Vitamin A/D and Doxycycline injection

Joined
Oct 26, 2020
Messages
44
Location (City and/or State)
Huntington Beach California
Hey Guys! I’m new here to this forum.
I have a 5 year old sulcata his name his pirate. Recently I rescued a female sulcata Julia. Learned the hard way that this doesn’t work out and they are solitary animals. Separated em as soon he tried to fight her all the time. Last week Pirate got sick, I realized he doesn’t have the energy as usual. He lives outside here in Southern California, gets plenty of sun and he has a big outdoor enclosure with hiding spots, excess to fresh water all the time and I feed him a variety of grasses and dark leafy greens... 80% is grass (fescue) didn’t use any fertilizers or chemicals at all in his backyard. His house is like a natural borrow with ceramic heat lamp and it’s fully isolated, substrate is natural dirt and Timothy hay. I over him all different hiding spots so he can regulate his temperature as he Wants. His Main house were he sleeps is 80-90 Fahrenheit in the warmer spot, and the colder side is like 70-75 not any colder. Humidity is 60-70. Now it’s kinda dry here like 30-40 ish at the moment in Huntington Beach. Try to water his enclosure wants a day usually. So Pirate stopped eating last week and stopped moving around. He had good stool and urates have been tooth paste like so not clumpy. That day he stopped eating I decided to take him to the vet. Vet said he probably got sick from the other tortoise ( that’s the only thing I changed, was introducing him to Julia) the vet gave him a Vitamin a/d shot and Doxycycline as an Antibiotic... wish I would have never agreed to that... seems he is worse than before. His front left leg where he got the injection is swollen now and he doesn’t move it at all anymore. I have to figure out tomorrow which leg he injected what. Did some research and it says it does more harm than help. Super bummed I made this mistake. As soon I saw him not doing good I started soaking him everyday in warm water 10-15 mins. Have him inside the house now with ceramic heat lamp spot a basking spot, one colder area. Not sure if I should raise up his temperature. It’s a week now that he didn’t ate.
Any help is really appreciated! Thank you very much! Tommy

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Tom

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Hello and welcome. If you show us a pic of his house, we can make suggestions.

Here are some general tips:
-The temp should never drop below 80.
-CHEs are not good to use to heat larger tortoises.
-Hay mixed with dirt is not a good idea.
-An overhead CHE with a dirt floor will not be enough to keep him warm. The bigger they get, the more of a problem this is.

Here are two ways to make a well insulated night box that will help to efficiently maintain the necessary temps:

 
Joined
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Messages
44
Location (City and/or State)
Huntington Beach California
Hey Tom! Thanks for the fast reply, really appreciate it. What you think about the Injections? His front left leg is really swollen, any idea what I could do to get it down? Thank you so much, really try to save my buddy

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Tom

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CHEs should not be used over larger tortoises, and that one is way too close. It also can't warm him properly when his belly is flat against the cold ground. Inside your house on the floor is also much too cold.

Time to build a night box and get him living outside full time year round. Like this:

Or here is a double that could house both of them separately, but this way you'd only have to heat one house:

There is no way what to predict what will happen with the injections. All you can really do is wait and hope. Warm soaks should help keep him hydrated. I don't know any good vets down there. If its not better in a few days, you might need to seek other help.
 
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Your night box is exactly what I planned for the winter. I’m gonna get this started right away and start building one. As soon I saw that he is not feeling well I started soaking him everyday for 10-15 mins. He didn’t ate in a week so I’m getting worried about nutrients. I tried soak him with carrot baby food mixed with warm water. You ever tried epson salt soaks? I have the exact same heatmatt like you just installed on the top. I try to raise his temperatures maybe he starts getting more active. You every tried any wraps for swelling?! Like homeopathic stuff?
 
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That’s his little hospital bed for now. Ceramic heat bulb basking spotlight and uvb bulb, during the day I try to get him outside so he can get some natural sunlight for a couple hours.

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Tom

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What substrate are you putting in there house?! Thanks for all your help man really appreciate it
-I've never tried wraps for swelling.
-I don't think a tortoise should be soaked in Epsom salts.
-I use a thin layer of dry dirt on the bottom of my night boxes. This makes for easy cleaning.
-Your tortoise is too big for heat lamps and CHEs. Those are going to burn the top of the carapace and still not heat him effectively.
 

