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FAQs About Red Ear Slider Turtle Disease/Health 1

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 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, Growths/Tumors, Infectious, Parasitic, References,

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





Turtle Getting Lighter Hola...I have 2 baby RES... I got them about a month and a half ago. They're in a 10 gallon tank with a filter, heater and basking spot. One of them seems to have been getting lighter and lighter in color as the weeks go by. They were both originally the same color. I could barely tell them apart at first besides looking at their size and shell pattern. As the weeks have gone by, one seems to be getting lighter in the shell and on its skin. He is healthy as far as behavior goes He goes out to bask in the sun often, he is the more aggressive turtle and very social with people. These are my first turtles so I don't know if it's because of shedding, rot or if it's just normal. Help pleeeeease. < If it was something your were doing or environmental factors then I think it would be affecting both of them. At this point I would just assume that it is genetics unless you observe anything abnormal.-Chuck>

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>

Sick Little Turtle With Soft Shell  9/6/06
Hello, I have a sick little red eared slider.  I'm not sure what is wrong with him.  I looked at some articles on shell rot and I can't seem to find an answer.  His shell is extremely soft, but I don't see any visible cracks in his shell.  Also, on his underbelly there are two red sores almost like he is bleeding internally.  He is very inactive, only swimming and eating maybe an hour a day.  Please if there is anything we can do to help save him I would greatly appreciate it.  Thank you so much for your help. < The basking site should be at least 85 F. The heat from the light helps harden his shell and builds vitamins. Add a Zoo Med Calcium Block to add calcium to his diet and add a Zoo Med Sulpha Block to the water to keep the bacteria from eating away at his shell. The heat lamp will help. Make sure it is one made for turtles to bask.-Chuck>

RES With Shell Problems  - 08/25/06 Well I have to two red eared sliders about 5 inches in length. One of them has pinkish spots only underneath the shell, its been like that for few months now. Is it a problem? or is that normal? < This is a bacterial infection that attacks the shell. Keep the water clean, Add a Dr. Turtle Sulpha Block to the water and treat the areas with Repti Wound Healing Aid. It may get worse if not treated.-Chuck>

Red Eared Slider's Skin  8/24/06 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I have 3 red eared sliders... two are about 2 inches long and one is a new turtle that was given to us, and is about 4-6 inches long. They live in a ten gallon tank with a filer.. Ever since the new turtle came, the other turtles have gotten some sort of transparent mucus film on their necks... I was afraid it might be a major problem, but they seem fine.. Is there anyway to get rid of it? <It sounds to me like the turtles may just be shedding their skin.  That tank is way to small for all 3 of your turtles.  It would do for only one at that size.  I suggest a 55g tank for all 3, ASAP!   That way, you can add a nice-sized filter to it. Eventually, as adults, they will need 50g ea, totaling a 150g tank.  If you have no filtration on there now, I suggest 100% water changes on that tank daily, until you upgrade their tank.  ~PP>

Please help, Concerned of my Red Eared Slider   8/16/06 On a couple occasions I have noticed that my red eared slider has this big black thing coming out from his butt, It almost looks like poo but he never releases it and before I know it its gone.  Its not in the tank so I assume that it went up inside him?   Is this normal? or is something wrong with my turtle. Please Help! Zee, TX <Sounds like a "prolapsed colon" (or... "party animal"). Please search this term with the word "turtle" in front, on WWM, the Net. Bob Fenner>

RES Shell Trouble, not searching, reading   8/11/06 Hello my son has a RES turtle and he is only the size of a mini pancake he has proper lighting (I suppose) its the light from the tank and I notice when cleaning out his tank that his shell toward the end of his tail is starting to get soft. He gets his tank cleaned once a week and he has plenty of area to get out of the sun to bask. We are fairly new at this but he is growing and eating but I don't know what else to do? PLEASE help HAWK get his health back.  Thanks Tammy TAMMY RAY STEVENS <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turtshellrot.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/resdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

RES Eating Rocks... Reading   8/4/06 Dear Sir/Madam, <Rosie> My name is Rosie and I am an adult female red eared slider.  Recently I have developed a habit of eating stones occasionally.  I know that this can be normal for turtles but the stones in my tank are slate chippings and some can be quite big.  Is this harmful in any way? Thanks, Rosie <Can be if the stones themselves are actually ingested. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/redearsliders.htm and the linked files above. Your turtle may have something lacking in its diet and/or environment... Bob Fenner>


Turtle Shedding His Skin  - 07/30/06 Greetings. Two days ago I took apart my turtle tank and cleaned everything as usual. I refilled it with distilled water, as always, but today I have noticed that my red-eared slider has thin, wispy, white spider web-type fronds coming off of any place his shell doesn't cover. His shell seems to be clear of any type of growth, but these wispy white things have already filled up the new water and I'm worried about my turtle. His "skin" itself is not discolored; only the part that seems to be peeling off. I have a small painted turtle in the same tank who seems to be doing just fine. I've kept them both together for several years and this is the first time I have encountered this problem. I've looked all over your (extremely informational!) site but can't seem to find anything like it. The RES has been acting a little more agitated lately, but I thought he was just begging for more food, as they both get more active in the summer months anyway. Please let me know what I should do; I've discovered that most pet stores in this area really don't know anything about the animals they are selling and can't answer any but the most common questions. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your speedy reply! ~DRR <Your turtle is shedding his skin. The warmer summer temps have made him more active and he is growing as expected. The old skin may even fungus up but this will not hurt the turtle. get a fish net and remove any excess skin from the water.-Chuck>

Closed eye RES   7/26/06 Hello, <Hi there> I have three baby RES. One of them is much smaller than the other two (they are about the same age). The Smaller RES has closed the eyes for over 3 weeks and I have been using the Repti turtle eye drops almost every day but no help. Is it already blind. If I bring it to a vet. will he/she just tell me to put more eye drop??  Do you recommend any reptile vet in Brooklyn ,  New York city area??? <Does there system have purposeful heating? A dry basking area? Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/ressysfaqs.htm and the linked files above... Now! And use the Kingsnake link there to locate a specialty Veterinarian in your area. Bob Fenner>

Turtle Still With Bad Eyes   7/25/06 Dear Crew, I hope all of you are enjoying good health. I wrote about my sick Red Eared Slider who had swollen eyes and difficulty seeing. You guys advised Neomycin eye drops, Vitamin A Deficiency Eye Drops, including Vitamin A in the diet and washing his eyes with saline water. I tried including carrots and peaches in his diet but he only eats cabbage and that too very rarely. < Try kale and spinach.> He is still active and even looked better for a while. I couldn't get my hands on the ReptiMed eye drops. Now he hardly opens his eyes and cannot even see his food. I pushed his food under his nose today so he's eaten that but he's stopped responding to this feed-container like he used to. I suspect that, that is because he can't see it. A local pharmacy makes Vitamin A fortified multivitamin syrup as needed and I wanted to find out what strength should I order that for? < 5000 International Units of Vitamin A per pound of body weight. Either injected or administered orally with some sugar water and cod liver oil.> And is it okay if I force-feed him that with a dropper? < Sure.> He seems to enjoy basking in the lamp-light but tries to hide when I put him directly in the sun. Should I just let him soak up the lamp-light? < Make sure that the lamp light contains UVB A and UVB B. If the lamp is old then replace it with a new one. The basking site needs to be up around 85 F.> And I can put him under the lamp without water, right? < He needs to get into the water when he gets too hot so he can cool off.> He seems to like it a lot. < He knows that he need to get hot to get cured.> I hope I have included everything that is required. Please advice as to what I should do next. I repeat that I do not have a reptile vet available in this country. Waiting anxiously for your reply, I remain with kind regards. Sidra

Small Red Eared Slider With Blister on Arm  7/14/06 Hello, I have a baby res that's about the size of a half dollar. When I first got him/her it seemed ok but I noticed about a week ago that (s)he has this.....blister looking thing on its right "armpit" it looks like (s)he might have hit something and dislocated its shoulder.....I dunno know......I know that its painful when something touches it because it will pull its head all the way in and closes its right eye. it doesn't seem to hinder the turtle though, it still holds its own during feeding with another slightly bigger turtle.  I read somewhere that putting some Neosporin on the wound might help and it doesn't...another thing is it seems to "yawn" a lot while underwater....is it taking a drink or does that mean it might be getting a respiratory infection?  pls help.  KK < With more than one turtle the problem could be  bacterial infection or a bite to the arm that got infected. Check the basking site and make sure that it gets up to at least 85 F. Keep the water very clean. Give the turtle a dip in Zoo Med Turtle Sulpha Dip and put a Dr Turtle Sulpha Block in the water. Get some Repti Wound Healing Aid from Zoo  Med and treat the wound according to the directions.-Chuck.>

Chalky White Turtles  7/14/06 Dear Wet Web Media Crew, First I want to thank you guys for the wonderful website you have provided! Secondly, I need your help! I am currently the owner of two red-eared sliders, both living in the same aquarium. My largest one is about 2 3/4 in. long from the top of the shell to the bottom. The smaller one is...well, smaller. However, both turtles have a white chalky-like substance that shows up when they bask in the sun. I have read that I need to get an antibiotic for their shells, but I do not know what kind or type I should get. Also, The larger one has light brown spots on the bottom of it. The spots are like shadowing the designs on the bottom part of the shell. Is this bad? Do you know what it is? What can I do about their shells? Thank you for your help, Jamie D. <The white substance could be a simple calcium carbonate precipitate from very hard alkaline water. Like the lime type substance you find around a tea kettle. Softer water would probably eliminate some of this. Oils and fats from the foods float on the water and are picked up on the turtles shells as they leave the water. Keeping the water clean will help. Soft cheesy spots on the shell are caused by bacteria. The areas need to be cleaned out and treated with an antibiotic. Do a Google search for shell rot. If you do not find any cures then a trip to the vet will be required.-chuck.>

