Respiratory infections. How they happen and how to prevent them?

XanaZoo

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So it seems I'm hopelessly drawn to the Indian star tortoise.

They're not the best choice honestly but I'm going to have a tortoise for the rest of my life hopefully so I might as well get what I really want.

One of the big issues I've read about them is that they're prone to respiratory infections and obviously I don't want that to happen. What to I need to do to avoid them and what are the main causes and risk factors to keep in mind?

Despite it being frequently mentioned in care sheets and articles about this species, there doesn't seem to be much practical information out there. Just scary be warned type stuff.
 

G-stars

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Your first step is to get them from a reputable breeder. Keep them warm at all times. They should always be able to bask to warm themselves up during the day. I keep mine outdoors for most of the year. If they are adults don’t let them be exposed to ambient weather cooler then 65. If they are hatchlings no cooler then 75. Humidity is a factor, you want them to be humid and hot, but definitely not humid and cold. Also there are other factors that will cause a runny nose, such as stress (once that stress is removed, the runny nose will eventually go away), mycoplasma (there is a large population of stars that have this, and yes it’s possible for it to be passed down to the hatchlings), and of course a respiratory issue (which is usually caused by the tortoise getting too cold or some other lack of care).
 

PA2019

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Everything @G-stars said is spot on. I believe @Markw84 coined the 80/80 rule which is exactly what you should follow when raising Indian stars. Keep temperatures at least 80 degrees ambient with a humidity level at 80% or above. They grow smooth and healthy this way. This species likes hot and humid. They are more cold tolerant as adults, my adults would occasionally experience temps 65-80 outdoors, but not for extended periods.
 

Tom

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So it seems I'm hopelessly drawn to the Indian star tortoise.

They're not the best choice honestly but I'm going to have a tortoise for the rest of my life hopefully so I might as well get what I really want.

One of the big issues I've read about them is that they're prone to respiratory infections and obviously I don't want that to happen. What to I need to do to avoid them and what are the main causes and risk factors to keep in mind?

Despite it being frequently mentioned in care sheets and articles about this species, there doesn't seem to be much practical information out there. Just scary be warned type stuff.
RIs are usually caused by cold temps. especially at night. Keep stars at least 80 at night, give them a 100 degree basking area each day, and let ambient rise into the low 90s each day.
 
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