Eye's closed shut
Posted 12 October 2003 - 04:45 PM
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In the meanwhile, follow sick turtle general protocal. Here is my sick turtle summary, for treatment.
After that I am posting my Well New Turtle Summary. Go through it as a checklist to see if your friend is giving his turtle the basic husbandry needs it has. If your friend's turtle is not a Slider, Cooter, or Painted Turtle, read the care sheets referenced elsewhere on this website for basic husbandry needs. There are over 150 species of turtle (as opposed to ONE species of dog) and each has its own needs.
SICK TURTLE SUMMARY:
Here is an emergency first aid link: http://home.earthlin...ine/firsaid.htm
Here is a more complete summary of diseases from Turtleluv’s website: http://www.madewellg..._ailments.shtml
If you can locate one, get a qualified reptile vet. Ordinary vets are no better prepared to treat your turtle than your family physician. Here is our vet link: http://www.turtletim...p?TOPIC_ID=4964
The following generalization are based on the care of cooters, sliders, and painted turtles. It has to be adjusted for other species, and especially for land species.:
A. A sick turtle needs:
1) Water around 82-85 degrees F. (28-29 degrees C) and basking temperature around 90 degrees F. (32-34 degrees C). If you have a land turtle, or a species other than a slider, painted turtle, or cooter, these temperatures may vary slightly.
2) Lots of UV light. SEE: UVB light: http://www.turtletim...p?TOPIC_ID=3769
Will UVA/UVB Light go through a thick glass window: http://www.turtletim...p?TOPIC_ID=3763
UV lighting sources are 1) Natural, direct sunlight and a good artificial source, such as a Reptisun 8.0, 5.0 under 6 months old for a sick turtle, or a reptile mercury vapor lamp.
3) Liquid vitamins dissolved in his water. Ideally, a calcium block is good, too. I use human baby vitamins, Poly-Vi-Sol. Another good source of calcium is bony tiny fish, like bait fish, minnows, and smelts.
4) If you are unsure what is wrong with the turtle, isolate him or her until you can be sure it won’t make your other turtles sick. Give the exposed turtles palliative care to prevent illness. Turtle diseases which are known to be catching are marked below with two *s, **. ** means: Infectious disease. Isolate the turtle. Take preventive measure to protect any exposed animal.
5) Every diseased turtle should be brought to a qualified herp vet to ensure you have diagnosed the turtle correctly, and to get any medications which can help your turtle get well.
B. Specific illnesses:
1) If **Turtle appears to be gasping for breath, or is has mucus or foam at the mouth, the turtle is probably suffering from a respiratory infection. This is very deadly in turtles. In addition to the above measures, it is IMPERATIVE the turtle be brought to a reptile vet (see link below) to get antibiotics. Most untreated turtles who have respiratory infections will die.
2) If **Turtle appears reddish, including either skin or on the shell. Turtle MAY have an infection which has worked its way into the blood. This can kill your turtle. It requires the steps above PLUS a visit to the vet for antibiotics.
3) If he has **fungus, salt soaks for a few minutes each day. If fungus gets advanced, it will kill your turtle.
4) Turtle’s shell is soft. Either it is a hatchling, and he needs lots of calcium, or he is a softshell turtle (make sure you know what variety this is before deciding this) vitamins and UV for it to harden normally, OR the turtle has metabolic bone disease (MBD) and needs lots of calcium, vitamins and UV or he will die. In advanced cases of MBD, vets can give the turtle shots of calcium directly into the blood streem.
5) If turtle won’t eat This is normal for a few days in a new environment. If this is not a new turtle in a new environment, try: Favorite foods. If unknown, try sardines, strawberries, live bugs, reptimin. For more good nutritional foods read:
http://www.chelonia....entanalysis.htm and for poisons to avoid read http://www.chelonia....sthatpoison.htm
Regular day and night cycles, with a day period of not less than 14 hours. To make sure he can get unintterupted sleep, if you keep him in an area heaviy traveled at night, cover his tank with a dry but dark cloth.
Raise temperatures to sick turtle levels.
Get some vitamins into him.
6) If turtle might have **worms, see: http://www.turtletim...p?TOPIC_ID=7437
7) If turtle’s rear end is swollen, this is one of many possible indications of kidney failure (although it can also mean any of a number of other serious conditions.) If it is kidney failure, only palliative care is possible. Some other conditions can be treated. If you have several turtles, and one has kidney failure, it may be a sign that the animal has been feed too much protein. Change the diet of your other turtles. If your turtle is female, and you gently feel the area around her rear, and you feel lump, she may be graven and need to lay eggs. SEE 10) below.
