Need help with a poop problem, please!

Jaimy Miller

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Hello! I'm new to this forum and also to having a sulcata...His name is Tino and he's 13 lb. Unfortunately hes been having some diarrhea for a couple weeks now. Some details...he lives outside during the day on one acre in south Texas with plenty of grasses and weeds. Since the diarrhea has started this is his diet 99% with the occasional mustard green with calcium powder. Now for the poop...sometimes its good; solid, grassy, brown, little smell, and typically man-sized. Occasionally, several times a week and in between the solids its totally watery, slimey, brown liquid. I mean liquid. No solid mass at all. Other times yet, its both. Like yesterday, liquid, then solid, then back to liquid all in the same poop session. He went to the vet for a fecal sample and it came back normal but the Dr said he noticed a significant amout of "rod-shaped bacteria" and wants to start him on antibiotics. I'm not comfortable with this diagnosis or his knowledge on sullys (he told me undigested grass in his poops was abnormal and a sign he wasnt digesting properly). Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!
 

Yvonne G

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What you're probably seeing on the 'liquid' days is pee/urates. If he has eaten a lot of dandelion, the pee comes out pretty dark. I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you can find someone who sells Mazuri Tortoise Diet, you can feed him some Mazuri occasionally. It tends to tighten up those loose stools.

A sulcata's poop usually does contain grass blades... or leaf veins and stems, or seed pods. This is one reason why tortoises eat their poop; to get another chance at the nutrients in the previously eaten food.
 

Jaimy Miller

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Thank you all for your input. I'm fairly certain he does indeed have diarrhea because I've seen his "pee" before and it is crystal clear and slimy. This liquid is very much brown/dark brown and not as slimy
 

Kasia

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Thank you all for your input. I'm fairly certain he does indeed have diarrhea because I've seen his "pee" before and it is crystal clear and slimy. This liquid is very much brown/dark brown and not as slimy

"Rod shaped bacteria" could be protozoa - reptile Vet will notice them in fresh fecal sample. Take another sample and get it tested by someone who knows what his looking at. Protozoa typically can cause diarrhoea and antibiotics won't fix the problem. All parasites must be treated - Your Tort could have eaten some other animal stool and got infected. If it lasts weeks, as You write, Tortie should be taken to a trusted Vet and diagnosed ASAP. Parasite or not diarrhoea is not ok (put Yourself in his "situation" :p)


Good luck
 

deadheadvet

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It may not be parasitic, but it could be. There are motile bacteria that can look like protozoan. Bacterial rods are fairly common in tortoises. Too many greens can give watery stools. My tortoises will intermittently have watery stools, than as Yvonne said, I feed Mazuri until more solid. Best to repeat fecal and make sure it is sent out to a reference lab, not done in house.
 

Jaimy Miller

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Vet called today. Said lab said there were clostridium bacteria but that it "might be normal". No parasites. Poop today was beautiful lots of moist yet firm brown hardly smelly "logs" with grass mixed in. No diarrhea for several days now. Since last week actually.
 
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