Potential Pesticide Poisoning

Jeloz

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Mar 9, 2020
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hey everyone,
So earlier today I was taking my ~1-year old Redfoot out for a walk, and I fed him an earthworm from the garden - only to find out that my dad had earlier treated that patch of soil with a pesticide (Chlorpyrifos).

I did wash the worm with tap water before feeding it to him, and so far he seems to not be showing any adverse side-effects.

I will probably book a vet checkup ASAP, but there are very limited reptile vets in my area so it might not be soon enough. Does anyone here have experience with pesticide poisoning? Any insight would be much appreciated.
 

Yvonne G

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Soak him daily for an hour or so in warm water to help flush out his system.
 

Blackdog1714

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Well I asked my friend Google and this is what I found.
" For this reason and others, the EPA banned chlorpyrifos’ use for residential purposes in 2000, except in select cases, including when contained in ant and roach bait products. " You may want to let your dad know that it should not be used anymore. Also sun degrades it and by washing the grass that really helped. Follow Yvonne and you should be good. Just better communication in the future so it doesn't happen again.
 

KarenSoCal

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Well I asked my friend Google and this is what I found.
" For this reason and others, the EPA banned chlorpyrifos’ use for residential purposes in 2000, except in select cases, including when contained in ant and roach bait products. " You may want to let your dad know that it should not be used anymore. Also sun degrades it and by washing the grass that really helped. Follow Yvonne and you should be good. Just better communication in the future so it doesn't happen again.
True, but the OP is in Kuala Lumpur, where it may be legal.

Nevertheless, I do agree with you, Blackdog. No pesticide should be used in/near a tort's garden.
 

Jeloz

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Hey guys,

So he seems a little lethargic this morning, but he took a big drink of water from his water dish.

@Blackdog1714 @KarenSoCal So I did actually google Chlorpyrifos, but there wasn't much info about it's effects on torts specifically; Regardless, I have already advised my dad not to use it anymore.
This was his first time using it, and normally I don't let my tortoise roam around our garden anyway, but I occasionally pick leaves/worms from it. Just so happens this worm came directly from a treated patch of soil - hence the worry

@Yvonne G Thanks for the advice, I'll get right on it.
 

JMM

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Sep 17, 2017
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Location (City and/or State)
Worcester, MA
Hey everyone,
So earlier today I was taking my ~1-year old Redfoot out for a walk, and I fed him an earthworm from the garden - only to find out that my dad had earlier treated that patch of soil with a pesticide (Chlorpyrifos).

I did wash the worm with tap water before feeding it to him, and so far he seems to not be showing any adverse side-effects.

I will probably book a vet checkup ASAP, but there are very limited reptile vets in my area so it might not be soon enough. Does anyone here have experience with pesticide poisoning? Any insight would be much appreciated.
Chlorpyrifos can be absorbed through the skin and shell of your tort and your tort may pick up and eat the pellets. Do not let your tortoise roam in any area that has been treated. This chemical does degrade in UV but to be sure it's completely gone, wait several weeks (several months would be better). Watch your tort very carefully. There are reversal agents for this type of chemical. I am not sure about using them in a tort, but it may be worth seeing a vet sooner than later, particularly if your tort is showing some changes.
 

Jeloz

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Chlorpyrifos can be absorbed through the skin and shell of your tort and your tort may pick up and eat the pellets. Do not let your tortoise roam in any area that has been treated. This chemical does degrade in UV but to be sure it's completely gone, wait several weeks (several months would be better). Watch your tort very carefully. There are reversal agents for this type of chemical. I am not sure about using them in a tort, but it may be worth seeing a vet sooner than later, particularly if your tort is showing some changes.
Thanks for the heads up. The issue with seeing a vet is the only reptile vet is a good hour's drive away - and we're under semi-lockdown so I might need to get a letter of permission to travel long distances.

So far he seems to be behaving normally, albeit slightly more lethargic than usual (But he does that sometimes). My biggest concern is that the contaminated worm hasn't been digested yet so he isn't manifesting any of the symptoms.. do you guys know how long it usually takes Redfoots to fully digest a meal?
 

JMM

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Worcester, MA
Thanks for the heads up. The issue with seeing a vet is the only reptile vet is a good hour's drive away - and we're under semi-lockdown so I might need to get a letter of permission to travel long distances.

So far he seems to be behaving normally, albeit slightly more lethargic than usual (But he does that sometimes). My biggest concern is that the contaminated worm hasn't been digested yet so he isn't manifesting any of the symptoms.. do you guys know how long it usually takes Redfoots to fully digest a meal?
Glad to hear your tort seems ok........However, it might be worth trying to get pre-approval to travel, just in case.........WIthout knowing how long the worm was exposed to the toxin, it's hard to know whether how much it might have absorbed. Given organophosphates are pretty active against invertebrates, if the worm was very active at the time you fed it and you did wash the worm off, your tort's exposure might have been minimal, but one can't be sure. That only leaves toxin your tort might have absorbed. As Yvonne G said, soak your tort regularly. Don't feed any worms from your garden (or anywhere you are unsure of in terms of safety) and keep your tort out of the garden. Good luck and let us know how your tort does.
 

Jeloz

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Mar 9, 2020
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Location (City and/or State)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hey guys, just to update:
Yesterday evening I managed to bring him to the vet who gave him an injection of Atropine which is the antidote for organophosphate poisoning. Told me to call back if he exhibited any of the symptoms of poisoning which were: salivation, droopy limbs/head and eye secretions.

This morning he was quite active but with no appetite (I managed to temp him to eat a piece of banana, but he wouldn't touch anything else). Slightly worrying, but I suspect this might be cause he's stressed from the trip to the vet.
 

Jeloz

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Mar 9, 2020
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hello everyone!

Just thought I'd update y'all:
As of this morning he's eating and moving around normally again!!
In fact he seems even hungrier than before. Tried to eat everything in his path on his walk.

Hopefully this keeps up and the danger has passed. Thanks again for all the help and advice!
 
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