Baby Sulcata care and traveling

Chrissypohl

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We recently acquired a baby sulcata for free from a pet store that wasn't taking proper care of him.
His name is Maturin.

My boyfriend and I have a roughly 10 year old female who is doing great! His mom also raised them for a very long time, so he knows quite a bit about them and their proper care.

His eyes are swollen shut, and he is not eating on his own. We have the proper temperatures, substrate, and habitat for him now so we're hoping that will change soon.

We are giving him a few drops several times a day of oxbow fine grind critical care and soaking him 2-3 times a day in a mixture of warm water and midly sweet Pedialyte per the recommendations of the exotic vet in our are.

My main question right now is that we had a trip planned before the store gave him to us, and it is too late to cancel, we are leaving in 2 weeks.
We need to take him with us so he can be soaked and fed, but it is at least a 3 to 4 hour drive where we are going, and I don't want to him to be without heat for that long.
Is there a inverter you suggest for plugging into the car for his lamps or should we get a battery pack for them?
How should we go about this. We plan on bringing his habitat with us so he can stay in it at the cabin we are staying at.
Just needing the best way to transport him in the car without him being cold for too long.
Thanks in advance!

IMG-20190212-WA0001.jpeg
 

Yvonne G

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Your little guy would benefit from being kept inside a closed area. When little ones like that are sick, I like to set them up in a 10 gallon covered aquarium. He should be kept at 85F degrees day and night. And the substrate should be slightly damp to add to the humidity inside the aquarium.

There's a product called Hot Hands. You can use this to keep him warm during the trip:

hot hands.jpeg
 

Tom

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Best to not move him. The stress may kill him. If you choose to do it anyway, have everyone in the car strip down to shorts and a t-shirt and keep the whole car 80+. Use a thermometer. You might feel "warm" on a cold day when temps a relatively cool. A 60 degree house feels hot when you step in out of the snow.

The care info for this species that was circulating around 10+ years ago was wrong. Most places you find info are still circulating that old wrong info. Everyone's idea of what "proper" temps and substrate is might be different. What are your four temps? Warm side, cool side, basking area, and overnight low? What heating and lighting equipment are you using to maintain those temps? UV? What type of bulb?

This baby would benefit from some carrot and yam baby food soaks. Mix a jar of the baby food in with some warm water for the soaks. Keep that water over 90 degrees for the whole soak. This baby also needs a warm humid closed chamber. Temp should be no lower than 80-85 day or night, and ambient should creep into the 90s during the day with a 100 degree basking area.

Here is all the current correct care info:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/

Questions and conversation are welcome. Much of this will be contradictory to what you and your boyfriend's mom have learned in the past, or recently. It took decades of trial and error and experimentation to learn these things. Its not something some guy on the internet just made up yesterday. We've been combating the old wrong info for a long time here, but that old stuff is persistent. Hope we can help your little guy.
 

Chrissypohl

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Update on him. He pooped so I took it to the vet I used to work at, and they saw no parasites, just mainly blood. They said it was a really small sample(but he's a really small tort so that's all he gave me)
But I have no clue what could be causing the blood if it's not parasites. Maybe stress?
 

Chrissypohl

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Best to not move him. The stress may kill him. If you choose to do it anyway, have everyone in the car strip down to shorts and a t-shirt and keep the whole car 80+. Use a thermometer. You might feel "warm" on a cold day when temps a relatively cool. A 60 degree house feels hot when you step in out of the snow.

The care info for this species that was circulating around 10+ years ago was wrong. Most places you find info are still circulating that old wrong info. Everyone's idea of what "proper" temps and substrate is might be different. What are your four temps? Warm side, cool side, basking area, and overnight low? What heating and lighting equipment are you using to maintain those temps? UV? What type of bulb?

This baby would benefit from some carrot and yam baby food soaks. Mix a jar of the baby food in with some warm water for the soaks. Keep that water over 90 degrees for the whole soak. This baby also needs a warm humid closed chamber. Temp should be no lower than 80-85 day or night, and ambient should creep into the 90s during the day with a 100 degree basking area.

