3 Month Old Seems Lethargic, Soft Plastron

Chloebark

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Sorry for bringing you bad news but you have read the problems of the hatchling failure syndrom.
I think Rhaes kidneys are damaged from a to dry start by the breeder. Kidneys that don`t work properly can`t get all the waste out of the body. The body can get rid of the acid in the blood of the sick tortoise. The body tries to compensate this with calcium that is taken out of bones and shell.
That`s why the plastron is getting softer. I am sorry but it seems to me that your baby is very sick and maybe will die.
I would try to put your baby for 6 hours every day in a plastik tub with warm shallow water and place it near a uvb producing heat lamp. Be sure that the water stays warm but the tortoise is not getting to hot. You can feed your baby in the water. That is no problem.
Only water can now help the damaged kidneys. There is only a little hope but I would try this. The hours in the water won`t hurt your baby when the water is warm, believe me.

Thank you I will try his out. I’m also taking Rhae to the vet Friday but I don’t know what they can do to help if anything at all. Could calcium injections be beneficial?
 

Bee62

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Thank you I will try his out. I’m also taking Rhae to the vet Friday but I don’t know what they can do to help if anything at all. Could calcium injections be beneficial?
I am no VET but I would do nothing that stresses the kidneys. Too much calcium is stress for the kidneys too to my opinion, but you can sprinkle the food with calcium. That is not so much like a shot.
Don`t let the VET give Rhea any vitamin shots. These shots often do more harm than good.
 

Bee62

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The only way to help your baby is to keep the kidneys working with a lot of humidity / water. But this is only my opinion.
I have a young sulcata that came dehydrated and pyramided to me. She was sitting in her water dish for hours every day. I was not sure if she would make it but she recovered and is now growing and thriving.
She shows me what helped her: water, water, water .....
That is the reason why I wrote put your baby for hours in warm water.
 

Tom

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Thank you I will try his out. I’m also taking Rhae to the vet Friday but I don’t know what they can do to help if anything at all. Could calcium injections be beneficial?
There is nothing any vet can do, and most of what they want to do will make things worse. In my experience, going to the vet is a waste of time and money, and likely to do harm, while doing nothing to help, in these cases with babies suffering from the effects of chronic dehydration. Calcium injections will not repair damaged kidneys. Most vets will want to do "vitamin" injections. Some vets will want to administer antibiotic injections. None of these things have anything to do with the problem, and all of these things will make things worse and accelerate the decline.

Don't get me wrong. I am not anti-vet. Just the opposite. I am personal friends with many vets, and a good tortoise vet can be amazingly talented and helpful for some situations. There is just nothing that can be done for a hatchling that is suffering the effects of chronic dehydration because the breeder or seller kept them too dry. I've seen countless people go to the vet, spend hundreds, and in a few cases thousands of dollars, and nothing can be done. In most of these cases, the baby declines and dies due to all the "help" that the vet charged all that money for. The best thing in theses cases is a low stress environment and good hydration. Some make it and some don't.

Most people have a difficult time just standing by and watching their beloved baby die. They want to "do something". Understandably so. But once the kidneys are damaged, nothing can be done. I'll bet that even if some multi-millionaire paid for a kidney transplant and complete life support in a top-notch facility for a baby tortoise, most of them still wouldn't make it. There is nothing that can be done AFTER the damage is done. What can be done is a mass outcry and an attempt to let all the breeders out there know that babies need to be soaked daily, kept warm and humid, and not kept outside all day. Prevention, and good hydration for babies, is the ONLY thing that will stop this from happening. When people stop going to expos and buying from these people, and stop buying from other sellers who start them too dry, only then, will this stop happening.

Tell everyone you know not to buy from the wrong sources. Tell them what questions to ask. Tell the breeders that you won't buy dry started babies any more. Reward the sellers that do it correctly by giving them your business and recommendations.
 

daniellenc

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Yes you’re correct. Rhae seens to have a hard time eating, sometimes it will bite at the lettuce and just completely miss a few times before it will scoot a little closer and try again. And it does seem tough for it to eat but I have been watching to make sure it eats it just seems hard for it to break the lettuce and takes a while. I will try cutting it up much smaller for it!!!
Add calcium. If you’ve always fed this way maybe he’s malnourished a bit? Watching him he wants to eat but if that video is true to form he’s really not.
 

Chloebark

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I attempted chopping and mincing grasses/weeds and mixing it with some soaked mazuri that I Mashed up as well...I attached a picture. Rhae wasn’t interested at all, didn’t even attempt to eat so I mixed some minced collard greens and he doesn’t seem to care [emoji17]

I also wanted to ask if there’s a difference between these two zoomed calcium supplements I have, besides the fact that the powder one has d3 and the spray does not. Should I be giving this to him daily right now? I had been doing it only 1-2x week.

