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Sick baby tortoise??

Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by Skye_18, Feb 24, 2019.

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  1. Skye_18

    Skye_18 New Member

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    I have a four month old sulcata tortoise and he hasn’t been moving around very much for the past few days or eating. He also has this yellow stuff in his mouth and he’s been breathing through his mouth too. He also has a growth on the side of his mouth. I put him in a bowl and filled it with a little bit of water so he could soak for a while to see if he was dehydrated but he didn’t drink anything. Please help. I’m really concerned
    -thank you
  2. SweetGreekTorts

    SweetGreekTorts Well-Known Member

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    Can you post some photos of your tortoise? Especially around his mouth area. This will help us to see a better idea of what could be going on.

    Also, what are the specs of its enclosure: size, substrate, temperatures, humidity, lights? What do you feed it? Do you soak him in warm water every day?
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  3. Ray--Opo

    Ray--Opo Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Welcome pics would be helpful.
  4. Skye_18

    Skye_18 New Member

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    He’s in a 12 gallon tank with paper towel, I try to give him baths once a week with lukewarm water and I feed him kale, carrots and apples. It’s not very humid in my room because I’m in the basement so it does get cold but he does have a heat mat and a light which I believe is a 50 or a 75 IMG_4121.jpg
  5. SweetGreekTorts

    SweetGreekTorts Well-Known Member

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    Your baby looks to be in bad shape, and I hate to say you've currently got his care all wrong...

    A 12-gallon tank isn't big enough for him. Tortoises need lots of space. Consider a larger plastic tub or bin.
    Paper towels are not substrate and cannot hold humidity. There needs to be actual topsoil, coco coir, cypress mulch, to hold humidity. You also need a humid hide.
    Babies should be soaked every day for 30 minutes in warm water.
    His current diet is bad. No fruits - as they are loaded with sugar and it's difficult for the tort's system to digest. His diet should be mostly weeds, grasses, and greens. He can also have moistened Mazuri.
    Heat mats are no good. Heat needs to come from above. A CHE (Ceramic Heat Emitter) is recommended to provide heat.

    Does he have the proper lights? He should have a UVA basking light, with a basking spot of 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit. There also needs to be UVB light.

    The key to habitats for babies is "Hot and Humid." The overall enclosure temperature should not drop below 80 degrees Farenheit (day and night), and maintain humidity at 80% or higher.

    Other experienced keepers will have additional insight and advice too. We're just trying to help.
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  6. SweetGreekTorts

    SweetGreekTorts Well-Known Member

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  7. Skye_18

    Skye_18 New Member

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    Once he gets a little bigger I’m going to get him a larger tank and a better substrate. A 12 gallon is all I have for now and he’s only the size of my palm. When I first got him, people told me I couldn’t use topsoil because of him being so young, his eyes were too sensitive so I had to be careful if anything got into them and I can’t have a textured mat yet because it would scratch his shell
  8. SweetGreekTorts

    SweetGreekTorts Well-Known Member

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  9. SweetGreekTorts

    SweetGreekTorts Well-Known Member

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    Please read the Care Sheet that I provided above. Your tortoise needs a proper set-up in order for it to be healthy and thrive.
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  10. Pure Tortoise Power

    Pure Tortoise Power Active Member

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    I'm not trying to hate, but, you bought /adopted a baby tortoise before doing research?? At least you found this forum where experienced tortoise keeper are usually active. Better late than never though.
    Anyway, good luck with you and your sully.
  11. Ray--Opo

    Ray--Opo Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Welcome read the care sheets. Your tort might have a respiratory infection. Everything you are doing sounds incorrect. Not your fault but the members here will get you headed in the right direction.
  12. Ben02

    Ben02 Well-Known Member

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    That tortoise needs an exotic reptile vet asap. Until you can bring it to them as others have said soak him in a Luke warm water and bump up the temps of the room or his enclosure if you can.
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  13. Reptilony

    Reptilony Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you just put an exotic animal in a cage and see what happens. Every pets deserve that we take good care of them and research is the first thing that you do before getting one and this is YOUR responsability, not your parents, not the guy who work at the pet store, don't even listen to them. In fact the person who gave you advice might have caused the death of this animal. Do your research on the internet and find reliable source. Now, you just find the best source for tortoise information so I advise you to listen well and actually make some change right now because later it will be too late.
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  14. queen koopa

    queen koopa Active Member

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    A paper towel and a heat mat..... That tort hates life :(
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  15. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Hello and welcome.

    The purpose of what we are saying here is not to make you feel bad or insult you. We aren't trying to "flame" you here.

    But this tortoise is sick, and will probably die, because it has been cared for incorrectly. Somebody gave you bad info and you didn't find or follow the correct care info. The best you can do right now is read this care info and make the necessary changes and hope for the best. There is nothing a vet can do for this tortoise and that would be a waste of money. If it is not too far gone, putting it in the correct conditions will allow it to get better. If it is too far gone, no one and nothing can save it.

    Read these so you can see what you did wrong, and so you'll know what to do right next time.
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/

    Fine grade orchid bark is the best substrate for these guys, and that should be high on your list of priorities to change. Getting rid of the heat mat and installing the correct heating and lighting, so you can maintain the correct temperatures should be number one. This is a tropical species. They need it 80 or higher 24/7. A cold basement is no place for a sulcata unless it is in an insulated and properly heated closed chamber. Next should be the tank. You cannot maintain the correct conditions in something that small. You need a minimum of 40 gallons for a tiny hatchling, but bigger would be better.

    Get some carrot baby food, like human baby food and mix a jar into some warm water. Soak the tortoise in this mix for 30-40 minutes and keep the water warm the whole time. Water should come about 1/3 to 1/2 way up the shell. Do this daily even after you begin to see improvement.

    I hope this helps and questions are welcome.
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  16. Ben02

    Ben02 Well-Known Member

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    Tom do you have any idea what that yellow lump is on the side of the mouth, is it a build up of mucus??
  17. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    No. Could be several things. Mouth rot, access, bacterial infection. The cause of it, whatever it is, is incorrect care and conditions. If its not too late, the correct care and conditions will help it heal.
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  18. Dana Steele

    Dana Steele New Member

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    That looks like a systemic herpesvirus infection. It ranges in colors from blood red lesions to yellow crusting. Little guy needs a vet asap.
  19. Ben02

    Ben02 Well-Known Member

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    The OP hasn’t got back to us after all the suggestions. I hope she made some dramatic changes. Poor little guy:(
  20. Farcryjj

    Farcryjj Member

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    The yellowish crust looks more like a puke of carrots and apple that got dry and stuck on his mouth...
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