Turtle With Swollen Eyes In Pakistan  7/14/06 Dear WWM, We have a red-eared slider who is approximately 4 inches across his shell. We think he has an eye infection because he keeps pawing his eyes and opens them very reluctantly. And they look swollen. He hasn't eaten since yesterday. We don't have reptile vets in Pakistan so we took him to a pet shop because we didn't know what else to do. He told us to put him in warm, saline water for a couple of days. Now I know sliders are fresh water creatures so how safe is that? < A little salt water has some medicinal qualities.> We put him in saline warm water yesterday and he's been very restless this morning. And right now he had turned over on his back!!! He still very active and now we have put him back in normal water because I don't think saline water is a good idea. We are keeping the water warm and are keeping him under a lamp which contains an energy-saver bulb. It's keeping his basking site sufficiently warm. (87F) We feed him a diet of turtle pellets which contain white fish meat, guard, wheat albumen, cod liver oil, lecithin, calcium, yeast and vitamins though it doesn't say which ones. I have been through all the threads on your site and they all state the use of some eye-drops which are not available in this country. Please advice us of a home remedy. We are really worried. Is Sunday going to die? Please advice!! Thank you. Carmina and Sidra, Karachi, Pakistan< The problem is caused by a lack of vitamin A. Get some vitamins and add them to the turtle food. Treat the eyes four times a day with neomycin. Try weak warm solutions of salty water or with boric acid in solution to flush out the eyes. Zoo Med makes Repti  Turtle Eye Drops that may be available on the internet.-Chuck>

Turtle With Bump On Neck   7/7/06 I have 3 red ear sliders , they have been happy friendly, healthy growing guys for over a year now. But I noticed that one of them has a bump on the side of his head . And it came up with in a day or 2. He is still eating and swimming and acting fine. What could this be ?  I should tell you also this is the guy we've named nosey because he climbs on top of the filter and lays. Could he of gotten to close to the light or burned his self climbing? <Turtles are usually pretty smart and don't stay out in the heat too long. Usually these things relate to trauma to the area. I am thinking that maybe another turtle may have gotten a nip on his neck and it got infected. So look for and wounds to the area. Another idea may be an injury to the throat area from trying to eat something too big or with sharp edges like the fin of a feeder fish. make sure that the basking site is at least 85 F. If things don't get better within a week then I would have him looked at by a vet to be sure.-Chuck>

Turtle Not Doing Well   7/7/06 Hello, My parents own a 5-1/2 year old red eared slider. He resides in a Pyrex bowl in luke warm water. He is slightly smaller then a woman's hand. Yesterday, my mother noticed that not only would the turtle not eat, he  was all the way in his shell and you could not even see his nose. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. I look forward to your response. Thank you. Liz <The basking area should be at least 85 F. He may be too cold. The conditions you describe don't sound very good for a turtle and I am surprised he has lived this long. An adult turtle needs room to swim, clean water and proper lighting. You have mentioned none of these. I am afraid your turtle is not well and I would recommend that you take him to a vet.-Chuck>

Toads and a Dead Turtle 07/04/06 I caught a bunch of nickel sized toads. at least I think they're toads, they don't have webbed feet. They're brownish with orangey red bumps on its back and a white underbelly. I found them in my lawn while I mowed it. What kind of toads are they and what should I feed them? <Sorry, I need to know where you are from to help you  ID a toad. generally that are terrestrial and eat all kinds of insects. They are great for the garden and eat lots of destructive pests.> While I'm at it I also have a red eared slider turtle that died, it was just so weak and it opened its mouth and sometimes made a kind of croaking noises, it was all limp and just laid around in his tank before he died. What was wrong with him and what should I do to prevent it from happening to my other turtles? William < Your turtle had a respiratory infection from being too cold. The basking spot should be at least 85 F. Turtles need to heat up to fight infections.-Chuck>

Turtle Won't Eat and has Puffy Eyes  6/20/06 Hi. I have my baby turtle Mertal Donotelo, he is a Texas red ear slider, and I think he has a eye infection based on the description in your site. Is there any way to treat him without taking him to the vet? Is there an OTC medicine I could get for him? Will he die? Also, he is not eating that I can see, and he stays on his rock all day. Is there something wrong? Please help. Thank You Nate' Greer-Parr <Check the temp of the basking site . It should be up around 85F or higher. Treat the eyes with Repti Turtle Eye Drops. If he does not get better then he will starve. Can't eat what he can't see. After his eyes clear up and he starts to eat try feeding him some insects and washed earthworms.-Chuck>

Turtle Not Moving, Too Cold   6/11/06 Hi I just got a baby RES turtle, she's a girl, and I went to check on her awhile ago and she was all tucked inside her shell and when I picked her up she wouldn't come out!! After about 10 minutes she had moved from where I had put her but I am concerned that I am doing something wrong! I am buying a thermometer and heater for her tank tomorrow because I am afraid she is too cold but I am not sure!! I hope that u can answer my questions! Signed, a concerned parent. < The basking site should be at least 85 F. Check that you have the proper lighting and that the basking site is warm enough. Turtles need to go between hot and cold to stay healthy. Too hot or too cold is not good.-Chuck>


Turtle With Infected Cheeks   6/9/06 Hello, I have had a red ear slider turtle for 3yrs now and he was doing well till just recently. He has a big red puss looking sore on both sides of his head near his checks. I have never noticed them before and now they are there. The sores really hurt him, but he is still eating like he usually does he just isnt sociable anymore. What are the sores and how do I get rid of them? Thanks so much, Audrey Kerr <Probably  some thing he ate or tried to eat damaged his jaws and they got infected. I would recommend that you take him to a vet for examination and proper treatment. As turtles get older they require more vegetable matter in their diet and less meat. In their attempt to get more vegetable matter they bite at the algae that grows on rocks and ornaments. Sometimes they bite off more than they can chew and it is possible that this what may have happened.-Chuck>


Turtle With Lumps On His Jaws  - 06/07/2006 I got a RES about two years ago when it was just a baby. He was only a little bigger than a quarter. He is now about four inches long, maybe a little smaller. We believe its a boy but he is still young. His name is Beanie. I read a lot about them and got the proper lighting and caging. Beanie is in a 40g Breeder until he gets bigger. The temp is at about 78 degrees. I was told at the pet store the 40g will be great for him for about 6 to 10 years depending on how fast he grows. For the first year I fed him once a day and then when he started looking a little chubby I cut it down to every other day. He has plenty of fish to chase around and basks frequently. Then about 8 months ago he started to develop lumps on each side of his head. We assumed he was growing in his adult jaws. This still might be the case however, the lumps grew bigger as the months went on and they each stick out about a centimeter on each side. I know I should take him to the vet and I will. I just was wondering if this is something that is normal with growing turtles, he is the first one I have gotten. I have read books and many internet sites but nothing I can find has told me anything about the lumps. A friend of my brothers who has had many turtles said I might be feeding to much. I feed him about 6-10 Freeze Dried Jumbo krill however a large African clawed frog eats a few and I have a Koi and two big gold fish that will snatch at them. Then about 5 regular size gold fishes. He eats the fish food that floats around. I've tried giving him lettuce and carrots but he doesn't touch them. I give him a few ReptoMin sticks, and Nutrafin turtle Gammarus pellets. when I go to the pet store about every other week I will get tiny guppy's for the frog and Beanie to Catch. I will get crickets when I have time. I don't know if that is too much He is done eating in about 5 to 10 minutes. Thanks, Mary < Growing turtles that are properly fed do not develop the jaw structures that you have described. It could be a vitamin or mineral imbalance. A vet will take x-rays and find out for sure.-Chuck>


Chemicals, Breeding Green Terrors, Fungus on RES's Neck  - 05/29/06 Hi crew. I am happy to be back after a long break to my fish hobby. Now I have many questions for you.   1)There is a lake near my house which was polluted by chemicals nearly  8-10yrs back. Now I find a lot of daphnia and mosquito fish in the  lake. Can I feed this to my fish? < Chemicals is a very broad term. Depending on the contamination levels and the chemicals the threat could be gone by now. Other chemicals can last for years in very low concentrations. These invertebrates could each contain a very minute level of the chemicals. As you fish eats these invertebrates the concentration of the chemicals may build up in the  fish's body and cause health problems for your fish. In general I do not use any water for my fish that I would not drink myself. This way I know the water is safe.> I also fear that there are hook  worms (Argulus) present along with the daphnia. Can I feed this to my  fishes? < Fish generally will not eat Argulus.> Is there any way I can remove the Argulus? Medications used to kill the Argulus will kill the daphnia too.> 2) My green terrors breed very often but the problem is that the male is  not helpful in guarding the spawn and the female keeps eating the  fry. How can I hatch the eggs away from the parents? <Give the parents something to lay the eggs on that can be removed from the tank. If they lay the eggs on the side of the glass then there is not too much you can do. Get a 5 gallon tank and set it up with a heater and an airstone. When the fish lay the eggs you can remove 5 gallons from the main tank and put  it in the 5 gallon tank. Place the rock with the eggs in the 5 gallon tank and set the heater for 80 F. Place the airstone next to the eggs to keep a current going. Add some Methylene blue to the water to prevent fungus. After three days the eggs should hatch and the fry will fall to the bottom of the tank. Remove the rock. Three days later the fry should be free swimming and will need to be fed baby brine shrimp, Microworms and finely crushed flake food.> 3)My RES turtle appears to be growing fungus around its neck and on its shell. How can I treat this? <Fungus generally feeds on dead tissue. I assume that the turtle is shedding his skin and the fungus is simply attached to the skin that is sloughing off. Do a big water change, try to rinse off the dead skin and add a Dr. Turtle Sulfa Block by Zoo Med to inhibit the fungus growth.> I will be very thankful if you help me out. thanking you in advance. < Next time you need to rewrite your questions to include proper punctuation or you questions will not be answered. These questions/replies are posted to help other aquarists/hobbyists and we need to be very clear so not to mislead others trying to save their animals.-Chuck>


