URGENT! Respiratory infection?

linusthetort

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Hello! I have a four-month-old baby male Hermann. A couple of days ago, we noticed that he had bubbles coming out of one of his nostrils (this is not occurring constantly). He does not have any mucus. Occasionally, he also opens his mouth and lunges his neck forward. Furthermore, he sometimes makes a squeaking noise while quickly retracting his head, and he immediately follows up by wiping his face with his front leg. He is acting completely normal. He eats a lot, poops/pees, walks around his enclosure, and burrows. He certainly does not seem to be lethargic (he sprints when he sees food).

Nevertheless, I tried to contact many vets in my area and they either (1) do not take in exotics or (2) have their next openings in a week. However, one vet that I called offered to give me an antibiotic injection (Baytril/enrofloxacin) without doing an exam on my tort. I picked up the injections today and they explained how to do them. I am worried to give him this antibiotic as he did not receive an exam and I am worried about hurting him since he is so small (30 grams).

What should I do? If he does indeed have a respiratory infection, I do not want to wait until its too late with the antibiotic. I am currently keeping his heat lamp on 24/7 and keeping his humidity low which is what the vet suggested. I scheduled an appointment for 11 days from now. Should I wait for the appointment? Should I keep monitoring his condition and start injecting him if he gets worse?
 

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Blackdog1714

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Is your tort in a closed chamber or open top enclosure? What are your temperatures-overall/basking/hide and night temp?
 

ruthiepo

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Hello! I have a four-month-old baby male Hermann. A couple of days ago, we noticed that he had bubbles coming out of one of his nostrils (this is not occurring constantly). He does not have any mucus. Occasionally, he also opens his mouth and lunges his neck forward. Furthermore, he sometimes makes a squeaking noise while quickly retracting his head, and he immediately follows up by wiping his face with his front leg. He is acting completely normal. He eats a lot, poops/pees, walks around his enclosure, and burrows. He certainly does not seem to be lethargic (he sprints when he sees food).

Nevertheless, I tried to contact many vets in my area and they either (1) do not take in exotics or (2) have their next openings in a week. However, one vet that I called offered to give me an antibiotic injection (Baytril/enrofloxacin) without doing an exam on my tort. I picked up the injections today and they explained how to do them. I am worried to give him this antibiotic as he did not receive an exam and I am worried about hurting him since he is so small (30 grams).

What should I do? If he does indeed have a respiratory infection, I do not want to wait until its too late with the antibiotic. I am currently keeping his heat lamp on 24/7 and keeping his humidity low which is what the vet suggested. I scheduled an appointment for 11 days from now. Should I wait for the appointment? Should I keep monitoring his condition and start injecting him if he gets worse?
Hello! I have a four-month-old baby male Hermann. A couple of days ago, we noticed that he had bubbles coming out of one of his nostrils (this is not occurring constantly). He does not have any mucus. Occasionally, he also opens his mouth and lunges his neck forward. Furthermore, he sometimes makes a squeaking noise while quickly retracting his head, and he immediately follows up by wiping his face with his front leg. He is acting completely normal. He eats a lot, poops/pees, walks around his enclosure, and burrows. He certainly does not seem to be lethargic (he sprints when he sees food).

Nevertheless, I tried to contact many vets in my area and they either (1) do not take in exotics or (2) have their next openings in a week. However, one vet that I called offered to give me an antibiotic injection (Baytril/enrofloxacin) without doing an exam on my tort. I picked up the injections today and they explained how to do them. I am worried to give him this antibiotic as he did not receive an exam and I am worried about hurting him since he is so small (30 grams).

What should I do? If he does indeed have a respiratory infection, I do not want to wait until its too late with the antibiotic. I am currently keeping his heat lamp on 24/7 and keeping his humidity low which is what the vet suggested. I scheduled an appointment for 11 days from now. Should I wait for the appointment? Should I keep monitoring his condition and start injecting him if he gets worse?
Hello, definitely keep him warm, bump up the temperatures day and night and make sure he is hydrated by giving him daily soaks being sure to keep the water warm, nice little chap, hope he soon gets better.
 

