Possible herpes virus

Borgijo

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Hello from the Georgia/Florida state line! I've had two of my Leo's since 2 weeks old, Bandit & Jewel. They have grown so beautiful from 32g to 568g. I have a 2.5 yr old Leo squirt that my husband bought me for an anniversary gift in August & was introduced to the others in September, after cleared from the vet. She came to us pretty heavy with parasites, & only 140g. To date she is 337. Two weeks ago, Bandit acted like he had something stuck in his throat, and the next day started drooling. He went to the Vet & he thought it was the cactus pad I gave them. He had sores all over the inside of his mouth. We started him on antibiotics, tanzicef every other day. He has shown no signs of improvement with the exception of his drooling. Now Jewel has started drooling, & not eating. She dropped 73g in two days, Bandit totaled 102g. They are at the vet again today, he is going to do a PCR test to test for herpes. Squirt doesn't show any signs but may have been the carrier from her last owner who frustratingly housed her with a Russian. More than anything I am posting for those who question keeping different species together. Even though they may not show symptoms they can still be carriers. After the loss of our first tortoise last year Boaz, I have been so excited to see our new babies do so well. I'm going to be completely heartbroken if it comes back positive as there isn't much you can do for them, & may have to be euthanized
 

Big Charlie

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I'm so sorry. I had no idea they could get this virus. It is very rare for humans to die of it; I guess because most already have some immunity. Antibiotics won't do any good since it is a virus. The only thing I know that might keep it under control is Lysine. It's an amino acid. I'm not a vet so I don't know if it is safe for torts.
 

TortoiseWorld

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The good news is bandit and jewel have a caring kind owner who will get them cured, don't give up hope. Possible reach out for another vet who specializes in exotic animals and experience with tortoises. If Squirt survived it I'm sure these will too. My only recommendation is you keep them warm, hydrated, and keep the enclosure VERY clean. Replace the substrate and skip cactus pad for awhile because their throats are sore. Kale, squash and mazurri should be good, some cooked carrots.
Let nature do it's thing.
 

dmmj

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The tortoise that was housed with the Russian tortoise is most definitely the carrier. Russian tortoises are notorious for carrying the herpes virus but not being affected by it sort of like a typhoid mary. it's a shame you weren't told ahead of time or were you that the tortoise was housed with a Russian?
 

TortoiseWorld

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http://www.cabi.org/isc/FullTextPDF/2009/20093019002.pdf

"With early detection and aggressive care, over 90% of tortoises recover with proper care at home. If there are other tortoises in the home, it is likely that they have already been exposed to the herpesvirus, or were themselves the carrier that infected the sick tortoise, and should be closely watched for signs of illness."
 

Tidgy's Dad

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Hello from the Georgia/Florida state line! I've had two of my Leo's since 2 weeks old, Bandit & Jewel. They have grown so beautiful from 32g to 568g. I have a 2.5 yr old Leo squirt that my husband bought me for an anniversary gift in August & was introduced to the others in September, after cleared from the vet. She came to us pretty heavy with parasites, & only 140g. To date she is 337. Two weeks ago, Bandit acted like he had something stuck in his throat, and the next day started drooling. He went to the Vet & he thought it was the cactus pad I gave them. He had sores all over the inside of his mouth. We started him on antibiotics, tanzicef every other day. He has shown no signs of improvement with the exception of his drooling. Now Jewel has started drooling, & not eating. She dropped 73g in two days, Bandit totaled 102g. They are at the vet again today, he is going to do a PCR test to test for herpes. Squirt doesn't show any signs but may have been the carrier from her last owner who frustratingly housed her with a Russian. More than anything I am posting for those who question keeping different species together. Even though they may not show symptoms they can still be carriers. After the loss of our first tortoise last year Boaz, I have been so excited to see our new babies do so well. I'm going to be completely heartbroken if it comes back positive as there isn't much you can do for them, & may have to be euthanized
Thanks for sharing.
As you say, this is a good lesson for those who think mixing species is a good idea.
I really hope they make it and am sending loving thoughts their way.
 

Borgijo

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The tortoise that was housed with the Russian tortoise is most definitely the carrier. Russian tortoises are notorious for carrying the herpes virus but not being affected by it sort of like a typhoid mary. it's a shame you weren't told ahead of time or were you that the tortoise was housed with a Russian?

