Baby Sulcata lethargic and not eating

snubbull

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Hello, I apologize for my first post being on the down side, but I don't know what to do.

I got a baby sulcata in about June, who is now about 8-11 months old? He (currently do not know the sex, but their name is Tucker so for consistency's sake I will refer to them as he) was healthy and fine up until about September, when I started noticing little bumps on his neck and armpit. About a month later they peeled, leaving a layer of skin kind of just flap off of him. Concerned, I made an appointment to see the vet, but couldn't get in until mid November. She said her only concerns were his plastron being slightly soft for his age, and she prescribed him Silver Sulfadiazine for the skin. She pulled off the skin flaps, saying they could have been caused by bacteria or (if I recall correctly) parasites, but that the medication should help, which it did seem to do. Flashback about a week from today, I started noticing he wasn't moving much, rubbing his eyes a lot, and barely ate. He already had a bad appetite as it was, refusing to eat dandelions, lawn grass, greens, etc except for yellow squash for the past couple of months despite all I tried to do to get him to eat better (he did eat Mustard greens and some other greens, but not nearly as much as he should). About four days ago I noticed it was getting worse, because he didn't move at all from the spot he was sleeping on. He previously had a ten gallon acrylic tank, so I did a lot of research during that day and the prior ones wondering if it was perhaps his heating and a UVB issue. The day after, now about three days ago, I built him a wooden enclosure and bought better bulbs. His heat is now more sufficient, with a 75 degree low on one side and 102 high basking side, in addition to the UVB rod light I bought. I also water the substrate every other day and mist it three times a day. However, he is doing even worse. He hasn't eaten at all for about a week now (he did eat a few bites of yellow squash yetserday), and is visibly getting weaker. I soak him about fifteen minutes a day for the past five days hoping to get him to eat more, but he simply will not, and does not move an inch in his terrarium or even open his eyes unless he is being soaked.

He has another appointment in two days, but I'm extremely worried and wonder if there is anything I can do to aid him until his visit. My main suspicsions are that he is either vitamin deficient, having a reaction to the medication, a humidity issue, or has an infection of some sort. I'm still confused though, because at his intial visit the doc showed no concern, unless he could have gotten this sick within a matter of about three weeks. Any advice is greatly appreciated, as I am very worried for my lil guy (or gal) :(
 

Pastel Tortie

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I'm sorry you're having to go through all this. Have the yellow bumps (or spots or scabs) returned? Do you have any pictures?

Where did you get your little one from?

@mastershake
 

snubbull

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I'm sorry you're having to go through all this. Have the yellow bumps (or spots or scabs) returned? Do you have any pictures?

Where did you get your little one from?

@mastershake


The bumps seem to have disappeared, and I got him from a local pet store. I'm extremely against buying from pet stores because I do not support how they obtain most of their pets, but this one obtained theirs from local breeders, so I found it to be suitable. The white spot on his head is from the medication cream, the discoloration on his neck is where the skin peeled off.
 

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Pastel Tortie

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The bumps seem to have disappeared, and I got him from a local pet store. I'm extremely against buying from pet stores because I do not support how they obtain most of their pets, but this one obtained theirs from local breeders, so I found it to be suitable. The white spot on his head is from the medication cream, the discoloration on his neck is where the skin peeled off.
So these are current pictures?
 

snubbull

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So these are current pictures?

Yes, I just took these. He's been in the same position for about an hour now. I soaked him to see if he would eat, which he didn't, but he at least opened his eyes and walked around in the water a bit. Once out, though, he immediately sprawled out and went back to sleep.
 

Pastel Tortie

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There's a subforum about the yellow bumps in the Tortoise Health section.
We can't say for certain if your little one has the same thing or not, but that part sounds familiar. You might want to take a look in the subforum and see if any of the pictures and descriptions are consistent with the bumps you noticed before.
 

snubbull

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There's a subforum about the yellow bumps in the Tortoise Health section.
We can't say for certain if your little one has the same thing or not, but that part sounds familiar. You might want to take a look in the subforum and see if any of the pictures and descriptions are consistent with the bumps you noticed before.

Thank you, I looked on the forum, but the bumps seem to be a little too pale in color. His bumps were more his skin color, and they eventually peeled. It sounds similar to what people have been experiencing, but I'm not sure if that's exactly what it is.
 

Pastel Tortie

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@snubbull A number of forum members have had decent results with carrot baby food / pedialyte soaks for ill tortoises that aren't eating.
 

snubbull

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@snubbull A number of forum members have had decent results with carrot baby food / pedialyte soaks for ill tortoises that aren't eating.

I'll definitely look into that, thank you so much!
 

