Injecting Baytril in 2 torts, confused about vet diagnosis? ??

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pyxigirl

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Recently I adopted 2 new tortoises, noticed both were making whistling sounds, the smaller one whistling much worse then the larger one. I took them both to the ONLY herp vet in my area, and she said they have a Vitamin A deficiency from poor diet, she said their eyes are slightly puffy and the ear area as well, and she prescribed Baytril injections for both of them, explaining how to do the injections and alternate injection sites from front leg to front leg. She prescribed they get injections every 2 days, 1.8 cc for the bigger tort (he is about 7 inches long) and 0.8 cc for the smaller one, (she is about 5 inches long) After 3 injections so far the male is puking and stopped eating, I no longer hear whistling sounds from him, he is very stressed from the Baytril injections (as I am) and the smaller female seems ok, but she is getting less Baytril? I have been giving them lots of grated carrots for vitamin A, and a multivitamin on their greens as well. Why would Baytril be used to treat this? I am so confused..I am pretty sure the smaller female has a respiratory infection, but does the male need to be getting injections? he was only slightly whistling before and it might have just been substrate up his nose or something, and now there is no whistling.. he is sick from the Baytril. I am calling the vet back today but she is not a tortoise expert so I need advice. Thanks!!
 

Hantslad

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pyxigirl said:
Recently I adopted 2 new tortoises, noticed both were making whistling sounds, the smaller one whistling much worse then the larger one. I took them both to the ONLY herp vet in my area, and she said they have a Vitamin A deficiency from poor diet, she said their eyes are slightly puffy and the ear area as well, and she prescribed Baytril injections for both of them, explaining how to do the injections and alternate injection sites from front leg to front leg. She prescribed they get injections every 2 days, 1.8 cc for the bigger tort (he is about 7 inches long) and 0.8 cc for the smaller one, (she is about 5 inches long) After 3 injections so far the male is puking and stopped eating, I no longer hear whistling sounds from him, he is very stressed from the Baytril injections (as I am) and the smaller female seems ok, but she is getting less Baytril? I have been giving them lots of grated carrots for vitamin A, and a multivitamin on their greens as well. Why would Baytril be used to treat this? I am so confused..I am pretty sure the smaller female has a respiratory infection, but does the male need to be getting injections? he was only slightly whistling before and it might have just been substrate up his nose or something, and now there is no whistling.. he is sick from the Baytril. I am calling the vet back today but she is not a tortoise expert so I need advice. Thanks!!

Give John Chitty a call tomorrow, he is an expert with Tortoises, he is based in Andover and will give advice over the phone if no-one else on here can help. http://antonvets.co.uk/

Good luck! My Archie had the occasional wheezing, we found out it was the air fresheners, so we no longer have any kind of air freshener in his area and don't use furniture polish etc. Seems they are very sensitive to chemicals, although I'm no expert, this seemed to solve our problem.
 

Snowywood

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Baytril is a common medical to give. My hamsters, chinchilla and dogs have had it. My little Belva, about 2" long, is on it at the moment for a chest infection. When she had injection is was about 0.14, now I have to give 0.4 by sirgyne. Now that's very stressful :-/ you must get an answer from your vet though, he might be on too much. I know it's all down to weight etc. Also if there living together, they both possible have the infection, like worms. Hence why they are both on the meds. Because I spotted Belva's illness right away and kept her separate from her sister, Hetty, she is fine. Been like this for two weeks now. But your right to take them to the vets ASAP. If left, they can died :-( some folk think its a cold that'll pass :-/ have they been wormed as well?
 

tortadise

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Stop the baytril. Sounds exactly like a upper respiratory infection to me. Which is basically a cold for a tortoise that has many variables that can cause it. Hot to cold within a large degree fluxuation(usually 20 degrees or more) over drastic drops and increases. Cold wet substrate, allergens(usualy not but in some cases can be an allergy). This problem can be fixed by increasing the temperature to a constant level of warmth and stay at that level for at least a months period. Vitamin A and the lack of is what almost every vet assumes in tortoises because thats typically all they have in Veterinarian 101 books for most inexperianced reptile vets. Puffy eyes could be Vitamin A definciency, it could also be Vitamin Toxicity, and irritant, over hydrated, Too humid, etc... So many variables are at hand when a vet looks at something they dont know, and then figure well lets give them baytril and it should fix all those problems.

