Daniellee

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hi guys!
My name is Danielle and I’m new to the forum! I have two 5 month old baby sulcatas that I love dearly! However, one of them is sick! Leonard has been very lethargic lately, he hasn’t been eating, even rejected strawberries. His eyes are now shut and the sides of his shell are starting to get soft.

I keep his warm area of the habitat no hotter than 95. With a gage that shuts off the heat lamp at that temp. I also have them on coconut fiber. I mist their habitat twice daily and bathe them once a day for 5 minutes.
I have a uvb/uva light that stays on for 8 hours. (Too cold to take outside). I feed them turnip greens, collard greens and mustard greens. I also use a calcium with d3 supplement every other day.

I took him to the vet today and they believe he is calcium deficient. They gave him calcium and b12 injections and medicine to bring home.

They also said that because only one is sick that it could be a birth defect.

When I brought him home, about 6 hours later I noticed he now has snot bubbles.

Can someone help with what may be wrong with him? Or what I can do better for him?

Thank you so much!
 

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wellington

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First off you should separate them. Second they should be in a closed chamber. Temps at tortoise level what are they and what are you reading them with.
What is the night time temp?
Temps should never go below 80 day or night. Basking should be 95-100 and humidity at 80%. This can't be achieved with an open top like you have. Read the closed chamber caresheets and follow them.
Then it comes down too, when care is adjusted to the proper way, that some little ones just fail to thrive.
 

Cheryl Hills

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One thing that hits me right off. Your temps are not right. They should have a basking area of 95 to 100 degrees. Also, they are young and should be in a closed chamber enclosure to keep the humidity and temps right. If they are housed too cold, it can cause a respiratory infection, hrpence the bubbles from the nose. What are all of your temps, hot side, cool side, basking and night temps? Lights should be on for 12 to 14 hours a day, including basking light. Please go to the sal ata specie spacific area and read the sticky notes at the top. These were written by our experts on there care. Make whatever changes that need to be done. @Tom can maybe help some more Good luck. Oh and if your tort is sick, the temps should be bumped up a bit
 

Big Charlie

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They need to be separated. One could be sick because of the stress of being near the other tortoise.
 

Daniellee

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Dec 19, 2017
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Riverside
Thanks for replying guys! I just want to clear a bit of my info up. My habitat does have a cover that keeps them warm I took it off for the picture.
My basking area hits about 100 degrees and I have a temperature gauge a bit further from the lamp that when the habitat hits 95 degrees it turns off.
Cool temps of my habitat are maybe 80 and warm area is never higher than the 95. Their light with black temperature gauge is on continuously with the gauge even during the night since it’s been really cold lately. So it never gets too cold for them.

I have had issues with the smaller one from day one but he was also the runt when I picked him out.
The other tortoise is from the same group of hatchlings. Not sure if that matters when having them together or not.
I will be serperating them right now just to be sure though.

Thanks guys!

@Tom
 

Tom

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Hi Daniellee. I'm glad you found us, but I don't have good news. Please don't be upset by what I have to say. It is all to inform you and to to be helpful.

Looks like you've gotten some bad info and made some common mistakes. I'll point out the issues and you should feel free to question each point and ask for more info if things are not clear.

  • Lets start with your vet. They don't know what they are talking about, and what they did probably made things worse. "Vitamin" injections are often a death sentence for a little hatchling that is already struggling to survive. When vets recommend this, it is a clear sign that they are reading a vet handbook or website in the back and don't really know what they are doing. Further, these symptoms are classic kidney failure due to chronic dehydration. Its very rare to see "calcium deficiency" in tortoises this small, but that is what the symptoms may look like to someone who is not experience with tortoises and this phenomenon. Unfortunately that was money wasted and it may have done more harm than good.
  • Tortoises should never be housed in pairs. Whoever sold you these should have told you that.
  • Looks like you are using a cfl type UV bulb. Those sometimes burn tortoise eyes, and they are also not an effective UV source. They should not be used.
  • I see a blanket or towel resting on the dome of your heat lamp. This is a serious fire hazard. Also, a blanket or towel is not going to hold your heat and humidity in very well since air can flow right through it.
  • Your heat lamp should not be on a thermostat. Thermostats are to control your ambient heat source, like a ceramic heating element. They are not for turning your basking lamp on and off. The "sun" shouldn't turn on and off throughout the day. You need to use the correct wattage bulb and mount it at the correct height to get your basking temp right. The "sun" should come up each morning and remain on all day.

This will explain what is likely going on with your sick baby. Most people start this species all wrong, then when the baby gets sick and dies weeks or months later, the breeder blames it on the new keeper. https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/hatchling-failure-syndrome.23493/

These will explain all the correct set up and care info:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
 
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