To Be....Or Not To Be ....sick?

Chefdenoel10

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
2,439
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
Ok.. Today I am just going to Rip
the bandage off and ask for your help...

I have a full grown lady Sulcata.
For the past two weeks all she wants to do is soak?
She has recently FINISHED laying her clutch of eggs and was doing better than she has ever been before!!!

She was eating like a horse.
She was pooping medium blackish poop.
Pee was normal (sometimes with urates that looked normal)
She was soaking.
She was walking all over the place.
She was sleeping soundly under her CHE in her night box perfectly.

I mean everything was sooo perfect!
I even shed a couple of tears because for the first time in her life I felt like I was doing everything CORRECTLY!!
(All thanks to YOU guys!)😘

But now, about three weeks ago
One night it all went away???
In one single night everything changed?
And I ,for the life of me ,cannot figure it out!?
I have tried everything (following your specs).. and still nothing!?

She eats sparingly and only lettuce (she will not eat grass).
She poops maybe once a week if that..
Her pee is fine but the urates were a yellowish tint this morning..?
She will not go near her night box for warmth...
She HATES outside.
She will walk around but then heads right back into my basement to the tub banging against it till I put her in.??
I caught her once putting her head under the water for quite awhile too!!!
(I know they drink that way) but this looked different... like she was trying to kill herself or fell asleep like that.
She stretches when she is in there like she is comfortable but I know she cannot stay in there!?!?
She wants all lights off and just wants to sleep!
I am wondering if she is :

confused if it’s night or day?
I wonder if she is blind?
I wonder if she has a RI?
I wonder if she is producing more eggs?
I wonder soo many things but I check “ no” off of the list every time!

I LOOK FOR EVERYTHING!!

(About the RI.. no nose running no sneezing, no wheezing and I listen on her back .. no crackling sounds.. )
I thought of an RI because of the lethargy, and on OCCASION she pulls her head inside fast and as if trying to clear her nose?
But it is NOT running or she is not coughing.
It’s like as humans have allergies
We sneeze once in a while.. you know?
I even thought of allergies but you already have said in the past that torts don’t get allergies.
Soooo.... could someone give me ANY suggestions?
I will listen and try EVERYTHING!!
I miss my girl!!!
She was doing soo perfectly, I thought she was one of Toms for a moment!!! (Should have known it wouldn’t last)..
I don’t want this to last much longer! I want my healthy Sulcata back!!!
I don’t want to run to the vets just yet... and I still have the Baytril from last time.
But if she won’t eat how in the heck am I supposed to pry open the mouth of an 90lb Sulcata!!!??? (I think she has lost some weight since the eggs and was eating her proper diet of GRASS...and all the pooping)
She even feels thinner now.
Her neck feels thin...
It used to feel chunky (chubby).
Ok... there I said it...
Please don’t be mad if I am doing something wrong.
Please just correct me and I will change it. I just need help. I am desperate. She was doing soo well and in ONE NIGHT this happened! I swear to God..
ONE NIGHT!?!
Could it be the summer?
Thank you all sooo much in advance!!!!!
Sincerely,
Chef 👩‍🍳😩🥺😢😞

I will send pics of today too..
 

ZenHerper

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Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
1,459
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
Things I would do off the top of head:

*have an xray done to look for more eggs, a stone, a foreign object in the digestive system, or other obstructive mass
*have a blood calcium level sent out to see if her body is still trying to ovulate (and is pulling calcium out of her bones, since she's not eating), or if her body has used up too much calcium in this year's batch of eggs (a general blood panel will tell the status of all her metabolic organs, her mineral ratios, and what her blood cells are currently doing immune-wise)

Your gut feeling is very important: you think something is wrong, so it's time to have her evaluated.

I would not let her choose a temp below 80*F; continue to let her have as much water as she wants.
 

Chefdenoel10

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
2,439
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
Things I would do off the top of head:

*have an xray done to look for more eggs, a stone, a foreign object in the digestive system, or other obstructive mass
*have a blood calcium level sent out to see if her body is still trying to ovulate (and is pulling calcium out of her bones, since she's not eating), or if her body has used up too much calcium in this year's batch of eggs (a general blood panel will tell the status of all her metabolic organs, her mineral ratios, and what her blood cells are currently doing immune-wise)

Your gut feeling is very important: you think something is wrong, so it's time to have her evaluated.

I would not let her choose a temp below 80*F; continue to let her have as much water as she wants.

