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FAQs About Red Ear Slider Turtle Disease/Health: Growths/Tumors

Related Articles: Treating Common Illnesses of the Red Ear Slider (& other Emydid Turtles) by Darrel Barton, The Care and Keeping of the Red Eared Slider, Trachemys scripta elegans by Darrel Barton, Turtle eye diseases; Recognising and treating eye diseases in pet turtles by Neale Monks, So your turtle has the Flu? Recognising and treating respiratory infections in pet turtles by Neale Monks, The Care and Keeping of the Red Eared Slider, Trachemys scripta elegans by Darrel Barton,  Red Ear Sliders, Turtles, AmphibiansRed Eared Slider CareShell Rot in Turtles,

Related FAQs: RES Disease/Health 1, RES Disease/Health 2, RES Disease 3, RES Health 4, RES Health 5, RES Health 6, RES Health 8, RES Health 9, RES Health 10, & Shell Rot, Turtle Disease 1, Turtle Disease 3, Shell Rot, Turtle Respiratory Disease, Turtle Eye Disease,
FAQs on RES Health by Type:
Diagnosis, Environmental, Traumas, Social, Nutritional, Infectious, Parasitic, References,

& Sliders 1, Sliders 2, Red Eared Slider Identification, RES Behavior, RES Compatibility, RES Selection, RES Systems, RES Feeding, RES Reproduction,

Red eared slider mom      7/10/16
Dear Crew
<Hiya – Darrel here>
I love all the info, it's funny.
<Be sure to tip your waiter>
I have had turtles in my life from age 6, I just have one now I got her when I was 13 and I'm 54 now so when I read expect 30 year commitment... try 41 and still going strong.... murtle the sweetest girl so smart amazing pets, but not for everyone... it's a daily commitment and attention to every detail, all and any different behavior, the ancient Chinese i ching describes turtles as the connection between heaven and earth! Heavenly divine creatures we are blessed to have in our lives....
<I agree … except when they steal your credit card and go on an on-line shopping spree. Turtles have no financial discipline at all!>
Her shell is abnormal because of my lack of education when I was a teen.... I constantly read and it's so great to have website like yours.... thank you for the blessing of continued knowledge.... I also had a firebellied toad that lived 28 years I rescued from a garage and a few other I took from a classroom.... teacher have no business having animals unless the teacher to respect all living things....
<except politicians and door-to-door salesmen>
<Carolyn, on behalf of Bob, Neale, Sue and the crew, thanks for your kind words. It’s letters like that that make us feel good about what we do. It sure isn’t the money … we’re chained up here in the basement of the Flemner Building in San Diego and all that sustains us is the kind words … and the free food. So thanks!>

Turtle growth      12/29/15
Hi –
<Hiya – Darrel here>
Attached are pics of a growth on my red eared slider. I've been treating him with warm soaks, rinsing the area with peroxide and anti fungal cream twice daily.
<Won’t help>
The lump is firm in the center and fleshy around it. There is also a small area like this coming out of the other rear leg hole in his shell. Any advice is much appreciated. Sam is about 9 years old.
Thank you,
<That is a growth of some sort, not an infection, so soaking it won’t help. It is very likely a fatty tumor. The treatment is to have a veterinarian excise it or at least stick a needle in and see what they can draw out. If a veterinarian is not available, look online in your area for a turtle and tortoise club. You will likely find an experienced ‘old hand’ that has excised many fatty tumors>

Re: Turtle growth      1/6/15
How would you numb or anesthetize them? For removal of the tumor? Or could he just live with it?
<They are remarkably tolerant and resilient. If it was me I'd immobilize the area and excise the tumor, cover the area with Betadine twice daily and keep her warm and dry for two weeks. Most numbing agents that are effective on turtles have more side effects than benefits.>
Re: Turtle growth      1/6/15

Dear Crew
Is there any reason not to just let it be? I looked for someone here in NJ but can't find anyone. I can't spend the 80$ on the vet consult that the reptile specials wants.
<yes, and the $80 would be for the consult - then $125 more for surgery, etc. so I understand>
<The think about tumors is this: It may be benign or it may be cancerous. It may have spread, but it may not have. So there is so much more we don't know that we DO know - there isn't a right answer. If it doesn't impact the turtle's movement or digestion then there's not driving reason to remove it.>
Thank you for your help!

