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FAQs About Turtle Disease/Health 2

Related Articles: Treating Common Illnesses of the Red Ear Slider (& other Emydid Turtles) by Darrel Barton, Turtle eye diseases; Recognising and treating eye diseases in pet turtles by Neale Monks, So your turtle has the Flu? Recognizing 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,  Shell Rot in Turtles, Turtles, AmphibiansRed Eared Slider Care

FAQs on: Turtle Disease 1, Turtle Disease 3,
FAQs on Turtle Health by Type: Diagnosis, Environmental, Traumas, Social, Nutritional, Growths/Tumors, Infectious, Parasitic, References,
FAQs on RES Health by Type:
Diagnosis, Environmental, Traumas, Social, Nutritional, Growths/Tumors, Infectious, Parasitic, References,
FAQs on:
Shell Rot, RES Disease, Turtle Respiratory Disease, Turtle Eye Disease,

Turtle With Respiratory Problem  - 04/19/06 Hey, I just came across your site in time to either save my turtle or make me worry for nothing.  I purchased a baby red eared slider and a baby map turtle in florida from a pet store in the beginning of March and traveled back to PA via car with them.  They were doing fine - the map turtle was always more active and social than the RES.  Currently they are in a 10 gallon tank that has a filter, UVA/b lamp, as well as a basking lamp.  There is a huge basking rock as well as fake plant life for them.  We have one fish in there with them cause the other 4 died while cleanings were taking place.  Recently, my RES (which is not growing as fast as the map turtle) started to shed a on his limps and neck.  I was debating on calling the vet and then it wasn't happening as much. I figured that was a good sign. NOW - my turtle is making these squeaking noises which were cute before I read a previous posting on this site.  I moved the basking lamp closer to the rock so the turtle could feel the heat.  It made this coughing sound and mucus came up.  It is 8 pm here and I cannot call a vet.  I am in college so going to one would be difficult kind of.  I need immediate advice because I really want my turtle to survive!  Could you give me any words of advice!   Jen <Check the temp. of the basking site. It should be between 85 and 100 F. This will help but antibiotics and a visit to a qualified vet are your best bet.-Chuck>

Poor Painted Turtles  - 03/22/06 I have 2 red eared sliders that I've been raising for about a year now and their <they're> doing awesome but now my sister brought to me her 2 painted turtles she got this summer and they have not grown at all! Their probably the size of a quarter still. She never had a light or warm water or anything for them and now I have to take care of them. I have no clue what to do with them and I feel bad for them! All I have right now is one cage, so I put them in with my red eared sliders. They're probably 3-4 inches and their a male and female but I don't think their even one yet? Can they reproduce? < Probably not until next year.> Is it okay for the baby painted turtles to be in the tank with them? < No, red eared sliders are very aggressive turtles and will hog all the food and intimidate the smaller turtles to the point to they will not eat.> What should I do to help them grow? < Start treating them like your RES's when they were small and give them the TLC they deserve.> When I pick them up I can actually feel their legs moving through the center of their shell on the bottom in the center. I think their not in good shape? What can I do? Help me please! < Start by giving them their own tank. Set up a basking site that gets at least 85 to 90 F. Start to give them ZooMed Aquatic Turtle food for hatchlings along with some small washed earthworms. Basking and proper diet with start to harden the shell and get them back on track.-Chuck>

Water Turtle With Swollen Eyes - 03/18/2006 My turtle {Florida yellow bellied turtle} has sore swollen eyes with over a week, she's not eating. I have put water freshener into the water but it is doing no good. What will I do. I have no vet in my area. < Change 50% of the water, vacuum the gravel, and clean the filter. Add a ZooMed Dr Turtle Sulfa Block to the water. Get ZooMed Turtle Eye Drops for the eyes. Check the temperature of the basking site. Should be 85 to 90 F. If it is a smaller turtle then get ZooMed Aquatic turtle food for hatchlings. If is a larger turtle then get the adult formula. They are different. Adults need more vitamins, minerals and a more vegetarian diet than younger turtles. A vitamin deficiency has caused the eye problems. After the eyes have cleared then your turtle should start eating again.-Chuck>

Re: Turtle With Eye Problems  - 04/08/06 Thanks for the advice. Is it okay for my other turtle, who is very healthy, to be in water that warm too because they both live in the same tank? < Bacteria that cause infections do not like changes in temperature. It is like you getting a fever when you are sick. Turtles can only change their body temperature by moving to warmer or colder locations. If your turtle gets sick , then he will not have the option to change his temperature if the entire tank is the same temp.> Also, we have been using ophthalmic ointment for the eye for my sick turtle and it has been working very effectively the left eye has cleared up a lot in just a couple of days. The right eye is still pretty swollen but it has gotten a lot better. Do you recommend that we keep using the ointment or do you think we should get the eye drops that you recommended for us to get? < The medication I recommended is specifically made for turtles. I am not familiar with the medication you are currently using so I really can't comment except I am glad your turtle is getting better.> Also, can these be symptoms of a respiratory problem? Should we take him to a vet or should we just wait for both eyes to clear up so that he can see and eat again? < Respiratory problems usually involve breathing problems, bubbles from the nose, can't sink while swimming and wheezing. This problem needs a vet.-Chuck> thanks lots

