URGENT, need help. Please help and give advice

TamaraandMerl

Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
Messages
34
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
Hi everyone.

Happy New Year. 3 weeks ago, me and my family rescued a sulcata from a family who mistreated her. What we know is that they fed her once a week, rice among other things. Bathed her once every two weeks and she lived outside in a sand pit. The day after we rescued her, I noticed that she was doing a weird eye thing (I’ll attach photo below) and thought that she could have an eye infection. So booked a vet appointment and took her. The vet said that she was pushing and her insides came outside and he pushed them back inside with his finger (not sure the correct terminology). She pooped for the first time and mentioned it was runnier than would like, he didn’t say anything about what to do and didn’t advise anything. After two days, of constant diarrhea and leaking along with the eye thing. It is dark brown, smelly and very watery. We came to the conclusion that they were all connected and took her back to the vet (for free this time after complaining about not actually getting any advisement and her getting worse) they advised a fecal exam to test for parasites then if clear to do an X-ray and a blood test. She hasn’t done anything remotely close to being able to classify for a fecal exam and she is suffering. We are going to try and book her for an X-ray tomorrow but need advice beforehand as scared and need some honest friendly turtle loving help. We have done research and think she could have some sort of bladder blockage, meaning that she could have to have surgery and if serious her shell will need operated on. What is the quality of life after a surgery like that? Has anyone been in a similar situation? Please help us? We have no idea what to do, she is around 2 years old and want to give her a quality life and a healthy one. Please help us make that possible and if you know anything please comment back to me! Thank you so much!
 

TamaraandMerl

Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
Messages
34
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
URGENT, need help.

Hi everyone.

Happy New Year. 3 weeks ago, me and my family rescued a sulcata from a family who mistreated her. What we know is that they fed her once a week, rice among other things. Bathed her once every two weeks and she lived outside in a sand pit. The day after we rescued her, I noticed that she was doing a weird eye thing (I’ll attach photo below) and thought that she could have an eye infection. So booked a vet appointment and took her. The vet said that she was pushing and her insides came outside and he pushed them back inside with his finger (not sure the correct terminology). She pooped for the first time and mentioned it was runnier than would like, he didn’t say anything about what to do and didn’t advise anything. After two days, of constant diarrhea and leaking along with the eye thing. It is dark brown, smelly and very watery. We came to the conclusion that they were all connected and took her back to the vet (for free this time after complaining about not actually getting any advisement and her getting worse) they advised a fecal exam to test for parasites then if clear to do an X-ray and a blood test. She hasn’t done anything remotely close to being able to classify for a fecal exam and she is suffering. We are going to try and book her for an X-ray tomorrow but need advice beforehand as scared and need some honest friendly turtle loving help. We have done research and think she could have some sort of bladder blockage, meaning that she could have to have surgery and if serious her shell will need operated on. What is the quality of life after a surgery like that? Has anyone been in a similar situation? Please help us? We have no idea what to do, she is around 2 years old and want to give her a quality life and a healthy one. Please help us make that possible and if you know anything please comment back to me! Thank you so much!

B7FF4E75-FB33-4A41-87AA-7E898451E468.jpeg F01DAA70-CD19-49DA-910F-E2E6D446EA70.jpeg
 

TamaraandMerl

Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
Messages
34
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
These are some pictures! Please help, she’s suffering- her eye movements are what we think is pushing trying to remove a blockage
 

Attachments

  • DA0D9740-48DF-4144-AD86-3E131E0BF3B4.png
    DA0D9740-48DF-4144-AD86-3E131E0BF3B4.png
    797.4 KB · Views: 109
  • 9D51FD6A-A6B4-4671-AB5B-C096C394DC3E.jpeg
    9D51FD6A-A6B4-4671-AB5B-C096C394DC3E.jpeg
    2 MB · Views: 110

Tortisedonk7

Active Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
182
Location (City and/or State)
Indonesia
Hello, and welcome! I don’t keep sulcata but I saw something similar with the eyes in a different post. Like the inner eyes lid is stuck closed. Be careful with vets as most of the time they don’t really know about tortoises and try to talk you into something expensive and unnecessary, unless they are a herp specialist. But sounds like you should get a fecal test at minimum.
keep the tort well hydrated by soaking it every day in warm water 30-40 min.
I’ll call the experts
@Tom
@KarenSoCal
@zovic
I thinks it’s pretty late there now, so maybe no reply till tomorrow.
hope the best for you and your tort.
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
5,204
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Hello!

