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Need advice RI outbreak.

Toddrickfl1

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No it does not to me. I am not a veterinarian. But due to the lack of knowledge most vets have of reptile care, I have done lots of research myself and sought out as much info as possible when I have run into a very experienced reptile vet.

As far as I know, the injectable baytril was produced by Bayer to be used only once. Follow up should be orally. It creates too much tissue damage at the injection site since it is so alkaline. I would feel more comfortable using fortaz. Baytril is a big gun and should be used only when necessary with chelonians.
Ok thanks so much. I will mention Fortaz to them when I go back tomorrow.
 

Kapidolo Farms

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Maybe aquatics are different? https://newcms.eventkaddy.net/event_data/60/session_files/AV008_Conference_Note_jjacobs_cvma.net_AV008BOYERNasalDischargeinTortoises_20150512213127.pdf

I don't know what's going on here and I need some advice from someone with more experience. I recently bought a new turtle a little more than a month ago. I quarantined her from my other turtles and was planning to quarantine for at least month. She was in a tub in the basement with my pond a few feet away from the pond. She was acting fine for a few weeks but then stopped eating, started sleeping on the basking area all day, and opening her mouth a lot. I took her to the vet where they diagnosed her with a severe RI. She was given an antibiotic injection of baytril and I was suppose to return for a second in 2 days. Sadly she passed away that night. Then as of a few days ago one of the turtles in my pond starting presenting the same symptoms. I immediately quarantined her and took her to the vet. Same diagnosis RI, and given Baytril injection. She seems to be doing ok now, still quarantined. However yesterday I noticed ANOTHER one of my turtles in the pond was not eating and tonight when I got home, same thing sleeping on the basking area, and what appears to be gasping for air. I don't understand how this is happening. The new turtle that past away had no contact whatsoever with the pond or other turtles and I washed my hands Everytime I touched her or her water. I don't know what to do and I'm freaking out I don't want to lose anymore of my turtles. Am I missing something? Any advice as to what I should do? Should I separate all my turtles from each other, quarantine everyone? Do a water change on the pond? Could something in my husbandry be causing this? Any and all advice would be much appreciated. Oh ya and these are sliders and a Cooter I'm talking about. The Cooter is the one that started acting sick today. Sorry for the long post.
@mark1 @Markw84 @Kapidolo Farms @Yvonne G @shellfreak
 

Toddrickfl1

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Thanks for the reply Will. That's what throwing me off too. None of the sick turtles have any kind of nasal discharge. Which every article about RI's I've read says is the main sign. The symptoms I'm seeing are first lethargy. Then not eating. Followed by constant basking and sleeping on the basking area. Sleeping real heavy. Normally when I go down there they jump in the water quickly. The sick ones aren't. In fact when they're basking and awake they just sit there like they have no fear of me. Even let me pick them up or touch them. Which is not at all normal. The other thing im seeing is they open their mouths and point their head to the sky and pumping in and out. Almost like they're gagging or gasping for air. The last thing I've noticed is them rubbing their eyes a lot. I did have an x Ray on the first one and her lungs had a lot of fluids. Haven't had x Ray's on the other. I don't know what's going on here. Hopefully the antibiotics knocks it out.
 

Hoka's Mom

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I don't know what's going on here and I need some advice from someone with more experience. I recently bought a new turtle a little more than a month ago. I quarantined her from my other turtles and was planning to quarantine for at least month. She was in a tub in the basement with my pond a few feet away from the pond. She was acting fine for a few weeks but then stopped eating, started sleeping on the basking area all day, and opening her mouth a lot. I took her to the vet where they diagnosed her with a severe RI. She was given an antibiotic injection of baytril and I was suppose to return for a second in 2 days. Sadly she passed away that night. Then as of a few days ago one of the turtles in my pond starting presenting the same symptoms. I immediately quarantined her and took her to the vet. Same diagnosis RI, and given Baytril injection. She seems to be doing ok now, still quarantined. However yesterday I noticed ANOTHER one of my turtles in the pond was not eating and tonight when I got home, same thing sleeping on the basking area, and what appears to be gasping for air. I don't understand how this is happening. The new turtle that past away had no contact whatsoever with the pond or other turtles and I washed my hands Everytime I touched her or her water. I don't know what to do and I'm freaking out I don't want to lose anymore of my turtles. Am I missing something? Any advice as to what I should do? Should I separate all my turtles from each other, quarantine everyone? Do a water change on the pond? Could something in my husbandry be causing this? Any and all advice would be much appreciated. Oh ya and these are sliders and a Cooter I'm talking about. The Cooter is the one that started acting sick today. Sorry for the long post.
@mark1 @Markw84 @Kapidolo Farms @Yvonne G @shellfreak
Some RI are caused by an airborne virus and can turn into a bacterial infection in the lungs (think common cold and bronchitis) I have no idea if that is the case here but I would certainly ask the Vet about it. I had turtles for many years and they did catch colds and sneeze mucus when it happened.
 