I’m going to work now but my boyfriend is going to take rhae outside after he gets home and soaks him for a while. He seems a lot more active outside in the natural sunlight. Hopefully he’ll eat later.

IMG_1531306994.253895.jpg
IMG_1531307005.652271.jpg
IMG_1531307017.549160.jpg
 

Bee62

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There is nothing any vet can do, and most of what they want to do will make things worse. In my experience, going to the vet is a waste of time and money, and likely to do harm, while doing nothing to help, in these cases with babies suffering from the effects of chronic dehydration. Calcium injections will not repair damaged kidneys. Most vets will want to do "vitamin" injections. Some vets will want to administer antibiotic injections. None of these things have anything to do with the problem, and all of these things will make things worse and accelerate the decline.

Don't get me wrong. I am not anti-vet. Just the opposite. I am personal friends with many vets, and a good tortoise vet can be amazingly talented and helpful for some situations. There is just nothing that can be done for a hatchling that is suffering the effects of chronic dehydration because the breeder or seller kept them too dry. I've seen countless people go to the vet, spend hundreds, and in a few cases thousands of dollars, and nothing can be done. In most of these cases, the baby declines and dies due to all the "help" that the vet charged all that money for. The best thing in theses cases is a low stress environment and good hydration. Some make it and some don't.

Most people have a difficult time just standing by and watching their beloved baby die. They want to "do something". Understandably so. But once the kidneys are damaged, nothing can be done. I'll bet that even if some multi-millionaire paid for a kidney transplant and complete life support in a top-notch facility for a baby tortoise, most of them still wouldn't make it. There is nothing that can be done AFTER the damage is done. What can be done is a mass outcry and an attempt to let all the breeders out there know that babies need to be soaked daily, kept warm and humid, and not kept outside all day. Prevention, and good hydration for babies, is the ONLY thing that will stop this from happening. When people stop going to expos and buying from these people, and stop buying from other sellers who start them too dry, only then, will this stop happening.

Tell everyone you know not to buy from the wrong sources. Tell them what questions to ask. Tell the breeders that you won't buy dry started babies any more. Reward the sellers that do it correctly by giving them your business and recommendations.
Totally agree with you Tom. Very well explained, so true and so sad for all the baby tortoises that die because of a dry start.
 

Chloebark

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There is nothing any vet can do, and most of what they want to do will make things worse. In my experience, going to the vet is a waste of time and money, and likely to do harm, while doing nothing to help, in these cases with babies suffering from the effects of chronic dehydration. Calcium injections will not repair damaged kidneys. Most vets will want to do "vitamin" injections. Some vets will want to administer antibiotic injections. None of these things have anything to do with the problem, and all of these things will make things worse and accelerate the decline.

Don't get me wrong. I am not anti-vet. Just the opposite. I am personal friends with many vets, and a good tortoise vet can be amazingly talented and helpful for some situations. There is just nothing that can be done for a hatchling that is suffering the effects of chronic dehydration because the breeder or seller kept them too dry. I've seen countless people go to the vet, spend hundreds, and in a few cases thousands of dollars, and nothing can be done. In most of these cases, the baby declines and dies due to all the "help" that the vet charged all that money for. The best thing in theses cases is a low stress environment and good hydration. Some make it and some don't.

Most people have a difficult time just standing by and watching their beloved baby die. They want to "do something". Understandably so. But once the kidneys are damaged, nothing can be done. I'll bet that even if some multi-millionaire paid for a kidney transplant and complete life support in a top-notch facility for a baby tortoise, most of them still wouldn't make it. There is nothing that can be done AFTER the damage is done. What can be done is a mass outcry and an attempt to let all the breeders out there know that babies need to be soaked daily, kept warm and humid, and not kept outside all day. Prevention, and good hydration for babies, is the ONLY thing that will stop this from happening. When people stop going to expos and buying from these people, and stop buying from other sellers who start them too dry, only then, will this stop happening.

Tell everyone you know not to buy from the wrong sources. Tell them what questions to ask. Tell the breeders that you won't buy dry started babies any more. Reward the sellers that do it correctly by giving them your business and recommendations.

Thank you Tom. I wish I had done way more research before purchasing, but as you know there is so much different information everywhere. I still plan on taking Rhae to the vet, it is scheduled for this Friday. I have taken my other turtles and tortoise to this vet and I’m interested to hear what he will tell me. I can still choose to not have them do anything, but he’s the only exotic vet near me and I want to know what he will say versus what I’ve read online. Maybe he’ll say soak it? I really don’t know. $20 will tell me and I think that’s worth it.

I still need to contact Rhae’s breeder. I took the card he gave me out of my wallet so I have to figure out where I put it. I want to ask him as well how Rhae was brought up because who knows? Maybe he did things that he thought was right too??

I am hopefully optimistic. Rhae’s health is not good and I can only hope he’ll pull through. I appreciate everyone’s advice and help here and I will continue to check on here in case anyone has any other suggestions.
 