We're going to need to know a lot more info so we can help you figure out what's going on with her.

First, I think she's older than two. If she has been raised so horribly, she would probably be stunted, pyramided, and suffering from MBD. She just doesn't look that bad to me. The family you rescued her from...how long did they have her?

It seems to me that the vet was referring to a rectal prolapse. With constant diarrhea, she has been trying to go all the time, and the intestine gets pushed out of the cloaca. He pushed it back in, but stopping the diarrhea should take care of that problem.

Any poop at all can be tested for parasites...it doesn't have to be firm. Collect as much of it as you can from one episode in some small container. Take it to the vet and let him look. If he doesn't see anything, you might need to do it again. Only take the poop, not the tortoise. If he finds worms, he'll give you the medicine.

Exactly what are you feeding him? He needs lots of fiber and excellent nutrition. For now, don't give him any lettuce, cucumber, or cactus pads, and no fruit. He needs grass, hay, weeds, and Mazuri along with other good quality foods.

His eyes look very red and sore, but I really can't see them very well at the angle of the photo. What kinds of lights are you using on him?

Please post pictures...his underside and tail area, a pic showing the side of his face, his enclosure, the bulbs you are using in his enclosure.

What are the temps in the enclosure? Basking spot, warm side, cool side, and overnight low?

Take him for his x-ray tomorrow. But don't make any immediate decisions. Post on here what the vet said about the x-rays, and what he suggests doing. Run it all by us, and members who know lots more than me will respond.

In case you haven't seen it, here's a good, up-to-date care sheet.

A lot of vets really don't know much about torts. Is your vet an exotics vet?

Oh, about the surgery. It's a big operation, but I think most torts do pretty well afterwards. The problem is that yours is not in great health to begin with. It would be good if any surgery could be postponed until he's stronger.

 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,503
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
These are some pictures! Please help, she’s suffering- her eye movements are what we think is pushing trying to remove a blockage
The vet you found doesn't know tortoises. I wouldn't go back.

The eye issue is likely from the sand, but could also be from cold temperatures.

What this tortoise needs is a warm indoor enclosure. A closed chamber. It also needs daily soaks. If it pooped, then its not blocked. I don't know why you are suspecting a bladder stone.

It sounds like you have a male that had an erection. This is common. That the vet didn't know this is a tell tale sign that they don't know tortoises at all.

Get this tortoise somewhere warm tonight. 85 degrees all night. Never below 85 for at least 3-4 weeks for this tortoise. Put the enclosure in a bathroom with a space heater and close the door if necessary.

After a good long warm soak, you'll be better able to evaluate the eye situation. @Yvonne G knows which eye drops to get and where to get them.

Read this for the current and correct care info.
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
5,204
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
We have 2 threads with the same title and OP. I responded on the other one. I have copied my post to here.

Hello!

We're going to need to know a lot more info so we can help you figure out what's going on with her.

First, I think she's older than two. If she has been raised so horribly, she would probably be stunted, pyramided, and suffering from MBD. She just doesn't look that bad to me. The family you rescued her from...how long did they have her?

It seems to me that the vet was referring to a rectal prolapse. With constant diarrhea, she has been trying to go all the time, and the intestine gets pushed out of the cloaca. He pushed it back in, but stopping the diarrhea should take care of that problem.

Any poop at all can be tested for parasites...it doesn't have to be firm. Collect as much of it as you can from one episode in some small container. Take it to the vet and let him look. If he doesn't see anything, you might need to do it again. Only take the poop, not the tortoise. If he finds worms, he'll give you the medicine.

Exactly what are you feeding him? He needs lots of fiber and excellent nutrition. For now, don't give him any lettuce, cucumber, or cactus pads, and no fruit. He needs grass, hay, weeds, and Mazuri along with other good quality foods.

His eyes look very red and sore, but I really can't see them very well at the angle of the photo. What kinds of lights are you using on him?

Please post pictures...his underside and tail area, a pic showing the side of his face, his enclosure, the bulbs you are using in his enclosure.

What are the temps in the enclosure? Basking spot, warm side, cool side, and overnight low?

Take him for his x-ray tomorrow. But don't make any immediate decisions. Post on here what the vet said about the x-rays, and what he suggests doing. Run it all by us, and members who know lots more than me will respond.

In case you haven't seen it, here's a good, up-to-date care sheet.

A lot of vets really don't know much about torts. Is your vet an exotics vet?

