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White Poo
Posted: 17/07/2008 by Mon

Hi,

I have just joined your group & would like some advice on my Female Tortoise of about 50 years old, who is eating well & appears healthy. But, yesterday I noticed that she has developed a white spot in both eyes & her muck was white & hard. She produced urine with the usual white content like the skin off milk. But, her Poo is usually black or Dark Green was white, like chalk, very long & a section of it was quite big & rubber like! I've never seen anything like this from her before. She is eating well & the only thing that she has eaten a lot of in the last few days is Spinach. Has anybody experienced this... not personally,
I hasten to add!

Thanks,

Mon

Re: White Poo
Posted: 17/07/2008 by tpgNina

Hi Mon,

I can see why this is worrying for you. I don't know what the white spot in her eyes is, but I hope you've saved the 'poo'. There is a possibility, I guess, that it could be a stone that she has passed, or solidified urates, and your description of it sounded like it could even be a calcified egg (they can be torpedo shaped). Can you send us a photo of it? You might also want to take it to a vet for analysis. It's always worrying not knowing the cause of something, so I hope we can find out what this is and that she is OK.

Nina

Re: White Poo
Posted: 17/07/2008 by tpgadmin

Hi Mon

Welcome to the forum and I'm sorry to hear of your concerns about your tortoise.  I notice Nina has given you some good advice but I wanted to add that perhaps you should avoid feeding spinach (I know tortoises love it).  Alternatively only offer it as a treat now and then, as it isn't good for them as it is high in oxalates, which prevent proper absorption of calcium.

As for your tortoises eyes there shoudn't be any white spots or cloudy areas and if it was my tortoise I should be inclined to take it to the vet at the earliest opportunity to have infection or other problems ruled out.  Do you have a good tortoise specialist that you can use?  One of my tortoises had eye problems earlier this year and the vet soon sorted it out and helped to clear it up.  I think I posted a picture of it in the tortoise health section on the photo gallery.

Helen

 

Re: White Poo
Posted: 18/07/2008 by Mon

Hi,
Thank you both, for such a Speedy reply!

I've seen your photo showing the Eye problem that your Tortoise had & it is slightly similar to the problem that my Tortoise Speedy has developed. Speedy's problem has less mucus & the white spot is more defined like a spot of white paint in both eyes. I will take a photo tomorrow & put it onto the gallery. Alas, my young niece flushed the White Poo down the Loo- before I even thought of saving it!

I have had my Tortoise for only about 2 years, so she is very much a learning curve for me. I search the internet when I first adopted her as books didn't give much info & the Vets in my area don't know much about Tortoises. I've only just found your website now & I've learnt so much already!

Speedy was given to me by a friend who's grandfather (Tom) had her for about 50 years or more & he found her in the garden of an empty house. She has since lived in his garden all her life, eating weeds etc... I was told that Tom fed her Butties & Apple! When Tom could no longer care for her, I was coaxed to take her. I know that Bread & Butter are not good for her, so I've fed her on Green Salad Veg in the 2 years that I've had her. This week, was the first time I had ever given her Spinach.

I'm a Dog person, & this is the first time I've ever been without a Dog, having just lost my beautiful Yorkshire Terrier- Puddin' So, a Tortoise is a new field for me & I'm very grateful for the info that I've received from you both & the things that I've learned from this website.

I'm not sure about the Egg... this is a lonely female who has never come into contact with another Tortoise in her whole life.. ! Altho, she has my Cat for company now & she is very friendly with people.

Will "Optrex for Sore Eyes" (Antibiotic Ointment) be safe to use on her eyes ? I've been bathing her eyes with salt water & she gets a warm bath most days.

But, I must admit that she has the run of my conservatory at home when the weather outside is not warm enough. So, she may be lacking in Vitamin D from what I've learnt from this Website.

I don't like to see anything caged & once she has done her stuff in the warm water I let her run around free.

Does anyone know a Vet in the Merseyside area that understands Tortoises ?

Thanks again,

Mon

Re: White Poo
Posted: 18/07/2008 by vivtpgadmin

Hi Mon, best to keep your eye on her poo, and if you get more the same save it and take it to the vet.

