respiratory infection recovery/ relapse?

Ajonesjag

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Good morning-
My baby leopard tortoise was diagnosed with RI about 3 weeks ago. Vet prescribed ceftazidime injections (.03 ml every 3 days- 6 total injections). Last injection was administered on Friday 10 August. He was showing consistent improvement and even recovered his appetite about 2 weeks after antibiotics began. This morning I noticed the tell tale nose bubble has returned. He did eat last night. Any advice? Return to vet (asking here bc they are closed on Mondays)?

I created a nursing enclosure and keep the temps above 80 at all times. Also on vets advice I made a moist hide (he usually sleeps in it) temp there is usually around 85. I have been putting him in an outdoor enclosure for a few hours per day (when temps are between 80 and approx. 94). I resumed the outdoor time b/c at first he would not eat his typical diet (greens, hibiscus leaves), but would only graze on the small broadleaf chutes in the outdoor enclosure.

Appreciate any advice greatly! Thanks in advance!
 

mark1

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I think moving him around enclosures is not a healthy practice ….. unfamiliar enclosures are stressful , if his outside enclosure is not suitable for 24/7 , myself , i'd keep him inside …………
 

Ajonesjag

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Thanks Mark-
I've been torn on that issue. In the 2 weeks I had him before exhibiting symptoms he was spending a few hours in the outdoor enclosure daily and coming in at night and during the worst heat of the day. After exhibiting symptoms he didn't eat indoors for about a week and I decided to try him back in his outdoor enclosure- where he immediately set to munching down all of the new growth. Now that he is eating prepared greens instead of straight grazing, maybe I should bring him in to one stable environment. On the other hand, we are in Jacksonville, FL- night time lows are in the mid 70s and day time highs are rarely above 94. Humidity is consistently 75-100%. Perhaps a CHE in the enclosed hutch portion set to around 85 and leaving him out would make more sense? He does seem much more active outside. Since we live on the edge of a swamp with plenty of critters I have taken precautions to predator-proof this enclosure (most concerned about raccoons).
 

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Minority2

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Use the nursery enclosure temporarily while you completely clean our and replace the substrate in their enclosure.

What is that white stuff pictured in the soil?
 

mark1

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his outdoor enclosure is not the ground ? I believe access to the ground plays a pretty important part in thermoregulation ………. stuff off the ground at 70 degrees can easily be in the 60's due to evaporation , humidity and wind chill ……… I can tell you the soil temp is monitored in Wakulla florida , the coldest the top 2 inches of soil has been recorder in the last week is 75 degrees …… the coldest they had today was 79 degrees at 4 am this morning ………..
 

Ajonesjag

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It was mixed into the organic potting soil that I used to level the area. Believe it is Perlite (a volcanic glass commonly used in gardening to hold moisture in soils- like a porous sand) At first I was concerned about it and covered it with another dirt, but it is slowly surfacing after rains. I've never seen the tortoise show any interest in it.
 

Ajonesjag

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The enclosure is in a raised garden (not at ground level, but landscaped up abour 2 ft from ground level) that abuts my house. I go by temp gun soil top readings. Usually ambient has to be around 85 before the soil temp gets to 80 (for us that's around 10 AM these days). Evenings are more of an issue- with soil top temps usually being about 5 degrees warmer than ambient. Think I will scrap it all and start a new enclosure at ground level with better (bigger) microclimates.
 

Minority2

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Perlite is dangerous substance that can cause potentially fatal health complications in tortoises. Soime of the symptoms used to diagnosed tortoises with respiratory infection are also found for kidney stones as well as impaction. Get rid of that substrate and either buy a different soil mix without perlite or create a mix yourself.

1. Soak your hatchling daily in warm water.
2. Keep your tortoise indoors for the time being.
3. Raise temperatures up by a few degrees until you start seeing signs of improvement.
 

Ajonesjag

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Will do. He is inside now basking around 93 degrees. Highest basking spot is around 102. Lowest temp is around 83. Moist hide where he usually sleeps is 84 on cooler side and 90 on warmer end. Will definitely continue with evening soaks. Heading to the vet tomorrow to determine if additional antibiotics will be useful- he responded so well to the initial course. Thanks for the advice!
 

Kasia

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Hi
Did you got him checked for parasites? Sometimes RI symthomes are related with parasite load. Before going for a second round of antibiotics ask your Vet to check the stool sample ( fresh is the best) for worms.
 

Ajonesjag

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Thanks Kasia-
Hoping to get a sample to my vet on Saturday morning. Yesterday's visit went well- still a positive prognosis overall. He prescribed an additional 2 weeks of antibiotics- ceftazidine (response to first round was very good) as well as 2 doses of metronidazole (gets protozoa and some bacteria) and sent me home with a poop vial. We will see how the parasite check comes back. Not seeing the bubbles anymore and he is regaining his energy and appetite.
 

rvelasco0728

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I have a red foot tortoise with chronic respiratory infections. My vet along with antibiotics gave him breathing treatments 2 times a day for 15 min. Equal parts saline and baytril for 1 month. The breathing treatments really helped. It takes a long time to get sick and a long time to get well. Also I was able to do all of the treatments at home.
I hope this helps.
 

Ajonesjag

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It does help and thanks! I will ask about the breathing treatments. The more I learn, the more I realize how poorly this guy was started :(. Hopefully with a little TLC we can get him back on track.
 

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