My 6-7 month old sulcata is sick!!! Please help!!!

Not open for further replies.


New Member
5 Year Member
Nov 22, 2012
Hi my names jake,

My baby sulcata (sookie) is dying!!!
He's been acting really weird lately, he/she is or was the most active tort we've ever had, but the last week he's stopped eating!

We have a 80 gallon tank (lots of space to run around) all sides are covered so the glass doesn't spook him.

We by the zoo med repti-sun multi pack of UVA and UVB bulbs which are both 100w he has humid hides a basking spot a infrared heat lamp at one end for night time. He has a shallow soaking dish which he normally get in and out of every day of his own free will as well as being soaked by myself or my wife once a day.

It's normally 85-88degrees at the hot end and about 65-70 at the other

He eats romaine, carrots, squash sometimes a slither of an apple maybe once a week and I mean a slither as he's tiny. He gets repti calcium without d3 2-3 times a week. He also gets mazuri tortoise food every day as I have read that is good for sulcata growth.

I think it's worth mentioning that he had not grown much at all since we got him, whereas his brothers and sisters are noticeably larger than him now.

His substrate is repti bark with clean playsand which I boil before using to kill off anything that may harm him.

- Hes bubbling from the nose a lot! He did every now and again before but not like this.

- he keeps opening his mouth as wide as he can as if he's reaching to be sick, or trying to pass stool. This looks like its so painful and yet nothing happened after he just does it again and again.

Then this morning he seemed lazier than ever so I decided to bath him in some Luke warm water after failing to get him to eat Again.

He passed stool in the water like he always does. And then I took him out and he went completely limp.

The water was very shallow no where near his mouth or nose.

Then no movement at all. He wasn't reacting to anything!!

His eyes were half open but he wouldn't even acknowledge the fact that I was there.

I put him back in the tank after about 10 minuites of seeing if I could get him to do anything...but nothing.

My wife went to work crying thinking he was dead.

Then I put him in his basking spot with the light a little closer just as a last dither effort, and I left for five minuite and he had pooed a really sloppy stool and he'd moved over about 5 inches!!!!

Now he's walking about again but he's still doing that thing with his mouth, it's like he's choking or something it's really hard to explain.

He's holding on for now.

Please any information would be much appreciated, or if anyone knows of a good tort vet in San Antonio TX that would be great!!

Thank you and sorry for the life story I just wanted to give as much info as possible.


  • image.jpg
    1.6 MB · Views: 76


Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises
10 Year Member!
Aug 28, 2007
Location (City and/or State)
A Land Far Away...
It sounds like he has an upper respiratory infection. You need to get him to a Vet right away. I would also bump up his temps a bit.


Active Member
5 Year Member
Jun 12, 2012
Location (City and/or State)
Peoria, Arizona
Yes, a vet visit at this point is appropriate. Your temps are way too low...basking should be 100-105 warm 90 cool 80. I think you have it too cool your humidity should be 80%...if you cant get him to the vet right away i suggest baby food soaks asap.......


Active Member
5 Year Member
Dec 4, 2011
Warm him up ASAP- his basking spot is on the cooler end of what I prefer for a healthy tortoise and anytime you have a sick reptile it is in their best interest to be in the upper end of the optimal thermal range. Get him to a vet if possible, offer warm water soaks and greens, get him separate from your other tortoises immediately and then ... start reading. There are many adjustments you can make to your current husbandry techniques to improve future results once you get past this roadbump. A healthier diet, warmer enclosure, and different substrate are the first things that come to mind but in this moment I think a bump in temperature and trip to a knowledgable reptile vet are your best bet. I am so sorry you are having to watch you little guy suffer and hope you are able to help him pull through. I believe there is a section of this forum that lists reptile vets by area if you need help finding one near you. Goodluck!
Not open for further replies.