Sulcata nose bubbles and gasping

gonzotronn

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I heard a squeak come from my 6 month old sulcata's box a few times today and decided I would take him (or her) out to soak as I do every other day. When I picked him up to move him into his bath I noticed there was a bubble coming out of his nose. I put him in his bath and a "wave" from me hitting the box splashed him in the face. He kept making gasping sounds with his mouth open and more bubbles were coming out. He eventually calmed down and stopped gasping but the bubbles are still there.

I have had him for about 6 weeks. There is always some piece of live grass in his enclosure. I also feed him cactus, hibiscus flowers, collard/radish greens, crushed mazuri every other day and about once every 2 weeks maybe some carrot, apple, or prickly pear fruit (which he had yesterday). I soak him every other day in warm water for about 20 mins and his urates are slightly gritty each time. He has access to a shallow water dish that is plenty big. Substrate is coco/cypress mulch mix that I spray daily. Has a half log covering with moss that I keep extra damp. I use a UVB MVB for 13 hours a day as his basking lamp. Temp reaches 107F and about 85 ambient. For the remaining 11 night hours I have a ceramic heating element that keeps that enclosure around 80 average.

Do I need to take him to a vet? Say no to "vitamin" shots but yes to antibiotics and make sure to finish them? Please help! I have become very fond of Tortellini.

Pics of enclosure and nose bubble
https://imgur.com/KCgKANG
https://imgur.com/9ylSLbE
 

EllieMay

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Oh no!!! I hope everything works out ok. There are lots of knowledgeable people on here who can give you good advice so your in the right place. Good luck!
 

Hutsie B

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Keep him warmer than 80 ambient temp for now. IF he is still blowing bubbles out of his nose or gasping for air tomorrow if he was mine I would take him to the vet, it sounds like an upper respiratory infection. I am sure there are more knowledgeable people than me on here, that is just what I would do. good luck with the wee one.
 

gonzotronn

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Keep him warmer than 80 ambient temp for now. IF he is still blowing bubbles out of his nose or gasping for air tomorrow if he was mine I would take him to the vet, it sounds like an upper respiratory infection. I am sure there are more knowledgeable people than me on here, that is just what I would do. good luck with the wee one.


Yeah, everything I've read says to keep them really warm to clear it up. Maybe I've gone overboard with the humidity. I'm moving into a house in the next few weeks and plan to build an outdoor enclosure asap.
 

wellington

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Yes, bump the over all and night temp to 85 no lower. Still have the proper basking temp. If he's worse tomorrow then I would get him to a vet. If he's not any worse then keep up the higher temps, soak him daily for hydration in warm water, keeping him warm the whole time and feed some romaine or head lettuce along with his regular foods. The romaine or head lettuce will also help keep him hydrated. If he improves, keep the warm temps up until two weeks after you think he is all better, then drop them back down to 80. Never lower then 80
 

gonzotronn

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Yes, bump the over all and night temp to 85 no lower. Still have the proper basking temp. If he's worse tomorrow then I would get him to a vet. If he's not any worse then keep up the higher temps, soak him daily for hydration in warm water, keeping him warm the whole time and feed some romaine or head lettuce along with his regular foods. The romaine or head lettuce will also help keep him hydrated. If he improves, keep the warm temps up until two weeks after you think he is all better, then drop them back down to 80. Never lower then 80

He's currently sleeping at 90. I also noticed earlier that he had a gray/white layer of skin over his eyes. I have read this can be caused by dehydration?
 

Tom

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I see the heat lamp and CHE over to the left side. How are you keeping the whole thing 80 at night with an open top? That might be your problem.

Can't go overboard with humidity unless it gets too cool. You also can't get high humidity with an open top.
 

gonzotronn

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I see the heat lamp and CHE over to the left side. How are you keeping the whole thing 80 at night with an open top? That might be your problem.

Can't go overboard with humidity unless it gets too cool. You also can't get high humidity with an open top.

Tort never goes to the right side of the enclosure unless he's walking around for a bit. Always sleeps or hangs out near a heat source. I also have the right half covered most of the time. I will try and keep the humidity up. Should I spray all of the substrate twice a day as well as soaking every day? I am going to try feeding romaine like recommended above.

Hopefully I will be able to build a better enclosure soon. I really like the outside enclosure you built. Living in Texas we can get some pretty crazy rain at times. Are you at all concerned with the underground sleeping space getting flooded? I considered putting in a french drain underneath the wood floor.
 

Tom

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If the tortoise never goes to the cool side and is always on the warm side, that is an indicator that things are too cool overall. This is a tropical species and they need it warm day and night. The whole right side of your enclosure is essentially room temp, which is too cool.
 

gonzotronn

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If the tortoise never goes to the cool side and is always on the warm side, that is an indicator that things are too cool overall. This is a tropical species and they need it warm day and night. The whole right side of your enclosure is essentially room temp, which is too cool.

I'll pick up another CHE for the right side today. Thanks for the help.
 

Tom

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I'll pick up another CHE for the right side today. Thanks for the help.
In most cases warm temps will cure them if they aren't too far along. Be sure to do long warm daily soaks with the higher heat. Do not let the soaking water get cool. Keep ambient all over the enclosure 85-90 for two weeks after symptoms disappear.
 

gonzotronn

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In most cases warm temps will cure them if they aren't too far along. Be sure to do long warm daily soaks with the higher heat. Do not let the soaking water get cool. Keep ambient all over the enclosure 85-90 for two weeks after symptoms disappear.

UPDATE

I added a CHE at the other end of the enclosure and have covered about 50% of the middle of the enclosure to help control humidity. I have been pouring water onto the substrate instead of just spraying. I don't think the water was getting very deep and was evaporating quickly. I have been giving him soaks daily for about an hour and transferring him back and forth between containers when water began to cool down or feces were seen. I am no longer seeing any type of gasping or bubbles coming out of his nostrils.

Thanks again for all the help!
 
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