Female Turtle Acting Weird   2/13/06 Hi guys , first let me say great web site, very informational. Unfortunately I couldn't find anything here or on the net that was in relation to my current problem. I have had 2 RES for about three years now. Someone left them behind in a little plastic Chinese soup container in a hotel that I was working in. There were originally 3 all about the size of a half dollar. I guess when  the parents found out that the turtles carried salmonella or that they were illegal they left them behind. I took them in as nobody else wanted them and nobody claimed them.   Little did I know what I was getting myself into. There were originally 3, 1 died shortly afterwards. Thanks to the WWW I figured out it was respiratory. The other two have thrived. We went from a 10 gallon tank to a 20 and now they are in a 55 gallon. We have one female who is now 4 times the size/weight of our small male. Both get along fantastically, no problems, the male has been "flirting" with her for about 2 years now, she on the other hand can't be bothered, with one swoop of her leg she sends him flying across the tank and he lets it drop. It really is quite comical. For some reason all of a sudden the big female is splashing at the back of the tank...constantly....like all night long and all day too. When she gets tired she does bask and that's when there is peace again. The male just goes with the flow, constantly following her or actually riding on top of her as she is so big and he is so small. No aggression towards him at all. We don't know why she is doing this, she is healthy, no running eyes, no running nose the shells are in good shape, no lumps and still passive when I hold her.  She is however, squeaking whenever her head is out of water. She squeaked when we first got her, but that was occasionally, now it's a constant when she surfaces. Have you any idea what is wrong? And how we can rectify this?  I seriously don't think its health related, she is disrupting the input/output tubes in the tank and moving the heater around. Since these tubes are suction cupped strongly to the tank it takes quite an effort to do this. So all night long it's the banging of her shell against the tank when she is dislodging these tubes and the heater and when that's done, she splashes.  One other notable thing is that she is getting on her basking dock in the middle of the night too. There are no lights on in the room or the tank when this occurs.  My tank is a 55 gallon, I have UV light, the temp is 76-78 degrees, basking temp approx 85 and a strong canister Fluval  404 filter. Her shell length is about 7" the little guy is about 4.5". Their diet consists of pellets mostly, some light veggies now and then, freeze dried shrimp for treats (1-2 times a week) and sometimes feeder fish (once every month or two).  I add a calcium block about once a month, they both usually eat that by the end of the week.  This same "splashing occurrence "happened last month, she even stopped eating for the week she did this, I tempted her with everything to no avail,  until I put the feeder fish in. I am still shuddering from that massacre scene) Then she settled down. The ph is normal or as close as normal and she is eating this time, but the splashing is non stop.  Since the tank is so big, I have it in my bedroom, there was no other place to fit it. So now I'm losing sleep, which makes me grumpier than my turtles. :) Another thing in case this is Winter/Spring related, I reside in New York and this has been an extremely mild winter for us. There has been no snow and the bulbs are already coming out of the ground as of last week and everything has buds on it, this doesn't occur until late March for us. Of course we are expecting our first blizzard today, so that pretty much takes care of the budding process. I'm sure you appreciate the weather report with all this info. ;) I apologize for the long letter, but I wanted to give you as much  information as I could. I  appreciate any kind of help or advice that you can offer.   Thank you in advance for all your help, Pat < Feed her three to four times a week as much food as she will eat in one sitting. Siphon out any remaining food. As turtles get older they require less animal matter and more plant matter in the diet. Try offering a diet with some kale and spinach in it. She could be pregnant and looking for a sandy place to lay her eggs. Get a square plastic tub at the hardware store and fill it will sand almost up to the top. Get some washed red bricks and support the tub in the water with the bricks so the water level is just below the edge of the tub and the female turtle can get in there if she wants too. You may have to provide a ramp too. Put the basking light on over the sand and she if she starts to dig a pit to lay her eggs.-Chuck>

Floating Turtle In Trouble   2/13/06 Hi, I was hoping you could answer a question or two about my turtle's behavior: 1) it makes bubbling noises, and bubbles from it's nose repetitively at the surface of the water, and 2) he swims below water as if one side of his body is floating up, or one side is heavier.  I don't have a problem with a turtle that has a lilting swimming stroke, but if it's a health problem I'm pretty concerned!  Have you heard about either behavior?  Is this a problem?  He's about a year old, seems pretty healthy and happy otherwise.  Thanks in advance, Neil < You turtle has an internal/respiratory infection and needs to see a vet. Check the temperature of the basking spot. It should be at least 85 F.-Chuck>

Wormy Turtle Tank   2/13/06 Hi guys, I am lately finding very tiny red worms in the water when I clean the habitat of my RES? Is this a parasite? What should I do? Thanks, Therese < Could be a parasite. Clean the tank and treat with Fluke-Tabs. This will kill any worms in the water. If you still find worms then take a fecal sample to a vet for analysis and further treatment if needed.-Chuck>

WOW! Turtle Knows How To Type   2/7/06 Hello, My name is Terra and I am a 4 year old female yellow bellied slider.  Recently some pink patches have appeared on my skin around my neck and shoulders.  Although I feel healthy I would like to know what this is and how to get rid of it.  My friend Tim, who lives in the same tank with me seems to be ok.  Any ideas? Best regards, Terra < You are suffering with a bacterial infection. Get your owner to clean the tank and the filter. Have them treat the affected areas with ZooMed's Repti Turtle Sulfa Dip and place a Dr. Turtle Sulfa Block in the water.-Chuck>

Turtle With Dented Shell   2/3/06 Hello, A couple of years ago I sort of 'inherited' an RES from someone who bought it on a whim and wasn't taking good care of it.  Although I don't know much about turtles I think I have provided Luigi with a good life; good sized tank, variety of foods, heat lamp, basking spot, etc.  However, Luigi seems to have a problem with his shell.  Ever since I have known this turtle, his shell has a large dent in one side and smaller one on the other side.  The shell is not round; its concave on the sides.  I always thought this was normal but people have commented that it seems weird.  Luigi seems quite healthy to me, is active, has a huge appetite, and has a generally healthy look about him.  He has grown steadily, quite a bit.  Do you think I should be worried about the dents?  They have not changed in size in the several years I've been caring for him. Thank you! Lucy < When turtles are young they are often poorly cared for and a result is a deformed shell. Later when they receive proper treatment the results of their poor up bringing are evident in the shell. Over time it will become less noticeable, but will probably never be completely normal.-Chuck>

New Turtle Problems    1/25/06 Hi, Guys: I recently purchased a RES hatchling for my 6 year old. We have had him for about two weeks. He is in a 29 gallon tank, with a basking dock, filter and UVB source. The water is usually between 76 and 81 degrees. I am worried that he might be ill. He does not beg for food. In fact, I am not even sure that he is eating all that much. Initially, he was pretty active. Now, he lays on the dock a lot and rarely opens his eyes. When he is placed in the water, he swims frantically around. I have offered him a variety of food including spinach, romaine lettuce, strawberries, carrots, turtle treat (which is chicken based), pellets and I put feeder guppies in the tank two weeks ago -- they are still there. So, my questions are: Do these symptoms seem representative of an illness>? <Little turtles should be pretty active little chow hounds. The basking site needs to be at least 85 to 90 F. Check it with a thermometer. Use Zoo Med Repti Turtle Eye Drops to clear up the eye infections.> How much should a hatchling (who is no more than two inches) be eating? < Put the food in the tank once each day. If the turtle does not eat it then take it out. When he is active and eating feed him enough food so that all of it is gone in a few minutes once each day. I would use Zoo Med Aquatic Hatchling Turtle Food. Young turtles need more meat than the adults. Use this food with mealworms and washed earthworms.> Any other tips? < Get a book for quick on the spot references. Zoo Med has a very inexpensive little book on water turtles with lots of good information.-Chuck> I really would like to take care of this little guy. Thanks, Jillian