Markw84

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You may want to consider giving the tortoise much more humidity. To fight illness and boost the immune system ideal conditions are best. That is Temps over 80° and humidity over 80%. Being in a very dry environment is very stressful and is not helping. With that bed of hay, and heat overhead, It is probably less than 20% RH where the tortoise is.

In cooler months we have to deal with the drying conditions of the outside air being warmed for our house. Cool air holds much less water vapor than warm air. It can be 50° outside with 90% humidity according to the weather. But that same air with the same amount of moisture - when heated in your house to 75° or in the tortoise enclosure at 85° translates to 25% humidity. With the heating of the CHE and light it will be even drier. Not good for a recovering tortoise.

I would make a hospital tent and do the best I could to give the tortoise much needed humidity. Get rid of the hay and put some fir bark moistened in there. Go cut some hibiscus, rose of sharon, mulberry, or similar small branches with lots of leaves and let the tortoise burrow into that greenery.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
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Hey Mark! Yeah you are right it’s hard to keep the humidity perfect inside like this. It’s like 42% humidity on the reading. Gonna jump on this tomorrow and change substrate and try to raise humidity to 80%. Thank you appreciate your respond! Tommy
 

Tom

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What heat source do you recommend for my tortoise?! I have one of the floor heating pads as well.
I've included the links twice previously. In post number 2, and again in post number 5. Are they not coming through? Sometimes I can't get links to work right, or there is a discrepancy between people using computers and people using phones. I can try to link them again in a different way if needed...
 

belindajon

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Joined
Mar 22, 2019
Messages
18
Location (City and/or State)
Orange County, CA
Hey Guys! I’m new here to this forum.
I have a 5 year old sulcata his name his pirate. Recently I rescued a female sulcata Julia. Learned the hard way that this doesn’t work out and they are solitary animals. Separated em as soon he tried to fight her all the time. Last week Pirate got sick, I realized he doesn’t have the energy as usual. He lives outside here in Southern California, gets plenty of sun and he has a big outdoor enclosure with hiding spots, excess to fresh water all the time and I feed him a variety of grasses and dark leafy greens... 80% is grass (fescue) didn’t use any fertilizers or chemicals at all in his backyard. His house is like a natural borrow with ceramic heat lamp and it’s fully isolated, substrate is natural dirt and Timothy hay. I over him all different hiding spots so he can regulate his temperature as he Wants. His Main house were he sleeps is 80-90 Fahrenheit in the warmer spot, and the colder side is like 70-75 not any colder. Humidity is 60-70. Now it’s kinda dry here like 30-40 ish at the moment in Huntington Beach. Try to water his enclosure wants a day usually. So Pirate stopped eating last week and stopped moving around. He had good stool and urates have been tooth paste like so not clumpy. That day he stopped eating I decided to take him to the vet. Vet said he probably got sick from the other tortoise ( that’s the only thing I changed, was introducing him to Julia) the vet gave him a Vitamin a/d shot and Doxycycline as an Antibiotic... wish I would have never agreed to that... seems he is worse than before. His front left leg where he got the injection is swollen now and he doesn’t move it at all anymore. I have to figure out tomorrow which leg he injected what. Did some research and it says it does more harm than help. Super bummed I made this mistake. As soon I saw him not doing good I started soaking him everyday in warm water 10-15 mins. Have him inside the house now with ceramic heat lamp spot a basking spot, one colder area. Not sure if I should raise up his temperature. It’s a week now that he didn’t ate.
Any help is really appreciated! Thank you very much! Tommy

View attachment 310046
Hi Tommy,

I’m in HB as well. I am curious what vet you visited as my guy is going to see a vet tomorrow. Also, if you need mulberry leaves or branches there are 4 trees in front of Brethren Christian (old Gisler school) that is scheduled to be demolished soon so no one cares if you take leaves and/or branches.

I use the Reptile Basics Thermal Heater and have been very pleased with it. I do have a Kane mat but I’m still trying to work the kinks out of that. For reference my guy is a 5 year old Sulcata, 20+ lbs living outdoors in an insulated dog house. Good luck to your buddy.

