A few sneezes has me worried - 3.5 year old Sulcata

AliciaOro

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Hello All,

Haven't been around lately but LittleFoot (four in October) has been sneezing a little more this spring then I feel comfortable with.

Nose is clear and open. Never seem to have any residue after a sneeze but they've been sneezing about 3 to 5 times a day lately.

It is usually followed by a yawn or right after they eat.

I know that tortoises hide being sick. I also know they could have respitory issues but I also know they can sneeze like most other animals and im not certain if I'm over thinking it.

Attached a few photos of face and all of Littlefoot. I've also included photos of the enclosure we have for indoors as we are expanding their outdoor enclosure right now.

I do have 2 sulcatas but diglett (will be 4 in July) is not sneezing unless it's right after wating

Also before I forget diet.
They eat leafy greens like collard, dandelion leaves, red leaf lettuce, mustard greens. They also get a pellets from flukers and mizzuri.

Outaide they eat normal grass and untreated weeds. We are starting to wet Timothy and orchard hay as they are getting older and oer our vet can digest it better).

They get about 2 hours of sun every day supervised outside and about 30min lukewarm soaks daily as well. Poop and pee usually every day but no more than every other.

We've had them for about 1.5 years. They've been to the vet and have the 6th month check up in July. I can and will make one sooner if need to.

Thank you

Alicia
 

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wellington

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Tortoises should never be housed in pairs, the stress alone can make them sick and one not grow as it should.
They need to be separated ASAP!
As for sneezing, what are their temps? They should never be below 80-85 day and night.
 

AliciaOro

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Joined
May 15, 2022
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Location (City and/or State)
Lynwood
Tortoises should never be housed in pairs, the stress alone can make them sick and one not grow as it should.
They need to be separated ASAP!
As for sneezing, what are their temps? They should never be below 80-85 day and night.
They are separated and only together when outside. However we are building the two non winter outdoor enclosure on seperate sides of the yard, to make sure they are not stressing each other. It is something that can be stressing them out now.

Diglett has been with us since August as a rescue from a family member who just weren't able to take care of them at all. Fortunately over winter Diglett has put on a whole pound and has grown. Which is great as about a month after we got diglett they passed a bladder stone. The vet said it was because of the build up from unhealthy food the baby was eating.

Their enclosure is at the lowest part at 75* but the enclosure and basking area is always at 80 to 83*.
 

wellington

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Temps not lower than 80-85 day and night and basking needs to be 95-100.
Get the temps up, they are incorrect. When they live outside, they will need the night box or shed that is always at least 80 day and night.
 
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Tom

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The vet said it was because of the build up from unhealthy food the baby was eating.

Their enclosure is at the lowest part at 75* but the enclosure and basking area is always at 80 to 83*.
Lynwood California?

As is usually the case, your vet doesn't know tortoises. Urates are the by-product of protein digestion. They build up, dehydrate and solidify when the tortoise is not getting enough hydration, and they have more trouble passing them when they are kept in small enclosures. Urates don't come from eating the wrong foods. The keys to avoiding them are 1. Good hydration, and 2. Large enclosures for lots of exercise.

What size are their indoor enclosures?

They really shouldn't be together outdoors either. It is stressful for them and likely to cause you health problems.

At this size, they are ready to live outside full time. If you are in SoCal, this is easy. Just make an insulated night box and they can come and go all day. Here are two examples:


75 is too cool. As Wellington said, never below 80, but they need to be able to warm up more during the day. When they live outside, they can bask in the sun to warm up. Indoors, we have to provide a warmer area for them, but these guys are too dog for a basking lamp now. Basking lamps on larger tortoises will burn the top of the carapace and also not be an effective heat source for them. It only warms the surface and that surface heat doesn't get down to warm the core. As a result, they tend to sit under it too long, but never get warm.

Grasses and weeds are the best. If you must use grocery store foods, favor endive and escarole. Use arugula, dandelion greens, cilantro, and the other ones you are using for variety. All grocery store greens need to be amended. Add calcium to lettuces, and add fiber to all of them. ZooMed Grassland Pellets are good for this, as are soaked horse hay pellets mixed in.

Hay is great, but Timothy is too stemmy. Orchard grass hay and Bermuda hay work the best. I usually begin introducing hay when they reach out 12 inches.
 

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