Just adopted 3 very sick baby desert tortoises. Need help!

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Sudhira

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The calcium glubionate was from the vet, but I searched it online, and you can buy it without a script. Not sure if the concetration is the same though. I give my little sweetieheart a couple of drops per day. You cannot overdose with calcium from what I have heard...I hope your little Heidy pulls though!!!
 

jmu114

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kyryah said:
I have a lot of hope for the other two, but I am very worried about Heidi. Once the plastron starts to become translucent and resorb into the body, it is very difficult to save them.

Here is a bit more information on what the poor baby is going through. Good luck, but please don't beat yourself up if she doesn't make it. You have done a wonderful job.

http://www.sulcata-station.org/pdf/hatchfail.pdf

Thanks Kyryah.. great article...it says...

"As the tortoise enters 'end-stage renal failure,' the kidneys completely shut down, causing toxins and acidic compounds to build up in the bloodstream. To neutralize the rising acid levels in the blood, the tortoise's body begins to remove calcium from its bones and shell --leading to the softening of the shell, limp limbs, and the other symptoms described above. Once this process starts, it is extremely difficult to counteract. The kindest thing at that point may be to put the tortoise to sleep, sadly enough."

Are there no exceptions? Others in this forum have shown that their soft shell tortoises can recover. I will continue to care for mine, including Heidi...but I am concerned now whether or not I am just prolonging her suffering.....
 

dmmj

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I think they meant when the tortoise enters renal failure then it is best to put it down, but I am not sure, I think they are doing better and I wait everyday for this post to see if more good news is posted.
 

Kristina

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Is she eating at all? Still drinking? If the answers are yes, I would continue to have faith for her.
 

Sudhira

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kyryah said:
Is she eating at all? Still drinking? If the answers are yes, I would continue to have faith for her.

Lab work would show renal failure, if they even feel she is up for a blood draw...then you could decide on what to do? I feel she needs more nutrients than she is capable of getting from her diet, since she is in such a declined state. Her ability to absorb is compromised. Vet would be helpful...IMHO
 

jmu114

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We got her Tuesday (4/20). I only witnessed her taking a few bites of the greens on Thursday after a soak. I saw her trying to eat a day later but just walked away after failing to grab onto the food (she only tried 2-3 times). I see that food is depleting while I am away... so I can't say for sure she is not eating. I just haven't witnessed it again. The only time I saw her drink water is when we soaked her on the first day we got her.... she just plunged her head in and drank many gulps. Again, doesn't mean she hasn't been drinking while we are away. She does seem to have a little more energy than a week ago, and she is moving around a bit more in the enclosure... so she has improved.

I've seen Frosty and Frank eat everyday. Frank is doing especially well.

I will continue my regimen with them.... I will not give up.
 
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Maggie Cummings

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jmu114 said:
We got her Tuesday (4/20). I only witnessed her taking a few bites of the greens on Thursday after a soak. I saw her trying to eat a day later but just walked away after failing to grab onto the food (she only tried 2-3 times). I see that food is depleting while I am away... so I can't say for sure she is not eating. I just haven't witnessed it again. The only time I saw her drink water is when we soaked her on the first day we got her.... she just plunged her head in and drank many gulps. Again, doesn't mean she hasn't been drinking while we are away. She does seem to have a little more energy than a week ago, and she is moving around a bit more in the enclosure... so she has improved.

I've seen Frosty and Frank eat everyday. Frank is doing especially well.

I will continue my regimen with them.... I will not give up.

Thank you. It is my experience that once the plastron is translucent they die. But I personally don't give up. I continue to feed and soak like I was. I have a small tortoise who is really sick and she only eats once a week. So I believe that once a week eating is still alright. I don't ever believe in putting down an animal, unless it is in severe pain and there is no chance of recovery. So don't give up on her, once she heals and is eating and acting normally she will the best pet. You are doing a great job that I know is a difficult one. Keep carrying her around with you and keep her warm and she will make it. You have her set up alone don't you? She needs to be kept warmer then the other 2 and it's very possible that one of them is bullying her so I really would set her up alone.
 

jmu114

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What temperature gradient will be ideal for Heidi? how about for Frosty and Frank? Is there a temperature that will work for both? I am asking because Frosty and Frank don't bother Heidi. To me, they all get along very well...so if I can keep them together, I would like to...

Good news. After I posted my comment this morning, I soaked them and tried to feed them. Of course, Heidi would not eat the food placed right in front of her. So I decided to hand feed her. To my surprise, she ate a few pieces of greens (I was quite late for work because of this :p)

This evening after the food soak, Frosty and Frank at on their own while I held Heidi (wrapped in warm towel) on one hand, while feeding her with the other. Guess what? she ate quite a few pieces of greens. I also found what she disliked (she'll turn her head away when I gave her red leaves).

This little one is really growing on me.....
 