KarenSoCal

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Hello, and welcome to the forum! I'm sorry your baby has the sniffles.

If I'm understanding correctly, one time he had clear discharge from his nose. And he occasionally opens his mouth, pulls his head in, and wipes his face.

I don't think that those signs warrant antibiotics yet. Baytril is a harsh drug. It is very painful for the tortoise, and it can cause tissue around the injection site to die. Where on the tort did the vet tell you to inject?

He may be fighting off an RI though, so we'll give him a little help.

First, whatever temp you keep him at, raise it 5°F. As in we keep babies' ambient and night temp no lower than 80°F (I'm going to let you do the converting). So we would raise it to 85°F. You should do the same.

I don't know why he said to lower the humidity, unless he's afraid the baby will be cold. Personally, I would raise the temps as above, and leave the humidity at 80%, if that's where you normally keep it.

There are some eye drops that would be great to use if you can get them. Maybe the vet that gave you the Baytril would give you a bottle. You put 1 drop in each eye, and one drop in each nostril, two times daily for 7-10 days. This is what you want...
146811_MAIN._AC_SY400_V1525450112_.jpg
It says for dogs, but it is what you want. If he gets worse while you are keeping him warm and using the drops, either start the Baytril or get a vet appt and tell the vet you want Fortaz.

If this regimen works, leave the heat up for two weeks after the eye drop treatment is finished.

I'm going to tag some help, just to double check what I've told you. He is an expert on these things.
@zovick
 

linusthetort

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Exeter
Hello, and welcome to the forum! I'm sorry your baby has the sniffles.

If I'm understanding correctly, one time he had clear discharge from his nose. And he occasionally opens his mouth, pulls his head in, and wipes his face.

I don't think that those signs warrant antibiotics yet. Baytril is a harsh drug. It is very painful for the tortoise, and it can cause tissue around the injection site to die. Where on the tort did the vet tell you to inject?

He may be fighting off an RI though, so we'll give him a little help.

First, whatever temp you keep him at, raise it 5°F. As in we keep babies' ambient and night temp no lower than 80°F (I'm going to let you do the converting). So we would raise it to 85°F. You should do the same.

I don't know why he said to lower the humidity, unless he's afraid the baby will be cold. Personally, I would raise the temps as above, and leave the humidity at 80%, if that's where you normally keep it.

There are some eye drops that would be great to use if you can get them. Maybe the vet that gave you the Baytril would give you a bottle. You put 1 drop in each eye, and one drop in each nostril, two times daily for 7-10 days. This is what you want...
View attachment 307534
It says for dogs, but it is what you want. If he gets worse while you are keeping him warm and using the drops, either start the Baytril or get a vet appt and tell the vet you want Fortaz.

If this regimen works, leave the heat up for two weeks after the eye drop treatment is finished.

I'm going to tag some help, just to double check what I've told you. He is an expert on these things.
@zovick
They said to inject it in his pectoral muscle on either side of his head.
 

zovick

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They said to inject it in his pectoral muscle on either side of his head.
I agree with Karen. Try to get those drops from the vet (or any other vet) and you can use them for a week or so before trying the injections. Place one drop into each eye and one drop into each nostril twice daily for a week to ten days. If you are still concerned and want to use an injectable antibiotic instead of or in addition to the drops, don't inject your tortoise with Baytril. Use ceftazidime (Fortaz) injections instead. Baytril is known to cause extreme pain and tissue necrosis at the injection sites and the doses need to be given more frequently than the ceftazidime doses.

Dosage of ceftazidime for tortoises is 20 mg per kilo of weight given every three days. In more severe cases, it can be given every other day. For the symptoms your tortoise is showing, I believe every third day would be sufficient. Also, I wish to point out again that the drops can be used in addition to the injections if you wish as I already said. They often help to clear things up more rapidly.
 

linusthetort

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I think he may have debris in one of his nostrils. He only has bubbles coming out one of his nostrils and he also keeps wiping his face even when there are no bubbles. He still has no other symptoms. Does anyone know how to clear debris?

