Indian star tortoise wheezing sound when breathing *help* no vet

Ciri

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I hope that goes well. I will be interested to hear what happens.

The heating pad can be too much heat for tortoises, and can actually do harm. Getting her off of the floor and away from drafts at night would be a good idea though. Maybe put some clean towels under her to sleep on?
 

salmaalsayyad

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I hope that goes well. I will be interested to hear what happens.

The heating pad can be too much heat for tortoises, and can actually do harm. Getting her off of the floor and away from drafts at night would be a good idea though. Maybe put some clean towels under her to sleep on?

Oh! I never expected that. Okay I will move her away from the heating pad then. I was already placing her on a sweatshirt to keep her warm, and she is away from air drafts.

Just wanted to give her a boost. :(
 

Ciri

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For warmth my veterinarian has recommended using ceramic heat emitters when needed for day or night. Since it's a possibility that her immune system is fighting an infection, if you can get the temperature up just a few degrees from the 81°F that would probably be better for her. Just slightly warmer, 85°F, might help. You can usually get ceramic emitters from pet stores.

If she does have an infection it will be important to sanitize everything well. What I do is use water dishes which are glazed ceramic for soaking (or the bottom part of a steel roasting pans), and wash them in the dishwasher with a heated drying cycle turned on. Another way to sanitize it is to soak it in a bleach and water solution – just rinse it thoroughly afterwards. I also sanitize everything they come into contact with. The bleach and water solution is a good way to go. For things like towels, if you don't want to use bleach and can wash them on hot, then dry them on hot in an electric dryer until they are bone dry, I found that to work well for me (I don't tolerate bleach).

I know it must be nerve-racking since you really care deeply about her. I hope these things are helpful, and that the breathing issue clears up soon.
 

salmaalsayyad

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For warmth my veterinarian has recommended using ceramic heat emitters when needed for day or night. Since it's a possibility that her immune system is fighting an infection, if you can get the temperature up just a few degrees from the 81°F that would probably be better for her. Just slightly warmer, 85°F, might help. You can usually get ceramic emitters from pet stores.

If she does have an infection it will be important to sanitize everything well. What I do is use water dishes which are glazed ceramic for soaking (or the bottom part of a steel roasting pans), and wash them in the dishwasher with a heated drying cycle turned on. Another way to sanitize it is to soak it in a bleach and water solution – just rinse it thoroughly afterwards. I also sanitize everything they come into contact with. The bleach and water solution is a good way to go. For things like towels, if you don't want to use bleach and can wash them on hot, then dry them on hot in an electric dryer until they are bone dry, I found that to work well for me (I don't tolerate bleach).

I know it must be nerve-racking since you really care deeply about her. I hope these things are helpful, and that the breathing issue clears up soon.

Yes. I feel utterly helpless. I have had this tortoise around since forever. I also have an elderly cat who gets asthma attacks so this whole thing about living beings around me not able to breath breaks my heart. I really hope she makes her way out of this safe.

I never used to sanitise things around her, but I will do that starting from now. I really hope her immunity picks up. I will also try to find a vet tomorrow who would agree to consult with a reptile vet overseas (and will try to find a vet overseas who would agree to do that too), and will see what happens from there.
 

turtlelady80

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So I have uploaded video of what sounds to me to be an abnormal wheezing/whistling. I might be wrong and this might be normal (I hope).

My opinion, I don't think it's a respiratory infection. She's breathing rapidly but you can hear through the whistling that there is no wheezing, open mouth breathing...her lungs sound clear. I have had several young torts breathe rapidly like that (when you pick torts up you can see them breathing rapidly sometimes while their heads kind of bob up and down) But that same whistling I hear from a lot of my adults. Very clear breathing (no obstruction in the lungs). I don't know,...it's hard to tell. She's your tort, ya know? If she seems like this isn't her "norm" and she's acting funny then I wish you all the luck on finding out what the issue could be.
 

Abdulla6169

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Thank you! I have just replied to the thread. I will try to get in touch with her and maybe the same vet would be cooperative.

Hoping for the best.
I'm hoping for the best too. It's always a pleasure to help.
 

TurtleBug

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I have a few star tortoises that do that kind of breathing (as shown on the video) on occasion. They breath in and out very fast "pumping" their throat just like that. They only seem to do it when they are excited, scared, or suddenly stressed. Dry conditions can make the breathing sound louder and more noticeable. Does your tortoise have a humid hide or other humid area available or is he kept constantly dry?
 

Ciri

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Yes. I feel utterly helpless. I have had this tortoise around since forever. I also have an elderly cat who gets asthma attacks so this whole thing about living beings around me not able to breath breaks my heart. I really hope she makes her way out of this safe.

I never used to sanitise things around her, but I will do that starting from now. I really hope her immunity picks up. I will also try to find a vet tomorrow who would agree to consult with a reptile vet overseas (and will try to find a vet overseas who would agree to do that too), and will see what happens from there.


Wow – that has to be hard to have two pets both having breathing issues. The last comment about the possibility it's caused by dry air seems like a good observation. Daily soaking would really help with that if that's the cause. I've also thought of other possibilities that could be causing this. But first, I just realized I never asked about other signs of respiratory infection. Do you see any bubbles coming out of her nose (other than when she has just been drinking water)? And does the color of her tongue look normal? More red than usual? At the edge of her mouth just on the inside, does it look reddish or pink? I know it can be hard to judge, but if anything strikes you is different than normal there, that can be a sign of respiratory infection. If her tongue and inside her mouth look normal, rather than reddish, then she probably doesn't have a respiratory infection. Again, I know it can be hard to judge reddish versus healthy pink.

I'm hoping everything's working out well to get a consultation with the reptile veterinarian. I know it must be a challenging time for you. I wish you and your animals all the best.
 

turtlelady80

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Turpost: 981420 said:
I have a few star tortoises that do that kind of breathing (as shown on the video) on occasion. They breath in and out very fast "pumping" their throat just like that. They only seem to do it when they are excited, scared, or suddenly stressed. Dry conditions can make the breathing sound louder and more noticeable. Does your tortoise have a humid hide or other humid area available or is he kept constantly dry?
I was also thinking the humidity factor...
 

turtlelady80

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If i were you, before you start poking proding and overly stressing the tortoise out (not saying you are but a vet visit will do exactly that) I WOULD simply do some observation. I am HUGE on "PAYING ATTENTION". You've already gotten past the first step. You noticed something "off". Now watch that tortoise, observe her. Watch her while soaking, watch her while she eats, watch her while she basks in the sun, watch her while she sleeps etc...look for any red flags. Bubbles out of the nose, raspy airflow, open mouth breathing, excessive rubbing of the eyes or sickly looking (you can tell alot from a torts eyes)
Again, I don't think you have a sick tortoise. I think you have a Star that whistles lol. Do some intense observation (which is free;) and get back to us. Hoping you don't find any red flags:)
 

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