8) If you have a tortoise, and its shell has formations of pyramids on each scute, the turtle is being feed too much protein and will get kidney failure at a young age unless immediate correction in the diet is undertaken.
9) Turtle’s eyes are swollen shut, or infected. This is usually caused by a vitamin A deficiency, and, if caught early, can be treated with adding vitamins to food. If they turtle has stopped eating, you will have to soak him in a small container with a substanial amount of Poly-Vi-Sol in it, or get a vitamin shot from a vet, or both. Once infection has set in, only a vet can help your turtle. If your turtle has stopped eating, see the subject on that, above.
10) Female Turtle is Restless or lays eggs in the water she doesn’t need to have been with a boy to need to lay eggs. If she hasn’t been, the eggs will not be fertile. However, she still needs a warm, root-free, deep( the depth needs to be about equal to the length of her shell, or slightly more) moist, sandy soil to lay the eggs in. If she does not lay her eggs, she can become egg-bound and die
11) Turtle appears slightly swollen in front and back Your turtle may simply be getting fat. How much have you been feeding him? It’s O.K. for them to be somewhat plump in the fall if you are going to hibernate them, it helps them get through the winter.
12) Turtle’s shell appears to have air pockets under the scutes, and some are falling off.
If there are scutes underneath, your turtle is shedding and growing. This is a sign of health, not sickness. DO NOT pull the scutes off. As the new scute becomes fully formed, the old scute is released. If you pull the scute off before the new scute is fully formed, your turtle may have exposed bone, and this is difficult and complex to treat, and leaves the turtle subject to disease and death.
I hope this helps.
OVERVIEW FOR WELL NEW TURTLES
'The temperatures for turtles which are not sick are usually a little lower than those for sick turtles.. Water 72-75 degrees, basking area 82-85 degrees. Use a thermometer, and measure the temperatures. My turtle didn't have a water heater at all until he got sick last winter. On the other hand, he always got a full day of real sunlight. Timmy is a 43 years old cooter I got in 1959. I have an account of him under "Cooters" called "Timmy Update."
Secondly, Read. Read care sheets. And, there are at least TWO books written about Red Eared Sliders (“RES”). If you have a RES, read at least one of them, preferably both. No book is a bible, but it will give you an overview. Also good, but out of print: Cooters, Sliders, and Painted Turtles. There are some book reviews on this website.
Third, find a turtle vet in your area, so you don't have to scrounge around in the event of an emergency. Our vet link is http://www.turtletim...p?TOPIC_ID=4964 It is not a bad idea to have new turtles checked out. Sometimes they have parasites or infections which can be treated. Usually new turtles are kept in quarantine before mixing with older pet turtles, to prevent infection or infestation of all. When bringing a turtle to a vet for a check-up, it's usually good to bring two stool samples, taken 24-48 hours apart, shortly before the date of the visit. (refrigerate them). A quarantine involves a vet visit with samples, if clean, wait three months then another visit. If still clean, the turtles can be mixed.
Fourth, think vitamin and mineral supplements. Baby turtles need a lot of calcium. As your RES grow, they will accept veggies. You might try floating a collard green leaf in their main tank between feedings. It is loaded with the type of nutrition they will enjoy. Also, consider fish with bones for a calcium source. For more good nutritional foods read:
http://www.chelonia....entanalysis.htm and for poisons to avoid read http://www.chelonia....sthatpoison.htm .
Fifth, feed the turtles in a separate smaller tank, it will keep your main tank cleaner.
Sixth, your turtles need their sleep. If there is traffic near their tank after their day is over, get them a cloth cover to give them the darkness they need for solid sleep. In summer, light should be on for at least 14 hours, winter, it should be dark for at least 14 hours. More light time encourages eating.
Seventh, make sure the UV light you have is an adequate one. There are some lights which give some UV, but not enough. ZooMed Reptisun 8.0 or 5.0 certain reptile mercury vapor lamps are good. Most others should be supplemented with regular outings in the yard in direct sunlight. You might find these links useful: UVB light: http://www.turtletim...p?TOPIC_ID=3769
Will UVA/UVB Light go through a thick glass window: http://www.turtletim...p?TOPIC_ID=3763
Eighth: Nothing wrong with regular water changes to keep your turtles home clean, especially if you rinse out the tank each time. A filter will permit you to do it less often, provided you ALSO clean out the filter when you then clean the tank. For filter suggestions, read The Ultimate Filter Topic: http://www.turtletim...p?TOPIC_ID=3779
I hope you and your turtles have a long and happy association as pets and owner.
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