Is there hope for respiratory infection in a baby sulcata.

Maryalice

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I would like to know if a baby sulcata's respiratory infection ever gets resolved. My Frankie is 4 months old and s/he contracted respiratory infection more than a week ago. The vet prescribed 0.01 ml shot of doxycycline every 3 days. Frankie just had her/his 3rd shot yesterday, but his/her condition does not seem to improve. I see him/her still having some breathing difficulties (front limbs moving up and down with head). His appetite has slightly decreased. I read that respiratory infections do not really get fully resolved in tortoises. Can anyone advise, if perhaps there should be a stronger antibiotic that can be given?
 

Chubbs the tegu

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I would like to know if a baby sulcata's respiratory infection ever gets resolved. My Frankie is 4 months old and s/he contracted respiratory infection more than a week ago. The vet prescribed 0.01 ml shot of doxycycline every 3 days. Frankie just had her/his 3rd shot yesterday, but his/her condition does not seem to improve. I see him/her still having some breathing difficulties (front limbs moving up and down with head). His appetite has slightly decreased. I read that respiratory infections do not really get fully resolved in tortoises. Can anyone advise, if perhaps there should be a stronger antibiotic that can be given?
Its probably caused by keeping him to cold. Raise ur ambient temps no lower than 85 through out his enclosure day and night
 

Maryalice

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Its probably caused by keeping him to cold. Raise ur ambient temps no lower than 85 through out his enclosure day and night
Thanks for the reply. I am keeping my tortoise at 30C-35C during the day and 28C-32C at night. Humidity is usually from 60%-70%. But then again, it's been almost 2 weeks now since s/he started treatment, but there does not seem to be any improvement.
 

Chubbs the tegu

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RI are caused by temps that are to low.. so the only way to fix the problem is to correct them
 

Yvonne G

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Yes, there's always hope. Set up the baby in a small 'hospital' tank. A 10 gallon aquarium works well for this purpose. Adjust the temperature over the whole aquarium to 85°F DAY AND NIGHT. You can't assume leg pumping and head nodding mean breathing difficulties. All baby tortoises breathe that way. Finish off the antibiotics the vet prescribed and make sure your hospital tank doesn't drop below 85°F, even at night. He should be fine.
 

Tom

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Thanks for the reply. I am keeping my tortoise at 30C-35C during the day and 28C-32C at night. Humidity is usually from 60%-70%. But then again, it's been almost 2 weeks now since s/he started treatment, but there does not seem to be any improvement.
Set your thermostat no lower than 30C day or night. The basking lamp should get the area directly below it up to 36-37C all day. Day time ambient should rise to around 33-34C. Soak the baby for 40-60 minutes every day with these elevated temps. Keep the soak water warm the whole time.

As Chubbs said: RIs are caused by cool temps. They are cured by hot temps. Vets treat symptoms. What they should be doing is discovering the CAUSE of the sickness and correcting that.
 

mark1

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respiratory infections are caused by bacteria or viruses , to treat the cause requires antibiotics or antivirals ......... i would ask your vet to try a different antibiotic ,something like ceftazidime ........ while doxycycline i believe covers mycoplasma infections , i don'tbelieve doxycycline covers a lot of other common bacterial causes of RI's in tortoises .....
 

Yvonne G

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respiratory infections are caused by bacteria or viruses , to treat the cause requires antibiotics or antivirals ......... i would ask your vet to try a different antibiotic ,something like ceftazidime ........ while doxycycline i believe covers mycoplasma infections , i don'tbelieve doxycycline covers a lot of other common bacterial causes of RI's in tortoises .....
Yes, but did the vet actually take a smear and look at it under the microscope or did he see a bubbly nose and immediately leap to "respiratory infection" as so many of them do?
 

mark1

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i believe very few if any will try to identify the bacteria or virus causing an infection before starting treatment , they will move in that direction if they cannot get a response from the most likely treatment ...... that would include animal and people doctors .......... a culture from a healthy tortoises nose and mouth will contain many types of bacteria ......... i had a pretty bad infection about a year ago ,i went to cleveland clinic , their first course of action was to treat it with an antibiotic which would cure most infections of the type i had ...... i was told if it didn't seem to get better by next week come back .......... that would be the normal way vets and people doctors treat such stuff , at least from my experiences .
 

Maryalice

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Set your thermostat no lower than 30C day or night. The basking lamp should get the area directly below it up to 36-37C all day. Day time ambient should rise to around 33-34C. Soak the baby for 40-60 minutes every day with these elevated temps. Keep the soak water warm the whole time.

As Chubbs said: RIs are caused by cool temps. They are cured by hot temps. Vets treat symptoms. What they should be doing is discovering the CAUSE of the sickness and correcting that.
Thanks Tom and Chubbs. I now try to keep the temp above 30C even at night. To do this i have to keep 2 heating lamps on (each is 50 watts). I soak him daily at 10 min in warm water -so maybe i should keep him in the water longer. I also nebulize him with salinase for about 10 min. I do no keep any water in his enclosure as it keeps the humidity so high. I suppose the daily soaking will keep hin hydrated.
 

Maryalice

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Thanks Yvonne and Mark1. No, I don't think any culture was taken by the vet. I could not see how the pets are being treated. Due to the pandemic, the protocol in the vet hospital is that all humans wait in a wairing area while the pets are treated inside examination rooms. The vet confers with the owners through cellphone while they are treating their patients. All the initial vet asked from me was Frankie's stool sample. He said that Frankie's stool has xxxworms (I forgot the type of worms he mentioned) which should be treated with metronidazole. But he said he will hold that treatment until we are done with doxycycline. But he is asking for another stool sample -maybe to monitor if the worm issue is progressing. So yes, I think the doxycycline prescription is a knee-jerk reaction for the vet. At this point, i will have to run the full course of doxycycline treatment (i.e. bring Frankie to the vet every 3 days for his shot) before entertaining any additional antibiotics. I am afraid if the bacteria or virus do not kill him, a mixture of antibiotics and too many needle stabs on his tiny body could. Just need to remind myself to ask if the vet hospital haa means to do culture study of possible bacteria/viruses causing the RI. Again thanks, for this very informative discussion.
i believe very few if any will try to identify the bacteria or virus causing an infection before starting treatment , they will move in that direction if they cannot get a response from the most likely treatment ...... that would include animal and people doctors .......... a culture from a healthy tortoises nose and mouth will contain many types of bacteria ......... i had a pretty bad infection about a year ago ,i went to cleveland clinic , their first course of action was to treat it with an antibiotic which would cure most infections of the type i had ...... i was told if it didn't seem to get better by next week come back .......... that would be the normal way vets and people doctors treat such stuff , at

i believe very few if any will try to identify the bacteria or virus causing an infection before starting treatment , they will move in that direction if they cannot get a response from the most likely treatment ...... that would include animal and people doctors .......... a culture from a healthy tortoises nose and mouth will contain many types of bacteria ......... i had a pretty bad infection about a year ago ,i went to cleveland clinic , their first course of action was to treat it with an antibiotic which would cure most infections of the type i had ...... i was told if it didn't seem to get better by next week come back .......... that would be the normal way vets and people doctors treat such stuff , at least from my experiences .
 

Maryalice

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Where are ur thermometers positioned? Tort level? And what type are u using?
The thermometer/hygrometer is positioned at one end of the tank at about 7 inches above the substrate. There is another thermometer at the other end, also at 7 inches above the substrate. I just need to make sure that my baby tort won't get to them. Both are digital.
 
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