How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joan Your Own Question
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18663
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
Type Your Reptile Question Here...
Joan is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a 3 year old tortoise. She seems sick, opening and

Customer Question

I have a 3 year old tortoise. She seems sick, opening and closing her mouth like gasping for air or gaging. She won't eat. I have called every vet in a 25 mile radius for help, they are all out of town until monday. What can I do? She is still moving around a little but not acting normal.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.


My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years with special ineterst in reptiles and reptile Rescue.

Please give me state where you live to locate some Herp Vets if Ca norther or Southern.

What type of tortoise is this?


UVB light and Basking light?



Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hermann's tortoise
The UVB light and basking light we bought at petsmart that was recommended for this tortoise.
diet is dark greens, blue berries, and store bought tortoise food with vitamins
And we live in northern california.
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

Thank-you! THis is a link for Herp Vets in NO Ca:

I would be cautious with Petsmart and their recommendations. I have had clients get the wrong advice about UVB lighting and have problems. Make sure you have a calcium block or a cuttle bone available to metabolize into D3 with the help of the UVB light. I recommend Reptisun 10.0 linear tube and replace every 6 months. Keep the tortoise in a tortoise table. This prevents fungal infections and respiratory issues. I susspecat a respiratory issue is what you are seeing.

We need to try taking him ina steamy bathroom to see if that helps and also need to give him a nice worm soak. We are limited at home and he will need an antibiotic so getting into the Herp Vet is a must asap.