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not good news wat would you do

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#1 Guest_sarahlou_*

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 06:22 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 05-06-07 AT 06:34 PM (GMT)]I took toby the vet today,the vet said his shell was in good shape and he weighed 39kg so was a good weight for his age.
the good news was that he hasnt got rds,but the bad news is that he has a deformatey. only his left nostrel has formed as he has a cleft lip/palet Which will make him prone to rds whith a high possibility of it developing in pneumonia.
his mouth didnt look quite rite but being that he was my first tortoise i didnt think anything of it and thought maybe it was an old injury or summit.
the vet has advised me to return him back to were i got him as im setting myself up for huge vet bills in the future. i asked about surgery but he said i would find it hard finding a surgen to do the operation and that it would cost me around 2000 plus extra for additional surgerys that arnt guaranteed to wrk.
the vet said he had never seen this before in a live tortoise other than in txt books.
he got an older tortoise out and showed me in its mouth so i could see the difference and what a tortoise should look like,toby looks very different in his mouth :(
he tested him for paracites and he said he had the highest amount he had seen in a long time somthing like 1000s off eggs per gram of faeces. even tho i knew he might be going back i did pay for the vet to worm him as i couldnt just do nothing.

what would you do in this situation?
do i keep him and hope he lives a long healthy life? coz the way i see it is hes 11mths old and seems healthy so far other than his defomaty.
or do i send him back?
my hearts telling me to keep him but if the vets right then im setting me and my family up for huge vet bills and heart ache.
i dont know wat to do ,i need some advice please :(

his vet bill or today was 34 plus 13 for his wormer = 47 and he only got wormed and to get to the vets and back it cost me 28 in taxis :(
if ive still got him he wants to see him again i 2weeks to give him his 2nd dose of wormer and check him over.

#2 Guest_tortgal_*

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 07:33 PM

Oh Sarah Lou how devestating :'( i really had my fingers crossed for you and your little one that he would get the thumbs up :(

what an awful situation you are in! Although you are obviously emotionally involved (how could anyone not be? hes so adorable) you do need to take a step back like you said and think about the future

1) your family will grow attached to him in a matter of days. Your right, it would cause everyone extreme heart ache :(

2) It does sound like the bills will be through the roof if the vet says hes going to be prone to RNS..

3) you need to think about yourself. You have wanted a tortoise all your life and fate has dealt you an awful hand. Its not fair that your first real experience of these wonderful creatures should be sickness and pain.

The most logical thing to do would be, without a doubt, to return him to the owner. But i really dont see what the vet thought this would achieve. The owner, through no fault of his own, has absolutely no idea how to care for a tortoise let alone a poorly one :(
What do you think he will say when you hand Toby back and let him know how much he will have to pay to keep the little mite alive

Its really such a horrible situation for both you and the tort :( Most importantly dont feel bad or guilty if you do decide to take him back Sarah Lou. Your a first time tortoise owner and there is no way you should be expected to nurse a poorly tort for the rest of his days.

What i think you should do instead is get on as many tortoise forums as you can and see if anyone would like to adopt him (you'd be surprised at the kindness of some tort lovers). Many experienced tortoise keepers would jump at the chance to provide Toby with a comfortable life.

I know this doesn't really help the dilemma your in but perhaps it broadens your horizons a little and gives you a few extra ideas.


#3 Guest_sarahlou_*

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 08:18 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 05-06-07 AT 08:20 PM (GMT)]I dont rearly think the vet was thinking wat would happen to toby once he was returned,thats even if his previous owner would take him back and give me a refund.
when the vet first tld me i was set for taking him back but the more i think about it i dont think i can do it to him,ide be worrying wat happend to him and he rearly is so lovely.other than the odd sneeze and him getting a little bit cold everynow and again he is rearly active and eats like a pig,he hasnt got rds yet so maybe if i can look at how to prevent it that might be a way to go.
he was riddled with worms so had obviosly not been the vet in ages which tells me other than his deformaty hes been fairly healthy,he wormed and sleeping at the min so im probably gunna take my chances with him.
its not his fault hes been born that way,if i incure vet bills in the future then ill deal with them.
i havent told my oh ive decided to keep him yet as all hes seeing is vet bills at the min. we only paid 150 for him including his viv/lighting ect so do still think we got him cheap.
people will prob think im mad but i beleave things happen for a reason , i ended up with him because there prob aint many people that would of kept a sick tortoise.its not his fault so all i can do is give him the best life i can no matter how long thatle be :)