Regarding the eyes, its best not to use the 'optrex' its not meant for reptile eyes, a vet would be the best to give you the right eye treatment, we have a list of recommended tortoise vets under the heading on the left 'Breeders & Vets' here is the link http://www.tortoise-protection-group.org.uk/site/files/TPG%20list%20recommended%20vets.pdf there are some good vets in the Cheshire area on there.

With your torts food, its best to stick to weeds, weeds and more weeds, with neutrobal/calcium sprinkled on them.  If she is used to living outside, its best to fence off a secure area for her with a shelter, eg coldframe or dog kennel for her to go in, just bring her in when the weather is really bad.

Let us know how you get on, and I'll keep a look out for the photos you are posting of her eye.

Regards VivienneClick and drag me down to the editor

Re: White Poo
Posted: 18/07/2008 by tpgadmin

Hi Mon

How far is solihull or stoke on Trent from you?  there are excellent tortoise vets in these 2 areas.

As far as bathing the eyes you would be better with hypromellose gel (artificial tears) to keep the eye moist).  Put it in hourly and then see if you can very gently roll a cotton bud across the eye to see if this white spot is a dicharge that you able to remove.  You really need to have veterinary advice as if this is an infection you need to stop it quickly before any corneal damage is done.  Alternatively if your tortoise is old then it may be developing cataracts and the vet can advise you on this too.  I look forward to seeing the picture.  Make sure you reduce its size befoe uploading it. 

As for the poo then yes tortoises do lay eggs without a male and sometimes they store them for a very long time and they come out extremely calcified.  Other eggs are reatined and again veterinary advice is important.  Keep an eye on your tortoise and make sure it isn't in any distress trying to pass a poo or urinating.  Let us know if your tortoise passes normal poo too and save any further whit 'poo'.

It would appear that Speedy is a lucky tortoise to have found you I am sure your grandfather would be pleased you are wanting to provide the best care that you can for Speedy.  well done for taking him on.Click and drag me down to the editor

I'm sad for you that you have lost your little dog, but if you are a dog person then I bet it is not too long before another one arrives on the scene <g>.

HTH

Helen

Re: White Poo
Posted: 18/07/2008 by tpgadmin

Oops I just read my message and realised I didn't spell check it before pressing submit - sorry!

Helen

Re: White Poo
Posted: 18/07/2008 by Mon

I would like to say Thank You... to Helen, Nina & Vivienne, For all your advice.

She did struggle passing this White Poo, her head went into her shell & she did strain a bit. The White Poo was about 4 inches long & less than a half inch wide with a fatter torpedo shape section 2/3rd of the way along. (What a subject ha!) But, it looked nothing like the Egg that I have seen being laid on the photo at this website. This was completely encased within the white thick chalk-like sausage. Just before this White Poo, she also passed a larger amount of Urine with some White "Skin of Milk" stuff in with it- much more than she would normally pass.

She is eating well, but, after looking at some video's of Tortoises on You Tube- I think in general, other Tortoises are far more sprightly than I've seen of her. I need to get her under a heat/sun lamp. I didn't Hibernate her last winter. I'm a bit nerves about the hibernation part as she keeps waking up with the winters not being so cold, so I've been giving her a hot water bottle & daily warm baths & she enjoys watching the telly with the Cat!

I live in the South Liverpool area, so Cheshire is within reach. Solihull & Stoke are a bit of a journey for me. I use Artificial Tear Drops & Gels myself, so I have plenty of them in the fridge. Speedy blinks as soon as I touch her eyes, so it would be difficult to roll a cotton bud across her eye.

I took her to a Vet when I first brought her home a couple of years ago just to have her checked over & learn something about her. That was Ark Vets in Woolton, Liverpool. But, although he was very helpful I did get some conflicting advice from what I had learnt up until then from books & websites. He explained that advise on Tortoises can be conflicting sometimes, because not a lot is known about Tortoises... full stop.

He explained that Speedy was Female, indicated because of her con-caved under shell. However, I've had two different opinions as to what type of Tortoise she is. So, I'll post some photos & would be very grateful if Helen, Nina, Vivienne or anyone else could identify exactly what I've taken on!

