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Sickly tortoise
Posted: 28/03/2010 by Pauline1976

Hi there my tortoise has a watery eye and I have noticed she has green poo.  I thought the other day that she seemed to not be eating as much.  Any ideas what might be wrong with her and how I would go about treating her.  She is around six months old and was eating really well up to the beginning of this week.

Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated.

Regards Pauline

Re: Sickly tortoise
Posted: 28/03/2010 by tpgarlene

Hi Pauline

Can you let us have a few details about your tortoise, ie, what type is she, what sort of housing is she in, what substrate are you using, did she come from a breeder or a pet shop, what is her diet?  When you say her poo is green, is it also very runny, or just a change of colour?

all the best

Arlene TPG

Re: Sickly tortoise
Posted: 28/03/2010 by Pauline1976

Hi there she is a Horsfield Tortoise, she is in a tortoise table with a Mercury sun lamp.  The substrate is topsoil (bought from Sainsbury) mixed with a small amount of sand to lighten it.  At the moment because I rescued her from a pet shop and she was tiny I didn't think it a good idea to hibernate her so she has been kept awake.  Her diet has been lettuce only to see her through the winter.  I will start giving her dandelions etc as soon as they start to grow.  I wouldn't say her poo is really runny just changed colour.  Is it possible she could be too warm as I have the sun lamp heat about the same as it would be for my spur thighed tortoises.  I have tried to vary the types of lettuce she is eating but is it possible that she has been on this diet too long.

Re: Sickly tortoise
Posted: 30/03/2010 by tpgarlene

Hi Pauline

Her housing etc all sounds fine - do you know what the temp is under the basking lamp?  As she came from a pet shop it would be advisable to have her checked for worms, this could well account for a change in appetite and bowel movements.  Have you checked her eye for any foreign objects?  Try bathing it in tepid salt water and see if it improves.

HTH

Arlene TPG

Re: Sickly tortoise
Posted: 30/03/2010 by Pauline1976

Hi Thanks for the reply, now this is going to sound a silly question but how would you know if a tortoise has worms and how would it be treated.  I have started given her any dandelions or Sow thistles that I can find but she seems to me to be less active that she has been.  She would normally have been awake and moving even before I turn the sun lamp on but in the last week or so she doesn't seem to be doing this and her food intake has gone down.  Can I treat her for worms or does it have to be done by a vet. Regards Pauline

Re: Sickly tortoise
Posted: 01/04/2010 by tpgarlene

Hi Pauline

Not a silly question :)  If there is a heavy worm load, you can sometimes see them in the poo - otherwise, the general signs are loose poos, and loss of appetite.  A vet can do a faecal check for the tort, this will tell for sure whether there are worms present.  Treatment is fairly simple using a worming solution, but do make sure that you use a tortoise vet - a wormer commonly used for dogs can be fatal to tortoises.  If you feel that she is looking off colour, less active and eating less, a trip to the vets is probably advisable anyway.

atb

Arlene TPG

Re: Sickly tortoise
Posted: 01/04/2010 by TPGDarren

Hi Pauline,

If you don't mind packaging up a sample, you can obtain a ree screening from The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. Apparently they are responding very quickly and it will help their survey:-

http://www.tortoise-protection-group.org.uk/site/174.asp

 

HTH

Darren

 

 

Re: Sickly tortoise
Posted: 28/04/2010 by DavidWYork

Whenever any torts/terrapins  I have helped  ( over 20 years) had eye problems a few drops of codliver oil gave positive and rapid results. Apply to most favoured food and hand feed when hungry. 3-4 drops alternate days for a week have given adult torts a real boost. I helps with membrane function and calcium metabolism. Terrapins with swollen eyelids or closed eyes respond within a week if carefully forcefed food plus CL oil. Hope this helps. Incidentally, lettuce not such a good idea for such a long period...even grass would be preferable, and available 24/7!

Re: Sickly tortoise
Posted: 29/04/2010 by VivTPG

Hi David, thanks for the tip on cod liver oil, I have heard of it being used, some keepers bathe the eye with Cod Liver oil, have you tried this?

Apparently the best way is to buy the capsules and prick them with a pin and its easier to administer.

Regards Vivienne

Re: Sickly tortoise
Posted: 29/04/2010 by DavidWYork

Hi there. I personally would be very wary of applying oil to the eye. It could potentially cause several additional problems:


1. attract dust to adhere to surface membrane which could act like sand paper


2.anything which further impairs vision could hamper feeding


3. fly strike. cod liver oil is very pungent and might attract egg laying flies


I my experience I have sometimes had to open the mouth, insert a lolly stick as a bridge, to keep mouth open and then use a dropper to place the oil well back in very sickly beasts. Usually oil can be applied to favourite food and hand fed when beast is at optimal temperature. Good luck. From David

 

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