Advice on ill Horsefield :(

LMBD88

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Let's get this question out of the way - what type of uvb bulb are you using? Have you changed it recently?

The bone looks exposed on the front of his shell, is that new or did he always have that, and how close is the heat lamp to the substrate in the enclosure
Just seen this note. He's always had that since we got him :( I didn't realise it was bone. Anything I can do to help with it?
 

JoesMum

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Tello has had 3 baths today. He seemed, I think, a little more lively but no more poos. He's eaten a fair bit too but still hand feeding only. Photo of enclosure attached. I got a new ceramic heat emitter - they only had 150W so it's a little too hot directly underneath (just checked with my new laser thermometer and its saying 38C) so I've moved him to just next to it where it's about 35 and will try and lift the lamp up to reduce temp. No more bubbles and nose looks clear. Still debating taking him back for xray.

A Ceramic Heat Emitter should be used with a thermostat so it only cuts in as needed and doesn't burn. Make sure you get one that can handle at least 150W.


It's very hard to raise humidity or ambient temperature in an open table like that. The CHE will just heat the room.

Some sort of cover is needed to achieve that - some people use a mini greenhouse type thing like this over the enclosure (take care with the lights) - I have no idea if you could find one that would fit.

I had an electric radiator from Argos in the room next to Joe to keep the room temperature up when my central heating was off for the night.

You have a Mercury Vapour Bulb for basking/UVB I believe. How frequently do you change the bulb? The UVB output of these bulbs drops dramatically after 6-9 months, long before the bulb blows, so they need to be replaced frequently.
 

LMBD88

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A Ceramic Heat Emitter should be used with a thermostat so it only cuts in as needed and doesn't burn. Make sure you get one that can handle at least 150W.


It's very hard to raise humidity or ambient temperature in an open table like that. The CHE will just heat the room.

Some sort of cover is needed to achieve that - some people use a mini greenhouse type thing like this over the enclosure (take care with the lights) - I have no idea if you could find one that would fit.

I had an electric radiator from Argos in the room next to Joe to keep the room temperature up when my central heating was off for the night.

You have a Mercury Vapour Bulb for basking/UVB I believe. How frequently do you change the bulb? The UVB output of these bulbs drops dramatically after 6-9 months, long before the bulb blows, so they need to be replaced frequently.

Thank you! Ok so, tomorrow: buy thermostat (can you point me in direction of a good one on amazon? ) , change UVA/UVB bulb. With regards to the general room temp - rather luckily (for Tello) our flat has pretty poor ventilation so holds heat incredibly well and i have to use dehumidifier in other rooms. plus I've had heating on constantly while hes been ill. Whilst this probably isn't up to tortoise levels, it must be of some help and I damp his substrate down daily which I hope helps too. What are your thoughts on xray at this point?
 

JoesMum

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I am not sure what an x ray would prove? There may be evidence of intestinal blockage I suppose.

Checking a fresh sample of faeces for parasites is standard. Most torts will reliably produce one on the car journey to the vet.

Bloods can be checked, but given the going over your vet did she will have her reasons for not doing them immediately. Again, a phone call to inquire might settle your mind.

If the nose bubbles were only after the soak, they're less likely to be indicative of URI. The bubbles would be continuing with a URI. Nose bubbles after a soak are pretty common.

Your substrate should be evenly damp throughout - not just damp on the surface. Take the decor out, tip some water in with a jug and mix it thoroughly with your hands. Repeat until all the substrate is damp. Spraying helps to slow the rate at which it dries out and doesn't do much for humidity.
 

Kasia

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Thank you! Ok so, tomorrow: buy thermostat (can you point me in direction of a good one on amazon? ) , change UVA/UVB bulb. With regards to the general room temp - rather luckily (for Tello) our flat has pretty poor ventilation so holds heat incredibly well and i have to use dehumidifier in other rooms. plus I've had heating on constantly while hes been ill. Whilst this probably isn't up to tortoise levels, it must be of some help and I damp his substrate down daily which I hope helps too. What are your thoughts on xray at this point?
How long he is not pooping and eating? Rule is no food no poop:) If his eating, peeing and is active I would give a week or so from this point Does he farts in the bath a lot or strains? What about his pee? How does it look like? White, gooie and lot of water or a bit of fluid and a lot of brittle white stuff or bit yellowish even? After a week of daily baths he should be peeing daily a lot. Otherwise could indicate kidney/liver problem which can cause anorexia and lethargy and for which soaks could help.
 
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LMBD88

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Hi all (my sick tortoise support group)
Bathed the wee man this morning, after 10 mins he was a little more lively, actively trying to get out which is more like his usual self. He also pee'd!.. all over my hand as I was taking him out. Pee was clearish with urates which were grittier than they should be and not as chalky as usual. However, I was just pleased he's gone. Still no poo. Damped down his substrate (mixed it all in, its nice and damp) and dried him off and popped him back, he had some lettuce and small bit of cucumber, he actually made an attempt to eat the lettuce himself without hand feeding and now he is sleeping again under his lamp.

