Eye Issue--Revisited

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Pokeymeg

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Some of you may remember my post a couple of months ago about my poor little Pistachio having problems opening his eyes. After changing my husbandry practices based on TFO members' advice, and a 3 week treatment of Terramycin his eyes cleared right up.

Well, his eyes got bad again, and after 2 weeks of Terramycin and no UVB light, there was no improvement so I figured there must be something else underlying this issue...

I took his to a really fantastic vet today (you may remember the last time I went to one she was completely unexperienced with small torts) who knew right away what was going on. His eyes are bad due to a respiratory infection, and he has a respiratory infection due to a massive worm and parasite problem (thankfully I had a super fresh sample of poop for the vet).

Poor little Pistachio thought he hated me before for putting Terramycin on his eyes all the time...Now I have to give his a teeny tiny shot of antibiotic every third day...How good are torts memories? Will this scar him terribly for life and make him hate me forever? :( If only torts could speak human!! (Or I could speak tortoise) Seriously though, he hates being picked up now...

Also, for anyone in MA, the Odd Pet Vet in Weymouth is absolutely the place to go. I used to take my guinea pigs to him with I was little, and I forgot how awesome he is. :tort:
 

TragicQuietus

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Gamera was given injections for a long time before she was fit enough for me to bring home and a lot of vet care after. (Fluid injections, Force feeding, Shell rot treatment) She avoided me at all costs. So I let her settle, handled only when I had to, and in a few months she was looking for me around soaking and feeding time. : ) The trauma doesn't stay. I'm going to assume they have good memories with how long they live. They need to be able to remember what scares them or has hurt them, whats good to eat and where to get what they need. But they also seem to relearn very quickly who isn't a threat and who really is a friend.

My thoughts are with you and Pistachio. Parasites are no fun to deal with.
 

kimber_lee_314

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As soon as he's better, and recognizes you as the person who brings him food, he'll forget all about the past! :)
 

Terry Allan Hall

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ascott said:
Yeah....Pistachio wont hold a grudge....give her time:D

And a tasty bribe never hurts (mine are nuts about a piece of strawberry, but not too often)...torts are VERY practical about these matters. :p
 

Pokeymeg

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Terry Allan Hall said:
ascott said:
Yeah....Pistachio wont hold a grudge....give her time:D

And a tasty bribe never hurts (mine are nuts about a piece of strawberry, but not too often)...torts are VERY practical about these matters. :p

Hahaha, oh yes. Strawberry is definitely on the menu once his worms and whatnot are cleared up.

I gave him his first shot yesterday. Very traumatizing. Probably way more for me than him :(

In another update, poor Pistachio has lost his tail!! The vet warned me (THANK GOODNESS) on Saturday that is was going to fall off. It fell off Sunday morning. Imagine if he hadn't mentioned it!!! I would have flipped out even more than I did.

Apparently high heat and too low humidity can cause tail loss (yes, I gave him soaks and sprayed mist, etc):( :( :( There seems to be very little on this forum or on google about this problem. My vet has told me that the widely published 90+ degree hot spot is terrible for tortoises and in his 30 years, he's treated tortoises for more heat-related illnesses than anything else...I'm sure plently of you would totally disagree with my vet, but I am going to take his suggestion and get rid of the hot spot and keep Pistachio's enslosure at 75-80 degrees.

Poor poor Pistachio...
 
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Maggie Cummings

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Pokeymeg said:
Terry Allan Hall said:
ascott said:
Yeah....Pistachio wont hold a grudge....give her time:D

And a tasty bribe never hurts (mine are nuts about a piece of strawberry, but not too often)...torts are VERY practical about these matters. :p

Hahaha, oh yes. Strawberry is definitely on the menu once his worms and whatnot are cleared up.

I gave him his first shot yesterday. Very traumatizing. Probably way more for me than him :(

In another update, poor Pistachio has lost his tail!! The vet warned me (THANK GOODNESS) on Saturday that is was going to fall off. It fell off Sunday morning. Imagine if he hadn't mentioned it!!! I would have flipped out even more than I did.

Apparently high heat and too low humidity can cause tail loss (yes, I gave him soaks and sprayed mist, etc):( :( :( There seems to be very little on this forum or on google about this problem. My vet has told me that the widely published 90+ degree hot spot is terrible for tortoises and in his 30 years, he's treated tortoises for more heat-related illnesses than anything else...I'm sure plently of you would totally disagree with my vet, but I am going to take his suggestion and get rid of the hot spot and keep Pistachio's enslosure at 75-80 degrees.

Poor poor Pistachio...