Turtle With Skin Lesion  - 05/20/2006 Hi, I've had my res for about 13 years now without any problems Last week I noticed this spot under it's mouth. I know it's hard to see in the picture but it looks like a few layers of skin are gone. I thought I'd leave it alone for a while but it seems to be getting redder and bigger. The turtle is acting normally and is eating fine. Do you have any idea what this can be? < Sometimes an abrasive substrate can irritate the lower jaw area as the turtle forages for food. If the other turtles are experiencing a pinkish skin along with the soar then their may be a bacterial problem with the container. I would toughly clean the tank and add a Dr. Turtle Sulfa Block to inhibit the bacteria. Check the temp. of the basking site and make sure it is up to at least 85 F.> Also, I have two other turtles in the same aquarium and they all seem to have a pink tint to their skin. I've only noticed this after I moved. Is there something wrong with the water? What can I do?   < Check the water at a local fish store for nitrates. High nitrates may be coming directly from your tap and can contribute to bacterial problems-Chuck>


Sick Turtle Needs help  - 05/20/2006 Hi- I have a few questions I am hoping you can answer. I bought two red ear sliders hatchlings about 2 months ago- one didn't make it and the other one is still alive- but not doing well. I have everything set up in the tank- the heater, the water is clean, the basking lamp, but he rarely opens his eyes- he doesn't swim much, and he has some white stuff on his front foot- I REALLY want him to make it and be a healthy turtle- I am going to find a vet tomorrow but was hoping in the meantime you can give me some answers- I love this little guy and don't want to see him suffer. Thank you- Heidi < Check the temperature of the basking site with a thermometer. It should be at least 85 F. turn down the heater to 70 F. Get some Repti Turtle Eye Drops for his eyes. Wipe the white stuff off his front foot with a cotton ball. It may be a fungus. Use Repti Turtle Sulpha Dip to treat the problem foot. Next time don't wait so long for these problems to get worse.-Chuck>


Water Temp For A Water Turtle  - 05/20/2006 Thanks so much- and to be honest its not that I waited too long. I actually talked to 4 different pet store managers who handle res and they made it seem like this problem was no big deal. And where I live there are 2 exotic vets and they work once a week!!! So I have been reading everything but wanted to ask your staff- you seem the best expert. So I will try what you said- thanks so much for responding-- But I just have to ask- the water temp should be 70??? Everywhere says 80 ish and I just want to double check that is what you mean before I change it- < Change it to 70 F and here is why. These turtles are common in the waters of central North America. The water temps there very to the low 30's during the winter to maybe a maximum of 70 in shallow sunny areas during the summer. If a turtle gets too cold it simply comes out to bask. Its body temp can rise to probably 90 F. When it dives back into the water it quickly loses its heat. This big temperature change  helps to control disease causing bacteria. It is like you getting sick and developing a fever. You body temp goes up just a few degrees and you get better. This is one the reasons that when turtles are properly set up they live illness free for years.-Chuck>


Turtle Can't Sink  - 5/18/2006 Hi, I'm hoping you can help me.  I have two little red eared sliders that my brother won at a street fair last summer.  We have them 9 months, in a 20 gal long tank.  Plenty of swimming and diving room in warm water, nice basking area and good filtration.  We take them out to feed them ( feeders, tuna, cooked meat), they would not eat the ReptoMin so my husband blended it with some grapes and lettuce and they nibble on it now. The problem is one has stopped eating.  It's been several weeks now.  At first it would nibble on the food, not it's usual eating manners, then it looked like it was grabbing food and spitting it out.  Now, it won't eat anything and is getting very thin.  It's lethargic, doesn't swim ( just floats on the water or lays on land, doesn't look like it can dive).  I took it to the vet on Monday, it doesn't have any of the typical sickness signs.  She thought it might have a blockage and gave it some baby oil as a laxative, it discharge a little mushy, yellow poop but that's it.  What can I do?  The poor thing looks like it is starving to death.  Help! Thank you, Rosemary < When a turtle has trouble sinking it is usually a respiratory infection and the lungs fill up with fluid. Check the temperature of the basking site. It should be up around 85 to 90 F. If not, move the source closer to the site or get a bigger light. Have you vet check with another veterinarian that is familiar with turtle diseases. Go to Kingsnake.com to try and find a vet that is experienced in reptiles.-Chuck>


RES is Not Growing  - 5/17/2006 Hi! My sister brought me two red eared sliders from Florida over spring break. They were roughly the same size (1.5-2 in) and both seemed to do okay when I gave them a heat lamp, UV lamp and filter. I feed them in a separate tank, but together. Recently I have noticed that one has gotten much bigger and darkened tremendously in colour. He eats like crazy and is very healthy. The other turtle has not grown at all, and hides a lot, wedging himself under rocks. He wasn't eating, so I started separating them to eat. He seems to be eating a little more, but mostly just the baby shrimp by ReptoMin and not his pellet food. He is also growing an extra scute that looks like it has wedged itself in-between two of his regular ones. This scute and the one above seem to be lifting in the lower left corner. Is he going to be okay? Carrie <Usually when two little turtles are placed together in the same tank, one becomes dominant and other becomes very stressed. The dominant one grows like crazy, gets all the good food and the best basking spot. Over time the dominant one continues to get bigger and smaller one gets worse and worse. Many people think that turtles need companionship so they get two and end up in the same situation. I recommend that you separate them. Hard to say what may be causing the abnormal growth on the shell. The constant wedging may have damaged the shell and caused the abnormal growth. Separate the turtles and see if the shell starts to go back to a normal shape.-Chuck>


Baby RES Death - 05/16/2006 Yesterday I decided to put my baby RES outside in a big bucket so he could swim around. This was the first time we had done so. Normally we keep him indoors in a pie pan because he is so tiny (1.5 inches). It was about 88 degrees outside and we left him out in the sun for a few hours thinking he would be ok and have fun swimming around in the bucket. When we went back to check on him he would not move. We continued to check back on him to see if he was alive or dead. A few hours later his eyes had sunk in and turned a dark purple color and his nostrils closed up. We assume he is dead at this point. Today will be "Dude's" funeral:(  Do you have any idea what could have caused his death? < Baby RES's can handle some heat for awhile but need to be able to cool themselves down but immersing themselves in cooler water. I think the water got too hot and his system shut down.-Chuck>


Turtle Is Really Bloated    5/2/06 I have a red ear slider for a few years now, he seems to be sick. It seems like he is having  trouble swimming, Has not been eating like he use to. It looks like he is swollen, and that keeps him from getting around. He is always out of the water, which is odd for him. I never see him go to the bottom of the tank anymore either. I have another turtle, I got them at the same time, they have been together since day one. The other one is still doing all the things they both use to do. but he doesn't look swollen. He kinda reminds me of a inner tube floating in the water. He just floats there when he is in the water. Can you please tell what might be wrong? thank you, Really concerned mom in P.A. < I suspect that your turtle has a respiratory infection and has fluid built up in its lungs and tissues. take it to a vet that knows turtles. Go to Kingsnake.com for a possible vet recommendation. In the meantime check the basking site. It should be up around 85 to 95 F. Check it with a thermometer.-Chuck>  


Turtle With Possible Parasite Problem    5/2/06 Hi WWM Crew: I have a red eared slider who is having some trouble.  He has developed a puffy lump on the back of his neck.  Although I checked all of the other posts, my situation seems a little different.  It seems that this swelling is moving into one of his legs.  Not as badly, but there is still some minor swelling.  The one on his neck is humongous, and I am afraid that it is going to pop or something.  He is active though, and his eyes are clear.  He has also been basking regularly, but not excessively.  Also, in the past day, his poop looks different.  It looks like little tiny worms, but they are not moving.  Following some of the other advice that I read on your website, I bought the sulfa dip, and I am on the 2nd day of the treatment. I am really, really concerned.  I have combed the internet for answers, and I'm desperate to help him get better. Thank you so much for your time, Helma < Take a fecal sample to a vet to check for parasites. After a proper diagnosis is made they can administer the correct medication. Deworming medication for turtles is different than medication used for treating  other reptiles.-Chuck>Turtle With Possible Parasite Problem II    5/2/06 I think that the worm like things might have come from the Dr. Turtle that has been in the water. < I doubt it. Thousands of these have been sold without any "worms" being observed.-Chuck> Turtle With Possible Parasite Problem III    5/4/06 Hello, I contacted Dr. Turtle and they have said that it was probably debris that got into the sulfa block, and that no parasites could survive the cooking process.  Any other suggestions as to why my turtle has a puffy neck?  It looks like a humongous fluid filled blister. Thanks so much for your time, Helma < Take your turtle to a vet! NOW!  There is nothing we can say or do to make your turtle better.-Chuck>


Turtle is Sick May Not be Pregnant  - 04/27/06 I bought a male red eared slider about two months ago. It seemed healthy.  I also bought a soft-shell turtle. The soft shelled turtle was biting the red eared slider so I sold it and bought a female red eared slider. The first week she was fine and she ate and swam, but now its been about two weeks and she stays on the land all day and won't eat.  She is drooling and about every ten minutes or so she moves her leg over the land a few times (scratches it with her back claw) and makes a strange noise like a cough or sneeze.  A vet told me to take the plastic cover off of the UVB lamp because she may have a vitamin deficiency but this makes no sense because the other turtles were fine and it hasn't done anything after two days. I believe my turtle is pregnant from other info I've gotten. What should I do. Please respond ASAP. Thank you. Paul S < Your turtle has a respiratory infection that needs to be treated. Make sure that the basking site gets up to at least 85 F. Check it with a thermometer. Move the light closer or get a bigger bulb to increase the heat. The strange noises are fluid in the lungs. Antibiotics are really needed.  Your turtle may still be pregnant but this needs some immediate attention.-Chuck>


Little Turtle With Shell Problems  - 04/24/2006 Hi, I have a baby red eared slider, and I recently noticed that a piece of his/her shell was missing near his rear end. My parents said (s)he would be fine, and the won't take him/her to the vet. For about an hour he was just laying in the water (I took some water out so the missing part could dry a bit and not have as much as a chance of infection) but now (s)he is moving around as (s)he normally would. What should I do? (I included a picture.) <Your photo is not very clear. Make sure that the basking site gets up to at least 85 F. The heat helps cure any shell infections. The light should also contain some UVA and UVB light for good vitamin and mineral absorption. ZooMed makes an excellent little book for water turtles. It is inexpensive and has lots of very good information to keep your turtle healthy. Ask you parents if they will get you the book. I would highly recommend it.-Chuck>


