New Russian Tort Has Pneumonia

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Ferrbears

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First I should say Hello!

Anyways, I adopted a new russian tortoise 4 weeks ago. In my excitement in finding another female (I had spent 6 months searching local pet stores for another female) I forgot to examine her health before adopting her. When I brought her home I realized she felt very light and was making little raspy breathing sounds.

I didn't want to return her to the petstore in the fear that they would just send her off somewhere and replace her.

After two weeks she was not getting better. I hadn't seen her eat or defecate. So I took her to my vet. He diagnosed her with Pneumonia and gave her some shots. One was an antibiotic, one was some kind of vitamin, and two shots in her back legs to rehydrate her.

Every other day I have to bring her in to get another antibiotic shot.

Everytime I bring her in he say's that her hydration is looking better. (I give her daily soaks), but I still haven't seen her eat :/ and her eyes are still sunken in.

The technician told me that if I don't see any improvement after this last shot then I should bring her back in to do blood work and xrays.

I just don't know what to do :/ She's only had 3 shots so far. Should I continue the shots? or bring her in for bloodwork?

Is there anything else I could do at home to help her? I soak her everyday and make sure she stays warms. I think I read somewhere on one these forums about adding pedialyte and baby vitamins to the soaking water? is that a good idea?
 

Yvonne G

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Welcome to the Forum, Ferrbears!

Its pretty hard to get a dehydrated tortoises hydrated. Soaking alone just doesn't do it. Are you able to give shots? You can ask your vet for the fluid you would use for subQ injections to help re-hydrate the tortoise. And to show you how to do it.

I don't know why vets insist upon giving a vitamin injection. Watch the tortoise carefully for signs the skin might be sloughing off. If it starts to look raw, take the tortoise back to the vet immediately and tell them about vitamin A overdose.

Find yourself a little tub with a smallish foot print, but with tall sides that the tortoise can't climb out of. Position a light over one end of it to keep it warm. Add enough warm water to come up to the middle of the tortoise's sides, then add either several drops of liquid bird vitamins or a jar of Gerber strained carrots. Leave the tortoise sitting in this water for at least a half hour. Longer would be even better. Do this every day and you should start to see some sort of improvement in three days.


Be sure to check on the tortoise frequently to make sure he hasn't tipped over in the water.

Good luck with her. I hope she gets better.


I forgot to mention that any sick tortoise needs to be kept warmer than an un sick tortoise. So an overall temp of about 85F is quite ok for a sick tortoise.
 

cemmons12

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Ugh, nothing more heartbreaking to me then a sick tort! Follow Yvonne's advice. When Cooper had a URI, I took him to the vet, and they did a battery of blood work and a fecal test. They gave him just the antibiotic shot and sent me home with 4 more to be administered every other day. Thank god for the people on here, they saved his life with the advice they gave me! Keep your tort warm, specially in the soaks. Water gets cold fast. I use a digital thermometer to keep my torts bath water where it needs to be. I wish you both all the best! :)
 

Ferrbears

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Thank you for the info. I bought the vitamins and did the soak.

However it seems the problem is worse ); I saw no sign of improvement. Her breathing was breaking my heart, you could hear her struggle to breath at night across the house.

So I took her back to the vet to get the bloodwork done. They kept her over night in a incubator and I called this morning to get an update on her. They said that she has the Tortoise Herpes virus ); and that a technician will call me and give me more info.

So I'm waiting for that call ;-;
 

parrotlady

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I am so sorry for you. When you bring her home you will have to keep her away from all of your tortoises. She will always be a carrier of the herpes virus.
 

lynnedit

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So sorry to hear that. You may want to let the pet shop know (they might not care, but should have the other torts cultured prior to selling them :( ).

You have gone to a great effort for the poor little thing, nothing more you can do than hope now.
 
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