New with a very sick baby!!!

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kickin_country_girl

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My home has always been a sanctuary for animals… I have never been able to turn unwanted and neglected creatures away. I especially have a very big soft spot for reptiles. However this is the first tortoise I have ever acquired, it’s a sulcata hatchling. I am not sure what his habitat was like before I received him or what they were feeding. I was unprepared for this lil guy and had very lil knowledge of them. I pulled excess supplies I had for my other reptiles for his enclosure. It took him a few days to adjust to the new environment, but he started eating, was pretty active. I was doing a lot of research (unfortunately most every site contradicts each other on what you should do) so I could get a better idea of what I was dealing with. Unfortunately one night the temp drops down extremely low and his heat source went out… an of course this was the night I was not home… the house was freezing (I had a week b4 this happened). He has stopped eating for the past few days, he keeps his eyes shut (but I have gotten him to open once after a warm bath but only for a few mins), and he really hasn’t moved much. He still moves his head around and will respond if you touch him. Basking spot has been around 105 - 120 (I have been playing with the temp to see if he respond to the increase). The cool end of his cage increased it to around 85. I have been soaking him in baby food and I have tried adding pedialyte to it. The only vet close enough that will even look at reptiles knows nothing about them ( I know this because I use to work with him get with dogs and cats sucks with reptiles.. He doesn’t even have any type of set up to keep sick ones there, so no heat source for them, just a box in a cold exam room and when I was there I was the only person that would check on them threw out the day.). Im afraid that a long roap trip will stress him out even more to find another vet. So im at the end of my rope!! I really don’t want to lose this lil guy. Any help would b great. I have had box turtles with URI before and have always treated them with baytril (subq) and Amikacin A (im). Has anyone ever had a vet use this on there tortoise??? As small as he is I know the dosage will b almost nothing. He has no drainage from his nostrils and does not do open mouth breathing. He however moves his head up and down occasionally as if he had hiccups (not sure if that’s normal).

Thank you so much!!!
 

dmarcus

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Hello and welcome to the forum...

What type of bulb are you using? if its the coil type bulb, you need to stop using it because it could be the source of your problem... A 120 basking spot it to hot, got to try and keep it closer to 100.
 

AnthonyC

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Welcome to the forum! Don't fret! I'm sure you'll get a lot of help here. Hang in there and good luck! :)
 

Torty Mom

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Hello!!! Is his shell soft and squishie on the bottom? Can you get him out in the sun for a little while? How about a picture? Natural sunlight works great, but we need to know if his shell is a little soft or alot soft.
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Jesse:

Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!
 

kickin_country_girl

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What is wrong with the the coil lights?? I have heard alot of mixed reviews but I do have some repti glow 10.0 compact bulbs at my house I just have not used them yet. I was talked into trying them.
The baby is under a tube light UVB I can not telll u what brand it is off the top of my head. Im using it off of another cage and yes I write the date on em so the bulb is still good. I have always increased the heat with box turtles when I recieve them when they are sick. So I tried increasing the basking area to see if he would become more active or if there was any change in his behaivor. He does not lay directly under it and will move away from the heat.
I did check the botton of his shell. Its a little soft in the middle. It has give when you push. Since this is my first time dealing with these guys im not sure what is normal. Im not sure if his shell was like this when I recieved him or not. The weather has went to crap so I am unable to take him outside, Its trying to snow today (yes even thou im in Nevada it does snow and get very cold here). I have no way of up loading a pict at this time sorry one of my other rescue babies killed my cell phone over the weekend. I am in really bad jam because any supplies I need has to be ordered and shipped to my house, the only pet store even close to my house closed over night and left alot of people hanging.
If you need more info about him let me know
How many times a day can u soak em in baby food?? He is not eatin and has not touch food for a few days. He is smaller than the palm of my hand ( he could fit inside of a coffee cup)
 
B

byerssusan

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Welcome to the forum. And relax..any info you need I am sure it is here. So many here with ALOT of experience in raising and caring for torts. I am still quite new to raising mine. So I cannot give mcuh advice. I know there are many here who can though.
 

ascott

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Welcome to the Forum :D

I have done loads of research on the coil bulbs....two things in this case come to mind...you have a hatchling and their eyes are ultra sensitive vs an adult and these bulbs offer intense focused rays which are often increased by the silver light domes some folks use...and second, the bulb is often used in too close proximity to the reptile its being used for...as a fair distance for this type of bulb should be 3+feet and not used in a reflective dome....so most times this is not practical ..... you too can research this information...along with this type of bulb when new has way high intense output then drops rapidly before it levels out and not reliable in maintaining a level prolonged output of the uv rays.

