Is this normal?

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My sulcata tortoise is receiving antibiotics for an RI, I'd this behavior normal for a healthy tortoise or should I be concerned?
 

wellington

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Well, if he is getting treated for an RI, then he's not quite a healthy tortoise. I'm not sure what you are asking about. The kind exaggerated swallowing? I would say yes, if he has an RI. Extra mucus/drainage maybe or could be just food.
But have you addressed the reason he may have gotten an RI? Are the temps really where they should be? Basking, 95-100, all over day and night 80-85 and while recovering should be 85-90 all over day and night.
If you just treat the illness and not the reason for it, he likely will get it again or not recover from this one.
 
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Well, if he is getting treated for an RI, then he's not quite a healthy tortoise. I'm not sure what you are asking about. The kind exaggerated swallowing? I would say yes, if he has an RI. Extra mucus/drainage maybe or could be just food.
But have you addressed the reason he may have gotten an RI? Are the temps really where they should be? Basking, 95-100, all over day and night 80-85 and while recovering should be 85-90 all over day and night.
If you just treat the illness and not the reason for it, he likely will get it again or not recover from this one.
I'm trying to keep it in the 90s, but then his eyes start to water. I'm just asking for help, the vet is very far away and there is a lot of snow outside. Would he be breathing like that if he wasn't sick? Does he look so sick I need to take him back right now?
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Let's try the plan with an oil radiator. Once temperatures get into 85F without CHE it should be more comfortable for him. Watery eyes have several causes: extreme dry air, overheating and RI. The first two can be easily addressed.
 
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Let's try the plan with an oil radiator. Once temperatures get into 85F without CHE it should be more comfortable for him. Watery eyes have several causes: extreme dry air, overheating and RI. The first two can be easily addressed.
I'm very concerned about a fire starting when I'm not home if I use this unattended.
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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I'm very concerned about a fire starting when I'm not home if I use this unattended.
Such risk exists, yes. Although it very minimal (never heard of such cases in person). Keep the radiator on a distance from flammable materials (wood, clothes, cardboard and such) and do not cover it from above. Do not run radiator on top capacity 24/7 (temperature and power knobs).

Yet to be honest, current setup with 4 CHE lamps on top of a wooden enclosure poses more danger.

Smoke and fire alarms are good for the purpose too. As a fridge or any other electrical device can have a short circuit and cause fire.
 
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Such risk exists, yes. Although it very minimal (never heard of such cases in person). Keep the radiator on a distance from flammable materials (wood, clothes, cardboard and such) and do not cover it from above. Do not run radiator on top capacity 24/7 (temperature and power knobs).

Yet to be honest, current setup with 4 CHE lamps on top of a wooden enclosure poses more danger.

Smoke and fire alarms are good for the purpose too. As a fridge or any other electrical device can have a short circuit and cause fire.

We have smoke detectors, but it would probably be useless if no one was home. We will try it out (my boyfriend and i) on our first day off, Monday. His controllers should be here by then. His whistle has gotten very loud. His lights are hard to regulate, with the same 4 lamps on only moving them closer together and apart I can get temperatures anywhere from 80-92
 

wellington

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I'm very concerned about a fire starting when I'm not home if I use this unattended.
There is bigger danger, although still minimal with che than a radiator. I have two radiator heaters that run in my tort shed, on a thermostat and on 24/7 during winter. The oil filled radiators have a tip over and over heated safety on them. If you want to use the che's, then get a Kane pig blanket and put it under the che's and run them all in a thermostat set to 85-90.
I don't see anything I would worry about.
Put a bucket without lid or couple milk jugs full of warm water in there to get some humidity in the hide. Be sure he can't tip them over. The milk jugs, don't put the tops on them. This will help with the eyes if it's too dry for him.
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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And I would suggest to try switching to a radiator as soon as you can (at least for some hours or for a night when you are at home). Juggling the lamps around seems counter-productive to me, especially without thermostats.
 
