Turbo is swollen again - pics

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TanknTurbo

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Well, it's been about a month now and we've completed the panacur cycle for pinworms. Poor Turbo is still not doing too great. She appears "puffy" still, but now I'm pretty certain it is air and not fluid retention. She's more lethargic and seems to sleep more than usual – like she’s only active for about an hour a day when she’s eating - but she's still eating a decent amount, and peeing and pooping regularly.

The swelling is most apparent in her neck area, but I've also attached a pic of her leg that you can see is also puffy. I also want to point out the upper jaw injury that I mentioned in my last post (have no idea what caused it). Both vets that we've been to haven't seemed too worried about it as it doesn't affect her ability to eat, but still - in the timeline of everything it happened about 2 weeks before the other symptoms (mainly he swelling).

I’m just taking everything day by day at this point. Her light turns on at about 7:30 in the morning, and after about 20 minutes I take her out of her hide (she sleeps under a bridge thing), and place her under her light (it’s the PowerSun 160 W by Zoomed). Sometimes she doesn’t even open her eyes. After about 30 minutes of warming up she’ll make the walk to the food dish where she’ll munch on some Spring Mix, but then she just goes back to sleep. Sometimes I’ve even found her asleep in the food dish – I have thought she was dead now 4 or 5 times. Anyway, I then move her back under the light and she’s usually there until I put her back in her hide in the evening. Sometimes she’ll eat a second time, but that hasn’t happened for about a week now. It’s just so sad and I don’t know what else to do.

Does anyone have any other ideas? I spoke to a 3rd vet who recommended taking her off of vitamins temporarily and to try to keep track of her activity. I’ve been doing that but there just haven’t been any changes, she just seems to be slowly going downhill. Ugh, this sucks so much!
 

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egyptiandan

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Is she producing any urates? Have you been keeping track of her weight? I'm forgetting :p Has she had an x-ray?

Danny
 

Meg90

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Could it be a problem with her kidneys? Robyn had a baby over the summer with internal issues (don't remember exactly what) that was very swollen, but sadly the baby didn't make it.

It sounds like those vets really don't know jack about tortoises. Have you had blood work done, or like Danny said, an x-ray?

What's her diet? How old is your bulb, and what kind of supplement and how much, are you using?
 

TanknTurbo

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Her kidneys is what I'm worried about too, Meg. :(

No xrays or blood work yet - I hate to say it but financial limitations are a factor, and we've already spent quite a bit to have virtually no results (besides pin worms, which I think may be unrelated to the swelling). But I do think that that's the next step.

Danny you know, I am not 100% sure if she is producing urates. I'll move her back to newspaper for observation and will let you know - I'll be looking for a bit of white, thicker liquid in her urine or feces, right?

Not keeping track of her weight - she was 157 grams on an old school scale, but then 154 a few days later on a digital scale which I think is more accurate. I'll try to get my hands on one and weigh her ASAP - man, I don't know why I didn't think of doing that. I thought she was getting better for about a week, but then she went back to puffy and lethargic.

diet = organic spring mix and dandilion leaves from my yard
*the vet said perhaps she's not getting enough protein, so I've added bits of tofu here and there and she has never had any interest in it
bulb = Powersun 160 W, 5 months old, ordering a new one this morning
supplement = Rep-Cal phosophorous-free calcium w/ vit d, sprinkled over food every other day
substrate = mix of cypress mulch and soil, misted every morning with water
soaking = every few days in warm water up to the bridge of her carapace - sometimes she poops, but not everytime like she used to - and Danny now that I think about it I haven't seen any urates in the last couple of soaks...

The second vet I went to was really nice, but you're right, he was not completely familiar with small tortoises like Turbo. He did consult with the other vets that were there though which was comforting. When I bring her back, do you have any advice on on what exactly I should have the vet look at?

Thanks very much,

Emma & Turbo

I just spoke with my husband, and if it is Kidney issues...is it treatable? And if so, how?
 

egyptiandan

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It does sound like kidney or bladder stone/stones. You not seeing any urates and the puffyness all point in that direction. It's hard to say what can be done. An x-ray really is in order to find out whats going on. If the stone is small enough to pass, than that can be induced. If the stone is to large to be passed, than surgery is the only thing possible.