Sadly I was, it is my fault that after its initial vet visit & clearing up the parasites that since she checked out, I could introduce her to my others. I also took in consideration that the guy we got her from said she was healthy with no issues. I should've thought twice though when she had so many parasites & from what I'm reading should've housed her separate for 9 or so mos. This is a good example of what many of you long time tort owners would probably say is a newbie problem? I just really hope my babes don't pay for my mistakes. I hope others can learn from them & wish I would have been more proactive in asking questions on here. I do have a shred of hope, as the vet said today that Bandits sores now look like plaques, the inflammation is reduced, & produced a bm finally after 2 weeks. Jewel, even though drooling has no sores just inflammation in her mouth. They were given pancur & metronidazole & he would like me to continue the tanzicef until we get the PCR test back in 5-7 days. Thank you guys for your posts
 

Borgijo

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http://www.cabi.org/isc/FullTextPDF/2009/20093019002.pdf

"With early detection and aggressive care, over 90% of tortoises recover with proper care at home. If there are other tortoises in the home, it is likely that they have already been exposed to the herpesvirus, or were themselves the carrier that infected the sick tortoise, and should be closely watched for signs of illness."

Thank you for pulling this for me. I have complexly broken down their enclosure, cleaning it & everything in it with a bleach mixture. It's rare that there poos stay in their enclosure as I homeschool my son so am always home attending to them. Plus most of the time they go when they are soaked which helps keep their enclosure & water clean They live in an enclosed enclosure, temps do not fall below 80 with the exception of night their cooler side drops to 76-78 & their warm 84 which is where they sleep. We have drawn up plans for their double decker but will now be waiting on the result of the pcr test before starting it. Our back porch was just enclosed over Christmas for their outside garden/enclosure. Keep them in your prayers please, & again thank you
 

dmmj

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May I ask why they are giving you antibiotics for the herpes virus? Antibiotics only work on bacteria. I'm just curious.
 

Yvonne G

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I have a very poor memory, but I THINK that, years ago, Ed Pirog lost all his leopard tortoises to this virus.
 

Borgijo

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May I ask why they are giving you antibiotics for the herpes virus? Antibiotics only work on bacteria. I'm just curious.

The herpes virus can't be 100% identified except through the PCR test that they have to send off. Dr Rossi said he would rather treat them as a bacterial infection until we get the results back, which takes 5-7 days. The PCR test is 160/per, not including all the other checkup expenses. He said that over his 30yrs that if they do come back with positive results if they don't die from the virus, they will from the antiviral b/c it's too harsh on their system. I called another exotic vet in upstate Georgia & she said the same thing. Believe me I'm not wanting to give up on them, but I'm not willing to have them suffer having the rest of the organs break down from the meds. I am not well versed in all this so I do depend on their input. Both are licensed in exotics/reptiles, I was glad to find someone who didn't claim to work with them like our previous vet for little Boaz. It's truly so heart wrenching to watch them not as active & not eating
 

Borgijo

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I have a very poor memory, but I THINK that, years ago, Ed Pirog lost all his leopard tortoises to this virus.

Yvonne, by chance did he try the treatment? I'd love to ask how he went about it, in case it is.
 

TammyJ

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I am very sorry about this problem. We live and learn, all of us. The older you get, the more experiences you will have - good and bad.
I am a dinosaur, so my list of mistakes is REALLY long!
 

Borgijo

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The more I'm reading about this, all of their items/enclosure everything would never be able to be used with another tort. Even the outside ground is "contaminated" for a year.
 

TammyJ

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The more I'm reading about this, all of their items/enclosure everything would never be able to be used with another tort. Even the outside ground is "contaminated" for a year.
Wow. Not a small matter at all!
 

Yvonne G

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Yvonne, by chance did he try the treatment? I'd love to ask how he went about it, in case it is.

He's on Facebook under his name. You can find him there. I don't remember the specifics, only the sad fact that he lost all his tortoises.
 

Borgijo

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Has anyone ever tried Ayurvedic herbs to treat them? I am trying to make sure they aren't poisonous to the tort, but it wouldn't be as harsh as traditional meds.
 

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