Turtles & tortoises
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Tortoiseses Intestinal obstructions by stones, paper and other


Land tortoises often swallow stones of small size, it does not ually cause problems, your feed is rich in fiber, this makes these are evacuated regularly with feces, but sometimes this is not so and can become a ise.



  •      Lack of appetite
  •      Weight loss
  •      Inactivity.


They are diverse, the most common:

  • Poor diet, low in fiber.
  • Lack of calcium and minerals, they try to compensate by eating stones
  • Bad Substrate: paper pellets, wood pellets, sand, small gravel.
  • Spontaneous formation of clusters of calcium mixed with fibers.
  • Intakes spinning rags
  • Water is not available.


  • Always have water, although it is turtle arid environments,
  •  Provide proper nutrition for the species.
  • Avoid bstrates formed by pellet of indigestible fiber ch as paper, wood chips, small gravelss.


  • Transfer the specimen to a controlled enclore, where we can collect their feces to check if what you eat and defecate, and the content of their feces.
  • Give warm baths to moisturize turtle twice a day with warm water, the water should be at a high level, but allow the tortoise to have his head out of the water effortlessly.
  • If that fails, go to the vet, who generally perform an x-ray we prescribe enemas to cause the ejection of materials that obstruct the digestive tract

Case studies:

A) The presence of stones in the stomach or intestines.

The following radiograph of Chelonoidis chilensis, some white points obserban, are stored in the stomach stones.
Tortuga que ha tragado piedras


The size of these stones makes foresee that a diet rich in fiber, and water always available, they will be expelled slowly.

More problematic ually eat wood or paper pellets in many pet stores offer as a bstrate for the terrarium, the turtles eat them and can produce true intestinal blockages.

Any ch problem must be addressed by a veterinarian.


B) Serious intestinal obstruction  (Musson Mobile Veterinary Services)


Obstrucción intestinal severa  antedida por  Vet. Gaston Milink.

Estos otros casos presentan una obstrucción en la que es imprescindible ayuda veterinaria.

This presents another case in which obstruction is essential veterinary pport.

This is a tortoise of 21 years, male,  to the vet provided a barium contrast, and the solution after 96  days several had not moved, this combined with other symptoms confirms the problem "Intestinal obstruction"

The tratatmiento was the application of a series of enemas, and gradually improving the problem was


Tortoise intestinal blockage.

Sulcata intestinal blockage.

Franco, experienced breeder lcatas Centrochelys occurred to him that a specimen of 22 kg was not eating, moreover its activity was quite normal, went to n etc; commented the case with experts, they felt that it was normal for the time of year. but at 10 days was found dead,.

I moved the body to a vet detected a ball formed of vegetable fibers and calcareous deposits, with a size of 10x12cm and 465 grams. This should be pushing all your organs, and eventually led to his death.
Intestinal blocage tortoise




  • http://www.diagnosticoveterinario.com/temas/obstruccion-intestinal
  • TODD C. ESQUE AND ERIC L. PETERS, Ingestion ofBones, Stones, and Soil by Desert Tortoises, FISH AND WILDLIFE RESEARCH 13, pag 105


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