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Soluble Antibiotic

Discussion in 'Tortoise Health' started by PJay, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. PJay

    PJay Well-Known Member

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    There are many threads on TFO suggesting Terramycin as a good water soluble antibiotic for soaking turtles and tortoises when needed, but it appears that Pfizer stopped producing it. In one thread @maggie3fan suggested Duramycin as a replacement, but as of Jan 1, 2017, new regulations in the U.S. now require a prescription from a vet for these antibiotics. What other options are available?
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  2. deadheadvet

    deadheadvet Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    There is no antibiotic over the counter that would likely be effective. Terramycin has been removed from the market as to prevent antibiotics in animal feed and the development of resistant bacteria to over used antibiotics. I for one think too much antibiotics are used indiscriminately w/o proof that they are needed. What exactly were you needing antibiotics for?
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  3. PJay

    PJay Well-Known Member

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    I soaked and weighed my hibernating eastern box turtles yesterday, and one of the 6 year old females had swollen eyes, and while soaking began emitting loud whistles about 4-5 seconds long. It was loud enough my wife rushed in from the other side of the house wanting to know what the sound was. After the soak, she was able to open her eyes and the whistling stopped, but I can hear occasional popping sounds from her nares. I wanted to have an antibiotic available in case soakings and heat don't improve her condition.

    The surprising thing is, while all the other box turtles have each lost exactly 2% of their body weight, the female in question has gained 6% after 4 weeks in hibernation. She was 396 grams on January 8, and 417 grams on Feb 9. I weighed them before and after the soaking and .005% of the total weight gain was accrued by water gain. She was exposed to a male in late September...

    This is the first time in over 20 years keeping EBT's that I've witnessed these symptoms in one of my turtles and, quite frankly, I'm alarmed. :) I have ended hibernation for all turtles and begun a gradual transition back to summer maintenance conditions.
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  4. deadheadvet

    deadheadvet Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    My tortoises all make clicking sounds, I think it is some type of communication mechanism, mine also make a whistling sound through their nares as well and I don't worry about it. Maybe soaking daily for the one may improve the swollen eyes, could be debris causing irritation. If systemic antibiotics are needed, then that would be the way to go. Flushing the nares w/ diluted antibiotic and saline is very difficult to do in a turtle.
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  5. Eric Phillips

    Eric Phillips Well-Known Member

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    I'd be a bit alarmed too PJay. Did you notice any discharge or blockage in the nostrils? I've used Oxytetracycline water soluble that you can get at a feed store with some success. Just depends on the bacteria. For ear infections or other bugs I've used SMZ/TMP oral and injected it into night crawlers so long that the turtle was still eating. That stuff works fast and great. I think it cost about $10 from vet.
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  6. PJay

    PJay Well-Known Member

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    No discharge from the nares and they are open, but today her eyes are still swollen and started weeping. No swelling around the ears as of now. I was away from home most of the day and when I returned there were clear bubbles around the corners of her beak. It looked like the bubbles were discharge from the eyes that had run down the sides of her face. I cleaned her up, soaked her in warm water mixed with butternut squash baby food, she drank some and opened one eye. When I returned her to her enclosure she walked around a bit until she found the basking spot (85 F) and there she stayed. I have Terramycin eye ointment on the way and will apply that when it arrives.

    Can we still get Oxytetracycline water soluble at the feed store? Terramycin soluble powder was a brand name for Oxytetracycline soluble powder I think. I attempted to order some (and other similarly prescribed antibiotics) from several online sources and it looks like it requires a prescription as of Jan 1, 2017. I'm not an expert in pharmaceutical vernacular so if I'm confused about the names please set me straight!

    I didn't know the regulations were going to change or I would have stocked up. Right now, I don't like it, but understand why. Agriculture has been using antibiotics indiscriminately on animals that aren't exhibiting any illness for far too long and has contributed to antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. When antibiotics are no longer an effective treatment for common bacterial infections we are all in trouble.
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  7. Eric Phillips

    Eric Phillips Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if the regulations changed but I live 2 minutes from a Tractor Supply, I can stop there tomorrow to find out. I will buy and send you a bag if there is some.
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  8. Eric Phillips

    Eric Phillips Well-Known Member

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  9. PJay

    PJay Well-Known Member

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    You are a gentleman and a scholar! If you find some I will kiss you! Wait, what?

