astrolia

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good morning all. I’ve had my little Russian box tortoise Torti for 17 years. She’s never had any health problems, and under my care has access to UVB light, a Spring mix diet, regular soaking, supplements, and access to roaming a desert backyard. Yesterday morning, she was in good health but in the middle of the day, suddenly swelled up (see photos). Her skin is terrifyingly puffy, and idk what happened! She has no major signs of kidney stones, dehydration, or an RI. She occasionally squeaks but has had no runny nose at all, ever. Her poop is regular, her skin is sometimes flaky but otherwise looks ordinary.
I’m at the vet now. They are giving her an antibiotic shot (in case of an RI), a poop test for parasites, and an X-ray for any kidney issues. The swelling has been present for about 24 hours. I’m just waiting for test results now. Any advice on what I should expect and how I should treat her at home in case they find nothing exceptionally wrong? Please help, I love my tort dearly. :(

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Toddrickfl1

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I don't have any advice but I wish you and your tort the best of luck. Fingers crossed your little buddy can recover. Please keep us posted.
 

Yvonne G

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Your little MALE Russian tortoise is retaining fluid. This is SOMETIMES caused by kidney problems. He should probably have some testing done by a qualified tortoise vet. In the meantime, soak him daily in warm water for a half hour or so.
 
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astrolia

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Your little MALE Russian tortoise is retaining fluid. This is SOMETIMES caused by kidney problems. He should probably have some testing done by a qualified tortoise vet. In the meantime, soak him daily in warm water for a half hour or so.
The vet confirmed with me and he is a male! So wild to me that I’ve had “him” for 17 years, he’s had regular physicals and nobody has even mentioned the idea to me! I’m still letting it sink in. Besides that, X rays came back looking good, no kidney stones, no other signs or symptoms of kidney illnesses. I’ll write an update comment.
 

astrolia

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UPDATE - Xrays came back looking good, no signs of kidney stones or kidney illnesses. Her stool sample will take two days to get results back for parasites. She doesn’t have a runny nose, but was given an antibiotic shot just in case of an RI and even though her tank is clean, I will be changing out her bedding today anyway. She will be getting daily warm soaks for the next couple of days as well. Going to keep her diet (Romaine lettuce, cabbage, cuttlebone, occasional veggies, very rarely fruit) the same since there seems to be no problems there.
 

Rianne

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Spring Mix lettuces have spinach in them - an Oxalate that causes kidney stones in turtles/ tortoises and other species. Check the ingredient list before you buy.
 

astrolia

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Spring Mix lettuces have spinach in them - an Oxalate that causes kidney stones in turtles/ tortoises and other species. Check the ingredient list before you buy.
Spring Mix was probably a poor choice of words. I don’t feed her spinach. It’s almost all Romaine lettuce with small amounts of cabbage.
 

astrolia

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my little 17 year old Russian Box tort Torti has been sick this week, her body swelled up overnight and has already seen a vet. She has no kidney stones, no kidney illnesses, generally looks healthy, and received an antibiotic shot in case of an RI. I’m supposed to hear the results for her poop analysis tomorrow. To treat her recovery I’ve been soaking her everyday, and her poop has been looking like this - bits of undigested lettuce. Her diet is almost entirely Romaine lettuce and weeds, although I occasionally feed her veggies (bell pepper, squash, sweet potato) and very rarely fruit. She also has access to a water dish. In spite of her swelling, she’s eating normally and has plenty of energy. Could anybody tell me if this poop is normal, if it occasionally happens and should pass, or if I should be very concerned?? Thank you in advance.

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LaLaP

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I’ve seen that a couple times with my Russians although that looks like bigger pieces. I’m certainly no expert so I can’t say wether it’s a problem but I would start feeding her healthier foods. Cut out the fruit completely and cut down on the veggies you mentioned and the Romain. Stick with weeds and if you have to supplement with store bought try raddicho, endive, escarole and others in the chicory family.
I hope the vet is able to give you answers that explain the swelling. Thats the part I’d be worried about. Good luck and let us know what happens.
 

astrolia

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I’ve seen that a couple times with my Russians although that looks like bigger pieces. I’m certainly no expert so I can’t say wether it’s a problem but I would start feeding her healthier foods. Cut out the fruit completely and cut down on the veggies you mentioned and the Romain. Stick with weeds and if you have to supplement with store bought try raddicho, endive, escarole and others in the chicory family.
I hope the vet is able to give you answers that explain the swelling. Thats the part I’d be worried about. Good luck and let us know what happens.
will do. Thank you for the advice! I’m keeping my fingers crossed about the swelling.
 

astrolia

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UPDATE - my dear tort has parasites. Breaks my heart but I’m happy to know it is treatable. She has been administered Panacur and Flagyl for the next two weeks.
 

astrolia

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UPDATE - my dear tort has parasites. Breaks my heart but I’m happy to know it is treatable. She has been administered Panacur and Flagyl for the next two weeks. I’ve also completely removed fruit from her diet and am throwing more weeds into the mix.
 
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