Oh, about the surgery. It's a big operation, but I think most torts do pretty well afterwards. The problem is that yours is not in great health to begin with. It would be good if any surgery could be postponed until he's stronger.

 

TamaraandMerl

Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
Messages
34
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
Hello, thank you so much for all responding I’m so happy and grateful!

we aren’t 100% sure how long they had her just that they had her since he was a baby, the vet said Merlin was a she but now not sure. Will attach photos bellow. Right now we are feeding them just grass alone, she won’t touch hay or the Mazuri. We did try kale, dandelion leafs, collard, radish tops and one time a cactus pad which they adored. Not really since the problems got worse. She didn’t poop at all today, but got soaked and her eyes are much much clearer and she’s been drinking water in her baths. We are calling at 8am tomorrow and seeing when the earliest time we can get an XRay is and will send in a fecal exam once we can. Before we went to the vet for the second time we had Cyprus mulch in her enclosure but the vet said because of her eyes to remove and place newspaper. We have 3 lights for them, repti sun at 10UVB, a nocturnal infrared heat lamp at 150w and a basking light which I can’t find the box for but will ask my mum tomorrow. Tomorrow our chewy package arrives so we find out the temps but she stays under the red light all night and moves out of under the box when she gets a big too hot and reverts back when chilly again. We tried to give her a hiding spot so the cardboard is makeshift for now. Let me know what else I need to send and I will, I’ll keep you guys updated.
 

Attachments

  • 6759BD91-2CBD-4611-9B1D-16A521A71C96.jpeg
    6759BD91-2CBD-4611-9B1D-16A521A71C96.jpeg
    615.8 KB · Views: 112
  • 02144415-26C8-412F-A5FF-CE60F5386A49.jpeg
    02144415-26C8-412F-A5FF-CE60F5386A49.jpeg
    1 MB · Views: 110
  • 3B79BA6B-B9CD-4ABA-A8BC-D38DBC573F0E.jpeg
    3B79BA6B-B9CD-4ABA-A8BC-D38DBC573F0E.jpeg
    1.1 MB · Views: 107
  • D9E88DC1-0843-4984-8CB7-13B9331257A5.jpeg
    D9E88DC1-0843-4984-8CB7-13B9331257A5.jpeg
    1 MB · Views: 105
  • E5555768-060E-4295-92BF-8549DEB9BCCB.jpeg
    E5555768-060E-4295-92BF-8549DEB9BCCB.jpeg
    354 KB · Views: 119
  • 55C72AFA-3248-40D6-B766-562829B4AD79.jpeg
    55C72AFA-3248-40D6-B766-562829B4AD79.jpeg
    1,015.1 KB · Views: 128
  • DBC8A9B1-61A3-49B0-AC35-BE9C436BEFF9.jpeg
    DBC8A9B1-61A3-49B0-AC35-BE9C436BEFF9.jpeg
    1.1 MB · Views: 130
  • 0A8FF7C1-B666-4000-A4C3-4E19AF93CCE7.jpeg
    0A8FF7C1-B666-4000-A4C3-4E19AF93CCE7.jpeg
    841 KB · Views: 131
  • B151F0F2-7CB8-4BA4-AB9E-A30D1F15906F.jpeg
    B151F0F2-7CB8-4BA4-AB9E-A30D1F15906F.jpeg
    977.1 KB · Views: 136
  • 9F384191-2CF5-4DB0-A2B2-C30334F0EB53.jpeg
    9F384191-2CF5-4DB0-A2B2-C30334F0EB53.jpeg
    1,022.4 KB · Views: 136
  • D65AAE75-44B0-4601-B8FC-41B11E9E147F.jpeg
    D65AAE75-44B0-4601-B8FC-41B11E9E147F.jpeg
    1.2 MB · Views: 132
  • D0AEB0B3-1118-4C30-BEF9-EF15FD33757B.jpeg
    D0AEB0B3-1118-4C30-BEF9-EF15FD33757B.jpeg
    1 MB · Views: 130

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
5,204
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
First, living where you do, you should be able to get Merl outside for some sunshine for an hour or two twice a week in a safe outdoor enclosure, when the weather is warm enough. If you do that, you don't need any indoor UVB lighting.

Second, get rid of that red bulb. Torts need it dark at night, just like we do. For nighttime heat, a RHP or CHE will do the job. It will be difficult to maintain that with the open top enclosure. Speaking of the enclosure...it's a nice one, but the sides are way to low. I'm surprised she hasn't fallen out of there yet.