Danny
 

TanknTurbo

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We're dropping Turbo off tomorrow morning at the Westgate Pet & Bird (Austin, TX) for xrays and observation. Hopefully we'll have some answers, and thank you all again for your advice and hope!
 

Isa

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I am sorry to hear that Turbo is not doing too good, good luck at the vet and please keep us updated :)
 

sammi

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Dropping him off? For how long? Poor little guy, but it seems you've done everything you can on your end. Good luck, and keep us posted!

By the way, where did you get him again?
 

Meg90

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Its a her. Poor girl. She's had her since she was a hatchling.

This is so odd....I want to know what the vet says.
 

TanknTurbo

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Thanks everyone, Turbo's at the vet now for observation and xrays so I will definitely let you guys know what the vet says. After soaking her yesterday evening she ate some more and was moving around so I have hope that we'll get through this!

Sammi, I hate to admit it, but Turbo was purchased as a male Hermann's tortoise from turtlesale.com when I lived in Florida. She turned out to be a female Antakyan Greek, not that it really mattered to me, and of course when I wrote to them numerous times I never heard back.

She's definitely a very loved family member so I greatly appreciate all of your well-wishings.

Back to waiting by my phone...
 

Candy

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I hope everything goes well for Turbo. We can tell he is a very loved pet. :)
 

Stephanie Logan

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Candy said:
I hope everything goes well for Turbo. We can tell he is a very loved pet. :)

Ditto, ditto, ditto! Poor Turbo. Hope you get some answers (and a cure!) for her soon.:shy:

Will be sending good thoughts your way...
 

sammi

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Sorry sorry! I always end up calling other peoples animals male, as I've never owned a female:p Its kind of just stuck on me. But I DO hope your little girl gets better! Any idea of when the vet will contact you?
 

TanknTurbo

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Well, I called up there since I hadn't heard back yet, and they hadn't done xrays yet. The tech I spoke to said the vet wanted to do blood work before doing xrays and then finally passed me along to the vet since I had so many questions.

The vet said that she found a small red spot on Turbo's upper right side of her plasteron which might indicate infection - the other 2 vets (and myself) had not found this spot so maybe it's new(?). I need to go back to my pictures of her to see if I can see what they're talking about. The vet also thinks there might be some kidney issues going on, but hasn't determined whether the ademia is fluid or air....

So now they're drawing blood for a sick-reptile blood profile and we should have the results in a few days. Xrays are probably still in our future, but we'll wait and see what the blood work shows. Just like Danny said, the vet said if there are stones and they're small enough to pass they will induce passing, but if they're too large to pass the only option is surgery. Whether or not Turbo is even a candidate for surgery will also be determined after the blood work is analyzed.

Ugh, so keep your fingers crossed. :(

The PuffyTurbo3 pic (they were all taken 2 days ago) is the one of the plasteron, and I'm not seeing any red spot. I'll have the vet point it out to me when I pick her up, then I'll take a pic to let you guys see too.

They just called back - they are having a hard time drawing blood because Turbo is too dehydrated! :( I soak her regularly, but I have to admit I'm not sure when the last time I saw her drink was. They are now giving her fluids in the hope that they can get a sample today. They'll try drawing from either the neck, leg, or tail. Poor Turbo. :(
 

Isa

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I keep my fingers crossed and Turbo and you are in my thoughts. Do you know how long they will keep her?
 

TanknTurbo

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Thank you, Isa. I thought I'd have her back by now, so I'm hoping in the next few hours they'll let me go get her. I just can't stand this!
 

TanknTurbo

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I called them again and they want to keep Turbo overnight now...she is just too dehydrated for a blood draw and they want to give her more time to absorb the fluids. They said they will call me before they close with an update on her.
 

sammi

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Goodness this is too much :( I hope she ends up being okay. Thanks for keeping us updated! Ernie and I are keeping you and Turbo in our thoughts :)
 
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Italianlnm

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Thanks for keeping us updated on her. I hope she is doing okay, and you and her are in my thoughts. I hope she will be okay, I am sure she will be.
 
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