Tortoise swallowed a hair

Arshi

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
Canada
While soaking little Skurt earlier I noticed he was walking around with poop sticking out of his rear. At first I just thought he was pooping and let him soak a little longer. But it wouldn't come out. I got some toilet paper and pulled it out and noticed it was caught on hair that is hanging out of his butt!

So I'm afraid to pull it out because I don't know what's it's wrapped around in there but will he poop it out on his own or is this a vet thing? BTW I'm sad to say it's totally my hair. It must have fallen in his food bowl and he ate it.
Did it ever come out? I am having a similar situation... In late November I noticed a hair in Simba's butt. I just cut off what was dangling out and it seemed like it slowly went away. All of the sudden, yesterday (a month later!) I realized that the hair was not gone. Whenever Simba poops, I can see a little bit of the hair poking out but then it gets sucked back in after his poop. I am certain it is the same hair because ever since I found it back in November I have been super cautious about tying my hair back when making his food and making sure no hairs are in his enclosure.
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
19,271
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Did it ever come out? I am having a similar situation... In late November I noticed a hair in Simba's butt. I just cut off what was dangling out and it seemed like it slowly went away. All of the sudden, yesterday (a month later!) I realized that the hair was not gone. Whenever Simba poops, I can see a little bit of the hair poking out but then it gets sucked back in after his poop. I am certain it is the same hair because ever since I found it back in November I have been super cautious about tying my hair back when making his food and making sure no hairs are in his enclosure.
Does he wander around your house?
If so we shed hair all the time so it's possible it's a different hair.
 

maggie3fan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
3,960
Location (City and/or State)
Crazy Train
It could also be possible the hair is wrapped around a fold in the intestine. Never pull a hair.
Yes, and I do understand that, however, I do pull the hair out. Being as I have long hair it's all over every where. I gently pull at it in a tortoises cloaca, a cats butt or a water filter, if it comes easily, I keep gently pulling. If it does not come very easy, do not pull it
 

Arshi

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
Canada
Does he wander around your house?
If so we shed hair all the time so it's possible it's a different hair.
Simba stays in his enclosure all the time. He only comes out when I have to soak him and sometimes I will let him walk around for like 10 minutes, with supervision, because I find it helps him poop faster during his soak. I am almost certain this is the same hair... but you're right. I can not be totally sure because you never know. I would be surprised if it was a new hair since I have been really careful ever since the first incidence.

Note: I did try cucumber as suggested to help him poop it out. He did poop a lot but I never saw the actual hair inside of the poop. It's possible it never came out
 

maggie3fan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
3,960
Location (City and/or State)
Crazy Train
Simba stays in his enclosure all the time. He only comes out when I have to soak him and sometimes I will let him walk around for like 10 minutes, with supervision, because I find it helps him poop faster during his soak. I am almost certain this is the same hair... but you're right. I can not be totally sure because you never know. But I would be surprised if it was a new hair since I have been really careful ever since the first incidence.

Note: I did try cucumber as suggested to help him poop it out. He did poop a lot but I never saw the actual hair inside of the poop. It's possible it never came out
Frankly, it's nothing to worry about it will either come out or it won't no big deal
 

Arshi

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
Canada
It could also be possible the hair is wrapped around a fold in the intestine. Never pull a hair.
I really believe it is wrapped around something. When I first spotted it, I gently pulled with not much pressure and I could just tell it was tightly in there and stopped immediately. So I just kept cutting it off.. I thought it had went away but I guess not..
 

Arshi

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
Canada
Yes, and I do understand that, however, I do pull the hair out. Being as I have long hair it's all over every where. I gently pull at it in a tortoises cloaca, a cats butt or a water filter, if it comes easily, I keep gently pulling. If it does not come very easy, do not pull it
Unfortunately, in my situation it was not an easy pull so I did not continue with pulling it out
 

Arshi

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
Canada
Frankly, it's nothing to worry about it will either come out or it won't no big deal
Ahh okay. I was, and still kind of am, worried since I think it is tightly wrapped around something... this might sound dumb.. but I am scared it's wrapped around his heart or something vital and may cause serious harm ... idk could be my dark thoughts though
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
87,277
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Ahh okay. I was, and still kind of am, worried since I think it is tightly wrapped around something... this might sound dumb.. but I am scared it's wrapped around his heart or something vital and may cause serious harm ... idk could be my dark thoughts though
The digestive tract and stomach are a sealed unit. Nothing in there can get out except backwards through the throat and mouth and forward through the cloaca. So there's no possible way it can be wrapped around any organs.
 

