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wood eating
Posted: 28/12/2010 by julieb

Hi I have a three year old Hermans tortoise and about three weeks ago he broke his beak, we dont know how he did it. For a while it didnt seem to bother her but after about a week she started to look a bit red under her eye so I took her to our local vet and he stuck her broken beak - couldnt think of anything else to do with it - this doest seem to be to much of a problem shes still eating, however when we returned from the vets she was very distressed and she deficated on the floor when i cleaned it up it was chunks of wood. She has wood chip bedding and always has had I wondered if eating this has caused the damage to her mouth, the thing that concerns me about it now is that she has not deficated since and if she is constipated she could be bloked up with wood, and even if i took her to the vets is there anything they can do?

Re: wood eating
Posted: 29/12/2010 by VivTPG

Hi, she should definitely go back to the vets, the vet should be a tortoise specialist vet, please see the list we have on the left menu under 'vets and health issues', if she has got a blockage you cannot let her suffer, is she still bright in herself and eating and drinking normally?  It may be that she is ok, but if not the vet can carry out tests or prescribe something to help her poo.  Until you get an appointment bath her twice daily in warm water this will encourage her to wee and poo, plus torts also take in the water through the back passage this may also help her.

Its hard to know if it was the wood chippings that caused the beak to chip.  I would change the substrate asap, we recommend soil/play sand (50:50).

Let us know how you get on, regards Vivienne

Re: wood eating
Posted: 29/12/2010 by tortoise7

Hi Julie

Like Vivienne says you need a tortoise specialist vet, by sticking the beak back on suggests S/he isn't. I would try to get your tort there asap The only way the vet can know if there is a blockage is by doing an x-ray. Remove the wood chipping straight away and you can replace the bedding with strips of bedding, avoid any glossy magazine types because the ink can be toxic. Don't feel bad, I for one had hemp as bedding when I first got mine, until the dangers  were disclosed, and then I changed.

Here  is the link for recommended vets

Hope you get on OK
Jane, Keya & Molly

Re: wood eating
Posted: 29/12/2010 by julieb

Yes I will try the vet you recommended she is eating normally but I cant see what they could do with the side of her mouth though,  have you ever heard of this happening before.

Re: wood eating
Posted: 29/12/2010 by VivTPG

Hi, they can look at the mouth and check its ok, but from your message you say that she has not pooed since you last came back from vets and the one she did contained wood chippings, I think this needs to be investigated.



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