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Star tortoise nosebleed from wheatgrass stuck in nose

Discussion in 'Tortoise Health' started by nemui, Sep 11, 2019.

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  1. nemui

    nemui New Member

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    Hi everyone, I'm so desperate for help. I have a vet visit scheduled for tomorrow because it's night now, but I just wanted to know if there's anything else I can do. If you have any advice for me please let me know.

    I was checking up on my Indian star tortoise just now when I noticed a small blade of wheatgrass on his face. Not unusual. I usually cut the grass down to small bits so I can spread them over his chow and he does get them all over his face sometimes. I took hold of it and just pulled it off...then saw that it came out from the tortoise's left nostril instead - a whole 2 inches! It must have been a blade that I missed when cutting the rest of the grass.

    My star went crazy and started running around the tank. I've never seen him run so fast before. I guess he was in great pain? Some mucus came out from his nose so I quickly wiped it away with a paper towel, and there was spots of blood on it! I immediately called the vet and scheduled an appointment but I'm so scared. He seems to be sleeping now but for a while he was dashing around his tank like a headless chicken. Does anyone have experience with things getting stuck in their tortoise's noses? Are his lungs going to get infected? Is there anything I can do at all? Am I just overreacting? Please help!

    I'm sorry for the melodramatic post but I'm having a bit of trouble keeping my head straight right now. My star has been with me for more than 15 years and I would be devastated to lose him over something that was entirely my fault. :(
  2. jsheffield

    jsheffield Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I am no expert, but I would think your tort is going to be fine... I don't think a trip to the vet is needed, but neither will it hurt him.

    I wonder if he somehow got a root-end of a sprouted wheat seed up his nose, and it grew in the warm and humid conditions up there?

    I hope your tort is feeling better and that you're ok about it too... providing him with a varied diet of fresh foods is a good thing, and accidents happen... I "plant" small mason jars of sprouted wheat seeds in my tortoises' enclosures every few weeks and they seem to enjoy them.

    Jamie
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  3. nemui

    nemui New Member

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    Thanks so much for the reply, Jamie. I think the blade of grass just somehow stabbed itself into his nostril when he was eating his greens, but the blood and his strange running are what I'm really concerned about. I guess there's just nothing much I can do now except wait?. Appreciate your thoughts and I do feel a bit better now after hearing your view. :)
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  4. jsheffield

    jsheffield Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Good luck... for what it's worth, I can tell you not to worry from the safe distance of the other side of the computer screen, but if it was my tort, I'm sure I would have called the vet also.

    Jamie
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  5. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    Hi there Nemui and thanks for your worried posts about your star tortoise. I agree with what Jsheffield has said totally.
    If you trust that vet, a professional and experienced reptile vet, who will know how to treat your tortoise without a whack of unnecessary tests and injections etc., then yes, take him to make sure he is OK. Don't take him to a vet you are not sure of, as doing this can be a death sentence for your pet. Good luck!
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  6. nemui

    nemui New Member

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    Hi TammyJ, thanks for your message. I've been seeing this very experienced herp vet since my tort was a baby and he's never recommended anything invasive before. The problem is he's not in until Saturday so I'll be seeing one of his colleagues instead tomorrow. I'll turn down injections and overly invasive tests of course, unless it has the main vet's seal of approval. I keep checking on my star and he's sleeping but in obvious discomfort, turning his head and shaking it suddenly once in a while. I really hope he's okay.
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  7. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I wouldn't worry about it. And there isn't any worry about a lung infection because the nose doesn't lead down into the lungs, it goes to the roof of the tortoise's mouth. He was probably afraid of the sensation of you pulling the grass out of his nose and was running around trying to get away. I think he's going to be ok.
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  8. nemui

    nemui New Member

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    Really? I would be so relieved if this was true. How does air get into their lungs if the nostrils don't lead there, though?

    Also does that mean my tort is going to be running away from me forever from now on? He usually comes to me when he sees me so I would hate for that to happen :(
  9. nemui

    nemui New Member

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    Hi everyone, first of all thanks for putting up with me and my hysterics. I'm back from the vet and she said he's fine. The blood I saw was probably from a little bit of inflammation, and she confirmed what Yvonne G said that his nostrils is connected to the mouth so no real danger to the lungs there. However because he's having a lot of nose discharge she recommended that I stick him in a nebuliser every day for half an hour until the discharge clears up.

    Thanks for your support guys, I'm just so glad my tort is okay. Also he's a bit wary of me but not running away like yesterday so that's a relief!

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