Chronic nasal discharge for a year.

Speedy101

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Hi,
My greek spur thighed tortoise speedy is 17 now and has had chronic nasal discharge for a year which varies in severity. He might have a week or so where it is dry but it is never fully solved. Ambient temps 23/24c, basking 30-32c. He is on coco coir which I dampen to reduce dust ( it is very difficult to find any sort of tortoise safe bark or chippings in bulk in UK). He has been to the vet twice in which they gave antibiotics and anti inflammatories which didn’t work and were very expensive. However, he does not act unwell? He is eating lots, very active and drinking fine. I’m at a loss if I’m being honest. He has never been with another tortoise while we have had him and we’ve only had this issue this year after 13 years of having him. Could it be a non respiratory related issue? The discharge is clear and sticky, no mouth breathing and last vet visit said his lungs sounded ok. Any ideas? I read a post before that mentioned parasites causing a running nose, which he had a severe problem with in past.
Thanks for any help.
 

Yvonne G

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Unless a smear of the mucous is analyzed I wouldn't give antibiotics. There are other thing besides R.I. that cause runny nose - allergic to the substrate, something stuck in his nose, etc.

Have you tried flushing out the nose with saline? Take a little squirt bottle of saline and give a couple good, firm squirts up each nostril.

When was he last de-wormed?
 

Speedy101

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Unless a smear of the mucous is analyzed I wouldn't give antibiotics. There are other thing besides R.I. that cause runny nose - allergic to the substrate, something stuck in his nose, etc.

Have you tried flushing out the nose with saline? Take a little squirt bottle of saline and give a couple good, firm squirts up each nostril.
Thank you for your reply. He’s always been on this substrate, can he suddenly develop an allergy to substrate? It’s been a year and he hasn’t deteriorated at all still acting normal, is it more likely some irritation in his environment/ something non disease related.
 

wellington

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I would do what Yvonne said to do. If it still happens, then I would try a different substrate.
You could also try an X-ray of the head/sinus area to see if any thing shows like a polyp.
However, if he seems fine in every other way, I wouldn't spend more on a vet visit.
I would rather the basking, 95-100F
The enclosure should range from 75F cooler side-80F warmer side then the basking area.
Can you get him outside during the warmer months? Living outside during the day and bring him in to sleep at night will let you know if it's the substrate.
 

Speedy101

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I would do what Yvonne said to do. If it still happens, then I would try a different substrate.
You could also try an X-ray of the head/sinus area to see if any thing shows like a polyp.
However, if he seems fine in every other way, I wouldn't spend more on a vet visit.
I would rather the basking, 95-100F
The enclosure should range from 75F cooler side-80F warmer side then the basking area.
Can you get him outside during the warmer months? Living outside during the day and bring him in to sleep at night will let you know if it's the substrate.
Very rainy in the UK this summer so far, he does have a summer enclosure just hasn’t had chance to be out in it much unfortunately.
 

Speedy101

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Unless a smear of the mucous is analyzed I wouldn't give antibiotics. There are other thing besides R.I. that cause runny nose - allergic to the substrate, something stuck in his nose, etc.

Have you tried flushing out the nose with saline? Take a little squirt bottle of saline and give a couple good, firm squirts up each nostril.

When was he last de-wormed?
He was last dewormed 2020 I believe, but was checked on last 2022 and was all clear. Vet check ups for worm checking etc are pricey in the UK as I don’t have the means to check samples myself, so I often look for unwell behaviour and make sure he’s going to the toilet fine/ eating fine.
 

wellington

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He was last dewormed 2020 I believe, but was checked on last 2022 and was all clear. Vet check ups for worm checking etc are pricey in the UK as I don’t have the means to check samples myself, so I often look for unwell behaviour and make sure he’s going to the toilet fine/ eating fine.
Most of us never check for worms unless there is a reason. Most of us never take our torts to a vet unless there is a reason that can't be home remedied.
But you might want to read this

 

TammyJ

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Wow. That's interesting and informative! Sounds more like Mycoplasma than Herpes, but why after so long and no exposure to another tortoise that may have had it?
 

Speedy101

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Wow. That's interesting and informative! Sounds more like Mycoplasma than Herpes, but why after so long and no exposure to another tortoise that may have had it?
We have a second tortoise who is a Horsefield which lives another enclosure ( they do not share a common wall or anything). We have had the second for 3 years which he went 1 year quarantine before put even in the same room. However they have never had physical contact and always wash hands between enclosures. The second tortoise has never developed these symptoms.
 

TammyJ

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Well, whatever it is, I would just make sure everything is good for him husbandry wise, and as long as he is looking and acting normal otherwise, stop worrying and continue the total separation from the other tortoise. Just watch for any changes.
 

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