No one can explain what’s wrong.. help!?!

Sacr

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Hi everyone! I really need some help and advise for my baby sulcata. Even though we don’t know the gender cause she is so young we call her Pam .Pam is 3 or 4 months old. We got her from a pet store a little over a month ago. She started to have some issues and I was able to take her to a vet last week. I took her to where everyone recommended. I’m not thrilled with the vet. So Pam has a bunch of things going on. She’s lethargic, seems weaker, won’t entertain food at all. I haven’t seen her go into her water dish at all for almost a week. She’s had these bumps on her butt that dried up and fell off. However the skin is now peeling off her butt. She also has a bump on her face that keeps changing. It gets smaller then bigger and then it looks like it’s almost gone then it gets big again. I haven’t seen her poop. I did see bubbles come out of her nose once and I haven’t seen them since.not sure if this matters but she’s lost 4 or 5 nails, idk how.
When we first got her the tortoise table she was on was only eco earth and it was humid probably around 70%. I kept her outside a lot when it was warmer high 90- low 100s. Her little container was also the eco earth. She always had water and a hide. I have never been able to get her to eat hay or pellets no matter how I prepared them. So I gave her greens that I checked were ok. I did not give any calcium. I read a lot of mixed stuff about it so I wasn’t quite sure what to give and how much.
I now pay attention to the lights and heat on her table more that she is inside because it’s cooler out. Her cool side is about 80and under her lamps it’s 105-120 ish if I have both lamps on. She has a red heat bulb and a white bulb that heats and has UV. Per the vet the majority of her table is eco carpet and tile and only her hide is the eco earth. She has multiple water dishes. I’ve been doing warm water soaks. Hell I’ve even tried carrot soaks.oh and per the vet only her hide is humid.

The vet gave fluids and a calcium injection. She is getting baytril injections every other day. She also has a cream for the spots on her butt and face. She is too small for blood work and I can’t afford $150 for X-rays on top of all the meds and exam and treatments the vet did. The vet said she is not sure if Pam is just super sick or it’s a congenital thing. There could be infection all through out her causing everything and she thinks she might have metabolic bone disease. The vet has no clue what is happinging with her skin. I’ve searched for similar stuff and I can’t find anything.
She has a bunch of shots to go(over a week). I’m not sure what to do honestly. Should I try and force feed ? If so how? Does anyone know what could be up with her skin? Should I be worried to touch her if know one knows? At what point should I euthanize? How fast does MBD take to set in? Help?? Let me know if I’m missing any details. Sorry if it is also sporadic I’m just so stressed and worried.

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Kasia

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Please go to Sulcata section in the African Tortoise and read threads pinned on top of the section... I think you will find your answers in there.
 

Sacr

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Please go to Sulcata section in the African Tortoise and read threads pinned on top of the section... I think you will find your answers in there.
What pinned threads are you referring to? I didn’t see anything about any skin issues,really anything medical, force feeding. If there is an issue with the environment please be specific. If there is something you wanted me to see I’m not sure what it is.
 

JoesMum

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Those bumps on her butt are her spurs. She is an African spurred tortoise and they are supposed to be there. They aren't supposed to fall off.

The pinned threads you need to read are these written by a species expert working hard to correct the outdated information widely available on the internet and from pet stores and, sadly, from some breeders and vets too.

Start with this:
Beginner Mistakes
https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

How to raise a healthy Sulcata
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/

For those that have a young sulcata
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
 

JoesMum

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Photos of her enclosure and lighting are the fastest way for us to help you with getting her enclosure right
 

Sacr

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Those bumps on her butt are her spurs. She is an African spurred tortoise and they are supposed to be there. They aren't supposed to fall off.

The pinned threads you need to read are these written by a species expert working hard to correct the outdated information widely available on the internet and from pet stores and, sadly, from some breeders and vets too.

