Little Kirby has been sick recently. I started a new job in September with terrible hours, and poor Kirby was so upset at barely seeing me that he stopped eating unless I held him! The less he ate, the more he slept. He stopped eating completely in November, and his eyes swelled up, although he was still responsive and somewhat active. I tried a few home remedies, but when he didn’t perk up, I took him to the vet.
Kirby stayed at the vet’s for a week getting intensive care: syringe feedings, oral calcium, fluids, antibiotics, deworming, vitamin B, and x-rays. The vet center I took Kirby to has three different vets who are in on different days, so Kirby had three vets taking care of him. One clearly had no interest in taking care of Kirby and recommended euthanasia–even though Kirby had not gotten worse and was still responsive and trying to climb out of his baths! Fortunately, another vet was technically in charge of Kirby’s case.
Kirby started eating again within hours of coming home from the vet’s 1.5 weeks ago. He’s been continuing to improve, although the cold, cloudy weather has been making him sleepy a lot. We’re not sure exactly why he got so sick–I think it’s because he just got too nutrient-deficient from his hunger strikes. There’s also the bigger question of why he’s still so small. He has definitely grown bigger, but he’s much smaller than he should be at 16 months (!) old. One theory is that he had parasites, which would have sucked away nutrients. The deworming Kirby got at the vet’s should have gotten rid of any parasites, so hopefully that is all that was wrong and he starts growing faster soon!
It’s been unseasonably warm here the past couple of days, which has been great for Kirby! Today was sunny and warm, which meant Kirby was up and hungry–the best Christmas present of all! :)
Kirby was feeling so well that his big stubborn attitude came back! He threw a fit and insisted I hand feed him.
I attempted to sneak calcium powder onto Kirby’s chicory, but he was having none of it!
At this point, it’s probably more important that Kirby eat something, so I caved and gave the spoiled little shell his greens without the calcium powder. It’s definitely going to be a long road ahead to get him to eat his calcium supplements…
Waffles’s mom recommended Repashy Superfoods Grassland Grazer tortoise food, a gel premix that comes in powdered form. It has a few ingredients that aren’t a natural part of a tortoise’s diet, like rice bran and yeast. But on the whole, it’s a mix of wonderful foods like dandelion and hibiscus, and it also has lots of vitamins mixed in–just what Kirby needs!
The powder is mixed with water, then microwaved to turn into a brown goopy gel. Kirby wasn’t too sure what to think of the gel at first. He’s never eaten anything before that isn’t green, red, or yellow!
The gel smells delicious, though, so Kirby gave it a try…
Kirby was surrounded by so many noms that he didn’t quite know what to eat first!
Kirby was pretty full already from all the chicory and dandelion, so it was food coma time before long!
Kirby briefly woke up again when the sun came back out and tried to eat his Christmas stocking…
Kirby always loves to nap in my hand. :)