Thank you sooo much for your advice!!
I will do as you say then.
But about three months ago they did a blood test and said everything looked great.
But that was then and maybe something has changed?
Thanks, I will listen to YOUR advice.
I would like an X-ray to see what ELSE is going on anyway. It’s just that the Exotic Vet I go to says shame doesn’t quite fit on the table?? 🤨 (not sure I believe that...)
So I get an X-ray that’s half of her body..
Anyway, I will take your advice.
Again thank you SOOO much! 😘
 

ZenHerper

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
1,459
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
If she's full size, she may well not fit on the table. lol Xray tables are generally the size of those folding tables you use at a yard sale? But sometimes even less wide (giant dog breeds don't fit so well and you need a team of people to brace and hold various hanging over bits). There is also a limit to how high the "camera" can be raised up. You may need to get two films...front half and back half.

Things can certainly change in three months...again, it's all down to your sense that she was top-of-form then, and now she's not well. Blood tests are one of the quickest ways to get a proper current view of a lot of systems and processes.

Write down as best a timeline as you can recall since her last screening. Notes help greatly when you're trying to cram all the Essentials into one 20-minute conversation. She can't say what's happening or how she feels and where, so the veterinary team will rely in large part initially on your Story about her routine and behavior (and how they've changed).
 

Jannra

Member
Joined
May 2, 2021
Messages
70
Location (City and/or State)
Canadian Prairie
Ok.. Today I am just going to Rip
the bandage off and ask for your help...

I have a full grown lady Sulcata.
For the past two weeks all she wants to do is soak?
She has recently FINISHED laying her clutch of eggs and was doing better than she has ever been before!!!

She was eating like a horse.
She was pooping medium blackish poop.
Pee was normal (sometimes with urates that looked normal)
She was soaking.
She was walking all over the place.
She was sleeping soundly under her CHE in her night box perfectly.

I mean everything was sooo perfect!
I even shed a couple of tears because for the first time in her life I felt like I was doing everything CORRECTLY!!
(All thanks to YOU guys!)😘

But now, about three weeks ago
One night it all went away???
In one single night everything changed?
And I ,for the life of me ,cannot figure it out!?
I have tried everything (following your specs).. and still nothing!?

She eats sparingly and only lettuce (she will not eat grass).
She poops maybe once a week if that..
Her pee is fine but the urates were a yellowish tint this morning..?
She will not go near her night box for warmth...
She HATES outside.
She will walk around but then heads right back into my basement to the tub banging against it till I put her in.??
I caught her once putting her head under the water for quite awhile too!!!
(I know they drink that way) but this looked different... like she was trying to kill herself or fell asleep like that.
She stretches when she is in there like she is comfortable but I know she cannot stay in there!?!?
She wants all lights off and just wants to sleep!
I am wondering if she is :

confused if it’s night or day?
I wonder if she is blind?
I wonder if she has a RI?
I wonder if she is producing more eggs?
I wonder soo many things but I check “ no” off of the list every time!

I LOOK FOR EVERYTHING!!

(About the RI.. no nose running no sneezing, no wheezing and I listen on her back .. no crackling sounds.. )
I thought of an RI because of the lethargy, and on OCCASION she pulls her head inside fast and as if trying to clear her nose?
But it is NOT running or she is not coughing.
It’s like as humans have allergies
We sneeze once in a while.. you know?
I even thought of allergies but you already have said in the past that torts don’t get allergies.
Soooo.... could someone give me ANY suggestions?
I will listen and try EVERYTHING!!
I miss my girl!!!
She was doing soo perfectly, I thought she was one of Toms for a moment!!! (Should have known it wouldn’t last)..
I don’t want this to last much longer! I want my healthy Sulcata back!!!
I don’t want to run to the vets just yet... and I still have the Baytril from last time.
But if she won’t eat how in the heck am I supposed to pry open the mouth of an 90lb Sulcata!!!??? (I think she has lost some weight since the eggs and was eating her proper diet of GRASS...and all the pooping)
She even feels thinner now.
Her neck feels thin...
It used to feel chunky (chubby).
Ok... there I said it...
Please don’t be mad if I am doing something wrong.
Please just correct me and I will change it. I just need help. I am desperate. She was doing soo well and in ONE NIGHT this happened! I swear to God..
ONE NIGHT!?!
Could it be the summer?
Thank you all sooo much in advance!!!!!
Sincerely,
Chef 👩‍🍳😩🥺😢😞

I will send pics of today too..
I would get her checked but just so you guys know, while allergies are very rare in some species they are never impossible. With tortoises there has only been one medically confirmed case of an allergy as far as I know. See this article https://www.alligator.org/article/2020/01/uf-documents-first-tortoise-with-allergies
 

Chefdenoel10

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
2,439
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
If she's full size, she may well not fit on the table. lol Xray tables are generally the size of those folding tables you use at a yard sale? But sometimes even less wide (giant dog breeds don't fit so well and you need a team of people to brace and hold various hanging over bits). There is also a limit to how high the "camera" can be raised up. You may need to get two films...front half and back half.