Sick Baby Turtle   1/18/06 Hi, I just bought a little baby turtle from the pet store. His eyes are now swollen and he won't eat. I have a basking light that I leave on almost all day. Also I add a liquid vitamin to the tank. What should I do? < Clean the tank and change all the water. The basking area should get up to at least 85 F. Leave the lights on no longer than 12 hrs per day. Treat with Zoo Med Repti Turtle Eye Drops. Feed Zoo Med Aquatic Hatchling Turtle Food and washed earthworms when he can see.-Chuck>

Sick Turtle Under A Vets Care   1/10/06 Bob,  I adopted a very sick turtle from a Pet Store.  I have  taken her to a Vet and I am giving her shots daily (0.16cc in the front leg  muscle for 30 days / Cefotazime Sodium Inj. 50 mg/ml (5cc) and also she is  getting 0.11cc by mouth once a day for 5 days, which is to be repeated in 2  weeks / Fenbendazole Susp. 100mg/ml (2cc). I am trying to feed her by mouth with a syringe of baby food (carrots,  peas, a little chicken) but I am afraid to give her to much.  She just seems  to want to spit it out.  Do I need to put it back farther in her  mouth.  I am just afraid she is going to get to weak to swallow.   Please let me know what I should or shouldn't be doing.   I have her in a 10 gal. aquarium with both a heat lamp and a UVB  light.  She has a large flat rock to climb on to get out of the  water.  The water has been staying around 80 degrees. Any advice would be so appreciated.  Thank you, Pam < With all these medications you should really be working with your vet on this. You did not mention the diagnoses so call your vet for further advice for this very sick turtle. Most people wouldn't care about a sick turtle, this makes you a very special person. Good Luck.-Chuck>

New Turtle Found  - 01/09/2006 Hi.  I've tried the Google search, but I need more detailed help and info, please.  =)  I found a tiny baby turtle laying on the ground outside by my car this morning.  He was non-responsive and has been throughout the day.  I have never owned a turtle and I know nothing about them.  Although I'm in FL, it's been really chilly the last couple of days.  (Thick sweater weather.)  If I'm cold, I know this tiny creature must be freezing.  What can I do to nurse him to health?  He moves slightly if I touch him but he doesn't open his eyes at all.  He doesn't walk or swim, but, he did very briefly open his tiny mouth and then he promptly shut it.  Please help! =) <Get the turtle in a shallow dish of fresh water. Just enough to cover his shell. Provide a ramp on to which he can crawl out of the water. At the top of this ramp provide a plant bulb that is hot enough to heat the spot at the top of the ramp to 85 F. If the eyes are swollen or inflamed then treat them with Zoo Med Repti Turtle Eye Drops. When his eyes are open and he starts to move around you can feed him small washed earthworms or a commercial baby turtle food that you can get at a local pet shop.-Chuck>

Baby Turtles With Problems   1/7/06 Hi, I have 4 baby turtles (RES) and two of them have eye infections. I wasn't sure if I should separate the sick ones from the other two. One of the sick turtles aren't eating for over 2 weeks and I am very concerned. How can I make him eat ? :(   Thank you. Please help . <Keep the turtle's water clean. Make sure the basking spot gets up to at least 85 F. Use the proper lighting for vitamin development. Use Zoo Med Repti Turtle Eye Drops and  feed Zoo Med Hatchling Aquatic Turtle Food. They may have a vitamin A deficiency too. Chuck>

Turtle Ingesting Non-Aquatic Silicon Hello, My RES swallowed a piece of cured silicone (used 3 weeks ago to affix basking shelf to tank) about a half hour ago.  I knew I should have razored this particular bumpy piece down, but did not.  My concern is that the silicone used was not aquarium silicone (I know, I am feeling quite foolish and guilty as with all the research I do I should have known better).  It is "100% silicone rubber sealant - mildew resistant".  I have just read on the internet that the "mildew resistant" types contain arsenic and are toxic (to humans) if swallowed.  So far he has not displayed any behavior out of his ordinary.  Have you ever heard of another turtle ingesting silicone and, if so, was he harmed by the ingestion?  Will the piece break down in his system or become impacted?  I am feeling very guilty and concerned.  Any information or advice would be so very much appreciated!!  Thank you. < Never heard of a turtle eating silicon but it doesn't surprise me. Hopefully the silicon will pass. I don't think it will be digested. It may block the intestines and cause a problem depending on how big the piece was. This would require the attention of a vet.-Chuck>

Small Australian Turtle Needs Help Hi, I recently got a penny turtle, it had been run over by a bike and I was given it. I think its a *Emydura subglobosa* but I don't have a photo of its belly yet so I've done a bit of guessing with the keys. I have a small tank 21x35cm (will be getting a bigger one, just not yet), a basking rock, UVA/UVB lamp and am trying to give it a varied diet (carrot, fish pellets, mince). The temperature ranges from 79F at night to 82F during the day. Yesterday morning I noticed it didn't open one of its eyes for quite some time, and when it did there seemed to be a whitish lesion on it. On closer inspection with the naked eye I can't tell if its on the eyeball or upper eyelid. The turtle scratches it periodically with its front limb, it doesn't blink the eye as often as the other one and seems to have a reduced range of movement in that eye. To me it seems like an ulcer - whether bacterial or fungal I can't tell and I'm not sure it was traumatic as I don't remember it being there when I first got it. I'll try to attach a photo of it. No vets are open today on Sunday. My question is -are human eye antibacterial creams/ointments too strong/too weak for a turtle? <ZooMed already makes eye drops for turtles with infected eyes like yours. Human eye drops are usually weak boric acid solutions. Call the vet tomorrow and get a recommendation to be sure.> Would they be worth trying if I can't get to the vet until tomorrow? < Before you go to the vet, get some Repti Turtle Eye Drops by ZooMed. Follow the directions on the package. Make sure the basking spot gets up to about 85 F. Your turtle may have a Vitamin A deficiency and need some food that is high in vitamin A. Try some kale or spinach in addition to a commercial turtle diet. Add some earthworms too when your turtle is better and able to eat.-Chuck> cheers Colleen