Thank you again,

Mon

Re: White Poo
Posted: 18/07/2008 by Mon

PS. Yes, I have always had dogs. The Cat (Bimbo) was a stray that adopted us! I think Bimbo had her eye on Puddin' & could see an opportunity was coming up soon- as Puddin' was 17 when her kidney packed in. But, It's taken a year to get this Cat to relax & not be afraid. I think that someone has mistreated her before.

I've had Cocker Spaniels most of my life & that is my Dog of choice- until we took on my father-in-laws Yorkie after he died & I was blessed with the most loving, intelligent animal with such a lovely nature & she helped my last Cocker Spaniel to live until the ripe old age of 18 & he was on his last legs before she came to live with us.

Sadly, I don't think I could bring another Dog into the house now with this terrified little Cat. She is even scared of mice! But, she gets on well with Speedy now.

Mon

Re: White Poo
Posted: 18/07/2008 by Mon

PPS. What is:- "...solidified urates..." ?

Regards,

Mon

Re: White Poo
Posted: 18/07/2008 by vivtpgadmin

Hi Mon, 'solidified urates' is the nitrogenous waste expelled by a tortoise, it is normally white and runny, I think you describe it as 'skin off milk', when it is solidified it comes out in clumps and is usually 'gritty' to the touch (yuk!).  In this case it could mean that the tortoise is dehydrated and is not flushing the kidneys out allowing the urates to build up and solidify.  There could be a number of reasons for this, being that the temperatures could be too high not allowing the tort to thermoregulate by moving to cooler areas, or the tortoise is not drinking enough, this can be rectified by bathing the tort more often, this allows it to drink and also torts can take water up their back passage (the cloaca), you can also feed the torts weeds wet and give cucumber after its food, this has no nutritional value but does provide moisture.

For information, we do have a glossary section under the library heading which explains some of the technical term, but if you cant find what you're looking please ask.  Its so good to see you doing research, Speedy is lucky to have you.Click and drag me down to the editor

Vivienne

Re: White Poo
Posted: 18/07/2008 by Mon

Thanks Vivienne,

It's great to get this info... you know more than the Vets that I've visited!

I'm having problems uploading my photos to the Gallery. I've resized them & I don't usually have problems uploading photos onto websites.

Would this be anything to do with me using an Apple Mac ?

Regards,

Mon

Re: White Poo
Posted: 18/07/2008 by tpgsteph

Hi Mon
Lance jepson is an excellent exotics vet from your area. He lectures at Liverpool university and works at Fern Grove surgery and Leahurst referral hospital. He has recently had a TV series made about him so his probably in great demand but if you're after an exotics specialist I would try him.

Wishing 'Speedy' a speedy recovery.

Steph

Re: White Poo
Posted: 18/07/2008 by Mon

Thank you & Hello Steph,

I will ring him in the morning! I'll let you all know how she is - IF- I manage to get an appointment!

I always used Ian Barcley at Windsor Vets & Rutland House for my dogs. So, I know nobody for Speedy.

Thanks you all for your advice. I can't believe the interest & response from you all... I'm delighted to find this great website!

Regards to you all,

Mon

Re: White Poo
Posted: 18/07/2008 by tpgadmin

Hi Mon

I'm sorry to see you are having trouble uploading your pictures.  I'm not sure whether it is related to you having Apple Mac or not, but I would be grateful if you would send them to me at helen@tortoise-protection-group.org.uk and I will upload them for you.  Please send them to me as an attachment at the same size that you tried to upload them and I will be able to tell why you can't upload them (hopefully).

Helen

Re: White Poo
Posted: 19/07/2008 by tpgadmin

I've uploaded your pictures now in the members gallery under Mon's album.  If you would like me to change any of the text please let me know.  You could also try and create your own album (image set) again and give it a differet name so you will have control over your own images.  I had some difficulty myself uploading the pictures earlier, but the problem seems to have righted itself so please do try again.

Speedy looks elderly and also lovely.  The white spot shouldn't be there Mon and it does look like the possibility of an eye infection.  Have you managed to contact Lance Jepson yet?

Re: White Poo
Posted: 19/07/2008 by vivtpgadmin

Hi Mon, I have had a look at Speedy and she is a gorgeous old lady!!Click and drag me down to the editor I have been reliably informed by one of my TPG colleagues that Speedy is a N African Graeca Graeca.  Hope this helps!

