Tortoises are one of the few pets that can live for a very long time. However, in order to keep them healthy and active, it is important to take care of their diet as well as their habitat. One common concern among tortoise owners is when they notice blood in their pet’s urine. This blog post will explore what causes this condition and how to treat it.
A tortoise that has blood in the urine can be caused by a minor issue to something much more serious. Bladder stones or a urinary tract infection are a much more common cause of blood in the urine and reality easy to overcome. However, it can also be a sign of kidney failure which can lead to death.
Below I explore in much more detail on helping you spot the signs and how to deal with the problems.
1. What is tortoise blood in the urine?
Bladder stones, or a urinary tract infection.
Many experts believe that the cause of tortoise blood in the urine is either due to a urinary tract infection. The first step should be to carry out an examination and give your pet fluids intravenously if they need them.
Blood can often just indicate kidney failure but this isn’t always the case. If your pet needs surgery, make sure that you hire a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles to carry it out for them.
2. How do I know if my pet tortoise has blood in its urine?
The most common way for your pet to know something is wrong with them is by paying attention to their behavioral patterns. Usually, when a tortoise is sick, they will stop eating and drinking which should be a red flag for you.
If you notice blood in your tortoise’s urine, they will need to be seen by a veterinarian. Some signs that show up with this condition are the following: lethargy and weakness, lack of appetite, reduced ability to urinate or defecate normally. You should also pay attention to any foul-smelling odors emanating from the tortoise’s mouth. Blood in the urine is typically a sign of kidney disease, bladder cancer, or an infection.
3. What can cause tortoise blood in the urine?
There are a number of reasons for a tortoise to developed blood in the urine. Some of these reasons are kidney disease, bladder cancer, or an infection.
Keeping your tortoise hydrated is key when it comes to avoiding dehydration or kidney failure in pets because the bladder may not function properly if an animal’s water intake decreases significantly.
It is important to note that a tortoise’s urine can be bloody for reasons other than being dehydrated, so it is best not to make assumptions about the state of its hydration based on how much it is urinating or how often.
A tortoise can bleed in the bladder, urethra (the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the outside of its body), kidneys, lungs, and other organs within its shell
It isn’t a good idea for someone without veterinary training to try to diagnose whether a tortoise has an undisclosed illness.
But it is a good idea to take your tortoise to the veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms: weight loss, lethargy, or difficulty breathing.
If the vet determines that there’s an underlying condition that needs treatment, he may recommend antibiotics or diuretic medication. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the blockage.
4. Treatment for tortoise blood in the urine
The treatment for a tortoise with blood in the urine depends on how severe the condition is. If your pet’s urinary tract needs to be flushed, an examination and urinalysis may also need to be done before any treatment can begin. In some cases, medication such as antibiotics or lactulose might help reduce bacterial overgrowth from food or water, which may help clear up a bladder infection.
If the blood in your tortoise’s urine is caused by an obstruction or tumor of the renal system, surgery might be needed to address these issues. The goal will be to remove any stones that have formed and repair damage done from tumors or obstructions so that clean fluid can move through the system.
In order to diagnose kidney stones in your tortoise, the veterinarian may take a blood sample and compare it with urine samples for evidence of crystalline structures that often are associated with them. If there is no sign of such crystals, but the symptoms persist or worsen over time, then surgery might need to be done because other conditions could be causing it.
5. Prevention of future occurrences of tortoises’ blood in their urine
The veterinarian might prescribe a tortoise diet that is high in fiber, which will help the tortoise to pass stones and other obstructions more readily. The vet also may recommend an antibiotic or diuretic medication if there are signs of infection. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to address renal damage from tumors or obstruction due to calculi (stones).
If the problem was caused by incorrect food or a lack of water you will need to change that to ensure this does not happen again.
Make sure that there are fresh sources of clean water available at all times, and that the water is changed as often as needed.
I also recommend providing your tortoise with a shallow bath of clean water from time to time so they can soak in it for 15-30 minutes daily. This will help them stay hydrated, keep their skin moistened (making it more difficult for parasites or bacteria to enter through the skin), and help them to shed any damaged scales.
6. Signs that your pet might have a urinary tract infection (UTI).
The early signs your tortoise has an infection are often lethargy, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
If your tortoise is showing any of these signs you should take them to the vet for a check-up as soon as possible!
With all things tortoise, things happen slowly so it is important to learn your tortoise character so you can notice any changes.
Tortoises are able to retain their urine for up to 72 hours, which can cause blood in the urine. If your tortoise has blood in its urine, you should take it to a vet immediately and find out what is causing this condition.
The article explains that some common causes of tortoise blood in their urine include urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney disease, or bladder stones.
UTIs are often caused by bacteria entering from outside sources such as other animals or contaminated water dishes; however, they may also develop due to stress within the body like dehydration or high levels of calcium (hypercalcemia).
Kidney disease could be either hereditary or secondary – meaning that it developed as a side effect of another medical issue.
Bladder stones are usually caused by urinating small bits of rocks or minerals that form in the bladder and build up over time. These can be painful, but they are one of the most common medical issues tortoises face with a relatively high survival rate (usually above 90%).
The rule of thumb to follow is if you are unsure about your tortoise health then the best practice is to visit your local vet.