lump on RES's neck       2/7/14
<Ana; our turtle folks appear to be MIA; I will direct you to our (WWM) search tool and otherwise suggest you simply read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESDisTumorF.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Today I noticed a lump on the left side of my turtle's neck, below the red marking on the side of his head. He is a 15-year-old RES; he eats well, basks under his UV/ heat lamp, and does not seem to be ill (I know his shell doesn't look too good; he has been having a scute-shedding problem for a couple of years). The lump is the same colour as the rest of his skin.
I check him daily, but the lump isn't visible from all angles, though it is rather large, so I'm not sure how long it's been there. Is it an ear infection, or could it be caused by an improper diet with too much protein?
I live in a country where there are no reptile vets, so I really need your help.
Thank you.

lump on RES's neck     2/7/14
<Hiya - Darrel here>
Today I noticed a lump on the left side of my turtle's neck, below the red marking on the side of his head. He is a 15-year-old RES; he eats well, basks under his UV/ heat lamp, and does not seem to be ill (I know his shell doesn't look too good; he has been having a scute-shedding problem for a couple of years). The lump is the same color as the rest of his skin.
<That's because it's a growth under the skin>
I check him daily, but the lump isn't visible from all angles, though it is rather large, so I'm not sure how long it's been there. Is it an ear infection, or could it be caused by an improper diet with too much protein?
<It could be an ear infection, but it could also be benign cyst of fatty tissue.  The only way to know is to excise it and see>
<Turtles don't get ear infections from too much protein.  If she's not fat and puffy, her eyes are clear and bright, her shell is firm and she is active, them I'm thinking the diet is good enough.   A good quality Koi pellet is a perfectly balanced diet and it's inexpensive.   An occasional earthworm as a treat (or a small piece of beef or chicken liver) is an excellent way of seeing that they get the vitamins they should have.>
I live in a country where there are no reptile vets, so I really need your help.
<OK - but this will be a bit tricky.  At some point someone is going to have to poke a needle through the thickest part of the bulge and try to draw out what fluid may be in there.  In the alternative, if no fluid flows, the needle will hit either a bone (no worries, it's just then a bone growth) or a mushy mass, which would be a cyst.>
<The tricky part, really, is getting her still enough to do that.  The trick is to push her hind feet in tight which causes their heads to stick out a bit - and then also push their front legs together and inward so that it blocks their heads from retracting.   This takes practice and patience but it can be done.>
<As far as reptile vets, a simple excision can be done by just about anyone, even someone that has had some extensive first aid training.  What I would suggest is look on the internet for any kind of turtle or reptile clubs within a reasonable distance and see if you can find someone that, like you, has had to learn by doing.>
<Now, once the area has been aspirated or the cyst excised, Dry-Dock her as described below while she heals. 
Thank you.

Red Ear Slider with growth near his ear.    10/15/11
Hi my name is Laken.
<Hiya Laken - I'm Darrel>
I have a Red Ear Slider named Tots. I've had him for about a week now and he was all good until yesterday I noticed a yellowish growth (looks more like a pimple) on or near his ear (but it is on the red strip). It's mostly covered by his extra skin around his neck but u can see a slight bulge under the skin and only if he stretches his neck all the way out you are able to see the growth.
<Typically that's a pocket of infected skin. Sometimes it can be a benign cyst, but the yellow color indicates fluid under the skin.>
I don't have a heater, UVB light or heat lamp at the moment, could that be the cause for the growth? I have done research and read other cases on your site, but because this is yellowish in colour I wonder if it's something else?
<No. You probably don't need a heater unless you live somewhere terribly cold, but you should have a UV-B lamp and a basking lamp.>
<In any case, those are not the cause of the infection.>
I've become really attached to him and I want to take the best possible care of him. I understand I need the essentials, such as, the UVB light and heat lamp, which I am going to get straight away, but what can be done in the meantime to treat him?
<The infected area needs to be lanced and then treated with a topical disinfectant, Laken. This is specifically the kind of case that calls for a trained veterinarian, but I also have another suggestion. Search the internet in your area for a Turtle and Tortoise Club. I'd bet you will find one within a reasonable distance and it's very likely that you can find someone who has been keeping turtles for years someone who has the experience and can lance the wound and disinfect it for you.>
I appreciate the help.
Thank you
<Your welcome. Laken - here are two links that cover EVERYTHING in the basics that you need to know about Tots and turtles like him. You can find much more information on WetWebMedia and on the Internet in general and you should read as much as you can - but anything you read that is contrary to these two articles is just plain wrong. So please start here:
Best of luck to you!>
Please help! Betta in a bowl   10/11/11