Start with this:
Beginner Mistakes
https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

How to raise a healthy Sulcata
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/

For those that have a young sulcata
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
Thank you I have read those. If those bumps that were kinda covering her booty hole were supposed to be there then why did they fall off and why is her skin peeling? That’s what I’m trying to find out.
 

JoesMum

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I posted pics of the table
Sorry, they were slow to load on my tablet.

Your enclosure needs an earthy substrate like the previous picture. The substrate needs to be damp, not wet, to raise humidity. Take all the decor out then get a jug of water and tip some in. Next mix it it thoroughly with your hands and repeat until all the substrate is damp right to the bottom and into the corners.

To maintain the humidity and temps your baby tort needs to be healthy, your enclosure needs to be covered.You can use plexiglass or plastic or even aluminium foil; just make sure it doesn't touch or obstruct the lamps as you don't want a fire.

You need to maintain 95-100F directly under the basking lamp for 12-14 hours a day. Complete darkness is needed at night. A timer will help with lights and saves you having to be in when the lights go on and off. The ambient temperature needs to maintained at 85F day and night; you will need a ceramic heat emitter (CHE) with a thermostat to maintain that; it can be on 24/7 as the thermostat ensures it only cuts in when needed. Babies shouldn't go outside as they are away from the heat and humidity that they need to be healthy.

Those pet store reptile bowls are not suitable for torrtoises; they're hard to use and a tipping hazard. Use a piece of flat rock or slate, or even the back (rough side) of a wall tile for food as it is easy to walk over and the roughness helps to maintain the beak. For water, use a terracotta plant saucer which is big enough for your tort to self soak in. Put them in the middle of the enclosure rather than the edges as torts like to patrol boundaries and will drag substrate into their water and food.

Do compare your setup with the care sheet above
 

Sacr

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No worries! That’s how I use to have the table. It was all the eco earth and I would mix it up every other day to make sure it was humid and damp. The warm side definitely is hot enough. The cool side drops like 5 degrees cooler so I can adjust the lamp closer to that side. It is dark at night for her. All her bowls are terra-cotta now. Should I put the eco earth back in even though the vet said to take it out? Everyone says to keep them humid but her and I’m not a dr lol.
 

JoesMum

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No worries! That’s how I use to have the table. It was all the eco earth and I would mix it up every other day to make sure it was humid and damp. The warm side definitely is hot enough. The cool side drops like 5 degrees cooler so I can adjust the lamp closer to that side. It is dark at night for her. All her bowls are terra-cotta now. Should I put the eco earth back in even though the vet said to take it out? Everyone says to keep them humid but her and I’m not a dr lol.
The vet said to take it out as hospital conditions I assume. The runny nose is a respiratory infection and this will help to clear bacteria I expect.

You must get it warmer in there. You do need a CHE with a thermostat (sorry, I am in the UK so can't recommend) and also a cover on the enclosure. This is very important with a sick tort. Hopefully @Tom @Yvonne G orone of the other US sulcata experts will be around soon. It's mid afternoon here in the UK, but I know some are only just getting going on a lazy Sunday morning stateside.
 

Sacr

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The vet said to take it out as hospital conditions I assume. The runny nose is a respiratory infection and this will help to clear bacteria I expect.

You must get it warmer in there. You do need a CHE with a thermostat (sorry, I am in the UK so can't recommend) and also a cover on the enclosure. This is very important with a sick tort. Hopefully @Tom @Yvonne G orone of the other US sulcata experts will be around soon. It's mid afternoon here in the UK, but I know some are only just getting going on a lazy Sunday morning stateside.
Che?
 

Minority2

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No worries! That’s how I use to have the table. It was all the eco earth and I would mix it up every other day to make sure it was humid and damp. The warm side definitely is hot enough. The cool side drops like 5 degrees cooler so I can adjust the lamp closer to that side. It is dark at night for her. All her bowls are terra-cotta now. Should I put the eco earth back in even though the vet said to take it out? Everyone says to keep them humid but her and I’m not a dr lol.