I found this passage at this link and it seems consistent with what my baby is going through:

Cause 2: Foreign Bodies
A tortoise's nose appears prehistorically tough but is just as sensitive to environmental nasties as a human's. Grass fragments, dust, pollen, too-dry substrate, or a myriad of tiny foreign objects can cause nasal inflammation. Initially not life-threatening, it cannot be ignored either.

Symptomatically, the animal continues to behave healthily and most often maintains a daily routine. In other words, it will eat, drink, browse and snuggle down in a favorite spot. However, there will be signs that something is wrong. At times, the tortoise will be uncomfortable and bothered, especially when the offending piece is a longish piece of grass. To find relief, it might attempt to wipe its nose with a front leg. Needless to say, Leopards don't have fingers to do the job properly and need their owner's assistance to remove whatever is in there.

The bubbles are a result of irritation of the nasal membrane and if the cause is not dealt with, an infection might ensue. As the article will shortly explain, respiratory infection is not something that should be viewed lightly. When tortoises develop respiratory problems, things go downhill very fast.
 
Last edited:

zovick

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I think he may have debris in one of his nostrils. He only has bubbles coming out one of his nostrils and he also keeps wiping his face even when there are no bubbles. He still has no other symptoms. Does anyone know how to clear debris?

I found this passage at this link and it seems consistent with what my baby is going through:

Cause 2: Foreign Bodies
A tortoise's nose appears prehistorically tough but is just as sensitive to environmental nasties as a human's. Grass fragments, dust, pollen, too-dry substrate, or a myriad of tiny foreign objects can cause nasal inflammation. Initially not life-threatening, it cannot be ignored either.

Symptomatically, the animal continues to behave healthily and most often maintains a daily routine. In other words, it will eat, drink, browse and snuggle down in a favorite spot. However, there will be signs that something is wrong. At times, the tortoise will be uncomfortable and bothered, especially when the offending piece is a longish piece of grass. To find relief, it might attempt to wipe its nose with a front leg. Needless to say, Leopards don't have fingers to do the job properly and need their owner's assistance to remove whatever is in there.

The bubbles are a result of irritation of the nasal membrane and if the cause is not dealt with, an infection might ensue. As the article will shortly explain, respiratory infection is not something that should be viewed lightly. When tortoises develop respiratory problems, things go downhill very fast.
Obtain and use the Neo-Poly-Dex eye drops I recommended. They will flush out the nostrils plus reduce inflammation and kill bacteria.
 

linusthetort

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Update: I could not get the drops or any other antibiotic from any vet. I gave the first injection of Baytril today and the little guy was pretty traumatized and has been sleeping a lot since. He seems to have lost his appetite now.
 

linusthetort

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Update: The antibiotics helped clear everything up, but now two weeks later, back to square one. Bubbles and seems to have difficulty breathing. I feel hopeless. Do I just have a sickly tortoise?
 

Yvonne G

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Just keep him in a very warm environment and don't let it drop below 80F degrees until you're very sure he's completely well.
 

Maro2Bear

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Greetings. In addition to treating the respiratory issue, need to determine what caused it in the first place. I’m thinking probably too cold of temperatures at night.

If you havent yet read this rather comprehensice care sheet, pls do. Good luck

➡️➡️ https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/sticky-hermanns-tortoise-care-sheet-updated.101410/

Key point here on the temp for babies - “Ambient room temperature should hover around 80-85F during the day and can be allowed to drop into the low 70s at night. T. hermanni are capable of withstanding much cooler nighttime temperatures but if they are very young, it’s wise to not let it drop that low just yet.”
 

linusthetort

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Greetings. In addition to treating the respiratory issue, need to determine what caused it in the first place. I’m thinking probably too cold of temperatures at night.

