Tort doesn’t feel good

Melissacoop

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If you are soaking him often I wouldn't think he'd need fluids and don't let the vet give him vitamin shots which can do more harm than good.

Is it possible he's got something stuck when eating?
Hair can be a real problem for them so try to keep him away from that.

Have you tried a Gerber baby food carrot soak?
I soak him everyday. Occasionally will skip a day here or there.
Well let’s hope it was a stomach upset and that he’s turned the corner now. I would be a wreck too and wouldn’t have been able to sleep. I‘ll leave the vet thing up to the more experienced members. There’s pros and cons. I know travelling in a vehicle alone is very stressful for more torts and it would be a shame to agitate him more than necessary right now if it no longer feels like an emergency. Trust your gut though. If you have a good vet for your tortoise that you trust wholeheartedly can they maybe give an opinion over the phone to determine if the trip is worth it?
I know. I’m undecided. It is a reptile doctor but do not know anything about him. I haven’t had to take my little guy anywhere before.
 

Lyn W

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I soak him everyday. Occasionally will skip a day here or there.

I know. I’m undecided. It is a reptile doctor but do not know anything about him. I haven’t had to take my little guy anywhere before.
It's always a worry especially if they have to be sedated for x rays or have bloods taken.

My tort didn't come out of his hide or eat a thing yesterday so they do have days when they don't want to be disturbed.
Is he still making the noise?
Maybe try the Gerber carrot soak to see if that helps him perk up.
 

zovick

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I soak him everyday. Occasionally will skip a day here or there.

I know. I’m undecided. It is a reptile doctor but do not know anything about him. I haven’t had to take my little guy anywhere before.
I don't think it would hurt to wait 24 hours and see how the tortoise is by tomorrow before worrying about taking it for a vet visit. Perhaps it was constipation that was making it feel under the weather and now that the tortoise has passed a large BM it will feel better later this afternoon and begin acting normally again.
 

Tom

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The big BM is a promising sign. The hair is not.

The opuntia meal should help push things through, but long hairs can get caught up and wrapped around the intestinal tract. Its possible that they'd see some sign of this on an X-ray, but also possibly not.

If the big BM didn't resolve the issue, then an Xray and some blood work will at least offer some insight.

The two big no-no's that vet almost always want to do is "vitamin" injections and Baytril injections. Just tell them up front that you don't want either of those and go from there.

I don't want to tell you to wait and see, and then have the tortoise die. I would probably wait and see, but your situation is different, and I'm not watching what you are watching. Trust your gut. Go with your gut. IF (big IF) your tortoise has hair strands wrapped up in its intestinal tract, or if the tortoise ate something poisonous, there really isn't anything a vet can do anyway. If it were my tort, I'd put him in the bath tub with warm water and try to get the tortoise treadmill going. Like a hot walker for a colicy horse. Keep the water warm, a little deeper than normal, and supervise closely. The larger size and slippery surface sometime gets them trudging and all that leg movement get things moving.

I don't want to lecture you. Not the time for that, but I feel its important for anyone reading to be reminded: This is why tortoises need their own enclosures. Tortoises shouldn't share the floor in the house or the yard outside with people or dogs. They need their own enclosures where people and dogs are not doing their thing.
 

ZenHerper

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He passed a huge bowel movement in his soak this morning! He is peeking his head out a little bit and at least his eyes are open. I did sift through the stool and there wasn’t anything in there except my hair. He does tend to poop out my hair often which had me worried too.
I did make an appointment at the emergency vet today before I did the soak and poop. Do you think I should hold off?? It is a reptile vet but of course I’m skeptical. They wouldn’t be able to do bloodwork today but could give some fluids. Do you think that would be more harm than good?

You are there with him - it is really up to your Gut sense of whether he needs additional support or not.

Tortoises and turtles that free-run where people also free-run do have a high incidence of swallowing non-food items, including hair. Long hairs in the digestive organs may cause serious blockages and other damage when ends get anchored between two food masses. Dedicated outdoor habitats are the best-practice recommendation.

Let us know how he's coming along...
 

Lyn W

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It was at 1:30pm but they called and canceled it due to an emergency surgery!
Have they rescheduled?
Meanwhile maybe try the Gerber baby carrot soak ( I think there's a thread about it somewhere).
I hope he'll be OK
 

zovick

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It was at 1:30pm but they called and canceled it due to an emergency surgery!
Well, that may be good fate, and perhaps by tomorrow, the tortoise will be acting normally again. It certainly doesn't seem that you have been doing anything that would cause a life-threatening problem, although the hair in the stool is a bit concerning.