Things can certainly change in three months...again, it's all down to your sense that she was top-of-form then, and now she's not well. Blood tests are one of the quickest ways to get a proper current view of a lot of systems and processes.

Write down as best a timeline as you can recall since her last screening. Notes help greatly when you're trying to cram all the Essentials into one 20-minute conversation. She can't say what's happening or how she feels and where, so the veterinary team will rely in large part initially on your Story about her routine and behavior (and how they've changed).

Ohhhh.. ok!
I will write down a timeline immediately.
I know I kept a journal of her egg laying days and I am so up on her daily events I will remember what happened after all of that craziness.
But I can honestly say that this situation happened over night.
We were doing soooo great and then boom!
EVERYTHING stopped? Poof! Gone.
It’s very upsetting for me because I couldn’t have been happier with all of the changes I made to get her to be
“ Sulcata comfortable “— and she was sooo happy with all of it!
😢
 

Krista S

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
681
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
Ohhhh.. ok!
I will write down a timeline immediately.
I know I kept a journal of her egg laying days and I am so up on her daily events I will remember what happened after all of that craziness.
But I can honestly say that this situation happened over night.
We were doing soooo great and then boom!
EVERYTHING stopped? Poof! Gone.
It’s very upsetting for me because I couldn’t have been happier with all of the changes I made to get her to be
“ Sulcata comfortable “— and she was sooo happy with all of it!
😢
Sorry for what you’re going through with tortoise. I don’t have any knowledge to offer, but I wanted to let you I’ll be thinking of you both and your sweet girl. I’m hoping for a positive outcome and speedy recovery. ❤️
 

Jan A

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
1,043
Location (City and/or State)
Boulder, CO
Ohhhh.. ok!
I will write down a timeline immediately.
I know I kept a journal of her egg laying days and I am so up on her daily events I will remember what happened after all of that craziness.
But I can honestly say that this situation happened over night.
We were doing soooo great and then boom!
EVERYTHING stopped? Poof! Gone.
It’s very upsetting for me because I couldn’t have been happier with all of the changes I made to get her to be
“ Sulcata comfortable “— and she was sooo happy with all of it!
😢
Well, this will sound stupid but maybe she's having post-partum depression--some sort of chemical hormone depletion if she's done laying eggs (or has more to go) that has simply rendered her exhausted. You are right. Something is going on with your tort. Trust your instincts. We're here!!
 

Chefdenoel10

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
2,439
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
I would get her checked but just so you guys know, while allergies are very rare in some species they are never impossible. With tortoises there has only been one medically confirmed case of an allergy as far as I know. See this article https://www.alligator.org/article/2020/01/uf-documents-first-tortoise-with-allergies

Ooo!!!! How interesting!!!!!
I loved that article!
Thank you!!!!!
I am in New Jersey (USA).
And allergies run rampant here.
So... like you said ...”not impossible”.
I may be the SECOND case! 😂
I would not even be surprised one bit.
I seem to have a Jersey girl whom adapts to all kinds of stuff here (weather related).
I know that it is not ideal for her that’s why I came to this forum.
Now I insist she do it the right way
(Not just adapt).
That’s why this is so confusing to me.
She was finally doing everything a Sulcata should be doing and then in only ONE night
it changed??
Thanks again for that great article!
I might tell anyone who will listen about it!🤣
 

Chefdenoel10

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
2,439
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
Sorry for what you’re going through with tortoise. I don’t have any knowledge to offer, but I wanted to let you I’ll be thinking of you both and your sweet girl. I’m hoping for a positive outcome and speedy recovery. ❤️

Thank you soooooooo much!!!!
You will ALL be in our prayers as always too!! 🥰
I need all the prayers I can get.
While this is not an emergency or critical situation.... it still is very upsetting and personal to me.
I promise to keep you updated!
And I wish nothing but happiness for you and your family of animals too. 😘🙏❤️
 

Chefdenoel10

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
2,439
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
Well, this will sound stupid but maybe she's having post-partum depression--some sort of chemical hormone depletion if she's done laying eggs (or has more to go) that has simply rendered her exhausted. You are right. Something is going on with your tort. Trust your instincts. We're here!!

