Baby Sick.... I need ALOT of help

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Dougy

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I am watching my sister's Sulcata Tortoise Doug, because she isn't home enough and he is sick. First some information, he is about 6 months old we bought him 3 months ago, in the last two weeks she told me his shell was soft and so she upped his calcium w/o D3 to everyday, he has a UVA and UVB and his temps on his warm end are around 85-93. About 4-5 days ago he closed his eyes and has not opened them. He also ate 4-5 days ago, Romaine lettuce and pooped the same day. She thought he was just sleeping all the time, because everywhere she read it said that babies sleep ALOT. Anyway she brought him to my house last night, I looked up his symptoms and have started to get very worried.
Where we live it is humid, it stays around 50% in my house, I am not sure about her house, plus she soaks him everyday. I have started soaking him in carrot baby food, a suggestion I have read on at least 2 different forums in a situation like this. Apparently a vitamin A deficiency can cause them to be unable to open their eyes. He soaks in it and eats a little bit of it while he is in there.
I also took him to the vet today and of course you always get conflicting information, she suggested we take out his coco husk bedding and keep him solely on paper towel. She thinks this is a protein deficiency because I wrote down that he eats wheat grass, romaine lettuce and leafy green lettuce. She says all growing babies need protein.
The veterinarian wants me to start feeding him "an intensive care diet" which is basically high protein cat food every two hours.
He ate a little bit of this food at her office, since we got home I took him outside to get some natural sun and warm him up, he was moving around much more than he has the past two days, he almost even opened one of his eyes.
I just need a lot of help I don't know what to do, I think I may call another veterinarian tomorrow for a second opinion, but we can't afford a second visit.
Please help.... What do I do at this point?
 

Laura

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You are doing good. the vet i think is wrong.. good greens and calcium with real sun with continued soaks is what this baby needs.
It doesnt sound good.
Was this vet a expereinced reptile vet? Nobody can know everything, but ....if he is eating.. that is better..
 

Dougy

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I have taken one of my geckos to this vet before and it says on their website they deal with exotics... so... What is good for the baby to eat other than what I already posted?
He's not really eating better he took a few bites of the food at her office, and I have not tried to feed him again yet.
 

Laura

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Spring mix salad greens cut up, try a few things of color, like squash and the red lettuce, tiny piece of watermelon or a slice of strwberry, canned pumpkin, ( not the pie filling) dandilions, grass, weeds from outside. he needs to be hydrated and kept warm.
have food available at all times to entice him to eat. if it gets old replace it. small amounts..
 

egyptiandan

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I'm afraid your sister's tortoise has MBD (metabolic bone disease). Instead of the catfood (not good) try some mazuri. Also be adding calcium to his food as well as vitamin D3. If he's still eating that will help, but it will take a while to get him back hard again. It will probably take 3 to 6 months.
Skip the dandelions, chicory, chard as they have oxalic acid which will bind the calcium. Also dandelions are a diuretic and could dehydrate him and cause more trouble.

Danny
 

Dougy

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Mazuri... is that guinea pig food? That is what I found on the internet, Where can I buy this? Is this particularly good for tortoises with MBD? I cannot get him to eat on his own. I have been soaking him in carrot baby food (3X today) as other forums have suggested, he opens his mouth some while he is in it, so I am assuming he is getting some nutrition doing this. When trying to feed him the catfood I can't get him to open his mouth much.
Since he opens his mouth in the bowl with the carrots, I guess I could put vitamins and calcium in there because he is getting some of the food in his mouth I think.
When I took him outside he walked around a little bit, but inside he doesn't do anything... What else can I do?
His eyes still haven't opened.
Since he eats when he soaks in the baby food what else should I be putting in his soak?
Where can I get Mazuri?
 

tortoisenerd

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This tortoise also needs a lot of luck because this is very difficult for a tort to recover from as hatchlings are so fragile. Great advice so far. Ditch that vet, at least for tort care (and look into if they have given you appropriate gecko care). Torts are vegetarians and anyone that tells you they need more protein is thinking old school and does not updated information, as well as they mean. Once you can entice him back to eating (during that time it is ok to use a tad bit of fruit and such like Laura said), then you can work on getting a lot of good greens and calcium into it. As long as it is in the 80s I'd want to take the tort out for some supervised sun. You can also get some liquid calcium if the tort isn't eating the sprinkled on stuff. You can't really overdo the calcium, but you could the D3 (although the tort does need it right now, I'm just saying you can get more calcium into it than the D3). Spring mix is good, as are chemical free edible garden weeds and other grocery greens. Oh, and the coconut coir is fine as long as he isn't eating it.

