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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all.
We have a female Hermans tortoise who is about 5 yrs old. She is in a 3ft long vivarium with UV light above the glass on runners at front, a 60w reflector bulb on the ceiling at one end and a heat mat on the back wall. She has wood chips on the floor although I'm soon to change this to hemp. There are 2 large circular vents on the back of the vivarium.
Recently she has developed a sound similar to heavy breathing/wheezing. The vet gave Baytrill which didn't improve it. The vet then suggested adding more vitamins and regulating the light a bit more. We try to run a system similar to ours of turning everything off at night and back on in the mornings. We added T-Rex tortoise dry formula with her meals and Reptavite twice a week.
Does anyone have any other suggestions to improve this please?
Please email with responses.
Thanks
 

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Hi all.
We have a female Hermans tortoise who is about 5 yrs old. She is in a 3ft long vivarium with UV light above the glass on runners at front, a 60w reflector bulb on the ceiling at one end and a heat mat on the back wall. She has wood chips on the floor although I'm soon to change this to hemp. There are 2 large circular vents on the back of the vivarium.
Recently she has developed a sound similar to heavy breathing/wheezing. The vet gave Baytrill which didn't improve it. The vet then suggested adding more vitamins and regulating the light a bit more. We try to run a system similar to ours of turning everything off at night and back on in the mornings. We added T-Rex tortoise dry formula with her meals and Reptavite twice a week.
Does anyone have any other suggestions to improve this please?
Please email with responses.
Thanks
Is this vet a reptile specialist? It's not for me to criticise someone who has spent 6 years at veterinary school but to attempt to treat a respiratory problem with vitamins & more regulation of light stikes me as a little strange.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Forgot to say in previous posts I have taken her to 2 vets who both said same thing. I'm going to take her to see another to get a back up opinion anyway. As before all useful advice is welcome.
 

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my snake had ri which he already had when i bought him,he had to have a 5 week course of baytril,how long was your tort on the baytril? ri can be very hard to get rid of and need a good few weeks to sort out,i also didn`t think tortoises needed heatmats but maybe i`m wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for your responses. She was on Baytrill for 2 weeks. We gave her 10ml (i think) every 2 days with a syringe.
 

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Thanks for your responses. She was on Baytrill for 2 weeks. We gave her 10ml (i think) every 2 days with a syringe.

obviously snakes and totoises are different,my snake was on 2 drops of baytril from a dropper every day for 4 weeks,this was after 1 full week of daily injections of baytril,i was advised to up his temps but give him a humid area which i did with a box and moss,he is right as rain now but was touch and go for a while.

i suggest regular warm baths to keep your tort hydrated,make sure she eats to keep her strength up and go back to the vet ,not sure where you are but if you ask on here for rep vets in your area you should find a good one.good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We are in Orpington, Kent and our Vets is Anderson Vets. We used to take her to Park Vets in Mottingham before we moved house which is where I'm going to go for another opinion.
She is bathed in warm water although this I will increase as it has been a while. We also rub oil (olive I think as my wife does it) on her shell to keep it strong. Her main diet is Romane lettuce with Reptavite on it twice a week and T-Rex on it every 2 days. She eats lots, always finishes what is put down for her and is always ready for more. Whilst I'm here can anyone recommend anywhere that sells/builds 4ft tortoise vivariums? I would like the cage design I have seen on here in photos but at the mo I have a beech wood enclosed one with glass runners.
Thanks
 

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if she is in a vivarium is there a lot of air getting in? vivs can act like slow cookers for torts unless they are well ventilated?the best diet for her is also a weed diet which you can buy seeds from this forum and grow in your garden or in planters,if you have space i would definately opt to get a tort table built rather than a viv,my hubby made mine from a book shelf which cost around £30.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks again. I'm always willing to learn more. I have seen in the pet shop, if I'm describing this right, a large tray which has sides about 4 inches high maybe and it has a large black open cage above it. The heat basking light is above the cage too. Would this be more suitable? I only thought about a vivarium as they look nice. I don't want to go for a tortoise table as we have cats and you can imagine how inquisitive they are. She is out having a run at the moment.
 