I bought my 2 year old son his first fish for his Birthday August 16, 2011.
The Beta fish is a beautiful blue color and we love him. He has been doing well until a few days ago when he started staying at the top of the tank.
He lives in an "old school" fish bowl with glass rocks (easier to clean) and a plastic plant.
<Mmm, most Bettas don't live long or well in such...>
He still is eager to eat. He stays at the top of the tank and up against the glass and at times rolls on his side. What is wrong with him??? I called the pet store and they suggested adding salt which I did but no change. They also suggested his tank might be too cold, so I bought a tank heater and it stays close to 75 degrees.
<Needs to be a bit warmer... see the link below>
Can you please help, I don't
want him to die!
<Please read here re practical husbandry of this species:
Bob Fenner>
Re: Betta in bowl 10/16/11

What about all those Bettas living in vases at peoples office, I would think a large bowl like I have would be better than that.
<You may well think that. But while a 1 gallon bowl is "better" than a half-gallon bowl, that's much the same as saying losing just half your arm is better than losing the whole arm -- it's a difference without a distinction. Bettas do best, and live longer, healthier lives in aquaria with heaters and filters. While breeders may well use bowls in heated fish-rooms and will change the water daily, taking care to keep water chemistry constant, this isn't a viable way to do things for hobbyists. Most of those Bettas in bowls and jars die prematurely, and the fact they're kept that way -- and people are happy buying new Bettas every few weeks or months -- says more about how callous people can be when it comes to animals that can't bark, squeal, or otherwise show their distress. I'm not trying to sell you anything, Alberta, but I am trained as a marine zoologist and have spend the best part of 30 years keeping fish. So when I say that a fish will be stressed, or killed, by being kept in a certain way -- I'm simply stating facts. Whether you choose to ignore reality and go ahead and do your own thing is your own choice, like those nutcases who believe President Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya.>
I don't have another tank or the space for one
<Ultimately, the point is this: if you don't have the space or money for a pet animal, whether a German Shepherd dog or a little Betta fish, you shouldn't keep that animal.>
Thanks again AN
<Cheers, Neale.>
Betta in bowl 10/16/11

<Hello Alberta> I just finally got all my fish happy in 2 different aquariums, where everyone is getting along. Now I have a large 10 inch in diameter and 6-8 inch deep fish bowl..will a Betta fish be happy in there
and if so what type of water should I use. We are using RO water for the other aquariums and adding water conditioner to it .Thanks AN <I wouldn't suggest putting a Betta in a bowl. Water volume isn't the only consideration here. These fish are tropical and consistent temperatures of around 80 degrees. With a bowl there is also the added risk of the fish jumping out. You are far better off having a Betta in a 5-10 gallon tank with filter and heater. You might even be able to put in some live plants and shrimp. It can turn out quite pretty. I have had a just such a tank for a long time and it is fascinating to watch. As for your question on water, RO water is good for use but do check the water parameters such as pH needed for the livestock you plan to have. In the case of Betta for instance, you would want the water to be slightly acidic. You can start to read about Betta care here -
Good luck, Sugam>


Re Red Eared Slider - lump?   4/5/11
Well, since my last email I've been keeping a closer eye on that one. he is active and seems to definitely be shy. If I dangle a worm in the water the 2nd one will gladly come after it, but I can't get the other one to bite at it no matter how close I dangle it. I have noticed however that the shy one also seems to have a rather large lump on the back of his neck. The other one doesn't have any lump there and neither did the 3rd one that a coworker of mine has. I've taken pics... and that wasn't easy... I managed to get one pic that shows it before I had to hold his head out in order to get more. Any idea what that is on the back of his neck? it feels hard, but not hard like his shell. and he still seems to be able to retract his head fully without issue.
<I see it in the pictures and no, it's not normal. It could be an infection but if it's hard, it's more likely to be a cyst. Unfortunately, the treatment requires a trip to an experience veterinarian. One suggestion I can make is that if you can find a local turtle & tortoise club, you might find an 'old hand' that has treated enough of his own turtles to be able to give YOU a hand without a trip to the vet>
<As far as his shyness goes once the treatment is over and things can settle down a bit, you might find that he relaxes a bit more. But right now, we have an immediate symptom we need to address. Best of luck>

