Treating Respiratory Infections In Tortoises
Respiratory infections in tortoises can lead to difficulty breathing, discharge of the nose and mouth, and loss of appetite. In mild cases, your tortoise will recover on its own. In severe cases, youll need the intervention of a vet and antibiotics. This will all depend on how long your tortoise has been sick and how strong its immune system is.
Respiratory infections in tortoises are treated with antibiotics, such as enrofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, oxytetracycline, and ampicillin. They can be administered orally through injections or with nasal drops. The vet will examine the tortoise, run culture tests on discharge, and determine the cause of the infection.
If your tortoise has a mild cold, then it can be treated by you at home. Home remedies include warming up the temperature of your tortoises enclosure. You should soak it in warm water for a couple of minutes each day. Provide it with leafy greens, citrus fruits, and calcium supplements. If you catch it early enough, your tortoise should recover within a few days.
- Whistling sounds while breathing
- Drainage or bubbles coming from the mouth, nostrils, and eyes
If you notice these signs, then your tortoise will need medical attention. Some respiratory illnesses can be treated at home with the use of DIY remedies. Others, especially with more severe symptoms, need to be taken to a vet.
What Causes Mouth Rot In Ball Pythons
Typically, mouth rot develops when stress weakens a reptiles immune system and allows bacteria in the mouth to grow unchecked. This condition can cause your reptile to have reddened oral tissues, a loss of appetite, pus or dead tissue in the mouth, and drainage from the nose and mouth.
How Is A Tortoise Respiratory Infection Diagnosed
Clinical signs often point towards a diagnosis, but discovering a precise cause requires laboratory work.
A wide range of different bacteria have been isolated and identified as potential causes of upper respiratory disease in tortoises.
Distinguishing between them may be significant in terms of giving the best treatment, and so swabs may be taken for this purpose.
If the underlying cause is viral in origin, this can be determined by a laboratory PCR test. But just to complicate the position, more than one class of infectious microbe may be involved, with viral, bacterial and fungal components.
Where a reptile herpes virus is involved the symptoms may extend beyond the respiratory tract, tending to affect the mouth as well. These offer diagnosis clues for your vet.
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Inclusion Body Disease Of Boid Snakes
Boa constrictors and several species of pythons are most commonly affected by inclusion body disease, which is caused by a retrovirus or arenavirus. Boas are considered to be the typical host for this virus because many are infected, and they can harbor the virus for years without signs. Inclusion body disease should be considered in every sick boa. The disease is named for the characteristic inclusion bodies, which are microscopic clumps of protein or other material that form within cells in infected animals. Signs of inclusion body disease can be related to any factor affecting the immune system and include loss of appetite or weight, secondary bacterial infections, poor wound healing, and regurgitation. As the disease progresses, some boas exhibit neurologic signs such as facial tics, abnormal tongue flicking, stargazing Brain, Spinal Cord, and Nerve Disorders Adequate housing, a good diet, and routine parasite control will help to minimize disease in pet reptiles, as with other animals. Septicemia, caused by bacteria in the blood, is a common cause… read more , twisting of the body, and seizures.
Pythons are thought to be abnormal hosts of the virus because their course of disease is more severe and neurologic signs are more extreme. Although the active disease can linger for months or more in boas, most pythons die within days or weeks of the onset of signs.
Raise Cage Temperatures Slightly
Your bearded dragon has, at this point, some extra moisture in their lungs that would benefit from being burnt off.
As such, you can raise cage temps by 3-5 degrees to help with this.
Obviously, if your temperatures were WAY off to begin with, youll need to raise them more than this.
Normal cage temps should be for adults should be between 95 and 100 on the hot side of the tank and 85 on the cool side.
For babies, aim for the hot side being between 105 and 110.
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How Are Diseases In Bearded Dragons Treated
Metabolic bone disease usually requires immediate oral calcium supplementation, rehydration with fluids, nutritional support, treatment with injectable vitamin D3, and injections of calcitonin . In addition, the diet has to be corrected, and full spectrum lighting , must be provided.
Infectious stomatitis , usually requires injectable antibiotics, as well as rinsing the mouth with antiseptic solutions. Dragons too painful to eat may also require supplemental feeding.
For parasitic infections of the gastrointestinal tract, several deworming medications are available, formulated as either oral or injectable drugs. The type of parasite identified on microscopic examination of the feces dictates which drug is needed. Mites and ticks can be treated either topically or with oral or injectable anti-parasitic medications, as advised by your veterinarian. Environmental cleaning, disinfection, and treatment, is essential, as well, so that parasites do not re-infect the dragon after treatment.
“Be sure to have any health issues your bearded dragon exhibits checked immediately by your veterinarian to avoid serious illness.”
Any of these diseases can be severe enough to cause a loss of appetite and severe lethargy. If your lizard is really debilitated, it may need hospitalization and intensive care, including medications, fluid therapy, and force-feeding. Be sure to have any health issues your bearded dragon exhibits checked immediately by your veterinarian to avoid serious illness.