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Hello. First you need a complete review of husbandry, you need to provide details of temperatures at the hot and cool end, and at night. you need to provide more deatails regarding the UV provision (strength, distance from bottom of viv and when last changed). It may be that additional supplementation is required (esp a vitamin like Vit A) and then once you have got that sorted, your vet should provide a long enough course of antibiotics at the correct dose. Nebulisation may be required as may radiography to assess the lung fields for pneumonia. and possibly swabs for chelonian herpesvirus and mycoplasma
goodluck
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thankyou Rodneyvet. Ventilation has been suggested as a problem so she is out for a run at the mo. Husbandry is mainly Romane lettuce but other greens are added inc watercress, small qunatities of cucumber, strawberries, toms. Recently spinkled with Reptavite twice a week and T-Rex with every meal (1-2 days). I try to vary her diet but all advice is welcome. I'm unsure about seeds as never done this before. The temps are 32c although this climbs to 34 sometimes at hot end and gauge not lit up on cold end which is strange. Not sure why. Its a 3 ft vivarium by the way with 2 circular air vents on the back wall. At night UV and heat bulbs are turned off so don't know temps. The UV bulb was renewed about a yr ago, don't know strength at the mo as too hot to remove and look. Its above the glass sliding doors on the front wall which is 15in from floor of vivarium. The vet listened to her breathing near his ear and said something like neuritus although unsure of this.
 

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You need to find out the night time temps. What make is the UV. If it is a strip light its too high up and shouuld have been changed 6 months ago. a diagnosis of neuritis from looking at the tympanic scale of a reptile is something i personally would not be comfortable making
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'll check the night time temps during the night or early in the monring when I turn the light back on. Am I doing right but turning everything off at night? I was told this by the breeder I bought her from as he does this with all of his Hermans. Its a Repti Glo Exo Terra and is 8.0 and 24in long. The vivarium is 18in high. How can I lower the bulb fittings? Ideally I want to buy the tortoise table/cage design which has a large tray at the bottom with high sides then a black cage on top providing lots of ventilation. Is this good? I thought UV's needed renewing yearly but I'll change to 6 months now. Thanks
 

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As a matter of interest - what are these wood chips? Some can give off extremely noxious, irritant vapours when heated (as in a vivarium). They may be fine in other circumstances, but if you heat them up they can prove seriously problematic. Personally, I'd get them out of there and use a totally inert substrate while you get an accurate diagnosis sorted out from an experienced tortoise vet.

The oil you are using on the shell is also doing no good whatsoever. This is absolutely not advised. Over time, it oxidises and becomes like paint.

You also need a much, much better diet than one based on Romaine. I'd be amazed if two circular air vents on the back wall are providing adequate ventilation. You may find this downloadable husbandry guide of interest.

I think you need to revise your husbandry, and see a really good vet ASAP.

Andy Highfield
Tortoise Trust Web - Start Page
 

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Hi all.
We have a female Hermans tortoise who is about 5 yrs old. She is in a 3ft long vivarium with UV light above the glass on runners at front, a 60w reflector bulb on the ceiling at one end and a heat mat on the back wall. She has wood chips on the floor although I'm soon to change this to hemp. There are 2 large circular vents on the back of the vivarium.
Recently she has developed a sound similar to heavy breathing/wheezing. The vet gave Baytrill which didn't improve it. The vet then suggested adding more vitamins and regulating the light a bit more. We try to run a system similar to ours of turning everything off at night and back on in the mornings. We added T-Rex tortoise dry formula with her meals and Reptavite twice a week.
Does anyone have any other suggestions to improve this please?
Please email with responses.
Thanks


i will highlight your problems


We have a female Hermans tortoise who is about 5 yrs old. She is in a 3ft long vivarium with UV light above the glass on runners at front, a 60w reflector bulb on the ceiling at one end and a heat mat on the back wall. She has wood chips on the floor although I'm soon to change this to hemp. There are 2 large circular vents on the back of the vivarium.
We added T-Rex tortoise dry formula
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks very much Tortoise Trust. Your website was recommended to me by the pet shop the other day so I'm pleased to see you on here too. The wood chips are Chipsi Extra Terranium litter. What would you recommend for washing and putting on her shell please? Please also advise on diet and housing? Thankyou
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Andy B1 pleas elaborate. I tried clicking on the drop down menu for your tortoises but did not work. Thanks
 

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i use a playsand/top soil substrate for my hermann,with loads of shredded paper for him to burrow under inside his hide,i only lightly scrub his shell with a toothbrush when he is in the bath and never put any oils etc on his shell at all.the enclosure you are describing with a mesh top would be fine as it would keep your cats out and let air in,uv is best around 10 and around 6-8 inches above the tort also changed every 6 months.
 
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