Spur Thighed with a sticky nose

EmiliaEvan

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My 6 month old Spur thighed has had a sticky nose for a couple of weeks, which she often gets dirt on and sometimes seems blocked. She also appears to be breathing through her mouth on occasion. I know of a local vet that look after tortoises but I don't want to stress her out and make it worse by taking her if there is no need.

She is eating normally and pretty active. Her eyes are really bright and she is still pretty feisty.

I feed her weeds (dandelions, bitter cress, sow thistle, clover, plantain etc) and mixed leaf salad (lambs lettuce, raddichio etc). I soak her everyday for about 15 minutes (which she does not enjoy - any tips on how to make tortoises not hate being soaked would be great too).

I house her on coco coir in a covered enclosure, which I keep moist and is about 35 degrees in the day at the warmest spot and dips to about 18 degrees at night.

Any advice would be gratefully received.

135232748_329804561421911_2099288395304989484_n.jpg
 

Chefdenoel10

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My 6 month old Spur thighed has had a sticky nose for a couple of weeks, which she often gets dirt on and sometimes seems blocked. She also appears to be breathing through her mouth on occasion. I know of a local vet that look after tortoises but I don't want to stress her out and make it worse by taking her if there is no need.

She is eating normally and pretty active. Her eyes are really bright and she is still pretty feisty.

I feed her weeds (dandelions, bitter cress, sow thistle, clover, plantain etc) and mixed leaf salad (lambs lettuce, raddichio etc). I soak her everyday for about 15 minutes (which she does not enjoy - any tips on how to make tortoises not hate being soaked would be great too).

I house her on coco coir in a covered enclosure, which I keep moist and is about 35 degrees in the day at the warmest spot and dips to about 18 degrees at night.

Any advice would be gratefully received.

hello and welcome to the forum... and Happy new year!🎆🎈🎊
It sounds like she has a uri.
Which means she has a cold.
Did you say 35 degrees? And 18????
That’s WAY to cold for temps!!!
You must raise her temps to 80-90 degrees.
Keep it humid too..
For soaks—I think it’s because when YOU have a cold the shower feels kinda annoying right ? Maybe try carrot purée
(Like the baby store food in that little jar?)
Put that in her WARM water soak (for vitamins ..she will soak it through her skin)
And please for the love of god!!!
Go out and buy one of those nose suckers for babies to suck out whatever is now built up in her little nose!!!
( do you know the things they use in hospitals after a baby is born to get the nose clear?) they are cheap!!
 

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Chefdenoel10

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My 6 month old Spur thighed has had a sticky nose for a couple of weeks, which she often gets dirt on and sometimes seems blocked. She also appears to be breathing through her mouth on occasion. I know of a local vet that look after tortoises but I don't want to stress her out and make it worse by taking her if there is no need.

She is eating normally and pretty active. Her eyes are really bright and she is still pretty feisty.

I feed her weeds (dandelions, bitter cress, sow thistle, clover, plantain etc) and mixed leaf salad (lambs lettuce, raddichio etc). I soak her everyday for about 15 minutes (which she does not enjoy - any tips on how to make tortoises not hate being soaked would be great too).

I house her on coco coir in a covered enclosure, which I keep moist and is about 35 degrees in the day at the warmest spot and dips to about 18 degrees at night.

Any advice would be gratefully received.

also try to follow this care sheet!!

 

JoesMum

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hello and welcome to the forum... and Happy new year!🎆🎈🎊
It sounds like she has a uri.
Which means she has a cold.
Did you say 35 degrees? And 18????
That’s WAY to cold for temps!!!
@Chefdenoel10 this is celsius 😂

This tort is in the UK. We don’t use Farenheit here!

@EmiliaEvan your temperatures sound much better in C.

It needs to be 35-37C directly under the basking lamp which must hang vertically not be at an angle.

