Please help. (hatchling is lethargic)

Tortisedonk7

Active Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
182
Location (City and/or State)
Indonesia
Well, as long as you know what you need to do, good luck. Hopefully this organism which causes the yellow spot disease in sulcata will not mutate and begin to affect other species as well.
Was it ever determined by @mastershake and others what the yellow bump disease is?
maybe Brooke could donate his babies to the research...
sad for you and your little buddies. Hope the others stay heathy. Looks like they will have a nice life in your care.
 

zovick

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
1,962
Was it ever determined by @mastershake and others what the yellow bump disease is?
maybe Brooke could donate his babies to the research...
sad for you and your little buddies. Hope the others stay heathy. Looks like they will have a nice life in your care.
Yes, it was determined to be Austwickia chelonae back in October 2020.

Here is the link to the news: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/yellow-bumps-pcr-test-results-are-back.187213/

@BrookeB check the above link. It states that the yellow bump disease IS TRANSMISSIBLE to other species of tortoises, turtles, lizards, and other reptiles as well. Also mentions that there is no known cure as of yet.
 

BrookeB

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2012
Messages
422
Location (City and/or State)
Bodfish
Yes, it was determined to be Austwickia chelonae back in October 2020.

Here is the link to the news: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/yellow-bumps-pcr-test-results-are-back.187213/

@BrookeB check the above link. It states that the yellow bump disease IS TRANSMISSIBLE to other species of tortoises, turtles, lizards, and other reptiles as well. Also mentions that there is no known cure as of yet.

@Tom maybe it’s not yellow spot? I believe you where under the understanding that is was species specific. If it’s not then it wouldn’t make sense as my leopards are absolutely fine and they where definitely exposed more than once to the Sulcata hatchlings. Accidental soak tub mix-up.. Ugh 🤦🏼‍♀️ Well then maybe it was something I did. I will continue on my search then.
 

mastershake

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
399
Location (City and/or State)
Florida
yes it has been tested multiple times now at all different stages of the bumps numerous necropsies now test positive. it is highly contagious to all other reptiles we are continuing and will be doing more sensitivity testing one test completed one ongoing now and another likely. we actually have a confirmed case on a leopard and possibly a Redfoot going to be tested. also note other symptoms are upper body or facial edema, eye and mouth issues, toenails falling out, necrosis on the skin, not gaining weight, lethargy etc. some cases are much more deep seeded and more internal some only on the skin when tested.
 
Last edited:

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,757
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
@Tom maybe it’s not yellow spot? I believe you where under the understanding that is was species specific. If it’s not then it wouldn’t make sense as my leopards are absolutely fine and they where definitely exposed more than once to the Sulcata hatchlings. Accidental soak tub mix-up.. Ugh 🤦🏼‍♀️ Well then maybe it was something I did. I will continue on my search then.
Its not that other species are "immune", its that all of the cases we've seen to date have been baby Sulcatas. The leopard and possible RF mentioned by mastershake just now is the first I've heard of any other tortoise species having it or displaying symptoms.
 

Yossarian

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Messages
764
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
Its not that other species are "immune", its that all of the cases we've seen to date have been baby Sulcatas. The leopard and possible RF mentioned by mastershake just now is the first I've heard of any other tortoise species having it or displaying symptoms.

It looks to me like this stuff has been with us a long time. And it is highly contagious across species of reptile and can even infect birds and mammals.

This paper has some interesting information in it where this has been studied in crocodile lizards. Also discussed the range of species that can be infected, anti-b resistance, etc.. .
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6420803/#!po=11.5385

That led me to this paper from the late 90s discussing this disease in torts and turtles, before A.Chelonae had been classified and the lesions commonly referred to as Dermatophilosis.

The obvious conclusion is this stuff is nasty. I have attached a thumb of the lesions on croc lizards. weird rabbit hole to go down but interesting.
 

Attachments

  • Austwickia.jpg
    Austwickia.jpg
    43.5 KB · Views: 22

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,757
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
It looks to me like this stuff has been with us a long time. And it is highly contagious across species of reptile and can even infect birds and mammals.

This paper has some interesting information in it where this has been studied in crocodile lizards. Also discussed the range of species that can be infected, anti-b resistance, etc.. .
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6420803/#!po=11.5385

That led me to this paper from the late 90s discussing this disease in torts and turtles, before A.Chelonae had been classified and the lesions commonly referred to as Dermatophilosis.