Chloebark

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Just wanted to keep everyone updated on Rhae that is following.

Since Monday my boyfriend and I have been taking Rhae out into the sunshine more often as well as many 20-30 minutes soaks throughout the day. Food is always available and we’ve been chopping it up as finely as we can (I’m getting a food processor to make eating even easier). We sometimes add calcium powder to the soaking water and Rhae drinks it right up.

Today I took Rhae to the vet. The vet said that he really likes how weighted Rhae feels-he feels “full” instead of like a marshmallow. He also told us that everything we’re doing right now sounds right, but sometimes such young tortoises have a hard time. He also said the softness of the Shell can be because the tortoise is only 3 months old and it can take months to harden all the way. He was surprised though that we said it felt like the Shell was getting softer (which was when I made this post and called the vet). Since Rhae is eating everyday and seems more active he is happy about that. Rhae seems much less lethargic since getting more sunshine and is sleeping less during the day as well. All in all the vet said we are doing everything that we can do, and he would like us to keep him updated with Rhae. He didn’t charge us for the visit either.

Now I’m just waiting for Rhae to gain some weight and I will start to feel at ease. Thanks again everyone for all your help and advice, I really appreciate it!
 

KarenSoCal

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Just wanted to keep everyone updated on Rhae that is following.

Since Monday my boyfriend and I have been taking Rhae out into the sunshine more often as well as many 20-30 minutes soaks throughout the day. Food is always available and we’ve been chopping it up as finely as we can (I’m getting a food processor to make eating even easier). We sometimes add calcium powder to the soaking water and Rhae drinks it right up.

Today I took Rhae to the vet. The vet said that he really likes how weighted Rhae feels-he feels “full” instead of like a marshmallow. He also told us that everything we’re doing right now sounds right, but sometimes such young tortoises have a hard time. He also said the softness of the Shell can be because the tortoise is only 3 months old and it can take months to harden all the way. He was surprised though that we said it felt like the Shell was getting softer (which was when I made this post and called the vet). Since Rhae is eating everyday and seems more active he is happy about that. Rhae seems much less lethargic since getting more sunshine and is sleeping less during the day as well. All in all the vet said we are doing everything that we can do, and he would like us to keep him updated with Rhae. He didn’t charge us for the visit either.

Now I’m just waiting for Rhae to gain some weight and I will start to feel at ease. Thanks again everyone for all your help and advice, I really appreciate it!
Thank you for the update! Please continue to post Rhae's progress. So glad he is doing better, and the vet is pleased.
 

Loni

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Yes you’re correct. Rhae seens to have a hard time eating, sometimes it will bite at the lettuce and just completely miss a few times before it will scoot a little closer and try again. And it does seem tough for it to eat but I have been watching to make sure it eats it just seems hard for it to break the lettuce and takes a while. I will try cutting it up much smaller for it!!!
I am just a newbie but have you tried putting the lettuce and Mazuri through a blender together to get a mush that your baby can just swallow?
 

Carol S

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I am glad to hear that Rhae is doing better. Natural sunshine is very beneficial. What a nice vet not to charge you for the visit.
 

TechnoCheese

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Just wanted to keep everyone updated on Rhae that is following.

Since Monday my boyfriend and I have been taking Rhae out into the sunshine more often as well as many 20-30 minutes soaks throughout the day. Food is always available and we’ve been chopping it up as finely as we can (I’m getting a food processor to make eating even easier). We sometimes add calcium powder to the soaking water and Rhae drinks it right up.

Today I took Rhae to the vet. The vet said that he really likes how weighted Rhae feels-he feels “full” instead of like a marshmallow. He also told us that everything we’re doing right now sounds right, but sometimes such young tortoises have a hard time. He also said the softness of the Shell can be because the tortoise is only 3 months old and it can take months to harden all the way. He was surprised though that we said it felt like the Shell was getting softer (which was when I made this post and called the vet). Since Rhae is eating everyday and seems more active he is happy about that. Rhae seems much less lethargic since getting more sunshine and is sleeping less during the day as well. All in all the vet said we are doing everything that we can do, and he would like us to keep him updated with Rhae. He didn’t charge us for the visit either.

Now I’m just waiting for Rhae to gain some weight and I will start to feel at ease. Thanks again everyone for all your help and advice, I really appreciate it!

Yay!!!!
 

Chloebark

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I am just a newbie but have you tried putting the lettuce and Mazuri through a blender together to get a mush that your baby can just swallow?

No, but that’s what I am planning to do for it. It makes sense so idk why I didn’t think to do that but thankfully someone mentioned it on here.
 

samkerns1

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@Chloebark Thank you for sharing this experience. I have learned so much from reading your description of the symptoms, everyone's responses, and watching the video you uploaded.
I really hope your little guy pulls through. He looks like a fighter!
 
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