Passed a HUGE stone, would like some help!

ethereal1

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So as the title says, Thor just passed a stone so big I wasn't entirely sure he could do it, though it didn't look like it was going to hurt him (like tearing or damage), I didn't know cloacas could stretch so wide. Understandably, I am totally freaked out! After encouraging him (I like to think he can at least understand the vibrations of my voice, at the very least) and watching him make his own attempts, I immediately got him a large earthenware pie plate filled with water for him to soak and hopefully make it easier for him, and after several more unsuccessful attempts (now I'm worried but I try not to show it in front of him) I took him to a sink and let warm water run over his shell and down his tail, sometimes getting him in kind of a standing on hind legs posture to soak his tail and the stone to help it out. It took a little bit still, but on the third or so standing-up method and letting him push, it shot out, poo trailing along behind. Needless to say I was wayyyy relieved, and even more relieved when examining his tail there appeared to be no damage or discoloration/irritation beyond the experience itself.

I have been pretty... I'll be honest I've been pretty crappy at bathing the poor guy lately, and I am almost sure it can be chalked up to dehydration. I do feed them fresh greens, and I water the enclosures and the torts down every couple days but apparently it wasn't enough. The other tort Marshal does not seem to have any problems peeing or pooping, but really neither did Thor, though when I try to recall the last time he had a good sized poop, I realize its been a while, but he has been peeing and dropping smaller poops, but not like the little tootsie roll ones he used to, not for at least a few weeks. So I am unsure if maybe he has had this thing building up since even before I got him, or maybe since I got him, or if its a fairly recent event.

I don't believe it has a ton to do with diet though it must be a part of it when combined with dehydration. I feed them green/red leaf lettuce, romaine almost never though after researching the foods romaine doesn't actually seem as bad as other things, curly endive/endive chicory, escarole, radicchio, dandelion greens, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, and in the summer also plantain and dandelion flowers all rotating week by week, and I will get them different greens each week except one or two items which I keep for the second week, and that also rotates so every two weeks they are different as well and the previous greens kept for two weeks in a row are now on the one week rotation, sounds complicated, I know, but its just something I do without having to think too hard about since they only have usually four different greens in any one week. I plan on ordering some seed mix for russian torts to grow my own food for them so I don't have to rely so much on grocery store stuff, but for now that is just about everything, and I have some Fluker's calcium with vitamin D3 supplement powder I put on their food every so often. I even went so far as to find all the information on the composition of the foods they eat from multiple sources to work out how much they get as far as oxalates, calcium, fiber, and such. To tell you the truth, reading that their diet in the wild has a calcium to phosphate ratio of 5:1 - 8:1, their diet without the supplement is really **** poor, running around a 2:1 ratio.

Is it likely to be caused by lack of UVB? Its getting about that time to change out their bulbs. I suppose its a possibility it could be a perfect storm of dehydration, low UVB and a normal amount of oxalates from their food, but the other tort doesn't seem to be having any problems, he is bigger though and definitely full grown, where Thor seems like he still has some growing to do before he is maxed out.

Its very likely its dehydration, but the size worries me and its never happened before, and I have had him for over 2 years now, so any input from you guys here would be great!
 

laramill

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Wow... and YIKES.

Is it safe to assume that since the other tort was doing fine, you have a nice toasty basking spot, too?

Could his "stone" be an actual stone?? (Like he swallowed something either from an indoor enclosure, or while outside??)

If he seems okay-- I would change your bulbs as you planned anyway, check your temps, and get back to your good hydrating habits, maybe keep how much supplemental calcium you're giving him in check (but it didn't sound like you were overdoing it to me, though "every so often" is kind of vague), you're already watching the oxalates... and then watch him like a hawk for anything unusual.

What else can you do, really? If you are really worried about it and it's keeping you up at night, assure yourself with a trip to the vet... sometimes it's worth the $$ for peace of mind... But if everything else you're doing checks out-- Just be glad it seemed to have gone well, you both seemed to have survived it, and most likely it is over!

