Very upsetting

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ErikaO

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We got our 2 month old baby leopard about a month and a half ago. Kanzi seemed fine upon arrival as far as we could tell. We had the set up all ready for our new baby, complete with all the recommended husbandry (thanks to all of you on here who post exact specifications needed). But immediately, we found ourselves feeling like we were caring for a very fragile and sick newborn baby. Kanzi hardly wanted to eat on most days and seemed very lethatgic. I think I have spent countless of hours on this forum reading post after post, trying to pick up as much valuable info as possible. I would get frustrated as I read how healthy baby leos should be behaving, knowing that mine wasn't showing that same behavior. I also got frustrated as I have read so many posts depicting baby leos with Kanzi's same symptoms, and learned that many times the outcome was tragic. Every few days or so, we would think we saw a little improvement; but Kanzi would go right back to being lethargic and not eating. We made sure the substrate was right, we made sure the lighting and temps were right. We followed the "correct" diet to the T. Kanzi was given a warm baby food/water soaking every morning and many times at night too. We even had our children praying for baby Kanzi. Earlier this evening, when we went to take Kanzi out for some evening sunshine, we noticed the lower sides of the shell was super soft. Softer than we had ever noticed before. And the entire shell looked darker than usual. I picked Kanzi up for a loser look and noticed the eyes and nose were a little runny. I immediately went to the internet and began to research. From what I could quickly gather, the watery eyes and runny nose were possible signs of an upper respiratory infection and the best coarse of action for that is to take the baby to the vet. We called the vets office right away and I specifically asked if they had a vet who specializes in reptiles or tortoises to be exact. They assured me that one of thier vets on duty tonight was their turtle guy and he who they send the turtles to. Off we went to see this "turtle guy" with Kanzi in hand. The vet picked Kanzi up, did a weighing (21 grams) and told us that as far as he could tell, based on what we described and by looking at our tortoise, we were dealing with a vitamin A deficiency, a calcium deficiency, and an infection. I asked if he knew where I could get some calcium drops and he replidd with a "no, your problem is a dietary one", and he asked what we were feeding Kanzi. We have been feeding spring mix mixed with mazuri. The vet said.that was all wrong and we needed to switch to kale for the vitamins and calcium. Then the vet said he was going to take the baby to the back and start an antibiotic treatment. Feeling a little uncomfortable, but knowing antibiotics would probably be best, we let him take.Kanzi. Around 7 minutes later, he returned with Kanzi and told us that he gave Kanzi 3 shots, a vitamin B shot to boost the appetite, vitamin A shot for the deficiency, and an antibiotic shot!! He also gave us eye drops to administer 3 times a day. We couldn't believe that he gave a.baby that tiny 3 shots! The vet asked us to return for a follow up visit on Friday. As soon as we left (traumatized and broke), we noticed that Kanzi was eyes-wide-opened and seemed to be peeing quite a bit. I didn't think that seemed right but had nothing to base my fears on. We couldn't turn around and go back because we were the last patient for the evening. We took Kanzi home, gave a nice warm bath and offered some food. Kanzi's eyes stayed wide open for a while, there was no eating, so we put Kanzi down for the night. I went to check on Kanzi about an hour later, and to my absolute dismay, our baby Kanzi has died. There you have it, that was my very sad night. My husband and I are devistated and we don't know how to tell the children what happened (especially since it seems that we just paid to have our baby put down). We had such great plans for our time with Kanzi.........
 

Tom

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I could go on and on about what all went wrong. That vet killed your already failing tortoise. I would demand a refund and explain to him that we figured out that those vitamin A injections were not the right course of action a decade ago. Once they darken up like that, their days are numbered, but the three injections were just more than his little system could handle. A healthy one could probably not have handled all that.

Where did you get the tortoise? Was it started out dry and desert-like before you got it? Seems like it was never right from day one.

So sorry for you. No one should have to go through an experience like this.
 

lushcious

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That makes me very sad. :( I can't believe your vet is assuming all these things and gave him so many shots. That's just wrong and really scares me about vets. I'm very sorry for your loss. That's just so heartbreaking.
 

EKLC

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I'm so sorry to hear that, it upsets me just reading it.

Many baby torts are doomed because of the poor care they receive as hatchlings. Then we buy them with all the love, hopes, and dreams in the world, only to have these all slowly crushed, while frantically looking for an answer. But there is no answer, and you did everything that you could. Your tort is at peace now, RIP Kanzi
 

sportychick

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So sorry to hear :( its sad. I just got my lil guy 4 days ago and have been reading a lot some things make.me.scared like pyramiding and illnesses ... I have posted pics and a video asking ppl what they think under my.new RT
Again I'm so sorry for your loss. The vet seems crazy I agree with tom I'd demand a refund.and give him a piece of my mind.
 

Arizona Sulcata

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So sorry to hear! I agree, your vet does not sound like he was qualified to care for torts. Sorry for your loss!
 

