Texas Blizzard and 135lb Sulcata with both eyes swollen red and snot!

Matthew M.

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Oct 8, 2016
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Hi All,
We have 3 large Sulcatas, here in Central Texas. All were in excellent health until this Texas Blizzard hit. Our power was our for 3 days and we had to move the torts inside our house (stinky)! Even inside our home the temp got down to 42°F for about a day. Prior to the power going out, they were kept in their custom 7'x7' insulated, heated and webcam'd Tortoise shed, due to cold weather. There's even a skylight! There was lots of Timothy hay in the bottom for bedding and an oil heater, suspended for heat.

Regardless, my biggest tort (male) has been making hissing / breathing sounds and has kept his head tucked unusually deep inside his shell for the last 2 days. An hour ago we noticed that both of his eyes are swollen and very red. His left eye is puffy and shut. His right eye is less swollen. He also has snot from his nose, so likely upper respiratory infection. We have had them for years and have never had any health issues. The other two females look perfectly fine. Soaking him is difficult due to his size (135 lbs.) and the fact that it's 30° outside. I have a kiddie pool I could bring in and soak him, but it would wreck the house. I'll do it if I have to, but prefer alternatives. In the meantime, I have been spraying his eyes with colloidal silver. We have Essential Oils also and lots of naturopathic stuff on hand. Any suggestions? PS - The roads are iced and we have about 8" of snow/ice on the ground, so it would be difficult to get to a vet, even if they were open. Picture attached. Any suggestions?
 

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maggie3fan

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Do you have heat now? He needs antibiotics, and to warm up him up more than normal, separate him from the girls. Can't you and somebody put him in the bath tub? Keep the water pretty warm, just above his bridge. At least that's what I would do.
 

Matthew M.

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Oct 8, 2016
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Do you have heat now? He needs antibiotics, and to warm up him up more than normal, separate him from the girls. Can't you and somebody put him in the bath tub? Keep the water pretty warm, just above his bridge. At least that's what I would do.
Thank you. Yes, he is separated from the other two females. We would soak him in the tub, but our tubs are all full of water, due to a pending water outage any time now. We have water BOBs in the tubs, so it's not as easy as draining it and refilling it. Otherwise I could do that. Yes, we have heat back now and he is inside my house. I will heat his room more than the rest of the house overnight, to see if that helps.
 

MLouPtn

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Unsure of how to help other than to suggest you separate him from the other tortoises for now, being around other tortoises will put stress on him and might cause problems with the health of the other tortoises as well. Try to keep him as warm as you possibly can with the weather (If he has been brought in from somewhere really cold, introduce heat slowly to avoid shock).

I’ll leave the medical stuff to people with more experience, but I hope the poor lad gets help soon :(
 

Yvonne G

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Those eyes would not be a usual symptom of a respiratory infection. I would think along the lines of allergy, or eye irritant, etc. Soaking really would help him.
 

KarenSoCal

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Are you positive he wasn't subjected to freezing?

Were his eyes like this when you brought him in? Or did this develop after being in the house?

How do you keep him when he's inside?

I'm just trying to find a cause...wish I could help more!
 

Tom

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I agree with Yvonne, and would ask the same questions as Karen.

In any case, heat is the answer. Keep this tortoise 85-90 24/7.

Are you sure he only got down to 42?
 
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