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Possible Respiratory Infection?


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#1 Becky9096

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Posted 31 May 2015 - 04:41 PM

Hello there.... I am a final year veterinary student at the university of Edinburgh, hoping to specialise in exotics.

I have two hermann tortoises they are both 6 years old.

Over the past month or so iv noticed that one of them is making a slight noise when he breaths. Its quite loud and sounds as if hes puffing/wheezing almost. The other thing that is concerning me is that his eyes appear to be sunken into their sockets and the third eyelid is sort of coming across. I know that sunken eyes is a sign of dehydration but he is bathed daily so he can't be dehydrated.

 

Anyway, I have been to the vets. He wasnt completely convinced it was a respiratory infection as he has no nasal discharge and was given baytril (enrofloxacin) for 10 days 0.2mls daily to give orally via syringe. I have been doing this for 4 days and haven't really  noticed any difference BUT he has completely stopped eating.

 

I am wondering if anyone else who has given baytril has experienced their tortoises going off their food completely? I know it can cause gastrointestinal upset. I have been syringing him a little bit of reptiboost and bathing him daily and have ordered some oxbow critical care formula to syringe feed him if he doesn't start eating soon.

 

Any advice would be appreciated or any insight into what else could be causing the sunken eyes!



#2 mildredsmam

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Posted 31 May 2015 - 06:42 PM

Hi Becky welcome to the forum. :)

Are you keeping the temps up on a night while he's on the antibiotics, what test's did the vet do when you went, also was the vet a reptile vet. :)



#3 Becky9096

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Posted 31 May 2015 - 08:30 PM

No I didnt realise to keep temps up at night as well, should i leave his basking bulb on overnight too? Hes mostly just been sleeping a lot. The vet didnt do any tests yet - He said we could try the antibiotics and then if no improvement we could do a swab/lung wash/ xray. He doesnt have a specialist certificate in zoological medicine but he is used to dealing with tortoises/reptiles/exotics. I see practice quite a lot there whilst I am studying and he does treat quite a lot of reptiles.

 

Thanks



#4 Beermat89

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Posted 31 May 2015 - 09:55 PM

Hi Becky
I cant see why hes given antibiotics with out doing a single test,if i was you i would get a different vet,its not the realy done thing.yes keep the heat bulb on over night as karen mentioned to keep temps up
Regardsmatt

#5 mildredsmam

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 03:22 AM

Hi Becky,

Yes antibiotics wont work if their not kept warm 24/7 a ceramic heater is good for night times, is this tortoise separate from the other one, if not I would keep him on his own for now, before going to the vets did he seem fine in him self eating active etc was it just the noise that made you take him, do you have a picture of his eyes so we can see.

Did the vet not even listen using a stethoscope, some vets are too quick to prescribe antibiotic's with out finding out If there is a problem or not a some tortoise do make noises, has the tortoise lost much weight. :)



#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 07:49 AM

I think I would look for another vet Becky. I would not allow any vet to treat a tortoise of mine without knowing what he was treating and not just guessing. Tortoises being cold blooded MUST have temps raised overnight if antibiotics are going to work and your vet should have known that. If your tortoise is an import, it could be any number of things, some potentially life threatening and I would want to know before being treated willy nilly. I would stress that your tort could still be dehydrated if his substrate is too dry and overnight quarters don't give him the option to dig down into humid soil. What substrate are you using?



#7 Becky9096

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 09:17 PM

Ok thanks 

Yes i separated them a while ago as they are both male and were beggining to sexually harrass one another! This one is now in a completely different room and far away from the other one. Yes he did listen using a stethoscope. The noise of him breathing is quite audible from a distance away like a wheeze. I think he wanted to just try the antibiotics first rather than jumping into full blown xray etc if antibiotics could solve it first. He did say if it didnt work we would do all the other tests.  He had a good appetite before he started the antibiotics. He wasnt terribly active before but now he is much less active... he tends to come out to bask a bit then just goes back to sleep.. and hasnt eaten since he started the antibiotics. I will try to take a picture - the eyes just seem to be sunken down into their sockets, the vet said this was a sign of general debility - you can just see much more of the mucous membrane and the third eyelid they don't appear bright and shiny like my other tortoise. No he hasnt lost weight and was still eating loads before the antibiotics started. he weighs 480g.  My tort definetly wasn't imported. Im using a soil/sandy mixture called ProRep tortoise life?? I sometimes spritz it witha  water spray as it seems quite dry once its dried out in the heat. do you think he could still be dehydrated even though i am bathing him daily? I am bathing him with reptiboost electrolyte solution in the water and syringing a little into his mouth as well. 

 

PS - not sure if I am being overly optimistic but the eyes look less sunken today so hopefully antibiotics are working. But i am worried that he hasnt eaten a single bite for 5 days now and still another 5 days of antibiotics left to go!



#8 wizzasmum

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 09:59 PM

Obviously I'm not a vet but have never seen sunken eyes in anything but a dehydrated tortoise, even in rehabbers. At this size your tortoises should really be outdoors at this time of year. Indoor tortoises do tend to have more illness's often because humidity is so low. He needs to be able to choose his own humidity levels by offering humid hides and have plants to dig under. Have you asked your breeder if any of the others have had any problems? Did they give you a care sheet outlining correct habitats etc? The prorep needs to be watered really as spraying evaporates immediately. Your substrate needs to be damp below the surface but dry on top as in nature, this is so that he can dig down to thermoregulate properly, it also prevents dehydration and helps with smooth growth too. If he is dehydrated then antibiotics can make him feel really poorly, so  I would def put the emphasis on hydration from all angles ie watering substrate, soaking daily, offering water at all times in his enclosure, spraying his food etc etc. Your vet should really have told you about hydration before treatment, to prevent other damage.



#9 wizzasmum

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 10:01 PM

Are these two of my babies by any chance Becky?



#10 Becky9096

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 07:58 PM

I just don't have anywhere suitable for them to be outdoors really also the weather in scotland isn't great.... it was a max of about 12 degrees today, raining all day and dips down to 3/4 degrees at night... OK thank you, I will water down the substrate. Have been bathing 2x daily and ofcourse offering water at all times in the enclosure.

No there not :)



#11 wizzasmum

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 09:45 PM

It was the same here Becky, we have to provide added heat to help things along in the British Isles north or south ;) I do know of a keeper on the East coast of Scotland though who keeps African sulcatas outdoors, so Scotland is not so different ;) You wont be able to keep them indoors indefinitely really if you want them to thrive and if you wish to specialise, this will be something you would be better doing in order to help your clients do the best by them too.



#12 Becky9096

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 07:48 PM

do you suggest a purpose built sort of enclosure with heat lamp and things as well then? I am hoping to get them outdoors just trying to get something suitable!



#13 wizzasmum

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 10:11 PM

Yes, the bigger the better too. Remember that wild tortoises have fairly large areas that they roam daily. They get very stressed if confined, which obviously leads to illness. Have a look on the Tortsmad website www.tortsmad.com or a really good website for outdoor enclosure examples is www.tortoises.net






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