HELP! Horsefield tortoise neck is purple, swollen and scabbed

annajben

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Oct 30, 2018
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Hastings
Our horsefield tortoise (Ted) has a swollen neck - the swelling goes down with Loxicom but comes back when stopped and his skin is a purple colour and keeps scabbing then bleeding. The worst scabbing occurs where the top of his neck meets his head and there is a band of hard skin that continues to form around the base of his neck which restricts his breathing. [photo attached]

We have been taking our tortoise to the vet for 4 months now and his condition has got worse. In July, we noticed that his neck had swollen and looked as though it had some sort of ring around it. We took him to the vets and were given 0.2ml Marbocyl (2%) and 0.05ml Loxicom, to be given once-a-day. We gave him the treatment for 2 weeks then returned with no improvement in Ted. They then gave us the same treatment regime with Flamazine cream, to be applied alongside treatment once-a-day, for 1 week.

We returned two weeks later with his conditioning worsening (his neck became swollen again after stopping Loxicom. His neck was swollen with a ring of skin at the base of his neck which was restricting his breathing and ability to eat.

We were then given the same (Marbocyl and Loxicom) but this time to be administered for 4 weeks. After 3 weeks, we took him back to the vet because his neck was really swollen and the band around his neck meant he couldn't breathe properly - his mouth was consistently open. Sadly, the greens we were feeding him with were getting stuck in his throat so we had to remove with tweezers. We moved him to liquid food (herbivore) because his neck was so tight but the swelling was so bad that it was not moving past his mouth and coming out of his nose.

We rang the vets and asked for him to be hospitalised and investigations to be taken to be diagnosed with his condition (they still hadn't told us what his condition was). They did this and he has been at the vets now for 3 weeks.

We went to see him tonight, in the hope of taking him home, to find his condition had become slightly better but he is still being given the antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, and his scabbing and band of skin at the base of the neck is still there.

Has anyone had a similar problem? We are at a loss as to what to do next and it has - and is continuing to- cost us a lot of money.

Thank you

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Yvonne G

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He has lost all the skin on his neck. That's raw flesh you're seeing. He needs to be anesthesized so you can pull his head out and take a good look at the area below the open wound to see if something has wrapped itself around there, killing the blood supply to that skin and causing it to die and fall off. This is a life threatening wound and your vet doesn't seem to be taking it seriously. I'd call around and try to find a different vet, one that is well versed in tortoise care.
 

Mel from hell

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Sep 28, 2018
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Adams Center. Ny
He has lost all the skin on his neck. That's raw flesh you're seeing. He needs to be anesthesized so you can pull his head out and take a good look at the area below the open wound to see if something has wrapped itself around there, killing the blood supply to that skin and causing it to die and fall off. This is a life threatening wound and your vet doesn't seem to be taking it seriously. I'd call around and try to find a different vet, one that is well versed in tortoise care.
 

Mel from hell

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Sep 28, 2018
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Adams Center. Ny
I’d get a magnifying glass and tweezers. Your Vet, is not doing a good job. Period.
I’ve seen Chlamydia look like this too. Have u tried DMSO gel? I used to use it on swollen, purpley lookin horse legs when I was a farrier. I use it on My hands, too. U can get at any, farm store. Everyone n their brother, has opinion on DMSO.....it’s never let me down. Your poor lil guy looks pretty bad, so maybe it’s time to put a wee bit on a cotton tip? Racehorses get it all week long. But DO look for a ligature, first.
I hope he survives n please? See another Vet?
 

Mel from hell

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Joined
Sep 28, 2018
Messages
30
Location (City and/or State)
Adams Center. Ny
I’d get a magnifying glass and tweezers. Your Vet, is not doing a good job. Period.
I’ve seen Chlamydia look like this too. Have u tried DMSO gel? I used to use it on swollen, purpley lookin horse legs when I was a farrier. I use it on My hands, too. U can get at any, farm store. Everyone n their brother, has opinion on DMSO.....it’s never let me down. Your poor lil guy looks pretty bad, so maybe it’s time to put a wee bit on a cotton tip? Racehorses get it all week long. But DO look for a ligature, first.
I hope he survives n please? See another Vet?

I too, wonder? Did he survive!
 
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