Chefdenoel10

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I'll definitely look into that, thank you so much!

yes listen to Pastel Tortie...
Baby carrot food (the liquid kind) and UNFLAVORED pedialite. I have done this before and they perk right up. It has electrolytes in it and is a vitamin booster.
Also for eating maybe try the “Mazuri LS “
Sold in pet stores. Try wetting it to make it mush and see if he will eat that. You only need a small bag.. it will last a lifetime!
Or maybe try colorful foods?
you said he likes the “yellow” squash?
So try something with vibrant colors?
Cut up small though... he is just a baby.
I am sending you prayers 🤞🍀🙏
Luck and hugs...
And finally,
Don’t get ANY shots from the vet until you check on here first!
vets only give shots because they don’t know what else to do.
Most of the time the cure involves :
Heating bulbs
Humidity
Your substrate (the stuff he walks on)
And long soaks....
Good luck and I am with you in spirit!! 🥰
Keep us posted!!!!
 

mastershake

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the bumps can be more skin color they are not always light sometimes yellow and crusty sometimes more light or white. when they fall off that does not mean the bacteria is gone its a systemic bacteria and can be in the blood, bones, muscle, cartilage, etc. this is the biggest problem with this.
 

snubbull

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yes listen to Pastel Tortie...
Baby carrot food (the liquid kind) and UNFLAVORED pedialite. I have done this before and they perk right up. It has electrolytes in it and is a vitamin booster.
Also for eating maybe try the “Mazuri LS “
Sold in pet stores. Try wetting it to make it mush and see if he will eat that. You only need a small bag.. it will last a lifetime!
Or maybe try colorful foods?
you said he likes the “yellow” squash?
So try something with vibrant colors?
Cut up small though... he is just a baby.
I am sending you prayers 🤞🍀🙏
Luck and hugs...
And finally,
Don’t get ANY shots from the vet until you check on here first!
vets only give shots because they don’t know what else to do.
Most of the time the cure involves :
Heating bulbs
Humidity
Your substrate (the stuff he walks on)
And long soaks....
Good luck and I am with you in spirit!! 🥰
Keep us posted!!!!

thank you, this has been very helpful! I'll update what the veterinarian says tomorrow :)
 

snubbull

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the bumps can be more skin color they are not always light sometimes yellow and crusty sometimes more light or white. when they fall off that does not mean the bacteria is gone its a systemic bacteria and can be in the blood, bones, muscle, cartilage, etc. this is the biggest problem with this.

I see, if the veterinarian recommends it, would getting blood work done be a good idea?
 

snubbull

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Hi,

So my last post was regarding my tortoise Tucker's health, and today at his visit the veterinarian told me that he is in the late stages of metabolic bone disease. She said that it looks unlikely that he will get much better or turn around easily, but prescribed him calcium injections and advised us to (carefully, of course, considering how small he is) syringe feed him and keep him under his UVB as much as possible, or in the sun if possible. With that said, she still doesn't think he will get entirely back to himself. Are there any suggestions as to nursing him hopefully to better health, or anything I can do to make him as comfortable as possible? :(

Thank you in advanced.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Hi,

So my last post was regarding my tortoise Tucker's health, and today at his visit the veterinarian told me that he is in the late stages of metabolic bone disease. She said that it looks unlikely that he will get much better or turn around easily, but prescribed him calcium injections and advised us to (carefully, of course, considering how small he is) syringe feed him and keep him under his UVB as much as possible, or in the sun if possible. With that said, she still doesn't think he will get entirely back to himself. Are there any suggestions as to nursing him hopefully to better health, or anything I can do to make him as comfortable as possible? :(

Thank you in advanced.
How old is the Sulcata? You said baby in the post title but MBD takes a long time to develop. If your tortoise is less than 6 months old its not MBD. Also calcium injections are not good. That's a good sign the VET you went to didn't know what they're doing. Can you post pics of the tortoise?
 

snubbull

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How old is the Sulcata? You said baby in the post title but MBD takes a long time to develop. If your tortoise is less than 6 months old its not MBD. Also calcium injections are not good. That's a good sign the VET you went to didn't know what they're doing.

Well he's still about only 3.5-4 inches, so not old, but I have had him since June, so older that 6 months for sure.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Well he's still about only 3.5-4 inches, so not old, but I have had him since June, so older that 6 months for sure.
Where did you get the tortoise? There has been a pretty bad disease going around in young Sulcatas lately from a few distributors. Has your tortoise had any darker/yellow patches on it's skin at any time since you've had it?
 

snubbull

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Where did you get the tortoise? There has been a pretty bad disease going around in young Sulcatas lately from a few distributors. Has your tortoise had any darker/yellow patches on it's skin at any time since you've had it?

If you check my last (it's my only one) post, I describe his condition and a couple of other people tell me he may have the same yellow spots going around, which I'm unsure if he has as well. He initially went in for peeling skin, which started as tiny bumps; they're all gone with the exception of one. I got him from a local pet store (Arroyo Grande, CA) who receive their reptiles from local breeders.
 
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