ShirleyTX

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Some RI are caused by an airborne virus and can turn into a bacterial infection in the lungs (think common cold and bronchitis) I have no idea if that is the case here but I would certainly ask the Vet about it. I had turtles for many years and they did catch colds and sneeze mucus when it happened.
I had the same thought, that perhaps the bacteria or virus is airborne. Just as others have said, I am certainly not a turtle person. But if you go with the theory that it’s airborne, then maybe your idea to separate them all from each other is a good one. I don’t know if separating them in enclosures that are still in the same room would do any good…? Just thinking along a common sense line here, maybe this will spark an idea that someone else can address.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Thank you @Hoka's Mom and @ShirleyTX for your responses. I've thought about something being airborne too. Honestly that would be my only logical guess at this point. One of the ill turtles has responded well to treatment and seems to be on the mend. The other hasn't so far, and continues to decline. She goes back tomorrow for a second treatment. Fingers crossed. This weekend I plan on completely disassembling the pond and cleaning it really good. I am going to move the quarantined turtles to another part of the house too.
 

Hoka's Mom

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Thank you @Hoka's Mom and @ShirleyTX for your responses. I've thought about something being airborne too. Honestly that would be my only logical guess at this point. One of the ill turtles has responded well to treatment and seems to be on the mend. The other hasn't so far, and continues to decline. She goes back tomorrow for a second treatment. Fingers crossed. This weekend I plan on completely disassembling the pond and cleaning it really good. I am going to move the quarantined turtles to another part of the house too.
Good luck. This is a very difficult situation and you are truly doing a great job of trying to solve the problem. Your quarantine practice did still provide you with a time delay between the turtle tanks which has allowed you to catch the others...which, had you not quarantined, you would have likely lost them all very rapidly. It has also helped you rule out some things since you knew they had not been in direct contact.
I really hope it works out. Really sorry you are going through this. And keep us posted.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Good luck. This is a very difficult situation and you are truly doing a great job of trying to solve the problem. Your quarantine practice did still provide you with a time delay between the turtle tanks which has allowed you to catch the others...which, had you not quarantined, you would have likely lost them all very rapidly. It has also helped you rule out some things since you knew they had not been in direct contact.
I really hope it works out. Really sorry you are going through this. And keep us posted.
Thank you very much
 

oldocb

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I agree with the cautions about using Baytril, since it can damage soft tissues. Fortaz is a better choice, given as an intramuscular injection every 72 hours. Treatment should be for as long as necessary, not a set number of injections. Try to find a veterinarian who enjoys working with chelonians. Combining injectable Fortaz with nebulizer treatments may enhance the success of treatment.
 

Toddrickfl1

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I agree with the cautions about using Baytril, since it can damage soft tissues. Fortaz is a better choice, given as an intramuscular injection every 72 hours. Treatment should be for as long as necessary, not a set number of injections. Try to find a veterinarian who enjoys working with chelonians. Combining injectable Fortaz with nebulizer treatments may enhance the success of treatment.
Thanks for your response @oldocb I've already mentioned switching to Fortaz to the vet. The problem im facing too is getting them back every few days. The vets hours are the same as my job. So it's kind of hard to be able to keep leaving work. I've got them an appointment again tomorrow morning and I've already scheduled a vacation day from work Monday so I can bring them back.
 

mark1

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this really sucks , I just think you keep treating what you see ……. if it gets real bad have a vet try to figure out what it is specifically ……. baytril im every 48 hours is a recommended protocol from the manufacturer …….. I've had some extremely experienced vets that have prescribed baytril im every 48 hours … the manufacturer actually originally recommended every 24hrs im for 5 days ………….. ask your vet if he can just give you the injections to take home and do them yourself ? nothing wrong with baytril , I've never seen the tissue damage it causes , you need to not use the same spot twice , and the vet can dilute it , and probably does ……….. it's been around a long time , reptiles are on label use , it has been used , misused and overused for a long long time , i'd imagine there is a resistance issue within the hobby by now ……… fortaz is every 72 hours , you won't get the pain reaction , and it seems to be a pretty effective drug …… I've had it not work a few times , and it doesn't work on mycoplasma infections , which seems less common in turtles than tortoises …….. good luck , let us know how it goes , i'd be interested ….. …..

i'd suggest if they decline after a second dose try something else
 

Lrodmyre

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I guess I can throw my 2 cents worth in as well. I'm sorry you are going through this!