    I will pay for the product, taxes and shipping, and your time. No kisses!
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  10. Eric Phillips

    Eric Phillips Well-Known Member

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    No worries at all, pay it forward and hold the kisses for your wife on Valentine's Day, lol! I will pm you tomorrow.
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  11. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    What a great thread! Informative and great story! Very uplifting to follow this kind of human interaction. So @PJay, how is your little girl? Better I hope?
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  12. PJay

    PJay Well-Known Member

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    I lowered the mercury vapor bulb closer to the substrate so that the basking temp is 87 F, hopefully that will help her fight whatever is battling her immune system..
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  13. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    I'd crank it up to 95 in basking and be sure that overall enclosure temps don't fall below 80. Heck! I'd even keep it 85 all over and foggy and maybe just give her couple options to hide, one of them away from the lamps where temps are 79-80 at the substrate. Mine always comes up that way with 60w black bulb directly over their big rock cave, and despite having more hide choices in different spots my babies tend to gravitate towards this one
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  14. Eric Phillips

    Eric Phillips Well-Known Member

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    How's your sick turtle doing PJay?
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  15. PJay

    PJay Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I didn’t mean to leave you in suspense. I have some pictures to share. This first one is from Friday, the day I was doing the soakings and weigh-in and noticed the girl with swollen eyes and the whistling nares. I ordered Terramycin eye ointment this day. I’m disappointed in myself that I don’t have these sorts of things on hand! I raised the basking spot from 85F to 87F and she is loving it.
    Day 1.jpg

    This next picture is from late Saturday and shows the weeping eyes and bubbling beak. She is very lethargic, doesn’t struggle at all when being handled. Really concerned about her on this day! Called and left a message on my vet’s answering machine. I check the tracking on the Terramycin eye ointment, it should be here Monday. She is raising herself up toward the heat bulb with one leg on the side of her enclosure and her head extended upwards, so I increased heat to 90F at the basking spot and she relaxes and stays there constantly. I have to give a shout-out to @Pearly here. Started soaking her in 90F water with baby food high in vitamin A and she drank a little bit. Gerber carrot baby food has 590% of a human baby’s daily vitamin A! Sweet potato baby food has 420%.
    Day 2.jpg

    This one is from Sunday. There’s those peepers! I continued with twice-daily baby food water soaks and the heat. I’ve never had a sick box turtle before and I learned that box turtles can sneeze. She looked even more surprised than I was! Three body-shuddering sneezes that actually moved her whole body a little bit in the soaking tub. She drank the baby food water solution like a parched camel and is noticeably more energetic afterwards, even struggling when held. I weighed her before and after the soaking, she gained 5 grams of water weight!
    Day 3.jpg

    This is Monday. The Terramycin eye ointment showed up but it doesn’t look like she needs it, so it goes in the supply drawer. I thought about calling the vet again, but she looks so good, so I don’t.
    Day 4.jpg

    Skip ahead to today, she looks and acts feisty, I can barely hold on to her with one hand. Eyes and nares are clear and she is still drinking the baby food water, just with a little less gusto than yesterday. She is sometimes digging into the substrate now too, where before she was always laying around on top. She won’t eat any solid food, but then only one of the other turtles will. That one I've started calling "Piggy" because she is always ready to eat. In fact I think she is a bit overweight even after losing 2% of her weight in hibernation. The rest are still groggy from hibernation. My vet never did return my call.
    Day 6.jpg

    So, I think it's safe to say she is well on her way to a normal health state without any antibiotics. I think I remember someone early in this thread stating their opinion was, and I quote: “too much antibiotics are used indiscriminately w/o proof that they are needed.” I won’t name any names. @deadheadvet Oops!

    If only your practice wasn’t over six speed-limit-busting hours away, I’d bring the whole gang in for an annual checkup and stool sample.
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  16. cmac3

    cmac3 Well-Known Member

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    I hadn't read this thread until earlier Pjay, But I had one last year do the same thing. I did baby food soaks and and upped the heat. I even removed some gunk from her eyes that looked like corn.
    I did treat her with those eye drops after she improved but I didn't give her any special meds. After a few weeks she was completely back to normal
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