Red-eared slider blister?  7/13/10
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have a red-eared slider in a 10-gallon tank, just him in there. He's acting normally, eating and cheerful as always,
<Glad to hear that he's cheerful, Anne. Nothing fun about a sullen or moody Slider!>
but I noticed a clear sac-type thing on the bottom of one of his rear feet. I've attached a photo of it, as I don't know what exactly to call it. Is it a blister? It seems to have just occurred, and I've never seen anything like this on him before. It doesn't seem to hurt him when I touch it (which I was doing to try to figure out what it is.) I'm not sure if it's filled with liquid, but it doesn't look like it is. And he's swimming around normally. But it's rather large, right to the tip of the foot where the skin ends at the claws.
<It's an odd thing to be sure. My guess is that it's something growing ON him rather than from within him. To that extent, let's take him out, dry him off and try to remove it. First dry to brush it with a dry cloth, maybe an old toothbrush, but if necessary, pull if off with tweezers. Clean the affected area with hydrogen peroxide, let that dry and then dribble on some Betadine. Let him stay dry overnight and put him back in his tank the next day.>
Also, and this may be unrelated, he seems to have brown spots on the underside of his shell. I've attached photos of that too.
<Yeah -- there are two common causes of that discoloration. The first one, worst one, is a septic infection. For that to occur he'd be VERY sick and would have been sick for a very long time. It's not likely if he's still active, eating and happy. When a turtle become septic, the first thing he'll typically do is stop thermoregulation: basking, swimming, followed by more basking, etc. and he'll almost always be off his feed>
<The second, far more common source is a simple discoloration from rubbing against rocks or bricks something akin to a simple stain.>
I've seen things like that in photos of turtles with fungal infections, but mine doesn't seem to have any other symptoms of a fungal infection. Are these brown spots normal? Or should I be worried? (Well, I am worried, but should I continue being worried?)
<Given the combination of symptoms, I'd treat him on the assumption of a fungal infection (even if it's not conclusive). Read the link below and treat him as if he had a fungal infection for say two weeks and let's see how he does>
Thank you!
< http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm>

Upper left and crop

Slider with bulge on side of head???  06/04/09
Hello W.W.M. Crew,
<Hiya John, Darrel here>
I have a Red Eared Slider that is still very small. Recently I noticed that on one side of his/her head its beginning to bulge. I noticed a white spot at first and just recently discovered that it is beginning to bulge. This is isolated to one side of the head. What could be the possible diagnosis,
<If the skin is bulging my guess is that the turtle has an abscess. It could be a bacterial or fungal infection that started on the surface and grew inward>
and can it become fatal?
What are possible treatments?
<The only proper treatment is to have a veterinarian open the pocket and express the contents, John. If it's bacterial or fungal then cavity can then be washed with the appropriate agent and stitched -- and then a course of medicine. If it's some kind of actual growth, then the opening becomes the first step in the surgery to correct.>
<I'm sorry to say, John, this is not one to try at home>
John C. Mabe III
Re: Slider with bulge on side of head??? 6/30/09

