If I though Irwins hurt finger 2 weeks ago was bad I was wrong.

This Saturday he woke up nibbled some breakfast and then started running round straining to poop.

He does this sometimes so I wasn’t too worried and left him to it.

A couple of hours later I came back to check on him and he was still straining. That’s NOT normal. So I immediately put him in a warm soak.

He carried on straining for another hour as I kept him topped up with warm water.

I picked him up to check his cloaca for a blockage or something.

And there was a blockage, a hard white blockage bigger than his head.

I applied a little olive oil and set him on a clean towel in his enclosure while I called the emergency reptile vet who is an hour’s drive away.

Whilst I was on the phone Irwin started running around erratically very distressed.

The vet came on the phone with me just as Irwin passed a stone the size of a 10p.


He had torn his cloaca with the effort and so I rushed him to the emergency vet.

The vet examined him and the stone and said it looks like a ball of hard urates or a kidney or bladder stone.

He’s always super hydrated and loves a drink so it’s unlikely to be urates. Plus his diet his perfect and varied, so it could likely be a result of the existing damage to his organs (from his previous owners before I adopted him) and perhaps that near kidney failure means he will be prone to stones.

They didn’t want to x-ray him then and there because he was too swollen and distressed (plus there was a traffic accident with a dog so I think the x-ray lab was in use.)

The vet gave him a stitch to his torn cloaca and gave an injection of anti-inflammatory and an injection of antibiotics.

He has to go back again tomorrow (tuesday) for the second antibiotic injection and an x-ray.

If this is the only stone I can take him home.

If there is more stones in him then there is an option of surgery which would be very expensive and very risky considering how small Irwin is.

Or there’s the final option.

Which I can’t think about right now.

He’s my best friend. I just want him to be okay. I will sell everything I own to pay for his surgery just to make him okay.

Tomorrow’s appointment feels like doomsday.


Scan was inconclusive, but that means there are no urate masses (as those would be visable on xray).

The stone he passed is going to the lab and I need to get a sterile urine sample from him for urine analysis. That as well as blood work will check for tumours, renal diseases and infections.

Our heart is breaking for our friend Irwin and his human.

If you follow Irwins adventures here you know he found his human after living in a home that did not provide him the care he needed to grow healthy and strong. After finding his forever home his health improved incredibly and he became the happy tort we’ve watched grow handsome and strong.  

Its frustrating to see that even the best care cannot reverse the lasting impact of poor care on a growing tort. The issues are long-lasting. Also, a difficult reminder that our shell friends hide their symptoms so very well even when they are struggling with something like this.

We are crossing all our fingers toes and tails and sending the strength of the #turtpocalypse your way Irwin! You’ve gotta pull through this and get back to all noming, climbing, and stomping around. Your human needs a lot more snuggling too. So hang in there.

Please send all the good thoughts to Irwin and his human!! And please remember to always spread the word about how important proper care is. For Irwin and for all our shell friends. They deserve the very best.

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