I have rescued turtles for many years now, and I would say 95% of the time I get a turtle, it has an RI. My vet prescribes ceftazidiime. It needs to be kept frozen, so I bring a cooler with me when I bring the turtle. She showed me the very first time I went in with my first sick turtle how to give injections so I didn't have to keep coming back for an office visit. She fills the shots for me, and then I have to inject in the leg under the scale. She has me give a shot every other day, but I have to keep moving around the turtle to each leg. It's not that difficult to do. I would ask your vet if this is something he could show you how to do. She gives me the smallest needles. I think they are what diabetics use. She gave me a wine bottle cork to put next to their neck, inbetween the shell, so they can't bite you. They bite the cork instead. If the cork is too big, just chisel some of it away so it fits between the top and bottom shell, not too much, it still needs to be snug. What she has lost in me with office visits, she has gained with me bringing all of my turtles that are sick to her.

I was also going to suggest that you tear apart the whole tank and bleach it. I do that with all my turtle tanks once a year anyway, as per the vet. The other thing I use with every tank is a UV sterilizer. That kills bacteria in the water. No matter how big we make our tanks, it is never as much water as they have in the wild.

One last thing, for your turtle that is not responding well. Ask the vet to change the med to something else. Make sure you have the water warmer, like 85 degrees. This kicks up the immune system. Bump up the basking light a little too, to maybe 95, but make sure the turtle has enough room on the basking spot to move around so it doesn't get overheated. It will find the spot that it feels good in.

I, too, have had turtles that don't have a discharge. All of them are different, just like you and I. Some get swollen eyes, and the vets think it Vitamin A dificiency, but it turns out to be an RI.

Again, ask for a different med for the one that's not responding. You kind of have to be your own advocate for your turtle. Think of it as if this were your child, I would be telling the doctor it's not working, try something else.

Just an afterthought, has the vet checked for parasites? Some parasites can make them very sick also.

Keep us posted. I am keeping my fingers crossed for a good outcome. Turtles get sick, but they are resilient. I've had many come back from almost death, so keep your spirits up.
 

Blackdog1714

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I would seriously consider creating an almost airtight shell with plastic around the area. You want to create an air barrier so as to contain and prevent airborne transfer. Add a plastic door way with a tub filled with chlohexadine for your shoes and alcohol wipes for your hands. Sounds crazy but you don’t want to get your other torts sick. Good luck
 

Toddrickfl1

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I would seriously consider creating an almost airtight shell with plastic around the area. You want to create an air barrier so as to contain and prevent airborne transfer. Add a plastic door way with a tub filled with chlohexadine for your shoes and alcohol wipes for your hands. Sounds crazy but you don’t want to get your other torts sick. Good luck
I'm actually not that far away from that @Blackdog1714 ! I've got antibacterial soap at the entrance of every room I have a turtle setup or the basement and I'm using it whenever I go in or out. I've also even thought about transporting the sick turtles to my mother's house down the road and setting them up there.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Good news tonight. Got home a little while ago and turtle #2 to get sick who's had a few treatments is eating again, and not just small bites, she's eating vigorously like she normally does. She's seems almost normal again. Turtle #3 to get sick has not improved any, same today. Vet visit at 930 tomorrow again. I did just have the vet call me to check how the turtles were doing. I explained my concerns with the baytril. She said she never uses the same injection site and switches to a different area to minimize any chance of tissue damage. She thinks since turtle 2 has improved with 2 injections we will discontinue them and monitor her. We're hopeful that turtle 3 will respond after 2 as well. Fingers crossed
 

Toddrickfl1

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this really sucks , I just think you keep treating what you see ……. if it gets real bad have a vet try to figure out what it is specifically ……. baytril im every 48 hours is a recommended protocol from the manufacturer …….. I've had some extremely experienced vets that have prescribed baytril im every 48 hours … the manufacturer actually originally recommended every 24hrs im for 5 days ………….. ask your vet if he can just give you the injections to take home and do them yourself ? nothing wrong with baytril , I've never seen the tissue damage it causes , you need to not use the same spot twice , and the vet can dilute it , and probably does ……….. it's been around a long time , reptiles are on label use , it has been used , misused and overused for a long long time , i'd imagine there is a resistance issue within the hobby by now ……… fortaz is every 72 hours , you won't get the pain reaction , and it seems to be a pretty effective drug …… I've had it not work a few times , and it doesn't work on mycoplasma infections , which seems less common in turtles than tortoises …….. good luck , let us know how it goes , i'd be interested ….. …..

i'd suggest if they decline after a second dose try something else
Thanks for the response Mark, I always appreciate your insight.
 

