2 year old sulcata making whistling noise from nose

Shortyalex16

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Hello everyone,

First of all, In a few days it will be Sheldon's estimated birthday. I would like to thank everyone who helped me when we found Sheldon in our garden two years ago as a hatchling. I remember not knowing a single thing about tortoises and thinking Sheldon was a desert tortoise lol. Since then I have learned so much about how to care for him, mainly from this forum.

Now, for the past few weeks, sheldon has been making this whistling noise through his nose. It's more noticeable during his soaks, which I upped to around 30 mins every day along with 20 mins of nebulized F10 4ml/1liter water ratio in a separate container daily. It sounds more like a "wet" noise during his soaks and more dry when he is not being soaked. He is still eating like a champ, though, and being very active. I have looked up his nostrils and haven't seen anything that could be causing him to make this noise. This leads me to believe that he may have a respiratory infection. The only symptom he is having is the whistling noise. I would like to know if it is best to take him to a vet ASAP or if I should wait to see if he gets better/worse. I'll post a pic of his thermostat/hygrometer parameters and a current picture of him.

Thank you.
 

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Shortyalex16

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My 2 year old Sulcata has been making a whistling noise for the past few weeks or so. Should I take him to see a vet? He's still eating a lot and is very active. I've upped his humidity and ambient temperature, currently doing daily soaks for 30 mins and nebulizing him with diluted F10 but the whistle still persists. Screenshot_20201024-015549.png Screenshot_20201024-015331.png
 

nicoleann2214

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Helena F.

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My 2 year old Sulcata has been making a whistling noise for the past few weeks or so. Should I take him to see a vet? He's still eating a lot and is very active. I've upped his humidity and ambient temperature, currently doing daily soaks for 30 mins and nebulizing him with diluted F10 but the whistle still persists. View attachment 309742 View attachment 309740
Has he had any bubbles come out of his nostrils? Any other symptoms?
 

Tom

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My 2 year old Sulcata has been making a whistling noise for the past few weeks or so. Should I take him to see a vet? He's still eating a lot and is very active. I've upped his humidity and ambient temperature, currently doing daily soaks for 30 mins and nebulizing him with diluted F10 but the whistle still persists.
I don't know what F10 is.

How are you maintaining humidity? I don't see any substrate in your pic, and your tortoise is showing some significant pyramiding.

I see the temps listed on your read out, and I see the probe there near the food, but what is the overnight low away from the heat sources? Is the probe on the warm side, or the cool side?

What bulbs are you using?
 

Helena F.

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My 2 year old Sulcata has been making a whistling noise for the past few weeks or so. Should I take him to see a vet? He's still eating a lot and is very active. I've upped his humidity and ambient temperature, currently doing daily soaks for 30 mins and nebulizing him with diluted F10 but the whistle still persists. View attachment 309742 View attachment 309740
WAIT WAIT WAIT!!! F10? Like the vet cleaning product????? Ur putting a cleaning product on ur tort?????
 

Kwakin

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does he suck in his head when he whistles? if so, they just got scared and have to exhale to retreat to their shell fully





*btw he's cute*
 

Shortyalex16

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@Helena F. @Tom

Hey! Thank you for your comments. I took Sheldon to the vet a few days after I made the post. Dr. Brothers prescribed some nose drops and some baytril antibiotic mix flavored syrup to give to Sheldon once a day. He is still whistling but these past two days he seems to be whistling less.

I keep him in an enclosed chamber and I used to have a fogger in there, but I stopped using it because the humidity gauge was constantly on HH (high humidity over 100%) and I thought maybe that's why Sheldon got sick, since I recently moved him into this new enclosure from an open topped one. The vet said that the humidity was too high and some people in a FB tort group told me that humidity shouldn't be higher than the temperature.

I keep his temperatures on his coolest side at least 85 degrees at all times and his basking temp is 95-100. The probe in the picture is in his basking area but the thermostat/hygrometer that is pictured is reading the humidity/temp from the cool side of his enclosure. I have 3 digital temp/humidity gauges. I use Exo Terra brand 25W compact fluorescent UVB bulb. In the picture he is on some tiles and a basking slab that I put in his enclosure so he has a place to bask and eat. His substrate is coco coir which I replaced with new coco coir that's a bit drier. His humidity gauge still reads HH, even though the coco coir at the top layer looks dry.

Also yes, I diluted 3ml f10 in 1L distilled water and was nebulizing him in a separate chamber for 20 mins every other day, but it wasn't helping. The vet said that if it wasn't helping then to discontinue it so I did.

Any advice?
 

Shortyalex16

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@Helena F. He hasn't had any other symptoms at all, just the whistling. He's eating fine and moving around a lot. He gets a lot of exercise and until the weather got cold, I would take him outside to walk around and eat every day.