Turtle With Prolapsed Colon  12/15/05 Ok, I've had my snapper turtle (I think its an alligator snapper) for like 1-2 years now.  I got him when he was small, anyway, today I am cleaning his tank and when I picked him up he had what appears to be a pink sack on the bottom of him, near his butt. Please tell me what's wrong and write back ASAP. < When we keep pets we usually feed them once a day. Sometimes this can be a pretty big meal. Especially when the turtle is acting like it is starving. When turtles eat a lot at one time then this puts stress on the rest of the digestive tract. Instead of small bowel movements many times a day you get one large one that may take some of the colon tissue with it. I believe that this is what you are seeing. Try smaller feedings  many times per day to see if will go back in. If not then you may need to see a vet for further advice. Try the Calif Turtle and Tortoise club at tortoise.org for possible other solutions.-Chuck>

Turtles Not Doing Well  12/13/05 Hi WWM guys. I own a young male map turtle. Recently I had to leave him with my brothers map turtle, who despite being my turtles brother, is larger and more dominant at the same age. Since my turtle has returned to his aquarium he has barely eaten and the majority of his food is going to waste. He sleeps and hides a lot more than usual, and I'm concerned as to why his behaviour has changed. My brother suggested he was not eating large amounts when he was with him, as the other turtle was picking up most of the food. He seems happy when he is awake, but just worried something may not be right. Any ideas? < When two turtle of different sizes come together one dominates the other for resources. This includes food and a basking spot. This also stresses the smaller turtle to the point that they may become sick. Check the temperature of the basking spot with a thermometer. As the days grow cooler it may not be as warm as it needs to be. It should be up around 85 F. See if that helps. 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>

Turtle Needs Heat And Lighting in Ireland  12/7/05 Chuck, Thanks for your help with my earlier e-mail. I should probably have explained that I live in Ireland and have not been able to locate a pet store which sells heat lamps. I have lowered the water temp. but am unable to heat the basking area. My slider hasn't eaten in six weeks and is starving to death. He won't open his mouth for me or the vet so we are unable to feed him. We have tried to physically open his mouth but its impossible. The most we have been able to get into his mouth are a few drops of Vitamin A. When we did manage to get a quick look inside his mouth it appeared that his tongue was all swollen and covered with a white/cream colour lumpy substance (from the internet info. I have been able to locate this appears to be mouth rot ). I am so desperate to help him but no-one here knows anything about turtles.  Do you or any of your friends know how I can open his mouth to feed him or have any suggestion as to what I can do to help him. He is so thin and wasted looking that I don't think he has much longer. Sorry for all the questions but you are my only hope.  Sincerely, Laura < Go to a nursery that sells indoor plants and get an indoor full spectrum light bulb. Place it close enough to the basking spot so it heats the area up to 85F. Go online to Drsfostersmith.com and see if they are able to ship to Ireland. Then order what you need.-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 information that you could give me. Tammy 

Turtle With Heavy Breathing  11/28/05 Hey, I have a question about my red eared slider turtle. I just noticed today that he is making an odd crying noise every time he sticks his head out of the water to breathe or bask, is this a problem I should be concerned about? <Respiratory problems are associated with weird noises, bubbles or mucus from the nostrils. Increase the temp of the basking spot by moving the source closer or increasing the wattage. Give vitamins as directed on the bottle. If it gets worse you may need to see a vet for antibiotics.-Chuck> 

Turtles, Eye Infections, Lack of Appetite - 11/26/2005 Hi <Good afternoon.> I have two yellow belly turtles who have an eye infection.  Their eyes are getting better (antibiotic/eye drops) but they have now stopped eating.  Any suggestions as to what I can do. <You might try feeding something more appetizing than your current offerings; bits of fish or shrimp, perhaps.  And do please take a look at our turtle articles and FAQs for other feeding ideas.> Thanks <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

RES question/s  11/21/05 Hello Bob. <Kati> my <Beginnings of sentences are capitalized> name is kati, <As are proper nouns, like your name> i <I> have a Red eared mud slider who I have had for 6 years. Recently I have noticed a discoloration of the top of my turtle's shell. Its much paler that the rest of his shell; however, its inside of the shell and can not be washed off or felt. Any type of information that you may have will be greatly appreciated thank you kati <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turtledisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Should turtles be sold to children?  11/21/05 Hello Just call me dribble. I have a RES , his shell is about an inch and a half in width. He is still is a baby. His shell is getting a bit soft. How do I feed him? He won't eat cheese. He will just eat meat. Please hurry and reply.  -Dribble- <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turtledisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

More turtle questions and poor English  11/21/05 Hi I love your website it is so helpful...I have 2 questions for you, first question: How long does it take for Red Ear Sliders to grow? (I've had mine about 7 months and it hasn't grown at all)...second question: My R.E.S. shell has kind of a pink tint to it and looks like it's really dry, what could this be?  Please respond back as soon as possible. Thanks and I could send pictures if needed... <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turtledisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Red Ear Slider  11/21/05 We recently purchased red ear sliders and thought all was going well, until recently. We recently noticed that they have a pinkish-purple color on their shell, but nowhere else. Is this bad? Could their be some type of infection?  What is the best way to treat this if this is a problem? Also, what and how often is the best thing to feed them? Thanks Sara <Still read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turtledisfaqs.htm... and the files linked above. Bob Fenner> 