Your baby needs high humidity and temperatures not dropping below 27C day or night. You can only achieve this with a cover over the enclosure. This is really important with a sick tortoise


With a runny nose, I recommend finding a reptile vet and getting your tort seen. A general cat and dog vet won’t know how to treat this; it must be a specialist. Torts can go down hill rapidly with a respiratory infection.

Please do read the thread linked to in the post above and compare it with your setup.

Photos of your enclosure and lighting will help us to help you further
 

Tom

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My 6 month old Spur thighed has had a sticky nose for a couple of weeks, which she often gets dirt on and sometimes seems blocked. She also appears to be breathing through her mouth on occasion. I know of a local vet that look after tortoises but I don't want to stress her out and make it worse by taking her if there is no need.

She is eating normally and pretty active. Her eyes are really bright and she is still pretty feisty.

I feed her weeds (dandelions, bitter cress, sow thistle, clover, plantain etc) and mixed leaf salad (lambs lettuce, raddichio etc). I soak her everyday for about 15 minutes (which she does not enjoy - any tips on how to make tortoises not hate being soaked would be great too).

I house her on coco coir in a covered enclosure, which I keep moist and is about 35 degrees in the day at the warmest spot and dips to about 18 degrees at night.

Any advice would be gratefully received.
Bump up your temperatures day and night. Keep ambient 26 or higher at all times for at least two weeks after symptoms disappear. Be sure your coco coir isn't dried out and dusty, as this can cause irritation too.

Also, what type of UV bulb are you using? If its a cfl type, that can cause this issue too.

Please disregard the previously linked care sheet. That one is for tropical species. Here is the correct care sheet for your species. Review this and make any needed changes. Most of the care advice given around the world is old and out-dated. Some of us know better now.
 

Tom

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Oh... yeah, that’s why I’m amateur. 🤦🏼‍♂️
I thought ‘spur thigh’ was only common name for sulcata.
Embarrassing. 😳
Its very confusing. "Spur thigh" usually refers to a greek tortoise, which is not from Greece, and especially when you are talking to someone from the UK. "African spur thigh" is one of the common names for sulcatas. Even more confusing: There are greek tortoises, spur thighs, that occur in Africa.

Don't be embarrassed. You are not the first to do this. You won't be the last. :)
 

EmiliaEvan

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Thank you for help and sorry for all the terminology confusion :) I will ensure that she is kept as warm as possibly and get one of the baby nose suckers and see if I can remove the blockage. I use UVB tube lights so I don't think it is that causing the problem.

She also has a lot of skin that is peeling off. I haven't been too worried because the skin underneath looks healthy and other posts in the forum show that is is a common thing that happens. However, is there a point where I should become concerned about this?
 

JoesMum

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Shedding skin is normal and tortoise s do it untidy patches that look bery scruffy. No treatment is necessar. The old skin will rub off as your tort goes about its business.

Please do read that care guide that @Tom linked to. It is written with decades of tortoise keeping experience... and you don’t want to make mistakes.

photos of your enclosure, lighting... and your tort ... will help us to help you. A picture paints a thousand words!
 

Chefdenoel10

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@Chefdenoel10 this is celsius 😂

This tort is in the UK. We don’t use Farenheit here!

@EmiliaEvan your temperatures sound much better in C.

It needs to be 35-37C directly under the basking lamp which must hang vertically not be at an angle.

Your baby needs high humidity and temperatures not dropping below 27C day or night. You can only achieve this with a cover over the enclosure. This is really important with a sick tortoise


With a runny nose, I recommend finding a reptile vet and getting your tort seen. A general cat and dog vet won’t know how to treat this; it must be a specialist. Torts can go down hill rapidly with a respiratory infection.

Please do read the thread linked to in the post above and compare it with your setup.

Photos of your enclosure and lighting will help us to help you further

Holy cow!!!!!! 😱😱😱😱😱😱
Thank god!!!!!
I thought she was keeping her tort at 18 degrees!!!??
I almost peed myself!
Was surprised Tom didn’t answer immediately!!!!!
thanks for clearing THAT up.
And now on to a very Happy New Year
My friend !!!
😘😘😘🎈🎊🍭
 

Tom

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She also has a lot of skin that is peeling off. I haven't been too worried because the skin underneath looks healthy and other posts in the forum show that is is a common thing that happens. However, is there a point where I should become concerned about this?
What type of UV tube and how close is it to the tortoise?
 