Belinda
 

Chefdenoel10

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Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
1,180
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
Hey Guys! I’m new here to this forum.
I have a 5 year old sulcata his name his pirate. Recently I rescued a female sulcata Julia. Learned the hard way that this doesn’t work out and they are solitary animals. Separated em as soon he tried to fight her all the time. Last week Pirate got sick, I realized he doesn’t have the energy as usual. He lives outside here in Southern California, gets plenty of sun and he has a big outdoor enclosure with hiding spots, excess to fresh water all the time and I feed him a variety of grasses and dark leafy greens... 80% is grass (fescue) didn’t use any fertilizers or chemicals at all in his backyard. His house is like a natural borrow with ceramic heat lamp and it’s fully isolated, substrate is natural dirt and Timothy hay. I over him all different hiding spots so he can regulate his temperature as he Wants. His Main house were he sleeps is 80-90 Fahrenheit in the warmer spot, and the colder side is like 70-75 not any colder. Humidity is 60-70. Now it’s kinda dry here like 30-40 ish at the moment in Huntington Beach. Try to water his enclosure wants a day usually. So Pirate stopped eating last week and stopped moving around. He had good stool and urates have been tooth paste like so not clumpy. That day he stopped eating I decided to take him to the vet. Vet said he probably got sick from the other tortoise ( that’s the only thing I changed, was introducing him to Julia) the vet gave him a Vitamin a/d shot and Doxycycline as an Antibiotic... wish I would have never agreed to that... seems he is worse than before. His front left leg where he got the injection is swollen now and he doesn’t move it at all anymore. I have to figure out tomorrow which leg he injected what. Did some research and it says it does more harm than help. Super bummed I made this mistake. As soon I saw him not doing good I started soaking him everyday in warm water 10-15 mins. Have him inside the house now with ceramic heat lamp spot a basking spot, one colder area. Not sure if I should raise up his temperature. It’s a week now that he didn’t ate.
Any help is really appreciated! Thank you very much! Tommy

View attachment 310046
Hi Tommy,
Welcome to the forum!! So glad you’re here where people can help.
I just wanted you to know I did this exact same thing.
I too have a large (though female) sulcata and I got her a vitamin A shot....
But in her BACK LEG!!!!
DO NOT EVER DO THAT!!!
She has since recovered but there remains a small lump (which used to be much bigger) in her back leg to this day...
I don’t know why they do it???
Veterinarians should just come out and say they don’t know about giving shots to torts.
They do it all wrong... if it should even be done at all!!!
I am sorry for what you are going through..
I started mine back out with mixing Mazuri into her food..(soak in water first) ..

1-Keep soaking him...
2- offer food all times of day eventually he will be hungry and eat..
It sucks but that’s pretty much all you can do for now...
3– ADD UNFLAVORED PEDIALITE TO HIS SOAKS!!!! (I just remembered). That gives him electrolights atleast....
4-keep him warm that stimulates hunger..
If I can think of anything else I will get back to you...
But now I’m going to text the big boys to tell you their professional opinion.
OK ....
good luck my friend !!!
I will send you hugs and prayers!!
eventually he’ll be fine. 🙏🤗

@Tom
@Yvonne G
@maggie3fan
 

Chefdenoel10

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
1,180
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
Hi Tommy,

I’m in HB as well. I am curious what vet you visited as my guy is going to see a vet tomorrow. Also, if you need mulberry leaves or branches there are 4 trees in front of Brethren Christian (old Gisler school) that is scheduled to be demolished soon so no one cares if you take leaves and/or branches.

I use the Reptile Basics Thermal Heater and have been very pleased with it. I do have a Kane mat but I’m still trying to work the kinks out of that. For reference my guy is a 5 year old Sulcata, 20+ lbs living outdoors in an insulated dog house. Good luck to your buddy.

Belinda
just had to say this to you before tomorrow..
DO NOT GET SHOTS OF ANY KIND!!!!
Try to suggest to the vet other things...
Good luck to you !
I will send prayers 🍀🙏❤
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2020
Messages
44
Location (City and/or State)
Huntington Beach California
Hi Tommy,

I’m in HB as well. I am curious what vet you visited as my guy is going to see a vet tomorrow. Also, if you need mulberry leaves or branches there are 4 trees in front of Brethren Christian (old Gisler school) that is scheduled to be demolished soon so no one cares if you take leaves and/or branches.

I use the Reptile Basics Thermal Heater and have been very pleased with it. I do have a Kane mat but I’m still trying to work the kinks out of that. For reference my guy is a 5 year old Sulcata, 20+ lbs living outdoors in an insulated dog house. Good luck to your buddy.

Belinda
Hey Belinda!
That’s awesome, I’m gonna head over there and get some for Pirate, he is 30 pounds and usually lives outside too, now I have him inside because he is sick. I try to increase the heat today I think it’s too cold for him with the heat lamps I got. Thanks for your tips.
 
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