Unhealthy 6 month old Leopard tortoise

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playingeet

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Hi everybody, I am new to the site and I am desperate for help. My new leopard tortoise baby is doing poorly and getting worse very fast, I got her online and she didn't look very healthy but she was pretty active so i was optimistic. Her plastron is becoming very soft and dark, It has never been hard but now it is getting worse, and she doesnt like to open her eyes... her diet is alot of dandelion greens and orchard hay, grass, i will sometimes mix in mustard greens(various greens), cactus and maybe a little bit of vegetables, and I do use a very small amount of calcium, but she hasn't eaten much the last two days.

Now that she is inside in the tort table for winter I have heat from 90 degrees on one end to 75 on the other. Maybe a bit warmer in the basking area. Soaking dish and a 10.0 uvb florescent. I know i am doing something wrong, but i dont know what, i took her to the vet for her eyes not wanting to open a while ago and he didnt seem to think it was much of a concern. My other tortoises are doing great indoors with all there tables set up the same but they are not tiny babies. I would appreciate any help and be as mean as you want. Thanks
 

Yvonne G

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Hi playingeet:

Welcome to the forum!! May we know your name and where you're from?

I think its time to get a new vet. Any tortoise that won't open its eyes when being handled is obviously sick and if your vet couldn't recognize that, they don't know much about tortoises.

Maybe your UVB bulb isn't putting out the right amount of UV?? Not sure if you know it, so I'll say it: In order for the calcium to work, the tortoise has to have UVB either from the sun or from a good UVB light. And your baby's soft shell tells me that he needs calcium and UVB.

I'm not sure if he's going to make it, but if you really get with the program and work hard, you might be able to turn him around. Get some liquid calcium from your vet.

You told us what you feed the baby, but does he actually eat it? If not, then he might be able to get some nutrients from soaking in either bird vitamin water or Gerber baby food water. The bird vitamins are water soluble liquid vitamins and you just shake a few drops into a bowl of warm water and let the tortoise soak for 15 or 20 minutes. The baby food would be any of the red Gerber baby foods, carrots, sweet potatoes or squash mixed with warm water and allow the baby to soak in it for 15 or 20 minutes.

Get liquid calcium and put some in his mouth with an eye dropper. But be sure to pair it up with the sun or a good UVB light source.

Good luck with your baby. Please keep us updated.
 

Becki

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Are you using a coil bulb?
Sorry to welcome you to the forum under these circumstances. You'll find lots of help here.
 

playingeet

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The bulb is a 18" florescent and the fixture is new and the bulb i am going to replace today but it isn't even 6 months old yet, I have only had her 6 months. :( And yes she used to eat very well until the past few days, and yesterday she just plain didnt want to eat. I am off to the store right now for the baby food and vitamins and a new bulb but I am fearful. Thanks and I will update as things progress

Oh, and my name is Jeff and I live in Idaho
 

Edna

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Welcome to the forum! While I was reading your post, my own two baby leopards were basking. I took a temp reading and their basking spot is 109-111 degrees, depending on which exact spot I hit. They don't spend a lot of time there, but do bask at predicatable times during the day. I know that your little guy is having other problems with the soft shell and all, but I think his basking temp may also be too low, if it's just a little above 90. I'm using a 100 watt MVB that supplies heat and uvb for my guys.
 

coreyc

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playingeet said:
The bulb is a 18" florescent and the fixture is new and the bulb i am going to replace today but it isn't even 6 months old yet, I have only had her 6 months. :( And yes she used to eat very well until the past few days, and yesterday she just plain didnt want to eat. I am off to the store right now for the baby food and vitamins and a new bulb but I am fearful. Thanks and I will update as things progress

Oh, and my name is Jeff and I live in Idaho



Welcome to the forum sorry to hear about your tort :( e the florescent tubs do not put out enough uvb /uva for a leo can you get an MVB like a Powersun or Megaray ? can you post some pic's ?
 

onarock

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Welcome to the forum and you should take yvonne's (emysemys) advice. I did the same regiment for 7 really sick sulcatas and was able to save 5 using the method that she explained. Get a new vet, get some liquid calcium, stay on it, and you might be able to save him.
 

playingeet

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I was curious of the mvb bulbs, and I can get ahold of one but that also makes me wonder about all the other florescent uvb bulbs for the rest of my tortoises...(two Redfoots and a Greek). At least this is my vacation week so I have time to spend with the leopard, oh and she did open an eye after being soaked, would not eat but slowly walked over to her corner and went to sleep :(

This liquid calcium is something special that only a vet can get me?
 

Yvonne G

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I have often wondered about that too. In my experience, it seems that some tortoises are just more in need of the UVB than others. They all require UVB to make Vitamin d3 in order for the body to utilize the calcium, but some need more or better UVB than others. Plus, maybe the calcium you're giving your tortoises and lizards already contains the vitamin d, huh? But really, nothing beats good old sunshine. If at all possible, on sunny days, find a sheltered, sunny spot and let the little guy soak up the real rays.
 

franeich

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Do you have any sunshine where you are at. Maybe a couple hours of real sunshine a day.

Looks like Yvonne beat me to it.
 

Neal

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It sounds like it may be pretty tough to bring this guy back to 100%, but possible like in Onarock's situation. Do what Yvonne says, after that find a new vet and get him there ASAP. We have a good vet listing here on the site. Are you able to bring his temperatures up to 85 as a minimum?
 

playingeet

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The vet was one that is listed here and I have had great success with him before, but i will try another, In the summer i have an outdoor "pen" for them but too cold now, I tried to have her out yesterday with some sun in a very shallow tote style container, but keeping her warm and being able to get sun on her at the same time wasnt workin well, today is very rainy, I am going to try an MVB on days i cannot get sunshine on her...

And temps are up now in her tort table
 

Yvonne G

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I think you can also buy it at the pharmacy. And I think its fairly expensive. But you have to buy the whole bottle at the pharmacy, and your vet can package it up in smaller quantities and sell it for less.
 

playingeet

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ok well i have the baby food, liquid calcium, mvb bulb, bird vitamins and now trying to get calcium in the tiny mouth without hurting it(a mouth on a 2 inch tortoise is tiny!), poor thing, i really appreciate all the fast advice! so much conflicting information on the internet it sure makes for a difficult task knowing what is right and wrong.
 

onarock

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I had the same problem with some adopted sullies. I just mixed the liquid calcium in with their soaking water.
 
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Maggie Cummings

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If you can't get the calcium in her mouth soften some squash and drop the liquid calcium on the squash. Most tortoises cannot refuse squash. Or put the calcium on whatever is her favorite treat that you know she will eat...the point is to get it in her. You can grab her by the neck and pry her mouth open with an orange stick (carefully now!!!) then drop the calcium in this sometimes takes 2 people...

Put her in a small container, then pour the whole jar of baby food in and mix it with warm water up to her bridge. Put a strong light over the water to keep her warm and let her soak for about 30 minutes...she will either drink or the nutrients will soak in thru her cloaca or the soft skin at the underside of her neck...
 

Kristina

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I think you need some D3 supplementation, and fast. The calcium is very important, but it won't do any good if she can't absorb it.

Can you get a powdered reptile vitamin with D3 and put some on her food and in her soaking water also? I normally don't supplement D3 this way, but the diet you have been offering sounds pretty good, so I would guess that the calcium is not being absorbed. A good MVB buld will fix it, but may take to long to save her life. I would offer the powered supplement at least for the next couple of weeks.
 
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