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Poorly Tilly Needs Help


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#1 Guest_lchambers_1_*

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 12:08 PM

Hi I am a new user to this site and really hope that nobody will judge me badly.

My husband brought me Tilly for my birthday last October and she was only 4 mnths old. She has been kept in a viv type enclosure with ceramic heat lamp and uv light source which we leave on for about 12-14 hours a day (the licensed breeder helped us with the set up).

About 4 weeks ago she started to get more sleepy and seemed weaker and weaker over a few days, we took her to a vet who specialises in tortoises and the like who advised it looked like the on set of septicemia and calcium deficiency! Her shell started to very pink and blood shot at the edges.

She had injections and have been bathing her 4 times a day in reptoboost for 20mins and 1 scoop per 200ml on vets instructions but she seems to have made very little improvement - the pink has nearly all gone but that is the only improvement. She is still very soft and weak - although she does open her eyes and move about a bit (she will only walk small distances)

I am so upset for her and do not know what to do, the vet says its touch and go and she is too young for a stomach tube.

Have anyone ever experienced any thing like this?

She was eating mixed salad (mainly lettuce and tomatoes mixed with calci-phos) but also bits of fruit to add variety.

Where have we gone so wrong??????

Please, please, please can anyone help?

#2 Guest_j_langrish_*

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 12:26 PM

Hi will answer your mail in sections it will be a bit of a long one but it is important you get her husbandry correct if she does survive.

Firstly to quote you "She has been kept in a viv type enclosure with ceramic heat lamp and uv light source which we leave on for about 12-14 hours a day (the licensed breeder helped us with the set up)."

Vivariums are not the best chioce of home but this is not the most important issue at the moment. Also when you say licensed breeder do you not mean dealer? There is a big difference.

Will answer in sections fro now on.

1)About 4 weeks ago she started to get more sleepy and seemed weaker and weaker over a few days, we took her to a vet who specialises in tortoises and the like who advised it looked like the on set of septicemia and calcium deficiency! Her shell started to very pink and blood shot at the edges.

A) This does sound like septicemia, Which vet please?

2) She had injections and have been bathing her 4 times a day in reptoboost for 20mins and 1 scoop per 200ml on vets instructions but she seems to have made very little improvement - the pink has nearly all gone but that is the only improvement. She is still very soft and weak - although she does open her eyes and move about a bit (she will only walk small distances)

A) Is she eating? What injections? How warm are you keeping her enclsoure?

3) I am so upset for her and do not know what to do, the vet says its touch and go and she is too young for a stomach tube.

A) I think she could be tubed fed were abouts are you? Somebody might know of a vet who would do it.


4)She was eating mixed salad (mainly lettuce and tomatoes mixed with calci-phos) but also bits of fruit to add variety.

Where have we gone so wrong??????

Your general husbandry has not been good but the blood poisoning would not have arrived from that. Has she injured of cut herself at any time? Anyway this isn't important right now its getting her better that we have to sort out. Although you do not say it seems like she is not eating at the moment. Is she drinking in her baths? The vets treatment sounds ok but I dare say she could be stomach tubed and I would like to know what injections she was given. How big is she? length in a straight line from front to back (not over the shell) Also what is her weight is grams please.

#3 Guest_lchambers_1_*

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 01:04 PM

Lisa Chambers

Hi - I thought it was a licensed breeder, but your right he does sell them - so dealer it is.

The vets name is Adam Lloyd Lucas at Southcrest Vets in Redditch, he was recommended to us by friends who have used him for their tortoises.

The injection - he said was Vit D and antibiotics, also I have antibiotic drops that I am giving her once a day - Baytril.

She is not really eating at moment - I try and hand feed mashed banana with calci-phos mixed in as well as leaving food in her enclosure. Sometimes she takes the banana sometimes she doesn't and I cant tell if she is eating the food that is in there but I put fresh in everyday just incase.

She sometimes drinks in her bath but not always - she does seem to like her bath and gets a bit more active when in it and when she has just been taken out.

The vet weighed her and said she was 14g but just weighed her and my scales say 20g - she is 4.5cm long.

The temp is 80 degrees

I havent noticed anywhere where she has cut herself but she does have a hollowed out log bridge that she used to over climbing over, maybe she caught herself on this? Can't think of anything else she could have cut it on?

#4 Guest_lchambers_1_*

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 01:19 PM

Also her viv is wooden with glass front but it is 3 foot long with plant pots and hidey holesin both the side with the cermaic heater and in the end without it

#5 Guest_j_langrish_*

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 02:00 PM

the food and suplements are inappropriate. Try dandy lion leaves and flowers. Calci-phos could be causing the problem. buy suplementing phosphorus you could be creating the problem. You need a calcium only suplement with vits especially D3. Unfortuanetly with it being sunday I dont know what you could do till tomorrow but you need to be using nutrobal and limestone flour on her food. You can get nutrobal from most pet shops that sell reptiles and limestone flour from your locsal horse suppliers. Try feeding dandilions, leaves and flowers. If she really isn't eating you could buy some baby food. This is only to get her strength up and would not be used normally, buy a vegie one warm it up put it in a dish and sit her in it. This will encourage her to eat it and will definately help her pick up if she takes it. Also if you have any commercial tortoise food you can do the same with that again this isn't to be used normally but we are talking about getting her strength up and I'm am told these approache can work. Hopefully someone can help out with the vet if there is a better one local to you.

#6 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 02:38 PM

Hi I see you have been given some advice already but I wanted to add that many people would think that a 4 month old tort is much much too young to be sold especially to someone just starting out with tortoises. The little ones are much more vulnerable to all kinds of things and require really specific conditions to thrive. Most reputable breeders won't sell till they are two or three years old.

The people on this site will give you good advice on caring for this little tort if he makes it through his illness. Whatever happens you did your best but much of the information and equipment you were given by the supplier is not right.

#7 Guest_lchambers_1_*

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 06:12 PM

I agree completely that she should never have been sold to us!

We have a Rainbow Crab a Python and a King charles and are usually very responsible and caring pet owners and thought we understood and followed the instructions we were given so are absolutely devestated that poor Tilly has been neglected by us so badly.

That said - Tilly ate tonight for the first time properly of her own accord!!!!!

I coulnd't find suitable baby food so made my own sort of puree to tempt her and managed to get some of it in her since Sunday night but tonight she did eat some dandelion.

The only thing I am not sure about is - how effect is cuttle fish paste as a short term calcium supplement? I made some myself because I was using calci-phos and couldn't get a substitute at such short notice?




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