Arshi

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
Canada
The digestive tract and stomach are a sealed unit. Nothing in there can get out except backwards through the throat and mouth and forward through the cloaca. So there's no possible way it can be wrapped around any organs.
Wow! Thank you for informing me. Feeling much more better
 

TammyJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
2,995
Location (City and/or State)
Jamaica
I don't know if you let him free roam in your house? Just saying that this is one of the ways to get them to swallow hair with no problem at all. I also know hair can be anywhere!
 

Arshi

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
Canada
I don't know if you let him free roam in your house? Just saying that this is one of the ways to get them to swallow hair with no problem at all. I also know hair can be anywhere!
Simba lives in his enclosure and only comes out for a soak. Although, sometimes I let him walk for about 10 minutes, with supervision, before the soak because I find he poops faster in the water this way. Even when you think you are being super careful--you might just end up not seeing a piece of hair fly into the enclosure or maybe even in the food :confused: guess I should just shave my head bald 🙄🤭
 

elainelw

New Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Leesburg
I think this is similar to when a cat swallows string. It can cause intestinal problems, as the string/hair could get caught either around the tongue or at the pylorus (junction of the stomach and small intestine). https://www.hillspet.com/cat-care/healthcare/what-to-do-if-cat-eats-string
However, if your tortoise is still eating well and has no signs of ill health, it's probably best to just wait and watch rather than go to the vet, as most vets don't have experience in tortoise surgery.
 

maggie3fan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
3,960
Location (City and/or State)
Crazy Train
Simba lives in his enclosure and only comes out for a soak. Although, sometimes I let him walk for about 10 minutes, with supervision, before the soak because I find he poops faster in the water this way. Even when you think you are being super careful--you might just end up not seeing a piece of hair fly into the enclosure or maybe even in the food :confused: guess I should just shave my head bald 🙄🤭
Do you have hair long enuf to do what you described?
 

Arshi

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
Canada
I think this is similar to when a cat swallows string. It can cause intestinal problems, as the string/hair could get caught either around the tongue or at the pylorus (junction of the stomach and small intestine). https://www.hillspet.com/cat-care/healthcare/what-to-do-if-cat-eats-string
However, if your tortoise is still eating well and has no signs of ill health, it's probably best to just wait and watch rather than go to the vet, as most vets don't have experience in tortoise surgery.
That's very interesting! Thanks for sharing. Simba is acting completely normal for the most part--he does not drink much water but I think he has always been this way. Eating wise, he finishes his food and does not resist it.
I agree with that vet comment.. that's why I did not want to take him in yet without getting opinions here first. I have heard many horror stories with vets and tortoises...
 

Arshi

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
Canada
Do you have hair long enuf to do what you described?
I have long hair, haha. I love my hair but I love my tortoise too.. I would consider cutting it short for him but not sure about completely bald 😅
 

maggie3fan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
3,960
Location (City and/or State)
Crazy Train
I have long hair, haha. I love my hair but I love my tortoise too.. I would consider cutting it short for him but not sure about completely bald 😅
I also have long hair, and several reptiles. For almost 20 years. I had hair that falls out all over, I often wonder why I'm not bald...anyway, even with all my hair that my animals eat, it's rare one gets stuck. I have pulled hair out of tortoise butts, box turtle butts, cat butts, dog (yuck) butts, my own mouth and 1 wrapped around a baby bird. More often they poop rocks, and plastic bags, and bones. I do not believe our hair is a danger to them. That being said, yes, it might, could and maybe cause an intestinal problem. Could, but I'm telling you, not normally. Leave his butt alone and stop worrying...:)
 

Arshi

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
Canada
I also have long hair, and several reptiles. For almost 20 years. I had hair that falls out all over, I often wonder why I'm not bald...anyway, even with all my hair that my animals eat, it's rare one gets stuck. I have pulled hair out of tortoise butts, box turtle butts, cat butts, dog (yuck) butts, my own mouth and 1 wrapped around a baby bird. More often they poop rocks, and plastic bags, and bones. I do not believe our hair is a danger to them. That being said, yes, it might, could and maybe cause an intestinal problem. Could, but I'm telling you, not normally. Leave his butt alone and stop worrying...:)
haha “my own mouth” made me laugh! Thank you for this reply, it makes me feel better. I felt kind of ashamed and embarrassed so I loved hearing this because mistakes happen. Ya for some reason this hair is very tightly stuck there and just won’t come out. But I’ll take your advice and just leave it alone. There’s no way it’ll stay there forever ... hopefully. I’ll keep an eye out
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top