Good luck!
 

ethereal1

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Yeah haha it was scary, but I see them every day when I feed them and keep a close eye on their behavior, so I would have noticed anything similar. Even if he could have somehow eaten a stone that big, digested it and then passed it, there definitely aren't any stones even half that size in with him, you know, except the really big ones for clambering. I'm sure its something he made on his own, its way too big for a kidney stone, one that big would have killed him (I would assume, something that size in a human would probably need a doctor and a lot of painkillers) so I believe its hard urates, but like I said, he's never had anything like this happen before, not big ones, medium sized, or even small sized stones, so it kind of came out of nowhere lol and I'm just a little confused about it, I have no knowledge of the rate at which they form, if a smaller sized one could have been in him the whole time I had him since before I got him and its just recently gotten so big and came out or if it could have just started and built up over a few weeks, its an unknown for me.

Thanks for the fast reply, I did plan on taking him to a vet if he has any more issues, I do think that having a poop come out with it is a good sign though, if there had been multiple large stones that might not be the case, so it seems like his ordeal is over.

He is, in fact, basking in his favorite spot as we speak, looking proud lol, and a lot more comfortable! They do have good temps and everything, and they haven't had any kind of sneezing or colds or respiratory problems or anything else like that, so.... I just am still somewhat inexperienced as far as long term care, I suppose this had to happen at some point, so any info or reassurance from other keepers makes me feel better :)

EDIT: He also has been eating, sleeping and rising as normal. He has been eating a little less, but since he always ate so much before it didn't seem unusual, like the difference between someone eating say a whole footlong sub sandwich versus eating half of one, it wasn't an unhealthy amount less, just less :p So I didn't see this coming, I thought he just had a huge poop until I could see how fat his tail got and part of the stone coming out.... 0_o
 

ethereal1

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I can't believe you just said that! I was just looking at it, I have it in a canning jar, and I was saying to myself, and half to Thor, "I can't believe you just sh*t this out! Its like a f***ing EGG!" Pardon my crude language, it really is astonishing! Its not REALLY the size of an egg, but I bet he probably feels like it was! Its unusually large, if I had to guess without any kind of measuring, it appears to be almost an inch long (lengthwise being according to how it came out of the tail) and... maybe a good 3/4" wide, if he didn't pass it when he did I'd have probably given him one more chance to pass it and then it would have been off to the vet!
 

laramill

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That probably would've been a good move-- because, seriously, those things can be deadly--

I would just do all you planned to do and watch him closely, closely, closely. (..and make sure you don't slide on stuff...)

You have a water dish in there for them, too, yes? (I know I have never once seen mine drink from it or even go in it, to be honest, but I still keep it in there, faithfully keep it clean-- JUST in case... I figure I don't sit there and stare at him 24/7, so maybe he is going in when I'm not looking... ... ... but I suspect the stuff just gets kicked in as he stomps around it...)
 

ascott

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I would suggest you offer daily soaks for at least 2 weeks...along with huge access to large area to exercise...right after a soak.

I wonder if the tort can use additional movement, movement helps aid in the body moving things through at an appropriate rate...also, have you checked your basking spot temp? I would make sure that the tort has access to a basking spot that reaches 100-110 temp, this will allow the tort to raise its internal temps to a good level to promote immune system function along with moving food items through the system at a rapid enough rate, this will also allow the tort to not have food set in the gut, also, I would be sure to offer this tort some juicy wet food for a bit as well--if it were me, I would offer some cucumber and squash as part of the diet for a bit----this will help to wet the system a bit more....also, you can offer this tort a weekly does of mineral oil filled strawberry bite to make sure the inside is really lubed up....

So happy the tort was physically able to move the stone....whew. The alternative is very invasive.
 

kezilulu

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Am I the only one who kind of wants to see a picture of it?! lol
Glad he managed to get it out himself!
xXx
 

ascott

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Am I the only one who kind of wants to see a picture of it?! 😗 lol

yeah... I kind of did want a picture too... I think I was afraid to ask. :)


Laughing my a&* off here....please show a picture so the curious may gawk....lol :p It is human nature to see the bad with the good you know....it will allow us to cheer even louder when we can go, "ewww, wholly crap that was huge, good job"...you know.
 

laramill

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(oh boy... that's terrible isn't it? Now I'm a little embarrassed...