Whats your enclosure like? What are your temps day/night/hot/cool side? Do you spray the enclosure 1,2,3,4 etc times a day? How warm is the water if you do spray the enclosure? Does the substrate become cold to touch after an hour or does it dry form the heat bulb? What substrate are you using? What are your temps like where you live inside and outside? And most importantly what is your main diet you are feeding them?

Let us know and we will help you. I would stop the baytril, its doing no good but stressing your animals.
 

mainey34

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Omg...very typical of a vet....do exactly what tortadise is suggesting..they always suggest vit. A diff. Please tell me that vet did not give vit A injection?
 

Yvonne G

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I would also not be giving your tortoise Baytril. You can save it for when they may need it. It keeps on the shelf, no need to refrigerate.

You neglected to mention what type tortoises you have. If it were me, I would be soaking them every day for at least 30 minutes in either liquid bird vitamin water or Gerber strained carrots water. If you choose to use the vitamins, you just make the warm water come up to the middle of the tortoise's sides, then squirt about 4 or 5 drops of vitamins in the water and stir it up.

If you choose to go the baby food route, you use a jar of Gerber strained carrots to the warm water that comes up to the middle of the tortoise's sides and stir it up.

It usually takes about 3 days for you to start to see an improvement in the tortoise.

Also do what tortadise has told you. Make the enclosure warmer than normal...at least 85F overall.

If the tortoises are showing these symptoms because of stress, then it is important to leave them alone as much as possible until they become familiar with their new surroundings.
 

pyxigirl

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I will try give you some more info to help clarify. First off, they are all Red Footed tortoises. I will be the first to say that I am no tortoise expert, but for the last 7 years I have been caring for my (first) Redfoot since she was a baby, she is very healthy and has never had any health problems in the past- ever, and has very little pyramiding on her shell. I recently about a month ago decided to adopt 2 other young Redfoots from someone who knew little about them, the male has bad pyramiding and the female has slight-moderate pyramiding starting on her shell.
I have a custom made enclosure, It measures about 5ft by 3.5ft, it has 2 separate levels and there are 100 watt heat bulbs, florescent UVB lights. It has a plexiglass front, and the lid is a sheet of coroplast (corrugated plastic sheet) with a vent in the top for air circulation. The humidity in there is quite high all the time because it is fairly enclosed, and I mist it about twice a day. The ground is usually damp, but not wet, the area under the heat lamps generally dries up since the heat lamps are very low. The enclosure is about 75 degrees and the basking area is 90 degrees. For substrate I use sphagnum peat moss, just the regular sterile soil kind, I cant find the actual curly sphagnum moss. The main diet I feed is collared greens, curly endive, radicchio, some spring mix greens, grated zucchini, squash, and carrots, and mushrooms. I give them fruit about 2-3 times a week and I give them bugs and cooked chicken breast about twice a month. I sprinkle a multi vitamin on the food a couple times a month but lately I have been doing it every other feeding, since the two torts have been to the vet and she thinks its a vitamin A deficiency. Also I have been feeding lots of grated carrot just for the time being in case it was a vitamin A issue. I have been soaking them in warm water for 15 minutes every other day, I have not tried the bird vitamins or carrots but I can definitely do that. So my smallest female is still whistling quite loudly, and like I said, the male isnt whistling at all anymore, I am starting to get very concerned that he doesnt need baytril and the vet just put both of them on it to be safe. But, If this is a respiratory infection, doesnt the small female need to have the baytril to get better? considering her breathing is so noisy?
Thanks so much................


Hi, no the vet didnt give a vitamin A injection.. I would not have let her do that. Shes a fairly experienced vet and she treats reptiles such as caimans, iguanas, snakes, I know the "Reptile Guy" in my area uses her as his vet, so I assume she isnt all that bad, but likely not a tortoise expert..
 

