Tortoise seems worse after vet visit

murphylinda57

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
Phoenix
Hello all.
I have a 12 year old leopard tortoise.
I've had him for 4 months since his old owner passed away . During this 4 months, he has had some snot here and there . He has been full of energy, eating plenty and had a general upbeat attitude.
I took him to the vet yesterday to check out the snot thing and they prescribed an oral enrofloxacin
And nose drops of ofloxacin.
Well, since his dose yesterday, he slept til noon (usual wake time is 930 am) I had to pick him up to wake him up. After I placed him outside he sat in the same spot all day. Didn't move, and his snot has seemed to increase overnight. I always check him a few times at night to wipe snot. Its not usually a lot. Its now quite a bit of wiping, and quite often all throughout the day. I am concerned. The vet told me it must just be his infection.
He has had lots of energy since I've had him, but they insist it is not the medication. If anyone has any insight please share. If it is the medication I'd love to know if antibiotics can have this effect. Thank you.
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
20,449
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hi and welcome,
Maybe @zovick or @ZenHerper can help you with the meds question.
Meanwhile make sure his temps are high enough and keep him warm day and night.
You may already have found it but this is the most up to date caresheet you'll find which will tell you all about diet, temps, substrate etc. I have found it invaluable when my leopard adopted me.


If you can post some pics of his enclosure and lamps then you'll get great advice on anything you can do that could improve his health.

I hope he'll be better soon.
 

ZenHerper

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
1,489
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
Moving home and being handled are both Very stressful experiences. Hiding and resting are key ways that reptiles "de-stress".

Antibiotics are cleared by the kidneys, so there is a need for increased hydration. Soak this tortoise in warm water 2-3 times daily (even if it does not drink, some water will be absorbed through the vent -- the water only needs to come up to where the two parts of the shell meet).

Temperature and humidity are super-important...you need to know the exact temperatures at tortoise height all around the habitat and have a way to provide humidity.

A description of how you are keeping s/him and a good set of photos of the habitat are needed for more specific tips.
 

Yossarian

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Messages
764
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
Can we see some photos of your tortoise, along with pics of the enclosure your using, what are the temps and humidity readings and of course diet your feeding.

Vets just see symptoms and throw treatments at them when what is usually needed is correct husbandry at home. If your tort is unwell it is most likely because something about its care is not right. Leopards need high heat and humidity all the time, torts often develop respiratory symptom when kept too cool or when cold and humidity are combined, and for torts that need constant temps above 80f, too cool is 70s. Get back to us with more info and some pictures and we can help you correct the root issue.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,114
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hello all.
I have a 12 year old leopard tortoise.
I've had him for 4 months since his old owner passed away . During this 4 months, he has had some snot here and there . He has been full of energy, eating plenty and had a general upbeat attitude.
I took him to the vet yesterday to check out the snot thing and they prescribed an oral enrofloxacin
And nose drops of ofloxacin.
Well, since his dose yesterday, he slept til noon (usual wake time is 930 am) I had to pick him up to wake him up. After I placed him outside he sat in the same spot all day. Didn't move, and his snot has seemed to increase overnight. I always check him a few times at night to wipe snot. Its not usually a lot. Its now quite a bit of wiping, and quite often all throughout the day. I am concerned. The vet told me it must just be his infection.
He has had lots of energy since I've had him, but they insist it is not the medication. If anyone has any insight please share. If it is the medication I'd love to know if antibiotics can have this effect. Thank you.
Where'd ya go?

