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I have a 50 year old desert tortoise named Chief- yesterday…

Hi I have a...

Hi I have a 50 year old desert tortoise named Chief- yesterday he ate th the flowers from a dianthus plant someone brought over. Now he doesn’t look good and I just read that it is toxic. I feel terrible his nose is running and one side he occasionally blows a bubble and his mouth looks kind of crusty. However he still wanted to eat when I offered his favorite ruellia flowers. Is there anything I can do

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Did you see what the desert tortoise ate?

Yes flowers from a dianthus plant

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the desert tortoise?

He just came out of hibernation about a week ago/ I had adopted him from the Arizona game and Fish and only had him a month or two before he went into hibernation the estimated he was between 40 and 60 years old

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Answered in 13 minutes by:
3/25/2018
Heath Wilkerson
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience: Associate Veterinarian at Woodland West Animal Hospital
Verified

Hi Dr. W here. Dianthus is of low toxicity to the gastrointestinal tract and probably isn't a problem in this case. It wouldn't causing the runny nose or the bubbles. My suspicion is that he has developed a nasal/lung infection during hibernation when his immune system is at it's lowest and it is manifesting symptoms now. He most likely needs to be on antibiotics for a couple of weeks. It's not an emergency tonight, but I would call your vet in the morning and schedule an appointment to get some antibiotics and also to have his lungs x-ray'd so you can see if there is a pneumonia present.

Heath Wilkerson
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience: Associate Veterinarian at Woodland West Animal Hospital
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you so much! I will call on Monday - is there anything I can do in the meantime to make him more comfortable? Should I get him out of his den and bring him inside?

I would just keep him warm and comfortable. As low-stress for him as possible is best

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you - I will do my best
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