Hello W.W.M Crew,
<Hello again -- Darrel here>
I have a Red Eared Slider as I have mentioned before, and the bulge has completely disappeared, thanks for the advice.
<The only advice I gave was to have a veterinarian treat the abscess. This sort of thing doesn't "disappear" on it's own, John ... so if there was no treatment of the bulge, the probably abscess burst & released the infection into the rest of his system.>
The new thing is that he now has begun to have large gapping breath's and kind of squeaked on occasions as he does. I noticed that he is now sneezing and discharge is coming out of his mouth.
<There you go. Sneezing and discharge are -- at the very least -- signs of respiratory infection.>
He also has lost his appetite.
<Because he's very sick>
My guess is that the temp of the water might be to cold? Lately its been around 72.0-74.0 degrees.
<Perfect water temp as long as the basking area is 85-90 degrees and the turtle is able to move easily between the basking area and the water.>
I have an under-water heater that is supposedly set to the optimum temp??
<No water heart necessary for turtles, John. Any room temperature you can live in is fine for their water as long as they can get out of the water to get warm and dry>
Now that he has symptoms is there something I can do to cure him besides getting a heater that works right??
Thank you very kindly,
John C.
<John, at this point I'd say that you're only real hope is an experienced veterinarian. He HAD symptoms before (a bulge on the neck, remember?) that wasn't properly treated ... and now things are much worse.>
<I realize that, for many people, a trip to a vet is simply out of the question .. and that leaves us with second and third rate treatments .... very poor substitutes ... that will almost certainly not really help. In this case, the only thing left to you is to take the turtle out of the tank entirely:>
<Recognize immediately that the very environment preferred by the turtle, warm and wet ... is also the optimal environment for the growth of fungus and bacteria -- and even if neither are the primary illness, you can be assured that if you leave a sick turtle in a warm, wet environment long enough, fungal AND bacterial will seize the opportunity to take hold and take over. For this reason, the single most immediate treatment for any illness in a turtle is to remove them from their tank, pond or enclosure and place them somewhere warm and dry. Remember that, in the wild, water turtles occupy the habitat AROUND the water as much, if not more than IN the water. Moreover, a turtle in good health can survive months out of water and a sick turtle really needs the rest.
A temporary shelter can be anything from an empty aquarium to a plastic bin or trash can or even just a cardboard box with high sides (keep in mind a determined turtle is an incredible climber). Add a heat source, which can be a regular electric heating pad (if you're lucky enough to be able to find one without the annoying 'automatic off' feature) to a light bulb suspended over head. Ideally you want to achieve a constant temperature of between 85-87 degrees. Since we are deliberately taking away the turtle's choice to move from cool to warm, we have to pick a constant that fits both needs. NOT having to move between temperature zones and not having to swim or climb is the first step on giving the turtle the ability to direct
his attention more toward healing.
You must also provide UV-A and UV-B light sources(NOTE 2), which perhaps can be moved from his original enclosure or -- in the alternative, a minimum of 10 minutes of direct (NOT filtered through any kind of glass or screen) three times a day.
Assuming he is healthy enough to be moving, the regimen will be to place him in a shallow container of luke warm (room temp) tap water every day for 5 minutes in order for him to drink, poop and possibly eat. Shallow means no more than half his shell under water when you place him in it -- and really only enough to cover his tail and cloaca. Assuming that he is being treated for his actual condition and improving, he can go YEARS in this condition without ill effects.>
<John, this MAY help the little guy's immune system be a bit more able to fight off the infection, but I doubt it>

Swollen neck, RES   5/4/2009
<Hiya, Darrel here>
I have a female Red Eared Slider that is about 3 years old and about 6 inches long. A few weeks ago I started noticing her neck puffing up and it is so swollen now that she cant even get it into her shell. Her head can go in most of the way but not all the way. The rest of her body parts are swollen as well but not as much as her neck. What can this be and what can I do to help her?
<Swelling covers a lot of territory, Jewel -- from infections to obesity and a number of issues in-between. First, did she just START swelling a few weeks ago -- or did you just notice a few weeks ago? Has it gotten worse since you noticed -- or is it the same? Is she active and eating -- or listless? Does she climb out and bask for reasonable periods? When she swims, does she have trouble submerging as if she keeps floating UP -- does she have problems floating as if she can't help but sink -- or seem fine in this regard? What about her skin -- is it normal looking, faded colors or appear to be covered in a gray film?>
<Does she have clean, clear water and proper UV lighting in her basking area?>
<If you can provide us with some answers to these questions and a better description of the swelling itself, we can be more helpful in diagnosing.>
<In the mean time, if there's any question AT ALL about a health problem, remover her from her tank and keep her some -place warm and dry ( I often just use a high sided cardboard box with an heating pad set on low). just about every illness that a Slider can contract is made worse in a warm, wet environment, so take her out, keep her warm and dry and then place her in a shallow bowl of room temperature water for 10 minutes every day just so she can drink, eat and poop.>
<And please write back with more specific information>