I've bought a thermostat for CHE and he's due his 3rd abx injection tomorrow. Called my vets and they said to complete abx before bringing him back in. I would just feel better if he poo'd. I've also noticed he is rubbing his eyes after he is coaxed to open them, they look clear to me and not puffy but just wondered about that.

That's his update for this morning.

Oh also, no farting! I wondered if his lack of poo was because he was off his food a few days before vets visit so its just working way through since he started eating again, that's my hope.
 

Kasia

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Hi all (my sick tortoise support group)
Bathed the wee man this morning, after 10 mins he was a little more lively, actively trying to get out which is more like his usual self. He also pee'd!.. all over my hand as I was taking him out. Pee was clearish with urates which were grittier than they should be and not as chalky as usual. However, I was just pleased he's gone. Still no poo. Damped down his substrate (mixed it all in, its nice and damp) and dried him off and popped him back, he had some lettuce and small bit of cucumber, he actually made an attempt to eat the lettuce himself without hand feeding and now he is sleeping again under his lamp.

I've bought a thermostat for CHE and he's due his 3rd abx injection tomorrow. Called my vets and they said to complete abx before bringing him back in. I would just feel better if he poo'd. I've also noticed he is rubbing his eyes after he is coaxed to open them, they look clear to me and not puffy but just wondered about that.

That's his update for this morning.

Oh also, no farting! I wondered if his lack of poo was because he was off his food a few days before vets visit so its just working way through since he started eating again, that's my hope.
It's good that he is doing much better. Give him at least one week of normal eating until you start worrying about not pooping. If his not straining and eating OK it will come :) If you never had it examined for parasites take it to the Vet and ask him to do the test. Best wishes for you both.
 

LMBD88

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It's good that he is doing much better. Give him at least one week of normal eating until you start worrying about not pooping. If his not straining and eating OK it will come :) If you never had it examined for parasites take it to the Vet and ask him to do the test. Best wishes for you both.

Ok thank you, i will see how he goes poop wise. He's eaten a bit more today with my help, had another soak and he's just sleeping a lot. He seems to dislike being in the higher temps (around 34 degrees) but vet told me to keep him extra warm due to abx so I do feel a bit mean. Gosh, wish they could just tell us what was wrong with them, not knowing exactly makes it so hard.
 

LMBD88

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Tello seems a little quieter today. I didn't do a great job with his jab this morning but did my best. He seems to be struggling to open his eyes and I noted in one there is something in the corner. Can't work out if it's the inner eye lid which is swollen or some kind of discharge. Tried washing with salt water but tricky as he closes eyes instantly. Still no poo. I'm still worried :(
 

JoesMum

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The poop is of not so much concern as your tort is not eating properly. What comes out has to have been eaten in the first place. Also your tort is probably not eating the more fibrous foods that help with pooping at the moment.

The eye is of concern, I agree.

Torts are very slow to recover from this type of thing. My expectation is on weeks and not days. It is a very long slow process.

You are doing everything you can and we're here for electronic hugs and support.
 

LMBD88

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Thank you, had a little cry this morning . Just want him to get better. I gave him a long soak this morning. He's just sat in his enclosure where I left him. Can't tempt him with any food. This morning was third injection of five, although vet gave us eight syringes in case the course needed extending but I plan to take him back for a check up after his fifth if there's no improvement (next Saturday).
 

LMBD88

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Booked an appointment and have the option to leave him. I know back and forth wil stress him but I'd sooner do that than possibly have him get worse.
 

LMBD88

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We are very sleepy. Had a long bath and eventually opened eyes a bit, it looked like it took a lot of effort but they weren't cloudy.
Not eaten today apart from small piece of lettuce that got popped into his mouth which he nommed.
Just been sleeping like this under CHE (got a thermostat and set to 35 degrees)
Called vets - they said doesn't need an emergency visit out as sounds like infection is just coming out but going tomorrow at 3pm for check up and maybe to stay in.
 

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Kasia

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We are very sleepy. Had a long bath and eventually opened eyes a bit, it looked like it took a lot of effort but they weren't cloudy.
Not eaten today apart from small piece of lettuce that got popped into his mouth which he nommed.
Just been sleeping like this under CHE (got a thermostat and set to 35 degrees)
Called vets - they said doesn't need an emergency visit out as sounds like infection is just coming out but going tomorrow at 3pm for check up and maybe to stay in.
If you feel he is not doing better go to the Vets - better safe then sorry. Still consider that those could be side effects of antibiotic injections and he can get a bit worse to eventually get better. Don't panic :) Torts recover SLOW. You are taking good care of him.
 

LMBD88

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If you feel he is not doing better go to the Vets - better safe then sorry. Still consider that those could be side effect of antibiotic injections and he can get a bit worse to eventually get better. Don't panic :) You are taking good care of him.
Thanks Kasia. I hope I am. Tello is our first tortoise that my husband randomly bought home some years ago when he was in the army. Rabbits and horses I know heaps about but tortoises I am still very much learning and it's the first time he's ever been anything but a little greedy hooligan.
The vet said originally to come back after abx course was complete but since he's got a bit worse I just don't want to chance it as I'm so inexperienced with signs/symptoms.
 
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