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LRI - Samson Recovering

Discussion in 'Marginated tortoises' started by CylonSurfer, Jul 20, 2017.

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  1. CylonSurfer

    CylonSurfer New Member

    Feb 25, 2015
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    Hi all,

    We had a shock on Monday evening when we found our 3 year old Marginated tortoise, Samson, squeaking and doing a bit of open mouth breathing (there were no other warning signs). Of course we booked him straight into seeing a reptile vet and had him checked out. By the time we got to the vets his condition had got considerably worse and he had stopped eating and was gasping and sqeaking more.

    The vet checked him over and confirmed that he had an RI and gave him an antibotic shot of Fortum and an anti-inflammatory shot. His condition got worse the next day and he became inactive and still wouldn't eat.

    I removed all of his substrait from his enclosure and gave everything a good scrub and cleaned it all with a reptile disinfectant. I put down paper towels instead of coco choir and have been giving him two baths a day to help him keep hydrated. I'm also leaving his basking light on 24/7 and have upped the temps to 30C throughout his enclosure.

    Today he seems a little better, the squeaking has almost gone other than when he got a little stressed in the bath. After the bath I managed to tempt him into eating some dandelion leaf, it wasn't easy but after the first bite his appetite returned and he chowed down on quite a lot of food. I don't want to get too excited but I take this as a good sign although he is still sleeping a lot. We're just hoping he is now on the road to recovery. He is due to see the reptile vet again tomorrow for some more antibiotics and a checkup, then the same again on Monday.

    I take great care to provide Samson with the best living environment possible and have done a lot of research, this forum has helped a lot over the past 2.5 years. However for him to get this type of infection is a stark warning that something isn't quite right. Providing he pulls through I want to do all I can to ensure this never happens again so I'm looking for some advice.

    We currently use Cocochoir for his subtrait, dampening each day to keep the humidity at around 70, sometimes during the day it will dip to 50 (but never for long) so we dampen it again to increase the humidity. There is a basking site which sits around 32 - 34C with cooler parts of his habitat at around 24C. At night the temp never goes below 20C. We also have a UV tube light:


    Which is replaced as recommended. Both lights are on from 7:00am until 9:00pm. We spot clean the habitat, so as soon as we notice some waste we remove it - he often eats it though, its not uncommon to see him munching on a poo he has just done.

    Samsons diet is varied, we pick weeds from the garden and he gains weight every month when we weigh him. Some of the food we give him is as follows:

    Dandelion (flower and leaf), Plantain (broad leaf and narrow leaf), Campanola (leaf and Flower), Clover (leaf and flower and in moderation), Safe Suculants (in moderation), Rose petals, Viola & Pansey, Lambs Lettuce, Radicchio (which he loves but we try to keep it to minimum) and Frisee.

    We sprinkle Nutrobal on his food about twice a week and he has a cuttlefish on hand which he eats like a chocolate bar when he wants too. He always has access to fresh water in a small dish sunk into the substrait and surrounded by smallish stones (not small enough for him to eat).

    Here are some pics of his enclosure:


    Although they're old, not much has changed - we removed the log as he kept throwing himself off it and ending up on his back and replaced it with a mug filled with substrait which he digs into and sleeps in. Just so you know the 'Staying in Bed' phase ended quite soon after that post, he usually gets up a couple minutes after the lights go on at 7am. We also added a few bits of slate for him to climb over as his back claws were getting a little long.

    All in all he has always seemed healthy to us, active in the afternoons after a good morning bask and quite outgoing enjoying head and shell rubs - he loves getting his shell scrubbed with a soft toothbrush after a bath and wiggles his bum while you do it!

    So I guess what I'm asking is - Can anyone spot any mistakes I'm making or suggest any changes I should make? I'm thinking that I may change the substrait to a top soil / cocochoir mix as at the moment I'm concerned that the cause of this may have been fungal or bacteria based coming from the substrait or maybe a build up of dust (even though we keep it damp as best as we can, it does dry out during the day a little around the basking site)... Its the only thing I can think of...Providing he recovers I want to do anything I can to ensure he doesn't have a relasp.

    Cheers all.

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