Re: Swollen neck 5/5/09
<Hiya, Darrel here>
First off, if I accidentally call her a him, it's because we just found out he's a she a short time ago. And thank you sooooo much for being here and helping me!! I've called places and gone to 2 reptile stores and they had no clue what it would be.
I hate to say it but although I look at her several times a day, I can't even tell you when she started to swell but I have a photo of her from 1/5/09 and she was looking normal. The swelling is pretty much the same
since looking at her 2 weeks ago.
She does not act listless although her eating drive is not as ambitious as it was a couple of weeks ago. I did buy new food for her (turtle food) and was feeding it to her for about 1 week before noticing her neck. I stopped feeding it to her when I noticed it. There was also approx 12 feeder fish in the tank that had gotten large because she could not catch them.
<That's a common problem, Jewel. Fish are not a significant part of a turtle's diet and as I'm sure you can imagine, Sliders aren't really adept hunters .. so the fish grow bigger and just add to the fouling of the
The water was definitely not clear. I got rid of all of the fish, cleaned the tank and dropped the temp in the tank to about 78 degrees (it had been at 82-84 degrees).
<The water temperature should be around 72-73 degrees and no warmer.
Turtles kept indoors should not have a heater of any kind in the water.
With proper basking temperatures, the idea is that the turtle will choose her own temperature by basking to warm up or swimming to cool off, so get that water temperature down please>
She stays mostly in the water or half in and half out because she gets skittish when basking on the pad. I don't know if she even knows how to really swim because her tank has never been big enough to make any waves.
She seems to just sink when I try to show her how its done in the bathtub. There is a UV light that I leave on all day and eve and just shut off at night. It is approx 9 months old. And a heat lamp over the basking area.
Her skin right now is shedding in very thin pc.s of clear or grayish color.
I think I can download a photo of her if that will help.
<Read the instructions very carefully on the UV bulb, Jewel. UV bulbs typically have to be very close -- which is to say that an average bulb loses more than half it's energy at 8-10 inches from the surface. In fact,
at 24 inches above the tank they have no really value at all.>
<For the moment, keep her warm and dry for a week (as I suggested yesterday) and let's see if a less stressful environment will allow her condition to improve.>
Thank you again!
<Here's a link for you
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
<check every aspect of your care against what's written and correct anything that is out of line>

Re: Swollen neck 5-7-09
Here's a couple of pics of my RES.
<Jewel, that's more than a swollen neck. That's what's called edema -- a swelling of the tissues with excess fluids. It could because the kidneys are not eliminating, a bladder problem or any number of other issues, all serious and all requiring veterinary care. Best case it's a vitamin deficiency, Vitamin A&D most likely .. but at this stage you'll need a vet to give injections. Oral application wouldn't get enough into the tissues fast enough.>
<I'm sure that's not the help you were hoping for, but that is, as they say, they way it is.>
<Best of luck to you ... Darrel>

Re: Swollen neck 5-7-09
Thanks Darrel,
I actually took her to a vet this morning. He thinks she has some sort of infection as well as respiratory problems. Mostly all due to bad water conditions (which was my best guess). He gave the meds to me to administer
every 3 days. Boy this will be fun! Never gave a shot in my life! Wish me luck!
Thanks for your help,
<Best of luck to you and little Molly>
<To everyone else, I'd like to take this opportunity to mention that the amount of money and effort that Jewel is going to spend on treating this illness is many, many, MANY times the cost and effort of having prevented
the illness in the first place! Whether it be fish, foul, furry or slithery .... it costs less time, less money and less heartache for prevention than for treatment.>
<That is all.>
<carry on>

