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URGENT suspected septicemia need advice now please


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#1 channong

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 02:19 PM

Hello All,
I have just done my turtles weekly clean out of their tank, And noticed that my larger map has red on his/her plastron? not sure if thats right, the underneath shell.. From reading lots since I got them I realise this is very serious, and will take him/her to the vet in the morning, but I need to know is there anything I can do to make the turtle more comfortable tonight,or improve his/her chances? Should I seperate this turtle from the others? and is taking him/her in a box with newspaper at the bottom the least stressful way to travel as I have to go on two long bus journeys to get to the nearest specialist vet
Thankyou in advance
From Channon

#2 BoxTurtleLover

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 03:42 AM

Without photos it is difficult to determine if your turtle may have septicemia. The best thing to do when there is any change or issue that concerns you as to your turtle that may be serious is to take it to your vet ASAP. When you suspect any of your turtles may be ill, always separate that turtle immediately from the other turtles to isolate and monitor your other turtles for illness.

#3 channong

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:00 PM

It is septicaemia :( I found out that hes probably a boy though and not likely to be more than 2 yrs old, I have 2 kinds of medicine for him now aswell as nutribal and vitamin A drops, and diet advice. But now my yellow belly slider is starting to go pink, I really cant afford another vet visit or 2 more set ups so I can seperate them all, I have literally ran out of money... Should I share the antibiotic between them, and try to get more from my local vet now I know the name? I really donankt know what to do, I spent this weeks money on the last vet visit and things they need, I cannot borrow anything.. Is there anyone on this forum near Bristol UK that could possibly lend me a tank or anything sorry to ask but I am so worried about them...

#4 BoxTurtleLover

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 03:53 AM

If you contact your vet's office and ask them your questions they may be able to help you. I would not share medicine between any turtles because you really don't know if your other turtle is ill. Are there any turtle clubs or organizations (or herpetological clubs/societies) near your area you can contact for help or information? Septicemia is blood poisoning that results from another infection in theh turtle - my concern is what is causing the infection that is causing the septicemia that you believe your other turtle may have....were these turtles injured in any way and have any cuts or open wounds anywhere? Septicemia is serious and I highly suggest you give your vet's office a call - many times vet's will discount further visits/medications so don't be afraid to ask.

#5 channong

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 03:29 AM

I rang the vet that saw my large map turtle, and they faxed the details of medicine to my local vet. So I took the YBS in to get weighed and luckily only paid for the medicine.
When I took my Map to the reptile specialist vet, all he did was look underneath him, weighed him and told me it was septicaemia probably due to their bad diet and bad care so far.. I thought that if that was the case it would have shown up before hand, as I have had them about 4 weeks. He then said or it could be burns if the basking platform is too hot as I need to get a thermostat for the basking lamp.
I have no idea if they have ever been injured, and cannot see any cuts or any damage to the shells. but as I had never even seen a turtle until I saw these I really dont know what Im looking for :(
I dont think there are any clubs near me as I live in the middle of nowhere and dont drive. But I will be moving somewhere more lively in a few weeks so hopefully I will find one then...
Im having problems getting medicine into them,as Im concerned the medicine is washing off of the food..The vet said I could put it directly in his mouth with a syringe, but wouldnt this choke them? as they need to swallow underwater?
Thankyou in advance
from Channon

#6 BoxTurtleLover

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 05:28 AM

Do all the research online that you can as to your turtles needs and requirements. If you have never had a turtle before (or seen one as you state above) there are certain requirements that need to be met for their diet and housing, otherwise they become ill just as would any other animal not given what it needs. Septicemia is bllod poisoning which is the result of another infection in the turtle. That is why I asked if there were any cuts or wounds. It can also result from an unseen internal infection. It is fatal if not treated. Usually a blood test is done to determine it but it seems your vet is familiar/experienced and noticed the signs and treated quickly.

The vet should have showed you how to give your turtle medicine orally to ensure it gets the full dosage of medicine. It is almost impossible to describe to someone new to turtles what to do without showing them - the medicine should not be squirted down the turtle's throat but placed on its tongue so the turtle can swallow it - otherwise if it inhales the medicine the turtle can get pneumonia. Contact your local vet and have them show you how to properly open a turtle's mouth and give the medicine. That way you will ensure it is done correctly and the turtle get's its full dosage of medicine to get better.