Kymiie

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Very sad to her this, i had a simular experiance with sheffie, therefore when he died i got an older tortoise as i feel i would fail again with a hatchling!
So sorry x
 

cemmons12

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All I can say is damn! This is very upsetting to me, that some "vets" pretend to know things they know nothing about! Tom sounds to have hit the nail on the head again. I feel horrible for what all you, and your baby, went through. I feel so lucky to have found this forum cause these great people here told me what was wrong with Cooper(URI) before I took him to the vet. So I let the vet do the talking and she told me just what these great folks said about Cooper being sick, so it made me feel like she did in fact know what she was doing. I don't know if you have anymore torts but I hope this doesn't make you not want to get another. Just sounds like you got one that was not very well from the start cause it really sounds like you did your research on proper care. My thoughts are with you all. RIP little :tort:
 

ErikaO

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Thank you, everyone, for posting responses. Although we are terribly sad about our situation, we are not shying away from tortoises. In fact, we have a 4 year old Russian beauty queen named Mila, who is a happy and healthy delight to us. Once we are over the trauma and guilt we currently feel, we might entertain bring another tortoise into the family; only this time, instead of doing the usual blissful research on all the wonderful things about a particular breed of tortoise (which is probably all I subconsciously found), I plan on learning all of the possible negative aspects that can occur. For instance, I wish I would have read your super informative and easy to understand posting about beginners mistakes, Tom. Unfortunately, when I read that on April 15th, I was already in the middle of caring and nursing our tiny one. I have also found, in the last two months of owning our tortoises, that of the several websites one can go to for tortoise info, most have very conflicting and contradicting info; but most of what gets posted here on this forum is agreed upon by many vets, breeders, and people who just have a ton of experience loving and raising their torts. I think I will stick to y'all when looking for specific answers.
Thanks again for all of your responses. Its a comfort to know there are others who understand the pain we are dealing with......
 

Tom

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EKLC said:
I'm so sorry to hear that, it upsets me just reading it.

Many baby torts are doomed because of the poor care they receive as hatchlings. Then we buy them with all the love, hopes, and dreams in the world, only to have these all slowly crushed, while frantically looking for an answer. But there is no answer, and you did everything that you could. Your tort is at peace now, RIP Kanzi

Evan, I thought this was very well worded and thoughtful. Very nice of you.

Erika, I'm so glad that even in the middle of this sadness, you have such a positive attitude. I'm hoping that your future tortoise experiences are nothing but success.
 

ErikaO

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Tom said:
Evan, I thought this was very well worded and thoughtful. Very nice of you.

Erika, I'm so glad that even in the middle of this sadness, you have such a positive attitude. I'm hoping that your future tortoise experiences are nothing but success.

Thank you, Tom. I was trying to find a way to personally message you (i'm terribly technologically challenged) to tell you a little more about our baby. I didn't think it fair of me to mention where we got our baby on the main forum (in case they are usually very reputable), nor did I want to warn others here in my area of our vet (by name) because my husband and I are putting together a very personal letter to the vet, where we will refer and strongly suggestthis forum to him for any future dealings with tortshe might have. My husband and I will be going to Africa for a two week missionary trip in June, and would like ro look at the possibility of adopting a new tortoisw after we get back. I would certainly appreciate any advice on what type, what age, and where to get from that you might be able to give.
 

Neal

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Sorry to hear about your tortoise. There are issues with how they are raised from the beginning as well as some tortoises that just aren't born as healthy as others.

In the future, I would recommend an older tortoise. Hatchlings can be a bit difficult for people new to the hobby. It certainly helps to obtain one from a good source.

Glad to hear you are willing to accept another tortoise.
 

wellington

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So sad:(. I am so sorry you had to go through that. Try not to hold guilt. You did all that you could do. There may have not been anything that could have ever saved him. Have a great time in Africa and when you get back let us know and someone should be able to help with finding a new leopard for you. As far as sending someone a pm. At the bottom of that person post will be a pm button. Some don't have it I believe, if they don't want to receive them. You can also click on the persons name and it will bring you to their info, where you can also send them a pm. Hope this helps.
Also, I would only search and ask this forum for help. I have found it is the only place I can count on giving the correct info.:D
 

Yvonne G

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That's just a real shame. I'm so sorry this happened to you and to your baby.

I have lots of experience with leopard babies as a group, but no experience with a single baby. My group of babies are eating machines. They clean up their plate within a half hour and I have to put down more. So in my mind, a leopard baby that doesn't eat, has something wrong with him. It might be that he ate better when he was with his siblings, but I doubt it.

We post here on the forum all the time about vitamin A injections, and I tell everyone who adopts from me about them. Maybe we will eventually reach everyone, but it would be nice if the vets who actually administer the injections would learn about them too.

When you said that your vet told you the problem was "...a dietary one." I thought, Whoopee! A vet who realizes that you can get calcium and vitamin A into a tortoise through his food!! WRONG! He had to go and give the injection.

I'm so very, very sorry!
 

ErikaO

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See, this is why I love this forum so much; everybody seems so genuinely interested and concerned about other people's experiences. Thank you everyone, for your kindness!
@ Neal: my husband and I already decided, no new hatchlings (even though they are the cutest things ever!). Your advice is well taken!
@ Wellington: yes, we would love input and help to find a new tortoise. And thank you for sharing how to send a pm! I wouldn't have even known what to look for.
@ Emysemys: I so wish our baby would have been a healthy little one, but the way you describe yours is not anything like what we experienced. Kanzi (that name means Treasure in African) never ate very good from day one. It is tough when you take your pet to a vet and expect that they know more than you about the situation, only to regret having gone to the vets in the first place. Like I said on an earlier post, we plan to let the vet know of our terrible tragedy, largely due to his lack of knowledge concerning tortoises, but rather than be ugly to him and chance he tune us out because he is the "vet" and we are not, we want to kindly offer the strong suggestion that he use this forum as a resource. And in all fairness to our vet, this is the same vet that has taken such good care of our dogs in past years. Suffice it to say, we will only use him for dogs in the future!!
 

dmmj

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I am sorry please accept my condolences, even tough words more than likely seem empty at this time. I always cringe when I see the words vitamin A shots, from all of the stories here they always seem to end bad. I believe your tortoise had a real bad beginning and as sad as it may be to hear it was only a matter of time no matter how hard you tried. It seems like you were doing great but with a bad beginning I doubt anything could have been done, when you are ready ( no rush) We have lots of leopard breeders here, please check them out when you are ready.
 
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