Chefdenoel10

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Bump up your temperatures day and night. Keep ambient 26 or higher at all times for at least two weeks after symptoms disappear. Be sure your coco coir isn't dried out and dusty, as this can cause irritation too.

Also, what type of UV bulb are you using? If its a cfl type, that can cause this issue too.

Please disregard the previously linked care sheet. That one is for tropical species. Here is the correct care sheet for your species. Review this and make any needed changes. Most of the care advice given around the world is old and out-dated. Some of us know better now.

sorry @Tom. I thought I posted the right one. I found it fast and just posted so she could have some help. I’ll be sure to get those sheets clear the next time I open my big mouth. Again... sorry.
and thanks for helping her.. she needs help ASAP.
 

EmiliaEvan

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Here's the enclosure and pictures of Blodwyn. Sorry they're blurry but she is so tiny and my phone camera is so rubbish. The gap in the wall leads to a humid hide area.

I set up the enclosure using the care sheet. The purple bowl I use to feed her, don't worry - I know they are no good for water. I've attached a picture of the bulb (I've lost the packaging so I can't be sure what brand etc it is). The bulb is 45 cm from the top of the substrate.

Thank you for all the help!
 

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EmiliaEvan

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Shedding skin is normal and tortoise s do it untidy patches that look bery scruffy. No treatment is necessar. The old skin will rub off as your tort goes about its business.

Please do read that care guide that @Tom linked to. It is written with decades of tortoise keeping experience... and you don’t want to make mistakes.

photos of your enclosure, lighting... and your tort ... will help us to help you. A picture paints a thousand words!

Hi I was wondering if you'd seen my photos of the enclosure/tortoise above?

Sorry to bother you, but I just want to make sure I am doing the best I can for my little tortoise.
 

Chefdenoel10

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Here's the enclosure and pictures of Blodwyn. Sorry they're blurry but she is so tiny and my phone camera is so rubbish. The gap in the wall leads to a humid hide area.

I set up the enclosure using the care sheet. The purple bowl I use to feed her, don't worry - I know they are no good for water. I've attached a picture of the bulb (I've lost the packaging so I can't be sure what brand etc it is). The bulb is 45 cm from the top of the substrate.

Thank you for all the help!

could you take just a few more pics of enclosure?
We can’t see the whole thing.
I want to be able to help you .
Is there a top to it?
Is there the right bulbs ?? Etc....
 

EmiliaEvan

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could you take just a few more pics of enclosure?
We can’t see the whole thing.
I want to be able to help you .
Is there a top to it?
Is there the right bulbs ?? Etc....


So, it's confusing because Blodwyn has half a converted wardrobe and my housemate's tortoise has the other half. We bought them together but separated them with a high wall after reading about the dangers of keeping two tortoises together. Because my housemate looks after his tortoise differently to me, I do not want to show his half of the enclosure - he has all the relevant information and what he choses to do with it is not my responsibility.

It is covered with plastic sheeting which is clipped down - we ordered a humidity meter a while ago but it seems to be lost in transit. But I do keep the coconut coir so that it is completely a dark colour and mist their enclosure regularly.

We use Exo Terra 150w bulbs - we were using 100w but because it's quite cold at the moment in our house we've boosted it up to help keep them warmer. They share the bulb which goes over both sides.

Thank you so much for your help! :)
 

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maggie3fan

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Your baby has an upper respiratory tract infection. She is not getting what she needs and it 'could' be serious. She needs more heat and each baby needs their OWN basking light. She needs to be able to get right under a hot basking platform. . Go ahead and keep them the way you have them, but each needs their own basking light and night warmth a CHE and hide.
 
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