The obvious conclusion is this stuff is nasty. I have attached a thumb of the lesions on croc lizards. weird rabbit hole to go down but interesting.
I think you are correct on all counts.
 

BrookeB

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2012
Messages
422
Location (City and/or State)
Bodfish
I think you are correct on all counts.

@Tom , I know you are absolutely knowledgeable and you are my go to when I need advice about tortoises, it’s been that way at this point for years, but there is no way my leopards have yellow spot. There is also no way that they didn’t get a significant amount of exposure to it if my Sulcata hatchlings had it. The leopards are thriving at this point. Which to me makes it blindingly obvious that at some point somewhere something went terribly wrong with the Sulcata hatchlings I received from you. Also I know that they don’t always get the yellow spots but I find it a bit suspicious that not one out of all the hatchlings that passed had yellow spots.

I know you don’t want me to blame myself and you don’t want me to quit but I just cannot fathom why my leopards are perfect and my Sulcatas died.

I know that people have stated that my new enclosure couldn’t possibly hold its temperature but not only do I have a space heater under the enclosure, I also put 3 massive comforters over the top greenhouse part of the enclosure (I did this in the beginning of October as soon as it became cold outside).. The space that they live in (living room) is heated during the winter and never falls below 75-80 but is usually higher. The wood bottom and sides are insulated. Because I built it I know for a fact that it has more insulation than any plastic, glass or rubber enclosure out there.

I’m not going to give up but I want to figure this out before I get any more Sulcatas. I do wish one of the good breeders held onto their hatchlings until they where 60-70 grams. I apparently just can’t have hatchlings below that. Although the big leopard I have is from god knows where and I somehow got him to grow and stay alive... ugh I’m going to think really hard and trying to come up with some questions/theories.
 
Last edited:

BrookeB

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2012
Messages
422
Location (City and/or State)
Bodfish
Please tell me if this is possible! I may have found my answers!!! I was going to dismantle the Sulcata hatchling enclosure and get rid of it because I thought that it was likely to carry whatever illness my hatchlings died from. All of my Sulcata hatchlings passed away but none of my leopards passed. While I was cleaning out the substrate in the Sulcata enclosure I noticed that this enclosures substrate was different from my leopards enclosure. I started to really look at it and I found fertilizer pearls.. so then I looked at the online store where I bought the substrate and I found that it carried two products that had packages that look exactly the same. One was normal plain orchid bark and the other was orchid potting mix with all sorts of fertilizers and other things. I checked my leopards enclosure an it didn’t have any of this stuff at all.. so I think it’s highly possible the store sent both products to me (it was a really large order) and because it was so many bags I didn’t realize there was a difference. Could my Sulcata hatchlings have been affected by fertilizer in their substrate? Could that be the cause of them dying?

@Tom @Gijoux @Yvonne G @CarolM @Carol S @Maro2Bear @Markw84 @Toddrickfl1 @zovick @Relic @Tortisedonk7 @mastershake @Yossarian
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,757
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Please tell me if this is possible! I may have found my answers!!! I was going to dismantle the Sulcata hatchling enclosure and get rid of it because I thought that it was likely to carry whatever illness my hatchlings died from. All of my Sulcata hatchlings passed away but none of my leopards passed. While I was cleaning out the substrate in the Sulcata enclosure I noticed that this enclosures substrate was different from my leopards enclosure. I started to really look at it and I found fertilizer pearls.. so then I looked at the online store where I bought the substrate and I found that it carried two products that had packages that look exactly the same. One was normal plain orchid bark and the other was orchid potting mix with all sorts of fertilizers and other things. I checked my leopards enclosure an it didn’t have any of this stuff at all.. so I think it’s highly possible the store sent both products to me (it was a really large order) and because it was so many bags I didn’t realize there was a difference. Could my Sulcata hatchlings have been affected by fertilizer in their substrate? Could that be the cause of them dying?

@Tom @Gijoux @Yvonne G @CarolM @Carol S @Maro2Bear @Markw84 @Toddrickfl1 @zovick @Relic @Tortisedonk7 @mastershake @Yossarian
Certainly could do it. Do you still have the bag with the ingredients list explaining what exactly was in the little "pearls". Was there also perlite? A tortoise eating chemical fertilizer pellets, perlite, and whatever else might have been in the mix would very likely kill them.

Further, I don't know why, but tortoises seem to be attracted to eating this sort of thing too. Soil with Perlite, and that UK substrate with the limestone bits, are both accidents eating to happen.

