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Sick Tortoise - No Clue What I'm Doing.

Discussion in 'Tortoises' started by dana b, Aug 3, 2008.

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  1. dana b

    dana b New Member

    I'll start by stating that the only animal I have experience with is cats. I was given a desert tortoise about a month ago. Within days I noticed that she was sneezing, nose bubbles, etc. I took her to the vet and she was put on a round a baytril injections. After that I went out of town and someone was house-sitting and feeding her. The day I came home I found her covered with flies and picked her up and found her covered with massive amounts of maggots. We cleaned them for the next 2 days until I found a vet to see her. She was hospitalized and all tests run. Now she's home and I have her in a box in my laundry room with some mesh over the top to keep out flies. Where she's at now: she's pretty much tucked in her shell, not eating, not walking, just sleeping. If I feed her she'll wake up and fall asleep again, same with going outside. her skin is smelly and raw in her neck area and they have me patting it dry and putting some cream on it. She wasn't eating, so they gave me a food mix and injection thing and I'm supposed to feed her with that, but I can't get her head out at all and wasn't able to feed her today. I don't know what to expect here, is this all part of her getting better or is she just slowly dying and miserable. Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Is this a vet that specializes in reptiles? Many vets will see an animal whether they are qualified to do so or not! What area are you located in? this animal needs to see a vet that specializes in reptiles. Perhaps one of our members from your area can point you in the right direction.

    You say you have the tort in a box in the laundry room? Are you providing any heat? If the animal is too cold it cannot get better.

    Check out this website for specific care intructions. California Turtle and Tortoise Club's Desert Tortoise Care Sheet
     
  3. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Yes, please tell us more about its set up. Do you have UVB light for it? Heat?
     
  4. dana b

    dana b New Member

    The set up -- she's in a box with a towel. Like I said, I don't know what I'm doing, so any advice on what size box, what to put in the box and what kind of heat lamp will be much appreciated.
    The vet -- I'm in Pasadena, Calif. The first vet she saw specialized in reptiles. The 2nd vet doesn't, but was referred by other vets that do, and I did see his name listed on the list of good reptile vets on the dt yahoo group, so I think I'll stick with him. He wants to see her regularly and seems genuinely concerned and knowledgeable.
     
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The size enclosure is going to be determined by how big the tortoise is now.
    Your main, absolutely essential, requirements are going to be warmth and UVB light.
    Please read the link that I gave you above. It will give you specifics on how to care for the tortoise. Required temps and such.
    It also has a link to a page for a list of vets recommended by the California Tortoise and Turtle club.
    The one in Pasadena is
    Richard Willis, DVM, Pasadena Pet Hospital
    25 Fulton St., Pasadena, CA 91107
    (626) 795-4353
     
  6. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Yes, it will NOT get better without heat and proper UVB. If you can, take it outside in the sun for an hour every day until you get a bulb. I would suggest a mercury vapor bulb that produces heat and the correct light. It NEEDS to be UVB, not just UVA or UV. Think desert, sunny and hot.

    Here is a link to a good mercury vapor bulb.
    everythingreptilesupply.com
     
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