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Sick Leopard


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#1 Mark

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 08:45 PM

Hi,
Iam after some advise. I have a 10 year old male leopard tortoise. We rescued him several years ago and he has been 100% healthy barring the last two weeks.
The last two weeks he has become increasingly lethargic, more than previous years. He's off his food and I can only get him to drink on the bath. His stools are very poor and mainly a fluid. He's really struggling now bless him and is very weak. I took him to a vet that was reccomended by our normal vet as a exotic specialist and they have put him on a six day course of antibiotics (now three days into course). But he's not showing any signs of improvement at all. What's worrying me mostly is When I bath him weI noticed a lot of clear mucas coming from his mouth. I was literally pulling it out bless him. But it's only noticeable when he's in the water. and after talking to the vet today he wants to give the meds until next week before doing an X-Ray. He's also starting to make a strange barking or coughing noise every now and then.
about a month ago I put him and his mate into there new table 8ft X 4ft and used a substrate of sterile topsoil and sand mix with a 3ft area of planted grasses and weeds for when the feel peckish. But he was always happier on 3mm coral sand. So I have set up his separate table back on this just to try familiar things. In the summer he spends Most of his time in a the garden. Ive upped his basking point to 35 degrees and increased his uv to 12hrs a day in the hope it will help. The garage were the tables are is also heated and never drops below 18 degrees ambient...
Any advise please would be most welcome as Iam starting to get concerned for the wee man now...
Thankyou in advance.

#2 mildredsmam

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 03:52 AM

Hi Mark, welcome to the forum. :)

Im sorry to hear your tortoise is unwell, Sue will be able to help you more than me so i'll message her to take a look this morning, when their on antibiotics they need keeping warm 24/7 for them to work properly, a ceramic heater works well over night, what antibiotics were prescribed for your tort.



#3 wizzasmum

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 10:10 AM

Hi,
Iam after some advise. I have a 10 year old male leopard tortoise. We rescued him several years ago and he has been 100% healthy barring the last two weeks.
The last two weeks he has become increasingly lethargic, more than previous years. He's off his food and I can only get him to drink on the bath. His stools are very poor and mainly a fluid. He's really struggling now bless him and is very weak. I took him to a vet that was reccomended by our normal vet as a exotic specialist and they have put him on a six day course of antibiotics (now three days into course). But he's not showing any signs of improvement at all. What's worrying me mostly is When I bath him weI noticed a lot of clear mucas coming from his mouth. I was literally pulling it out bless him. But it's only noticeable when he's in the water. and after talking to the vet today he wants to give the meds until next week before doing an X-Ray. He's also starting to make a strange barking or coughing noise every now and then.
about a month ago I put him and his mate into there new table 8ft X 4ft and used a substrate of sterile topsoil and sand mix with a 3ft area of planted grasses and weeds for when the feel peckish. But he was always happier on 3mm coral sand. So I have set up his separate table back on this just to try familiar things. In the summer he spends Most of his time in a the garden. Ive upped his basking point to 35 degrees and increased his uv to 12hrs a day in the hope it will help. The garage were the tables are is also heated and never drops below 18 degrees ambient...
Any advise please would be most welcome as Iam starting to get concerned for the wee man now...
Thankyou in advance.


Hi Mark. Leopards are very sensitive if they get sick. If his stools are fluid, it could be a parasitic problem, have you had a faecal test done? Leopards can be very sensitive to an antibiotic called baytril, so worth checking what he is on. If it's being given orally it may not work, subcutaneous injection is much better. Hopefully your vet took swabs from either end to test for the cause rather than just guessing as this is very important. Is there a possibility that he has been contaminated from other sources in the past as there are nasty viruses that can break out months or even years down the line if they are stressed in any way, even with something as slight as a substrate change. Really a 10 year old leopard needs much more space than he is getting, more like several metres where possible. The area you mention is really only suitable for youngsters and could be stressing him. Keep up hydration and offer steam baths several times a day to cope with the mucous. What does his mouth look like? Is it a healthy pink, or pale? If pale, I would suspect parasites and ask for a screening. Do work on giving him more room though as this will help a lot.