Strange Turtle Death Hello, I am new to this site and have found you FAQ's and informative links extremely helpful and enlighten. My boyfriend and myself are the new proud parents of 3 red ear sliders. We have had them for a month and a half and they have over all been happy and healthy. They eat, swim, play, dig, hide, bask and poop on a regular basis. However last night we cleaned the tank, changed the filter, conditioned the water, put the calcium block and decorative plants back and put the turtles back in the water. We stepped out for  about 2 hours but when we returned one of the turtles was deceased on the dock. His head was raised as if he was basking and his eyes were open (but not bulging or cloudy) with one leg stuck out (as usual). The other turtles seemed to be fine. Do you have any idea what we did wrong or any suggestions for us? Thanks in advance, ~K < Little turtles can be regular chow hounds. I would guess that he ate something that got stuck in his throat and was trying to swallow it when he choked to death. This may explain the extended neck as he tried to swallow. evaluate the tank for things that they could Interpet as food.-Chuck>


Fat RES Turtle  - 04/10/2006 Hi, thanks for taking my question. My Red Eared Slider seems to be quite swollen all over his body.  I bought him approximately 5 years ago from a retailer without any previous issues. I've searched multiple other forums with no other mentions of the issue.  I found the attached picture on another site, but with no explanation of the cause.  My Red Eared Slider's affliction is no where near as bad as the one pictured, but I hoped it would give you an idea.  Is he just overweight for his shell or could it be something more serious like constipation?  His appetite hasn't changed and his behavior normal, I'm just a bit concerned. Thanks much, Rob < If the condition happen rather suddenly then I would think it was a disease and consult a vet. It is has happened gradually then I think it is a dietary issue and change over to a diet with additional vegetable matter and less protein and see if that helps.-Chuck>


Turtle Shedding Its Skin    4/4/06 Hello, I purchased a RES about a month or two ago (4-5 inches) and I have noticed that his skin is peeling. I have set up a 30 gallon tank,  provided plenty of basking and swimming room-for now. I was told by the pet  shop to clean out the tank and use Mr. Turtle, so I did. However, the  peeling has not stopped. I also use a water conditioner. I have a 75W heat lamp  and a 15 W (25%)/UVB (2%) light. I have both lights set up for 12 hours a day, I  was told to leave the heat lamp on, is this true? What else can I do about his  skin peeling, is this normal? I don't see any type of infection and he is very  active (healthy looking, besides the peeling). Please advise and thank you,  Karen < Shedding is a normal process for a growing turtle. Turn the heat lamp off at night and allow the tank to cool down. These major changes in temperature keep the turtle healthy.-Chuck>


Turtle With Puffy Eyes  - 04/02/06 I have two baby red-eared sliders. Their both about one inch long. The problem is that the bigger one, Howie is his name, isn't eating. He hasn't touched the food which I mix up for variety. He hasn't eaten in about a month or maybe even longer now. Luckily, he is still alive. He doesn't move or swim or anything, he just stays in one spot and only moves when I pick him up to make sure that he is still alive. He also has puffed, swollen, eyes which are also closed. I have informed my father about this issue of the eye and we have been treating him with Ophthalmic Ointment for about 3 days now. It hasn't cleared up that much but did get better. It is still swollen but not as much as it used to be and he still can't open his eyes. We will try the ointment for one week and if his eyes still can't open or clear up we will take him to a vet. Does the fact that he can't see affect his eating? My friend told me that it could be a respiratory problem saying that he won't eat, his eyes are swollen and he is not active. I don't know what to do because I am highly concerned and am afraid that if this issue is not cleared up, Howie might die. Please help!!! < Check the basking spot with a thermometer and make sure it gets up to at least 85 F. Add Repti Turtle Eye Drops by Zoo Med. Once the eyes clear up and it can see the additional warmth of the basking site should stimulate an appetite. Next time don't wait an entire month to ask for help. Your turtle doesn't need to suffer for this long.-Chuck>


Red Eared Sliders Left Out In The Cold   4/1/06 We have owned a RES for 7 years.  Since 2002, after moving from Texas to Washington State, the turtle has been in an outdoor pond and has hibernated in the mud.  Here in Washington State, the winter temperatures are very cold but the turtle has seemed to thrive in the natural habitat.  About 2 weeks ago, we found the turtle on the grass.  It seemed completely limp but very hydrated.  We put it back in the pond and put some water around it by hose, until the permanent pond water is turned on for the season. Just yesterday, we saw the turtle floating in the water and pulled the turtle out to check on its condition.  Its head, legs and tail are all out; however they are 100% limp but not stiff.  His eyes are closed and it doesnt move but it is not shriveled or degraded in any way other than slight shell peeling.  We put it back at the edge of the pond, slightly in the water with a hose lying around it so it wouldnt float out.  Four to six hours later, we found it about 6 feet up on the shore of the pond but again 100% limp with its eyes closed.  Is the turtle sick hibernating or dead?  Our weather this spring has fluctuated from cold to warm quite a bit. The temperature here right now is 55 degrees and will probably reach 60s throughout the day!?!   HELP!!!  We love our turtle :-) < With all the strange weather going across the country,  the outdoor turtles are really taking it hard. After a few warm days the turtles come out of hibernation only to get hit by a long cold spell that leaves them vulnerable to the elements. Your turtle has a respiratory problem and needs to be taken to a vet for antibiotics. In the meantime , bring him inside and set him up with a basking site that will get to at least 85 F. The fluid in his lungs prevents him from swimming.-Chuck> Re: Red-Eared Slider Hibernation  - 04/02/06 Thank you so much for your reply.  I was also told it may be in partial hibernation and to bring it in and put it in 85 degree water with some Pedialyte and Poly-Vi-Sol (multi-vitamin drops).  Now that I'm convinced it's still alive I will definitely take it to the vet.  Again, thanks for your help...


Turtles With Worms, Algae   4/1/06 I recently purchased two baby RES turtles, Crush and Squirt. I have done much research on taking care of them and so far so good. I have encountered a   few questionable situations. I am hoping you can provide some info to the following concerns: 1. Both sliders are the same size but one seems to be more "afraid" than  the other and frantically makes a mad dash when I walk by. I have  never seen him eat but because of his shyness I don't stick around to  observe. The other baby will sometimes even eat food from my  hand and pop his head out of the water to say hi. I know that it  will take some time for them to get used to their new home,  but comparing their behaviors make me wonder if the scared turtle is  suffering from something. Is this normal behavior or do I need to treat   somehow? I also have an adult RES in a separate tank right next to Crush and   Squirt. Could the view of Sparky be intimidating Squirt and causing this scared behavior? < Slowly approach the tank once each day to feed the turtles. Feed the turtles as much as they will eat at one time a few times a week. In a while they will start to associate you with food and will be very eager to see you.> 2. I clean their tanks regularly and they are equipped with their own heaters, filters, and basking lamp with island. I keep the water temp. at 80   degrees and their basking lamps stay on. I mainly feed them pellets and cooked chicken seems to be the older turtles favorite! I read that older RES should  have more of a veggie diet but he loves chicken. Will feeding him mainly  pellets and meat cause health problems? What more can I do to ensure happy  turtles? < They really need more veggies in the way of kale and spinach. Commercial adult turtle diets have more vegetable matter in it too. Turtles with too much protein start to get deformed shells.> 3. The biggest concern I have comes from a recent experience with the  baby turtle tank involving sudden appearance and rapid multiplication of algae  with white stringy worms. At first I did not notice that they were worms until I concentrated and noticed they were wiggling around. It came as a shock to  me how fast the "worm algae" multiplied and stuck to the glass wall. I  noticed though that the worms were much larger in numbers where the basking lamp   reflected off the water. I cleaned the tank with boiling water and a mild vinegar/water solution. Could these worms get inside my babies and cause  health  problems? What causes this and what can I do to prevent it from  happening again?   Thank You. Sincerely, Amberley < Chances are the worms are feeding off the algae. Treat the tank with Fluke tabs to get rid of the worms. After each feeding vacuum up any waste and excess food. This should help keep the algae down.-Chuck>

Turtle With Mouth Problems    3/27/06 I have a red-eared slider that is about 1 year old.  It was eating it's turtle dock and I picked it up to see if anything was in it's mouth and I noticed that it's mouth does not completely close.  It closes in the middle and has gaps on both sides.  It only touches at the middle point.  Is this normal?  I searched in my turtle book and did not find anything.  Thanks, Ami < In an effort to obtain minerals not found in its diet, it has tried to eat some of the algae off the turtle dock and has probably damaged its mouth. Change the diet to add more greens like spinach and kale. Older turtles require more vegetable matter than younger turtles. The damage may heal over time.-Chuck>

My daughter has a RES which has a bump on the left side of the mouth, no injuries 6 month old any suggestions?    3/27/06 < Sometimes while eating young turtle accidentally bite into objects that damage their mouth's and it may get swollen an infected. Sometimes turtles caught from the wild contain parasites that show up as bumps on the skin. If it does not get better in a week then start looking for a vet. Reptile vets for some areas can be found at Kingsnake.com.-Chuck>

Red Eared Slider Can't Eat   3/19/06 Hello. We have several red sliders (about 5-10 years old, so fully grown). We have them in a pond in our greenhouse in summer, and hibernated in the cellar during winter. This year, after waking up from hibernation, one of them has problems eating. It is clearly hungry, and snaps at the food on the surface, but first of all it seems to miss the food (it snaps to the left of it), and secondly it can't open its mouth more than about 1mm. We have tried to pry the mouth open and put food in, but the jaws are very strong, and we are afraid to hurt it. Apart from not being able to open its mouth it seems healthy and alert. Can sliders get a dislocated jaw? < Sure, but it could be an infection too. Go to Kingsnake.com and look around on the headers and you will find a vet finding section. Hopefully you can find one in your area.-Chuck>