#4 Guest_sarahlou_*

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 08:26 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 05-06-07 AT 08:27 PM (GMT)]the vet said aswell that although hes sneezing its not because he has rds ,its because hes struggling to get rid of the secretions out of his nose and its irritating.even more so because only 1 of his notrels has formed due to his defect,it doesnt wrk aswell as it should.
isnt it funny how animals know there at the vets?? wile he was examining toby he was wide awake and moving his 4 legs trying to escape ,he even let the vet look in his mouth lol
as soon as the vet brought out the wormer he stuck his head in and refused to come out lol.
they ended up prising his front legs out and getting the assistant to hold them wile they prised his head out lol he didnt seem to enjoy the wormer ether but im sure hele feel better for it :)

#5 Guest_sarahlou_*

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 11:30 PM

i mean rns runny nose syndome not rds ,incase any1 was getting confuzed :)

#6 Guest_Flash Herman_*

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 02:02 AM

Sarah Lou,

You really are an amazing person! I hope that little Toby will be OK on the long term, and at least he has someone who really cares about him now.

Some other options open to you if you cannot afford vet bills (on benefits, Working Tax Credit or low wage) would be the Blue Cross hospital in London, the PDSA (branches all over) or the RSPCA animal hospitals. You could look for one in your area on their websites.

Since it is an interesting case and might need surgery, you could also contact the Royal Veterinary College who often agree to operate for free or a reduced fee (http://www.rvc.ac.uk...itals/Index.cfm). I don't know where you live, but it may mean travelling to London, but would be worth it I think. Your vet could refer you there, or you can contact them yourself.

I am worried that since he has no infection at present, he is probably suitable for surgery to put his mouth right, but if you waited until he got ill (which seems likely in the long term) then surgery may not be an option then as he would have less chance of survival. I am not a vet, so you might want to discuss this further with your vet.
I'd also recommend you seek further advice from Andy Highfield (world tort expert) on the Tortoise Trust forum on yahoo (http://pets.groups.y.../tortoisetrust/). Once you have joined the group, just mark your post for his attention.

If you decide that it is too much, then the Tortoise Trust has an excellent rehoming service, and you would be sure he would go to a caring home.

Hope this helps,


#7 Guest_tortgal_*

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 09:54 AM

Hi Sarah i think its fantastic you are thinking about keeping him!!!!!!!

Its kind of scary to think what may happen to him if he gets sent back, but EJ brings up a good point about the Tortoise Trust if you feel he may have no where to go.

he sounded like such a cutie at the vets lol :7 They are pretty stubborn things eh :-)

#8 Guest_sarahlou_*

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 06:07 PM

thanks everyone,i will definatly be keeping him.other than his deformaty hes healthy & happy.
hes got a funny little caricter,he loves having under his chin scratched but if you scratch the top of his head he moves your finger with his front paw lol.
as for vets fees i am on wrking tax credits so i could take him the pdsa but im not sure if they have a specilist tortoise vet coz if they havent then ide rather pay somewere that does have 1.
as for surgery im not sure if ide want to put him through surgery,wile hes eating and very active im happy to keep him as he is. the vet i seen hasnt ever seen 1 with tobys condition before so he cant say for sure if his deformity is going to effect him in the long turm as hes only ever seen it in txt books.
he thinks it wil make him prone to rns but if he hasnt experience with the condition he could be wrong.
hes been out in the garden this evening and seems very happy out there,he cant half move fast over the grass :)

#9 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 06:29 PM

Hi Sarahlou,

Well done for standing by your Toby - he sounds like a really special tortoise. There is a fantastic tortoise vet who is a member of the Shelled Warriors forum and will answer questions (in the Tortoise Health and Vet section). You might try posting something about Toby's condition there and see what she says.


#10 Guest_sarahlou_*

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 07:26 PM

hi ,ive tryed joining shelled warriors a few mths ago but never heared anything back and now that ive gone back and tryed to log in it says my account has to be activated or somthing along them lines and to contact the boared administrator but i dont know how to. my user name on there is sarahlou same as here
if any1 is a member there could you ask about my account on there please :)

#11 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 09:49 PM

Hi Sarahlou,

I've asked Henry Flash (who also posts on here) to come in and tell you how to do it. I know he's studying for exams, but hopefully he'll log in soon.


#12 Guest_Henry_Flash_*

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 10:06 PM

Hi Sarahlou,

I have just spoken with an Administrator from Shelled Warriors. If you re-registered then he will ensure you account is activated.

You will need to register as Sarah_lou.

Hope that helps,


1.2.1 Hermanns
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1.1.0 graeca graeca
1.0.0 Horsfield
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#13 Guest_L1ttlefoot_*

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 03:59 AM

Ok first Ill tell you about my Tortoise - shes a greek spur -
female - 5 years old - called Littlefoot - I got her in
December 2006 from a pet shop I have had her just under 6 months.

