Tortoise not responding to antibiotics

Milj8814

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Hi everyone. Just looking for some advice. Been a tough 3 months, my tortoise Archie has had pneumonia/ deep respiratory infection. He has seen two different reptile specialist vets as I wasn't happy with the first one. I've done several course of antibiotics. I've tried two different injectable ones, one oral one. I recently tried one big push where he's been having a nebuliser with F10 in it, increased his night time temps, disinfected his table and a two week cours eon injected antibiotics, he has still not improvedThe vet said they aren't sure there is anymore we can do and unfortunately he hasn't improved, apart from a brief few weeks he appeared better. I've spent so much money trying. I just wondered if anyone had any other ideas or if anyone knows how long he might last with the infection? He's still eating and moving abit but not as much as he use too.
 

Yvonne G

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In my opinion, it's more than likely a husbandry problem and not a respiratory problem.

In order for us to give you the benefit of our experience we need quite a bit more from you. Things like species? age? food? day/night temperatures? substrate? things in the enclosure? enclosure size? type of lights? type of heat? Just tell us everything you can think of that will help us narrow it down for you. And pictures will be helpful too.
 

Tom

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Hi everyone. Just looking for some advice. Been a tough 3 months, my tortoise Archie has had pneumonia/ deep respiratory infection. He has seen two different reptile specialist vets as I wasn't happy with the first one. I've done several course of antibiotics. I've tried two different injectable ones, one oral one. I recently tried one big push where he's been having a nebuliser with F10 in it, increased his night time temps, disinfected his table and a two week cours eon injected antibiotics, he has still not improvedThe vet said they aren't sure there is anymore we can do and unfortunately he hasn't improved, apart from a brief few weeks he appeared better. I've spent so much money trying. I just wondered if anyone had any other ideas or if anyone knows how long he might last with the infection? He's still eating and moving abit but not as much as he use too.
I agree with Yvonne. We need more info.

Tortoises don't get sick for no reason. Vets tend to treat the symptoms without discovering and correcting the CAUSE of the problem. This is futile. Often if the cause of the problem can be corrected, the symptoms will go away on their own.
 

Milj8814

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In my opinion, it's more than likely a husbandry problem and not a respiratory problem.

In order for us to give you the benefit of our experience we need quite a bit more from you. Things like species? age? food? day/night temperatures? substrate? things in the enclosure? enclosure size? type of lights? type of heat? Just tell us everything you can think of that will help us narrow it down for you. And pictures will be helpful

Thanks for the reply. Sorry should of thought to say what species. He is 18 and a Mediterranean spur thigh. He's fed on fresh weeds and some lambs lettuce too. Previously in the garden/ inside at night in a tortoise table. I am temporarily staying in a flat until the summer, so I have over wintered him in a large 5ft 6" X 4ft 2" table. He has a UV bulb, heat lamp and a note time ceramic heater (this was added after he got sick) which is controlled via a thermostat. He's on top soil. He's got some rocks, hides, plants in there. I spray it down in the evening to keep it slightly damp but not wet. I think he originally got ill because of temperature fluctuations, as the flat worked on storage heaters and would go cold in the evenings then hot in the night. Which is why I got the thermostat and the ceramic heater, which keeps it constant temperature, which I've increased slightly since he's been ill.

I've done so much research from tortoise keeprs to find out the ideal husbandry so don't think it is that but I'm open to ideas
 

Milj8814

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Thanks for the reply. Sorry should of thought to say what species. He is 18 and a Mediterranean spur thigh. He's fed on fresh weeds and some lambs lettuce too. Previously in the garden/ inside at night in a tortoise table. I am temporarily staying in a flat until the summer, so I have over wintered him in a large 5ft 6" X 4ft 2" table. He has a UV bulb, heat lamp and a note time ceramic heater (this was added after he got sick) which is controlled via a thermostat. He's on top soil. He's got some rocks, hides, plants in there. I spray it down in the evening to keep it slightly damp but not wet. I think he originally got ill because of temperature fluctuations, as the flat worked on storage heaters and would go cold in the evenings then hot in the night. Which is why I got the thermostat and the ceramic heater, which keeps it constant temperature, which I've increased slightly since he's been ill.