Little Turtle Staying Little   2/6/06 Hi, I have 1 RES and he is only 2". I have read that they grow like 2 or 3 inches in a year. But anyway I've had my RES for 2 yrs now and I was wondering if at 2" long that's the right length for being 2 to 3 yrs old? I have 2 baby YBS coming in 3 or 4 days so I want at least get a good start with these 2 little 1s (I had my RES in a 10 gallon tank and then just recently upgraded to a 20 gal with filter heater etc. . I am going to put the 2 babies in with her). Does tank size matter to how big they get or is it in how u feed them??     Please help me I really need. Thank you! < Typically a turtle that old should be bigger.  Get some ZooMed Aquatic Turtle Food and feed him three to four times a week as much as he will eat at one sitting. Siphon out any uneaten food so it will not pollute the tank. In between the big feedings you can give him some washed earthworms, mealworms, crickets and king worms. Older turtles require less protein and want more vegetable matter in their diet. As they grow you can increase the tanks size to accommodate them. I would not recommend mixing turtles of different sizes.-Chuck>

Red Eared Slider Turtle Shell Question  2/2/06 Hello.   <Hello Magnus Here to help> I'm relatively new to the world of keeping aquatic turtles and more or less "inherited" two baby red eared sliders.   <That is how most people I know who have R.E. Sliders start their addiction> The larger of the two has grown quite a bit since I acquired them.  More recently I've noticed that certain that some of it's scutes have become "indented" and his shell isn't smooth - it's a bit "rocky" looking.  The shell doesn't seem soft to touch and his appetite his healthy - I feed them a regular diet of feeder fish, calcium fortified Repto-min pellets, and shrimp.   <it's good that you are offering calcium they need this!> Why could his shell seem deformed?  Also, it's not a bright green - it's more of a dark brown/off green colour.  Thanks for any assistance you might be able to provide!   <Are you offering basking areas so they can climb out of the water?  an overly aquatic environment is a bad thing for turtles, the need to get out and dry off on occasion.   Also, you will need to offer a UV light bulb, turtles require the Sun's Rays to offer nutrients to help promote growth of new cells.   Another question is has your turtles shed?   Like all amphibians and reptiles, turtles while shed their skin (and scutes).   I had one of my Red Ears that right before he shed his scutes looked rather rough.   My suggestion is to have a UV basking light on the tank so the turtles can get the vitamins they need that way, that should strengthen their ability to grow, and the scutes should look the better for it.> Jeff <best of luck. Magnus>

Turtle Can't Swim  - 01/12/2006 Hi, I had a question about my red eared slider.  I have had it for several months now and there are a few things I'm concerned about.  It can't swim under water, it just floats back up to the top, and it has trouble eating, it misses its food a lot.  Like it can't see it or something.  When it swims on top of the water it swims lopsided, and it seems like his head is hard to control, it kind of bobs around.  I was just wondering if you had an idea about what could be wrong with it. < Your turtle has a Protozoan infection and will probably die if untreated. A treatment of Neomycin from a vet should get him back on tract.-Chuck.>                                                                                 Thanks,                                                                                    Justine

Red Eared Slider Acting Weird  - 01/03/2006 I bought 2 RES's in Chinatown in October, that are under 4 inches. I now know that they are illegal to sell if they are that small! They have been healthy since, not growing that much though. In the past few days one of them has a really puffy neck. It looks enlarged. And I don't know why. It also "yawns" a lot, And puts his head and neck down on its rock, which I've never seen him do before. The other RES is fine. Do you have any ideas why he would be like that? < If it has swallowed something then it may have an obstruction and may be trying to clear it. If it is an infection it may need antibiotics. Most turtle problems can be treated with heat. Check the temperature of the basking spot , it should be up around 85 F. If it is till eating then try and get some reptile vitamins in case it is a deficiency. To be sure take it to a vet to be sure of your turtles condition.-Chuck>

Baby Turtle Needs Help With Soft Shell Hi crew! Thanks very much, your website is really helpful to me. I'm scared with my newly purchased red eared slider since the sides of  his shell are soft and tends to bend. I found out about it since I  needed to place him in a proper container. He is just an inch big. I  think he is just a hatchling. Hoping to hear from you very soon. thanks! Ja < A common problem with baby turtles is soft shells. This is caused by inadequate amounts of calcium or vitamin D3 in the diet and inadequate lighting/heat on the basking spot. I would recommend Zoo Med Turtle Hatchling Food and a Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 UVB lamp for the basking spot.-Chuck

Turtle Is Very Sick Hey, I have a question about my red eared slider turtle.  I'm very concerned because he hasn't eaten since Thanksgiving.  Is it normal, or do I need to get him to a vet? < This is not normal unless it is cold and he is getting ready to hibernate.> He has also been basking to the point that his skin dies and starts peeling and I have to make him get back in the water.  He is even basking when his light goes off (I have it on a 14 hour timer). < Your turtle is very sick and needs to see a vet. A month ago I would recommend a Zoo Med 5.0 UVB lamp for the basking spot and check the temp of the basking spot to see if it gets up to 85 F.  I think you turtle has a respiratory infection and needs antibiotics.-Chuck>

Sick/Blind Turtle   12/5/05 Hi, Guys! I read all the posts and this is different. I bought four baby RES two weeks ago. After I put them in the tank (new tank, floating dock, rocks, UVA/UVB  reptile light on side of tank, 2 10W incandescent on top) that one was blind. Or rather, where his eyes should be are two beige areas, with the same markings as his head. He basked a lot, and was reluctant to swim much.  He doesn't eat. I've tried krill, chicken, pellets, apple, worms, etc. Put it wet, right by his nose and he doesn't sniff. He wipes his head a lot, too, when feeling active. Every day I think he'll be dead, and every day he is on the floating dock, head tucked in, and not eating.  He started gaping a week ago. No discharge, just gaping, usually after swimming a bit. He never dives, just paddles a bit, and then finds the dock again. Then gapes a few minutes. This isn't good is it? I read some posts today and put him in a sulfa dip bowl, with a basking rock, and a 100 watt light 12 inches away. Can I pry his mouth open, and if I do, what should I try to feed him? Thanks, Kate < He won't eat until he can see. He has a respiratory infection. You can get some Turtle Eye Drops from Zoomed and some vitamins as well. The respiratory infection may require antibiotics from a vet. Check the basking spot with a thermometer. It should be around 85 to 90 F. When he can see and is going into the water on his own then he is ready to feed.-Chuck>

Can red ear sliders carry worms? We have two small red ear slider turtles and we put them for a few minutes in a small tank we have with ghosts shrimps that our kids enjoy watching. After the turtles swam a while they were taken out and returned to their "homes." Shortly after I notices a long white thin string looking thing in the aquarium with the shrimps that I took to be turtle poop, even though I thought it was odd. A few days later, it was still in the aquarium and while I watched the shrimp swim after their food, I noticed that the "turtle poop" was moving and coiling up and straightening out. The thing is alive. <I imagine that was quite the eye opener...> It makes my skin crawl. <I know what you mean.> It could only have come from the turtles. All we have in the small tank are 7 ghosts shrimps and this thing was not in there until we put the turtles in there to see if they enjoyed it. <Pretty positive that it's an parasitic worm that was in one of the turtles.> Is this possible and should I worry about my children who handle these turtles? <You should always be careful with your children when handling turtles.  Not only for parasites, but also you should be wary of Salmonella.  While usually we associate worms with pet dogs and cats there are many different types of worms that will infest pet reptiles.  The most dangerous of these are called Pentastomid worms, this is probably not the worm in your tank. Those worms are found in the lungs of the turtle and rarely are seen outside the body.  But, I would like to share some info just to give you a bit of warning! They are found in many different animals from snakes, crocodiles, to turtles and lizards.  The eggs of this worm are microscopic and can be numerous in a tank.  If children should put their hands in the water and then eat something they can ingest the eggs.  This isn't meant to scare you away from keeping turtles, just a fact that parents should know.  To treat for these parasites, allow the turtle to dry out for a couple of hours and then place the turtle in a solution of Piperazine for about thirty minutes.>   The We had 3 and one turtle just died one day and we couldn't figure out why. No noticeable infections or anything. Our other turtle looks perfectly fine but the smaller one seems to have lost it's eye sight somewhat. It's always rubbing at his eyes with it's little hands and we have to guide the food into it's mouth because it has trouble finding it. Please take the time to let me know what you think is going on. Do turtles carry intestinal worms? I appreciate your time and hope to hear from you soon. <I suggest you check out some turtle forums to learn more on turtle care.  A really nice article on turtle health can be found here   http://www.geocities.com/dterrapin/disease/  (though, it's a bit hard to read with the green on black type...)  I have found the info to be quite well written and offers many good links to learn more.> Thank you, Maria G. Gonzalez <By washing after handling a herp and by keeping herp cages clean, any risk of disease will be minimized. -Magnus>
Suggested answer to a recent Daily FAQ post Hello there, was looking through the Daily FAQ today (2/21.5) and noticed this post/response: Can red ear sliders carry worms? What caught my eye about it was the presence of ghost shrimp in the tank. Just wanted to note a semi-recent topic on the WWM forums: http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/thread.jsp?forum=3&thread=16157&tstart=15&trange=15 Allivymar had a ghost shrimp with a worm recently and posted photos of the worm, both in and out of the shrimp. I recently encountered one of these as well (I'm DonQuixote on the forums) with a shrimp I purchased recently. The person who sent in the question about the turtles might want to give the photos a look and see if it's similar. If so, the worm might've been in one of the shrimp rather than a turtle. I never even thought to look at ghost shrimp for these things until seeing photos of them both here and on another forum recently. Hope this helps,        Chris Sandusky <Does. Thank you for sending your note. Bob Fenner>

