Osteomyelitis

KdeeA

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My desert tort has an abscess on his front leg, near the bottom where I couldn’t really see it. I also noticed that his back legs seemed a little poofier than his brother’s. Took him in to get checked and vet said antibiotics usually don’t work in torts and wanted to go straight to surgery. X-ray was done and there is a bladder stone as well that will be dealt with later. Nothing was said about the back legs.
Took my little guy to get a second opinion and this new vet said that the bones in all feet look worn and it appears to be osteomyelitis. He suggested trying a round of antibiotics for 6 weeks and checking again. Oral Baytril was prescribed. He got his first dose but I suspect he doesn’t feel well after taking it. I decided to wait an extra day before continuing the Baytril just to see if he might be having a reaction. Today one of his eyes seems a little irritated and I feel like he is just a little off somehow. Not sure if I’m just over sensitive and looking for things. Gonna try the next dose tomorrow morning and monitor him further. Should a test have been done to see if there is a better antibiotic? These are the two herp vets in my area so don’t know where else to turn.

Just wondering if anyone here has had any experience with osteomyelitis and has any advice or can offer suggestions on the treatment path. I wanna do right by my little dude. Hoping the Baytril works but sounds like others have had problems with it so I’m hesitant to do the treatment but want to get him on the road to recovery ASAP.
 

katieandiggy

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I have no experience with what you describe but having been on this forum a while I know that antibiotics do make your tort “off” and they often stop eating but once the course is finished they pick up again slowly.

I think @YvonneG can help here
 

KdeeA

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Thanks. I’ve been giving the Baytril for a couple and things seem ok for now. He’s eating and seems his normal self, though perhaps a little grumpier. I just hope that this ends up being the appropriate medication for whatever this infection is.
Wondering if @Yvonne G ended up having any thoughts on this :)
 

Yvonne G

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Depending upon the size of the bladder stone, it might make the retention of water you're seeing in the back legs.

I'm curious why neither vet just lanced the abscess? It's a simple process and could have been done right there at the time of your visit.

Antibiotics have no effect on "osteomyelitis." Baytril used to be the "go to" antibiotic for respiratory infection, but it IS a broad spectrum antibiotic, so would work against any infection. But, where is the infection. Other than the abscess, you haven't described any infection. Abscesses have to be lanced, THEN the antibiotic is prescribed.

I wouldn't worry about "osteomyelitis." Just make sure you feed him calcium-rich foods and that he gets plenty of sunshine. How old is the tortoise? Where are you? Maybe one of our members can tell you the name of a GOOD tortoise vet in your area.
 

KdeeA

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Depending upon the size of the bladder stone, it might make the retention of water you're seeing in the back legs.

I'm curious why neither vet just lanced the abscess? It's a simple process and could have been done right there at the time of your visit.

Antibiotics have no effect on "osteomyelitis." Baytril used to be the "go to" antibiotic for respiratory infection, but it IS a broad spectrum antibiotic, so would work against any infection. But, where is the infection. Other than the abscess, you haven't described any infection. Abscesses have to be lanced, THEN the antibiotic is prescribed.

I wouldn't worry about "osteomyelitis." Just make sure you feed him calcium-rich foods and that he gets plenty of sunshine. How old is the tortoise? Where are you? Maybe one of our members can tell you the name of a GOOD tortoise vet in your area.
The second vet did try to lance the abscess and said nothing was coming out. He made the osteomyelitis diagnosis based on an X-ray and said he suspected a bone infection in both the back feet and the one with the abscess in the front. I will say that he mentioned the antibiotic may not help but we could try and see if there was any improvement. This vet is one of the recommended vets on this forum for my area (both vets were on the list actually, though the first one was an associate vet for the office and consulted with the primary vet on my case).
What is funny is that the first vet thought the bladder stone was pretty big and the second one said he had seen a lot worse and wouldn’t recommend doing surgery quite yet unless he was symptomatic. Aside from the swelling, I do think one of the back legs hurts because he seems to drop his shell when he puts weight on it. Per the x-ray, it looked to be the size of a quarter! My little dude is about 10 inches long maybe, 6.5 pounds? He is about 15 years old.
 

KdeeA

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@Yvonne G - Just so I am more informed on my next visit, what should the vet have been looking for when the abscess was lanced? Was that to try and drain fluid? To see what kind of infection there is causing the abscess? Does a bladder stone that size seem big? I want to be able to ask the right questions.
Thanks for your help.
 

Yvonne G

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An abscess is just a large pimple. When lanced, a big puss ball erupts. Since nothing came out of your tortoise's, it probably wasn't an abscess.

Any stone that is too large to fit through the urinary canals is too big. Eventually it will block the passages and cause pain.
 

Pearly

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My desert tort has an abscess on his front leg, near the bottom where I couldn’t really see it. I also noticed that his back legs seemed a little poofier than his brother’s. Took him in to get checked and vet said antibiotics usually don’t work in torts and wanted to go straight to surgery. X-ray was done and there is a bladder stone as well that will be dealt with later. Nothing was said about the back legs.
Took my little guy to get a second opinion and this new vet said that the bones in all feet look worn and it appears to be osteomyelitis. He suggested trying a round of antibiotics for 6 weeks and checking again. Oral Baytril was prescribed. He got his first dose but I suspect he doesn’t feel well after taking it. I decided to wait an extra day before continuing the Baytril just to see if he might be having a reaction. Today one of his eyes seems a little irritated and I feel like he is just a little off somehow. Not sure if I’m just over sensitive and looking for things. Gonna try the next dose tomorrow morning and monitor him further. Should a test have been done to see if there is a better antibiotic? These are the two herp vets in my area so don’t know where else to turn.

Just wondering if anyone here has had any experience with osteomyelitis and has any advice or can offer suggestions on the treatment path. I wanna do right by my little dude. Hoping the Baytril works but sounds like others have had problems with it so I’m hesitant to do the treatment but want to get him on the road to recovery ASAP.

OSTEOMYELITIS???? In all 4 feet???? And all 4 feet being worn???? Are you sure he didn’t say OSTEOARTHRITIS??? I’d thing osteomyelitis is likely from local infection (i.e. abscess) and it is usually very serious in humans
 

KdeeA

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OSTEOMYELITIS???? In all 4 feet???? And all 4 feet being worn???? Are you sure he didn’t say OSTEOARTHRITIS??? I’d thing osteomyelitis is likely from local infection (i.e. abscess) and it is usually very serious in humans
Definitely did not say arthritis. Bone infection is what was said.
 
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