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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18342
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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My sulcata hasn't pooped in a week. It is weak and I think

Customer Question

my sulcata hasn't pooped in a week. It is weak and I think impacted. I've soaked her 4 times today and twice yesterday. any ideas?
She has a difficult time walking today.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.


My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years with special interest in Reptiles and Reptile rescue.

Can you tell me where the Sulcata is housed?

Is it eating?

If outside could it have ingested a foreign body?

Diet you are feeding?

If inside do you have a UVB bulb? Linear tube or compact coil, strength and brand?

Type of substrate?



Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Joan,
My tortoise ate a little bit of lettuce and dandelion 2 days ago.
I put some pumpkin and tomato in her dish which I read can help this situation. she usually eats, greens( dandelion, broccoli, lettuce) and sometimes I put calcium on top. she forages in the yard..grass, plants, flowers.
I noticed the last few times I bathed her that she pooped but didn't pass any of the white, I believe, calcium substance.
Her box has now been placed in the garage under a 100 watt reptile heat lamp, she sits on Timothy hay.
We are in Los Angeles so it has been quite hot until recently.
she was outside prior to that. There were a few cold nights when she was in her box outside with no heating lamp.
I bathed her 3 times yesterday and twice the day before but nothing came out.
she is weak and can't walk. I read about the mineral oil solution which I am going to give her orally and perhaps in her rectum if possible and then I'll bathe her again
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.


Please do not use Mineral oil. I suggest some baby food prunes to try and promote a Stool. Once they are fed, wait an hour and then give a soak in a 50/50 warm water and Pedialyte soak. That will help with electrolytes. The white you see in the stool is urates and is a form of urine being passed. If you are not seeing any this can mean dehydration. I am concerned with the lack of stool, weakness and lack of urates we may be dealing with a Kidney issue. That is very common in Sulcata tortoises. She will require a Herp Vet visit to have some blood work done and an Xray. The Vet can give some fluids to also help. This is a link to Herp Vets: Tortoise specialist:

These Herp Vets treat all: /

I would make sure you continue to offer all the hay weeds and grasses and stay away from broccoli because of the Goitrogens in the Broccoli. It is only a sometimes Veggie. Please let me know if I have addressed your concerns. If I have please take a moment to rate my service 5 stars.