Third, the kind of basking light you want is an incandescent flood bulb. No LED or 'replacement' bulb. Flood...not spot. The problem is that we can no longer buy incandescent bulbs in CA. So hopefully you know someone in another state that can mail you a box of them. I would try 65 watts. If the temp isn't right, you'll need to raise or lower the bulb to get it right.

Fourth, to get her to eat new foods, you need to cut some of the new into tiny pieces, and mix it into the old food she likes. It takes time, but as she gets the taste of the new, she'll start to recognize it as food.

Fifth, I think she looks like a girl, but she may not be big enough to be sure. And they all look like girls when they're young.

Sixth, now I'm wondering if an x-ray is needed. She looks so good in these pictures! Her eyes are bright, she's not a little baby, she just needs some special care for a while. She's willing to eat, she isn't familiar with what you're feeding her. That will be fixed with some time. You said she hasn't pooped, so she does not have constant diarrhea any longer. I would get a poop sample to the vet, but I think I would cancel the x-ray. You can always have it done later. Give her some time to settle in and get to feel safe. Good food, good soaks, and good environment works wonders.
 

Yossarian

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Messages
764
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
Often with torts, what you think of as diareah is just watery poo. If they are getting a high water content foods, or regular soaks and drinking lots of water, they can have runny poo and will pee a lot, but its just excess water, not a serious worry.
 

TamaraandMerl

Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
Messages
34
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
Often with torts, what you think of as diareah is just watery poo. If they are getting a high water content foods, or regular soaks and drinking lots of water, they can have runny poo and will pee a lot, but its just excess water, not a serious worry.
Yeah the day that the poop was worst, she had cucumber. Right now she’s just eating grass.
 

TamaraandMerl

Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
Messages
34
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
The eye looks like the nictitating membrane - not from straining, but from stress. With good care and settling into a routine it should subside.
When she does her eye thing, it’s just hard to watch. She pulls her head back into her shell, changes her eyes into the red lids which are puffy and then when she was having Diarrhea she would leak at the same time as the eye movement. She does it maybe 5-15 times a day depending if the day is bad and it completely takes her out of the moment and really painful to watch.
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
Messages
60
Location (City and/or State)
Michigan
Hi! Not sure if this helps, but somebody on here posted a list of local tortoise/exotic vets in the US. I’ll try to find it, but maybe it could help you get the right care. Good luck!
 

TamaraandMerl

Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
Messages
34
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
When she does her eye thing, it’s just hard to watch. She pulls her head back into her shell, changes her eyes into the red lids which are puffy and then when she was having Diarrhea she would leak at the same time as the eye movement. She does it maybe 5-15 times a day depending if the day is bad and it completely takes her out of the moment and really painful to watch.
First, living where you do, you should be able to get Merl outside for some sunshine for an hour or two twice a week in a safe outdoor enclosure, when the weather is warm enough. If you do that, you don't need any indoor UVB lighting.

Second, get rid of that red bulb. Torts need it dark at night, just like we do. For nighttime heat, a RHP or CHE will do the job. It will be difficult to maintain that with the open top enclosure. Speaking of the enclosure...it's a nice one, but the sides are way to low. I'm surprised she hasn't fallen out of there yet.

Third, the kind of basking light you want is an incandescent flood bulb. No LED or 'replacement' bulb. Flood...not spot. The problem is that we can no longer buy incandescent bulbs in CA. So hopefully you know someone in another state that can mail you a box of them. I would try 65 watts. If the temp isn't right, you'll need to raise or lower the bulb to get it right.

Fourth, to get her to eat new foods, you need to cut some of the new into tiny pieces, and mix it into the old food she likes. It takes time, but as she gets the taste of the new, she'll start to recognize it as food.

Fifth, I think she looks like a girl, but she may not be big enough to be sure. And they all look like girls when they're young.

Sixth, now I'm wondering if an x-ray is needed. She looks so good in these pictures! Her eyes are bright, she's not a little baby, she just needs some special care for a while. She's willing to eat, she isn't familiar with what you're feeding her. That will be fixed with some time. You said she hasn't pooped, so she does not have constant diarrhea any longer. I would get a poop sample to the vet, but I think I would cancel the x-ray. You can always have it done later. Give her some time to settle in and get to feel safe. Good food, good soaks, and good environment works wonders.
Thank you again Karen, we take merl outside any day the sun is shining and make sure to check that her shell is warm when she’s outside. It’ll be easier in the summer sun but she’s finding her way around the garden which we made as tortoise proof as possible while we set up her outside enclosure. She’s never alone outside. She’s been doing better since going to only grass but we have a few dandelion weeds which she’s found and remembers often. I will look into the lights today, so hard as went to two different pet stores one reptile specialist place that recommended those lights. Will go on Toms guide as well to get more information about the lights.