Turtle With Bump on Cheek -4/23/09
<Hiya back! Darrel here>
I have a two inch red-eared slider named Leafy that has a white bump on its cheek. I'm wondering what it is and what I can do to remove it.
<I'd need more information than that description. Growths from under the skin usually look like a bump, but in the color of the skin itself. A WOUND can often scab over and look a little whitish after the scar forms, but then a FUNGUS will be white or white/gray and will look somewhat fuzzy.>
I feed it ReptoMin sticks and shrimp. I wash the tank every week and feed it every other day.
<That sounds like good care. What about lighting? UV lamp and a basking lamp for heat? Unfiltered sunlight (most people don't realize that ordinary glass filters out UV). What is the rest of the environment?>
I waited a few days to see if it would go away by itself but it didn't. I got it from Chinatown and it's my first turtle. What should I do to help?
<Here's a link about our many responses to fungus
<If you think we've described a fungus, you can get ideas on how to treat it. Otherwise try to send us a couple pictures>
<And here's a link to general standards of care.
Compare your standard of care and correct anything missing
Re: Turtle With Bump on Cheek -4/23/09 05/02/09

It's just white and it looks like it's part of the skin, but it's bulging out.
<It sounds like an infection has taken hold>
I bring it to a non-direct sunlight area every few days.
<Unfortunately, he needs direct, unfiltered sunlight every day --or-- a set of Ultraviolet A/B lamps. Without this he'll never be able to synthesize the vitamins he needs>
His tank has pebbles covering the bottom and a flat rock. There is a little one-inch tower and a fake plant that he likes to climb on top of.
<As long as he can get out and completely dry and warm -- again, anything the "care" link has that you don't have ... must be fixed>
I think it's about to die. He takes really deep breaths, moving his whole head, and he's all stretched out. My brother rolled him on it's back but it didn't move.
<Well, put him back upright, take him out of the water and keep him someplace warm and dry. OUT of water. To be honest it sounds like he's too sick to be treated. At minimum he'll need to be seen by a veterinarian that can diagnose and treat him.>
What do I do? Should I get a new turtle?
<No, please don't. If this turtle passes away it's important that you understand what went wrong and CHANGE things -- before getting another.
The little guys in our care depend on us 100% for heat, light, food and safety and we owe it to them to learn from our mistakes.>
<In your case, read the link AGAIN ... do further research on the WWM site and do NOT get another turtle until you understand all the care it needs and that you're sure you can provide that care>
<We here at WWM are sorry for your troubles and we hope your little guy pulls through, but at the same time it's our goal to educate you so that it doesn't happen again.>
< http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm>

Turtle With Bump On The Neck    9/22/06 Hi, I recently bought a tiny red eared slider turtle and he seems to be doing fine.  However, he has a strange bump on his neck that is yellowish and barely raised.  It almost looks like a growth or fungus of some kind. What is this? Sara < Could be some trauma to the neck that has gotten infected. Keep the tank clean by doing water changes and clean the filter often. Add a Dr Turtle Sulpha Block to the water to treat the infection. You may need to place some Repti Wound Healing Aid directly on the spot.-Chuck>

Turtles With a Pain in the Neck 7/17/05 Gentlemen: < There are many ladies on the crew too.> Thank you for having a most informative website. I have two red eared sliders that are about 2 1/2 years old. They are growing rather well. However, about two weeks ago they both developed a rather horrendous puffy lesion on the nape of their necks where it meets the shell. The vet gave some antibiotic cream which has been no help. These lesions have now become somewhat bloody, larger and awful looking. They are swimming and eating, however. There are three other turtles in the group (not red eareds) that are doing fine and do not have this problem. The tank is always clean, good filters, etc. They bask every day in the sun. Any suggestions? Thanks for your assistance, we need some immediate help!! Sincerely, William <Aquatic turtles sometimes come down with a bacterial attack that is followed up with a white puffy skin fungus. I suspect that your turtles are probably a little too fat and the skin is rubbing on the shell and irritating the skin and causing the problem. Feel the shell where the problem is. If it is sharp then I would file it down with a fingernail file to just take the sharp edge off. If they are a little overweight then cut back on the calories not matter how hard they beg. If possible , use a cotton swap to wipe off the white cottony fungus down to the bare irritated skin. Paint the area with iodine or Merthiolate until it dries. Dip the turtles in Repti Turtle Sulfa Dip and then apply the Repti Wound Healing Aid. Place a Dr. turtle Sulfa Block in the water as a preventative. Make sure the water is clean by checking for ammonia. Is the main cause of infections among water turtles.-Chuck.>

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