Turtle Quarantine  I have been a turtle fanatic since I was a small child and have renewed my interest in the last two years.  <Awesome, I have been thinking of having a turtle shell tattooed on my back, ok, not seriously but the thought did cross my mind.>  I was given two young RES two years ago and they are now 5-6" from back to front. I have built a small pond and they cohabit with some feeder fish that are now 7-8" long. I am in the process of increasing the pond size and would like to provide them with land area in case they want to leave the pond and "stretch" their legs. Can you provide some direction on designing this area for them?  <Anything that has a nice slope into the water will work fine, a large rock, an upside down pot with rock on top of it, a large piece of wood, a pile of rocks, whatever looks good to you and is functional for them.>  Also today a large RES, 2-3 times larger than my two found its way into my back yard.  <I had a duck run into my garage once, blew my mind.>  There are no ponds, lakes close by although several homes have pools. No one in the area claims the turtle so I would like to adopt it. At this time it is living in a large "tub" but I don't want this to last too long so therefore the urgency of my questions. My question is can all three turtles live together since there is a considerable size difference? If so what can I do to ensure that the new found turtle does not contaminate my others?  <If the pond that they are living in is large enough they should be fine, aggression is a possibility and you need to be prepared to separate them if one of them gets too rough. I would keep the new turtle separated for at least a month, possibly in an aquarium, preferably bare bottomed. This will allow you to observe the turtles behavior, and watch for signs of disease. If something does come up you can treat the turtle before he infects your other two. Quarantine is important in reptiles as well as fish.>  I also have a Florida soft shelled turtle that was given to me that is living in an aquarium at this time but will be relocated to her new pond this summer. Will all my turtles live together or will they need separate homes?  <I am not up to date on my soft shell husbandry, if they enjoy the same environment as the sliders it might be ok, you will still need to watch for aggression. I do not think I ever see these turtles mixed, there could be a good reason for that.>  I want to make sure all is right because I would be devastated if I did anything to harm, injure or cause death.  <Quarantine is the way to go. Best Regards, Gage>  Thank you for your time and assistance - Todd Hunt

Turtle Injury - 1\9\05 I have recently bought red eared hatchlings (4) two of them have died. I have a 20 gal long with heater, rocks, filter, basking ramp, they eat pellets and shrimp treats. what can I being doing wrong? <Young turtles need plenty of food, and plenty of UVB light.  Purchase an incandescent reptile UVB heat lamp and a clip on lamp.  Point the lamp at the basking ramp.  Every day or as often as you can, take them out for at least 15 minutes of sunlight, but make sure they don't overheat.  Realize they that will grow fairly quickly, and attain over a foot in length.  If you are going to let them go, make sure they are native to your area, and teach them to catch live food such as feeder fish> Today I was cleaning the tank and had the turtles aside and my dog got hold of one and bit a hole in the shell the turtle is alive but bleed what do I do? <Keep the turtle's injury and water clean, and purchase an antibiotic ointment to rub on the shell for the next 7-10 days.  Make sure to clean the wound and change the water every day to prevent infection until the wound heals.  Good luck with your turtles - M. Maddox>

SICK TURTLES I have two red- eared slider turtles that I have had since July of 2001. They were both the size of quarters when I bought them and now they each weigh 4.5 grams. This past Christmas I noticed that my male turtle (Mustard) was shedding his scutes. It did not seem to hurt him, but I had never noticed anything like that before. I sort of panicked, I was out of town and not near his normal vet so I went to a different one. He said that both of my turtles had a fungal infections and suggested that I let them soak in a diluted chlor-hexadine solution. When I did that, it seemed to irritate their eyes, so I went to suggestion number 2 and painted them w/the non-diluted chlor-hexadine.  Well, after a few weeks, I didn't notice a change in their shells, but I did notice that Mustard was keeping his eyes closed more often. When they were open they didn't appear swollen and they were still really clear, but I was concerned so I brought him and my female turtle (Honey) to their regular vet.  He took a few pieces of their shells and looked at them under the microscope. He said that he didn't see any fungus or bacteria. He suggested that they may be starting to develop one or more vitamin deficiencies. He suggested that I add some frozen vegetables to their diet, and continue w/the chlor-hexadine. I did that and then about 3 days later I noticed two small spots to the top of Honey's shell that seemed to be missing, it looked like bone (white) instead of a green color. This made me take a closer look at Mustard and I found a similar spot on the bottom of his shell only it was pink in color. I called the vet and when he called back he said that they should start antibiotic injections, he didn't look at the turtles, but I picked up the medicine and for about a week and a half I have been giving them the shots.  They are still shedding scutes and now at the very edge of their shell where they were rimmed w/a nice yellow color, it seems to be turning transparent. It's still a yellow color, but you can see through it. It's weird. Not only that, but Honey's shell is peeling so badly that on the bottom there is a piece that if I pulled off her pink shell would be totally exposed. I've just left it. As for their behavior, they both are very active and seem strong. I have noticed an increase in Honey's appetite and a decrease in Mustard's. He still eats, but not w/the gusto that he used to.  Their vet doesn't always seem like he is confident about what he is talking about but unfortunately there are not many exotic vets in the area where I live. There are a million different suggestions all over the web and in the books that I have at home. Some contradicting each other. I read through quite a bit of the turtle FAQ's page and whoever was answering the questions seemed very knowledgeable. Please, I am open to any advice. My turtles are great and I have invested quite a bit of love, time, and money into their care. I'm desperate to get them healthy again.  Thank you for any suggestions you might have.  < Here is what I would do in your situation. It appears your turtles have a deficiency. Either the wrong light or the wrong food. First I would start with the tank. Make sure the tank is clean. Use a good filter and service it often. Change water before it starts to turn sour. Give them a good dry spot to bask under a good light that provides heat, UVA and UVB. Feed a commercial aquatic turtle food and supplement their feedings with mealworms, earthworms, crickets and kingworms. It your water is soft and acid like in the NW U.S. then I would add a tropical fish buffer to increase the pH and increase the calcium in the water. New turtles should have a sulfa block added to the water to prohibit the bacterial infections you are currently encountering.-Chuck>

SICK TURTLES II Chuck, thank you so much for your suggestions. I wanted to let you know that I do have them in separate 15 gallon tanks (maybe this is not big enough). I buy bottled distilled water to fill their tanks.  < I would suggest adding a fish tank buffer to keep the pH above seven and increase the calcium levels in the water.>  I empty and clean their tanks and change their filter media every 30-45 days.  < I would do it more often until they are well, like every week.>  They each have a UVA/UVB light that is on for 12hrs a day along w/a basking lamp that is on for about 5hrs a day. I keep their water temperature at 76 degrees w/an underwater thermostat. Their basking area is usually between 85-88 degrees. I feed them a commercial turtle food and until recently it was every other day. I have tried every day since I've noticed them getting sick. About once a month I will buy them each a dozen or so guppies and every 3 months I'll split about 50 mealworms between them. I actually even feed them in a separate container in an attempt to keep their water cleaner. I have been adding StressCoat as a suggestion from their vet when last year I noticed their skin peeling. As for the Sulfa blocks....they eat them. Is that safe?  < Eating the sulfa blocks may be their way of expressing a need for minerals.>  I feel like my turtles may have picked up a bacterial infection this past fall when we were re-building their habitat. It took us longer than expected and they weren't exposed to the UVA/UVB lights as often as they should have been. In addition, I was using our tap water (which is well water) filtered through a Brita pitcher to feed them in rather than the bottled water and recently we were given a boil notice saying that our water may or may not have fecal bacteria in it. The Brita pitcher obviously can not filter this type of bacteria, so that's why I've gone to using the distilled water to feed them. I wonder about using Povidone/iodine solution to paint on their shells. Their vet said that it would be OK if I diluted it, but did not give me instructions on how to do so. Also, should I leave them in their water all the time, or should I be keeping them more dry? Their vet wasn't sure what to suggest. I really appreciate your help with this matter. Thanks again. < I would feed them a more varied diet with mealworms once a month instead of every three. Keeping the water cleaner will be a big plus. The minerals in the sulfa block are very beneficial. I would try and isolate it with some plastic mesh so the turtles can't get to it directly.-Chuck>

NEW TURTLE Hi you guys. I have enjoyed reading your replies to what seem to be some of the lamest people on Earth, I am sure (helllloooo....you think your turtle has a broken leg? You don't even think of taking her to the vet??).  Here is our situation: I work in the Biology Dept of a community college. 2, 6-inch Sliders (both males) were donated along with their 150 gal tank about a year ago. They are thriving-eating, growing, very social. Someone found a small (4-inch) Slider in their yard and asked if we could take it. I have him here, separated from the others. He is eating reptile sticks, soaking in a small tub of water and enjoying the warming light. I read in the forums to keep him separate for at least a month, which is fine.  I wonder, not knowing anything about this guy, if I need to worry about any parasites or other diseases. The new guy seems healthy, bright, clear eyes, very active, decent appetite. Should I do anything besides the quarantine? I also noticed that someone mentioned to keep the introduc-ee in a bare-bottomed tank. I assume this means no water? He has a tub within the tank so he can get in if he wants. The rest of the tank is medium sized gravel. Thanks ahead of time for your help.  Your forum is terrific. Dandelian Tucker Teaching Assistant II, Biology/Environmental Science < New turtles should be quarantined for a month in a clean aquarium. Add a sulfa block to the water for the month. The sulfa will dissolve into the water and inhibit any bacterial or fungal growth due to trauma.-Chuck>

Turtle Q's Hello <How goes it?> I have a slider which I have had for about two months now and everything was going good, but lately he has not been so active. He has been sleeping all day, even after I got him a heater, his shell has spots the people at the pet store told me he's shedding. <Hmm.. can you get a picture? Does the turtle have an area to get out of the water, and a lamp (that provides UVB rays) in which to bask?> When he is in the tank he has white stuff around his mouth <Can you be more descriptive\get a picture?> He really doesn't get out of his water; I have to take him out of the tank. <See above question regarding a heat lamp> His eating habits are very good and he is still very strong but I'm still really worried. I did every thing I was told to do, but I'm afraid he's not ok. <Have you been feeding him a variety of food, and bring him outside for a half hour or so of sunshine every other day? Turtles NEED UVB radiation to properly absorb calcium, and the spots on the shell may be decalcified areas. Get him a heat lamp with a UVB incandescent heat bulb, and make certain to take him outside for a half hour of sun each day. Also, obtain a reptile vitamin supplement and add it to his food>  Is it time to take him to the vet or am I being overprotective? <Nothing wrong with a checkup from a vet, they know a ton about animals>  Please help I don't want him to die. <See above :) From now on please use proper capitalization\punctuation, as these letters are archived for future reading> Thanks <You're welcome, good luck!> 

