Tough health decision, advice needed

ahaslem94

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My box turtle is a rescue and has many abnormalities and deformations of her shell, skin, beak, skeleton, and other body parts due to years of poor nutrition and habitat. She hasn’t been diagnosed yet, but the vet suspects she has internal damage that’s causing other problems. She has recently had a severe rectal prolapse and the vet said we can’t give her medication or put her under for surgery until we know what drugs her body can tolerate. Even then, it’s still uncertain what quality of life she would have afterward. We have the option of running diagnostics and attempting to fix the problem or euthanizing. Of course I want to do everything I can to help her, but her prolapse is very painful and even if we ran the tests and found out what was wrong, there’s no guarantee we could fix it and we might only be prolonging her suffering. The vet believes her body is beginning to shut down and is amazed she has lived to be this old. I’ve posted some pictures of her prolapse as it is currently and it’s getting worse every day. I appreciate any advice that will help me make the right decision for my girl! Also, if anyone has any tips on how to ease her pain before her next appointment in two days, I’d appreciate that as well.

92FF6AB1-F5D5-44AC-878D-71EE488DD7C9.jpeg 14DADE63-FCD9-408F-9494-CACD08003C13.jpeg
 

ahaslem94

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My box turtle is a rescue and has many abnormalities and deformations of her shell, skin, beak, skeleton, and other body parts due to years of poor nutrition and habitat. She hasn’t been diagnosed yet, but the vet suspects she has internal damage that’s causing other problems. She has recently had a severe rectal prolapse and the vet said we can’t give her medication or put her under for surgery until we know what drugs her body can tolerate. Even then, it’s still uncertain what quality of life she would have afterward. We have the option of running diagnostics and attempting to fix the problem or euthanizing. Of course I want to do everything I can to help her, but her prolapse is very painful and even if we ran the tests and found out what was wrong, there’s no guarantee we could fix it and we might only be prolonging her suffering. The vet believes her body is beginning to shut down and is amazed she has lived to be this old. I’ve posted some pictures of her prolapse as it is currently and it’s getting worse every day. I appreciate any advice that will help me make the right decision for my girl! Also, if anyone has any tips on how to ease her pain before her next appointment in two days, I’d appreciate that as well.
@Yvonne G I heard you might be able to offer some helpful advice on the situation
 

maggie3fan

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@Yvonne G is my sis, and she'll help you soon. Are you keeping the prolapse moist? Make a paste of white sugar and that is supposed to help with a prolapse. Did the Vet give any injection for the swelling? Personally, I would put the sugar on and keep it moist until someone who knows more helps you. Good luck...my other advice...do what is right for the turtle...it may just be time...
 

Yvonne G

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Prolapse is caused by excessive straining - parasites, constipation, impaction, egg bound, etc. It's hard to do but if you're patient and keep trying, you can push it back in. Lubricate your fingers and the prolapse and gently try to work it back inside using the pad of a finger.

Until you can get back to the vet you must keep the organ moist. Don't allow it o dry out or it will die and need to be removed. I don't think old age is an issue.

But if you can't find the cause and fix it, the prolapse will happen again.
 

wellington

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I have seen many rescued box turtles in horrible odd shapes of neglect. They do fine if you get them set up properly and a proper diet.
I'm not so sure I would follow your vets advice. So many have no clue about helping tortoises and turtles.
As Yvonne said, you must keep the prolapse from drying out. You can also make sugar paste to put on it too help get the swelling down some so you can push it back in. Do a stool check for worms or parasites to help get too the cause of prolaspe. Hey her set up in an enclosure that is high in humidity with a easy access large water dish she can get into and proper heat and lighting and diet. I would soak her daily in warm water in a large area like a tub incase she is poop bound. The walking and swimming will help get the inside moving.
 

ahaslem94

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I have seen many rescued box turtles in horrible odd shapes of neglect. They do fine if you get them set up properly and a proper diet.
I'm not so sure I would follow your vets advice. So many have no clue about helping tortoises and turtles.
As Yvonne said, you must keep the prolapse from drying out. You can also make sugar paste to put on it too help get the swelling down some so you can push it back in. Do a stool check for worms or parasites to help get too the cause of prolaspe. Hey her set up in an enclosure that is high in humidity with a easy access large water dish she can get into and proper heat and lighting and diet. I would soak her daily in warm water in a large area like a tub incase she is poop bound. The walking and swimming will help get the inside moving.
How difficult is it to push the prolapse back in? Does it cause much pain and would she need further treatment for it other than proper diet? I don’t doubt that she has serious internal organ problems after decades of malnutrition and I’m worried this is just a symptom of a much larger problem. If it’s not too painful or difficult, I could try pushing the prolapse back in.
 

wellington

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How difficult is it to push the prolapse back in? Does it cause much pain and would she need further treatment for it other than proper diet? I don’t doubt that she has serious internal organ problems after decades of malnutrition and I’m worried this is just a symptom of a much larger problem. If it’s not too painful or difficult, I could try pushing the prolapse back in.
@Yvonne G is a turtle/tortoise rescue and rehabbed. She could probably answer that better as I have never had to do it. If you can first get the swelling to go down some I'm sure it would be less painful if its smaller and if its painful at all.if I remember correctly, there is a surgery that can be done on a tort that prolapsed all the time. They I think suture it in so it can prolapse. I think there is even a more invasive radical surgery if suturing didnt work.
If its truly very old I would do as less invasive as possible and give all the proper things needed and let it live what life it has left. A surgery may end its life if it's that old and that bad of shape. If it can eat walk hopefully poop and pee well once prolapse is under control I wouldn't mess around with it any more with procedures.
 

ahaslem94

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@Yvonne G is a turtle/tortoise rescue and rehabbed. She could probably answer that better as I have never had to do it. If you can first get the swelling to go down some I'm sure it would be less painful if its smaller and if its painful at all.if I remember correctly, there is a surgery that can be done on a tort that prolapsed all the time. They I think suture it in so it can prolapse. I think there is even a more invasive radical surgery if suturing didnt work.
If its truly very old I would do as less invasive as possible and give all the proper things needed and let it live what life it has left. A surgery may end its life if it's that old and that bad of shape. If it can eat walk hopefully poop and pee well once prolapse is under control I wouldn't mess around with it any more with procedures.
Ok, thank you for your help!
 

Chefdenoel10

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Please don’t give up.
I have faith in you!
My prayers are with you and your precious girl..
listen to everybody’s advice and make that sugar paste. It does take some time. Torts heal very slowly so I am finding out myself.
I wish you all the best!!!!!
Keep us posted !!!
Soak,soak,soak!!!!! It does work I promise!!!
 
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