Vivienne

Re: White Poo
Posted: 19/07/2008 by Mon

Thanks Helen, for uploading Speedy's photos for me. I took them from every angle to show both her eye problem & to see if someone could also I.D. her. Thank you also to Vivienne for the I.D. on her! She usually looks polished, as I often use Aloe Vera Gel on her shell to bring out all her markings & she looks like a piece of furniture!

I have managed to track down Lance Jepson. He visits the University Small Animal Hospital here in Liverpool every Monday & I've been told to ring back on Monday to make an appointment- as Saturday is Emergencies only.

God knows how long I may need to wait to get an appointment with him... but, even if I get to see one of his team & then I could later work myself up to get to see Lance Jesop himself at another appointment later down the line. I will then get the correct antibiotic ointment or whatever Speedy needs & start treatment on her fast.

I will keep you all posted as to how she gets on. I would like to trim her nails, but, I'm unsure how far to go. Maybe the University will do that when I take her in.

Thanks again for all the advice that everyone has given. I have not had so much fun since I reared an Orphan Squirrel last year.

When I retire I would love to get more involved with Animals in some way. I think you all do great work & this website has been a God Send for me. Really appreciate your advice.

Regards,

Mon

Re: White Poo
Posted: 21/07/2008 by Mon

Hi Everyone,

I just though I would give everyone an update about the White Spots that have developed in Speedy's Eyes. It turned out that I needed to be referred by another Vet to get an appointment with "Lance Jepson" at Liverpool University Small Animal Hospital.

If anyone else needs this information the hospital is now based at:-

Small Animal Teaching Hospital
The University of Liverpool
Leahurst
Chester High Road
Neston
Cheshire
CH64 7TE

Lance Jepson only practices there on Monday's, so I can't get to see him for another week. It's also expensive at 99 + Vat for the initial consultation. An estimate of treatment costs is given & you then also need to give 50% of the treatment costs upfront. I don't have insurance on Speedy. I didn't realise that you could get insurance on a Tortoise, especially not a 50-year old Tortoise.

I've made an appointment for next Monday with Lance Jepson, but in the meantime I took Speedy along to a local Vet called Ark. As a stop-gap, I have been given some antibiotic drops for her eyes, but, the Vet explained that it is trial & error to find out the cause of the white spots.

I also explained in detail the "White Poo" that she produced the other day & Ark Vets thought that maybe be quite normal, but that he needed to do a full two-day diagnostic, to be sure of anything.

Ark Vets also pointed out that Speedy's thighs were very puffed-up & they should not be that way. Speedy has always had puffy thighs since the few years that I've had her. She puffs-up like a bellows sometimes. I've also noticed that her eyes are puffy too, when closed.

Incidentally, she has done normal Poo since the White Poo & she is still eating well. I've given her the leaves of a Sedum plant for the first time & she loves it.

I'll report more when I see Lance Jepson next week or if the antibiotic drops start to show any signs of improvement with her eyes.

Regards to you all,

Mon

Re: White Poo
Posted: 21/07/2008 by tpgadmin

Hi Mon


You are right the consultation is expensive that sounds OTT to me (are you sure you heard correctly)?  On saying that, Lance is an excellent exotics vet and you shouldn't go wrong with him.  As for pet insurance for a tortoise that is expensive too and as I understand it a lot of people, rather than paying pet insurance, make a regular saving into an ISA account to cover tortoise treatment. 


Out of curiosity which eye treatment have you been prescribed is it fucithalmic?


If your tortoise poo is now normal I would avoid a full 2 day diagnostic at least until you have seen Lance and let him decide whether it is needed or not, particularly as ARK vets aren't tortoise specialists (well I don't think they are).  He will also take a look at the puffiness and decide on whether any blood work needs to be done.


Keep up the good work and keep us informed of Speedy's progress.


Take care


Helen



 

Re: White Poo
Posted: 22/07/2008 by Mon

Hi Helen,

Vet has given antibiotic drops called Tiacil.

It says on the box. For Dogs, Cats & Rabbits. Oh Dear, maybe I should have just waited to see Lance Jepson. He was Italian & I had problems with his accent.

Altho, Ark do say that they treat Tortoises.