#4 Mark

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 12:14 PM

Thanks for the advise. He's back at the vet this afternoon so I will ask the questions you suggest then. I do think it was baytril now you say it that they said needed to be given orally.
To make it a bit clearer The table he is in is his winter home. Through summer and warmer months they have an outdoor enclosure and run of our back garden. The garden is purely different grasses no toxic produce in there at all. We do have separate sections for our Other Torts but as I say they are separate. The indoor table is a stack design. Leopards at the bottom, redfoots in the middle and then two 4ft square tables across the top with horsfields in one and Hermans in the other. Again totally separate with no way of interaction between them. Fred's life didn't start well bless him hense the rescue. He needed a lot of care and time at the start. But in the years we have had him in the family he has always been very active, friendly with a huge appetite that loves his baths. Just a bit gut wrenching for us seeing the wee man like this knowing how much his health has improved over the years.
Again Thankyou for the advise. Iam not normally a forum user but must say Iam impressed with the advise and help you have offered so far. Thankyou.

#5 Mark

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 12:20 PM

Sorry should add his mouth looks clean but as you say very pale in colour especially when comparing to our other leopard.
When we got him he was in a fish tank unfortunately and it took some time to progress him slowly to a bigger space. But as I say the last few years he has been more than happy. He was also with another tortoise when rescued but we never were able to find out what breed.

#6 Mark

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 04:06 PM

Just to keep you posted. Fred had his X-Ray and swobs taken today. His organs are all very healthy, bones look great and the swob showed up an upper level respiratory tract parasite infection exactly as you thought.
He's been put on a new five day course of injection antibiotics called tylan 200.
Apparently it's a high strength course that's fast acting so fingers crossed.
The vet said exactly what you said and thought it was a dormant infection contracted quite possibly years ago. so keeping our fingers crossed and hope he has a full return to health very soon.
Thankyou again for the advise and assistance. Nice to know there are people that will help out there.
Thankyou.

#7 wizzasmum

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 06:48 PM

It's possible he is carrying something from the previous tortoise, but I'm a bit surprised that an experienced vet is treating with baytril as the AB of first choice. Glad the latest treatment is injected, oral is very hot and miss with tortoises and rarely works. The parasites will be making him anaemic which accounts for the pale tongue. Hopefully the vet has suggested treating both tortoises, to make a fresh start. Personally I would keep the horsfields well away from the others and not stack separate species at all as cross contamination is highly likely with these sort of setups. I've seen people lose whole collections by keeping them too closely housed. I realise it's winter and we have to do the best we can but Leo's have very different needs to redfoots and horsfields, in fact you can't have three more different species there. Your horsfields really need to be in an enclosure of deep soil, not a table top as they are a burrowing species which only spend 3-4 months of the year above ground. Hope the treatment works.

#8 Mark

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 07:46 PM

So do we! Yes he did suggest treatment on a precautionary level with Lola. But said he would like to get Fred fully fit first. To be honest as I said we have kept tortoises in all now for nearly 20 years and never needed to consult a vet so we don't know what does and doesn't work medically if you follow. The horsfield is our eldest and totally agree they need to be separate. And yes totally agree again they are a burrowing species, but our one must be odd, she rarely burrows through the summer and even though me make sure her substrate in the table is at least 8" deep through the winter months again she never burrows. Never has. At most in the summer she will dig down in her pen maybe 3 or 4" and then just fall to sleep with her legs and head spread out for everyone to see ! We are not breeders just very passionate about our torts. Thanks for all the help again and we will keep you posted on the progress.

#9 mildredsmam

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 04:57 AM

Hi Mark,

How's Fred doing, please keep us updated on him. :)



#10 Mark

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 12:08 PM

Hi, he's doing really well now, Thankyou for asking. Not 100% yet but defiantly getting back to himself. He opened his eye for the first time since the start of last week on Sunday so taking all his signs as encouraging (only has one eye bless him)
He's started eating and drinking small amounts again and the mucas has now gone so heading in the right direction. Precautionary treatment of Lola starts Wednesday so fingers crossed they can be back with each other within a few weeks. Not rushing as want him 100% for a while minimising any risk of passing anything on before letting them socialise.
Once again Thankyou for all your advise, very much appreciated. I've tried putting some pics of him up but the images are to big a file.

#11 Mark

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 12:12 PM

Fred and Lola having a wonder around in the summer.

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#12 mildredsmam

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Posted 25 November 2015 - 05:31 AM

Hi Mark,

Fred and Lola are beautiful tortoises, I love leopards I just don't have the space for them. :)

It's good to hear Fred's doing ok. :)



#13 Mark

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Posted 25 November 2015 - 02:55 PM

They do take some looking after! It not just the space they need throughout the year. Its the general care to. They are not cheap or easy in any way that's for sure.

Shame pet shops still sell them for next to nothing and fill people with the illusion they are easy to keep! I think that's why you see so many come up for sale privately now. They need a large grass area through the summer months with again heated housing and winter accommodation that will nearly fill a garage. Very costly and time consuming. But worth it!! (Wont mention vets fees though!!)






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