But then what about having their insides at 85 so they can metabolize their food? I won't argue about the hot spot, but I think they do need an ambient temp of 85 degrees...
 

SulcataSquirt

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Sorry to hear all of this, kinda sounds like the initial poor husbandry is finally catching up, im not sure i would blame a 90 degree hot spot for your torts tail falling off. How have you been measuring your temps with a temp gun? how many months has he been basking in a spot that wasnt set up with a temp gun? i can put a normal thermometer under one of my lamp for a hour and hit it with my temp gun and it always read way higher than what the thermometer read. its easy to have a shot thats 140 degreess that you thought was only 100 degrees. I'd be very careful taking away his heat especially if he is sick. sorry again about your tort, it can really make your stomach drop when things go wrong with them.
 

Pokeymeg

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SulcataSquirt said:
Sorry to hear all of this, kinda sounds like the initial poor husbandry is finally catching up, im not sure i would blame a 90 degree hot spot for your torts tail falling off. How have you been measuring your temps with a temp gun? how many months has he been basking in a spot that wasnt set up with a temp gun? i can put a normal thermometer under one of my lamp for a hour and hit it with my temp gun and it always read way higher than what the thermometer read. its easy to have a shot thats 140 degreess that you thought was only 100 degrees. I'd be very careful taking away his heat especially if he is sick. sorry again about your tort, it can really make your stomach drop when things go wrong with them.

There was definitely some poor husbandry going on before I got Pistachio. His eyes originally started giving him trouble only a month after I got him. I know I've made some husbandry mistakes, like apparently not having a temperature gun, but there's no way he got worms and parasites from his home with me...

Back to the temperature gun--I have never used one! I've just been using a little thermometer from Petco....Why is there such a temperature difference?? Do I need to run out and buy one ASAP?

I am nervous about taking away the heat...but at this point I am strictly following the docs orders. He's had 30 years dealing with sick torts and other reptiles, so I'm going to put my trust in his experience and hope for the best.
 

SulcataSquirt

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I use the pro exotic PE-2 ordered off of ebay, you can pick up temp guns almost anywhere. lowes, homedepot, hardware stores, ect, knowing what I know now I wouldnt set up a baby tort tank without one. Have you ever had your tortoise outside? if so their is a chance that he picked up the parasite and worms their. Lets go back to how you have your guy set up. What size tank are you using? do you have nighttime heat? (usually needed for little guys, expecially if you have your set up humid. You have to remember these guys are cold blooded and need to stay warm while they are young and developing.
 

Pokeymeg

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SulcataSquirt said:
I use the pro exotic PE-2 ordered off of ebay, you can pick up temp guns almost anywhere. lowes, homedepot, hardware stores, ect, knowing what I know now I wouldnt set up a baby tort tank without one. Have you ever had your tortoise outside? if so their is a chance that he picked up the parasite and worms their. Lets go back to how you have your guy set up. What size tank are you using? do you have nighttime heat? (usually needed for little guys, expecially if you have your set up humid. You have to remember these guys are cold blooded and need to stay warm while they are young and developing.

We've had him outside, it took about 3 weeks after we got him to build an outside enclosure....which leaves a week between taking him outside for the first time and his first eye problems. Is that enough time for a worm and parasite problem to grow into a respiratory infection and cause eye problems?

His enclosure is 2x4, plenty big for the tiny guy to romp around in. I try to keep it humid, but it's hard to keep it consistantly above 50% since it's so dry right now. We're doing daily soaks to make up for it. I do not use nighttime heat. 65-70 at night, 80 during the day now. Before we had a basking light for his basking spot (90-95) and an MVB to keep the rest of the enclosure at 80-85. We've gotten rid of the basking light, and honestly, he seems much more comfortable. He always kind of shied away from it.

So I'm guessing that the temp gun measures the temp of the substrate, rather than the air like traditional thermometers?
 

TragicQuietus

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It could have been a pre existing condition made worse by stress. I can't speak for torts as I have just started in my experience with them but I see that at a calculable rate with the reptiles i deal with regularly. Its not easily avoidable at that point, but creatures of habit seem to drop their immune system while making big changes and adjusting to new settings. No fault of a proud new parent setting up and trying to do best for their baby. We all have our ups and downs. So glad for this forum for all the help I've had. Gam hates the basking light too and it was drying out her enclosure really bad where she likes to hide. So i have the uv and broader heat lamps day and night rather then basking and keep tabs on temps on the hot and cool side of her home at three levels, below ground, slightly above, and near the top. Don't know if that helps but that's my experience.
 
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