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Help Needed - Wheezing Tort

wheezing whistling health straw substrate diet

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#1 tortlover123

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 10:35 PM

Hi there

I hope someone can help me. I have two Hermann tortoises, both female, and I have noticed that they are both making whistling/wheezing noises, one more than the other one. It isn't all the time, but it does seem to be a fair bit of the time. They both seem to be eating fine and they move around the garden without any issues. They're around 30-40 years old. I've only had them for a few months, but took them to the vet who said at the time that the whistling didn't seem to have any other symptoms along with it and they seemed perfectly healthy. We told him how we were keeping them as well (outside in a hutch with dust free straw, exactly how they've been living for the past 30 years with their previous owner) and he didn't think that was an issue. Just a bit worried that the whistling hasn't gone away yet (if indeed it should do).

Does anyone know what this could be?

Oh I should also mention that I have a male tort living with them who doesn't wheeze at all. All three have been living together happily all their lives so far.


I would worry it's their living environment but I've made sure I've kept their living arrangements as close to, if not identical, to what they're used to. Is it stress? The heat? Any advice would be very welcome!

Thanks in advance.

#2 Freddy

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 10:53 PM

Hi There,
I have had the same problem with my 50 year old female THB in the last couple of weeks. Personally, I thought it was down to increased humidity and the colder, damper weather making the nares of her nose more sensitive. However, I was told it is a common occurrence in tortoises and might remain so and that it was nothing serious. I expect your vet would have checked for respiratory problems and if he gave the all clear then there is no need to worry. It is just something that happens to some tortoises as they get older. Hope this helps. Take care.
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Freddy

#3 tortlover123

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 10:57 PM

Thanks for your reply, Freddy. You have definitely helped to put my mind at rest. He did give them all a thorough checkover and found nothing, and their living arrangements haven't changed since, so I think you are probably right about the humidity issues. I suppose I'll just keep an eye on it but will try not to worry too much.

Do you think they'll be alright to hibernate?

Thanks again for your help! It will help me sleep easier tonight!! I've been worrying about it for ages.

#4 Freddy

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 11:02 PM

I was worried too about hibernation. But since the advice I was given my mind is at rest. I feel more confident now about hibernation. As long as your tortoises are eating and behaving the same in every other respect there is no need to worry. Take care.
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#5 tortlover123

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 11:03 PM

Excellent! Thanks for your help!

All the best

#6 Freddy

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 11:08 PM

Be sure to keep in touch and if you have any further problems let us know.
Best of luck!
Freddy

#7 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 03:03 PM

Hi there

I hope someone can help me. I have two Hermann tortoises, both female, and I have noticed that they are both making whistling/wheezing noises, one more than the other one. It isn't all the time, but it does seem to be a fair bit of the time. They both seem to be eating fine and they move around the garden without any issues. They're around 30-40 years old. I've only had them for a few months, but took them to the vet who said at the time that the whistling didn't seem to have any other symptoms along with it and they seemed perfectly healthy. We told him how we were keeping them as well (outside in a hutch with dust free straw, exactly how they've been living for the past 30 years with their previous owner) and he didn't think that was an issue. Just a bit worried that the whistling hasn't gone away yet (if indeed it should do).

Does anyone know what this could be?

Oh I should also mention that I have a male tort living with them who doesn't wheeze at all. All three have been living together happily all their lives so far.


I would worry it's their living environment but I've made sure I've kept their living arrangements as close to, if not identical, to what they're used to. Is it stress? The heat? Any advice would be very welcome!

Thanks in advance.


I would say, definitley get rid of the straw, it's of no use to tortoises as they are cold blooded and it can harbour mould spores that will affect breathing. Your husbandry may well be the same as the previous keepers, but is the garden in the same position. Tortoises that have been kept in gardens for so long usually have south facing gardens, so the stress of moving to a differrent garden without the same access to sun, in the same position (if this makes sense) could well upset them enough to cause problems. I would still get rid of the hay though, as if mould spores enter the respiratory tract at this point in the year, it might be the difference between a good hibernation and a bad one :(

#8 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 05:04 PM

Hello Tortlover, two torts I rehomed whistled when they breathed, and after a vet check up they were declared fit and well with no signs of what could be causing the wheezing/ whistling sound. They were originally kept indoors in a small tortoise table. However, once home I kept them outdoors in an enclosure and eventually the whistling has stopped. X x x hugs x x

#9 tortlover123

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:14 PM

Thanks everyone for your help! The whistling weirdly has started to subside, which is making me think it has been the odd weather that's really aggravated it, as Freddy said originally. If it gets worse I will take them back to the vet.





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