Help! Sick Red Footed Tortoise 🐢

Lindas2ndstar

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Richmond Va
I have a red footed tortoise, I have no idea how old she is, I have had her since October. She has pneumonia and has been on antibiotics, she doesn’t seem like she is getting better. I am a new tortoise owner, she is my first one and I feel like I am failing! She is in a wooden tortoise box, should I switch her to a plastic bin? Will that maintain the humidity and heat better? Any advice is welcome.
 

Cherryshell

Member
Location (City and/or State)
Manassas Virginia
Welcome! Give this caresheet a read through and do switch to the plastic bin

 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Hi, and welcome! I'm sorry your girl is sick!

Do you have someone who could screw 2 uprights, 1 on each end of the enclosure? Then screw a crosspiece connecting the 2 uprights at the top?.. Then drape a shower curtain liner over the whole thing. Your lights mount to the cross bar at the top. You will end up with a plastic tent over your enclosure. This is a modification...you can just attach the uprights to the enclosure instead of making it freestanding.
IMG_1511635956.495114.jpg

This is the fastest way I can think of to enclose your table.

Then, you need to get her temps up, and her humidity. Being too cold is what usually causes resp infections, so heat will sometimes cure them. Her ambient temp should be no lower than 80° -85° at any time or anywhere in the enclosure, day or night. The humidity should be above 80-85% all the time anywhere in the enclosure.

Do you have a CHE on a thermostat? That would be perfect to use. For the humidity, have you been wetting the substrate to make it damp? If so, good.

Tell us what equipment you've been using for heat, and we can advise you what you may need.

If there's something you're not understanding that I've put here, just ask.

If you have not read our care sheet, give it a go. It will help you understand.

 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
You could use a bin with a lid. But you would need to cut holes in the lid for your heating element, and you need to mount the UVB light on the underside of the lid. There is no room for adjustment of the heater.
If you can attach just 2 pieces of wood with the cross piece, you will be able to leave your tort in her enclosure and be able to fine tune heat and light placement.

I guess it comes down to personal preference on what you are able to manage.

We'll work with you no matter what you decide.

@Blackdog1714

You're both in Richmond!
 

Lindas2ndstar

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Richmond Va
Welcome! Give this caresheet a read through and do switch to the plastic bin

Thank you, this is perfect. I’ve been doing a few things wrong and will correct them in the morning. Thank you again!
 

Lindas2ndstar

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Richmond Va
You could use a bin with a lid. But you would need to cut holes in the lid for your heating element, and you need to mount the UVB light on the underside of the lid. There is no room for adjustment of the heater.
If you can attach just 2 pieces of wood with the cross piece, you will be able to leave your tort in her enclosure and be able to fine tune heat and light placement.

I guess it comes down to personal preference on what you are able to manage.

We'll work with you no matter what you decide.
She’s in a wooden tortoise box right now but I need to make adjustments to her heat. She has a T8 UVB bulb a ceramic heat lamp and a bulb. She can’t be outdoors for another few months because it’s too cold for her. I’m going to call the vet Monday because I feel like she may need another round of antibiotics. She also had to be treated for parasites. I have no idea how she got them 🤷🏽‍♀️ It’s stressful because I feel like I’m in over my head but I really love her. I read somewhere to do diluted pedialyte baths? Does this really help?
Hi, and welcome! I'm sorry your girl is sick!

Do you have someone who could screw 2 uprights, 1 on each end of the enclosure? Then screw a crosspiece connecting the 2 uprights at the top?.. Then drape a shower curtain liner over the whole thing. Your lights mount to the cross bar at the top. You will end up with a plastic tent over your enclosure. This is a modification...you can just attach the uprights to the enclosure instead of making it freestanding.
View attachment 320120

This is the fastest way I can think of to enclose your table.

Then, you need to get her temps up, and her humidity. Being too cold is what usually causes resp infections, so heat will sometimes cure them. Her ambient temp should be no lower than 80° -85° at any time or anywhere in the enclosure, day or night. The humidity should be above 80-85% all the time anywhere in the enclosure.

Do you have a CHE on a thermostat? That would be perfect to use. For the humidity, have you been wetting the substrate to make it damp? If so, good.

Tell us what equipment you've been using for heat, and we can advise you what you may need.

If there's something you're not understanding that I've put here, just ask.

If you have not read our care sheet, give it a go. It will help you understand.

This is the box she is in, the uvb light is on the inside now, this is an old picture
 

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KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Oh, so your enclosure is already covered! Great! There's no need for you to go to a bin. That's just added stress for her.

If she is not eating at all, pedialyte may help her, along with carrot baby food. But this is only if she isn't eating. Antibiotics are very hard on torts!

Read this:

 

Lindas2ndstar

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Richmond Va
I went ahead and moved her to a bin, the temp is holding between 80-85. She adjusted pretty well and ate tonight. Hopefully this will turn her around, I didn’t realize antibiotics were hard on them, it sucked having to give them to her and I’m a nurse! But it’s easier explaining that I’m gonna poke you with something sharp to adults lol. I am so glad that I found you all! I was starting to panic about. Thank you for your help and I will keep you posted!
 

Lindas2ndstar

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Richmond Va
I went ahead and moved her to a bin, the temp is holding between 80-85. She adjusted pretty well and ate tonight. Hopefully this will turn her around, I didn’t realize antibiotics were hard on them, it sucked having to give them to her and I’m a nurse! But it’s easier explaining that I’m gonna poke you with something sharp to adults lol. I am so glad that I found you all! I was starting to panic about. Thank you for your help and I will keep you posted!
Update! She is doing so much better, her activity level has increased, she is eating, her breathing is better ❤️ Shelly says thank you for helping her, we are still not 100% but she getting better every day ☺️
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Update! She is doing so much better, her activity level has increased, she is eating, her breathing is better ❤ Shelly says thank you for helping her, we are still not 100% but she getting better every day ☺

Keep her in these same conditions for 2 weeks after she seems normal. She needs to be fully healthy before the stress of moving back to her regular enclosure.
 
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