1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

Turtle is streatching neck, gaping, and making the sound!

Discussion in 'Tortoise Health' started by omhoge, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. zovick

    zovick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    621
    Trophy Points:
    93
    I have been away for a week, hence no posts.

    All I can say is that I would make certain your tortoise is very well hydrated if you are using Amikacin. I have never used it personally. Tortoises do not do well on nephrotoxic drugs in my opinion. There was one called Gentocin years ago which killed a number of reptiles before it was learned that it crystallized in their kidneys. My feeling is that if the Fortaz didn't help your tortoise, there is very likely no drug that will cure the tortoise. Hopefully, I am wrong.

    How is it doing today?
  2. zovick

    zovick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    621
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Does your apparent cessation of posts on this thread indicate bad news? IE, the tortoise has expired?
  3. omhoge

    omhoge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    18
    What happens when you hospitalize your tortoise? I'm sure there is more they can do in a Veterinary Hospital, what do they do that you can't do at home?

    I don't know yet if we will have to do that, this illness is confounding. He seems better at times, then the symptoms return. Diet and activity are normal. We are continuing the Amikacin but I think I will have to take him in for a medical followup. I'm not sure what that will entail, I'm guessing a swab of his throat or lungs maybe.
  4. omhoge

    omhoge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Thank you zovick. I did not see your posts until after I replied (and the email notifications didn't come). Happily he's still, eating, often scampering around, then resting with labored breathing.
  5. omhoge

    omhoge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    18
    ++ the labored breathing still entails gaping, sometimes drooling adn weeping. More pronounced after eating or baths. We're giving him very wet fruit, but keeping the baths short since it triggers the honking, over all the honking is less. He does not seem to be getting worse on the Amikacen, but not all the way better, he is still very congested.
  6. omhoge

    omhoge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    18
    We are keeping strong hope while staying as informed and prepared as possible. I wish to God I had realized what was happening sooner, after 33 years to fail his care so thoroughly will be hard if things do not improve.

    Any information on Hospitalization would help to know if it's a viable choice. Any suggestions on easing his discomfort are also welcome.

    He was gaping last night and normal this morning and ate a lot. Our vet is out of town next week, I've scheduled a visit for next Thursday with the covering doctor in case things worsen.

    The priority is to continue the best care possible and treat him especially well. We have four more Amikacen injections. What happens after that remains to be determined.

    Thank you everyone for sharing your knowledge and support. This forum is real a help.
  7. omhoge

    omhoge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    18
    zovick, sorry, I should have mentioned: he did respond to the Fortaz up to a point. It definitely pulled him back from the brink after the oral meds and he'd gotten worse to the point of imobility. Since he was not fully recovered after the 6 Fortaz shots the Vet opt'd to switch to Amikacin.
  8. zovick

    zovick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    621
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Well, I hope it works out well for you and your tortoise. Good luck!
  9. omhoge

    omhoge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Thank you so much zovick, I really appreciate your help and well wishes! We're definitely keeping his fluids up and the environment humid.
    It's a real ebb and flow with his condition, he had some difficulty after eating dinner, then he became active and had a good night tonight.
    I'll probably have more questions, and will add key updates as they come along.

    I spoke with a nurse at the veterinary clinic about hospitalization, and besides a controlled environment and they do any injections, one of the main things they do is tube feed animals who have stopped eating. He's still eating tons, and if he were to stop eating I'd have to consider the quality-of-life aspect of him being fed that way. He'll probably see the vet again in the next ten days.

    we'll see what tomorrow brings...
  10. omhoge

    omhoge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    18
    "tomorrow" brought more news and the roller coaster ride continues.

    We went back to the vet.

    They did a front on X-ray.

    His lungs are completely clear, (big dark areas, clear and full of air in the picture)
    so it is not pneumonia.

    It may be some sort of upper respiratory condition.

    I was concerned his 'glands' behind the jaw were swelling, but the vet said from what she could see they were not,
    so it must have been him puffing his throat trying to breathe.

    The vet said it could be another kind of bacterial infection (the name escapes me now, I think it started with an F).
    They took an oral swab to test for that bacteria, it may take a week for the results to come back.

    The vet also mentioned a CT scan of his throat, that would not only require leaving him and having him transported to another hospital with
    that equipment, but would mean sedation and he is not a good candidate for that right now.

    The plan for now is to greatly increase his baths, to finish the Amikacin,
    then see what the latest test results show and form a new strategy based on that.