Treat Them For A Week With A Fogger
For those unaware, a fogger will transform liquids into vapor that can be inhaled directly into the lungs.
In the case of a bearded dragon URI, a good fogger like this will allow you to treat the lungs directly and efficiently.
And while a fogger is not an alternative to seeking medical attention, it can help buy you time and cure bearded dragons who have very weak URIs that are not fully developed.
However, I still recommend you get your bearded dragon to the vet ASAP, especially in more severe cases.
The secret here lies in the high sterilizing properties of F10sc Veterniary Disinfectant, which in higher doses can kill bacteria, such as that with a URI.
F10sc is also fabulous to have on hand for cleaning the tank, treating Yellow Fungus, and essentially sterilizing anything.
With that being said, heres how youll want to use the fogger/nebulizer to help combat a URI
Make a solution of 1:250 F10sc Veterinary Disinfectant to water .
I recommend, as does the video above, using 3-4ml of F10sc, which will require 750-1000ml of water.
Youll also need a large tub to place your reptile in during the fogging, one which you can easily drill a hole for the fogger hose to fit through
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Eye Abscesses And Conjunctivitis
Snakes can develop abscesses below the spectacle , the clear protective covering over the eye. Other reptiles can develop conjunctivitis, inflammation of the membranes around the eye. The severity of conjunctivitis ranges from mild to severe . It may result from the spread of infectious stomatitis Infectious Stomatitis Adequate housing, a good diet, and routine parasite control will help to minimize disease in pet reptiles, as with other animals. Septicemia, caused by bacteria in the blood, is a common cause… read more from the mouth. Conjunctivitis in turtles and lizards without spectacles can be treated with topical eye ointment. Snakes and lizards with spectacles need surgery to drain the abscess and flush the eye with an antibiotic solution. Some affected reptiles, especially turtles, may need supplemental vitamin A.
How Do You Treat A Respiratory Infection In A Tortoise
Most tortoise respiratory infections are treated by an exotic reptile veterinarian. Thats because these conditions often develop into more severe illnesses if left untreated. Likewise, they can escalate at a rapid pace.
Tortoises are skilled at hiding when theyre ill. Once you realize your tortoise is sick, its illness may have progressed too far. That will require the intervention of antibiotics and other treatments only a vet can provide. Once you arrive, the vet will perform these stages of treatment:
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Heart And Blood Vessel Disorders
, caused by bacteria in the blood, is a common cause of death in reptiles. The disease affects the whole body and may result from trauma, an abscess Abscesses Adequate housing, a good diet, and routine parasite control will help to minimize disease in pet reptiles, as with other animals. Septicemia, caused by bacteria in the blood, is a common cause… read more , an infestation of parasites, or environmental stress. Death may be sudden or occur after longterm signs of illness. Common signs are trouble breathing, lack of energy, convulsions, and loss of muscle control. Reptiles with septicemia may develop small, purplish red spots on the belly skin chelonians may have reddened plastrons. Keeping a reptiles environment clean and well maintained can reduce the risk of septicemia. Affected reptiles should be isolated and treated with antibiotics.
How Are Snake Diseases Treated
Infectious stomatitis usually requires treatment with injectable antibiotics and rinsing the mouth with antibiotic solutions.
For parasitic infections, deworming medications are administered to the snake either orally or through injection. The type of parasite identified determines which drug is needed. Some parasite problems, such as cryptosporidiosis, may be difficult, if not impossible, to treat.
Dermatitis can be managed with proper environment and hygiene. Oral and injectable antibiotics, as well as topical therapy, are needed if this disease is advanced.
Snakes with inclusion body disease are typically euthanized, as there is no cure. Strict quarantine of new animals is a must, and boas and pythons should be housed separately so as not to allow seemingly normal boas that may be carrying this potentially fatal infection to spread it to more susceptible pythons.
Respiratory infections in snakes are most often caused by bacteria but also may be due to other organisms, including parasites, fungi, and viruses. Occasionally, environmental irritants can cause nasal discharge in snakes as well. Your veterinarian may recommend X-rays, blood tests, and cultures of nasal or oral discharge to determine the cause of infection. Treatment of respiratory disease involves oral or injectable antibiotics and occasionally nose or eye drops. Severely ill snakes require intensive care, including fluid therapy and force feeding in the hospital.
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Maintain Humidity Levels And Temperatures
Bearded dragons are desert dwellers, which means they survive inan arid climate.
To help reduce the risk of your bearded dragon developing a respiratory infection, make sure the humidity levels are within the ideal range of between 30% and 40%, but never go any higher.
You can test the humidity levels of your beardys home with a hygrometer.
Along with humidity levels, temperature levels are significant for the health of your beardy.
These reptiles require a tank large enough to have a cool sideand a hot side.
The hot side of your tank should fall in a temperature range between 95° degrees Fahrenheit and 105° degrees Fahrenheit for adults, and the cool side should be about 85° degrees Fahrenheit .
For baby dragons, the hottest section of the enclosure should fall between 105° degrees Fahrenheit and 110° degrees Fahrenheit .