Are you keeping the tortoise warm at night? Above 80-85 all night?
 

zovick

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
1,772
Hello all.
I have a 12 year old leopard tortoise.
I've had him for 4 months since his old owner passed away . During this 4 months, he has had some snot here and there . He has been full of energy, eating plenty and had a general upbeat attitude.
I took him to the vet yesterday to check out the snot thing and they prescribed an oral enrofloxacin
And nose drops of ofloxacin.
Well, since his dose yesterday, he slept til noon (usual wake time is 930 am) I had to pick him up to wake him up. After I placed him outside he sat in the same spot all day. Didn't move, and his snot has seemed to increase overnight. I always check him a few times at night to wipe snot. Its not usually a lot. Its now quite a bit of wiping, and quite often all throughout the day. I am concerned. The vet told me it must just be his infection.
He has had lots of energy since I've had him, but they insist it is not the medication. If anyone has any insight please share. If it is the medication I'd love to know if antibiotics can have this effect. Thank you.
It doesn't sound as though you went to an exotics vet. I believe the correct treatment for this problem would be the injectable antibiotic Ceftazidime (NOT the same thing as the generic oral med you were given), and the injections are far more accurate than hoping the tortoise will eat whatever you put the medication on or trying to drip it into its mouth with a dropper or a syringe, both of which can lead to possible aspiration and pneumonia.

The drops for the nose are a good thing, but I would choose Neo-Poly-Dex drops instead because they have three ingredients, one of which will reduce inflammation in the nose and thus reduce mucus production. The other two ingredients are different antibiotic meds to fight organisms which the injectable antibiotic may not affect.

Once the problem is more under control it would probably be good to have the tortoise tested to see if it has Mycoplasma or not. If it does, it will most likely have recurring bouts of this same problem you are now experiencing throughout its life and should be kept away from other tortoises you may have.
 

murphylinda57

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
Phoenix
Where'd ya go?

Are you keeping the tortoise warm at night? Above 80-85 all night?
All creatures clinic in Phoenix az. Yes I got a touchless thermometer to make sure all points in his sleeping area is 85F
Basking area is around 93F (directly under the lamp)
I have all smart thermostats in the cage, one in the cooler corner and one in the basking area, both of which alert my phone if it drops or something. It also self regulates if it gets too warm.
 

murphylinda57

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
Phoenix
Thank you for your answer and support! When I called the vet I took him to (they are called all creatures and have an exotic specialist on site) they told me to go somewhere else for the shot! It would have been cool if they told me that sooner . I was also very surprised they couldn't tell me what we are treating, I figured you would need to do a culture test or something to prescribe the appropriate medicine.
 

murphylinda57

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
Phoenix
Can we see some photos of your tortoise, along with pics of the enclosure your using, what are the temps and humidity readings and of course diet your feeding.

Vets just see symptoms and throw treatments at them when what is usually needed is correct husbandry at home. If your tort is unwell it is most likely because something about its care is not right. Leopards need high heat and humidity all the time, torts often develop respiratory symptom when kept too cool or when cold and humidity are combined, and for torts that need constant temps above 80f, too cool is 70s. Get back to us with more info and some pictures and we can help you correct the root issue.
 

Attachments

  • 20210319_095332.jpg
    20210319_095332.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 61
  • 20210209_103252.jpg
    20210209_103252.jpg
    2.3 MB · Views: 59

murphylinda57

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
Phoenix
I built a sleeping quarters indoors for him. The person I got him from did not give him proper heat or diet or humidity. His owner recently passed away and I took this big guy home with me to Phoenix az. Its warm all year round here, so the tortoise (sweetheart is his name) stays outside most of the day until it is time to sleep. Right now his home is pre hearing so its not up to temp yet , but he has a heat lamp and a humidifier plus self warming tiles under the surface that you can't see. Its all wifi connected so it alerts me anytime there is a Flux in temp or humidity. Pretty cool. Under the lamp reads 93F and in the corners Is 85F . The humidifier heats up too, so that the steam coming out is warm
 