Self-Abusing Turtle Bites Himself in Japan Dear WWM , I have a male red eared slider that is about 2 -3 years old in his own tank. Recently (last few weeks) he has started to bite his left front hand/claw keratin bits. One of the pieces of keratin is starting to look a bit inflamed and pale pinkish, not like a normal white keratin piece - like he has had a good gnaw at it. Is this self-biting normal and do you think he has potentially infected his claw/hand by biting it? If it is a potential problem, what can I do to fix it? Thank you for your time. Regards, Farah < At one point in time there was probably some food stuck on his claw and as he attempted to get to it he mistakenly bit himself. Now he probably thinks the reddish coloration is still food. I would clean the tank and keep it that way to help prevent the infection from getting worse. I would add a Dr Turtle sulfa block to treat the bacterial infection. I would then feed the turtle several times a day to prevent him from getting so hungry he will prefer the food instead of his claw. When the claw starts to grow back and turn back to a more normal color I would make sure he is well fed so he doesn't go back to his old bad habits.-Chuck> 
More Turtle Trouble in Japan
Dear Chuck. Thank you for your e-mail. The claw is actually still intact - it's just the keratin piece above it that has got inflamed. Just another quick question if that's OK - we live in Japan and can't get Dr Turtle Sulfa Block's here. Can you point me to a website that sells these and would be prepared to deliver to Japan. If not, what would be a good substitute for Dr Turtle's sulfa block? Thanks again for your time. Regards, Farah < Go to ZooMed.com. They now have a mail order business or may be able to direct you to a shop in Japan. DrsFosterSmith.com would probably be able top help you too. Before I would go to the US for something I think I would go to a pet shop in Japan and try and find Japanese equivalent. Maybe print out the ZooMed Dr. Turtle page from the website and take it with you. If you speak Japanese I am sure they will be able to help you.-Chuck>

Basking for Sick Turtles Hi. I just got two baby red eared sliders (they are very small about 1 in and I just found out illegal). I really want them to do good in their new little habitat but today I noticed one of the turtles was sleeping on the basking rock (he was there all day yesterday too) I tired to put him in the water and he began to move a little but didn't use one of his legs and kept it in his shell. Eventually he moved it out of the shell and began to use it but he won't leave the basking rock. He looks fine, his shell is hard and he's green. Is there something wrong with him or is there something I should be doing?? Both of them seem not to eat much although this one more so. I tried to give them different things but they still only eat the floating pelts. The other turtle seems to be doing fine and is very active. Please help me out :( < When turtles get sick they tend to stay out of the water. I would recommend a high quality heat lamp so he can raise his body temperature. It would be the same as you getting a fever to kill the bacteria. Make sure that the basking spot can get up to 100 degrees F. When he gets too hot he can always go back into the water. I am afraid that your basking spot is not hot enough to raise his body temp. move the light closer or get a bigger light.-Chuck> 

Basking For a Sick Turtle II Thanks so much!! Should I move the other turtle to a different cage though? <Respiratory infections can be contagious. If you have separate and adequate facilities then separate them. But don't do it if you only have one tank and one light though.-Chuck> 

Sick Baby Red Ear Turtle We have a red slider about the size of a 50 cent piece. We purchased him about 12 weeks ago. He is set up in a small aquarium with water 1/2 full with a floating perch. We keep him under a desk lamp when there is poor sunlight.  Within the past 2 days he has stopped eating. He stays on his perch most of the day. I think I have noticed "sneezing"?  What can we do to help our turtle get back to his old self? < Your turtle probably has a respiratory infection. You need to get a lamp that provides both heat and the proper wavelength of light. Keep the desk lamp on him 12 hours per day over the basking spot. Use a incandescent plant light bulb of about 60 to 80 watts. Use an electrical timer to keep the photoperiod the same. Heat and antibiotics are the only two things that will help. If he is not better in a few days then your turtle should be taken to a vet.-Chuck>

Turtle With Bacterial Infection 7/9/05 Dear WWM, I have a male red eared slider that is about 2-3 years old and living in his own tank.  Recently I have noticed that some areas of his skin, particularly around the top of his legs where they fold under his shell, have developed a slightly pinkish tinge. He seems to swim and move quite freely. The skin is also quite puffy in that area. He tends to sleep/rest with eyes closed quite frequently (say 50-60% of the time) during the day compared to my other RES who is a continual bundle of energy.  He doesn't eat a lot but he does eat and he does poo regularly.  I have read in a turtle book about a pink splotchy condition over the entire body called Red Leg - they indicate that this is a bacterial infection.  I am unsure what my RES has got, if anything, if it is related to his sleeping patterns and what I should be doing to correct it.  Look forward to your reply. Regards, Farah Dwyer < Increase the heat to the basking spot. Change the water and clean the filter if you have one. Dip the turtle in ZooMed's Repti Sulfa Dip and get a Dr Turtle Sulfa Block for the water. You need to clean the tank more often. Get Repti Turtle Eye Drops to help clear the eyes.-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.>

Turtle with Shell Problem 7/16/05 Hi~ I have had my RES for over a year and he has a green spot on his back.  I have tried a Dr. Turtle, and I clean his tank about every other week.  I have put Vita shell on it a few times and I don't know what else to try. I didn't know if I needed to change his UV light or what to do. I use to have five gold fish in his tank but I just took them out to see if that would help. Thanks, Kristin < Shell rot is not completely understood as to the causes. If it is just a dark spot on the shell then it may be a scar or abnormal coloration. Shell rot is where the bone degenerates into a cheese like consistency. This can happen underneath the scutes. The area needs to be cleaned of the cheese like material down to the bone and then an antibiotic ointment needs to be applied to kill the remaining bacteria.  For a first defense I would put vitamins in this food. Then I would increase the heat on the basking spot to a higher wattage or put the light closer. Then I would give your turtle a Repti Turtle Sulfa Dip. If after all this the spot keeps getting bigger or deeper then a visit to a good reptile vet is in order.-Chuck>

Turtle with Fungus on his Shell and Neck 7/9/05 Hi, my name is Brooke, I have a red eared slider that I got on Easter last year and he seems to have some kind of fungus growing on his shell and neck. Is he sick, will he die, will my other red eared slider die too, is there anything I can do? Please e-mail me back and help me out! Thanks! Brooke < Fungus usually attacks dead or dying tissue. This could be the result of a bacterial infection. Clean the tank. Change all the water and clean the filter if you have one. Your basking light may not be hot enough. Get it closer to the basking spot or get a light of a higher wattage. Dip the turtle in ZooMed's Repti Turtle Sulpha Dip and get a ZooMed Dr. Turtle Sulfa Block for the water. You should see some improvement within a week.-Chuck>

Turtle Handling 7.20.05 Hi, I was wondering if you got a young red ear slider if you hold it a lot if he would get used to it and if it can hurt you if you hold it. Please respond. Thank you. <With most reptiles the more you handle them the more they will tolerate you, however they will never really warm up to you like a cat or a dog.  If you dangle your finger in front of their face they may try to take a bite to see if it is something yummy, this would hurt.  They also get a little squirmy when being held and have toenails that can scratch, but nothing too serious.  The most important thing is to wash your hands with hot soapy water after handling them so that you do not get salmonella.  Salmonella will hurt you the following is the definition from dictionary.com "Any of various rod-shaped bacteria of the genus Salmonella, many of which are pathogenic, causing food poisoning, typhoid, and paratyphoid fever in humans and other infectious diseases in domestic animals." - Yuck.  Hope this helps, Gage>

How Many Red Eared Sliders in a 75 Gallon Tank  10/4/05 Hello, I have a used 75 gallon aquarium that I plan on resealing in order to use for red eared sliders.  We got one RES about 2 months ago and he is currently in a 29 gallon tank with a variety of fish (all of which are fine by the way).  Unfortunately we had not researched RES thoroughly and didn't realize he needed to be separated.  He spent his first month in a one gallon tank with some water before we moved him into the bigger tank so he hasn't grown quite as fast as he could have. I have 2 questions.  First, can we add more RES when we put our current RES into the 75 gallon tank?  Second, how many RES should I plan on having total in a 75 gallon tank?  I was planning on having 3 total but don't want them being overcrowded in the future. Thank you, Brenda < When they are little and under 4 inches shell length the number is up to you depending on filtration and water changes. At around 4 inches they start to get a little defensive of their food and will start to bite other turtles. I would trim it down to three  max because they will continue to grow and the shells of some females may get up close to 10 inches long.-Chuck>

Moving Turtles  10/3/05 Dear Sir: I have 4 Read Eared turtles for five years. they were doing fine until they became developing constipation...I do have a set up indoors with lamp and heater  and a big tank. During summer we place them in an artificial pond outside and  have prepared a place to bask. In the past weeks I have noticed they have been  constipated so I have prepared mineral oil, fish oil, herbs and I  have given them that with a dropper to help a bowel movement. It has  happened before after my spouse feed them with dry fish so I have done the same  and worked well...So I notice now they are sleeping and staying mostly outside  the water and I am concern of this new behavior. Are they depressed? < When turtles aren't feeling well then they usually stay out more to warm themselves up to raise their body temperature. I don't think they are depressed.> I like to  ask you how can I transport them to FL so I am relocating  and I am looking a way to transport them in short time. The airline wont allows reptiles...so what can I do? < Go to Kingsnake.com. There are lots of dealers there that ship reptiles all over the world. There are links that will connect you with their website and there you will find ideas on shipping.> I have been told I can send them through UPS next day , can this be safe? < If done properly there should be no problem.> My turtles came from FL so I must bring them back to FL. I have arranged for a person with a natural pond at home to take them in. I don't want them to suffer. Do you think they might adjust themselves well to a new   environment? <No problem. They do it all the time.> This lady lives close to Orlando FL and has a natural pond with  fish and her also feed them every day...Do you think they will be Ok? < Sounds like an ideal situation.> Please respond me quick with your suggestions. I don't want anything to  happen to them. Thanks !Myrna < Don't feed your turtles for a few days so they will not have any food left in their gut that will rot. Ship them soon before the weather gets too cold.-Chuck>

