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: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18340
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
Type Your Veterinary Question Here...
Joan is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hi, I have two star tortoise. They are around 2 years old and

Customer Question

Hi, I have two star tortoise. They are around 2 years old and around 3 inch long. Since last few days, one of them seems to be little weak and not active. His nose is also running. His face seems to be dry. He also opens his mouth frequently. I am worried about his health. pls suggest.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Joan replied 4 years ago.


What you are describing for the one ill tortoise is RNS, which is Runny Nose Syndrome. This is considered a respiratory infection and if not addressed the tortoise can get worse and it can result in Pneumonia. The weakness, open mouth yawning and the nasal discharge all charaterize this issue. This is some information on RNS:

The Big issue is to isolate the tortoise, and be sure the temps and UVB light are correct. The tortoise will need to see a Herp Vet for a hands on Exam, Diagnosis and medication. If you would supply a State Please let me know if you have further questions. My goal is 100% Excellent Service. Joan


Reptile Vet in India:

Sadanandan Bindu Anand
Government SCRA 7,TC
38/337 Chenthitta
Tel: 91(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr/>Tel: 91(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Joan,


Thanks for your reply.


I understand that this is RI and for that only I am expecting some medication. There is no vet near by my place and the one you are referring to is also quite far (almost 4 hrs flight from my place). That is the reason I am expecting some medication from your side.


If you wanna know some other related info about the ill tortoise, let me know. To share some more info;


1. the normal temp here is around 32 C in day time.

2. I am keeping the tortoise indoor in a wooden customized cabinet.

3. He sometimes goes in the water also which is kept in the cabinet itself.

4. In the night, i a m putting a buld also to give him heat.


request you to suggest me some medication which will help my totrise to cure.


thanks in advance.

Expert:  Joan replied 4 years ago.


I cannot Prescribe medication but I am going to give you a link to medications specifically used for tortoises: This gives the medications, dosages and how to administer them. It would be illegal for me to recommend a medication since their is no relationship hands on. You need to have a Florescent Reptisun UVB tube 10.0 strength over the enclosure. I suggest fresh timothy hay and orchard grasses for the tortoises, becuase they do require a high fiber diet. This is a good simple care sheet :

You need also need a basking bulb to work with the UVB and a calcium supplement. The calcium supplement works with the UVB to prevent Metabolic Bone Disease. I hope this helps and the tortoise recovers soon. Joan

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Joan,


I had already visited these sites/links sometimes back and aware of these informations.


Since the problem was continued for last 3-4 days, I contacted Justanswer for medication/cure.


I was expecting the correct medication i.e correct antibiotic with dosage at this place.


Feel will not be able to get here too.




Expert:  Joan replied 4 years ago.


It is illegal to prescribe any medication for an animal without a Veterinary/Patient relationship. The Site that I have given you suggests several medications that can be given orally or injectable. In this case an oral medication would be what is needed since the injectable antibiotics can cause issues if you are not familiar with them. The link gives the dosages based on weight and how often to use. The most commonly used in Reptiles by Reptile Vets is Baytril or Trimethoprin-Sulfa orally. You may want to view the information specifically that medication. There are no online line Vets that will prescribe medications. I can only supply information about what may be happening and what type of treatment can be used. It is a Legal issue and I am sorry that cannot do more to help you with medications. I would be in violation of Terms of Service of the site if I was to suggest using a Prescription medication. Please let me know If I can help with any other information. Please do not rate my service on the fact I cannot prescribe medication, because that is a legal issue. My goal is to give you Excellent Service. I am more than happy to try to help you with husbandry and any other issues. Joan

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Joan,


I understand the legal part but sorry to mention, I am feeling myself standing at the same position where I started. I am really concerned for my tortoise for his health.

Expert:  Joan replied 4 years ago.


I understand. If you can call the Vet I gave you in India, He may work with a Vet locally to help medicate your Tortoise. Unfortunately, we are limited with what we can do, but I did point out some information in last post that you can print and take that and the link with the Medications for Tortoises to any Vet close by and they can do the medicating hands on. That would be the best solution. I am trying my best to figure a way to get the tortoise some help. Joan

Expert:  Joan replied 4 years ago.


I see you gave me a poor Rating. I understand your frustration, but I am limited legally and cannot prescribe medications. I do not feel my service was bad. I did give you the names of medications you can ask the local Vet about that is used in tortoises. I tried to assist you with the best information possible, which I do not feel warrants a Negative Rating. This was in the Veterinary category and was not answered, and I was asked as a favor to try and assist you.

If I was to tell you to use a medication I would be in violation of Practicing Medicine which comes with legal ramifications and in violation of the site's tems of service. I cannot give you anymore than I have. I am sorry you feel that my service was poor, becuase I did everything possibly legally to assist you. Joan