#7 channong

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 08:32 AM

I have been researching about turtles since I knew the lady who had them was going to let me buy them, I just couldnt see them in the condition they were in so persuaded her to let me have them. Even though I have researched alot and learned alot I still feel so inexperienced and do not want my turtles to suffer because of that. Before I had them they had only ever had pond sticks and did not have any lighting or anyway to get fully out of the water and were only in about 6 inches of water. they now have a strip UVB light, a basking platform, and a platform the other end of the tank not under a basking lamp. they have big stones for a underwater resting place, and for an area so they can be partially in and out of the water, I have a glass thermometer at one end and a strip one at the other, a heater that actually heats the water, I couldnt find a guard forit so have constructed one out of a holey storage baskek. a fluval 4 underwater filter. I put them straight on reptomin as advised and have been trying to introduce various veg. The vet said I have to also feed them shrimp, mince, and liver, so have got that and now need to make them some gross baby food :) But does the meat need to be cooked or raw? With the medicine, is it kind of like putting rescue remedy or vitamin drops on a childs tongue? my local vets do not know much about turtles and the closest reptile specialist is a 2 hour ish bus journey away and was very stressful for my turtle :(
Thankyou so much for all your help it is very much appreciated.
From Channon

#8 channong

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 03:58 PM

Good news and bad...
We managed to get the turtles to take the medicine orally :) 2 person job, my husband to hold the turtle, and me to try and persuade it to open its mouth..
Bad news though is my tiny turtle (also a map) now has red tinges and spots on his belly :( could it be from before I got them, or is it more likely to be something Im doing now? Or is it just likely that because 1 had it the others caught it?
From Channon

#9 BoxTurtleLover

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:42 AM

Good news and bad...
We managed to get the turtles to take the medicine orally :) 2 person job, my husband to hold the turtle, and me to try and persuade it to open its mouth..
Bad news though is my tiny turtle (also a map) now has red tinges and spots on his belly :( could it be from before I got them, or is it more likely to be something Im doing now? Or is it just likely that because 1 had it the others caught it?
From Channon


Can you post photos of their plastrons? I would definately contact the vet that saw your turtles and advise them of the redness appearing on the small map turtle's plastron. Septicemia, when it occurs, does not take a long time to develop - it results from an untreated infection somewhere in the turtle. So if you just had these turtles a short time, it's possible you obtained them with the infection. I don't know . I am hoping some of our water turtle experts chime in on this to help you as to their proper care and diet but right now you need to clear up the infection and the vet is the only one that can help you as to proper medication to do that. Call them ASAP about the smaller turtle.

#10 channong

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 03:52 AM

I rang the vet yesterday but he wasn't there so I rang again this morning am awaiting a call back now. I am sending this on my phone in the hope I will be able to add some photos that I have on my phone sOmehow not too good at using these forums yet. They are all still very active and eating though so I'm hoping that it's not too late too save them, it's amazing how quickly I became attached to them...

#11 channong

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 09:34 AM

Lets see if this works, these are pics from today. I spoke to the reptile vet today again, All 3 are now on antibiotics and metacam. I have to give them iodine baths too, how do I do this? I thought my local vet where I picked the iodine up from would tell me but they refused as Im not paying them!

http://www.turtletim...-the-large-map/
http://www.turtletim...w-belly-slider/
http://www.turtletim...-the-small-map/

I also am going to totally empty and disinfect their tanks again tonight, And Im trying to get hold of another large tank as I cannot separate them all yet :( I do have the small map in a separate tank.

#12 BoxTurtleLover

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 04:47 AM

You need a water expert to view your photos - I am not sure if what I am seeing is septicemia but normal growth and coloration. I'm going to ask a few people I know to view these photos and hopefully help you. As to the iodine bath you mention, you also need someone with water turtle expertise to help you. Hopefully some will chime in here and I will bring this post to some folks' attention.

#13 channong

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 05:44 AM

Thankyou that would be great :) I didnt give them the iodine bath last night, as I was worried I would do more harm than good.. Im going to ring the free nurse helpline at the vets see if they can help,
Thankyou for all your help with all of this

#14 Christy M

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 09:37 AM

Hi channong, BoxTurtleLover asked me to pop in from another forum and take a look at your pictures. Honestly, I don't see anything wrong with your turtles, particularly the slider. I'm not sure why the vet diagnosed septicemia. I don't have experience with map turtles, but it all looks like normal coloration to me. Most hatchling and juvenile aquatic turtles will develop some pinkness to their plastrons as they grow. Septicemia is usually splotchy or streaky. It can be pink, red, or even orange. It's also usually accompanied by other symptoms such as swelling, lethargy, lack of appetite, respiratory illness, fungus, shell rot, or injury.

#15 BoxTurtleLover

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 10:32 AM

Here is some further info/advice for you from another expert - I am posting with his permission:

"I'm not so sure I'm seeing any septicemia. However, with the smaller map, I am seeing other issues....it appears to have some kind of deformity. If you look at it, the plastron center curves left, and you can see different sized scutes on the right and left sides as if they've grown to compensate for the deformity. Could be MBD from previous poor care.

The size and quantity of these animals, they need much better filtration than a simple underwater filter. Maps prefer really clean water. I would suggest they need a bigger tank and then the appropriate filtration. WIth the amount of waste they make, any number of cleanings with that filter aren't going to be able to keep up. If this problem isn't solved, it won't matter if the currently have septicemia or not, because living in filth isn't going to help that sitation either way.

