Sick??

Melissacoop

Active Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
104
Location (City and/or State)
Pembroke Pines, FL
Hi everyone,

My little guy is a little over a year old. We are very regimented on schedule and feeding. I noticed yesterday morning he was still sleeping. Normally he is waiting on his food platE. He did eat but not all but that’s not all uncommon. When I got home from work I put him out in the sun and he did graze and seemed fine. This morning he was on his basking rock but not asking for breakfast but did eat but not all but for the past two days he is not asking to come out when we get home like normal but rather sleeping. We soak everyday for 30 minutes and he poops. He skipped one poop the day before yesterday.
Last week I had a problem with his lights. His regular light blew out and I went to the hardware store and got the regular flood lamp and put it in and it only lasted two days so I went and got another one which also blew out. So then I decided to order the same light that I’ve had for him that’s been working properly and a new fixture from Amazon. During the two days of light problems and the lights going off during the day while I was at work the temperature was very close to the humidity level. Humidity level is usually 75 to 80 and the temp had fell to around 80° in His humid hide where he spends most of his time. The enclosure is on a thermostat so never really goes below 80-82.
The other thing I noticed is he does sneeze occasionally during his soak because he struggles so much to get out and sometimes I think he may aspirate some water.
Today when I lifted him up to examine him as I do every day I saw clear bubbles coming from one side of his nose. He has also sneezed once during his soak right now. Hasn’t pooped during the first 15 minutes like he normally does. So I’m thinking he either got a respiratory infection from the lower temperature or he aspirated??

Please advise. Thank you in advance!
 

Attachments

Golden Greek Tortoise 567

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
1,764
Location (City and/or State)
Colorado Springs,CO
Hi everyone,

My little guy is a little over a year old. We are very regimented on schedule and feeding. I noticed yesterday morning he was still sleeping. Normally he is waiting on his food platE. He did eat but not all but that’s not all uncommon. When I got home from work I put him out in the sun and he did graze and seemed fine. This morning he was on his basking rock but not asking for breakfast but did eat but not all but for the past two days he is not asking to come out when we get home like normal but rather sleeping. We soak everyday for 30 minutes and he poops. He skipped one poop the day before yesterday.
Last week I had a problem with his lights. His regular light blew out and I went to the hardware store and got the regular flood lamp and put it in and it only lasted two days so I went and got another one which also blew out. So then I decided to order the same light that I’ve had for him that’s been working properly and a new fixture from Amazon. During the two days of light problems and the lights going off during the day while I was at work the temperature was very close to the humidity level. Humidity level is usually 75 to 80 and the temp had fell to around 80° in His humid hide where he spends most of his time. The enclosure is on a thermostat so never really goes below 80-82.
The other thing I noticed is he does sneeze occasionally during his soak because he struggles so much to get out and sometimes I think he may aspirate some water.
Today when I lifted him up to examine him as I do every day I saw clear bubbles coming from one side of his nose. He has also sneezed once during his soak right now. Hasn’t pooped during the first 15 minutes like he normally does. So I’m thinking he either got a respiratory infection from the lower temperature or he aspirated??

Please advise. Thank you in advance!
Bubbles during a soak is normal and fine. Sometimes they inhale water through their nose and mouth and sneeze and blow bubbles to get it out.
 

Melissacoop

Active Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
104
Location (City and/or State)
Pembroke Pines, FL
It wasn’t during the soak. It was before I put him in the water and had him pointing straight up to look at his plastron.
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
3,564
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Personally, I don't worry about sneezes and bubbles during a soak. As you said, they put their heads under, splash, drink...they get water in their noses and sneeze to expel it. You said the bubbles were before the soak...watch to see if he does that again.

I don't remember what species your little is. In the care sheets 80°F is the minimum for babies. So if it did not go lower than 80°, he should be OK.

He could be sensing the shorter days, and slowing down for brumation.
|
I would wait and see if any more specific signs develop. All his "symptoms" are easily explained by natural reasons. If he gets more signs, or stops eating, then it's cause for alarm.

With that said, if you really feel strongly that something is wrong, trust your gut instinct. Mamas know when a trip to the doctor is needed.
 

Melissacoop

Active Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
104
Location (City and/or State)
Pembroke Pines, FL
Basking directly under 105/ Humid hide 95 w / 75% humidity/ cool side Che on thermostat 82/ center w/ feeding plate ambient heat 85.
Last week came home one day with broken bulb and humid hide was only 75 degrees
 

zovick

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
1,071
Basking directly under 105/ Humid hide 95 w / 75% humidity/ cool side Che on thermostat 82/ center w/ feeding plate ambient heat 85.
Last week came home one day with broken bulb and humid hide was only 75 degrees
Your temperatures sound fine to me. 75F in the hide is not really all that low and should not cause any respiratory problem. My adult sulcatas stayed outside in CT when temps got down into the mid-40's and had no ill effects. One night, the temperature dropped quite a bit more than I had anticipated, and when I went outside to check the tortoises in the AM, two of them had frost on their carapaces. Neither ever got sick from it.

For whatever reason, everything you have described indicates the tortoise is fighting off a respiratory infection. I believe it is most probably from inhaled water causing inhalation pneumonia, possibly exacerbated by lower temps than normal though it doesn't seem that is the case from what you have said about the temps as I mentioned above.

