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bladder stones netiquette

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#1 Carrie

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 07:39 PM

Hello Everybody! I wanted to thank Darran for creating this site in the first place and also all of you who have posted so much useful information here. My name is Carrie and I'm from the US: California: Los Angeles. I started out babysitting (and believe after 2 years I've now inherited) a tortoise that has been in my family since 1972. I found your forum when I was looking for information on bladder stones which my poor Shelly has. A really big one. Just so you know, she has a vet who was recommended to me by the California Turtle and Tortoise Club. He says she's asymptomatic, has probably had this stone for years but wants to do blood work and x-rays on a yearly basis unless/until Shelly starts showing symptoms, at which time they'll need to cut into her shell to remove it. This terrified me. Especially when I started reading up on tortoise bladder stones. Having said that, though, I've learned a lot--for all that I feel like I NEED to learn much more. And I guess I'm posting here first because I'm not quite sure of the protocol or netiquette involved with regard to what I'm trying to do. I've started writing an article--again for the California Turtle and Tortoise Club--about tortoise bladder stones. I've talked to a few different vets and have run into some variations on the classic surgery. I also found a new surgery that appeared promising. I guess I was originally hoping to find an alternative to surgery all together and although I've found nothing for the really large stones (like Shelly's), I DID run into this amazing home remedy that was discussed here on this forum back in 2007 for tortoises with much smaller stones. Here's a link to that discussion: http://www.hermann-t...?showtopic=2033What would be the best way for me to learn more about the soaking/heat mat treatment posted by Guest_annette_harris_* toward the bottom of page 1? She gives a pretty good description but I'd actually like to include this in the article I'm working on if such were possible. I was hoping there might be someone here now, in 2015--who had successfully soaked a tortoise in such a way and seen it expel a stone--who would be willing to describe the whole procedure in greater detail. I think if tortoise keepers were more aware of the risk of bladder stones and had their vet check for them more often, they might find them while they were still small enough to be got rid of in the way Annette describes. Any recommendations on how I ought to proceed? Should I post directly to that topic? Is there a member I should contact privately who would be willing to answer questions? Please let me know. Thank you very much in advance and again, I am very grateful for all the great information that members have included on this forum throughout the years. Sincerely, Carrie



#2 wizzasmum

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 11:24 AM

Hi Carrie. I'm sorry your tortoise has a bladder stone. What I am wondering re Annette's post is, if the offending stone was possibly a piece of oyster shell, then it would not have been in the bladder, but elsewhere. Tortoises do need to be x rayed by an exotics vet, to get the diagnosis correct. There are vet surgeries now that have the ability to hit bladder stones with ultra sound breaking them up and so making them easier to pass. This would obviously avoid surgery. I certainly wouldn't use heat mats though, this is a sure fire way to dehydration and bladder stones ;)

#3 Carrie

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 11:00 PM

Dear wizzasmum,

 

Thank you so much for your response!  You mention "vet surgeries now that have the ability to hit bladder stones with ultra sound breaking them up and so making them easier to pass."  That sounds very exciting.  I'm not sure it would work for Shelly; her stone is huge.  I've got the x-ray of it.  She's a 12-lb tortoise and it's maybe 2 1/2 times the size of her head.  Having said that, I'm willing to look into anything.  So is there any chance you could point me in the direction of a vet surgery that does that?  Note: I don't care if it's in the UK or anywhere else.  I would just need to talk to them, maybe send them the x-ray, and see if that treatment were viable in Shelly's situation.  Again, thank you so much.



#4 wizzasmum

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 08:48 AM

I might be wrong, but I think it is these larger stones that the laser treatment is aiming to break up. You would have to ask an exotics vet about this. I don't know of any off the top of my head, sorry.
Here's a case using the op http://www.dailymail...dder-stone.html. That's a big stone!

#5 Carrie

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 09:39 PM

Thanks for the link!  Polly is so cute.  I'm so sorry that she had to go through all that.  

 

Re: the ultra sound, I saw an article on a new surgery that the exotic vet I go to commented on.  The article for the new surgery is here:

 

http://blogs.sandieg...lith-at-a-time/

 

Our vet thought they might be using ultra sound.   He said he didn't use it himself.  After asking around I determined that no one else around here was using it either.  Eventually I was able to contact the doctor from the article.  But it turns out that she wasn't using ultra sound for bladder stones.

 

So here I am, now.  Thanks for letting me know that some vets in the UK are using ultra sound.  That, at least, is a start.  I guess I'll just have to start making calls.

 

Thanks for your help and thank you for responding to my question.

 

All the best.

 

 






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