Urgent Care :: Shelldon Poop Troubles

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:52 pm   Shelldon Poop Troubles

So I took Shelldon to the vet recently with a clean bill of health. It has been a few weeks since then.

Today, everything was normal. I gave Shelldon her usual food (Green and Red Leaf Lettuce with some Carrots, and a pellet variety) and went off to work. This diet was also vet-approved.

I come home and I find the tank water to be very dirty. Poop was essentially everywhere. The stool did not look abnormal, so I figured Shelldon just had some poopies.

I did a full water change (It was near the next month anyway).

I put Shelldon back in, and she immediately poops. No problem there, she tends to do that after a water change, but after that, she has been acting odd the past couple of hours. She has been pulling her head and arms in and out and her cloaca opens at the same time. I think that A. She is trying to pass something and is failing or B. She is trying to lay an egg and holding it in since she is in water. I think it is more likely A. It is clear that at least air is coming out every time she makes a cloacal opening movement, since the remaining poopy bits that I could not remove atm are blowing around every time. I have found a carrot piece floating in the water as I have been checking back and forth. It was not in the tank before the clean, so it is possible she pooped that out, but she is still making the cloacal movements. It is difficult to determine what it is exactly she is trying to poop out.

Whether or not it is A or B, I do not know how I can help her. ATM, there is no vets on call, and though I can take her to an emergency place should the need arise, I do not know what to do.

What is the water temperature? 78 Degrees F
Did you use a thermometer? Yes
Are you using a water heater? Yes
How much water is in there? About 23.3 Gallons
Current Tank: 40 Gallon Tank Breeder
Tank Width: 17 In. W


Total Tank Depth: Around 17 In.H

Water Depth: 10 In. (Add 4 In. to Carapace Length)

Length: About 48 In L

Are you using a water conditioner? Yes
Are you using any filtration? Yes

What is the basking temperature? 88.2 Degrees F
Is there a basking light? Yes
Is there a basking platform that is easy to climb on? Yes
What kind is it or what is it made out of? Oasis Turtle Ramp (Large)
Is there a UVB light? Yes

What have you been trying to feed it? Vegetables and Pellets
When was the last time your turtle ate? This afternoon

How big is the tank/pond/enclosure?
Is the tank near a window? No
Is the tank in a room with a lot of activity? No

Have you read the Basic Care section? Yes
Have you searched the forums for similar situations? Yes

Is there any other unusual activity/symptoms? No
Gerstein
 
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:30 pm   Re: Shelldon Poop Troubles

Shelldon is throwing up food. Not good.

All I can tell from her trying to poop is that it is redish and blackish. Don't like the looks of that. Calling the emergency clinic
Gerstein
 
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Gender: Male

Post Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:17 am   Re: Shelldon Poop Troubles

So I went to the emergency vet. Shelldon seems to be "straining" with the cloaca opening and scratching cloaca with hind legs.. She has not thrown up any other food since the initial time, and they say she looks very healthy. it is still worrying though. i'll be monitoring her for the next few days, and will take her back for x rays if nothing improves. They said it could be too much food, or reproductive changes (i.e. eggs) so I will be picking up some vermiculite and potting soil and we shall test that too.
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Post Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:57 am   Re: Shelldon Poop Troubles

Any update? I'm surprised they did not do x-rays... that could easily rule out impaction or egg binding.
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:43 am   Re: Shelldon Poop Troubles

There was a little more regurgitation this morning (assuming. I did not see her toss it up, but there were some lettuce pieces similar to what came up last night), but since then there has been no more straining behavior or further regurgitation. If I did not see her behavior last night, or the pieces floating around, I would assume she was well again (That is to say, as she is now, I would not be able to tell anything was amiss) I will be monitoring her closely and if the behavior arises again, or if it seems like she is not defecating, I will bring her to the vet immediately for xrays and further testing.