The vet you are currently seeing is reciting care information that is decades old. High humidity level of 80%+ is actually beneficial to growing tortoises. Field studies have found humidity to be one of the main contributing factors in prevent pyramiding in tortoises. Stop seeing this vet and find another more experienced one in treating tortoises in the future.

Most young Sulcatas will usually not be interested in eating grass or hay until they get older. Some do. Yours apparently doesn't. Try again in a year or two.

The tiny generic pet-branded thermometer hygrometer analog gauge you have is notorious know for being inaccurate. Some may be more than 10-20F degrees off. Buy a infrared temperature gun and digital food/weather branded thermometer and hygrometer reader instead.

Red night bulbs are generally not recommended because it can trick tortoises into mistakenly eating things they should eat in their enclosure such as the substrate. Ceramic heat emitters and reptile heating panels are much safer to use than a colored night heating bulb.

I would also suggest placing your basking fixture a bit closer to the middle so that your entire enclosure is better lit.
 

JoesMum

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I do have one. And I have 3 thermostats within
Thermostats or thermometers?

A thermostat controls the heat given out by the CHE and shuts it off when the temperature reaches a set level.

You need an infrared temperature gun type thermometer like this
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013Z8NHCG/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

Your enclosure needs to be covered otherwise all this is useless. The damp substrate should last a week or two with a lid on the enclosure. Ot shouldn't need doing every couple of days
 

EllieMay

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You have went through a lot to help this Little tortoise and I really hope he gets leveled out. Your first setup looked a little better to me without the tiles. Since your baby is already loosing nails, his little feet are probably tender. Sulcatas are not susceptible to shell rot . They really need high humidity , & high temps, to thrive at this point in their life. Keep on with the really warm soaks. Even add some pedialyte. Put your soak bowl under a lamp so that he stays warm while soaking too.
 

Sacr

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The vet you are currently seeing is reciting care information that is decades old. High humidity level of 80%+ is actually beneficial to growing tortoises. Field studies have found humidity to be one of the main contributing factors in prevent pyramiding in tortoises. Stop seeing this vet and find another more experienced one in treating tortoises in the future.

Most young Sulcatas will usually not be interested in eating grass or hay until they get older. Some do. Yours apparently doesn't. Try again in a year or two.

The tiny generic pet-branded thermometer hygrometer analog gauge you have is notorious know for being inaccurate. Some may be more than 10-20F degrees off. Buy a infrared temperature gun and digital food/weather branded thermometer and hygrometer reader instead.

Red night bulbs are generally not recommended because it can trick tortoises into mistakenly eating things they should eat in their enclosure such as the substrate. Ceramic heat emitters and reptile heating panels are much safer to use than a colored night heating bulb.

I would also suggest placing your basking fixture a bit closer to the middle so that your entire enclosure is better lit.
I wasn’t too thrilled with her. She was very in and out. That is who everyone recommended. I will put the substrate back in tomorrow so it’s humid. I was confusing the heat bulb I have. I thought it was ceramic. I guess not. I will see if I can move that lamp over in the middle more and get a ceramic one tomorrow. Any tips health wise? Trying to get her to eat in general? Anything with her skin?
 

EllieMay

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The vet visits are probably traumatizing the little tort .. I think it’s very doubtful that they can do anything helpful that you cant do yourself. If this Little one is suffering the hatchling failure syndrome, it’s fate is already decided...I sincerely hope that’s not the case. Save your money and let the more experienced members here guide you. You will see several other posts if you scroll through the timeline threads from others who are experiencing very similar ordeals.
 

Yvonne G

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It looks like the baby has some sort of disease, like herpes (the lesions, then the sloughing off). I don't know anything about diseases. Hopefully the antibiotic injections will help. Give it a couple weeks. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful, I just don't know.

See if the baby will eat iceburg lettuce or cucumber. If so, then you can gradually incorporate more healthy dark, leafy greens.
 
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