Help with sick sulcata

Jan A

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What worries me is, the loss of his toes, they need them to dig, burrow etc
Torts have been around since prehistoric times. OUR knowledge is really miniscule because we have so few tort species native to North America. And Torts 101 is not on the general curriculum at vet schools.

A few toes missing is alarming but they do survive missing toes & feet, paralyzed back legs, spinal injuries, etc. They may need more human help, but they also survive in the wild. This bacteria, however, is another story

How is your tort doing? Has the other one showed any symptoms? Have you talked to the breeder?
 

mastershake

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and the nails generally do not grow back and if they do (we have seen a case where they started to) then others fell out again after a while.

correct ammonia straight for 30 min wet time is whats recc or a good strong ammonia quaternary like ecolab oasis or the sams club pink sanitizer works well. but if they were even together for a day there is a HIGH chance you will see it in the other one sooner then later. again i hate to say that. this is super highly contagious. i do recc using gloves and have no contact with clothes, carpets etc etc they need to be 100% fully quarantined sadly
 

Tom

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We got 2 baby sulcata tortoises about a month ago. They seemed healthy. We give them kale and other greens no romane lettuce though. They gave a cuttlebone in the cage and they are on coconut substrate. 1 has little warts all over his body and has lost all but 1 nail on his foot. We soak them everyday and have multiple hygrometers in their tank to make sure temps are ok for them. We are worried about him. His eyes gave sunken in but he is eating and moving around fine. Can anyone help?
You need to contact the source and inform them that they are selling tortoises with a terrible untreatable uncurable highly contagious disease. You can also let them know that tortoises should never be housed in pairs.

Both of these animals should be humanely euthanized and their bodies incinerated.

You bought from the wrong source.

This will help if you decide to try again after at least nine months with no tortoises at your house:
 

Cn98

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You need to contact the source and inform them that they are selling tortoises with a terrible untreatable uncurable highly contagious disease. You can also let them know that tortoises should never be housed in pairs.

Both of these animals should be humanely euthanized and their bodies incinerated.

You bought from the wrong source.

This will help if you decide to try again after at least nine months with no tortoises at your house:
Update on the tortoise. He is not looking good at all. His face looks deformed and he has not grown at all. The other one is doing great. Here are some pics maybe I can get some more help as to what’s going on.
 

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Cn98

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IF this is austwickia (yellow spots) there is no long term known treatment that we know works and much testing has been done. can you get a close up of the facial area for me? sorry i would have responded sooner but it never notifies me for some reason of the tags also please be very careful if this is autwickia its highly contagious even to some wildlife outdoors and or to any other reptiles you might have.

i believe this sadly is austwickia. the symptoms fit exactly and im so sorry to say that. note when the bumps fall off which they eventually do as they dry up this does not mean the bacteria is gone. once you see bumps all over and nail loss this is prob spread to internal structures. the eye issue is showing this. they do eat and act fine with this another symptom is they eat totally normal but barely will gain any weight. you can see just one of the many necropsy reports for this in the forum, if you have any questions you dont want to ask here you are welcome to message me. if you do go to the vet please make sure they are aware of what this is so they dont somehow spread this to anyone else they may have there in the office or anyone coming in it can remain for months contagious wise.
Sorry I haven’t gotten notifications on here. He does seem to be worse not gaining any weight and bumps all over also his face is deformed. The other one is doing well and growing great. He has noticed a bump on him as well. We are so bummed about this. Here are some more pics of them
 

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TaylorTortoise

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So both have bumps? By the way does anyone know if this virus is contagious to humans? Can it make us sick?
 

Cn98

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So both have bumps? By the way does anyone know if this virus is contagious to humans? Can it make us sick?
So far what I’ve read is it’s very rare to pass to humans. There is one study published on it about it being in water and it was done is Australia in 2008 so pretty out dated. I think with tortoises especially sulcatas being housed inside more commonly now that they should do some more research and studies because it’s becoming a huge problem in sulcatas
 

dd33

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Good to see that you are researching this. I am not an expert on the topic but I am afraid @Tom is right about euthanasia. At least one of these tortoises is starting to really suffer and it sounds like it will get much worse.
Please be careful with them so you don't spread this to other reptiles. If you take them to the vet be sure to talk with them about the disease in advance so it isn't spread to any other animals at their practice.
 

Cn98

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Good to see that you are researching this. I am not an expert on the topic but I am afraid @Tom is right about euthanasia. At least one of these tortoises is starting to really suffer and it sounds like it will get much worse.
Please be careful with them so you don't spread this to other reptiles. If you take them to the vet be sure to talk with them about the disease in advance so it isn't spread to any other animals at their practice.
Can it spread to dogs and cats? Haven’t found much on that yet
 

dd33

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I am not an expert but I don't think so. From what I have read it is reptile (not just tortoise) specific. There was another thread a few weeks ago on this topic. Look for @mastershake posts.
 

mastershake

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Can it spread to dogs and cats? Haven’t found much on that yet
no this type can not if its austwickia chelonae, there are other types of austwickia. this type can not, this will only affect reptiles and black crows it can not be transmitted to cats and dogs. if they were together they BOTH have it there is NO question about that at all. im so sorry to say that.
 

Cn98

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no this type can not if its austwickia chelonae, there are other types of austwickia. this type can not, this will only affect reptiles and black crows it can not be transmitted to cats and dogs. if they were together they BOTH have it there is NO question about that at all. im so sorry to say that.
Is the treatment worth it? Does it cure them?
 

mastershake

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sadly no. so far from every example we have seen it only suppresses it for a while it eventually came back. the other issue is they do not grow much if at all. we had three over 13 months and under 70 grams one was 67 grams and ate everything in sight. a combo of three injectable anti biotics *may* help some but it could kill their organs first and possibly still not cure it at all this far it has not. usually once they are infected with this it can be found in almost all tissues in the body even bones we have yet to see one who survived and is living a normal *happy* life.
 

Obbie

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So far what I’ve read is it’s very rare to pass to humans. There is one study published on it about it being in water and it was done is Australia in 2008 so pretty out dated. I think with tortoises especially sulcatas being housed inside more commonly now that they should do some more research and studies because it’s becoming a huge problem in sulcatas
Is there ANY way that some animal (reptile type) organization that can take on this disease ? We’re getting close to “end of days” crap. Can someone have the power to put a moratorium on tortoise’s hatchlings. There are so many rescues to be adopted ???
 

mastershake

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this CANT BE PASSED to humans plain and simple. there IS type that can be BUT NOT THIS TYPE. and many are still looking into this. the issue is there is no law where they are coming from to stop them. i have posted this a few times now this can only affect reptiles and so far black crows is the only other species it has been seen in plain and simple.
 

Mrs.Jennifer

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this CANT BE PASSED to humans plain and simple. there IS type that can be BUT NOT THIS TYPE. and many are still looking into this. the issue is there is no law where they are coming from to stop them. i have posted this a few times now this can only affect reptiles and so far black crows is the only other species it has been seen in plain and simple.
Duly noted. Thank you for clarifying. I appreciate your dedication to the science surrounding this horrible disease.
 
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