Toddrickfl1

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I guess I can throw my 2 cents worth in as well. I'm sorry you are going through this!

I have rescued turtles for many years now, and I would say 95% of the time I get a turtle, it has an RI. My vet prescribes ceftazidiime. It needs to be kept frozen, so I bring a cooler with me when I bring the turtle. She showed me the very first time I went in with my first sick turtle how to give injections so I didn't have to keep coming back for an office visit. She fills the shots for me, and then I have to inject in the leg under the scale. She has me give a shot every other day, but I have to keep moving around the turtle to each leg. It's not that difficult to do. I would ask your vet if this is something he could show you how to do. She gives me the smallest needles. I think they are what diabetics use. She gave me a wine bottle cork to put next to their neck, inbetween the shell, so they can't bite you. They bite the cork instead. If the cork is too big, just chisel some of it away so it fits between the top and bottom shell, not too much, it still needs to be snug. What she has lost in me with office visits, she has gained with me bringing all of my turtles that are sick to her.

I was also going to suggest that you tear apart the whole tank and bleach it. I do that with all my turtle tanks once a year anyway, as per the vet. The other thing I use with every tank is a UV sterilizer. That kills bacteria in the water. No matter how big we make our tanks, it is never as much water as they have in the wild.

One last thing, for your turtle that is not responding well. Ask the vet to change the med to something else. Make sure you have the water warmer, like 85 degrees. This kicks up the immune system. Bump up the basking light a little too, to maybe 95, but make sure the turtle has enough room on the basking spot to move around so it doesn't get overheated. It will find the spot that it feels good in.

I, too, have had turtles that don't have a discharge. All of them are different, just like you and I. Some get swollen eyes, and the vets think it Vitamin A dificiency, but it turns out to be an RI.

Again, ask for a different med for the one that's not responding. You kind of have to be your own advocate for your turtle. Think of it as if this were your child, I would be telling the doctor it's not working, try something else.

Just an afterthought, has the vet checked for parasites? Some parasites can make them very sick also.

Keep us posted. I am keeping my fingers crossed for a good outcome. Turtles get sick, but they are resilient. I've had many come back from almost death, so keep your spirits up.
Thanks for the advice @Lrodmyre Im definitely planning to take the pond down this weekend and cleaning it thoroughly. A UV sterilizer is a good idea. Turtle number 2 to get sick is much improved today after 2 injections. So I'm going to continue on that course with turtle number 3 to get sick and hopefully there will be some improvement. As for doing the injections myself, I'm a real Softee, I'm not sure I could pull it off honestly. I can't even watch when the vet does it.
 

Lrodmyre

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That's okay, Todd! Just trying to find ways to maybe save you some money. It gets expensive taking them to the vet. I have a friend that faints with any amount of blood, so I get it.

Hopefully the 3rd one does as well as the second one is!

I've had a Diamondback Terrapin rescue for about 4 weeks now, and this is the first turtle I've gotten in a long time that is not showing any signs of an RI. I'm very hopeful that it doesn't show up. When I took her to the vet to get checked, the vet even said she thinks I got lucky with this one because she couldn't see any signs of an RI yet, but to keep a close eye out for it. Just from the stress of moving from one person to another can make them sick.

I hope you're over the worst and everyone improves from here on out!
 

Toddrickfl1

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That's okay, Todd! Just trying to find ways to maybe save you some money. It gets expensive taking them to the vet. I have a friend that faints with any amount of blood, so I get it.

Hopefully the 3rd one does as well as the second one is!

I've had a Diamondback Terrapin rescue for about 4 weeks now, and this is the first turtle I've gotten in a long time that is not showing any signs of an RI. I'm very hopeful that it doesn't show up. When I took her to the vet to get checked, the vet even said she thinks I got lucky with this one because she couldn't see any signs of an RI yet, but to keep a close eye out for it. Just from the stress of moving from one person to another can make them sick.

I hope you're over the worst and everyone improves from here on out!
Thanks @Lrodmyre Ya I've been following your thread for your DBT. Had the appointment with the vet this morning. Turtle number 3 got it's second shot. She hasn't been eating for quite a few days yet oddly, she has gained 10g since her first visit Thursday. Hoping to see her perk up soon. All the other turtles in the pond are still acting normal. Turtle number 2 to get sick is almost back to normal, still quarantined. How long would you recommend quarantining them after they recover and are ok again, before returning them to the pond with the others?
 
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