Soft Shell on Non Soft Shell Turtles  11/10/05 I have two baby painted turtles they are about 3 months old. There are two things that concern me and was wondering if you could help. The first one (which isn't serious because I believe I know what's wrong) is that the bottom of the shells are very very soft. I believe its because they are still small and are still growing or it could be because they just shed and we weren't aware of it. < Soft shells are never a good sign. Make sure they have a good basking site to get out on.>  <<Kind of like how soft teeth are never a good sign?  MH>> And the second problem is. The one turtle has a lump on the right side of its neck. The problem didn't start until after he ate guppies (we believe). We know he ate the fish because the one guppy in the tank was pregnant and when we looked there was only 1 baby guppy and I know that guppies have more than one baby. Now I believe that the lump is from the scales of the fish, I think the turtle is too young to digest the scales. This happened to my snake and in the end the lump killed him.  I don't want this to happen to my baby turtle and there are no vets around here that specialize in turtles. I also believe he may have a cold because his eye is very infected. We are already taking care of the eye, and we are putting calcium blocks in the water for the shell. But the most concern is the lump. Please help ASAP. Also my other turtle the abandoned one, the shell rot is gone. Thanks a million :) Sincerely, Jessi Rae < The soft shells and lumps in the neck may both be a sign of a vitamin deficiency. Get some reptile vitamins and increase the warmth on the basking site. Get a thermometer and check it. It should be around 90 F.-Chuck> 

Blind Red Eared Sliders 10/9/05 About a month ago I adopted two sightless RES's. According to the rescue organization they became blind when someone other than themselves allowed them to hibernate without the proper experience and they developed eye infections that left them blind. When I originally got these two guys, the rescue organization had over-looked shell rot on one of their plastron's which I have been treating and have seen progress and healing. I feed then in their own separate containers and one has been eating very well (the one with the shell rot).  The other one I have yet to see eat. They have plenty of water plants in the tank so I don't think he'll starve to death but I would like to know if you can give me any tips on what to do, to encourage him to eat. I've tried turtle pellets, crickets, Koi pellets, cichlid pellets, pinkies, red worms I have in my kitchen composting my kitchen waste, pureed salmon I have mixed with egg and then cooked, feeder fish I have killed immediately before feeding and who knows what else I can't think of right now - but nothing entices him to eat.  The other one has a taste for anything and everything but pellets. The rescue organization told me they were totally self sufficient, living in a pond with sighted turtles and left to their own devices. I can't believe this is true. Just this last week I started feeding them three times a week from feeding them every day.  I'm hoping you can give me some pointers on feeding these two - I don't trust the rescue I got them from. They said I was babying them and had ruined all the hard work they had devoted to these two to make them self sufficient and wanted them back - I said no and cut off my correspondence with them.  HELP!!! These are my first turtles and I am already attached to them. Am I being selfish by keeping them? - should I return them to the rescue, as they suggest? Any thoughts? Please. Thanks in advance. - Thomas < Heat the tank to 70 F with an aquarium heater. Make sure the basking spot gets up to at least 90 F. They will be attracted to the heat and bake away. They need the excess heat to digest their food and fight diseases. After heating up for awhile their appetite should come around.-Chuck.> 
Turtle Kept too Warm - Have Them Take Off the Turtlenecks! (Blind RES Follow-up) 10/10/05
Thanks Chuck for your speedy response - They are in a 90 gallon tank and the water is heated between 78 and 82, the basking area is 18" x 18" with a 7" ramp in the water. The dock is about 96 at it's hottest spot. I dry-dock them every day for most of the day. Am I keeping the water too warm? < Turn down the heater to 70 F> Should I leave them alone for a week or so and see what happens? < Turtle know when they need to bask and when they don't. I would leave them alone for awhile.> The reason I started to dry-dock them was because of the shell rot. If you could comment on my water readings which show 0 nitrItes with a 40 ppm nitrAte reading. Somehow that doesn't seem right to me. < You have a bacteria bed established that are converting the ammonia and nitrites to nitrates like they are suppose to. The high nitrate readings are contributing to the shell rot problem. Keeping the tank clean will help cure the rot.> I have also read that the water should be slightly acidic. Is that true or can I leave it where it is - neutral to slightly alkaline. < Bacteria don't do as well is an acidic environment. Use a Dr Turtle Sulfa Block by ZooMed to help acidify the water and help cure the shell rot.> Thanks - you all are always sooooo helpful. I have a few fish tanks and although I have been a tropical fish enthusiast for 30 something years whenever something comes up I haven't come across before - y'all seem to always have the answers or at the very least send me in the right direction - thanks for being there. - Thomas < Thank for your kind words.-Chuck> 

Turtle With Shell Fungus (I'm Not a Turtle!) 10/9/05 Hello there. Wow. You guys are amazing, thanks for this great site. I have what seems like a thousand questions! First, my turtle's shell seems to have some kind of fungus or something. It's a RES, I just recently got it when my sister decided she hadn't fed it in the week that she had brought it back from Mexico, so it should probably go to someone more attentive (duh).  It took a few days but I have finally gotten it into a 10 gallon tank with lots of room to swim, a water heater, and a filter. I'm still a day's work away from the UVA lamp, but have made sure that it gets a few hours of sunlight a day. When I got my turtle (call her Picar-Peek for short) she had some shell rot, which has gotten significantly better just from basking and clean conditions.  She started shedding around her legs, and it appears to be the same on her shell. Its generally located around the scutes, and the outer rim of the shell. It looks like it could be shedding, algae or fungus. I have researched, and researched (hence coming upon your site) but I can't find a definitive answer. If it is fungus, but the shell rot is getting better, should I worry?  Also, when she is swimming is it normal for her to have just a couple air bubbles come from her nose? I mean, I figured I have to release some pressure when I'm swimming-but I'm not a turtle, so. I've run across a lot of information that talks about the dangers of air bubbles, but is this every time, or in excess, or period? Everything else seems to be going well with the respiratory system. I'm sure I will have more questions to ask, in the meantime, thank you so much for all your help! -Bean <You can gently scrub the shell with a soft brush to see if that removes any of the growth on the shell. Shedding shell happens in large pieces of shell. Use a Dr. Turtle Block from ZooMed just in case it is a fungus but I am guessing it is algae. Turtles blowing bubbles while swimming is no big deal. If they are on land and continue to blow bubbles then that is probably a respiratory problem.-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 Shell Rot  10/3/05
I have one more question about this abandoned turtle I have found.  I was holding her yesterday because I check the shell every day.  Well on the bottom of her shell she seems to be losing parts of it.  There are red spots where it looks raw, and white spots where it just fell of recently.  I'm not sure what it is so I don't know how to treat it.  Please help me ASAP she needs to be taken care of properly and I want to be the one that does it.  Thanks much Jessi Rae < Shell rot is a bacterial infection. The area must be cleaned before antibiotics are applied. You should take your turtle to a vet.-Chuck>
Treating Sick Turtles  10/5/05
There is no vet in this area that knows about turtles.  I have checked already.  That's why I wanted to ask you about it.  Is there any way I can treat it without driving a long ways to a vet.  Please help. Jessi Rae < Treating shell rot can be done at home but it is very difficult. You need to get a sharp Exacto knife and cut away the infected areas down to undiseased shell. The cleaned areas should then be treated with a wound control antibiotic, like Repti Wound Healing Aid from ZooMed. The tank must be very clean. A Dr. Turtle Sulfa Block  by ZooMed needs to be in the water to help prevent infection. The basking spot needs to be at least 90 F.  Supplementing the food with vitamins would be a big help. Good Luck.-Chuck>