We will add higher walls to her inside enclosure and have been thinking how to close it in order to gain some humidity. With the Cyprus mulch we read that if you spray it with water It’s ok and adds humidity. What do you think?

Do you think right now we should stick to just grass or try and incorporate some hay and Mazuri? I could try mix with dandelion leafs which she loves. Since just the grass we haven’t gotten any poop for a fecal so not sure what to do.

The vet talked to us and we don’t need an appointment we can take her at any point today from 2-6pm. Just wondering if she’s already a little stressed to just get the X-ray done before giving her two three weeks to settle then stress her out again. I have videos of the eye pushing thing which I haven’t figured out how to send.
 

TamaraandMerl

Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
Messages
34
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
Some more pictures as I can’t send a video
 

Attachments

  • 6DCA47CF-6A0B-44BE-9786-FF54FD7AF822.jpeg
    6DCA47CF-6A0B-44BE-9786-FF54FD7AF822.jpeg
    1 MB · Views: 45
  • 3CE3BC79-2B7C-45ED-A4DB-9BDE6399C137.jpeg
    3CE3BC79-2B7C-45ED-A4DB-9BDE6399C137.jpeg
    1.4 MB · Views: 47
  • BF2CF995-109F-48B3-9322-C265AE3D5AC1.jpeg
    BF2CF995-109F-48B3-9322-C265AE3D5AC1.jpeg
    1.9 MB · Views: 46
  • DA8162BD-14C2-477D-8C9A-172D209EF007.jpeg
    DA8162BD-14C2-477D-8C9A-172D209EF007.jpeg
    1.9 MB · Views: 45

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
5,204
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Thank you again Karen, we take merl outside any day the sun is shining and make sure to check that her shell is warm when she’s outside. It’ll be easier in the summer sun but she’s finding her way around the garden which we made as tortoise proof as possible while we set up her outside enclosure. She’s never alone outside. She’s been doing better since going to only grass but we have a few dandelion weeds which she’s found and remembers often. I will look into the lights today, so hard as went to two different pet stores one reptile specialist place that recommended those lights. Will go on Toms guide as well to get more information about the lights.

We will add higher walls to her inside enclosure and have been thinking how to close it in order to gain some humidity. With the Cyprus mulch we read that if you spray it with water It’s ok and adds humidity. What do you think?

Do you think right now we should stick to just grass or try and incorporate some hay and Mazuri? I could try mix with dandelion leafs which she loves. Since just the grass we haven’t gotten any poop for a fecal so not sure what to do.

The vet talked to us and we don’t need an appointment we can take her at any point today from 2-6pm. Just wondering if she’s already a little stressed to just get the X-ray done before giving her two three weeks to settle then stress her out again. I have videos of the eye pushing thing which I haven’t figured out how to send.

CHE's are available at any Petco or Petsmart. I'd start with 100 watts. They run really hot, so you must use a ceramic socket with it. Check your dome hoods...they usually have ceramic. If it's bakelite (?sp), that won't work. You also need a thermostat to control the CHE's. I use these and they work well.


I already mentioned about the incandescent bulbs. If you absolutely don't have anyone who can send you some, you can order these. I've never used them, but they say incandescent, so ought to be OK. I guess they are specialty bulbs, so we can order them in CA. Any others, they won't ship them to here.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001ORVSX6/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

You can use cypress mulch, coco coir, or orchid (fir) bark, or a combination of them. For any of those 3, you pour water into it and mix it up with your hands until it's nice and damp, but not flooded. Make sure your temps are above minimum with the extra humidity.
To cover your enclosure, we suggest something like this. With the shape of yours, you'll have to get creative to make it work. Search Amazon for 'portable greenhouse'.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08LSFL2PY/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

I would try to get her eating more items. Mazuri and hay are good. If you go to the grocery store get endive or escarole, radicchio, mustard greens, bok choy. Take a look at kapidolofarms.com Will is a member here and many of us are using his dried items. I sprinkle them on top, but some of them you can use as a meal. Very worthwhile.

Why do you want an x-ray? As I said last night, I don't think she needs one. But I've been wrong before, so if you think the stress is worth it, that's up to you.

And be sure to carefully read Tom's care sheet. It explains things much better than I do.
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top