Most all vets will say to keep them clean, yet in the wild they live in dirt! I would only use paper towels if it has an infection or similar as sulcata hatchlings need humidity and to be able to burrow. Cypress mulch has been more recommended on this forum lately, but coconut coir is still a safe and popular choice and you should keep using it if the tort is used to it and you already have some. Keep it damp but not wet--if you pick up a handful and squeeze it, it should hold the shape but water shouldn't ring out. Keep food out at all times, replacing it 2-3 times a day. Pick up the hatchling and put it in a hide near the basking spot (but not under it in case it doesn't move) to encourage it to warm up, and then place it in front of food. This is fine to do a couple times a day until it is eating. The spring mix with the radicchio is probably the best bet right now as it is some good healthy variety all in one bag, and then maybe some treats like a bit of fruit to bribe it, pumpkin, butternut squash, etc.

Good luck! Keep us posted.

They have Mazuri Tortoise Diet. It is a very enticing commercial tort food with hay and such, the only one I'd recommend (in limited amounts) besides Grassland Tortoise Food, because it is the most natural. When moistened, torts love the smell and taste, so it can get a tort eating, and it is also higher calorie. He might be drinking in the water with the carrots--they open their mouth and you will see their throat making a gulp. You can buy Mazuri online or have a feed store order it. Search for "Mazuri Tortoise Diet". 1 lb bag is the smallest you will find. Other baby foods to soak in are pumpkin, squash, or sweet potatoes. I think you need to make sure the tort's tummy is in the 80s and just place it in front of some spring mix and such though. You may be surprised! You can put liquid calcium in the soak. Bird vitamin drops (enough to tinge the water yellow) are good too. Its either the baby food or the bird vitamins though. Bird vitamins are the easiest to get vs. Mazuri or liquid calcium I think, as all pet stores have them.
 

dmmj

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I have never done tihs but some people on here use bird vitamin in their soaks since it is a liquid it goes into their water for soaking, I wish you the best of luck.
 

Dougy

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I will order Mazuri tortoise diet online tonight, I have made a paste with my calcium powder in the past, is this just as good as the liquid calcium? I have calcium with and without D3... right now I should be using with D3?
In the morning my sister will come over before work, we are going to try to feed him fruits, pumpkin and other good stuff before forcing anything or soaking him in baby food.
I just finished soaking him in the carrots, he is in the spot light right now warming up... at the hottest spot it reads 92 and he is moving more than earlier and opening his mouth.
My sister is going to buy spring mix and the pumpkin right now..
2-3 weeks ago she mentioned to me that his shell was soft and upped his calcium... Also that he was sleeping alot (she thought was normal because he was a baby)
4-5 days ago he closed his eyes and stopped eating...
We are really worried and we love him...

Do y'all think the bird vitamin would be better than the multivitamin I have? I have rep-cal Herptivite, I can mix it with water and mix it in his soak.
We don't have alot of money, she struggles and me and my fiance were in a motorcycle accident 2 months ago and haven't worked since which is why I have all this time to try to save Dougy

Just ordered Mazuri for tortoises... hopefully it gets here soon
 

TortieGal

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When you get your Mazuri make sure you soak it in hot water for about 5 minutes and let it puff up and get soft before you feed it. Good luck
 

DeanS

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I would definitely recommend Zoo Med's Grassland Diet over Mazuri Tortoise, but in this case you should definitely go Mazuri, because the flavor is more appealing to them and right now you need to just get it to eat...strawberries and pumpkin are good appetite startes...good luck!
 

PeanutbuttER

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Not intending to derail this, but DeanS, why do you recommend zoo med over mazuri? I thought mazuri was the best of the premade diets?
 

Dougy

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Little Dougy died last night :( SOO sad
Thanks for all yalls help, she might get another tortoise another time

2010097.jpg


That is Dougy in the picture... :(
 

egyptiandan

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Sorry to hear that Dougy passed away. :(

Danny
 

Stephanie Logan

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So sorry to see another hatchling die.

Not to draw fire here, but would it be better if there was a "rule" or "strong recommendation" (I know a lot you hate "laws"), that tortoise breeders don't sell hatchlings till they're a certain size or age? It's just so sad that so many of them seem to die in the hands of inexperienced keepers. Or maybe that's just the natural attrition rate and it doesn't matter who keeps them; still, it would be nice if tort lovers didn't have to endure the pain of loss when these babies "fail to thrive"....
 

egyptiandan

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Just wouldn't work Stephanie :( There are to many breeders out there that have never raised a hatchling, so can't really give the best advice for raising one. It is quite a bit different from maintaining an adult.

Danny
 

Dougy

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This was my sister's tortoise, I gave her some advice because I have other reptiles, but I also told her to read up on him and she did. The thing that bothers me is that there is so much conflicting information out there, she went with the masses and did what she thought was right. When we realized he was really sick we found alot of information on Hatchling Failure Syndrome and it seems pretty common. My question is, is this like SIDS that would have happened whether we had him or not? Or was this something that was preventable? She said she wished there was information about this on general care sheets so that she would have been aware of this problem and maybe been able to prevent it before he got sick.
 

egyptiandan

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99% of the time hatchling problems can be prevented with the right care. I'm afraid Hatchling Failure to Thrive Syndrome is just a nice term to make people feel better when their tortoise dies. Yes there is quite a bit on the net, but most of it is geared to keeping adults and not raising hatchlings.

Danny
 
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