I've done so much research from tortoise keeprs to find out the ideal husbandry so don't think it is that but I'm open to ideas
Temperature wise it's 32 in the hot spot and 24 in the cold end. It was 22 but upped it slightly as read this was good to do
 

Milj8814

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I agree with Yvonne. We need more info.

Tortoises don't get sick for no reason. Vets tend to treat the symptoms without discovering and correcting the CAUSE of the problem. This is futile. Often if the cause of the problem can be corrected, the symptoms will go away on their own.
Thanks for the help. I've answered Yvonne's questions to help. I just don't feel like the vets did treat the symptoms that's the frustrating bit
 

Tom

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Temperature wise it's 32 in the hot spot and 24 in the cold end. It was 22 but upped it slightly as read this was good to do
Basking area needs to be around 36-37 directly under the bulb. 22-24C is fine for the rest and over night.

Soil should never be used as substrate. There is no way to know what composted material is in it and it could be something toxic. The manufacturers don't intend for small animals to be living on it in indoor enclosures.
 

Milj8814

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Basking area needs to be around 36-37 directly under the bulb. 22-24C is fine for the rest and over night.

Soil should never be used as substrate. There is no way to know what composted material is in it and it could be something toxic. The manufacturers don't intend for small animals to be living on it in indoor enclosures.
What should they be on then? I've been told this is the safest because sand etc can cause impaction.
 

Sarah2020

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Hi I use orchid bark at 18 years you can go with course which I find the easiest and tidiest to deal with I.e not trampled into food and attached to base of dishes..... Assume your in Harlow UK? Try swell reptiles who deliver here is a link....

I normally get 2 x 20 litre you can keep it damp not sodden with a plant water sprayer.
invaddition......
Deep clean and sanitise and have a read of the care sheet to see if there are any adjustments. Also check shallow warm water soaks in high sided washing up bowl. I do 3 a week for 40 mins. Helps you have a hydrated tort.
Care sheet.....
Ask any questions and share tort pics shell, face, eyes etc.. to help the experts advise.
 
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Tom

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What should they be on then? I've been told this is the safest because sand etc can cause impaction.
I prefer damp coco coir for babies and fine grade orchid bark for adults. You are correct that sand should not be used either.

Unfortunately there is a lot of old wrong info out in the world about tortoise care. Here is the most current and correct care:
 

Milj8814

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Thankyou both for the advice I'll look to change the substrate but I'm not sure that will help him get better now ☹️
 

mark1

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what antibiotics were used ? does the tortoise eat and drink ?
 

mark1

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He's had fortun and baytril. Yeah he still eats and drinks
the pneumonia was diagnosed by x-ray ? what was he being treated with when he improved for a short time ? pneumonia can be viral , bacterial or fungal ..... or a combination , antibiotics only work on bacterial pneumonias ....i believe enrofloxacin can be used in a nebulizer .... he is eating and drinking , what are the symptoms he displays that make you wonder "how long he will last"?
 

Milj8814

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It was diagnosed by X-ray. He was taking the fortum when he improved for a brief time. He had three x-rays, he got slightly better for the second x-ray then worse on the third. He keeps having nasal discharge and is very lethargic. The vet said they can only survive so long with an infection, that's why I wondered
 

mark1

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i'd say , make sure his conditions are optimal, if he's eating and drinking , that may do it in itself.... sometimes antibiotics are used long term , a month or more , not ideal, but intended to be a better option than the alternative...... if your tortoise has pneumonia visibly by x-ray , he may be such a case , is the vet confident it's not viral or fungal ? turtles and tortoises cannot clear their lungs efficiently because of their anatomy ........ hope for the best .........
 
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