New Turtle Sun Shy  8/31/05 I have just recently bought a turtle.  He is a red eared slider turtle.   I just have a few questions so I can continue properly caring for him.   The basking area I have set up for him is just right for basking, but he wont get on it.  Why and is there something I can do so he will? < Check to see if he can actually get on it. Little turtles are also very shy so give him a little quiet time away from lots of activity to get use to his new surroundings.> I would also like to know something about his shell.  When he slides around on the rocks and if he gets on the basking area (he hasn't yet, I am taking him out of the tank and setting him in a pin with a UV lamp so he gets the proper amount of basking in), the bottom of his shell will rub on the rocks, can this cause his shell to rub away any or have scratches on it? < Turtle shells are actually pretty durable but most river rocks have been warn smooth over many, many years through erosion. If your rocks are rough to the touch then I would replace them with smoother stones. Scratches make lead to infections.-Chuck>

Red Eared Slider Setup 7.24.05 I have read the questions posted on your site and did not specifically see these.   If I missed them, I apologize. My daughter received a red eared slider for her birthday (her idea; she researched it first).  It is in a 40 breeder tank with a heater, filter, and a reptile light that gives off both UVA and UVB light.  She cleans the tank regularly.  Since we have had the slider, it eats well, defecates regularly, and is an active swimmer.  We have never seen it climb onto the basking rock.  It remains in the water all the time.  Is that okay?  Should it want to get out to the water daily? Additionally, it seems to have eaten the Dr. Turtle block that came in the starter kit. Since then, it seems to defecate a lot.  Could the turtle get diarrhea?  We removed the block.  Please advise. <Sounds like a great setup, I am not sure the ingredients in the Dr. Turtle block but I think removing it was a good idea.  The diarrhea should pass.  I recall having the same problem when I added one of these turtle blocks.  If the water is warm the turtle does not feel the need to leave the water to bask, you might try turning down the heater in the water if you have one to see if this encourages the turtle to bask.  Otherwise you can take him out from time to time to walk around outside, the sunlight is good for him and drying out helps to prevent shell fungus and rot and similar nasties.  Best Regards, Gage>   

Slider Care Continued 7.24.05 Thanks for replying. Yes, the water is deep enough so that the water covers his back. About 3 quarters of a inch above his back. So do you think that the temperature of the water in the day time(76-78F) is a good temp. for a young slider turtle? What about the night time temp. (about 72F). I have to turn the lamp off, so the temp. goes way down. Is that too low of a temp. to keep the tank at? <72 is hitting the lower end of the scale, when winter time rolls around this could definitely become a problem, I would add a small aquarium heater to keep the tank around 75-78.> I feed him ReptoMin Baby pellets. He gets sun-dried shrimp 3 times a week, the Reptotreat brand (b/c it's too fatty to feed everyday.) I just started to feed him gold fish flakes (like 2) once a week. I noticed that on his plastron, he has pale pink lines (like where the shell seems to join in the middle). When I lightly touch it, it turns white for like a second and then it turns back to pink again. It's kind of like when you have a sunburn and touch your skin. I'm thinking it is because he's growing too fast. When I first got him, I fed him about 15 pellets 2 times a day. I know that was way too much now, so he only eats 7 pellets 2 times a day. I heard goldfish food was okay for turtles as a treat, am I right? <I have not heard that, I doubt it will hurt him, I like to stick to turtle food.> So you think in about another year, I'll have to invest in a 20 gallon tank? <I say the sooner the better for a few reasons, you will have improved water quality with a larger body of water, the temperature will be more stable, a warmer side and cooler side of a tank allows reptiles to thermo regulate as needed, more room to swim and exercise, and you can provide places for him to hide.  In a year I think he will definitely have outgrown his current tank.> Is it okay to feed him a blueberry once in a while? <Blueberries should be fine, you might also mix in some salad greens and freeze dried crickets from time to time.> He seems to enjoy munching on it throughout the day. Thanks for your help. Please respond ASAP. Thanks again! Is it too early of an age for him to be showing mating behaviors? Like wiggling his toes and puffing out his neck? I put a stuffed animal by the cage and he showed lots of interest in it. <He might be a little young yet, off the top of my head I cannot recall what age they become sexually mature.  Best Regards, Gage>

Little Turtle Getting Bigger  10/21/05 I am concerned about a hatchling red eared slider that was given to me almost two weeks ago. (S)he appeared fine and healthy when (s)he arrived, but in the last three days has developed some kind of discoloration on or beneath several of (her) his scutes. I've been pouring over all the information I could find, and nothing seems to describe this condition. It almost looks as if water is getting under the scutes or something because when (s)he basks, the light patches fade, but reappear again when the turtle goes back into the water. They do not appear to be shiny when viewed under the water, are not white or furry and are not oozing; they are just paler green than the rest of the shell, and the normal shell markings fade like a letter that has been smudged with water. The little turtle measures about an inch and a quarter from the tip of his shell behind his head to the back by his tail, and this seems too small for shedding if that is what's happening. The shell is uniformly firm, with a little "give" as I understand is normal for a hatchling. The light areas seem to begin between the scutes, and some are totally light while on others the light areas only go about a 16th of an inch into the scute -at this point almost half the shell seems to be affected to some extent. The turtle is very active and strong, eating greedily once a day. I usually offer a few hatchling micropellets, small bits of gut loaded cricket, a quarter of a small mealworm, and shredded carrots or dandelions -- not all of this gets eaten, but is offered. Also I keep a bit of a calcium block and duckweed in the tank at all times. Today (s)he even ate a baby Ramshorn snail. Also the turtle basks regularly at some length and has regular and normal looking bowel movements usually about a half hour to an hour after eating. The eyes are clear and do not appear to be puffy or swollen, and the turtle does not seem to be distressed at all. The water temperature is usually 78 to 82 degrees depending on the time of day, and the temp on the basking rock ranges from 85 to 95 degrees because I try vary the intensity during the day to mimic the natural progression of daylight. I do not have a UVB light source at this time, but try to take the turtle out into the sun with plenty of water and a spot to bask for half an hour to an hour 4 times a week. Please take a look at the attached pictures and tell me what you think is going on with this little turtle because I am very concerned! Thanks so much for your help! < Sounds like a simple case of the little guy getting ready to shed some of the scutes. The scutes turn opaque as they start to lift off the shell. Eventually they will come off in the water. The start to separate at the intersection of the scutes. Your photos were not included with your email but I am certain this is probably what is happening, especially the way it is eating and acting.-Chuck>

Little Turtle Can't See 10/10/05 Hello, We have 2 Red Ear Sliders. Don't know the sex yet, though. The larger turtle has about 3 in. carapace by bites the other turtle's, whose carapace is about 1.5 inches, back feet. The smaller turtle remains mostly on the turtle dock while the other turtle swims most of the time but comes out and basks. The larger turtle is more active and eats just about all of their collective food. How do I help this little guy out? < Separate him from the big turtle. At least during feeding so he gets some food.> He seems to bask with his eyes closed for a good part of the day. We have only had these guys for a few days. The smaller one seems more friendly and will allow me to pick him up. I have also tried "soaking" him on one occasion to see if that would help. He seemed more active but as soon as I put him back into the collective tank, he took to basking again with his eyes closed. Is he just too little and not active or is something else wrong? Thanks for any of your help. I've tried reading the postings on your forum but couldn't find one that matched this situation. Kathy Z <Probably been sick for awhile and that may explain the differences in sizes. I would keep them separated and make sure the basking spot is at least 90 F. The eye thing may be caused by a vitamin deficiency. Get some Repti Turtle Eye Drops from ZooMed. Once his eyes clear up he may start eating more normally.-Chuck>

Possible Shell Rot  10/6/05 Hello! I have recently purchased two red eared sliders, they're very small, their shells are maybe 2.75-3 inches long at most. They might be illegal, but I bought them from a licensed pet store .One of them has a white spot on (her?) shell that has been there since I bought her. At first I thought it was shell rot but it's not soft or fuzzy and it hasn't changed in the few months I've had her. She's very active, eats well and enjoys basking on her island under her lamps. I keep the water very clean and she shares the tank with her brother and a handful of hearty zebra Danios. The tank is well ventilated and I have a very good completely submerged filter that agitates the surface of the water. She eats turtle pellets and I keep a calcium block and a medicated block in the tank with them. What could the white spot be and how could I get rid of it?  It has a sort of darkish ring around it and I'm afraid she might be sick. Thank you! Sarah < Keep an eye on the spot and measure it. If it gets bigger then it may be shell rot. This can happen underneath the outer layer of shell too.-Chuck>

Turtle With Little Worms  12/2/05 Hi, I have recently noticed tiny white parasites that are swimming in my RES habitat. I have a 55 gallon for him. They look to me to be round and mostly on the glass, but they are throughout the environment. I was wondering if you have any info as to what these are and how I can get rid of them? Could they be some sort of worm, like I have read about on your forum? < Treat the tank with Fluke-Tabs to remove them. Take a fecal sample to a qualified veterinarian that deals with turtles and see if there is an internal parasite problem.> Chubby has had a great appetite but I noticed today that these parasites are eating his pellets, in turn my RES is ingesting them also. What could come of this? <Hopefully they are really not parasitic and just a by product or contaminant that came in with some food or substrate.> These parasites are so annoying and disgusting. I have been looking for some answers but haven't found anything that really sounds like what I'm dealing with here. My turtles health has been excellent and I would like to keep that way. I'm not sure what ingesting these could do to him. Please help ASAP!! I do have some big rock on the bottom that I'm going to take out, to hard to get the yuk out of the bottom. What would you recommend for the substrate, I would like to put some sand down, if so what kind and where should I purchase it? < I would recommend a very fine well rounded non-abrasive sand. The small size means a smaller pore space between the sand grains and less junk getting trapped in there. Get it from an aquarium shop.-Chuck> Also, I don't have any live plants or fish in with him.  Thanks for any

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