Antibiotics

Wolfie

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So my Russian tortoise Tank has an infection. The vet says the bacteria can cause kidney failure in tortoises. They want to put him on a broad antibiotic. It's in a powder I sprinkle over his food. Should I give him the antibiotic or hold off and try other things? They did an x-ray and he may have a kidney stone. What should I do?!
 

Yvonne G

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Antibiotics won't do a thing for a (kidney stone???). What's really more common in tortoises is bladder stones. Bladder stones, unless small enough to pass on their own, have to be surgically removed.

Did the vet take a smear and look at it under the microscope? Is that how they know it's an infection? The most common way to treat infections in tortoises in injections. I really doubt he'll eat food with stinky old medicine on it.

What are Tank's symptoms?
 

Wolfie

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Antibiotics won't do a thing for a (kidney stone???). What's really more common in tortoises is bladder stones. Bladder stones, unless small enough to pass on their own, have to be surgically removed.

Did the vet take a smear and look at it under the microscope? Is that how they know it's an infection? The most common way to treat infections in tortoises in injections. I really doubt he'll eat food with stinky old medicine on it.

What are Tank's symptoms?

He doesn't actually have all that many symptoms. He simply refuses to eat anything but romaine lettuce. The took an x-ray of him and said he has severe bone deficiency. The white spot on the x-ray is a kidney stone.

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Yvonne G

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In my opinion, rather than give the tortoise antibiotics, you need to get creative with your feeding. Since he'll only eat romaine (romaine lettuce is a very good source of dietary fiber, manganese, potassium, biotin, vitamin B1, copper, iron and vitamin C. It is also a good source of vitamin B2, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, phosphorus, chromium, magnesium, calcium and pantothenic acid.), which isn't all that bad a food, here's what I would do:

Chop up romaine into very tiny pieces. Then chop up some endive or escarole or turnip greens or dandelion - pick any other food from the list. Chop this into tiny pieces - not a whole lot, just a little bit. Mix it all together so everything has romaine juice on it and it all smells like romaine. You might see if he'll eat cucumber. Cucumber has a strong smell and that smell would cover any of the other good greens too. Once you have him eating all this other food with romaine or cucumber smell on it, then start cutting back on the cucumber and romaine and increasing the amount of good foods. But do it slowly over a long period of time. Don't try to rush it.

I don't see anything in what you've told us that calls for antibiotic. But maybe I'm missing part of the story?
 

Cowboy_Ken

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He doesn't actually have all that many symptoms.
Ok. Sorry to have to ask you this question, but what is it that qualifies this vet as competent to treat and or diagnose reptile and or tortoise ailments? Often a vet will advertise that they are exotic qualified, when in reality, birds are their most exotics animals they treat.
 

Wolfie

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They took a urine sample and did a culture. . . but they collected the urine sample off the table he peed on. . . should I have them do another one? And what about that white spot on his x-ray?
 

Yvonne G

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It probably IS a stone of some sort, either in the bladder or in the gut. But it looks small enough to pass by itself. Be sure to keep the tortoise hydrated to help.
 

Pearly

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I am with Yvonne and Cowboy Ken. Diversify diet. I'd keep him warm and would make sure there's good UVB exposure, keep him hydrated, soak daily or even twice a day and feed more and more good stuff mixed in with romain lettuce. At least you know that he likes that. It's good start. Good luck and keep us posted
 

DutchieAmanda

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They took a urine sample and did a culture. . . but they collected the urine sample off the table he peed on. . . should I have them do another one? And what about that white spot on his x-ray?

To me this seems very strange, you need a sterile urine sample for a culture. Off course they'll find bacteria in a sample taken from a table in a vet clinic...
In the x-ray I do not see bone deformities, what did the vet see? Both bone problems or (kidney??) stones are not reasons for antibiotics in my opinion. If there are no real symptoms I would follow the above suggestions and provide optimal care and diet.
Best off luck with your tort!
 
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