URI treatment

Should Mercury go back for another round of Fortaz?

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  • It's really not necessary...

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mercurysmom

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My 3-year-old sulcata, Mercury, had bubbles on his nose, so I took him to the vet 3 days ago, knowing it could be a URI.

They looked him over and said it "indeed looked like a URI". They gave him a injection of Fortaz, and deworming. They also took some of his poop. ;) yummy :D I was told that I needed to come back up to 3 times, every four-five days for another injection of Fortaz.

I got a call the next morning saying that his fecal exam showed pinworms, so he'd need to come back in two weeks for a repeat of deworming.

My vet mentioned that if Mercury's symptoms went away, that I might not need to come back for the shots, so I am here asking for opinions on whether I should bring him back. His nose is completely cleared today... but is it too soon to tell? the shot is a whopping $50 and its a thirty minute drive. I wouldn't let that stop me though if it was really necessary. What do you think?

I am planning on returning for the deworming and another fecal sample in two weeks for sure... but are the Fortaz shot(s) necessary? I've never had to treat a URI before, so any information is welcome!!!
 

ascott

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Well, this is a tricky question to get a solid answer....I myself would first (if the tort is eating, basking, exercising and acting normal overall) isolate the tort in a controlled environment so that I can keep the temps no less that 80-85 at all times with a hot spot for them to access as well---for a week or two and see what the bubbles do...if they clear then I would be aok with that and likely something added stress to the tort which sparked the bubble(s)....

Now, the prob I have with vet visits=uri treatment is that most vets (not all by any means, but more than not) simply do a visual an automatically diagnose without any testing to confirm their suspicion...so they then give antibiotic injections and such without ever really an actual test/diagnosis...so is the antibiotic actually clearing up uri symptoms or is the antibiotic masking other issues that will eventually pop up / fester later on?

So, perhaps you should wait around a bit to see what the others have to offer....:D
 

Yvonne G

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There are other things that cause bubbles from a tortoise's nose besides respiratory infection. If a smear isn't tested, then its just a guess as to what is wrong.

Here's what I do:

Bubbles - ignore it
consistently blowing bubbles more than a couple days - soak tortoise in Terramycin Antibiotic water
Bubbles turn to colored, thick mucous and tortoise stops eating - get Baytril from vet and inject tortoise for 5 days.

Stress, lots of liquid in the mouth cause bubbles out the nose. Its usually nothing to worry about.
 

mercurysmom

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Hmmmm. Thanks sooo much for your replies. Mercury had bubbles off and on for about two weeks, but I ended up taking him when they became consistent. At this time, they are gone. So I guess it's safe to assume that nothing bad will happen if I don't continue the Fortaz shots? Do you know where I can get the antibiotic soak?
 

EricIvins

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You can deworm that animal 50 times and it will still come back positive for Pinworms........They are the most common internal parasite in Reptiles and will NEVER go away.......Just learn to live with them......I have yet to see a Reptile die from a Pinworm infection - You have a myriad of other Parasites to worry about before Pinworms.......

As for Anti-Biotics, unless a culture was done the treatment may very well be a shot in the dark and a complete waste of money.......That culture will tell you everything you need to know as far as whether the animal needed to be treated to begin with, and what Anti-Biotics will take care of what you are trying to treat.......If your Vet did not suggest one, find a new Vet.......
 

mercurysmom

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Wow I'm really losing faith in my vet now.. I try to do my research and stay on top of everything, I want to be educated and I want to offer the best treatment to my animals. I really thought this was the best vet around. They never offered to do a culture. The tech did mention that pinworms would always be present but that "they could be causing his URI" so I assumed that he just had too much. I'm just going to soak him in the antibiotic stuff, and try the pumpkin trick. This information, plus the fact that I just lost a hatchling 48 hours after my visit, is kind of depressing. I won't blame the vet, but I wont go back either.
 

Tom

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I find that most people want to treat symptoms and don't give enough thought to the CAUSE. Sulcatas are very hardy and they don't just spontaneously get sick for no reason. Something is off in your husbandry. Most often it's letting them get too cool at night. Any dampness makes this worse. Sound familiar?

In most of the cases that I have seen, the symptoms will correct themselves, IF the cause is discovered and eliminated. All those harsh drugs and vitamin injections recommended by vets often result in the death of the tortoise. Treating symptoms without addressing the cause is an exercise in futility.

I wish your tortoise a speedy recovery. Did the vet tell you to warm him up about 10-15 degrees during treatment? Often the temperature bump by itself will clear up symptoms...
 

mercurysmom

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I had mentioned to her that id been trying to keep him warmer than usual, and she said "good for you!" and then told me how his shell felt "pretty good temperature-wise", that she could tell he was kept very warm.

But I leave mercury outside during the day, when it's warmer than 70 degrees. I asked her if 70 was too cold and she said that it was more than warm enough, and that as long as he had access to warmth within 12 hours, he'd be fine. Is that true? She basically said that my tortoise could be out in 50 degree weather, as long as he was brought in within 12 hours to warm up. Of course I believed her: she's the trained professional, not me. But now im not so sure...maybe the cause of his bubbles is from being outside in 70 degree weather, which is often damp? ( but I thought humidity was good).
 

Tom

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The temperature of his shell after a half hour drive to the vet and a wait in the waiting room has nothing to do with anything. You can't tell if a tortoise is normally kept "very warm" from looking at its shell.

Do you have a temp gun? If not, you need one. In theory, on a 70 degree sunny day, on dry ground, with little or no wind, they can warm up just fine. BUT, near the beach with the wind and clammyness, on damp ground with lots of shade, it might be too cool. If you lived in the desert, I'd say 70 isis probably okay if it's sunny and not windy. Near the coast is a different story. Because you are seeing RI problems, I am guessing that your temps are too cool. Adult sulcatas can survive lower temps, like in the 50s. Babies, as you are seeing, not so much. Note that I said adults can SURVIVE it, not that it's good for them. Sunshine is great for them, but they need to be warm. Humidity is good. Humidity with temps much lower than 80 can cause respiratory problems. Sounds like you are getting mixed info from different sources. Yes, 70 is fine. Yes, humidity is good for babies. Humidity with a temp of 70, or lower with a cool ocean breeze, is not so good. Not good at all.
 

Laura

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if you dont get more treatment at this point, it might come back.. and it can become resistant.. its tricky..
as for the worming... if you can get both done the same day.. I might go for that.. once. just so the parasites don't overwhelm a sick animal and make it worse..
its tricky regardless....
 

mercurysmom

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I usually will put him outside at about 8am before I leave for work. (otherwise he'd be stuck inside all day...) His enclosure is pretty shady in the morning until the sun can get past the house, and the morning dew is still out there. But after about an hour or so it warms up, dries out and he gets sun. On the days that I don't have work, he's still up at 8 and walking around and foraging for food in his indoor enclosure... so I'll take him out. So could the problem be the few hours a day that he is subjected to the cool morning air? Is it worth it to have him stay inside all day some days since I leave too early?

I think it's time for me to figure out some sort of heated box thing for him to stay in outside. He's so small tho (about 6 inches long), I didn't think we'd be needing one for a while. Ahhh!

-moving to enclosure section...- lol.
 

Tom

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Yes that could do it. A heated box in the putdoor enclosure should solve that dilemma. I would leave him indoors in his warm enclosure until you get the RI problem solved.

Have you ever taken a temp reading of the ground at 8 am in his enclosure?
 
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