Sick Redfoot

Olivertort1

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I have a 4 year-old Redfoot, live in SC so very humid and warm. She is outside with my other three but in separate yards. Only in the garage at night in a concrete mixing tub with heat when it is 59, like tonight. Garage is insulated and stays 75-80. All three others are healthy and fine. She came from Southern Reptiles, can’t say enough good things about Ryan. She became sick about three weeks ago, stopped eating and pooing. Took her to my exotic vet, X-rays done and she had no RI, or bound eggs but lots of backed up poo. They gave her a colonic massage (enema) and sent her home. I soaked her, vibrated her on the dryer, and even did mineral oil enemas. Took her back to vet and they did blood work. Elevated white blood cells so they put her on Cefti something, an antibiotic. She has now had 6 shots every three days in front alternating legs. 4 more to go. She perked up a few days ago, ate some and had one poo. Since then she seems more lethargic again and back to no eating or poo. Vet said it can take time for tortoises to recover. Does that sound right? She used to be such a monster at eating. I have tried everything to tempt her, sweet potato, proteins, box turtle food, zoo med pellets to no avail. Picture of her last week when she perked up some and 2 X-rays the Dr did on first visit.
 

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KarenSoCal

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You can try to give her a bit of mineral oil by mouth. You smear some of the oil on a piece of lettuce, roll it up into a cigar, and try to get her to bite it. I know...she's not eating anything. Still maybe worth a try.

Don't put any mineral oil directly into her mouth. They usually can't feel the oil, and can easily aspirate it. Always in something.

Have you considered another x-ray to see how clogged up she still is? Maybe more enemas?

I sure hope you can find some way to get her going again!
 

Olivertort1

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North Charleston SC
You can try to give her a bit of mineral oil by mouth. You smear some of the oil on a piece of lettuce, roll it up into a cigar, and try to get her to bite it. I know...she's not eating anything. Still maybe worth a try.

Don't put any mineral oil directly into her mouth. They usually can't feel the oil, and can easily aspirate it. Always in something.

Have you considered another x-ray to see how clogged up she still is? Maybe more enemas?

I sure hope you can find some way to get her going again!
Thanks. Yes will take her back to vet if no eating soon. My main question is whether it can take the antibiotics this long to show improvement?
 

KarenSoCal

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Thanks. Yes will take her back to vet if no eating soon. My main question is whether it can take the antibiotics this long to show improvement?
I think maybe she's not eating because she's on the antibiotic. A common side effect for torts is stopping eating.

She can go a long time with no food. I'm not a vet, but if it was my tort...
I think I would finish the antibiotic as ordered. Stop trying to get her to eat, just offer favorites each day.
When the antibiotic is done, she should start eating before long.
Then you can see if she poops, and treat accordingly.

Like I said, just IMO. Let's ask a RF keeper...

@ZEROPILOT
 

ZEROPILOT

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Both antibiotics and too low in temperature can upset/kill off beneficial gut bacteria that help to digest food.
I can't guess what exactly is wrong here. But I'd raise the temperature into the upper 80s and keep the animal hydrated.
Increase the frequency of the warm water soaks.
They can go many weeks. Even months without eating. But must stay hydrated.
And I would concentrate on getting that poop out more than getting new food in. It's much more dangerous.
 

Olivertort1

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Thanks, I am soaking daily. I will add a CHE over her at night. In the daytime it is sunny and 75 or more in her outdoor yard. It stays 75-80 in the garage with space heaters but I will add the extra heat for her. I was just concerned with the not eating. Last week she perked up a little and ate some yard weeds and had one good poo. She only has 2 shots left. It is Ceftimyazide (sp?) Hopefully she will feel more like eating when this round is over. She is still drinking and self-soaking on her own also in her yard but I soak her a good 30 minutes in the mornings. Thanks again for your help.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Thanks, I am soaking daily. I will add a CHE over her at night. In the daytime it is sunny and 75 or more in her outdoor yard. It stays 75-80 in the garage with space heaters but I will add the extra heat for her. I was just concerned with the not eating. Last week she perked up a little and ate some yard weeds and had one good poo. She only has 2 shots left. It is Ceftimyazide (sp?) Hopefully she will feel more like eating when this round is over. She is still drinking and self-soaking on her own also in her yard but I soak her a good 30 minutes in the mornings. Thanks again for your help.
It is thought that digestion can not fully take place with a temperature under 80.
So 75 as a daily and nightly temperature needs to be bumped up.
 

Olivertort1

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Unfortunately Chloe passed away yesterday. She seemed to improving last week, even ate a few bites but regressed Thursday and Friday, definitely going downhill. I had upped her temperature, and covered her with a grow tent. She had 2 shots left and I planned on a trip back to the vet tomorrow but she didn’t make it. Thanks for your help and input.
 

harrythetortoise

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Unfortunately Chloe passed away yesterday. She seemed to improving last week, even ate a few bites but regressed Thursday and Friday, definitely going downhill. I had upped her temperature, and covered her with a grow tent. She had 2 shots left and I planned on a trip back to the vet tomorrow but she didn’t make it. Thanks for your help and input.
I'm so sorry to hear that Chloe didn't make it.. RIP 🙏
 

Jen H

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Unfortunately Chloe passed away yesterday. She seemed to improving last week, even ate a few bites but regressed Thursday and Friday, definitely going downhill. I had upped her temperature, and covered her with a grow tent. She had 2 shots left and I planned on a trip back to the vet tomorrow but she didn’t make it. Thanks for your
I'm so sorry to hear that Chloe didn't make it.. RIP 🙏
I just went through a similar experience with my red foot. Under antibiotic treatment for a couple of weeks and passed away just before his final vet visit. My vet indicated that lack of response to the antibiotic was perplexing and that there should have been some marked improvement after the first couple shots. The fact that there wasn’t could point to a larger issue such as the heart. I share this with you because I beat myself up pretty bad, wondering what else I could have done to save him... At the end of the day, and a heart to heart with my vet, it was simply his time and there was nothing more I could have done. Still extremely heartbreaking but please find some comfort in knowing you did all that you could and it sounds like Chloe had a wonderful life with lots of love and care.
 

Olivertort1

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Location (City and/or State)
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Thank you. I believe there may have been some other issue going on. It came on suddenly and my vet is an exotic so she did all the right stuff for. Also, I have 3 others that are healthy and happy raised in the same environment so don’t feel that was at issue. Sometimes in the animal world, things just happen. Sorry for your loss as well.
 
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