Mon

Re: White Poo
Posted: 22/07/2008 by tpgadmin

LOL

Relax Mon, tiacil is fine   Click and drag me down to the editor

I should just not let them do the 2 day diagnostics test until Lance has seen Speedy you could be coughing up your hard earned cash unnecessarily.  speedy is pooing, weeing and and eating OK now isn't she?  If Lance says diagnostic tests then Speedy will definitely need them.

Helen

 

Re: White Poo
Posted: 22/07/2008 by Mon

No- don't worry, I've no intention of leaving Speedy for two days to do any Diagnostic tests on her.

This vet tried to open her lids with tweezes to use a cotton bud to see if the white spot would come off so he could analysis it. He was prodding the white spot with the tweezes & she seemed in pain, pulling her head back into her shell with unbelievable strength. But, the vet hung on & he & another vet used tweezers to pull her lids down & she was quiet distressed & did a wee- out of stress I think.

He explained that this wasn't hurting her- but, I thought it was. She is usually very passive & lets me do anything to her. But, I ended up taking the cotton bud off the under-grad 2nd vet & took the swob myself. But, the white spot stayed in tact. So, this vet is still unsure as to what it is & so I suggested that he give her antibiotics to see if they helped. He thinks I'm going back next week, as I didn't tell him I have an appointment with Lance Jepson.

He squeezed her head between his fingers from the top & under her chin & a tiny, tiny bit of fluid came from her nose, so he though she may have a runny nose. I'm a mere novice as far as Tortoises go- yet I thought, well- my dose would run too, if someone did that to me.

No- I felt that he was asking too many questions, when I explained the information that I had learnt from all you lovely people who have replied to these posts on this great website. Besides, I couldn't understand a word he said- it was like having a consultation with Frank from the movie- Father of the Bride. It was quite funny actually.

Has anyone got any idea what the puffy thighs could be ? Often the skin at the tops of her rear legs & her shoulders (the skin in-between her head & arms) looks puffy - like it is full of air. It has always been like this since I've had her. He said it shouldn't be that way, but he didn't know what it could be the cause of it.

Regards,

Mon

Re: White Poo
Posted: 24/07/2008 by Mon

Hi,

Has anyone got any idea what the puffy thighs could be ?

Often the skin at the tops of her rear legs & her shoulders (the skin in-between her head & arms) looks puffy - like it is full of air.

It has always been like this since I've had her. This Italian Vet said it shouldn't be that way, but he didn't know what it could be the cause of it.

Has anyone experienced this with their Tortoise ?

Mon

Re: White Poo - now Puffy legs and neck
Posted: 24/07/2008 by tpgadmin

Hi Mon

It's really difficult to say what this might be.  There could be several medical possibilities or on the other hand it could just be normal for your tortoise.  I think you would be better to wait and see what Lance has to say about it to be honest and let him put your mind at rest. 

I did have one very young leopard tortoise that had puffiness around the eyes, neck and legs.  She was an illegal import that had been seized on arrival into this country in 2005 and she was already very poorly with other things when I took over her care.  Unfortunately Misty died but I did have a post mortem done on her as I wanted to find out what caused the puffiness in her case.  Even on post mortem there was no explanation as to the cause.

Sorry I can't be of much more help but I will be very interested to hear your report from the vet on Monday.

Helen

Re: White Poo
Posted: 26/07/2008 by Mon

Now I've got a dilemma... the white spots in Speedy's eyes appear to be getting better with the antibiotic drops that I got from the Italian Vet. So, I'm considering cancelling my appointment with Lance Jepson on Monday. Or at least postponing it for the time being. She is eating well & is functioning normal in every other way now. No more White Poo since!

I'll see what she is like on Monday morning. My appointment is at 2pm on Monday & I can't cancel until they open on Monday in any case.

Mon

Re: White Poo
Posted: 26/07/2008 by ElaineTPG

Hi Mon, I have kids that use to do this to me too as soon as you had haggeled your way to the top of the doctors list. I feel that there may be a couple of issues here; the solid urated and puffy legs COULD be a kidney related problem, especially as you bath her each day. The eyes MAY be that she is run down with the afore mentioned, as we all know a comprimised immune system and every little thing drags you down. It is a hard call but if you can I would keep the appointment and perhaps something like a simple blood test could reassure you that all is well. Have you had this tort all of it's days or has she been rehomed to you? IF you go jot down what her diet is, weight, heat, vit supplemets ect the fuller the picture you give your vet the easier it is to pass judgment on her condition. Good luck with the visit and keep us updated.