Thanks sooooo much Jan.
I am soo embarrassed and sad.
I was doing so good you would have been proud!
Everything WAS so great! 😭😭😭

Everybody on here probably already knows I have been killing myself trying for this punk head animal to thrive!
I can’t even begin to tell you what I’ve been through already let alone what’s to come?
I do know from the last doctor I spoke to..
Thank God she is full grown. No more re building stuff and buying bigger carry cages for the vet. She’s done! 30”x30”.
So THATS outta the way...
But I do believe in what you say!
My sister said maybe she was exhausted
From laying 30 eggs? So I did think of that.
Thanks for that idea.
I am going to wait out the next two days here because of the weather then maybe I’ll scute her to the vet.
But I will only be asking for :

X-rays (top and bottom) and
Blood work.

NO shots and NO meds.

I have Baytril from 3 months ago
I have liquid vitamin “A”
And I have Calcium powder (both WITH and WITHOUT D3).

She is like an obsession for me!
I soak up all the info about her now when I read people’s conversations.
Soo interesting all the things people go through.
Eyes
Ears
Lips
Butts.....
All of it!
I mean, I could be a Veterinarian by now!!
🤣😂
 

Jan A

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
1,043
Location (City and/or State)
Boulder, CO
Thanks sooooo much Jan.
I am soo embarrassed and sad.
I was doing so good you would have been proud!
Everything WAS so great! 😭😭😭

Everybody on here probably already knows I have been killing myself trying for this punk head animal to thrive!
I can’t even begin to tell you what I’ve been through already let alone what’s to come?
I do know from the last doctor I spoke to..
Thank God she is full grown. No more re building stuff and buying bigger carry cages for the vet. She’s done! 30”x30”.
So THATS outta the way...
But I do believe in what you say!
My sister said maybe she was exhausted
From laying 30 eggs? So I did think of that.
Thanks for that idea.
I am going to wait out the next two days here because of the weather then maybe I’ll scute her to the vet.
But I will only be asking for :

X-rays (top and bottom) and
Blood work.

NO shots and NO meds.

I have Baytril from 3 months ago
I have liquid vitamin “A”
And I have Calcium powder (both WITH and WITHOUT D3).

She is like an obsession for me!
I soak up all the info about her now when I read people’s conversations.
Soo interesting all the things people go through.
Eyes
Ears
Lips
Butts.....
All of it!
I mean, I could be a Veterinarian by now!!
🤣😂
I have never seen so many photos of butts of any human being or animals as i've seen here. But torts are absolutely & endlessly fascinating, even poops!!
 

ZenHerper

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Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
1,459
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
No vitamin A - by injection or by mouth!

Vitamin A is fat soluble - it gets stored in the liver and is released as needed. If she has been eating plenty of greenery recently, she has plenty of Vit A in her liver. Vets read dosages for "Chelonians" and do not always realize there is a difference between Tortoises (who eat greenery daily) and Turtles (who may need Vit A if they only eat meat items).

Unless there is a blood result that indicates otherwise: she does not need it.
 

zovick

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
1,769
Thanks sooooo much Jan.
I am soo embarrassed and sad.
I was doing so good you would have been proud!
Everything WAS so great! 😭😭😭

Everybody on here probably already knows I have been killing myself trying for this punk head animal to thrive!
I can’t even begin to tell you what I’ve been through already let alone what’s to come?
I do know from the last doctor I spoke to..
Thank God she is full grown. No more re building stuff and buying bigger carry cages for the vet. She’s done! 30”x30”.
So THATS outta the way...
But I do believe in what you say!
My sister said maybe she was exhausted
From laying 30 eggs? So I did think of that.
Thanks for that idea.
I am going to wait out the next two days here because of the weather then maybe I’ll scute her to the vet.
But I will only be asking for :

X-rays (top and bottom) and
Blood work.

NO shots and NO meds.

I have Baytril from 3 months ago
I have liquid vitamin “A”
And I have Calcium powder (both WITH and WITHOUT D3).