If you havent yet read this rather comprehensice care sheet, pls do. Good luck

➡➡ https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/sticky-hermanns-tortoise-care-sheet-updated.101410/

Key point here on the temp for babies - “Ambient room temperature should hover around 80-85F during the day and can be allowed to drop into the low 70s at night. T. hermanni are capable of withstanding much cooler nighttime temperatures but if they are very young, it’s wise to not let it drop that low just yet.”
Yeah I think I’m going to get a ceramic heat emitter for the night. Vet prescribed another round of baytril so I’ll be starting that today. I tried to get the drops that @KarenSoCal recommended but they refused to prescribe them since he is a baby and you can’t dose them properly.
 

Tom

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Yeah I think I’m going to get a ceramic heat emitter for the night. Vet prescribed another round of baytril so I’ll be starting that today. I tried to get the drops that @KarenSoCal recommended but they refused to prescribe them since he is a baby and you can’t dose them properly.
Did you not read what Zovick wrote in post number 8???

"...don't inject your tortoise with Baytril. Use ceftazidime (Fortaz) injections instead. Baytril is known to cause extreme pain and tissue necrosis at the injection sites..."

Injecting Baytril is like injecting bleach into your tortoise. Its extremely caustic.
 

zovick

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Yeah I think I’m going to get a ceramic heat emitter for the night. Vet prescribed another round of baytril so I’ll be starting that today. I tried to get the drops that @KarenSoCal recommended but they refused to prescribe them since he is a baby and you can’t dose them properly.
HA! But you can torture the baby tortoise by giving it painful Baytril injections which will very likely cause tissue necrosis at the injection site(s)? You can't overdose with those drops. I don't know what the vet is talking about there.

I simply cannot understand the reluctance to use them, unless it is because the vet knew nothing about using the drops on tortoises till you mentioned them and didn't want to show his/her ignorance. After all, you got the recommendation for their use from a licensed health professional who also kept tortoises continuously from 1958 through 2018 and has used those drops many times.
 
Last edited:

shawnateerow

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Hello, and welcome to the forum! I'm sorry your baby has the sniffles.

If I'm understanding correctly, one time he had clear discharge from his nose. And he occasionally opens his mouth, pulls his head in, and wipes his face.

I don't think that those signs warrant antibiotics yet. Baytril is a harsh drug. It is very painful for the tortoise, and it can cause tissue around the injection site to die. Where on the tort did the vet tell you to inject?

He may be fighting off an RI though, so we'll give him a little help.

First, whatever temp you keep him at, raise it 5°F. As in we keep babies' ambient and night temp no lower than 80°F (I'm going to let you do the converting). So we would raise it to 85°F. You should do the same.

I don't know why he said to lower the humidity, unless he's afraid the baby will be cold. Personally, I would raise the temps as above, and leave the humidity at 80%, if that's where you normally keep it.

There are some eye drops that would be great to use if you can get them. Maybe the vet that gave you the Baytril would give you a bottle. You put 1 drop in each eye, and one drop in each nostril, two times daily for 7-10 days. This is what you want...
View attachment 307534
It says for dogs, but it is what you want. If he gets worse while you are keeping him warm and using the drops, either start the Baytril or get a vet appt and tell the vet you want Fortaz.

If this regimen works, leave the heat up for two weeks after the eye drop treatment is finished.

I'm going to tag some help, just to double check what I've told you. He is an expert on these things.
@zovick

I have tobramycin drops for Bonnie's eye. Can those also be used in nose?
 

linusthetort

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Did you not read what Zovick wrote in post number 8???

"...don't inject your tortoise with Baytril. Use ceftazidime (Fortaz) injections instead. Baytril is known to cause extreme pain and tissue necrosis at the injection sites..."

Injecting Baytril is like injecting bleach into your tortoise. Its extremely caustic.
I don’t want you use the baytril but it’s the only thing they want to prescribe me. I also don’t want to question their authority as they’re the only vet who is actually willing to help me out in my area.
 
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