If the whistle persists after all of his medicine is gone, I'm thinking of taking him in for an X-Ray to rule out an infection. I don't want this to get worse.
 

Shortyalex16

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does he suck in his head when he whistles? if so, they just got scared and have to exhale to retreat to their shell fully





*btw he's cute*

Thanks! He doesn't suck his head in his shell when he does this and he has no other symptoms. I took him to the vet a few days after posting this and he now takes nose drops and a daily antibiotic syrup on his food. I think he might be getting a little better, but he still whistles, just not as much as he initially did.
 

Tom

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@Helena F. @Tom

Hey! Thank you for your comments. I took Sheldon to the vet a few days after I made the post. Dr. Brothers prescribed some nose drops and some baytril antibiotic mix flavored syrup to give to Sheldon once a day. He is still whistling but these past two days he seems to be whistling less.

I keep him in an enclosed chamber and I used to have a fogger in there, but I stopped using it because the humidity gauge was constantly on HH (high humidity over 100%) and I thought maybe that's why Sheldon got sick, since I recently moved him into this new enclosure from an open topped one. The vet said that the humidity was too high and some people in a FB tort group told me that humidity shouldn't be higher than the temperature.

I keep his temperatures on his coolest side at least 85 degrees at all times and his basking temp is 95-100. The probe in the picture is in his basking area but the thermostat/hygrometer that is pictured is reading the humidity/temp from the cool side of his enclosure. I have 3 digital temp/humidity gauges. I use Exo Terra brand 25W compact fluorescent UVB bulb. In the picture he is on some tiles and a basking slab that I put in his enclosure so he has a place to bask and eat. His substrate is coco coir which I replaced with new coco coir that's a bit drier. His humidity gauge still reads HH, even though the coco coir at the top layer looks dry.

Also yes, I diluted 3ml f10 in 1L distilled water and was nebulizing him in a separate chamber for 20 mins every other day, but it wasn't helping. The vet said that if it wasn't helping then to discontinue it so I did.

Any advice?
First, stay off of FB. Those people are nuts and will give you bad info. None of those people know anything about humidity for this species, and they ban anyone who does.

Vets also know very little about tortoise care, so take that advice with a grain of salt too. Vets always want to treat symptoms without figuring out the CAUSE of the sickness and correcting it. Treating symptoms is pointless if you don't correct the problem that caused the symptoms in the first place. Tortoises don't just get sick for no reason.

I believe the cause of your whistling is the humidifier. Those should not be used with tortoises. I keep saying this every day and I keep seeing people say they are using them and I keep seeing problems associated with their use. Tortoises shouldn't be breathing water vapor. Humidity is not the same as water vapor in the air. If you've stopped using it, the problem should go away. Shame you've had to put a bunch of meds into your tortoise, as that takes a toll too.

The other thing I see is that you are using a CFL UV bulb. Those should not be used over any reptile. Some of them burn their eyes, and all of them are ineffective as a UV source. In Victorville you have warm sunny days most of the year. You can sun your tortoise in a safe outdoor enclosure two or three times a week for a half hour and meet its UV needs. More time is even better. You don't need any indoor UV. Its fine to skip a few weeks here and there during our cold rainy winter weather while you wait for sun and warmth to come back. If you still want indoor UV, get an HO type tube from ZooMed or Arcadia and mount it at the correct height.
 

Shortyalex16

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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
VICTORVILLE, CA
First, stay off of FB. Those people are nuts and will give you bad info. None of those people know anything about humidity for this species, and they ban anyone who does.

Vets also know very little about tortoise care, so take that advice with a grain of salt too. Vets always want to treat symptoms without figuring out the CAUSE of the sickness and correcting it. Treating symptoms is pointless if you don't correct the problem that caused the symptoms in the first place. Tortoises don't just get sick for no reason.

I believe the cause of your whistling is the humidifier. Those should not be used with tortoises. I keep saying this every day and I keep seeing people say they are using them and I keep seeing problems associated with their use. Tortoises shouldn't be breathing water vapor. Humidity is not the same as water vapor in the air. If you've stopped using it, the problem should go away. Shame you've had to put a bunch of meds into your tortoise, as that takes a toll too.

The other thing I see is that you are using a CFL UV bulb. Those should not be used over any reptile. Some of them burn their eyes, and all of them are ineffective as a UV source. In Victorville you have warm sunny days most of the year. You can sun your tortoise in a safe outdoor enclosure two or three times a week for a half hour and meet its UV needs. More time is even better. You don't need any indoor UV. Its fine to skip a few weeks here and there during our cold rainy winter weather while you wait for sun and warmth to come back. If you still want indoor UV, get an HO type tube from ZooMed or Arcadia and mount it at the correct height.

Thank you for all of your advice! I'll follow it and remove the CFL UVB right now.
 
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