If this is what killed them, its actually good news. This mistake would be a much better mistake than a persistent contagious deadly disease.
 

BrookeB

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2012
Messages
422
Location (City and/or State)
Bodfish
Certainly could do it. Do you still have the bag with the ingredients list explaining what exactly was in the little "pearls". Was there also perlite? A tortoise eating chemical fertilizer pellets, perlite, and whatever else might have been in the mix would very likely kill them.

Further, I don't know why, but tortoises seem to be attracted to eating this sort of thing too. Soil with Perlite, and that UK substrate with the limestone bits, are both accidents eating to happen.

If this is what killed them, its actually good news. This mistake would be a much better mistake than a persistent contagious deadly disease.

Apparently it has
fertilizer prills (that’s the little pearl fertilizer balls)
Perlite (they are very small I didn’t even see them until now)
Compost

I’m m very disappointed with myself for not seeing this.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,757
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Apparently it has
fertilizer prills (that’s the little pearl fertilizer balls)
Perlite (they are very small I didn’t even see them until now)
Compost

I’m m very disappointed with myself for not seeing this.
You are a very caring person and concerned pet owner. We all make mistakes. I've made many over the years. Learn from it, try to help others learn from it, and don't make that same mistake again.

I know you are going to be upset about this for a while, and that is understandable, but when you are done beating yourself up about it, let it go. You are but a mere human. There has never been and never will be a human that does not err.

Many times I've been asked why I do what I do here. Why do I help noob after noob, answering the same questions over and over year after year? This is why. Because I've made so many mistakes. Stupid mistakes. Mistakes of not paying enough attention. Mistakes of following the wrong advice. Mistakes due to just not knowing any better because no one told me. Understandable mistakes than anyone could make. All KINDS of mistakes. Helping other people avoid the mistakes I've made, learn what took me decades to learn, and helping them to have a positive tortoise experience brings me tremendous happiness, and makes me feel better about all those past mistakes. A bit of penance for myself, if you will.

I hope that you will find a way to feel better about this too. I've been where you are and I know how awful it feels. Better days are ahead. When we meet again, I'll pick up some big bags of orchid bark substrate for you from my local nursery here in SCV.
 

Yossarian

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Messages
764
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
Apparently it has
fertilizer prills (that’s the little pearl fertilizer balls)
Perlite (they are very small I didn’t even see them until now)
Compost

I’m m very disappointed with myself for not seeing this.

I really feel bad for you, it is always really sad to find a mistake like this. Fertilizer prills can be extremely toxic, its not just the chemical ferts, they usually have a range of minerals and heavy metals that the plants need and they can cause poisoning in their own right. I dont think a hatchling would survive eating much of this stuff at all.

The silver lining is you can try again with some confidence that it wont happen again. Live and learn, keep moving forward.
 

BrookeB

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2012
Messages
422
Location (City and/or State)
Bodfish
I really feel bad for you, it is always really sad to find a mistake like this. Fertilizer prills can be extremely toxic, its not just the chemical ferts, they usually have a range of minerals and heavy metals that the plants need and they can cause poisoning in their own right. I dont think a hatchling would survive eating much of this stuff at all.

The silver lining is you can try again with some confidence that it wont happen again. Live and learn, keep moving forward.

You have No idea how sh!+y this makes me feel. I was so occupied looking for temperature and humidity reasons that I never really thoroughly checked the substrate, as I thought I knew I used the right product.

It truly makes me feel even worse because I took animals that would have otherwise survived and thrived in another persons care and killed them. I know how hard Tom works to properly provide the absolute best care for his babies, insuring that they survive for their new owners and I feel like I ruined his hard work. I was so excited that breeders here truly trusted me to provide proper care but I absolutely failed. I know this is a learning experience but it’s extremely frustrating especially when I have gone through so many mistakes.

I have been so angry with the forum because I was so sure that I was doing everything right, I unjustly felt wronged and accused. Now I have to take my foot out of my mouth and once again accept and admit that I caused the death of my own animals. I made another rookie, basic and avoidable mistake. So for anyone who replied here and had to deal with my dismissive attitude or who I upset in any may I truly apologize.

I will be disinfecting the old enclosure and thoroughly washing every part of the enclosure and supplies I have. Buying new substrate and checking everything I use with my next hatchlings. I’m also going to get new substrate for my leopards just in case, better safe then sorry. Hopefully next time I will do better.
 