Turtles With Shell Rot  9/26/05 Hi, I'm Jennifer. I just got 2 baby red ear sliders from a little stand in Brooklyn. < Bad Idea> They don't treat them very well. < That's why it was a bad idea.> Anyway one of them has grey spots on it's shell, like 3 blotches. and the part of the shell between his tail and left leg are very soft. I have only had them for 3 days, but I have them in a tank with rocks and a filter and a heat lamp, when winter comes I will put a heater in the tank. I feed them turtle pellets and dried shrimp. Is he sick? < Yes. Shell problems are very serious.> Should I take him to the vet? < Yes, a good vet will be able to treat your sick turtle with antibiotics.> Will he get the other one sick? < Maybe. If the tank is not kept clean and the proper conditions are maintained then you other turtles can get sick too.> My last 2 turtles didn't have any spots on them. Please e-mail me back, I saw some stuff about a pinkish color and a cheesy looking bacteria, but this isn't like that and I am very worried. < The pinky-cheese stuff is the bacteria that is under the shell. Many times a vet needs to get into the shell to treat the bacteria that is living under and in the shell. Once the infected shell is cut away then antibiotics are applied. It is a shame that a stand is allowed to sell sick turtles like this.-Chuck>

Turtle Troubles  9/20/05 Dear Experts, My Son has had a RES since May 21st (my Birthday!!) The RES is about a 4" shell. He "looked healthy" when we got him, BUT he has always been very picky about eating, and recently --for about a month now-- he appears to be NOT eating at all. We have a long 20 tank, with a heating/UV lamp, with a bio-wheel filter, which is cleaned frequently; a basking (plastic) rock (also provides hiding underneath), a REAL biggie rock (for quieting the filter splash flow) and little more in he tank. His tank temp is always between 75-80 degrees. His water is almost ALWAYS clear enough to see right through, and is fed from softened water, (so doesn't need chlorine treatment) HERE are my primary concerns: 1. shell rot area on top of his shell now beginning to s-l-o-w-l-y spread outward, with peeling shell. 2. not eating, despite food sticks, fresh feeder fish galore, real meat, veggies and lots of variety... 3. poops (I think they're poops) which look like long white stringy muscle shreds, or fat thread. What's going on? Thanks so much!!!!Paul < Use a thermometer and place it on the basking site. It should get up to 95 F plus. This is where the turtle goes to increase his body temp to fight off diseases, help digest his food and utilize minerals. I suspect that this area is not hot enough and has lead to all these problems. Get a bigger wattage lamp or move the source closer. Get a second florescent light that provides UVA and UVB lighting. The shell rot will require exposing the affected areas, cleaning them out and applying and antibiotic ointment. The dietary problems of not eating and white stringy feces are probably related to food rotting in his stomach because his metabolism has not been adequately warm enough to activate the enzymes and digestive fluids to dissolve and absorb the food. Find a vet that treats turtles for adequate treatment for both problems.-Chuck>

Turtle Foaming  9/8/05 Hello, I have a question. Someone bought me turtles the size of  quarters about 5-6 years ago, now one passed away. The other  has grown  quite a bit and is doing fine until....I looked at the tank this morning and noticed a little bit of  foaming around it. I thought he was just blowing bubbles. Now I'm looking at it again and there is a lot of foaming  going on in the tank. Can someone please let me know what's going on?  I don't  want it to die. Thank you, Frances < This is usually a sign of a respiratory infection. Clean the tank, change the water and clean the filter if you have one. These things usually happen when the tank is kept too cold or the basking spot is not warm enough. When a turtle gets sick they need to get somewhere to heat up. It would be like you getting a fever to fight of a illness. Turtles cannot heat themselves up so need to go somewhere hot to raise their body temp. In an enclosure that is not properly set up they cannot do this and so continue to get sick.  Make sure the basking spot gets up to 95 F. The water could be heated up to 70F. Right now you need to get your turtle to a vet for antibiotics.-Chuck>

Turtle with Spots on Its Shell  9/3/05 Hi! We purchased a hatchling RES in August 2001.  We live in  Florida.  He is now in a large wading pool, sunk into the ground, with  filter and large basking ramp.  I do have to drain the water every week or  2 since the filter is not keeping it clear, algae.  He eats mainly turtle  pellets, lettuce, other greens.  There are always small local fish in with  him as well as occasional goldfish - that he has to catch. All has been well but  this summer there are 2 spots on his shell that are turning white.  His  shell is still hard and looks great except for these spots. The spots are not soft and we scrubbed the shell to get a better look. I noticed on your  site you mention sulfur blocks - I will add one of these.  Anything else I  can try? THANK-YOU in advance. Laura < Shell rot can occur under the shell too. Watch the spots closely and monitor them for any change in size. With elevated summer water temps the water can quickly foul and become a breeding ground for bacteria. Try and keep the water as clean as possible by not over feeding and cleaning the pool more often. After the turtle sheds you may get a better look at the spots and then determine their origin.-Chuck>
Turtle With Spots  9/5/05
Chuck, The spots have enlarged a little bit over the summer.  I will  keep the water cleaner.  He shed in Feb or March and I'll watch for his  next shed. Anything to add or soak the shell in - salt water - (on just  shell)? Thank-you Laura <Get a Dr Turtle Block from ZooMed and put it in the water. This will help resist diseases.-Chuck>

