Respiratory infection? Need help

Tater Salad

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2015
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Caribbean
So I found my tortoise wandering in an extremely arid region of an island I live on in the Caribbean. When I took him home I didn't think too much about the cardboard siding to his enclosure getting wet as he rested his nose on it, but I started reading into it and found maybe this could be a sign of an infection.

We don't have a vet on the island I live on. There is a vet on a nearby island, but we only took this tort in because he isn't native to our area, and we aren't in a position financially to afford vet services from another island for our little guy.

So today I started hearing whistling with his breathing and it is worrying me. Please let me know if there is anything I can do naturally without a vet to help him. I am not entirely sure it is an infection, but I don't know what else it could be. I was happy to save him from an environment not fit for him at no extra cost to us, but again, there is no way I can afford a vet visit. Please help.

More info:
-Redfoot Tortoise
-I don't actually know if he is a "he". could be female. I really have no idea.
-Has been with me for a little under a month I believe
-Found in pretty much a desert area near some residential areas so I assume he was someone's pet as they are not native here.
-Only symptoms I see are wet spots where he rests his nose for a while, throat expands kinda like a frog, and now very recently whistling while breathing and constantly runny eyes like he is crying.
-Great eater. eats mostly outside... fallen fruit, weeds, grasses, leaves of certain trees and bushes.
-Soaks daily in warm water (was severely dehydrated when found, and is much better now)

Lastly, If there is a medication I can get that is extremely affordable that would help and I don't have to pay for a visit I may be able to work something out. This isn't like America though. We don't have any amount of money we can really put into this.
Thanks
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
20,632
Location (City and/or State)
UK
How are you keeping him warm? You probably need to up his temps, that will help until you can see a vet. If it is RI he will need antibiotics I should think.
 

Tater Salad

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2015
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Caribbean
Well I don't modify temp in any way. I don't have the ability to, but it is usually about 3-5 degrees hotter in my house than outside I would say. I live in the Caribbean quite literally in a shack without air conditioning lol. I have a tile floor which is a little cooler but it is probably about 90-93 degrees in my house daily. Temps don't ever vary here. It's extremely consistent.

I did read to raise temps elsewhere though so I put him in warm water in the sun today. hasn't helped yet. Can this go away on its own somehow? If antibiotics are needed, can they be ordered? cheaply? shipped outside the US?
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
20,632
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Well I don't modify temp in any way. I don't have the ability to, but it is usually about 3-5 degrees hotter in my house than outside I would say. I live in the Caribbean quite literally in a shack without air conditioning lol. I have a tile floor which is a little cooler but it is probably about 90-93 degrees in my house daily. Temps don't ever vary here. It's extremely consistent.

I did read to raise temps elsewhere though so I put him in warm water in the sun today. hasn't helped yet. Can this go away on its own somehow? If antibiotics are needed, can they be ordered? cheaply? shipped outside the US?
Keeping him warmer can help if not gone too far, but If you put him in the sun, make sure he has shade too and access to water for drinking - not just when soaking! Are you sure he has a runny nose and not just his eyes?

Medicines have to be prescribed for torts - as for humans - and specifc to the infection. You have to be very careful with dosage as a tiny amount over could kill the tort - I think they are usually given by injection. So you really need to find a vet to help the little chap if this doesn't clear up - its not cheap but part of the commitment we make when we keep animals.
 

Tater Salad

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2015
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Caribbean
Well my only 2 options were to leave this poor guy to die or take him home and try to see if I could help him. Quite obviously (though not at the time) I got rather attached and want to help. I would not have ever sought a pet due to my financial state and lack of ability to obtain necessary accessories for keeping it due to there being no stores or vets where I live, but when I found him I couldn't just leave him. I have tried to do as much in my power, and will continue to as well. I am hoping I can keep him alive especially now that he has become my little friend :) . I also assure you the conditions he has with me are much warmer, safer and humid than what he would have found in the wild here. Any help is appreciated, though I realize I am at a disadvantage to most tort keepers
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
20,632
Location (City and/or State)
UK
I'd hoped someone with more experience of this would get back to you over night but see that's not happened.
Only other thing I can suggest at the moment is that you use the search facility here for RI etc to see what advice that throws out and I will try bumping this up through the day so other folks see it.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
24,226
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
Is it a REDFOOT?
There are wild populations in Trinidad and throughout the Caribbean. I think they were left behind by ships as future sources of food.
They do quite well here in Florida and we share the same general climate.
You might want to consider finding an area where there is a lot of plant cover and few people around and release him if so.
There is at least one other member from the islands that also has been trying to keep Redfoot.
Maybe they will see this post.
 

Tater Salad

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2015
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Caribbean
Thank you for your responses. I have done some deeper inquiring with some friends of mine, and though the internet suggests they are not native here, I have actually found someone who says they have seen one here before. I am shocked at this because there is literally no standing fresh water here and there hasn't been rain for about 9 months (anything more than a sprinkle). I don't know how this guy would survive. I struggle with letting him back into the wild because, for one, I have come to love this little guy, and two, I just can't imagine how he would survive. I wonder if he would do well with an enclosure built for him outside?

Anyway, He sounds MUCH better today. Maybe I was just freaking out haha. Or maybe it is possible he just had some kind of sickness? I don't know. the whistling in his breath was scaring me. Again, I appreciate all your help. I will keep watching him closely.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
24,226
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
Thank you for your responses. I have done some deeper inquiring with some friends of mine, and though the internet suggests they are not native here, I have actually found someone who says they have seen one here before. I am shocked at this because there is literally no standing fresh water here and there hasn't been rain for about 9 months (anything more than a sprinkle). I don't know how this guy would survive. I struggle with letting him back into the wild because, for one, I have come to love this little guy, and two, I just can't imagine how he would survive. I wonder if he would do well with an enclosure built for him outside?

Anyway, He sounds MUCH better today. Maybe I was just freaking out haha. Or maybe it is possible he just had some kind of sickness? I don't know. the whistling in his breath was scaring me. Again, I appreciate all your help. I will keep watching him closely.
So Redfoot? Yes?
Provide shade and water that he can climb into. Watch him outside and see what types of plants he eats and then collect them for him until you have a variety of things that you know he likes. Every now and again, provide some fruit. (Not citrus.)
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
20,632
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Good maybe it was just something stuck in his nostril.
My leopard often whistles when he is sniffing for scents. I took him to the vet when I first heard it as was worried about RI. It was suggested I try a tiny spray of saline solution that contact lens wearers use in each nostril in case he had something stuck but he still does it. Just keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't have a runny nose or bubbles as that could be the start of RI and keep him warm if you do spot that as very often that will halt it.

There are some good ideas for outdoor enclosures in the enclosures thread but make sure he is safe from predators including birds/rats etc. If you have a worry about rats etc at night, take him in and put him out in the day. My tort lost a foot prob to rats. So read the caresheets use the search facility and ask as many questions as you need - we are all tort mad here to help them be happy and well.
let us know how he is doing0
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top