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Help - do we have pnuemonia

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#1 Guest_shelby_*

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 06:04 PM

My first tortoise died from pneumonia having been given dodgy information on keeping tortoises in aquariums ten years ago.
I have had my current hermanns tortoise since may, she has a tortoise table with uvb lighting & a spotlight to bask under. She is two or three years old - not sure as I am her second owner and I don't have her paperwork. I got her out for her bath this evening, and she is breathing with her mouth open. Though no nasal discharge, no signs of yellowing in or around her mouth and she's eating OK, should I panic yet (The only vet with an ounce of common sense is 50 miles away)?
Any advice appreciated, I couldn't bear for Shelby Mk II to die aswell.
Thank you.

#2 Guest_Annecaroline_*

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 08:24 PM


As soon as i saw your message i had to reply. I am not an expert tort keeper, only been doing it since September. One of my torts over Christmas started breathing with his mouth open and then after a couple of days was gasping and squeeling (the only way i can describe it) - it was very distressing to see. I contacted my normal vet who put me in touch with a specialist who i saw the same day and discovered it was pnuemonia. It may not be pnuemonia that your one has but get it checked out. It is better to be safe than sorry. My one was eating okay and when i put him in a cooler environment he seemed to calm down (this was prior to me having the diagnosis). I had to give him antibiotic injections for two weeks and seems to be over it, I am very paranoid now though.

Hope this of some help. And i do help your tort gets well soon.


#3 Guest_shelby_*

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 03:45 PM


Thank you for your reply. It seems a wonder to me that tortioses have survived since the time of the dinosaurs when pet ones seem so hell-bent on dying.

I have spent the morning (Took the day off work) watching Shelby doing her usual vicious thistle munching & a spot of Tai Chi under her light, and haven't seen her do it again.

I wonder if that might have been a pathetic attempt at threatening behaviour or something that makes more sense to her (might be a he - have to wait and see)tyhan it does to me?

I'm afraid after my last tortoise related disaster, I am quite terrified that something bad will happen again. Shelby MkI died so very quickly after we noticed she was ill, and though we do now have a decent vet (Strathmore Veterinary Clinic, Andover), I will always live in fear that my ignorance could be her demise.

Thanks everyone.

Tracey x

#4 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 04:06 PM

Hello Tracey,
Even the basic of vets can prescribe anti-biotic, I advise you to see one. he'll either put her on Fortum or Baytril, don't mess about with oral anti-biotics, get it injected in her, much more reliable, it does sound as though she has some kind of lung infeciton

#5 Guest_Annecaroline_*

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 08:16 PM

Hi Tracey

How is Shelby doing? Without sounding a scare monger, Jeff prior to getting the pnuemonia had been a bit up and down for a couple of weeks beforehand. Like Arnie has said do see someone and the injections are so much more reliable and fast acting. I gave Jeff the oral antibiotics previously and he would immediately go over to the waterbowl and flop his head in the water - they have very clever little minds these tortoises. The vet also told me that while they are on the antibiotics to keep the temperature higher during the day and night so that it raises their metabolism and makes the medication work better. He told me to keep like that for a couple of weeks after also.

I know what you mean about the worry they cause, I get myself in an absolute state of panic. When Jeff was ill I called into work sick for a few days. Well, other people have time off when their children are sick - my dog and my torties are my kids.

Happy health


#6 Guest_shelby_*

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 05:26 PM

Thanks for your replies guys. I feel like a bit of a 'numpty' now for panicking, Shelby seems absolutley fine, and I feel like an over-anxious new parent for flapping so much. I'm really sorry to have made you share my panic, but past experience has shown me that young tortoises do an alarming 'here today, gone tomorrow' attitude to life.

Can I just please thank everyone who contributes advice on this site -it really is the most excellent source of information.
Quick tip - while it's really cold, I have permission from the local school to go pick weeds in their nature garden and school field. Completely organic, traffic free and no-ones dog has had the chance to wee on them (Hope the kids haven't either).

T x

#7 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 10:05 PM

Hi T,

I'm so glad that Shelby seems better. And no apologies for panicking - all of us panic when we think something is wrong with our torts, and that's why this group is so good - we all support each other in our various worries and panicks.

How great that you have the school field and nature garden to forage in! Sounds like a 5* tort restaurant to me (eat your heart out Jamie Oliver ).


#8 Guest_Annecaroline_*

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 01:46 PM

So pleased Shelby is better. Know what you mean with getting into a panic - we all do!


#9 Guest_george_hermann_*

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 10:05 AM

Nice pic of Shelby. Plenty of attitude :) Certainly not camera shy!

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