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not responding to treatment
Posted: 14/06/2010 by christine

Hello, please can your tortoise expert vet give me some advice.  I have a lovely tortoise who has been living with our family for 52 years.  I think she is a female african spur thighed.  She has been ill now for over a year with 'runny nose syndrome' but is not responding to the antibiotic treatment.  Her nose is still runny although it is not as bad as it was and she is still yawning and stretching out her neck.  Her eyes are dull with whitish marks.  She is eating but not a great deal.  She is pooing and weeing but her poo has undigested food in it, perhaps this could be due to the antibiotics but she has not had any medicine for over a week now and I noticed this problem again over the weekend.  Most worrying is her serious lack of energy, she does not have the strength to lift herself off the ground and move properly and can ony managed a few feet and then stops and falls alseep again as if it has all been too much.  When she first had the runny nose she was still moving around normally.  We kept her awake over the winter on vets' advice.  Now its like she is exhausted, or could it be an adverse reaction to the medication, or could it be something else?   My vet, who I trust, says he has tried several different antibiotics; of the kind that he can give her.  Sometimes he gives her vitamins too and I think cortisone as well; although I will need to check this with him.  I asked him if he thought it would be advisable to take a swab to test for whatever we are dealing with and he said it would be need to be taken from the lung to be sure.  He says he could take her in and put her under a lamp and on a drip but as she is eating and the other we have not tried this yet.  Please can you advise as to the best way to go from here.  I make sure she is warm; either outside in the sun or if chilly under a lamp indoors (ordinary light bulb).  I give her frequent warm baths with 'Reptoboost' in the water and I rinse this off afterwards.  I coax her to eat every day wth her favourite lettuces and flowers; she likes dandelions, buttercups and clover and very occasionally I give her tomato and apple.  My vet says that although this runny nose can be difficult to cure other tortoises respond after a few months when the weather improves.  Hope you can help as very worried now.  Thank you.

Re: not responding to treatment
Posted: 17/06/2010 by DavidWYork

Runny nose syndrome was rife around 15 years ago. All tort keepers feared it. I  treated a mature tort of an acquaintance with a herbal remedy after vet treatment failed to cure. I gave a tiny euphrasia pill every other day and symptoms were much improved after a couple of weeks. I have since lost touch with tort owner when she moved miles away, however tort was still alive and improved at least 3 yrs after treatment was begun, and kept going. A herbalist suggested the treatment which is an acknowledged way to reduce symptoms in human hay fever sufferers. I hope this helps, if not seek help from another expert tortoise vet. They often inject antibiotics and antivirals combined. Best of luck, and please keep us updated so our torts can all benefit. David in York

Re: not responding to treatment
Posted: 18/06/2010 by VivTPG

hi Christine, I am arranging to get your message sent to the specialist vet we use.

Regards Vivienne

Re: not responding to treatment
Posted: 19/06/2010 by VivTPG

Hi Chrstine, I have forwarded your message on to Kevin Eatwell.  How is your tortoise now?

Regards Vivienne

Re: not responding to treatment
Posted: 20/06/2010 by VivTPG

Hi Christine,

We have received the following reply from Kevin

"It sounds like this tortoise is deteriorating. As its on treatment by a vet it is difficult to advise but it sounds like it should be urgently admitted for some diagnostic tests such as x rays to check out the lungs and culture samples to confiirm the correct treatment is being used. This could be complimented with inhalation of drugs via nebulisation.
 
There are tests for the two most common agents available which are the herpes and mycoplasma PCR. 
 

Kevin Eatwell"


 

Re: not responding to treatment
Posted: 24/06/2010 by christine

Thank you Vivienne, thank you Kevin.

I took tortoise to vet again 2 days ago. He has kept her in, and yesterday she had an x-ray and a culture sample was taken from her lung.  The x-ray showed she has pnuemonia.  She is still with the vet who I understand is treating her with a general antibiotic and nebulisation and bathing while waiting for the results of the culture sample - hopefully tommorrow.  I will let you know the results of the test and what we decide to do.  Fingers crossed.

Christine

 

Re: not responding to treatment
Posted: 24/06/2010 by christine

Thank you David for taking an interest. 

I like the idea of treating with a herbal remedy and just wish I'd tried it last year.  However, I felt that as tortoise is so debilitated an accurate diagnosis of the problem was needed.  I have taken Kevin's advice and she has had an x-ray and a culture sample has been taken from her lung.  And she has pnuemonia.  We are waiting for the results of the sample before deciding on the best course of action.  I will keep you informed.  

Christine

 

Re: not responding to treatment
Posted: 15/07/2010 by christine

To Kevin and Vivienne


Apologies for not getting back sooner. I have to tell you the sad news that tortoise died.  I think the vet said that she was suffering from something that she was already being treated for, perhaps mycoplasma; but even after the tests and the following more intensive daily antibiotic injections she was just too weak to benefit from this.  Anyway, thank you for your help. I wish I'd found your site earlier.


Christine

Re: not responding to treatment
Posted: 15/07/2010 by christine

To David

Just to let you know that sadly tortoise died. Despite the tests and the following more intensive daily antibiotic injections she was just too weak. I would advise anyone whose tortoise has persistent runny nose to get an x-ray and culture sample done early, this way you know what you are up against and can make a more informed decision as to treatment. Anyway, thank you again.

Christine

Re: not responding to treatment
Posted: 17/07/2010 by TPGDarren

Hi Christine,

Really sorry to hear the news:-(

As you have said it is so important with RNS to receive treatment as soon as possible, before a lung infection sets in.

Thanks for sharing

Very Best Regards
Darren

Re: not responding to treatment
Posted: 18/07/2010 by VivTPG

Hi Christine, very sorry to hear your sad news, thank you for letting us know, hopefully others will benefit and get these symptoms treated quickly.

Vivienne

 

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