I would also advise a different diet than their vet suggested, especially for the "Slider". Reptomin and all that meat/protein will create other problems in the "Slider". (Also not 100% convinced its a slider from that picture - looks cooter-ish to me)

I also see this member is located in the UK, so I'm not surprised with the vets relative unfamiliarity with turtle diet needs. While Mazuri is not available there, other foods better than Reptomin are."


He also provided a link for some food/dietary help for you:

http://theturtleroom...lessupplements/

Hope all this helps you - you got some great advice from these two folks!

#16 channong

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 04:08 PM

Thankyou so much for this box turtle lover, it has given me some hope, and has also cleared a couple of things up for me, but has also raised more questions.. Firstly to have more than one person who knows turtles to say that they dont think it is septicaemia is great :) :) I think I will finish the antibiotic courses for them though incase they have any other infections that I dont know about, the reason I say this is Im not sure if its the same as with humans that if we stop antibiotics before they are done it could make the infection if any worse?

Secondly about Sid the Slider, through my research and looking at lots of pictures, I also thought that he might not be a Slider as he doesnt have the markings on his plastron, The closest thing I can find that looks like him (Dont know if hes really a boy or not!) is an eastern river cooter, but still not quite the same, is it possible that he could be a mix of 2 breeds? It doesnt help that his shell is covered in Black, we are slowly uncovering their true shell colour with weekly gentle brushings, but it looks like he could have some orange shell pattern underneath the black.

Thirdly their diet.. the vet has given me lots of advice that doesnt sit right with me, but as Im a complete novice I dont feel comfortable trusting my instincts on this yet.. I have read many places that they are mainly herbivores and was trying to introduce different veg every other day when feeding them as they have never had anything except pond sticks before they came to me, but he suggested a mainly meat diet. he also said that I must always feed them in a seperate tank, but they dont like being moved to the tubs for feeding and Sammy (Large Map), will not eat in a different tank, I thought it was ok to feed them in their normal tank? The vet also told me that turtles can and will eat out of the water?? This one really confuses me too? what other problems can too much meat cause?

Fourth, He said under no circumstances should I have different breeds in the same tank, is this true? As in reasearching I came to believe that its ok..

Thelittle map Pixie, her shell is very strange, I had noticed that, it is rounded on one side and dented on the other side on the side it is dented it kind of curves up on the edges.. you mentioned her plastron centre curves left, she also has a small pinhole sized hole in the middle of her plastron. I dont know if any of this is due to bad care previously or not. Is there any hope that these symptons will improve with time?

With their habitat, tomorrow, I have a 6ft tank coming which I planned to be all of their home, until the indoor pond is created, but now I have been told to separate them all I am also awaiting a 4ft tank, and dont know where I will put all of this!! My question is though, they came with a worn out fluval 2 plus filter. I was recommended to buy a fluval 4 underwater filter which I have now. is this suitable? If not, what kind will be the best?

Thankyou so much for the advice and the link to the great page, trying to find better dried food for them now.

#17 clemmysnut

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 08:17 PM

I can't tell from the pics whether its septicemia or not. Only a qualified vet can make that determination and I don't know if your vet is qualified (expert in reptiles) or not. If you use an iodine solution, use just enough to make a light tea color. You can keep different breeds of turtles together if they are the same size, aren't aggressive towards each other, and are native to the same continent. Good water quality and a good/varied diet will make for a healthy turtle. I feed my water turtles in a different container as the main tank to keep the WQ at its best.

#18 channong

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 12:59 PM

The vet I took him to is a reptile specialist, His partner was recommended on tortoise trust, but she was unfortunately unavailable, I took My large map there as even though it is a 2 hr bus journey, I thought it was worth it rather than take him to my local vet. What do I do with the iodine once Ive diluted it? do I just use it when I scrub them with the toothbrush? Or should I somehow soak them in it? Im assuming it shouldnt go near their eyes or mouths?
They still arnt looking any different.. But am still giving the antibiotics and metacam just incase,

#19 StephanieB

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:27 AM

I am relatively new to the aquatic turtle world and do not have much to offer in the way of medical advise, but if tanks for quarantine are difficult for you to aquire, you could use plastic tubs as a temporary set up. I wish you the best with your turtles and hope they get better soon.

#20 pickled78

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:30 AM

use a small paint brush or cotton bud to dip into the iodine solution then paint it all over the shell, DO NOT PUT TURTLE BACK IN WATER!! leave him to bask for about an hour (no access for him to return to his water as iodine will poison him, it also extremely burns when applied to open sores, eyes etc and ingested will batter his liver ), then wash the iodine off the shell and return turtle to the water or his basking area :)




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