Friday, January 10, 2014

For My Fellow Torts Refusing to Eat - Force Feeding Resource Materials

This post is for my fellow tortoises out there who are currently feeling sick or poorly and refusing to eat.  Your human must be so worried sick by now.  Show this to your human for some alternative ways to get some food into your stomach  :To the humans who are reading this post, here are four alternatives to force feed your sick tort:

ALTERNATIVE #1:  Hand Feeding
Hold your tort's food right in front of his/her mouth one piece at a time.  This is applicable to any mix of food that you would like to prepare for your shelled friend. And because by this time, it may be over a day since he/she last ate, you will want to feed him/her with nutritious food that is not just grass or hay.  Furthermore, I highly suggest that you add a pinch of reptile phosphorous-free multi-minerals powder with calcium (and vitamin D if your tort currently has no access to unfiltered sunlight due to the cold weather) to your tort's food.  My human hand fed me this way back then when I suffered from a respiratory disease and which made me feel very lethargic and refusing to eat.  This is time-consuming and will require a lot of patience, but the pay-off is that you will be able to sleep soundly at night knowing that your sully will still be alive when you wake up the next day  :)
Offer your sulcata one piece of green at a time. Let the leafy green touch her mouth while letting it caress/slide across her beak from side to side to allow her to smell it and hopefully want to eat it; This technique is helpful especially if your sick sully refuses to open her eyes due to weakness or if you suspect that she's gone temporarily blind. If she rejects it, grab another piece of the same type of leafy green. Be prepared to have a "variety" of tort food handy just in case your sick and picky sully refuses the ones you're currently offering. In this video, I offered Peachy a piece of mustard green, then some pieces of water hyacinth (kangkong), some jute leaves (saluyot), and some of her favorite raw squash sticks -- which is guaranteed to make your sully want to eat.  "I made it look easy for my human to hand-feed me in this video taken Jan. 6, 2015 only because I wasn't sick in this video." -- Princess Peachy

 ALTERNATIVE #2:  Soaking in a Warm Shallow Pool of Blended Greens & Multi-Minerals Supplement
 During most times when I'm soaking, my human never sees me actually drinking and yet I still manage to get water into my body.  This is because water also enters thru my cloaca (butt) when I soak. Chop some of your sulcata's food such as hibiscus petals, dandelion petals, pumpkin or squash cubes (for vitamin A), mustard greens, kangkong -- chuck into a blender, add a pinch of your tort's "phosphorous-free rmulti-minerals supplement with calcium and vitamin D3", and add slightly warm water.  Blend until smooth.  Pour  the warm soup onto your sulcata's bath tub (or whatever shallow dish/tub that your tort uses for soaking).  Then let your sulcata soak into this warm, shallow veggie soup for 15 minutes to allow him/her to absorb the liquid thru his/her cloaca.  Afterwards, please don't forget to soak your sulcata in a shallow slightly warm, clean water bath for less than a minute to wash off the veggie soup residue from his/her body.  I would also suggest that you keep a basking lamp on above your soaking sulcata to ensure that he/she doesn't get chilly while bathing.  Do this once daily until your tort is strong enough for at least Alternative #1 above.  I personally recommend this alternative especially for sulcatas that are too lethargic to open their eyes.  Just because your sulcata's eyes are closed doesn't mean that he/she's just asleep the whole 24 hours.  He/she may be too weak to open his/her eyes.  Follow this alternative to keep your sulcata hydrated and nourished to keep him/her alive (for a few more precious hours or minutes) until you get him/her to a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles.

ALTERNATIVE #3:  Tube Feeding -- Replace the Syringe Needle With A Sterile Catheter Tube / Soft Tube
Use a blender or Osterizer to prepare your shelled friend's food.  Just chuck in the greens, maybe add some acorn squash for vitamin A, enough water to blend the mix, and a pinch of reptile multi-minerals powder with calcium (and vitamin D if your tort currently has no access to unfiltered sunlight due to the cold weather) into the blender.  Fill your syringe (REMOVE THE NEEDLE) with the blended soup, then watch this video courtesy of www.tortoisetrust.org

ALTERNATIVE #4:  OP Tube Feeding (Do Not Try This At Home) - Please Ask Your Reptile Vet to Administer This
The following Youtube video is again courtesy of www.tortoisetrust.org


You May Also Want To Read Some of My Other Related Blog Posts:
•       My Recommended Nom Nomz List: Grasses, Flowers, Greens & Other Sources of Multiminerals
•       Having A Detox Spa In My Soaking Tub (a topic on the importance of soaking)
•       Why Basking in Unfiltered Sunlight is Important For You & Me =)

Don't forget to donate to The Jill Martin Fund for Tortoise Welfare and Conservation  : ) http://www.justgiving.com/jillmartinfund

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