T. G. Terrestris URI?


5 Year Member
Dec 9, 2014
Location (City and/or State)
Tacoma, WA
I need advice on whether and when to take her to the vet.

She just this morning blew one snot bubble when I walked in to feed her. She has a water saucer and access to some chopped hay mixed with dried herbs, so I don’t think she had eaten or been in her water before I went in but I can’t be sure. I haven’t noticed any other symptoms. She has a history of an upper respiratory infection with a previous owner, about 2 years ago.

She’s in a 6.5’ x 3’ bookshelf converted to a table. Coco coir kept fairly dry as her substrate.

Humidity at about 50% except directly under her heat lamp where it’s lower. (Advised by Chris Leone to keep her drier than most Greek subspecies.)

Basking temp is 95-100 directly under her lamp, but I just lowered the lamp slightly this morning to bump that temp up by about 5 degrees to make sure she’s toasty warm in case she’s getting sick - I’ll increase soaks accordingly, depending on how much time she decides to spend directly under the heat. Basking lamp is at one end, ceramic heat emitter at the other end of the table keeps the temp directly under it at 85, which keeps the temps balanaced over the rest of the table at around 75, give or take a few degrees.

Edited to add: she has uv lamp over about half of her table too - 10.0 hung about 16” above the substrate. The CHE stays on all night, keeping her overnight temps in all of her hides at about 72-75.

She has hides (a log, an overturned pot, and a clump of grass to tuck under when she wants) and she varies where she sleeps amongst those places, favoring sleeping tucked under the grass.

I soak her for 20 minutes about twice a week - I never see her drink.

She poops and urinates just about daily, a healthy looking poop and a mix of liquid and solid urates.

She’s normal activity wise - always very active in the morning while she stomps around waiting for me to come and feed her, then she spends most of the day moving from her basking area to her food and back again. Her habits are very predictable - awake and active at first light, just before her lights come on (for 13 hours), very active stomping in circles all over her enclosure until I feed her, then less active as she grazes and basks, and puts herself to bed at about 6 or 7 pm.

She lost a bit of weight when she first came to us (we’ve had her since October), but is now slightly heavier than when she got here - 850 grams.

She eats a rotating variety (weeds are either non existent right now in Western Washington or mildewed and I don’t want to feed them, so we’re limited to grocery store produce at the moment) of: endive, escarole, raddichio, mustard greens, collards, kale, dandelion, occasional squash, etc - and I always sprinkle some of Tortoise Supply’s dried herbal “hay” on her food. Every couple of days she gets a couple of soaked mazuri pellets mixed with herbal hay and chopped cactus as an appetizer before she gets her greens. I sprinkle a bit of vitamin powder on her food about once a week, and calcium maybe twice a week. She has a cuttlebone to nibble as she chooses. Her appetite is quite healthy - she loves to eat and isn’t too picky (except for kale, she’s pretty adept at eating around it!).

So! Should I go rushing her in as soon as I can to nip a possible URI in the bud, or should I keep an eye on her for a few days?

And if/when I take her in, what’s the best way to keep her warm in transit - maybe a microwaveable warming pack or a bottle filled with warm water....?

And also if I do take her in, I know that I’ve seen a recommended best antibiotic but I can’t remeber what it is... not baytril but?

Thanks in advance!


Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Sep 6, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Raise the over all temp at least by 5 degrees for day and night keeping it no lower then 85 any place in the enclosure. Then just keep an eye on her. Chances are it's nothing.