Turtle problem  8/31/05 We have had our turtle for 12 years now. I don't know her species (or sex for that matter), but I *think* I remember her being a yellow belly slider. Anyway, that's not very relevant. Recently, she hasn't been moving off of her rock. She is a creek turtle (not a box like we thought we were buying) so we have her in a very large aquarium about 1/3 filled with water and 1/3 of it has rock piled up above the height of the water. The light we have shining on the water uses a regular light bulb. We feed her a finger full of turtle pellets everyday. All that said, she hasn't been moving much at hall for the past several days but this morning very earlier, she was violently scrubbing her nose against the side of the tank. Usually she's very timid with us and tucks her head back in her shell when we walk by. This morning I was able to actually reach down in front of her face and touch her before she even noticed. I know a lot more about horses than I do turtles and in horses that kind of behavior is called stall weaving and is considered a sign of boredom and/or neurosis. Is this something similar or a natural behavior? What can I do? Thanks! Brittany < Your turtle has developed a respiratory problem. The turtle is trying to clear the mucus from his/her nose and mouth and has probably got some in its eyes too. Swap out the regular light bulb for one that is made for turtles to bask under. It should get the basking site around 90 F. Get some Zoomed Turtle Eye drops to keep the eyes clear of the infection. Keep the tank clean and maybe throw in a heater to get and keep the water up to 70 F.-Chuck>
Turtle Saved by Vet  8/31/05
Thank you so much.  I took him to the vet and have some treatment.  The shell rot was more serious than it appeared.  You guys just saved the life of my turtle.  I only have one more question, when his shell regenerates, will it be scarred? < After he fully recovers their will be scarring that will be less noticeable with age. I am glad you did the right thing and got him to a qualified vet.-Chuck>
Re: Turtle Shell With Scarring  9/1/05 How scarred will it be? < The initial infected area will probably heal up as a black area. Every time he sheds the black or dark areas will become a little smaller.> He is only 4.5 inches long right now but the places cover a fairly large spot of his shell.  Is there anything I can do to reduce the amount of scarring? < No sorry not really. The area affected by the bacteria is gone, eaten away. Healthy tissue will eventually fill in the darkened areas but they may never fill in completely-Chuck>

Turtle Sick?  8/30/05 First of all thanks for the quick reply. My baby turtle does eat but it doesn't eat very much. Maybe one little bite of the bread < Bread? Really? Try earthworms an insects.> and that's it. And it doesn't seem to like the commercial turtle food that I'm giving him. I've noticed that when I put my turtle in the water it blows a lot of bubbles and it's trying to wipe its face with its claws. And if it is some kind of respiratory problem do you think only raise the temperature of the basking area to 90 F will work? < Heating him up will definitely help.> What other measure do I have to take? < Get a book on turtles and read it.> Also you said to clean the shell first before applying antibiotic, what do I use to clean it? < Use a Q-tip to get all the infection out and try and get down to the flesh or shell, then apply the antibiotic.> I don't see the shell is rotting, it's just that on the surface of its shell I see black marks. Thank you and please reply. < Could be variable coloration but you never know.-Chuck>

Turtle with Shell problem 8/29/05 I just recently bought a Red Eared Slider Turtle and I have noticed that he has a fungus like thing growing on his shell.  He has 3 spots of it and more are developing. It is a while hair like growth growing where the scutes meet the lower shell on the right side and at the back near the tail.  I have also noticed that on both sides on his shell where the scutes and the lower shell meet he has a crack or a ridge horizontal on his shell. It is big enough to get a fingernail into and has a white cream like substance coming out of it.  This is on both sides and even where the growths are.  Is he sick?  Do I  need to take him to a vet or can I care for him myself?  Please let me know soon because I love my turtle and don't want him to die.  Thanks. <Your turtle has a serious shell problem that needs attention. The shell rot is a bacterial infection. Clean the tank and keep it that way. The infected areas need to be opened up and cleaned. Antibiotics should be applied topically and/or injected. Consult a vet that specializes in turtles. To prevent this the tank should be clean and the turtle should be provided with a nice hot basking spot. The heat elevates the turtle's immune system, dries out the shell so it will harden.-Chuck>

Sick Baby Red Eared Slider 8/29/05 I have a baby red-ear slider about the size of a quarter. I got it for about a month now, and recently, I've noticed that on the shell of my baby turtle, it started to develop irregular black marks between the scutes. I'm worried if it's sick, so I've consulted a few other websites and they suggested that I keep the turtle out of the water and only allow it to be in the water twice a day for 30 minutes each time and kept at a warm temperature. That is what I did and in addition I gave it a coat of antibiotic cream on its shell each time I took it out of the water. I would like to know if irregular black marks is a disease or is it natural. Also, my turtle seems to be sleeping 80% of the time with its eyes always closed. However it is alert with its surroundings each time I try to put it in my hand and/or tap its "home". From what I described and what you can see from the attachment, do you think my turtle is sick? If so, what do I do? Thank you and please reply. Kevin S. Chen < Very little new born turtles like yours can come down with numerous shell problems. Lets look at a few things first. The sleeping all the time may be the beginning of a respiratory problem. Keep the tank water clean and don't let it get below 70 F. Make sure that you have a good basking spot where it heats up to about 90F. How is the diet? Is it eating well? Make sure the turtle gets a well rounded diet. If your turtle does have shell rot then the infected areas need to be cleaned before the antibiotics are applied. Internal injections may be required for advanced or stubborn cases.-Chuck>

Water Turtles with Eye Problems 8/23/05 Hi, I'm writing from Singapore and I've been reading your column which I think is great and is of great help.  Thanks and keep up the good work. I have eleven RES.  The largest is about 13 inches long (Mr. Hello Boy) and the tiniest (Dotty) is about an inch long.  Recently, to my great distress, Little Five and Little Three have developed some eye disease, like cataracts.  They have thick white film over their eyes.  Little Five cannot open his eyes anymore whilst Little Three can keep his eyes open but they look funny; maybe he is already blind.  Please advise me on how to save them.  Will they die?  Or is there a cure? Thanks so much. Warmest regards across the continents, Joy Tan < Some turtle eye problems are caused by a vitamin A deficiency. Others may be caused by bacterial problems. I would isolate the sick turtles into separate containers. Make sure the water is in the mid to upper 20's C. Try and get some ZooMed Turtle Eye Drops. Keep the water clean and warm. Heat is very effective in curing many reptile maladies. Make sure the basking spot is good and hot (29-32 C). Very sick turtles may require the attention of a vet for antibiotics.-Chuck>