She is like an obsession for me!
I soak up all the info about her now when I read people’s conversations.
Soo interesting all the things people go through.
Eyes
Ears
Lips
Butts.....
All of it!
I mean, I could be a Veterinarian by now!!
🤣😂
Just a quick note here. I see you mentioned having Baytril. I would not use that on your tortoise going forward. That is an old treatment which is no longer recommended by most vets today because of the pain it causes and the tissue necrosis which often occurs at the injection sites. Instead, use ceftazidime. It is a much better treatment for respiratory troubles, causes no pain or tissue necrosis, and doesn't need to be injected as frequently, either.
 

Chefdenoel10

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
2,439
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
My guess is maybe she's got more eggs to lay. I hope your buddy starts feeling better. Good luck and keep us posted.

I had her out this morning and forced her to walk around by blocking off entrances to inside of house...
She walked around normally
She was breathing normal
She was bull dozing stuff like Rick Flair
(As with each swipe,
I could swear I heard from the other room.... “WWHHHOOOOW!” As she made her way in...😖
See!!!!! Everything seems normal???
For about an hour then she wants nothing to do with daylight or food or anybody??
WTH???
I did think about what you said
About the egg thing ...
And I think you may be right...
No eating..first red flag
Sleeping a lot ...second flag
Wants water a lot ... third red flag 🚩
Thank you for your well wishes Toddrick..
I will keep you posted.. 🤞
 

Chefdenoel10

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Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
2,439
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
No vitamin A - by injection or by mouth!

Vitamin A is fat soluble - it gets stored in the liver and is released as needed. If she has been eating plenty of greenery recently, she has plenty of Vit A in her liver. Vets read dosages for "Chelonians" and do not always realize there is a difference between Tortoises (who eat greenery daily) and Turtles (who may need Vit A if they only eat meat items).

Unless there is a blood result that indicates otherwise: she does not need it.

Oh my goodness!!!
THIS IS SUCH GOOD ADVICE!!!
Thank you for telling me!
I will not be giving it in any form then.
Just in ways of grass and foods for Sulcata.
I even tried the Mazuri mixed with the packets I got from KalipsoFarms...
Nothing....
Yes she is eating lettuce and grass sparingly right now but I had her weened off just to grass about two months ago it was great! Now she only wants lettuce?
I can only assume for the water content?
(I give her small amounts of romaine and bigger amounts of green leaf)
I know this is not ideal but it’s why she will eat right now. I promise I will get back to grass in The near future!
I also don’t want to give to much romaine as I was told it is in the family of greens that can cause bladder stones.
(Been there ,done that..)
No more for me....
 

ZenHerper

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
1,459
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
Oh my goodness!!!
THIS IS SUCH GOOD ADVICE!!!
Thank you for telling me!
I will not be giving it in any form then.
Just in ways of grass and foods for Sulcata.
I even tried the Mazuri mixed with the packets I got from KalipsoFarms...
Nothing....
Yes she is eating lettuce and grass sparingly right now but I had her weened off just to grass about two months ago it was great! Now she only wants lettuce?
I can only assume for the water content?
(I give her small amounts of romaine and bigger amounts of green leaf)
I know this is not ideal but it’s why she will eat right now. I promise I will get back to grass in The near future!
I also don’t want to give to much romaine as I was told it is in the family of greens that can cause bladder stones.
(Been there ,done that..)
No more for me....
As long as she's hydrated, she can eat whatever greens she likes. Dandelion, chicory, lettuces (any), curly endive, Belgian endive, collards, viola/heartsease/pansy, mustard greens, beet tops, aster, calendula...

The premium at this point is that she keep her energy and calcium in good, balanced supply.
 

Chefdenoel10

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
2,439
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
Just a quick note here. I see you mentioned having Baytril. I would not use that on your tortoise going forward. That is an old treatment which is no longer recommended by most vets today because of the pain it causes and the tissue necrosis which often occurs at the injection sites. Instead, use ceftazidime. It is a much better treatment for respiratory troubles, causes no pain or tissue necrosis, and doesn't need to be injected as frequently, either.

Thank you!!!!!!
I hate Baytril!!
So does she.
You all have said in the past that it stings and/or tastes terrible. Being desperate if I thought it was a RI I would have tried it.
(I have not). I was going by the experts(you guys) and dioing the keeping warm, temps up and soaking adding pedialite to the water.
But it’s great to know what the new improvement to medication is offered!
My Veterinarians don’t even know this!!!
They always give me Baytril.
I will definitely be asking for the new meds for colds from this day forward!!!
Thank you with all of my heart for telling me this!!! ❤️❤️❤️
 
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