Attachments

  • 16167964964438498752249423327647.jpg
    16167964964438498752249423327647.jpg
    754.1 KB · Views: 29
  • 16167965180782808267687780235039.jpg
    16167965180782808267687780235039.jpg
    968.8 KB · Views: 29

murphylinda57

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
Phoenix
If I'm remembering correctly SOME leopard tortoises have a bad reaction to Baytril (enrofloxacin). If it were my tortoise I would not give anymore Baytril and ask the vet for the antibiotic advised by Zovick
Thank you , I actually was not aware that this was the same as baytril. He got it once, and he is not having it. I'm scheduled to take him back to the vet tomorrow.
 

murphylinda57

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
Phoenix
Just so everyone is aware, he was sick when I took him home. His owner passed away from cancer and during those last few months his animals health suffered greatly. The only got fed lettuce and watermelon daily.
I have done my best to take the best care of him. I'm growing aloe vera and hibiscus that I feed him when he wants it. The eats timothy hay, dandelion greens, endive, sometimes raspberries and watermelon, sometimes ill give him a treat like cilantro, he loves eating flowers. I give him a bath in warm water at least once a day since I've had him (his old owner gave him NO access to water and said "he is a desert tortoise") he has water available at all times now. He's got pyramiding on his shell due to not having the proper care.
He had a heating mat in a small fish tank that he barely fit in, that was places in a cold garage.
I would say what he has now is much better, but if I am doing something wrong its okay to let me know. I'm working on building him an outdoor house , here in Phoenix he will be shielded from the extreme heat and also in the summer it may be warm enough to sleep outside (in his house) but ill of course test out the temps at night (again , I get alarms on my phone if something is not right) but I could set a thermometer out there and see what its like in the hot season..
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
88,516
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Just so everyone is aware, he was sick when I took him home. His owner passed away from cancer and during those last few months his animals health suffered greatly. The only got fed lettuce and watermelon daily.
I have done my best to take the best care of him. I'm growing aloe vera and hibiscus that I feed him when he wants it. The eats timothy hay, dandelion greens, endive, sometimes raspberries and watermelon, sometimes ill give him a treat like cilantro, he loves eating flowers. I give him a bath in warm water at least once a day since I've had him (his old owner gave him NO access to water and said "he is a desert tortoise") he has water available at all times now. He's got pyramiding on his shell due to not having the proper care.
He had a heating mat in a small fish tank that he barely fit in, that was places in a cold garage.
I would say what he has now is much better, but if I am doing something wrong its okay to let me know. I'm working on building him an outdoor house , here in Phoenix he will be shielded from the extreme heat and also in the summer it may be warm enough to sleep outside (in his house) but ill of course test out the temps at night (again , I get alarms on my phone if something is not right) but I could set a thermometer out there and see what its like in the hot season..
Sounds like he's in a much better place now!
 

murphylinda57

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
Phoenix
I built a sleeping quarters indoors for him. The person I got him from did not give him proper heat or diet or humidity. His owner recently passed away and I took this big guy home with me to Phoenix az. Its warm all year round here, so the tortoise (sweetheart is his name) stays outside most of the day until it is time to sleep. Right now his home is pre hearing so its not up to temp yet , but he has a heat lamp and a humidifier plus self warming tiles under the surface that you can't see. Its all wifi connected so it alerts me anytime there is a Flux in temp or humidity. Pretty cool. Under the lamp reads 93F and in the corners Is 85F . The humidifier heats up too, so that the steam coming out is warm
The substrate i am using is just organic soil. I dampen it a little daily just to be a little moist. If there's something else I should be using I would love to know. He likes to burrow down a little into the dirt. I change the dirt out once a month.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,114
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
The substrate i am using is just organic soil. I dampen it a little daily just to be a little moist. If there's something else I should be using I would love to know. He likes to burrow down a little into the dirt. I change the dirt out once a month.
I see lots of good stuff, and a few potential problems. The good stuff is already taken care of, so let me mention the problem stuff, so you'll know what to fix.