You may have seen that cartoon series with the dinasours -
Land before Time - the main character is called Littlefoot and hes a
Apatosaurus - which looks just like her (shape wise anyway)

Now - I had been looking for a Tortoise for the last 15 years or so
one day in a petshop they were advertising a female - I inq. why was she so cheap they are rare as chickens teeth and usually females that i have seen go for 10k- reason: shes blind in one eye.

Regardless I purchased her - this is the first Tortoise that I have ever owned - shes all set up with everything that she needs including a large indoor enclosure - and 2 outdoor enclosures and a large lawn.

But she was neeevvveeerr happy!! constantly scared wouldnt eat etc

Out of worry 8 weeks ago I took her to a reptile specialist vet - and guess what - the reason she was cheap was not because she was blind in one eye - she has sight in her left eye.

But because someone as my vet has stated has stomped on her - he has pointed out that her jaw has been smashed - the top of her scull caved in (the bone over the eye is flat) hence the squished up eye
and the bottom her her shell has been smashed - someone after
stomping on her turned her over and started again with a rock or something!! and also cracked off parts of her shell around her legs etc.

Regardless - I debated whether to keep her - and over the past 8 weeks
I have taken her backwards and forwards to my vets ( hes fallen in love with her ) and last night on my visit she has grown and put on
30grams in just under 6 weeks!! and in winter

He says that she seems more alert etc - so I say

KEEP TOBY - I kept Littlefoot and Im not made of money I wanted a tortoise soooo bad and I got one that was in such terrible shape that
the vet was shocked - she
was brought to be because someone up there or out there nos I care

I dont regret it - I worry that she will die - but I also appreciate more the time I spend with her and the little things that she does to show that she understands that I wont hurt her.

Keep her you got her for a reason.

And for those that wonder - yes reported the breeder to the SPCA via a letter with a vets notes - and contacted the pet shop to advise the
above and that they were going to get a visit.

As far as I know this breeder now has no petshops that will deal with him

#14 Guest_sarahlou_*

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 07:20 PM

awwwwww what a great story,little foot was sent to you for a reason.evil people who could do anything like that to any living thing :( ,poor little foot atleast shes found som1 who will never hurt her and love her regardless wat problems she has :) toby is doing great as i type hes crawling around the back of my boyfriends kneck,hes rearly active and happy so he wont be going anywere :)
ill post some pics of him later,hes such a little sweetie :)

#15 Guest_LuvMyTortoise_*

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 01:33 AM

I am sitting here with my jaw hanging open.

I've had Moses,,,my hermann's tort for about 5 months,,,,I believe he has a cleft pallate too! I posted under the Hermann's board if anyone has heard of this. Moses looks like he has a little piece of his beak missing,,,about 1 mm to the left of the center of his beak. He eats good,,,but seems to have a hard time at times. When I look in his mouth,,,it looks like top part of his mouth goes up higher inside,,,,the same side that the piece is missing out of his beak.

Wow,,,can't believe I ran unto someone else with this problem. I'm like you,,,I'd never give him up,,,love the little guy so much! He's about 6 months old now.

~~Lorrie :)

#16 Guest_funkyzebra_*

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 10:14 PM

Hi again Lorrie,
yes i remember you, think i did some research on-line regarding the cleft lip and palate. If fact i thought sarah-lou and yourself were the same person.
Did you get this confirmed at the vets ?, just curious.

#17 Guest_sarahlou_*

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 11:45 PM

yes it sounds like your tortoise has the same defect as mine,toby has part of his beak missing aswell :) .
I had it confermed by a specialist tortoise vet,i took him because he was sneezing expecting a course of antibiotics or somthing but the vet picked up on his defect instantly.
upon looking in his mouth he noticed that the top of his mouth wasnt formed properly, because of his defect the deformatly has pushed things aside which has prevented his right nostril from forming.
other than worms and his defect my little guy is healthy.
I think it gives him caricter :)

#18 Guest_LuvMyTortoise_*

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 03:22 AM

I only took Moses to the vet about 8 days after I got him,,,he was not eating as I thought he should.
She thought it was an injury as we could not get his mouth open.
He's slow to put on weight,,,,has a hard time eating at times,,,but as far as everything else goes,,,no problems.
He has not sneezed at all.
Still can't believe there is another out there!
~~Lorrie :)

#19 Guest_sarahlou_*

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 05:53 PM

did u take moses to a specialist tortoise vet? toby has no trouble eating atall so maybe moses has an old injury as opposed to a deformity???if hes still not eating properly ide take him back to the vets incase it is an old injury that needs treating :)

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