Can tortoises catch a cold?

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Lcm82
Posts: 2
Joined: 19 Mar 2017, 22:08

Can tortoises catch a cold?

Post by Lcm82 » 19 Mar 2017, 22:16

Hello again! Just want to ask a question about Tuga. Tonight he started to make a strange sound with his mouth/nose, I thought he was just reacting to the succulent I had fed him as a little snack, but hubby thought he sneezed. After having a little cuddle with him, he does appear to have a runny nose and is rubbing it against his leg. Can tortoises catch colds?! Last night he fell asleeep in his water bowl, he moved himself there after I had gone to bed, I came down again to get something a short time later and discovered him settled down for the night in it, very odd behaviour. Should I be worried?
Thanks in advance, Sally

I forgot to add, otherwise he has been fine, active and eating well.

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Nina
Posts: 77
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Can tortoises catch a cold?

Post by Nina » 19 Mar 2017, 23:07

Hi Sally,

Sorry to hear that Tuga is a bit under the weather. I don't think that tortoises get colds as such, but they can get something called Runny Nose Syndrome (RNS) which is a respiratory infection and can be serious. Keep an eye on him over the next few days and if his nose is still running a bit then I would take him to see a vet. Sorry, I can't remember now if you have a good tortoise vet -- if not then let us know.
Also, maybe keep the room he is in warmer than usual overnight (maybe have a little heater in the room?) -- just until you know for sure. He might be fine and maybe just had a bit of water up his nose from the bath, so hopefully it isn't anything.

Nina

Lcm82
Posts: 2
Joined: 19 Mar 2017, 22:08

Re: Can tortoises catch a cold?

Post by Lcm82 » 20 Mar 2017, 19:33

Thanks Nina, he is absolutely fine today, it must have just been a bit of water up his nose from his bath, like you said. He is completely dry around his nose, no more strange noises and he's active and eaten well. Panic over although I will keep an eye on him just in case. We haven't got a tortoise vet but there is one about an hour away so I may well take him for a general check up as we haven't had that done since we adopted him in September. Thanks again, Sally

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Nina
Posts: 77
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Can tortoises catch a cold?

Post by Nina » 20 Mar 2017, 20:32

Hi Sally,
Whew! So glad to hear that he is all right -- they do know how to worry us, dont they?

When you do go to the vet, remember to take a relatively fresh sample of poo with you, so that it can be analysed for parasites (worms, mainly). Worms are fairly common and easy to get rid of, so no problems, but it's best to know (and if a light load of worms is discovered it doesn't even need to be treated, as they now believe that a very light load is actually beneficial to the tortoise -- forget why though). Only heavy loads need treatment, and it's fairly simple.

Nina

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