Help! Sick Baby Sulcata!

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SulcataMom

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Please help me. I can't afford to go to the vet right now and my baby Sulcata is not well. He is about 1 1/2 years old. Not 100% sure on his sex, we call him Tuck. He was a present for my son, though I take care of him. I keep reading things all over the internet and I'm going crazy, I'm worried we are going to lose him.

He has not been his normal roaming, spunky, lettuce chomping self. Here are the things wrong with him:

-He is not eating, hand feeding and force-feeding doesn't work either
-He seems to have a hard time seeing/responding to movement around him
-He is very lethargic, barely moves and won’t even walk to food, which he used to RUN to
-He has a white dot in his left eye; you can see it in the photos below
-he has a hard time opening his eyes until I soak him or get his face wet with a few drop of water

As far as his environment he has a 5 Gallon tank, alfalfa substrate. Basking light 50w and a UV bulb, which after doing more reading it seems the coil type he has isn't good for Sulcatas :(

He eats lettuce and orange tortoise cube supplements with calcium. I soaked him 2-3 times a week but now I have been doing it every day because his eyes don't seem to be able to open without it.

I know if he doesn’t eat soon he will die. Please help me, my son is going to be hysterical if his baby dies and I already feel like it’s my fault because I must have messed up something along the way.
 

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Yvonne G

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Hi Sulcatamom:

Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

May we know your name and where you are?

No need for the vet just yet. You can probably bring him around by yourself.

First and foremost, get rid of that coil bulb immediately! Even if you just have to use a 100 watt regular bulb like what you use in your house, that's better than the coil bulb.

Then, buy some Gerber strained carrots or sweet potatoes or squash...the red ones have the most vitamin a. Use a bowl/small tub with a small foot print but with tall sides so he can't climb out, and put in a small jar of the strained carrots (or whatever). Add warm water until the mixture comes up to the middle of the tortoise's sides (where the top meets the bottom). If he's upset, you can cover it to calm him down. Leave him sitting in this mixture for at least a half hour. Keep your eye on him to be sure he's ok.

After about three days of once-a-day soaks and no spiral bulb you should see his eyes starting to look normal.

Keep him warm and continue to place food on his feeding station. Keep him quiet.

Good luck, and keep us informed (please!)
 

dmarcus

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Hello and welcome, I agree with Yvonne. Looks like the coil bulb is causing eye issues with your sulcata which is affecting it's health.
 

Yvonne G

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Good catch, Tom. 5 gallons is much too small even for a hatchling.
 

SulcataMom

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Thank you very much for the advice I am doing the carrot babyfood soaks, 2 days now hopefully it works. I will update soon.
 

j156ghs

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SulcataMom said:
Please help me. I can't afford to go to the vet right now and my baby Sulcata is not well. He is about 1 1/2 years old. Not 100% sure on his sex, we call him Tuck. He was a present for my son, though I take care of him. I keep reading things all over the internet and I'm going crazy, I'm worried we are going to lose him.

He has not been his normal roaming, spunky, lettuce chomping self. Here are the things wrong with him:

-He is not eating, hand feeding and force-feeding doesn't work either
-He seems to have a hard time seeing/responding to movement around him
-He is very lethargic, barely moves and won’t even walk to food, which he used to RUN to
-He has a white dot in his left eye; you can see it in the photos below
-he has a hard time opening his eyes until I soak him or get his face wet with a few drop of water

As far as his environment he has a 5 Gallon tank, alfalfa substrate. Basking light 50w and a UV bulb, which after doing more reading it seems the coil type he has isn't good for Sulcatas :(

He eats lettuce and orange tortoise cube supplements with calcium. I soaked him 2-3 times a week but now I have been doing it every day because his eyes don't seem to be able to open without it.

I know if he doesn’t eat soon he will die. Please help me, my son is going to be hysterical if his baby dies and I already feel like it’s my fault because I must have messed up something along the way.

It must be tough. I hope he's doing much better by now. A couple thoughts though I don't have that much experience.

1. My 2-yr-old Hermanns lives in a 20-gal tank which allows him get away from the glare and heat of the lights when he wants and to find a cooler/warmer end of the tank as he chooses. He also is more active with the extra space and likes to forage. (Did you mean 5 gallon or was that a typo?)

2. I'd get rid of the alfalfa bedding. That stuff develops mold way too quickly and easily -- and I live in a dry climate. Also, it's too aromatic I think, and would be like trying to live and sleep with a strong food odor all the time.
 
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