Here is all the current correct care info:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/

Questions and conversation are welcome. Much of this will be contradictory to what you and your boyfriend's mom have learned in the past, or recently. It took decades of trial and error and experimentation to learn these things. Its not something some guy on the internet just made up yesterday. We've been combating the old wrong info for a long time here, but that old stuff is persistent. Hope we can help your little guy.


My boyfriend does his research on everything and got most of his info from this site. He likes to stay up to date.
His basking stays around 100-105, his warm is 90, his cool ranges between 80-85 The humidity since he is still young( he's only .055kg and less than 2 months old) stays between 50-70%. And at night it gets no lower than 75(we have a CHE on the way to keep them from getting too low at night)
We're also going to get one of those laser temperature gauges to test regularly.
We have a uva basking like, we also have a uvb bulb.
He also has a hide that he can go into if it gets too hot.
Before we got him he hadn't eaten in at least 2 weeks. Now he has eaten at least 1 and a half cc's of the find grind critical care mixed with water.(we just brought him home yesterday)

He's currently getting very warm soaks 3 times a day with water and midly sweet pedialyte(what the vet said to do)
Anything else I'm missing?
 

Tom

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My boyfriend does his research on everything and got most of his info from this site. He likes to stay up to date.
His basking stays around 100-105, his warm is 90, his cool ranges between 80-85 The humidity since he is still young( he's only .055kg and less than 2 months old) stays between 50-70%. And at night it gets no lower than 75(we have a CHE on the way to keep them from getting too low at night)
We're also going to get one of those laser temperature gauges to test regularly.
We have a uva basking like, we also have a uvb bulb.
He also has a hide that he can go into if it gets too hot.
Before we got him he hadn't eaten in at least 2 weeks. Now he has eaten at least 1 and a half cc's of the find grind critical care mixed with water.(we just brought him home yesterday)

He's currently getting very warm soaks 3 times a day with water and midly sweet pedialyte(what the vet said to do)
Anything else I'm missing?
-If the basking area is too hot, it will make them pyramid. I'd drop it to 95ish.
-Bump humidity up to 80+% all the time. This will be very difficult in an open topped enclosure. Easy in a closed chamber.
-Its important to keep it 80 degrees or higher at night. Your incoming CHE will help with that, and you'll need a thermostat to run it.
-What kind of UV bulb? The cfl type are not effective and sometimes dangerous. The new HO types are the way to go.
 

Chrissypohl

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Tom,
I read your post on hatchling failure syndrome.
What do you think the chances are that we're dealing with that?
 

Big Charlie

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The closed eyes is a bad sign. The fact that he ate is a good sign. How does his shell feel? Is there any softness?
 

Chrissypohl

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So during his final soak of the night, I used a warm wet qutip to wipe some of the substrate off of his eyes and face, and it unclogged one nostril and partially unclogged the other. I think one more good soak will get the other one.
His eyes are also starting to open, one more so than the other, but I can definitely see more eye and less film-like stuff over them. He opened his mouth a lot more willingly for his feeding, but still ate the same amount.
 

Chrissypohl

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After his morning soak, his other nostril opened up!
We have officially unclogged both nostrils!!
The eyes are more indented today, and we can see a slightly bigger slit of the actual eye
 

Chrissypohl

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How was the baby started? What substrate and how many soaks per week?

I don't know about the breeder, but the pet store had his highest temp at 70 and they had it bone dry.
They even asked my boyfriend to come in and give them tips and info on how to care for them, and they didn't use any of that info... then one died and the one we have now got so much worse there
 

Tom

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I don't know about the breeder, but the pet store had his highest temp at 70 and they had it bone dry.
They even asked my boyfriend to come in and give them tips and info on how to care for them, and they didn't use any of that info... then one died and the one we have now got so much worse there
If this is the case, then it is likely that the one you have will suffer the effects of early chronic dehydration. Some make it and some don't. All you can do is offer it the best possible conditions and try.

By the way, a vet isn't likely to help in this sort of case, and most of what they would do will make things worse.
 
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