  1. This is a grown tortoise. He doesn't need an indoor enclosure in your climate. He needs a heated outdoor box like one of these: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/single-tortoise-night-box.181515/ or this one: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/double-door-night-box.129054/. In these two threads you can see both of the two safe ways to heat his house.
  2. No heat lamps on larger tortoises. Its not effective and will usually damage the top of the carapace, while not effectively warming the core. Your tortoise can use that warm AZ sunshine to heat up, and retreat to the heated outdoor shelter at night.
  3. This tortoise doesn't need substrate anymore, and soil should never be used for any tortoise. Soil is made from composted yard waste, and there is no way to know what is in it. If you need substrate somewhere, use fine grade orchid bark.
  4. No fruit for this species. None.
  5. More grass hay, or grass, in the diet. This thread is more about raising growing babies, but there is lots of other info in it too, like diet stuff: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-best-way-to-raise-a-sulcata-leopard-or-star-tortoise.181497/
  6. That looks like artificial grass he's walking on? This is very dangerous for tortoises. Grass is food. They eat it. Plastic grass can cause an impaction. I'd never house a tortoise on that. Real grass is great. Plain dirt is fine. No pebbles or gravel, and no plastic grass though.
  7. No humidifiers for tortoises. This could be what is causing the respiratory issues. Some humidity generated from damp substrate or water tubs in the night box is fine, but pumping either steam, or ultrasonically generated water droplets, into the air a tortoise is breathing is not good.
Feel free to question all of this. Ask for more explanation on any of these points. :)
 

murphylinda57

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
Phoenix
I see lots of good stuff, and a few potential problems. The good stuff is already taken care of, so let me mention the problem stuff, so you'll know what to fix.

  1. This is a grown tortoise. He doesn't need an indoor enclosure in your climate. He needs a heated outdoor box like one of these: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/single-tortoise-night-box.181515/ or this one: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/double-door-night-box.129054/. In these two threads you can see both of the two safe ways to heat his house.
  2. No heat lamps on larger tortoises. Its not effective and will usually damage the top of the carapace, while not effectively warming the core. Your tortoise can use that warm AZ sunshine to heat up, and retreat to the heated outdoor shelter at night.
  3. This tortoise doesn't need substrate anymore, and soil should never be used for any tortoise. Soil is made from composted yard waste, and there is no way to know what is in it. If you need substrate somewhere, use fine grade orchid bark.
  4. No fruit for this species. None.
  5. More grass hay, or grass, in the diet. This thread is more about raising growing babies, but there is lots of other info in it too, like diet stuff: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-best-way-to-raise-a-sulcata-leopard-or-star-tortoise.181497/
  6. That looks like artificial grass he's walking on? This is very dangerous for tortoises. Grass is food. They eat it. Plastic grass can cause an impaction. I'd never house a tortoise on that. Real grass is great. Plain dirt is fine. No pebbles or gravel, and no plastic grass though.
  7. No humidifiers for tortoises. This could be what is causing the respiratory issues. Some humidity generated from damp substrate or water tubs in the night box is fine, but pumping either steam, or ultrasonically generated water droplets, into the air a tortoise is breathing is not good.
Feel free to question all of this. Ask for more explanation on any of these points. :)
Wow lots of new information for me. I appreciate your insight and how knowledgeable on his species you are.
Right now I am in the process of building him an outdoor house /box , it doesn't have a roof yet and its still a work in progress. I definitely built his indoor house in a rush just to have a place to put him since it gets a little nice at night I was afraid of leaving him outside, especially when I saw he had snot . Also I hate the plastic grass myself, im in a rental. But I did get a whole bag of grass seeds and was planning to have real grass soon. I do have a nice patch of wild grass in the yard he hangs out in and eats. That blue boulder is his humping rock lol.
I ordered some cypress mulch , I will ditch the dirt. Thank you so much for your helpfulness. I'm still feeling lost sometimes , especially since his previous owner fed him fruit everyday (i know that cant be good) but now I know it is not good for him.
I'm taking him to the vet in an hour to look into another treatment for his snot, hopefully he can get better soon
 
Top