I understand you wanting to increase the temps...as this is the correct thing to do with a ill reptile...however the increased temps should be to the cool side to assure the lowest temps should never really cool...85ish is good ..however 110-120the is way too high...the hot side should be closer to 95-100the max....if you heat too high that can actually do as much damage if not more than being a bit too cold....IMHO

I would continue to do soaks at least one time per day in tepid water...I also would wrap the little one up in a wrap upon leaving the water until dried....maybe also offer a little cucumber to increase water intake and it is yummy....but I only suggest SOME cucumber while you are trying to get him eating and hydrated and not to become part of his forever daily diet :D
 

dmarcus

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Not more I can add to what Angela just said... Hope you can get everything worked out for the little one...
 

kickin_country_girl

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ascott said:
Welcome to the Forum :D

I have done loads of research on the coil bulbs....two things in this case come to mind...you have a hatchling and their eyes are ultra sensitive vs an adult and these bulbs offer intense focused rays which are often increased by the silver light domes some folks use...and second, the bulb is often used in too close proximity to the reptile its being used for...as a fair distance for this type of bulb should be 3+feet and not used in a reflective dome....so most times this is not practical ..... you too can research this information...along with this type of bulb when new has way high intense output then drops rapidly before it levels out and not reliable in maintaining a level prolonged output of the uv rays.

I understand you wanting to increase the temps...as this is the correct thing to do with a ill reptile...however the increased temps should be to the cool side to assure the lowest temps should never really cool...85ish is good ..however 110-120the is way too high...the hot side should be closer to 95-100the max....if you heat too high that can actually do as much damage if not more than being a bit too cold....IMHO

I would continue to do soaks at least one time per day in tepid water...I also would wrap the little one up in a wrap upon leaving the water until dried....maybe also offer a little cucumber to increase water intake and it is yummy....but I only suggest SOME cucumber while you are trying to get him eating and hydrated and not to become part of his forever daily diet :D


Well its a very good thing I have not used these compact lights on any of my retiles yet. Just out of curiosity Is there any way to reverse the damage these lights can cause to there eyes????
He is still not eating and cucumber doesnt even perk his interest. I have tried a variety of different things but he is not willing to eat. is there anything else that might help stimulate his appitite. He is still not opening his eyes.. is there any thing I can do to help that?? I have been taking a q tip with water a just putting drops over them just to keep them moist.
 

Yvonne G

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If not caught, the tortoise eventually dies. Not from the lights, but from not eating and lethargy. As for the eyes...its like snow blindness. It is reversible once the light is taken away.
 

dmmj

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Have you started baby food soaks yet? I am currently using it on a small 3 toe and it is showing marked improvement.
 

ascott

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please post a pic of him for us, please. will you take a shot of his face head on making sure to get his eyes and mouth....then a shot of him from the side/bottom/top.....as close and clear as you are able to? Let's all take a peed and see what we perhaps come up with???
:D
 

kickin_country_girl

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Yes I have been soaking him a few times a day in baby food with unflavored pedialyte mixed in since he is not eating or drinking. I have been keeping very fresh food in his cage at all times.

He still has some strength where he can pick himself up with his legs and move. He responds when you touch him and will move his head around.
There is no discharge from his nose. He rubs his eyes with his front legs every now and then. He is on coco dirt and it is watered down so there is humidity in his cage as well.

I am sorry this pictures are not the greatest. I broke my phone over the weekend (it took amazing picts) and had to barrow someone else so I can get some pictures posted up here. So I hope it helps

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kickin_country_girl

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He opened his eyes for a few secounds!!!! This is the first time I have seen his pretty lil eyes in what seems like forever!! Then he closed them right back up but Hey its better than nothing!! He is still not eating and right now he is soaking in his baby food
 

Tortoise

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Hi
Sorry to hear about your sick baby.
I have not had a Sulcatta but a friend has one and hers will do anything for banana-I don't suppose its great as a daily food when healthy but just to try to get some nutrients in for energy? It smells good too and may tempt him.

I don't think you can over soak really-I have bathed sick hatchlings in the fruit and veggie juices in the hope they take a little in as a drink-no lumps etc, lots of vitamins in the juices too and again it smells good.

Really hope he picks up for you-keep trying.
 

Torty Mom

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Have you tried Mazuri? I am currently hand feeding a baby CDT, who had such a soft shell I could NOT hold it in my palm because it felt like my fingers would go thru his shell. In my opinion sounds like some good UVA/UVB rays and some calcium will help out, can you get a powersun MVB? I swear by them and all my hatchlings were under it all winter long and have perfectly hard shells. When the soft one can't go outside for natural sun because of the weather I put him under the MVB for a few hours. Natural sunlight really works the best, it seems to perk them up!!
 

Laura

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it doesnt sound good... it seems like you are doing what you can..
have you tried a tiny piece of fruit? sometimes the color or the smell will stimulate them to eat.
Fingers crossed for you...
 
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