what to do, but does it anyway, on your tortoise. You seem to really care a lot and I hope this sorts itself out what with all the great advice you have been given by the experienced folks here!
 

Tom

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Thanks Tom! I really appreciate this and all your advise! SO helpful!

Curious, is there a point, or number of days without pooping that you WOULD go to a vet? Do you know if there's anything a vet can do in the case of impaction? I ask because I have continued to soak her for up to an hour at a time multiple days a week. Her enclosure's temps range from 83-110 degree's (on basking), I keep it very humid like 80% or thereabouts, have been feeding her cactus and mustard greens soaked in mineral oil for about 7 days and not much has changed.

Wondering if there is anything more I can do and when it may be worth taking her into the vet? Thanks again for all your help!
Short of x rays for diagnosis and surgery in the case of a bad impaction there isn't much a vet can do. And for a small baby, I doubt it would survive such a surgery.

I'd do long soaks, keeping the water warm the whole time, feed the cactus pads and mineral oil soaked leaves, and not worry about it. Its also possible that the tortoise is pooping while your not looking and eating it. Pretty normal for torts to do this.

I've seen cases of adults where they taped a human vibrator to the bottom of a the plastron and this helped get things moving without surgery. That would be a fun purchase at the adult store. "Uhhh... Its for my tortoise..." :)
 
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