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Tortoise Squeaking

Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by cotton, Dec 12, 2016.

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  1. cotton

    cotton New Member

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    Hey, new to the community, thanks for any help. I bought a baby sulcatta tortoise about a month ago that is definitely less than a year old. He eats, poops, and pees fine, but in the early morning I'll often hear him make a very loud squeaking/crying noise that's pretty startling. His whole body also clenches, and it's been going on for about three weeks.

    I already took him to a very well-reviewed vet that treats tortoises and owns some himself. He told me the tortoise seemed fine as far as he could tell, and the tortoise didn't cough or do anything in front of him. He told me I could go for the antibiotics if I wanted to, but I backed out since the needles seemed kind of drastic. Before I left he told me to keep his temps high (around 90) and start giving him calcium supplements, which I've begun to do every other day.

    Could the nighttime temperatures be causing this? I have a ceramic heat lamp for his basking spot, but he tends to move around and sleep in colder areas, and I'm afraid of burning him by enclosing him near his basking area.

    I also recently removed some really dry soil he used to sleep in and he's been getting better since, just not very quickly. When I notice him napping he'll usually be moving his head slightly like he's very lightly coughing, and sometimes he'll scratch his eyes.

    I guess I just wanted to know if you guys would go for the antibiotics or wait it out, as well as any similar experiences. Thanks again for any help, I'll post pics/video later if anyone is interested.
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Hi, and welcome to the Forum!

    It sounds like you haven't read our care sheet. There is new information that changes the way we care for sulcata babies. We have now learned that since baby sulcatas hatch out during the monsoon season in Africa, our old way of keeping them hot and dry, is very wrong. Please read these threads and make some changes to your tortoise keeping husbandry. I think you will see a big difference in your baby once you've made the changes (and I'll bet the squeaking goes away too:

    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/

    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
    Big Ol Tortoise likes this.
  3. Dizisdalife

    Dizisdalife Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi Cotton. Welcome to the Forum. Personally, I would wait on the antibiotics. However, I would make sure that the ambient temperature stays around 85°F, or 90° as your Vet suggested. And yes, the temperature at night needs to be 85°. Also, I would soak the tortoise in warm water (85-95°F) a couple of time a day. This will help to keep it hydrated.

    And please read the care sheets Yvonne has listed. Squeaking noise is often a symptom of stress. The stress could be from the start of an Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) or any number of out-of-balance environmental factors, such as, heat, lighting,or diet.
  4. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    Hello and Welcome. Great advice given. Once you get the enclosure changed up and corrected temps with the humidity and your tort seems to be back to normal, the over all temp can be dropped to 80 day and night along with the humidity of 80% and the basking spot 95-100
  5. HI Tortoise Rescue

    HI Tortoise Rescue Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I've also had juveniles that squeaked, & they still do now that they're grown. My educated guess is gas emission from their nether ends, but I refuse to follow that any farther!

    Ken
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