    He's still eating pretty normally, subdued but active, occasionally seemingly normal, then having the troubled breathing symptoms: gaping, drooling, honking, etc.
    Kasia likes this.
  11. omhoge

    omhoge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    18
    The Veterinarians wrote me last night. His mycoplasma test came back negative.
    I was almost hoping it would be positive so we'd have a solid diagnosis and treatment plan.

    They mentioned two possible tests next. Unfortunately the test I think would yield the most useful information,
    an endoscopy of his upper respiratory tract and bacterial culture,
    would require sedation, with his breathing difficulties I feel any anesthesia is too risky.

    The other test would be a CT Scan, but I'm not sure if they can do that without anesthesia,
    and I would rather take him to the affiliated hospital myself rather than leave him there for them to do the transport.
    I'm waiting for answers on that now.

    I guess hospitalization will come up too, but if all they can offer is forced feeding,
    then I'm not sure it's the right thing to do for him.

    After his shot last night he had a worse honking episode because it upset him more than usual.
    I held him and petted him until he calmed down and his breathing became more normal,
    he finally got drowsy and I put him in his pen.

    This morning he is better than last night, he's still looking for ways to prop his head up,
    but not honking.
    Kasia likes this.
  12. RACCOON EGGS

    RACCOON EGGS New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2017
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Any updates?
  13. omhoge

    omhoge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Thank you, RACCOON EGGS, for asking. No news yet. Not much change, but not any worse either.

    CT Scan is scheduled later in the week, I'll only let them do it if it is without sedation.
    Looks like the bacterial culture of his in his upper airways or mouth, if they can ever do it at all,
    has to wait till he's off the antibiotics a few days. His last Amikacen shot is tomorrow.

    He's still eating, the periodic difficult breathing episodes continue, he only honked a little in his bath and shortly after.
    His eyes stopped watering after the bath too.

    He walked around for a while, staying where he could see us.
    After some petting he got drowsy and he is resting quietly in his pen now for the night.
    RACCOON EGGS likes this.
  14. RACCOON EGGS

    RACCOON EGGS New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2017
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Well good news that he is not getting any worse and that more tests can be done without sedation. Keep us posted on what happens and good luck!!!
  15. Melis

    Melis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2017
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    414
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Maryland
    Follow your gut. I hospitalized my 11 year old sulcata after a bunch of ups and downs on her treatment of a bladder stone. They incubated her, soaked her multiple times a day, and continued the tube feeding through her feeding tube (which I had also been doing at home). She passed at the vets, which may have been inevitable. But the guilt that comes along with it sucks. Listen to your instincts and make sure you share them with the vet. I hope you get to the bottom of this soon.
    RACCOON EGGS likes this.
  16. omhoge

    omhoge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Thank you Melis, following your gut is the best advice. And yes, the guilt sucks, bad, I hope you're finding comfort in knowing you did the best you could and your turtle was happy while she was with you.

    Is that the feeding tube in your profile picture?
    I had a horrible image of them putting a tube down his throat and forcing food down him when they told me they did forced feeding.
  17. Melis

    Melis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2017
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    414
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Maryland
    Yes the feeding tube we had was surgically placed because she was going to be on it for awhile, but she had stopped eating. And it was a way to ensure she was receiving her medicine. I have read where they do forced feedings through their mouth, but it has to be done carefully as to avoid the turtle aspirating. Please keep us updated!
  18. RACCOON EGGS

    RACCOON EGGS New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2017
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Have the tests been run yet?
  19. omhoge

    omhoge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    18
    The CT Scan was done last week, we are still waiting for the results. Thanks for checking in, Raccoon Eggs.
  20. omhoge

    omhoge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    18
    The CT scan showed a possible abdominal mass, but nothing in the sinuses or lungs and confirms what we knew: that it's not pneumonia.
    In speaking to the vet covering for ours, the possible mass does not explain the upper respiratory difficulties.
    It took most of our remaining resources for his care, we a have visit his with his vet tomorrow and hopefully she can still find something.
Similar Threads: Turtle streatching
Forum Title Date
Tortoise Health Box turtle eye Apr 16, 2018
Tortoise Health The turtle is sick ): Mar 28, 2018
Tortoise Health Advice - Received Sick Baby Box Turtles Mar 2, 2018
Tortoise Health Hatchling box turtle with meal worm in throat Feb 14, 2018
Tortoise Health PLEASE HELP! Abused Turtles/Tortoises at Thai Restaurant? Dec 11, 2017

Share This Page