BrookeB

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2012
Messages
422
Location (City and/or State)
Bodfish
You are a very caring person and concerned pet owner. We all make mistakes. I've made many over the years. Learn from it, try to help others learn from it, and don't make that same mistake again.

I know you are going to be upset about this for a while, and that is understandable, but when you are done beating yourself up about it, let it go. You are but a mere human. There has never been and never will be a human that does not err.

Many times I've been asked why I do what I do here. Why do I help noob after noob, answering the same questions over and over year after year? This is why. Because I've made so many mistakes. Stupid mistakes. Mistakes of not paying enough attention. Mistakes of following the wrong advice. Mistakes due to just not knowing any better because no one told me. Understandable mistakes than anyone could make. All KINDS of mistakes. Helping other people avoid the mistakes I've made, learn what took me decades to learn, and helping them to have a positive tortoise experience brings me tremendous happiness, and makes me feel better about all those past mistakes. A bit of penance for myself, if you will.

I hope that you will find a way to feel better about this too. I've been where you are and I know how awful it feels. Better days are ahead. When we meet again, I'll pick up some big bags of orchid bark substrate for you from my local nursery here in SCV.

the above is a reply to you as well Tom
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tom

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,757
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
You have No idea how sh!+y this makes me feel. I was so occupied looking for temperature and humidity reasons that I never really thoroughly checked the substrate, as I thought I knew I used the right product.

It truly makes me feel even worse because I took animals that would have otherwise survived and thrived in another persons care and killed them. I know how hard Tom works to properly provide the absolute best care for his babies, insuring that they survive for their new owners and I feel like I ruined his hard work. I was so excited that breeders here truly trusted me to provide proper care but I absolutely failed. I know this is a learning experience but it’s extremely frustrating especially when I have gone through so many mistakes.

I have been so angry with the forum because I was so sure that I was doing everything right, I unjustly felt wronged and accused. Now I have to take my foot out of my mouth and once again accept and admit that I caused the death of my own animals. I made another rookie, basic and avoidable mistake. So for anyone who replied here and had to deal with my dismissive attitude or who I upset in any may I truly apologize.

I will be disinfecting the old enclosure and thoroughly washing every part of the enclosure and supplies I have. Buying new substrate and checking everything I use with my next hatchlings. I’m also going to get new substrate for my leopards just in case, better safe then sorry. Hopefully next time I will do better.
I never saw one instance of you being rude, dismissive, or even impolite in any way. Your frustration with what was happening is completely understandable and totally expected. I don't think anyone will disagree when I say we are all so sorry that this happened, and we are here for you in the future. You made no enemies and burned no bridges through all of this. You have our sympathy and support.

I'll have sulcata babies of both types hatching in about 10 more weeks. I'm reserving a spot for you at the front of the line if you want it.
 

Gijoux

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
May 28, 2014
Messages
408
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Please tell me if this is possible! I may have found my answers!!! I was going to dismantle the Sulcata hatchling enclosure and get rid of it because I thought that it was likely to carry whatever illness my hatchlings died from. All of my Sulcata hatchlings passed away but none of my leopards passed. While I was cleaning out the substrate in the Sulcata enclosure I noticed that this enclosures substrate was different from my leopards enclosure. I started to really look at it and I found fertilizer pearls.. so then I looked at the online store where I bought the substrate and I found that it carried two products that had packages that look exactly the same. One was normal plain orchid bark and the other was orchid potting mix with all sorts of fertilizers and other things. I checked my leopards enclosure an it didn’t have any of this stuff at all.. so I think it’s highly possible the store sent both products to me (it was a really large order) and because it was so many bags I didn’t realize there was a difference. Could my Sulcata hatchlings have been affected by fertilizer in their substrate? Could that be the cause of them dying?

@Tom @Gijoux @Yvonne G @CarolM @Carol S @Maro2Bear @Markw84 @Toddrickfl1 @zovick @Relic @Tortisedonk7 @mastershake @Yossarian

I almost made this mistake myself when first learning about and purchasing Orchid Bark. I have made every effort to make sure when I recommend orchid bark that I specify "not to purchase the Orchid Bark Mix" because they include all kinds of bad things for tortoises. I am so sorry this happened to you Brooke. I am absolutely sure you are not the only one this has happened to either. When ever I hear about someone with a lethargic tortoise I recommend they start with upping the heat and changing the substrate. The good news is that now you know what happened.
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top