Please help i rescued a sulcata thats pretty sick need opnions on how to help it!!!!

DannyH123

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I recently rescued a sulcata tortoise who I think the owner thought he was doing everything right. But I think he was doing a lot of stuff wrong including not having a UVA light. The tortoises shell is extremely soft pretty much his entire shell he is very low energy the bottom of his shell is so soft and fact it looks like it starts to split all the way across its belly from one side to the other end down in a triangular shape it is black if he has been crawling around and you pick him up it looks completely normal but within about 30 seconds it all turned black again it's something inside I'm believing it to be he is very constipated. Along with these things when we received him both of his eyes were sealed shut we gave him a good soak and got both of them open that was four days ago since then he has only been able to open one eye the other one looks as if it has a white film over it I have been soaking him in Long warm bath and keeping him fed. He has poop one time and it was just a couple of small turds if anybody can give me any advice on what they think I should do I would be very welcome also he is very low energy and appears to be pretty skinny up at the top of his leg
 

Tom

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tacotort654218

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I recently rescued a sulcata tortoise who I think the owner thought he was doing everything right. But I think he was doing a lot of stuff wrong including not having a UVA light. The tortoises shell is extremely soft pretty much his entire shell he is very low energy the bottom of his shell is so soft and fact it looks like it starts to split all the way across its belly from one side to the other end down in a triangular shape it is black if he has been crawling around and you pick him up it looks completely normal but within about 30 seconds it all turned black again it's something inside I'm believing it to be he is very constipated. Along with these things when we received him both of his eyes were sealed shut we gave him a good soak and got both of them open that was four days ago since then he has only been able to open one eye the other one looks as if it has a white film over it I have been soaking him in Long warm bath and keeping him fed. He has poop one time and it was just a couple of small turds if anybody can give me any advice on what they think I should do I would be very welcome also he is very low energy and appears to be pretty skinny up at the top of his leg
If i were you, I'd bring the tort to a vet and follow the guide that Tom posted!
 

KarenSoCal

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If i were you, I'd bring the tort to a vet and follow the guide that Tom posted!

The problem with most vets is that they really don't know what to do for sick torts. As a result they know they need to do something, so they compound the tort's problems by giving vitamin and calcium shots, and then throwing in an antibiotic, infection or not.

It's not that the vets don't care. They are just not up-to-date on new methods of husbandry and medicating torts.

Like Tom said, this baby may or may not make it. He was probably started poorly by the breeder, then went into a home that did not supply his needs.

He's best off staying home with DannyH123, with a perfect environment and meticulous care to support him while he fights to get better.

Keep him warm, keep him hydrated, and feed him all he wants of high quality foods. It's his best chance of recovery.
 

Sarah2020

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Welcome to the forum. There are lots of experience keepers and breeders on here. Calcium will help the shell strengthen. Buy some cuttlefish and place in the enclosure you can also buy the calcium power and add a light dusting 2 to 3 times a week.Soak your tortoise regularly in shallow warm water as this will help to hydrate and empty its bowel. Serve fresh green leaves washed in water to improve hydration. Read the care sheet and make a list if what is in place now and what is recommended. Whilst you can not improve overnight there are a lot of easy fixes to turn this tortoise around. Read the sulcata past threads on the forum as many questions and answers are all in the history to help you,
 

Ray--Opo

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Welcome and thank you for rescuing your new friend. It breaks my heart to see him in such bad shape. Keep us posted on his progress.
 

Tom

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If i were you, I'd bring the tort to a vet and follow the guide that Tom posted!
There is nothing a vet can do for this tortoise. The best tort vet in the world would simply look at it, tell them to take it home and care for it correctly, and then hand them the bill. Lesser tortoise vets will inject it with vitamins, calcium, or antibiotics, all of which will stress the baby and tax its little systems beyond their capacity.
 

Yvonne G

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The most important thing for you to do right away is set this baby up in a small hospital tank. A 10 gallon aquarium works well for this purpose. Get the temperature inside the tank up to 85 degrees, day and night. Use a substrate you can moisten (I like fir bark, but cypress mulch and coco coir work ok) and moisten it. I think once you have the baby set up in a warm, humid environment you'll start to see some improvement.

The darkness on the plastron is because his shell is thin from lack of UVB/calcium, causing the shell to be thin. What you're seeing is the liquid inside the tortoise's body. There may not be any way to save this baby. All you can do is try your best. So get a GOOD UVB light. The ones I like best are the T5 fluorescent tube lights. And along with the UVB he needs calcium. Can you get him to eat at all?

If you have to feed him, get some Critical Care and mix it up into a thin slurry. Add a pinch of calcium to the slurry. Draw it up into a syringe with no needle. Gently pry open his mouth and place a dollop on the back of his tongue. Once he swallows that you can place some more. But don't try to get too much into him. Just a couple little dollops a day.

(Are you in Del Mar, California?)
 

tacotort654218

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The problem with most vets is that they really don't know what to do for sick torts. As a result they know they need to do something, so they compound the tort's problems by giving vitamin and calcium shots, and then throwing in an antibiotic, infection or not.

It's not that the vets don't care. They are just not up-to-date on new methods of husbandry and medicating torts.

Like Tom said, this baby may or may not make it. He was probably started poorly by the breeder, then went into a home that did not supply his needs.

He's best off staying home with DannyH123, with a perfect environment and meticulous care to support him while he fights to get better.

Keep him warm, keep him hydrated, and feed him all he wants of high quality foods. It's his best chance of recovery.

There is nothing a vet can do for this tortoise. The best tort vet in the world would simply look at it, tell them to take it home and care for it correctly, and then hand them the bill. Lesser tortoise vets will inject it with vitamins, calcium, or antibiotics, all of which will stress the baby and tax its little systems beyond their capacity.

ouch, noted!
hope this little guy make it.
again thank you guys for the inputs, definitely need lots to learn ✌
 

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