Turtle losing Shell Fragments 8/20/05 My red eared slider (don't know age, but I've had him for 8 months) recently lost the back edge of his shell near the right back leg.  Is this trouble, what can I do to help him? Thanks, Mary < This is not good. Most shell problems with baby turtles can be cured with diet and heat. Use a good quality basking light like a ZooMed ReptiSun 5.0 or equivalent on the basking spot. The basking spot should get up to 85 F. You need to supplement his food with vitamin D3 and add calcium. The shell rot is a bacterial infection so keep the water clean and add a ZooMed Dr. Turtle Sulfa Block. In bad cases the rotted shell made need to be cut away and antibiotics applied to the affected areas.-Chuck>

Turtle Problems 8/14/05 Hi, I'm W. Pentony, owner of SHeZ inc.. I'm thirteen and I have two yellow belly turtles, Norbert and Scuttles. Scuttles, who is a bit bigger than Norbert, has been sleeping 24-7 for the past couple of weeks. I haven't been able to feed him since. He is still alive though, but when I wake him he won't open his eye's to let me feed him. Norbert on the other hand is the complete opposite of Scuttles, so I don't worry about him. What's wrong with Scuttles, and what could I do? < Separate the turtles into different containers. The sick one may spread a disease to the healthy one. Make sure both have full spectrum basking light over each one. The basking spot should be able to get up to 100 F. If it is not then move the source closer or get a bigger wattage light. When turtles or most herps get sick they need heat to raise their body temp like when you get sick and get a fever. Turtles cannot raise their own body temp so they rely on an external source like the sun. When turtles lack vitamin A in their diet they are prone to eye problems.  Get some ZooMed Turtle Eye Drops and use as directed. If not any better after a few days then you should consult a vet. -Chuck>

Turtles Don't Like Salt 8/14/05 Hello, I have a RES and I think that he may have eaten/drank Aquarium Salt and he is sick.  He is in a 10 gallon tank.  I thought that it would be healthy for him if I were to put in a bit of Doc Wellfish's Aquarium Salt for Freshwater Fish into his water so I put it in a few days ago. I think that he has been vomiting for a few days, and he did not eat today.  He has no energy, his skin is lighter than normal - he's shedding (white), and gasps for air with his mouth wide open.  I have taken out all of the water and left only an inch so he does not drown - he cannot keep his head above the water.  I cannot tell if his eyes are swollen but they are wide open.  If he ate/drank too much salt/saltwater, what am I supposed to do?  His tank is now clean with NO Aquarium Salt.  Please help. < If you really want to save his life I would recommend taking him to a vet ASAP. The salt has probably caused liver and kidney damage that may not be reversible.-Chuck>

Turtles Don't Like Texas 8/13/05 Hi I have 3 adult red eared sliders, I've had them for 10 years and they never got sick when I was in California even though sometimes the water would get real dirty it would be green. But once I moved to Texas I noticed their necks were pink. I read the help you gave others and used sulfa dip and that seemed to help it, but now I notice that my turtles shell has white dots and a white dot on the bottom of the foot, also a small piece of the bottom of the shell is darker, and one of them has a lump on the top of its eye and two of them have dry shells even though they get plenty of moisture. I change the water all the time so its always clear but I do leave them out. On a side note I was wondering if I could feed them canned albacore occasionally. < You need to check the water quality. Almost all the water in Calif is hard and alkaline. I'm betting you are getting water that may be fairly soft and can become easily acidic. Go to an aquarium store and get a water quality test kit that checks pH, ammonia and nitrates. For turtles you want the pH above 7. Ammonia and nitrates fuel bacterial problems that are attacking your turtles necks. The lower the ammonia and nitrates , the less problems your turtle will have.-Chuck>

New Turtle Problems 8/13/05 Hi I recently bought two baby turtles, we were told they were baby Brazilian turtles.  We have them in a fairly big tank, with rocks to climb on and water in for when they want a swim, we have made it so they can climb on the rocks easily too.  We have a water a filter in and a light but its not UV.  We don't have a heater either but we have thermometer in it saying it is about 24 degrees.  The turtles were the same size when we bought them but one of them is not doing much.  One of them has grown an awful lot bigger the other hasn't, this one doesn't seem to eat and the eyes are closed all the time, whereas the bigger turtle is very active and playful.  Is our turtle ill or is it something else? < Sounds like your turtle is sick.> We were going to get a UV light or heater and some plants to put in the tank, will this help? < South American rainforest is pretty hot and humid all the time. Air and water temps should be at least 27 C. I would recommend heating the air with a good plant/heat lamp. The basking spot should be very warm. If your sick turtle can get under the spot, the increased temps will act like a fever on a human and help fend off diseases. The usual problem is respiratory and may need antibiotics. To be sure I would take him to a qualified vet experienced in turtles.> We are feeding them turtle and terrapin food at the minute given to us by the pet store.  Please could you advise me on how to get my little turtle better, we are very worried about her? Kind Regards, Sara < The eye problems may be caused by a vitamin A deficiency. Get some turtle eye drops. When the eyes are clear he may start to eat more and move around.-Chuck>

Yellow belly not so yellow 7/29/05 Hi there.  I have recently been given two beautiful adult yellow bellies from my cousin and her husband as they are moving and can not accommodate them.  I have three RES and they all get along wonderfully in my large tank (I got a new excuse to buy a bigger one) I noticed, though, this past week that the male yellow belly is getting a pinkish tint to his yellow underside.  I am concerned about septic concerns.  Could this be anything else? <Mmm, not likely... usually poor water quality is the root cause...>   His limbs are fine, shell fine, and no bulging eyes.  Also, I have noticed some mating signs (fluttering around the head)  but she is not interested.  I do not really want baby turtles, is there anything I can do to prevent this?  Thank you so much for your comments and advice.   <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm Scroll down to the Turtles area... re Disease, Systems, Behavior. Bob Fenner>

Red Eared Slider Age Hi I was wondering how to tell how old my red eared slider is, roughly how to tell. Thank You Jeanne <Hi Jeanne.  I am not really sure how to tell how old a Red Eared Slider is, or any chelonian for that matter.  They can live for approximately 20 years, as they age their colors will be more drab and less defined.  Size can help to factor in the age, unless the turtles growth was stunted at some point in its life.  They can reach adulthood at anywhere from 5-12 inches.  Hope this helps a little.  I am sure your turtle has many happy years ahead of it.  Best Regards, Gage>

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