I used to raise cats (which had the run of my house), and one of them constantly got into the bathroom waste basket and purposely ate the used dental floss! After a while, I learned I had to keep the bathroom door closed to prevent this. You may need to do something similar to keep the tortoise from eating your hair in the future, even though eating your hair is probably accidental rather than purposeful behavior..
 

Melissacoop

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I’ve had pets all my life and even my dogs and cats poop out my long hairs. Of course, my luck could’ve run out with the tortoise.I was expecting a reprimand about the hair as I mentioned it but since I soak him daily and he poops daily And eats high fiber I was hoping it wouldn’t be a problem. I’m going to continue to soak today since the emergency vet called and canceled my appointment anyway and said they couldn’t do bloodwork today so if he’s not better in the morning I will take him tomorrow I put him out in his grass in the sun and I guess it got too hot and he did get up and walk to seek shade. He wasn’t wobbly or anything but he did plop down as soon as he got out of the sun. So I know he can walk , he’s just choosing not to.
 

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Melissacoop

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Have they rescheduled?
Meanwhile maybe try the Gerber baby carrot soak ( I think there's a thread about it somewhere).
I hope he'll be OK
They said I could come later tonite but they can’t do bloodwork today so I’m gonna hold out one more day. He did just walk to get out of the sun but he’s not interested in food or patrolling his area. I’m going to soak again now. Thank you for your concern.
 

Melissacoop

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Well, that may be good fate, and perhaps by tomorrow, the tortoise will be acting normally again. It certainly doesn't seem that you have been doing anything that would cause a life-threatening problem, although the hair in the stool is a bit concerning.

I used to raise cats (which had the run of my house), and one of them constantly got into the bathroom waste basket and purposely ate the used dental floss! After a while, I learned I had to keep the bathroom door closed to prevent this. You may need to do something similar to keep the tortoise from eating your hair in the future, even though eating your hair is probably accidental rather than purposeful behavior..
Yes , unfortunately my hair drops everywhere and we made the enclosed patio a living area where we can hang out with the tortoise while he free roams so he accidentally ingests the hair off the ground when he eats. I’m going to start sweeping daily as to catch the hair on the broom before he comes outside.
 

Jan A

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Yes , unfortunately my hair drops everywhere and we made the enclosed patio a living area where we can hang out with the tortoise while he free roams so he accidentally ingests the hair off the ground when he eats. I’m going to start sweeping daily as to catch the hair on the broom before he comes outside.
Don"t beat yourself up. Your hair falls out even If you walked around with a swim cap on. It's just more obvious if you have long hair. Take a nap. Your stress stresses your tort. Besides swim caps are just not in vogue these days.
 

Melissacoop

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Don"t beat yourself up. Your hair falls out even If you walked around with a swim cap on. It's just more obvious if you have long hair. Take a nap. Your stress stresses your tort. Besides swim caps are just not in vogue these days.
Thanks Jan. I can’t get more stressed than I am today. I’m exhausted and worried but I do feel slightly better than last night. At least he is keeping his head out and eyes open today.
 

Yossarian

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I don't want to tell you to wait and see, and then have the tortoise die. I would probably wait and see, but your situation is different, and I'm not watching what you are watching. Trust your gut. Go with your gut. IF (big IF) your tortoise has hair strands wrapped up in its intestinal tract, or if the tortoise ate something poisonous, there really isn't anything a vet can do anyway. If it were my tort, I'd put him in the bath tub with warm water and try to get the tortoise treadmill going. Like a hot walker for a colicy horse. Keep the water warm, a little deeper than normal, and supervise closely. The larger size and slippery surface sometime gets them trudging and all that leg movement get things moving.


I feel the same way, I actually did post to say wait and see but deleted it because I couldnt be sure and the sitting in the open without moving was worrying. I would probably wait and see myself, but I couldnt advise someone else to do that under the circumstances.
 

Yvonne G

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Have they rescheduled?
Meanwhile maybe try the Gerber baby carrot soak ( I think there's a thread about it somewhere).
I hope he'll be OK
Actually, the babyfood soaks are for tortoises with swollen shut eyes that haven't been eating for a long time. I don't think it applies in this instance.
 

Lyn W

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Actually, the babyfood soaks are for tortoises with swollen shut eyes that haven't been eating for a long time. I don't think it applies in this instance.
Thanks Yvonne. I thought they were for torts generally under the weather and not eating........learnt something new again.
 

Melissacoop

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I feel the same way, I actually did post to say wait and see but deleted it because I couldnt be sure and the sitting in the open without moving was worrying. I would probably wait and see myself, but I couldnt advise someone else to do that under the circumstances.
Thank you for your concern. I didn’t end up taking him today but am calling first thing in the morning but I do understand how it’s difficult to give someone else advice on what they should do. 😉
 
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