Worrisome breathing

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Worrisome breathing

Postby tortugie » Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:32 pm

I have a 16 yr old sulcata tortoise. He is very active, eating/pooping/peeing normally. However, the past yer I have been worried about his breathing. The first vet I took him to last summer did X-rays and said he looked fine and didn't notice anything usual and states that his breathing seemed fine to him. I thought maybe I was just being a worrier and kept an eye on him. During the winter months he lived in our basement-with heat sources, etc, but still probably kept at less than ideal conditions but for being indoors he did ok. I noticed this spring his breathing was getting worse. He would occasionally pull his legs in and take a deep breath, he whistles when he is sleeping, he often gasps for air...but then he will run around and be fine. I took him to another vet...he said he noticed his breathing was off but wasn't too concerned. He sent us home on antibiotic drops for his nose and eyes to clear anything out...within a few days his breathing was really worrying me. He continued to act fine BUT his breathing was much more labored...again it isn't all the time. When he is running around, eating he is fine. But when he settles down or soaks or wakes up he really makes a lot of noise. When he is resting he is noisiest. I took him back and the vet did X-rays. Lungs and everything looked clear. He noticed some swelling on the one side of his nasal passage. He sent us home on a months worth of ceftazidime 100mg-every 72 hrs for 10 doses. He has one dose left and clearly isn't any better. I don't think he is any worse. I am going to take him to the University of Pennsylvannia to hopefully get further scans. Has anyone had any experience with a nasal polyp or something of the sort with these guys? Any thoughts?
Thanks,
Sal's worries Mama, Lorrie
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Re: Worrisome breathing

Postby Tortoise Trust » Sat Jul 04, 2015 7:55 am

Ideally, a video woulds be very helpful. Also a photo or two of the tortoise.

Whistling when sleeping is very common, by the way, and does not indicate a health problem.

So is pulling the legs in... they do not have a diaphragm, so the muscles of the 'shoulders' are used in respiration. Again, normal.

'Gasping' however, is not normal (if frequent).

Swelling on the side of the nasal passage is most frequently associated with nasal abscesses in tortoises. See:

http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/abcess.html
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Re: Worrisome breathing

Postby tortugie » Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:20 pm

I am trying to upload videos...will get them up soon-I hope. My computer is giving me grief.
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Re: Worrisome breathing

Postby tortugie » Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:57 pm

What is the best way to post video? Would YouTube be easiest??
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Re: Worrisome breathing

Postby Tortoise Trust » Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:24 pm

A Youtube link is fine.
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Re: Worrisome breathing

Postby tortugie » Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:36 pm

Hope these videos work!
First video is from earlier this summer when I first took him to the vet. Second video is from today. He continues to eat/drink/poo/pee normally. Other than his heavy breathing, he seems to be doing ok to me. (The white on by his eye/mouth is from his calcium he was munching on this morning!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kL5kPV1VXow
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKyPFPuONPU
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Re: Worrisome breathing

Postby AliTBimbo » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:00 pm

Just wanted to comment, what a gorgeous looking tort! Carapace looks brilliant, I've seen many sulcatas but non as healthy looking shell wise.
Regards,

Ali

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0:0:1 TGI Spur Thigh Baby Barnaby

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http://www.fredandbarnaby.co.uk
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Re: Worrisome breathing

Postby AliTBimbo » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:00 pm

Just wanted to comment, what a gorgeous looking tort! Carapace looks brilliant, I've seen many sulcatas but non as healthy looking shell wise in captivity

Definitely a yawn in first video at 42sec. . Normal. . .
Regards,

Ali

1:0:0 TGG Spur Thigh Fred
0:0:1 TGI Spur Thigh Baby Barnaby

http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/jillmartinfund
http://www.fredandbarnaby.co.uk
Twitter @AliTBimbo
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Re: Worrisome breathing

Postby Tortoise Trust » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:41 am

Yes. Sorry for delay in response.

I see no evidence of any problem here. All looks fine to me.

They do have "heavy" breathing... that is normal in these large species. If you get the chance, listen closely to a Aldabra or Galapagos tortoise breath. Very similar.

A 'bump' in the nasal area is (9 times out of 10) a nasal abscess. However, I can't see any sign of that here. Some clear sill photos may reveal something, but this tends to cause more of a "snuffle" than heavy breathing as such. As these tortoises grow, this type of breathing tends to manifest more and become more obvious... I think that is what you are seeing.
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