The vet did offer xrays. They noted that her behavior was not lethargic (as she was her usual scratchy self when held), nor were there any secondary symptoms. I showed them videos of what Shelldon was doing (the straining behavior), and gave them samples of what she regurgitated, but aside from that, looking at Shelldon herself, the vets could not find anything wrong. The vet gave pros and cons to monitoring vs immediate x rays. I was overwhelmed, and not sure what to do, so I opted to take her home for the time being, being prepared to bring her back at a moments notice.

If I had to guess, I would think it is (or was? Still not sure whatever happened has passed or not) some indigestion. My habit is to give her her veggies in the morning and her pellets in the afternoon, but because I have been staying late at work as of late, I have been giving her both portions at the same time. It may have been too much at once. Another hypothesis is that maybe the shrimp she ate this Tuesday did not agree with her...It would make sense time wise since Red-Eared Sliders have a turnover period of about 72 hours (give or take, and if memory serves). The vet discharge notice said it could also be urinary trouble, but both the vet and I witnessed Shelldon peeing on the towels in her carrying case.

There was not anything blood related. Obviously if she was throwing up blood or if there was any bloody stool, off to the vet and figure it out immediately, but all of the feces that she passed was normal, and it was just food coming out of her mouth. As far as what it seemed like she was trying to pass, I still can't say. For all I know, what was coming out slightly may have been cloacal in origin, and she was just having a lot of indigestion.

That being said, intense monitoring will take place, and vets will be consulted if necessary.

I remember something similar happening once upon a time. I was on vacation and Shelldon was given her shrimp, and upon our return, the tank had a lot of feces, much like what I cleaned up with the full water change yesterday. For all I know, she may have done the same regurgitation back then...

At the moment, she is sleeping on her basking ramp. This tends to happen when the clocks are shifted back or forwards an hour, so this is hardly surprising considering she had a late night.
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:06 pm   Re: Shelldon Poop Troubles

I'm curious, what would have been the cons to x-rays? I'm not questioning your choice, just trying to learn more. Hopefully it is just some indigestion and she gets over it soon. As for her behavior at the vet, it sounds pretty normal and she was a bit stressed.
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:07 pm   Re: Shelldon Poop Troubles

I suppose it was the vet's sense of doubt that there was anything wrong and all of the factors listed above, along with the fact that an easy trip there in case the behavior repeated itself, that made me think I should not involve Shelldon in further stress. It was late as it was, she was being handled a lot, and I doubted my sense of logic, being very anxious. I figured I would be able to make a better informed decision after some time and monitoring. The vet reassured me that Shelldon was in good health and was very doubtful anything "emergency level" would happen in the meantime.

Shelldon is still eating, and not displaying any of the worrisome behaviors. She has still not made a bowel movement though (understandable given that she has regurgitated all of her food before Yesterday's feedings). If she has not made a bowel movement by Monday, or if she repeats any of the behaviors, it is off to the vet she goes for x rays and whatever else she may need.
Gerstein
 
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:25 pm   Re: Shelldon Poop Troubles

Indigestion, messy poops and vomiting happens occasionally, but it sounds like she was in distress and I guess that's the mystery here. I'm glad to hear she's returning to normal. The only way I can make my RES poop on command is after I spend a few hours cleaning the tanks and filter. No more than 5 minutes back in the tank they will leave fresh turd in there :roll: .
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:46 pm   Re: Shelldon Poop Troubles

Well I saw some poop in the corner today, so it is likely that Shelldon is pooping again, and that whatever passed, passed. I will, of course, keep a sharp lookout like I usually do, and if it happens again, X-Rays will be taken. Shelldon is the same way with the "after clean poops", in fact, that is how this all started! (I did a full clean since Shelldon pooped a lot at once, Shelldon pooped when she went back in, and then she did the straining behavior that started all this)
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:05 pm   Re: Shelldon Poop Troubles

Glad to hear it, they may be small but they can give us a big scare sometimes!
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