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Can hear my Tortoise breathing

Discussion in 'Redfoot and yellowfoot tortoises' started by Kipley, Oct 28, 2019.

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  1. Kipley

    Kipley Member

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    I just adopted Sheldon a week ago today, an 8 year old Redfoot, he is 6.5 lbs. I've noticed a few times a day I can hear him breathe from about 5 ft away. I'm a Respiratory Therapist by profession, so I'm probably more apt to notice breath sounds...lol. He doesn't sound "wet" nor his breathing appear labored. No sneezing or discharge either. But everyone once in a while for 5-10 minutes I can hear his respirations. Is this normal with a tortoise this size?

    Also his poop has been liquid for the week he has been here. His first poop was in the car on the way home and he had a semi-formed fecal with solid and liquid urates - looked fairly normal for a stress poop. But since then his stools are all dark green diarrhea. He was so dehydrated looking when he arrived last week, so He has been getting about 50-60% fruit with his mixed greens and tortoise weeds (planted from TortoiseSupplies' broadleaf weed mix) and mazuri. Should I give him another week to acclimate, or do you think I should get him into the vet for an exam?
    He is very active, very curious and appears healthy other than the intermittent audible breathing and the liquid poop.
  2. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

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    While waiting for someone to help with the breathing---the pooping in the car is something to remember if your tort is not pooping. Car rides work great. Also what conditions are you keeping him in- light, heat, humididty, plants, cover, hide and substrate. Also soaking your tort may help with rehydrating
    TammyJ and Kipley like this.
  3. Kipley

    Kipley Member

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    Sorry, He had been kept in a 2' x 4' glass frag tank with pine shavings and a water bowl. He mostly scooted across the slick glass on a cushion of the pine shavings. His water bowl was just wet mushy shavings.
    I've uploaded photos of him in a previous thread, and can't seem to upload photos today. He has some moderate (?) pyramiding. I've been soaking him for 30 minutes a day, moved him into a 2' x 6' stock tank (still too small, but all I have at the moment) with top soil/coconut coir mixed with cypress bark, covered by a layer of orchid bark. I have a 36 inch UVB that runs about 6 hours a day, and CHE heaters across the open top to maintain heat at about 78 - 88 across the enclosure. I am running a fogger for now to keep humidity at around 60%.
    I have a Radiant Heat panel on the way and will enclose the table once that and the thermostat arrives later this week.
    Apparently he was allowed to free roam in his previous home, along with a "bunny rabbit friend".
  4. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, what a lucky tort! You are getting him in the right direction. The size is small but it is also way better. Setting up a larger indoor and an appropiate outdoor (next year) can be done next. My Leopard likes to sniff the air when I move him around and especially at first when I put him in his soak bowl. With no discharge and no wet sounds he may be just smelling the new surroundings. Try to give him as much quiet time in his enclosure as possible to settle in and I think you two will do well. There are awesome night box designs and unbelievable pictures of some of the members outdoor enclosures. For you won't the summers be fairly humid outdoors?
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  5. Kipley

    Kipley Member

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    Thanks! I have a small yearling Sulcata that is about 110 grams - the stock tank was to be his upgraded indoor enclosure, but he'll have to stay in the concrete mixing tub (2.5' x 5') for now, as I try and figure out how to do a larger indoor Redfoot enclosure.
    I live on a 1/2 acre and have a great back yard for the Tortoises once I can get two winter enclosures built for them. Humidity should not be a problem here in an outdoor enclosure. Right now we are dropping down to the high 20's at night - a bit colder than usual for this time of year.
    I have an open floor plan and Sheldon's enclosure is in my family room which is open to the kitchen. It is possible that I've noticed his heavy breathing when I'm cooking - perhaps he is just smelling the air? I'll have to pay closer attention to the timing.
  6. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

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    Possibly redfoots do like protein in their meals
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  7. daniellenc

    daniellenc Well-Known Member

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    Protein is good 2-3 times per month. My RF who is 2 and never a noisy breather scared me as well this winter, but I think it was my humidity being too low. Now that I sealed her vents off in the cage she is fine.
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  8. yellow footed tortois

    yellow footed tortois New Member

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    red foot and yellow foots should have cypress mulch for a substrate not pine. That could be irritating the tortoise. I Zoo Med sells cypress mulch if you can’t get it in your area. And make sure it’s cupress mulch and not treated mulch. Good luck
  9. Kipley

    Kipley Member

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    The pine shavings were in his previous home. As soon as I brought him home he was moved to coconut coir/top soil mix topped with Orchid bark.
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  10. yellow footed tortois

    yellow footed tortois New Member

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    That’s great! I found out that previous owners are not always the best owners, by experience. It could be humidity levels. Ours sniff loudly a lot when she is hungry or smelling something in the house. Keep monitoring. Thanks!
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  11. Kipley

    Kipley Member

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    He is a sniffer! His enclosure is in my great room (those open kitchen family room things) so he smells all the kitchen smells, the cat food and the dog food. If he likes what he smells, he sniffs loud enough that I can hear him. Apparently he has enjoyed both cat and dog food in his past. I let him out for 5 - 10 minutes each day to wander about the kitchen floor and he learned quickly to sniff out the bag of dog food and cat food.
    He is funny - he won't eat soaked pellets, nor dry pellets UNLESS I put them on the kitchen floor - then he eats as many as I offer. But he won't touch them if he is inside his enclosure. He has an excellent appetite and eats almost everything I offer (all healthy of course).

    Can he have cherry tomatoes? He was given one by a family member and loved it, but I seem to recall they are considered too acidic?
  12. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    How are his nails?
    (Walking on a cushion of pine shavings.)
    I use overturned ceramic tiles, slate or thin, cement pavers placed throughout my enclosures. It keeps the nails perfectly maintained.
    Also, Redfoot like to have a body of water large enough to climb into.
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  13. Kipley

    Kipley Member

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    His toenails are actually fine. I believe he was out on their tile floors enough to keep them trimmed.
    He has an 18 inch terra cotta plant saucer and a routine: Each morning I take the large saucer out, wash it and fill it with 93 degree water. He waits, comes out of his hide and soaks himself in the water for 15 to 30 minutes, then eats his breakfast. Usually he will soak himself again in the afternoon, but that morning soak it like clockwork.
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  14. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    My group live outdoors except for one that is in an indoor "hospital" enclosure.
    It's very common for me to see one or more of my RF in one of their outdoors pools. They are more aquatic than most people realize. And they get very excited when it rains, too!
    Kipley likes this.
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