Russian tort reaction to prescriptions

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jrodeheaver

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Hi all,

I have a Russian tortoise and a while ago I noticed that some of his back toenails were breaking off. No open sores or cuts, they would just break, grow back, and break again. I upped his calcium powder to 2xs a week, but upon doing some research, I found that UV bulbs often stop emitting UV before the bulb burns out. I didn't know this, as I'm a new "mom" (and I feel absolutely horrible)!! I did a lot of research before I got Franklin, but I missed this important info! I immediately got him a new bulb, but a week or so after that I noticed a soft spot on his belly. He was very active and always ate. His mood was totally normal, just the soft spot really concerned me, so I made a vet appointment.

I took him to the vet on Saturday, and she prescribed a dewormer (2 doses), calcium injections (daily, for 1 week), Baytril (6 doses, given every other day). The first 2 injections were done at the vet, and all day Saturday and Sunday he was very lethargic. He did come out to eat, though, but immediately burrowed again right afterwards for the rest of the day. Then, yesterday (Monday) morning, I let him out of his habitat and let him roam around the room a bit. He seemed to be doing well. After his injections (calcium and Baytril), though, he threw up and wouldn't move much, so I called the vet. She said to stop the Baytril and then prescribed 10 doses of Gentocin, to be given every 72 hours. I haven't given him this yet. I am going to start tomorrow.

My worry is that he wasn't lethargic until after I took him to the vet and gave him the Baytril. Also, I was informed by a friend in vet school that Baytril should be injected into the hind legs and unfortunately can cause a lot of harm like renal failure...my vet told me the front legs! Could this have made things worse? I'm just really worried that the Gentocin will make him sick, too, and he won't recover. It's concerning that he's so lethargic, when this wasn't an issue before I took him to the vet.

Any advice would be appreciated! I'm very worried about Franklin!

Thanks in advance,
Jade
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Jade and welcome to the Forum!!

Your vet sounds as if he/she knows what they're doing, however your info from your friend is not right. I hope they start paying better attention in school. You inject in the front legs for the reason your friend gave you. Trouble is, Baytril, while being a very good antibiotic for reptiles, is very harsh. Your tortoise is probably allergic to it and your vet was wise to catch it in time and switch. Any antibiotic is harsh on the kidneys. You must be sure to keep the tortoise hydrated during treatment. This might mean to soak the tortoise every day for about 20 minutes.

But remember, all the calcium in the world isn't going to help your tortoise unless he gets UVB to make the vitamin d3.
 

Thalatte

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Also dewormers and antibiotics will kill all bacteria which also means the good bacteria in their digestive tract. Ask your vet about using a probiotic such as acidophiliz to help replace the good bacterias.
 

jrodeheaver

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Thanks for the replies. A few more questions...

Someone had suggested to me a 50/50 soak of warm water and plain Pedialyte...anyone have input on that?

Also, would Bene-Bac work for the probiotic? This was also suggested to me in a different forum. Anyone have any experience giving torts this?

Lastly, I'm concerned about him getting enough UVB because he spends most of the day burrowed, totally covered. Do you think I should lessen his substrate so that, when he does burrow, he can't cover himself up completely? He does have signs of MBD, hence the calcium, so I know the UVB exposure is important.

Update: Gave him his calcium injection and soaked him in warm water for a while. He perked up a bit and was walking around the living room, which was nice to see since he's been so tired. Once I put him back in his habitat, though, he burrowed right away. Baby steps, I guess...
 
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