This is a gross post, and if you are poo-averse, skip it.
The turtles I adopted are in the pond out back. The small fellow has had an increasingly large tail since we got him, 3 week ago. Yesterday I got home and noticed it was HUGE and bulging. I inspected, and it was like he had a gigantic rock in his tail (which is where they poo from, so for the sake of avoiding gross but accurate physiological terms, we'll refer to his pooper as his "tail" for the remainder of the post). Anyhow, Luke was not enthusiastic about the idea of a vet visit, so I tried suctioning it out with a syringe from some old cat medicine. No luck. My brilliant sis asked a turtle-expert for advice, and the said to keep trying the syringe (suction) because it is common for turtles to digest something but not be able to pass it.
Little fellow was constipated-- and BAD. Honestly the mathematics of it were not going to work- and you could tell he was in distress and didn't want his tail invaded. But I really think he was going to die a slow terrible death without intervention- there is NO WAY that thing was coming out. The only appropriate tool that I had on hand was a plaque scraping hook for teeth. For ten minutes I VERY CAREFULLY broke up and dislodged what seemed to be a giant ball of scales and bones from some fish he previously ate. And since he hasn't eaten fish since I've had him, this had been giving him problems for at LEAST 3 weeks. Poor fellow- he did not like the procedure, but his tail is back to normal size, which really is a miracle.