Bubbles coming from the nose prior to the tortoise being soaked are a definitive sign of respiratory trouble. If keeping the tortoise nice and warm doesn't cure it in a couple of days, I would be heading to the vet to get Ceftazidime injections (unless your vet will give you the medications in little tuberculin syringes for home use by you without having to bring the tortoise to an appointment).

I would also suggest soaking the tortoise in shallower water if it has accidentally been getting water into its nose while struggling during the soaks to prevent its inhaling water by accident in the future.
 

Melissacoop

Active Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
104
Location (City and/or State)
Pembroke Pines, FL
Your temperatures sound fine to me. 75F in the hide is not really all that low and should not cause any respiratory problem. My adult sulcatas stayed outside in CT when temps got down into the mid-40's and had no ill effects. One night, the temperature dropped quite a bit more than I had anticipated, and when I went outside to check the tortoises in the AM, two of them had frost on their carapaces. Neither ever got sick from it.

For whatever reason, everything you have described indicates the tortoise is fighting off a respiratory infection. I believe it is most probably from inhaled water causing inhalation pneumonia, possibly exacerbated by lower temps than normal though it doesn't seem that is the case from what you have said about the temps as I mentioned above.

Bubbles coming from the nose prior to the tortoise being soaked are a definitive sign of respiratory trouble. If keeping the tortoise nice and warm doesn't cure it in a couple of days, I would be heading to the vet to get Ceftazidime injections (unless your vet will give you the medications in little tuberculin syringes for home use by you without having to bring the tortoise to an appointment).

I would also suggest soaking the tortoise in shallower water if it has accidentally been getting water into its nose while struggling during the soaks to prevent its inhaling water by accident in the future.
What is the dosage for the injections? My neighbor is a small animal vet and he may order them for me.
 

zovick

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
1,071
What is the dosage for the injections? My neighbor is a small animal vet and he may order them for me.
The Ceftazidime (Fortaz) dosage for tortoises is 20 mg per kilo of weight every three days. In severe cases, it is given every other day. It should be continued for about ten days. IE, 3-4 doses if given every third day and 5 doses if given every other day. In this case, I think every third day is sufficient.

The medication is a vial of powder which must be diluted with sterile saline or sterile water and then needs to be refrigerated once it is mixed. This is why most vets mix it in their offices and then fill the correct number of tuberculin syringes with the medication and give them to the patients to take home. You just take one syringe from your refrigerator and give it to the animal, then dispose of the syringe and repeat at the intervals recommended by the vet.

You could ask for a bottle of Neo-Poly-Dex veterinary ophthalmic drops and put one drop of that solution into each eye and each nostril twice a day in addition to doing the injections. Or you could try just the ophthalmic drops first and if that doesn't cure the problem in a few days, then go to the injections. It is hard for me to say which is the best thing to try without seeing the animal in person.
 

Melissacoop

Active Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
104
Location (City and/or State)
Pembroke Pines, FL
I understand. I worked for small animal vet for 35 years so am experienced. Where are the injections given and are they sub Q?
He really looks normal on physical exam. Eyes clear. He did blow a few bubbles out of his nostrils today. Clear.
 

zovick

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
1,071
I understand. I worked for small animal vet for 35 years so am experienced. Where are the injections given and are they sub Q?
He really looks normal on physical exam. Eyes clear. He did blow a few bubbles out of his nostrils today. Clear.
The injections can be either IM or Sub-Q. I was advised years ago by one of my reptile vet friends to give Ceftazidime injections in the area under the front leg where skin meets the shell. He said this is where the pectoralis muscle would be. I would describe it as the "armpit" of the tortoise. Note that this is an area of fairly tight skin, not the softer area back in the leg socket. Just put the needle in rather shallowly there so as not to get it all the way into the shoulder joint.

Another point: I always record the date and which leg I injected (left or right), then I do the opposite side when the next dose is due in order to minimize repeated trauma to one side or the other.
 

Melissacoop

Active Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
104
Location (City and/or State)
Pembroke Pines, FL
Sounds alittle scary. Not as easy as a cat or dog. Lol. I’ve kept him in today and fed him Mazuri for dinner which he was very happy with since I usually mix two chunks in with his grass and hay once a week. He ate it all and then immediately went right back to his hole to sleep. I think I will watch another day and try to hold off on the antibiotics. I do have the ophthalmic drops you referenced if need be. His nose is clear presently.
Thank you for your advice and time.
 

zovick

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
1,071
Sounds alittle scary. Not as easy as a cat or dog. Lol. I’ve kept him in today and fed him Mazuri for dinner which he was very happy with since I usually mix two chunks in with his grass and hay once a week. He ate it all and then immediately went right back to his hole to sleep. I think I will watch another day and try to hold off on the antibiotics. I do have the ophthalmic drops you referenced if need be. His nose is clear presently.
Thank you for your advice and time.
Not all that scary really. If you hold the leg out, there will be a little fold of skin right at that armpit area. Then you can just put the needle into that skin fold and inject.

It sounds as though you may not need to do it, though. I would recommend using the ophthalmic drops for a day or two to be sure the possibility of infection is covered. Those are harmless and not scary.
 

New Posts

Top