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tortadise

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The way you have them set up if just fine. Increase the temps and soak them. That is all you need to do. FYI all my redfoots whistle even in the summer. Its just what they do. If you start seeing bubbles come out of their mouths then they indeed have an upper respiratory infection. Stick the temps like yvonne said 85 constant and any Upper Respiratory they 'may" should be rid of in a couple weeks to a month. also try to keep the spraying to middle(or warmest) part of the day so it doesnt stay too cold, this is a common cause of RI. Might want to just get a temp gun or probe thermometer and double check the temps of the substrate and make sure maybe around 2-4 A.M (coolest) part of the days the temps arent dropping too much. Sounds like you can clear this up no problem. I wasnt meaning to come accross that the vet was inexperianced or "unqualified" its just we see this a lot, in diagnoses that arent needed.
 

pyxigirl

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Thanks so much for the advice I really appreciate it. So they dont actually NEED medication to clear up a RI? if she even has one. My older female whistles off and on too but shes healthy so I never worry, the smaller female just seems to whistle much louder and consistently..So I am concerned that she does have a RI. I will up the temp and try keep it consistent, and keep soaking them. I will stop the Baytril injections. The vet is calling me back tonight when shes on shift so I will have to tell her I'm not going to continue the baytril. I agree with you that she is probably just giving the Baytril as a cure-all.. but I defintely do not want to give it to them if it isnt necessary. I just wish I had posted here for advice before putting the poor torts through all of this.
Thanks
 

Yvonne G

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I only use Baytril if there is a thick, colored mucous discharge from the nose. Other supposed RI symptoms usually go away on their own with more heat and quiet time.
 

tortadise

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Its ok, sometimes it happens. Its totaly treatable without medication. Just let us know what the end result is down the line. We here love getting good results from all of our advise. Some of my little ones will whistle louder than my huge ones. Its become a normal reality to me. I do notice the differences in humidity spikes too. Might just need to do a research article on red foots and the whistles they do.
 

mainey34

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I'm sorry, I didn't want it to seem like you had a bad vet. I just meant that it is very typical for a vet to blame it on vit. A def. I had a vet. Inject A and D into a boxie and literally her skin fell off..she ended up passing. So I freek out when I hear about vets. Talking about that. Anyways, my opinion, I just went thru this RI with my sulcata. What worked for me, and she was coughing, whistling, runny nose, was increasing temps and increasing warm soaks. I did not use baytril. I also have heard that baytril drys them out. ( someone correct me if I'm wrong ) that's why increase for warm soaks. This is just my experience... good luck. I hope they get healthy very soon...
 

pyxigirl

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No offense at all taken about the vet, Its the first time I have personally used her, and while she has dealt with a lot of reptiles, i dont think these meds were a good idea for the torts, they arent that sick, it was just some whistling! Thank you so much everyone for the help..I am SO glad to be able to stop doing those horrible Baytril injections. I will give them lots of R & R, keep them warm and lots of warm soaks. I am also going to pass this info along to the vet and let her know that next time maybe not prescribe such strong medication to tortoises when they might just need to be kept at a constant warmer temperature ><
Thank you, I will let you know how things go.
 

mainey34

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Don't forget to keep us posted on how they are doing, good or bad. Any changes.. OK?
 

Watsonpartyof4

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When we first brought my Tyrone home he started whistling after a week or so, scared me to death! I followed the advise on here and soaked him everyday for 45- an hour. After about 3-4 days he was much better!

Good Luck and I am sending healing thoughts to you and your torts!
 

Tim/Robin

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Just as an FYI, injectable Baytril can ALWAYS be given orally. Same dose! It tastes terrible, so mix with a bit of apple sauce. Bigger torts are fairly easy to give meds to orally. It is the tiny ones that are nearly impossible. Baytril is an excellent medication for respiratory infections.
 

*Barracuda_50*

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I dont know how many times i have tried telling folks vets always think Baytril is a cure all for reps and such its not and will do more harm than good. I would never let a vet or anyone for that matter give Baytril injections.
 

Tim/Robin

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*Barracuda_50* said:
Baytril will do more harm than good. I would never let a vet or anyone for that matter give Baytril injections.

I completely disagree. Baytril has its place. I have seen it turn around some very sick tortoises.
 

mainey34

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If they are very sick, but for minor RI. I don't think it is necessary. It is overused.
 

Tim/Robin

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mainey34 said:
If they are very sick, but for minor RI. I don't think it is necessary. It is overused.

Hence my comment, "Baytril has its place". The statement that "Baytril will do more harm than good" simply is not true!
 
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