Stepped on :(

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Skyler Nell

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Over a year ago a family member accidently stepped on one of my boyfriends tortoises. The shell wasn't cracked or broken and we couldn't see any affects from the incident.

Today, while I was at his house I noticed that tortoise didn't look so good.
(eyes closed, not very responsive to touch, etc.)

So I decided to bring him in and give him a little TLC. A nice warm soak, held him for awhile, tried to hand feed, but he wouldn't eat, hardly moved and never opened his eyes.

I put him into a small enclosure by himself and warmed it up nice and toasty. But he didn't move around at all!

The 30 minutes later when I went back to check on him I noticed his mouth and neck area were all wet and slimy, there was even some on the substrate. It was clear, with some red mixed in. So could he be coughing up blood?

Also, his shell is a bit deformed. It kinda swoops down in the middle. But it's not very noticeable.

So do you think this has something to do with the being stepped on or is there a tortoise disease that may effect the rest of the tortoises there?

Thank you for reading!!
 

ekm5015

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If there was a problem caused from accidently stepping on the tort, I would think it would be noticed before now.

You said you got the tort "nice and toasty". How hot is that? When they overheat I think they produce saliva and coat their skin with it to keep cool. You may have gotten him too hot.

Sluggish also might mean parasites, so you might want to get a fecal checked.

That is all I can think of for now. Hopefully others chime in on the matter.
 

Skyler Nell

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thank you for your reply, I'd say I had the tank at 90 or so on the warmer side, so not too too hot. I had just never seen anything like that before, so I was very worried.

Any other input would be greatly appreciated. It'll be hard to get a fecal now considering he's not moving. eating, or pooping.
 

Laura

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What kind of tortoise are we talking about? How big, what is the general care, diet etc..
How long has it been like this?
 

Tom

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Need more info, but I wouldn't think that the things you are seeing now would be related to what happened a year ago.
 

dmmj

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If any damage from being stepped on it should have shown up before now, I have stepped on one or two in my yard over the years without any ill effect.
 

Skyler Nell

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its a 2 year old CDT. but its yearling siblings have caught up to him now. He's kept outside during the warm summer months and as often as possible. Fed spring mix, and eats the grasses and stuff. My boyfriends family has been caring for CDTs for over 40 years, but they've never seen this. A tortoise appearing to be coughing up blood? and what could start this so suddenly and from what? especially having hardly any previous problems with any other tortoises.
 

Laura

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I would keep it seperate from the rest. WArm, but not hot. Extra soak.. COuld be upper respiratory, or digestive issue, wound....
Maybe it ate something bad...
Any changes today?
 

Skyler Nell

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I won't get to see him until tuesday or wednesday since he isn't mine and boyfriend is out of town. his parents are giving him some tlc until i get back, then im thinking vitamin soak? and hopefully i'll be able to get him to eat something.
 
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Maggie Cummings

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I use bird vitamins with every soak. I don't think this has anything to do with being stepped on. Do you think there could have been damage to an organ then it took until now to show? That just doesn't seem right. I think he has an URTI. Has he or any of those DT's been tested for mycoplasma?
 

Skyler Nell

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what is mycroplasma??

My DT had an URTI this year and it seems different then that.
What was the strangest thing was the coughing up mucus and something red? possibly blood? There is no swollen eyes and the shell is nice and hard. But his legs are kinda unresponsive to stimuli.

So far he has been getting lots of soaks and he's separated from the other tortoises in a warm hospital tank.

Like i said his shell is a bit deformed, so i thought maybe it was affecting his growth internally?
 
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Maggie Cummings

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The desert tortoise is listed by the United States government as a threatened species in part of its range. A major contributing factor in the decline of this animal has been the presence of an upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) which is characterized by a chronic disease which eventually leads to severe occlusion of the nares with viscous exudate and destruction of the respiratory epithelium. Electron microscopy of infected tissues demonstrated the presence of a mycoplasma-like organism attached to the respiratory surfaces. The mycoplasma was isolated and designated as a new species, with the proposed name Mycoplasma agassizii. The current study was designed to fulfill Koch's postulates and determine if M. agassizii was the etiologic agent of URTD. Clinically healthy animals with known antibody status were infused intranasally with pooled exudate from ill donor animals, with M. agassizii alone or in combination with Pasteurella testudinis , with P. testudinis alone , or with sterile broth . The pooled exudate was culture positive for M. agassizii. Tortoises which received exudate or M. agassizii alone or in conjunction with P. testudinis were significantly more likely to develop clinical disease (P < 0.0004) than animals which received P. testudinis alone or the broth controls. Tortoises demonstrated a strong immune response to M. agassizii, and seroconversion was seen in all groups with clinical disease. M. agassizii was isolated from the upper respiratory tracts of clinically ill animals up to 6 months postinfection. On the basis of the results of these transmission studies, we conclude that M. agassizii is an etiologic agent of URTD in the desert tortoise.

I copied this as it was too much to type. Then these infected animals were released into the wild and most of the wild desert tortoises were killed off.
 

Skyler Nell

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Well, that whole thing was a bit tough to understand, but they have raised probably 20 or 30 CDTs over the course of 50 years. 50 years ago my boyfriend's grandpa took 2 CDT's out of the dessert (there weren't really laws back then) So these 2 tortoises have been mating all these years, just luck that it was a male/female match up. They've never encountered URTI before (over the past 50 years) and no new members have been added. Nothing has changed as far as their enviornment and all other hatchings and adults are doing well.

I just figured that there must be a connection between the fact that this little guy was stepped on, has a deformed shell and is now coughing up blood, but the rest of the colony is unaffected?

I'd love to hear what anyone else has to say?
 

Skyler Nell

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Anyone have a different opinion or agree with URTI??
I'm going over there tomorrow so hopeful they'll have good news!
 
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