Red foot tortoise foaming out of the mouth and whistle when breathing

PinkPine

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Hello,
I just brought two red-foot tortoises back from Petco yesterday, and I just found that one of them might be sick. We found him foaming and whistling and we took a video (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1C8ce4gOmTEddJylx3H0C_6PIM9NGaSp9/view?usp=sharing) this morning. Can anyone help see if this is a cold or pneumonia? Thanks!
I worked for Petco when I was 18 till 22. The treatment of the reptiles was a total joke. Insufficient lighting, heat, and humidity in 90% of the enclosures. My concerns fell on deaf ears the entire time. It makes me sick to think about. Animals died all the time, especially the tree frogs. The snakes hardly ever had an appetite because they were too cold. Very frequently customers would bring back sick animals. Petco has some kind of warranty, so if you just brought these home then please bring them right back. I don't want to be a Karen but you need to speak to the manager and make sure that these tortoises are taken to their exotics vet right away. Petco is obligated to get them treated and then get the animals back to you once they are healthy. Animal health isn't always the biggest priority for some employees, so make sure that your tortoises appointment is set up with the vet before you leave the store.
 

ZEROPILOT

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I have three options for you.

1) get this animal to a vet asap and be prepared to spend money.
2) return the animal asap. Then buy from a reputable breeder. Or just stick to the one tortoise.
3) see if the store will pay for a veterinarians care for the respiratory issue that this tortoise 100% has.

Baby tortoises are relatively fragile. Baby tortoises not started correctly often have serious illness and issues.
It's cruel to return a tortoise to a situation that is probably a certain death. But sometimes you need to protect you.

Also, never keep two Redfoot...or any species...in pairs.
Two tortoises require TWO separate enclosures.
Maybe keep the one that seems healthy and get your money back on the other? (And pray that whatever this is, that's its not contagious).
Also, please describe and possibly photograph your enclosure and lights, heating, etc. And tell us the temperature. The humidity and what you are feeding.
Let's make sure that your healthy RF IS healthy and stays healthy.

On a side note...Foaming at the mouth can be a sign of overheating. I need to mention that. What are you using for heat? Both day and night? How are you measuring that heat?
Is it possible that this Redfoot was exposed to a temperature of over 95 degrees?
Your target temperature is 82-84 for the species
 
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ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
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I would never advocate for getting an animal from a pet store, especially one like Petco. You'd be surprised how many reptile rescues are out there! A reputable rescue organization won't adopt out an animal until they pass vet inspection.
Unfortunately most if not every "reptile rescue" I've personally encountered here in south Florida is a scam. Either an outright scam, or a for profit group or shady individual.
 

ZEROPILOT

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I worked for Petco when I was 18 till 22. The treatment of the reptiles was a total joke. Insufficient lighting, heat, and humidity in 90% of the enclosures. My concerns fell on deaf ears the entire time. It makes me sick to think about. Animals died all the time, especially the tree frogs. The snakes hardly ever had an appetite because they were too cold. Very frequently customers would bring back sick animals. Petco has some kind of warranty, so if you just brought these home then please bring them right back. I don't want to be a Karen but you need to speak to the manager and make sure that these tortoises are taken to their exotics vet right away. Petco is obligated to get them treated and then get the animals back to you once they are healthy. Animal health isn't always the biggest priority for some employees, so make sure that your tortoises appointment is set up with the vet before you leave the store.
In this case I agree.
This RF has a respiratory infection at the very least. And that's probably the tip of that iceberg.
Purchasers of animals should not have to deal with sickness that came WITH THEM.
 

PinkPine

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Unfortunately most if not every "reptile rescue" I've personally encountered here in south Florida is a scam. Either an outright scam, or a for profit group or shady individual.
That's a shame. I have adopted from 2 in Ohio and one in Michigan and can't sing enough praise about all the good they do. Not only taking in owner surrenders (and ones left on their doorstep overnight) but also working with animal control to rehabilitate and rehome rescues from hoarding situations.

It's important for people to do their research on an organization. The three I've adopted from, I have followed for quite some time and they have all been in the news various times for taking in cases of extreme neglect/hoarding. But I've definitely come across a few online in my searches that just scream SCAM!

When I was at a rescue in Ohio two months ago picking up my Hermann, the owner was getting me the paperwork when he received a call from a man absolutely screaming, telling the rescue worker that he lives in a hotel and he came back to find his bearded dragon was ceased by the staff. This screaming man was swearing at the rescue worker, and said "IF SOMEONE FROM THE F****** _____ HOTEL DROPS OFF MY LIZARD, YOU BETTER NOT ******* KEEP IT!!!" I looked like a deer in the headlights but the rescue guy just shrugged and was like, "just another Tuesday." I'm so grateful there are some people willing to help, and not exploit, these poor animals.
 

Sniffy & Sleepy

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Hi everyone, thanks for all the suggestions! We went to Petco yesterday, and they agreed to have our RF treated before we bring him back. We'll get updated about the progress (we'll also update here once we get him back). Actually we have another RF that's roughly 2 years old, so they won't be in pairs (after the sick guy returns). We also reserved for a health check next week to make sure the other two RFs are healthy. The temperature and humidity should be fine. We set the temperature to 83(day)/80(night) and the humidity to 80. We use the ceramic lamp and misting system to keep the temperature and humidity. Next time we will definitely go find a breeder if we want to adopt tortoises...
 

ZEROPILOT

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Hi everyone, thanks for all the suggestions! We went to Petco yesterday, and they agreed to have our RF treated before we bring him back. We'll get updated about the progress (we'll also update here once we get him back). Actually we have another RF that's roughly 2 years old, so they won't be in pairs (after the sick guy returns). We also reserved for a health check next week to make sure the other two RFs are healthy. The temperature and humidity should be fine. We set the temperature to 83(day)/80(night) and the humidity to 80. We use the ceramic lamp and misting system to keep the temperature and humidity. Next time we will definitely go find a breeder if we want to adopt tortoises...
Please keep us posted.
It's good that Petco is stepping up.
 

Sniffy & Sleepy

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Hi everyone, I just got a call from petco today. They said the tortoise does have an upper respiratory infection, and the treatment will take roughly 4 weeks. We'll post here once we have any updates. Thanks!
 

TammyJ

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Have you seen how he is being kept at Petco while he is there to be "treated"? What is the treatment? Did you sign anything or did they?
 

Sniffy & Sleepy

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Hi everyone, sorry for the late update. Two weeks ago, we received a call from Petco saying they would take the tortoise to the vet again this Tuesday, and if it did well, we could bring it back. However, earlier today, we called to ask if we could take the tortoise back; they told us that the tortoise needs to be on medication for entire life, so they couldn't sell it to us again. It sounds ridiculous to us that the URI could lead to lifelong medication. We suspect the tortoise might be dead since they refused to share any photos or videos or any other information about the tortoise. It was a bad (maybe worst) choice to bring the tortoise back to Petco...
 

Sniffy & Sleepy

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We just called Petco's customer service. We suspect the staff was lying, so we asked for the picture/video showing the tortoise is still alive and the visit summary that proves the tortoise needs lifelong medication. The representative said they'd update us in two days.
 

dd33

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I wouldn't jump straight to the conclusion that you are being misled. Nasal discharge and other symptoms commonly associated with a respiratory infection could absolutely be symptoms of a disease that the tortoise cannot survive or will require treatment for throughout its entire life.
 

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