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Consistant Nose Whistle

Discussion in 'Tortoise Health' started by tortilla4, Jan 13, 2019.

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  1. tortilla4

    tortilla4 Member

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    Hello wise tortoise friends! I am new to this forum and new to owning a tortoise so I worry about everything and I need your help. I have a four year old red-footed tortoise named Sally. We live in South Dakota so we are currently in the middle of winter. Because it's such a dry season here I've been doing everything I can to keep Sally's enclosure humid enough for her and I recently (about a month ago) bought a reptile fogger for her. It does a great job of keeping the humidity at the high level that she needs. My concern is that for about the past month I have been hearing a tiny whistling noise coming from Sally. She doesn't seem to be sick or acting any differently than she ever has but I have read that a nose whistle can sometimes be problematic so thats where my concern mainly comes from. It should be noted that Sally is a class pet in my classroom and she travels from home to school every weekend. The walk to the building is very short and I keep her warm with a heater inside her crate but could this be causing the whistling? Please share all the wisdom and thoughts you have on this, I want to make sure she is okay. Thank you! :)
  2. LaLaP

    LaLaP Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Hi and welcome!
    So you're right that nose whistling can be a sign of respiratory infection and that is usually caused by temps that are too low... especially low temps coupled with high humidity. I don't think a short walk from car to building could cause it though.
    How are you measuring your temperatures? There are lots of faulty gauges out there. Basically you can only trust digital thermometers and temp guns. If you have an analog or stick-on gauge that could be the problem. Do the kids take her out of her warm enclosure often? That could be an issue.
    Send us some pics of her home and school set up and we can help trouble shoot it.
    In the meantime keep her extra warm and give nice long warm soaks often.
  3. tortilla4

    tortilla4 Member

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    Thank you for getting back to me so quickly! When I got her in August her tank had stick on temperature gages that had dead batteries in them. I replaced the batteries and set the gages on the floor of her tank but I don't always get them set back in there and I don't really trust their readings. Is there a good temperature gage that you recommend? We only take her out of her tank once a week for about ten minutes for "Sally Time" so she is almost always in her warm tank. I have attached pictures of her enclosure at school and her enclosure at home is identical, I tried to keep them the same so she wouldn't be as traumatized from going from one place to another so often. Please let me know your thoughts and I am so appreciative of the advice. :) Tank1.jpg Tank2.jpg
  4. LaLaP

    LaLaP Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Ah ok. So the problem is probably those gauges. They are notoriously innacurrate. Digital temp gauges like the ones the Accurite sell are best. Just google Accurite digital temperature gauge. I also really like having a temperature gun which you can point and shoot a laser at a spot like basking spot, soak water, in hides, etc. These are about $12 at a hardware store. (Also a way for kids to "help" without disturbing the tort)
    Another thing I see in your enclosure is that the UVB light is sitting on the mesh top and that will filter out most of the UVB. That could be a contributing factor. You can cut a hole or devise a whole different top. Actually a closed top would keep heat and humidity in a lot better. Search the forum for closed chamber ideas to see what others do. Keep in mind that glass filters out UVB also.
    Also I wanna give you the caresheet for red foots because you might want to rethink your setup because redfoots are a forest dwelling species that don't get a lot of direct heat/sun in nature. I don't have redfoots so my knowledge of how to create a proper environment is limited. But... the official caresheet is being revamped right now so I'll give you the old one...

    https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/redfoot-care-sheet-sticky.149266/

    And the draft of the new one..

    https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/redfoot-care-sheet-draft-please-critique.172510/#post-1700625

    I hope this is helpful and not overwhelming.
    tortilla4 and TechnoCheese like this.
  5. tortilla4

    tortilla4 Member

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    That is perfect thank you so so much. I will be investing in all of those things right away! What are your thoughts about her nose whistle? Does anyone know of any good reptile vets in Sioux Falls, SD? I am so grateful for all the help.
  6. LaLaP

    LaLaP Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    So the treatment for a respiratory infection is just to give extra warm soaks and keep her a bit warmer than usual. Heat and hydration will aid her in getting over it most likely. It doesn't sound like it is too serious yet so I'd just do that and keep an eye out for worsening symptoms like snot bubbles from nose, gasping, opening mouth to breath. If it worsens antibiotics could be in order but usually it will go away with just heat and hydration.
  7. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    A dry space can also create a whistle...so a whistle does not mean poor health. If it were me, I would hold off on a super stressful vet visit just because of a whistle. While looking at your set up I see that the likely culprit is a bit of a dry environment. Reading all of the great info is going to offer you additional info to make adjustments....
  8. tortilla4

    tortilla4 Member

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    Oh good. Thank you for ALL your help! I'm sure I will be back with more questions but for now, I think I have some work to do! :)
  9. tortilla4

    tortilla4 Member

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    That makes me feel much better, thank you. I wasn't sure how much to worry about it but I will read up on how I can improve her setup and go from there. Thank you for your input! :)
  10. Maidens Hill Farm

    Maidens Hill Farm Member

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    What ended up happening?
  11. tortilla4

    tortilla4 Member

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    Her nose whistle hasn’t gone away but it hasn’t gotten worse and she seems to be healthy and happy! I just soak her as often as I can and I’ve been keeping her home as it’s been way too cold for her to travel to school. :(
    Moozillion likes this.
  12. Ben02

    Ben02 Well-Known Member

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    There may be something in the nose. You can squirt a bit of saline solution in there but we will double check with Yvonne G as she suggested it in a passed thread.

    @Yvonne G
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  13. tortilla4

    tortilla4 Member

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    Oh okay good to know thank you for the advice! I welcome any and all tips! :)
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