Need Help! Newbie From Mesa AZ

DesertRain

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Mesa, Arizona
Adult male Russian fell in swimming pool. Unsure how long he was underwater. Alive. Lethargic but Responsive. Head comes up and tracks me. I have him inside warming up. Crate with Timothy hay. Shell surface 65 degrees now.
All help welcome... including prayers.

He’s a stray who wondered into our courtyard three years ago. He emerged from hibernation 2 weeks ago. Normal activity since then. First time he has escaped.

I’ve been a reader of this wonderful site for awhile. Will pretty up my profile in a bit.
 

DesertRain

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Mesa, Arizona
Thank you.
Shell is up to 73. He is moving around a small bit.
I’m out of emergency response mode now. But feeling really horrible that I let this happen.

I don’t think he was in the pool very long. From the bottom of the pool he was looking up at us as we fished him out. It’s a saline pool. Once on the warm decking he coughed/blew out some water twice. I got him into a warming crate within mins. He comes inside during extreme weather so is in familiar setting. Room temp is 80 now.
 

harrythetortoise

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Try and give a warm soak with tap water to get the salt out of his system.
Keeping him warm is a good idea. Praying for this little guy?
 

TeamZissou

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Good thing you got him out in time. It's a positive sign that he is responsive. I think in cases where they are not, they are put on a ventilator.

I would increase the temp a bit, and add a basking lamp that's 95-100 F.

The next thing to look out for is pneumonia as a result of the inhaled water. I'd say if breathing problems show up such as wheezing or nasal discharge, you need to take it to a vet for an x-ray to check for possible pneumonia and get treatment.
 

TeamZissou

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Thank you Harry and Zissou. I’ve been sitting with him since my first posting. No sneezing, wheezing etc. A small chirp/burp(?) now and then. Moving around more now. View attachment 318919

Pneumonia may take a while to develop since it's bacterial. You probably want to watch him closely over the next two weeks to see if anything develops. It may have been better that he fell in a saline pool as you mentioned compared to a natural pond, which would probably have more bacteria in it. I don't know much about how water is treated in a saline pool, but it may be a bit cleaner.
 

DesertRain

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Thank you,Maggie! Should have done a small head down shake to be on the safe side. Will make some enclosure changes to prevent a next time. He has an underneath warming pad going now. Heading out now to get a new basking lamp.
 

Maggie3fan

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Thank you,Maggie! Should have done a small head down shake to be on the safe side. Will make some enclosure changes to prevent a next time. He has an underneath warming pad going now. Heading out now to get a new basking lamp.
Keep us posted...
 

ZenHerper

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Water in the lungs can interfere mightily with blood oxygen-CO2 exchange. Drowning may still result, so he should be kept under observation indoors.

He really should stay no lower than 80*F overnight for the next month (+ Optimal Russian day temps 12-16 hours). Reptile circulation and immune power is dependent on temperature.

Pneumonia can begin with sub-clinical (environmental) bacterial, fungal, or viral agents.

If he stops improving, or back slides: x-ray asap (preferably with an exotics specialist).
 

Yvonne G

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Hold him with his head pointing away from you and support his neck. Raise him up above your head and swing him down abruptly towards the floor several times to force the water out of his lungs.
 

DesertRain

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Thanks Yvonne. I gave him a swing as suggested and a small bit of spray did come out. While still wrapped in a towel I gave his face a close look. Wet nose but was not running. Wish I could say the same about the back end.
I deserved it. :)

His indoor holding crate is 17 x 40 and located in the guest bath where temp and humidity are easier to maintain. Plus a big window opens to his outdoor enclosure.

Temp readings inside crate at floor level range from 82 to 98 end-to-end. Suspended overhead heat lamp on warmer end. Room temp 80.

He was active earlier. Gave himself a soak in warm water dish. Not interested in greens. Tucked in for the night near heat lamp.

Again... thank you to all for advice and prayers. I’m an avid reader/researcher but on the quiet side when it comes to posting. Will update tomorrow.
 

queen koopa

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Thanks Yvonne. I gave him a swing as suggested and a small bit of spray did come out. While still wrapped in a towel I gave his face a close look. Wet nose but was not running. Wish I could say the same about the back end.
I deserved it. :)
They can be a “poopy species” ha! Sounds like your on the right track though! Keep us posted!
 

DesertRain

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Update...
Tortoise has been out of extended hibernation for 2 weeks. Meaning he has come out to eat, drink, look for a girl and then gone back in for more snoozing. His grazing garden is planted with both broadleaf and grassland mixes from Tortoise Supply, natives (sow thistle, mallow, dandelion), salad greens, squash, calendula and nasturtium. The two mixes and natives are up now.

Current weight 453 grams, carapace 5 inches (underneath)

No drainage today. Eyes look ok. Attentive to me and also familiar sounds from his outdoor enclosure (Window open). No noticeable problems walking. He does have periods of energetic activity. But less frequent and shorter in duration than what I expect his normal would be at this time of the year.
 
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