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Is my tortoise okay?

Discussion in 'Tortoise Health' started by pandapple5, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. pandapple5

    pandapple5 New Member

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    I recently adopted a tortoise from my in laws because their care was inadequate. They left the Russian tortoise on the washer in a reptile tank which probably stressed him out a lot due to the rumbling. They also only fed him lettuce for his whole life and never gave him a water bowl.
    After moving him into my room I've noticed he sneezes frequently, does not eat much, and will not drink the water I give him. He does not have any mucus coming out of his nose and his eyes look okay. However, he mouth breathes frequently.
    I have scheduled a vet appointment but I would like some insight on what this could be before I go to the appointment.
    Thank you!
  2. cmac3

    cmac3 Well-Known Member

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  3. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    Quite possibly a respiratory infection.
    Keep the temps up at about 85°F and the vet will probably issue a course of antibiotics.
    Make sure it is a recognized herp vet as others can sometimes do more harm than good.
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  4. pandapple5

    pandapple5 New Member

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    I'm new to tortoises. What is a herp vet?
  5. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    A reptile vet. One that usually only does dogs and cats won't have a clue about a tortoise and could do more harm then good. G
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  6. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Give us more information about your temps, bulbs using for heat and UVB
  7. pandapple5

    pandapple5 New Member

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    The temps range from 76-82 during the day. At night the temp is around 64-66. The tortoise is under one heating bulb and that's it. That was what I was given when I started taking care of him. Are there separate bulbs for heating and UVB? Should I buy a new bulb for heating because I think the one I have right now is a few years old.
  8. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    I would keep the ambient temps at 85° around the clock until the tortoise is better.
    I use an MVB (mercury vapour bulb) in the day when my tortoise can't get outside. This provides heat light and UVB in one.But needs replacing after 3 to 9 months or so.
    At night, if it gets too cold I use a CHE (ceramic heat emitter) that provides heat, but no light as tortoises need darkness to sleep properly.
    Some people prefer to use a strip UVB light and separate basking light for the day.
    If your heat lamp is only for heating (not UVB) and still produces heat at the necessary levels it is fine. The hot spot should be about 100°.
  9. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    Sounds like a respiratory infection, but I really have no way of knowing for sure.

    The tortoise needs to be set up in the correct-for-his-species habitat with lots of room to wander, a couple hiding places, a food tile or cement, a waterer and some sight barriers. His substrate should be deep enough to dig into and should be some sort of non allergenic substance like coco coir or orchid bark. The tortoise needs a UVB light (if you put a GOOD UVB light over him for 14 hours a day it makes all the difference in the world in his attitude. He needs it to be hot under the light, warm at one end of the enclosure and room temperature at the other end. He needs a varied diet of different greens and weeds.

    You can find all this information on our care sheet for Russian tortoises:

    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
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