But not enough to stop wanting to see the picture...

and giggle when I reread that it's been saved in a jar...)
 

ethereal1

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Haha no I know, I saved it for obvious reasons, like if the vet needs it or for analysis, but also because its quite an accomplishment to do what the little guy did and pass the thing, I definitely would probably have resorted to home surgery to remove it because proper surgery would have taken too long (just for me though, not the tort :D) Ill take a picture of it and post it, I know you guys must be really curious, I wasn't able to find much about them at all, let alone gigantic ones that require a feat of willpower to pass lol

He doesn't seem to want to eat though, but I don't really consider it strange, given what he went through, and that he is well fed to begin with. He eats almost all his food every day, so if he wants to relax and rest his tail then I won't argue! I am making sure he has water, both of them. Good thought about the cucumber and mineral oil and that, if he is dehydrated then maybe that would help him out :)



EDIT: I have to find my phone's wall charger because my phone died apparently just enough so that when it turns on after I plug it into the computer, the computer isn't charging it so it dies, then charges enough to try to turn on, then dies mid way through, and so on and so on, its actually been going since sometime early last night lol I wanted to see if it would continue to do it and... it does. So When I find the wall charger and charge it up to take a pic, I will then post it for you all to see lol
 

ethereal1

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Okay its charging! Gonna take the pic in a minute, I just wanted to say that Thortoise seems to be in much better shape now! He warmed up and basked all day, in one spot, didn't touch his food, but when I changed out the water in their dishes for fresh water, he perked right up and I fed him a piece or two by hand and he went to town on the rest on his own! Makes me happy that he has such an appetite, because that means he's not feeling sick or anything :)


OK here is one of the better shots I got of it next to a quarter. Its actually a bit longer than the quarter is in diameter, and a bit smaller than the diameter of the quarter width wise, it was squeezed through a cloaca after all!

Its very solid, it shot out of his tail like a bullet and didn't break apart, and me tossing it around inside the jar didn't do any damage to it either, so... realistically I'm pretty sure it's a miracle he passed it with just me helping with some water flow onto his tail opening, and that he wasn't made very sick by having this inside him.

Its an attachment, is that okay? Or should I go post it somewhere and use the link?
 

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ethereal1

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Yeah haha, he definitely earned his name! I still can't believe he pulled it off, I felt sooo bad and worried literally sick, but man, when he shot that thing out once and for all I couldn't help but be proud of him!
 

Yvonne G

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That looks like hardened urates. You're right that the tortoise isn't well-hydrated.
 

ethereal1

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Yeah its most likely, but what I don't really quite understand is despite the almost obsessive research and dietary management it managed to get so HUGE, but I suppose it could have been a long time coming even though he hasn't been without regular (multiple times a week) bathing/soaks for very long. I live in Buffalo, NY, so its not like I can let him roam around outside all year. So beware, all ye who have mostly or entirely indoor tortoise buddies! Even with good care sometimes all it takes is a little slack! 0_o
 

laramill

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Wowsy-wowsy-wow-wow.

That sucker is huge! How big is this tortoise?!?

(And, btw, took me a few minutes to stop laughing over the phrase "shot out of his tail like a bullet")

I think you both got very lucky on that one... "dodged a bullet", so to speak. You have got to feel so relieved. Now I understand your frantic first post.

Yes, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Hopefully he'll stay on this positive path and continue to normalize!
 

Yvonne G

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You might have a tortoise that doesn't self hydrate, and really when they're dehydrated that badly, soaking doesn't do much. What you can do is pour water over the food when you feed him so with every bite he gets lots of water.

Ya gotta' wonder how any of these type of critters stay alive in the wild without us to get them over the hard parts.
 
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