Sick Tortoise

4jean

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Hello,
I have a 1 year old Hermann's tortoise. I took him to the vet tonight because his eyes have been swollen shut for a few days. He has not seemed his normal self for about two weeks but I assumed it was due to the colder temps. He lives in a 3ft by 2ft open top wooden table with coco coir substrate. He has a plant saucer with fresh water that he drinks from and soaks in by himself. I also soak him daily. He has a 60 watt MVB which is on 14 hrs a day. Basking temp is 92.5 cool end is 70. I am not using any heat at night. Temps drop to about 69 over night. He had a garden outdoors in the summer. I live in upstate NY so going outside is not an option anymore (high of 42 degrees today). He eats a variety of weeds and grocery store greens such as endive, raddichio, escarole, kale...etc. He has spider plants, clover and dandelion growing in his habitat. He also gets Mazuri 2x a week and butternut squash 1 or two times a week. Calcium powder 2x a week, cuttlebone in enclosure. He weighs 50 grams. The vet thinks it is an eye infection and I am treating w/ antibiotic drops 3x a day for 10 days. If he does not seem to be getting better, I am supposed to bring him back for antibiotic injections. I left a stool sample for a fecal test just in case. She also recommends I increase the soaks to 2-3 times a day for now. I feel upset because I am not sure how he has gotten sick and I would like to make sure I am doing everything right. I had been thinking about hibernating him but I have had him just under a year so decided against it. Now I am just feeling unsure about my care for him because he is sick. Should I move him to a smaller "hospital habitat"? If the drops are working, how soon should I see a change? Will the drops work if I am applying them while his eyes are shut?
Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.
 

leigti

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I think the drops will get in a little bit even if his eyes are shut. I would add heat at night. And also maybe soak him twice a day. at only 50 g he is still pretty tiny. Some people say to use baby food soaks but I will let more experienced people explain that. I would keep the heat up at at least 80° even at night and see if that helps. Good luck with your little baby.
 

leigti

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Don't raise the humidity without raising the heat. And I would personally be a little cautious about injections, especially vitamin injections.
 

dmmj

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Eyes are an indicator of a tortoise's health. Is he still eating?
 

4jean

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Thank you legiti and dmmj.
He is not eating as much. But after A soak he is definitely perkier and will eat. I feel like it is harder for him to eat w/ his eyes shut... His aim isn't as good. How do I keep the temp up at night w/o leaving his light on?
 

leigti

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You can use a ceramic heat emitifier or some people use a black bulb. The CHE get very hot so if you go that route make sure it does not get too close to the tortoise or the wood enclosure. you can get black bulbs at hardware stores.
 

WillTort2

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Use a Ceramic Heat emitter. It looks a little like a cross between the eye on a stove and a spotlight bulb. Screws into a standard bulb fixture. Make sure it has a ceramic fitting.

Might also add carrot baby food to the soaks for the vit. intake.
 

4jean

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Ok, thanks. Seeing that I don't have a CHE tonight should I leave his light on? Temp gets about 69 degrees F at night.
 
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