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Maggie Cummings

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jmu114 said:
What temperature gradient will be ideal for Heidi? how about for Frosty and Frank? Is there a temperature that will work for both? I am asking because Frosty and Frank don't bother Heidi. To me, they all get along very well...so if I can keep them together, I would like to...

Good news. After I posted my comment this morning, I soaked them and tried to feed them. Of course, Heidi would not eat the food placed right in front of her. So I decided to hand feed her. To my surprise, she ate a few pieces of greens (I was quite late for work because of this :p)

This evening after the food soak, Frosty and Frank at on their own while I held Heidi (wrapped in warm towel) on one hand, while feeding her with the other. Guess what? she ate quite a few pieces of greens. I also found what she disliked (she'll turn her head away when I gave her red leaves).

This little one is really growing on me.....

That's really good to hear. I too have hand fed sick torts, I am so glad for you...
 

jmu114

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== update ===

Heidi started eating on her own last night, and today she ate breakfast and dinner all by herself....marked improvement! oh, she poops as well!! Heidi's left hind leg is deformed so her left knee touches gound when she crawls.... it's just so cool to see her get around the enclosure, crawling in the food bowl, the water bowl, and even on top of the other two! Eight days ago, she dragged that left leg around with difficulty, so you can say I am really happy with the progress. Her shell is still soft and she has a long way to go... but I am confident she will be ok.

Frosty's shell is still soft, he is eating more and staying awake longer and has no more puffy eyes!

Frank is the happiest of the bunch...eats and poops the most. Puffy eyes have improved...but still need work. He has the hardest and roundest shell of all three and is the most active tort.

I am cautiously hopeful all three babies will be ok.
 

Kristina

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GO HEIDI!!! I'm rootin' for ya, baby!!

What a great update. Keep it up, you are doing WONDERFUL with them!
 

helensky

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Hi - I followed this thread with interest when it was active and was just wondering, how are they now jmu114?
 

jmu114

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helensky said:
Hi - I followed this thread with interest when it was active and was just wondering, how are they now jmu114?

Thank you for your interest~ Frosty and Frank are thriving. They've grown quite a bit since 2 months ago, they are about twice the size of Heidi now. Their shells are much harder than before and I am certain they will lead very normal, healthy lives.

Heidi is not so lucky. She improved a little bit in the beginning, but she hasn't shown improvement for about a month. I segregated her from the other two over a month ago, but she still doesn't eat much, almost always sleeping in her cave, and although I think her shell has harden a little bit, it is still soft. My husband and I took her to a reptile specialist and he said there is nothing more we can do for her at this time... just continue with our regimen and hope for the best. Thinking of taking her to another dvm soon...
 

aznewmom

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I read this thread with great interest. I'm rooting for all three of your little guys. We rescued a small desert tort last year. Rico is doing well and is still in an indoor enclosure. He/She gets soaks and spring mix, along with some tortoise bites we got at the local pet store (not a chain). Rico doesn't seem all that interested in them unless I chop them w/the mix. I have not tried the baby food soaks yet, but I'm thinking that's what I need to do. Rico isn't interested in the leaves if I put calcium on them. Picky. :)
Good luck with your babies!
I was brand new to all of this last year and have learned so much from these boards and the kind people here.
Please keep us updated!!!

Cheers,
Stacy
 

jmu114

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Thank you all for your well wishes!

Forgot to mention that we were told by our vets that our little ones are not desert torts..they are sulcatas. Below are recent photos of babies.

The vet we visited last week gave Heidi two shots and told us to continue our regimen...he said some little ones are not meant to make it from the start, but there might be hope still. He said even if Heidi recovers, she is likely to have long term disgestive issues due to her flat shell..constipation?

She is getting two soaks a day. We are now feeding her mazuri as well...and she seems to like it quite a bit.

siblings 3 weeks ago
DSC03178.JPG


DSC03204.JPG


Frosty- 6/20
DSC03209.JPG


Frank -6/20
DSC03210.JPG


Heidi - 6/20
DSC03211.JPG


siblings - 6/20
DSC03212.JPG
 

thelma humpert

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Glad to hear your little ones are doing better. Enjoy them they seem to be very happy... Great job
 

APBT_Fanatic

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Definately don't look like Sulcatas to me. I am not sure why your vet said that, but they look like Desert Tortoises, not Sulcatas.

I have 2 of each, and they are definately very different, appearance wise, from eachother.

Sulcatas--

(Sherman)
Sherman012.jpg


(Cricket)
CricketTortoise043.jpg


CA Desert Tortoises-

TortoiseStrawberries034.jpg


TortoiseStrawberries024.jpg


TortoiseStrawberries016.jpg
 

jmu114

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APBT_Fanatic said:
Definately don't look like Sulcatas to me. I am not sure why your vet said that, but they look like Desert Tortoises, not Sulcatas.

I know! and yet two separate reptile specialists told us they are sulcatas...not desert torts.

I want to make sure I provide them the right care... does anyone out there think the trio are sulcatas?

thanks in advance.
 
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