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There is bigger danger, although still minimal with che than a radiator. I have two radiator heaters that run in my tort shed, on a thermostat and on 24/7 during winter. The oil filled radiators have a tip over and over heated safety on them. If you want to use the che's, then get a Kane pig blanket and put it under the che's and run them all in a thermostat set to 85-90.
I don't see anything I would worry about.
Put a bucket without lid or couple milk jugs full of warm water in there to get some humidity in the hide. Be sure he can't tip them over. The milk jugs, don't put the tops on them. This will help with the eyes if it's too dry for him.
Thank you for your advice you seem very knowledgeable. This is a short clip where you can hear his whistle. Is it supposed to be gone at the end of this course of antibiotics? Since he started reciving the shots he seems lethargic.
 
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Thank you for your advice you seem very knowledgeable. This is a short clip where you can hear his whistle. Is it supposed to be gone at the end of this course of antibiotics? Since he started reciving the shots he seems lethargic.
I believe I have found the culprit of his issues. Could bladder stones make him wheeze?
 

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I've never heard of stones making them wheeze. They can make them grunt and maybe make whistle sound when trying to push it out.
I could only hear a tiny noise in the video. Sounded more to me like a normal breath.
Do you think he has bladder stones?

I suppose I don't understand what type of sounds and behaviors are normal for a sulcata tortoise.
I'm very uninformed
 

wellington

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I think he is dehydrated. If that is a urate, which I think it is, it's suppose to be creamy like tooth paste not hard or gritty.
Get a large container or your bath tub and give him a long warm water soak, at least an hour, keep the water warm. Always have water available for him to drink and I would feed him just for a couple days some cucumber, romaine or iceberg lettuce. High water content foods.
 
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Ok, sounds good. He acts very distressed when he is soaked, is there anything i can do to help calm him down? His urates are gritty, and he's passed a couple of these dime size urates the last time he was calm when soaked about 3 days ago.
I think he is dehydrated. If that is a urate, which I think it is, it's suppose to be creamy like tooth paste not hard or gritty.
Get a large container or your bath tub and give him a long warm water soak, at least an hour, keep the water warm. Always have water available for him to drink and I would feed him just for a couple days some cucumber, romaine or iceberg lettuce. High water content foods.
 

wellington

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That's okay if he tries to get and struggles around. It helps get things inside moving. If you can use a container he can't see over or thru that helps.
Soak him daily until the urates are normal.
 
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That's okay if he tries to get and struggles around. It helps get things inside moving. If you can use a container he can't see over or thru that helps.
Soak him daily until the urates are normal.

That's okay if he tries to get and struggles around. It helps get things inside moving. If you can use a container he can't see over or thru that helps.
Soak him daily until the urates are normal.
I soaked him for a whole hour for the first time. He passed lots of gas but that's it.
 

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@AshleeSparling, an animal with a bladder stone(s) can exhibit labored breathing and nasal discharge. He would have to be pretty stopped up before you saw these issues on the front end. Is he eating and pooping normally? I would say that this is an unlikely source of the problem but you have said you have never seen him drink water so I would not completely rule out a stone. It would be easy to diagnose via xray next time you have him at the vet.

If you want answers, and are willing to spend the money, talk to your vet about submitting samples for the Chelonian Respiratory Disease Panel at UF. It may give you peace of mind knowing what the problem is but none of these diseases are curable. Knowing what you are dealing with can help you treat the animal and manage the disease for a very long time.
https://cdpm.vetmed.ufl.edu/services/zmdxlab/available-tests/chelonian-tests-and-panels/

You seem extremely concerned about this guy, I don't want to alarm you with additional possibilities. I have been in your shoes before and even lost animals while waiting for a diagnosis. Ultimately it was discussions with other tortoise keepers that led us to the proper diagnosis and the right vets to deal with the problem. Listen to the husbandry advice you are getting from the group here (temperature and soaks), share your updates here and keep working with your vet.
 

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