Ensure Humidity Levels Never Exceed 40%
As arid desert dwellers, bearded dragons are used to a dry climate and too much moisture in the air can prove dangerous for their inept lungs.
Humidity levels are something you should ALWAYS be aware of in your pets vivarium.
Ideal humidity will fall between 30% and 40%, but NEVER any higher.
This level will best emulate that of their natural climate in Australia.
Verify that the humidity in your dragons setup is healthy by investing in a reliable hygrometer.
Ive always preferred slightly more expensive models because I find them to just be more accurate in their readings.
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Using The Wrong Substrate
Certain substrates, such as mulch or bark, are not only dangerous in the sense that they can lead to impaction, but also because they can retain humidity!
Having the RIGHT substrate is a HUGE component on ensuring your bearded dragons tank is on point and fit to keep them happy and healthy.
Fortunately, you can choose from tons of different and safe substrate options to customize a tank your bearded dragon will equally love.
How Is A Tortoise Respiratory Infection Treated
The first step will be for your vet to carry out tests to determine the precise cause of the illness and to determine if there are any steps you can take to improve your tortoises care.
Being able to establish the cause means that it will be easier to treat the condition successfully.
Antibiotics will be used if its a bacterial infection, and anti-fungal and anti-viral drugs are also available.
The prescribed treatment will need to be combined with any recommended changes in the tortoises environment or care, as advised by your vet.
Typically, it can be useful to raise the temperature of a sick tortoises environment slightly, as this will serve to assist its natural body defences to fight the infection more effectively.
Your vet may administer an antibiotic via injection to counteract the infection, and you may need to give nasal drops to your tortoises as well.
Nursing care, such as wiping away any nasal discharge is important too. This is because blocked nostrils will mean the tortoise is less likely to eat, therefore setting back recovery.
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Remove Saliva And Mucus
Your tortoise may not have the strength or extra air necessary to care for itself. Tortoises clean through burrowing, rubbing against plants, and soaking in water.
Because a sick tortoise will not be motivated to do this, you need to assist. This will limit the spread and growth of bacteria, which could make your tortoise even sicker. You can help your tortoise by removing the saliva and mucus from its face using a clean, damp cloth. This will make it more comfortable and cleaner.
Lung And Airway Disorders
Respiratory infections, including pneumonia, are common in reptiles and can be caused by parasites of the respiratory system or the whole body, unfavorable environmental temperatures, unsanitary conditions, other diseases, malnutrition, and vitamin A deficiency. Open-mouth breathing, discharge from the nose, and difficulty breathing are frequent signs. Heart and Blood Vessel Disorders Adequate housing, a good diet, and routine parasite control will help to minimize disease in pet reptiles, as with other animals. Septicemia, caused by bacteria in the blood, is a common cause… read more may develop in severe or prolonged cases. Treatment consists of improving environmental factors and starting antibiotic therapy. A veterinarian will be able to advise you on the proper antibiotic treatment. Reptiles with respiratory infections should be kept at the middle to upper end of their preferred temperature range. Increased temperatures help stimulate the immune system and also help move respiratory tract secretions. Turtles with pneumonia often have an underlying vitamin A deficiency. Turtles treated for pneumonia may not improve completely until they have been supplemented with vitamin A.
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Annual Veterinary Visit For Reptiles
Many reptile owners are surprised to learn that all pets, including reptiles, need at least annual checkups. A number of reptile veterinarians actually recommend checkups at least twice a year. Depending upon the species of reptile, the testing performed, and the temperament of your pet, some of these tests may require short-acting sedatives or gas anesthesia to minimize an animals stress level. Every visit starts with a thorough physical examination, during which your veterinarian will record your pet’s weight, general appearance, and activity level. Your veterinarian will also ask you about your pets recent history and evaluate its diet. Just as your own regular medical visit includes blood testing, so does a checkup for a reptile. Microscopic examination of the feces allows detection of internal parasites. Using X-rays, your veterinarian can examine your pet’s body for abnormalities in the size, shape, and position of body organs, screen for masses such as tumors, look for abnormal fluid accumulation, and check the bones and joints.
How To Cure Tortoise Respiratory Infections At Home
In mild cases, this illness is no more than a cold, much like when humans experience a runny nose and congestion. You can treat it in its early stages:
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Nature Zone Rot Guard Tail Rot & Mouth Rot Solution
Nature Zone Rot Guard is another excellent product for the health of your bearded dragons mouth and tail.
If you werent already aware, mouth rot and tail rot are extremely common health issues in bearded dragons. However, this product is the perfect solution.
Containing all natural ingredients, the Nature Zone Rot Guard fights the specific bacteria that cause mouth rot and tail rot. In addition, it strengthens the immune system with its unique combination of natural ingredients.
These ingredients include calcium, kelp, thyme, garlic, clove, cinnamon, turmeric, echinacea, clack cumin, pau DArco, neem, sanguinaria, grapefruit seed, and goldenseal.
I personally wouldnt purchase this product unless your bearded dragons suffering from mouth rot or tail rot. However, if this does apply to your beardie, its a must-have.