TC

Elaine

Re: White Poo
Posted: 29/07/2008 by Mon

Hi Everyone,

As Speedy's eyes are much better I decided to postpone the expensive visit to Lance Jepson- just for the moment. I have learnt through the son of a friend that he is an excellent Vet, but that a full diagnostic takes a couple of days & can run into hundreds- plus, the cost of any treatments if needed.

In the meantime, I'm looking into some insurance for Speedy & I've set up some additional UV lighting & I'm giving her some extra vitamins. She is livelier than she has been for a long time & is eating everything that's green & stands still.

I will only use Lance Jepson in the future, but just using my common sense for now. I'll keep you all posted.

Regards,

Mon

Re: White Poo
Posted: 29/07/2008 by tpgadmin

Hi Mon

Thanks for keeping us up to date and glad you're keeping common sense at the top of your list Click and drag me down to the editor.  More importantly I'm pleased for Speedy that the antibiotics have worked for her. 

May I ask which vitamins you are using because you can go overboard and give too much of a good thing to tortoises.

Take care

Helen

Re: White Poo
Posted: 29/07/2008 by ElaineTPG

Click and drag me down to the editor Good to read that Speedy is living up to her name!

Re: White Poo
Posted: 29/07/2008 by Mon

Hi Helen,

I must confess that I have only started Speedy on a Vitamin supplement in the last few days & that's since I've learnt so much from this website. I've put her on Nutrobal, which I sprinkle a pinch onto her wet food.

I've also been feeding her the leaves from Sedum plants, which she loves. And I have decided to grow more weeds in the plant pots on my patio. She has not done any more White Poo. Everything appears normal & she is lively & feeding well. She literally comes running over to me when I have a bunch of Sedum leaves in my hand.

Mon

Re: White Poo
Posted: 29/07/2008 by tpgadmin

Hi Mon

Nutrobal is fine - are you providing limestone flour to sprinkle over Speedy's food as well?  I sometimes make blocks of it  (mixing it with water) for my torts and they eat it at will if left near their feediing area. 

Helen

Re: White Poo
Posted: 29/07/2008 by vivtpgadmin

Yes Mon, you can make calcium cakes for them!  As Helen said mix limestone flour (obtainable from horse suppliers, mine cost 5 for a large 3 kg tub) with water until it is a stiff paste, mould it into shapes or roll in a ball etc, and leave it to dry out, the torts love to nibble!

Vivienne

Re: White Poo
Posted: 30/07/2008 by Mon

Thanks Helen & Vivienne,

This is all new to me, so I'll give it a go. What do I do about worms ? She has probably never been wormed! I asked the vet about worms when I first got her & he said that you don't worm Tortoise's. Is this true ? I'm not having much look getting any insurance for her at her age (50-ish) Anyone know of an insurance company who will take her on ?

Mon

Re: White Poo
Posted: 30/07/2008 by vivtpgadmin

Hi Mon, with regard to worming, yes tortoises do get worms, best thing to do is take a fecal sample to your local vet for testing, they can then either worm her for you or give you the appropriate wormer to put on her food.

I only know of the insurance company you mentioned in an earlier post.  Not sure if anyone else knows of a good company??

Vivienne

Re: White Poo
Posted: 30/07/2008 by vivtpgadmin

Hi Mon, was just checking through some of the posts, it wasnt you who mentioned the insurance company!Click and drag me down to the editor  Here is the thread on this subject which may be of help to you http://www.tortoise-protection-group.org.uk/site/130.asp?tID=257

Vivienne Click and drag me down to the editor

Re: White Poo
Posted: 30/07/2008 by tpgadmin

Hi Mon

Most people I speak to just set up an ISA account - one of those you can pay a set amount into each month by direct debit - rather than pay an insurance company.

Helen

Re: White Poo
Posted: 27/07/2018 by Luna

Hi, the same thing happened when I first got my tortoise, it's poo and pee was white. Don't worry because that usually means it is just dehydrated. You should probably try different foods.

 

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