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FAQs About Red Ear Slider Turtle Disease/Health: Infections (Bacteria, Fungus...)

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

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

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


Symptoms after Vitamin A injections alarming!!     2/12/17
Dear Crew,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
We've taken our son's 2 RES to an emergency vet that diagnosed them with pneumonia saying we purchased them sick it just takes time for them o show symptoms.
<Very true and .. sadly ... very common>

They were given injections for 30 days every 72 hours and today they went back to the regular vet because it has been 8 days since they have eaten do to stress of dry docking them and being sick in general.
<Not a huge concern assuming that had been eating prior to getting sick>
The vet today gave them Vitamin A injections and now they keep biting and won't stop moving the leg they were given in as if they are irritated and they haven't done this after the medication injections we've been giving them. Will this go away or do they need to go back to emergency vet since our normal vet is now closed??!!
<Not at this point. I'm not sure what injections they were given for 30 days, and I would have given calcium and D along with the "A" -- but at this point my suggestion is to STOP treating them.>
<At this point the stress from the treatments is a negative affect on the over-all course of recovery. Keep them dry docked except for their daily bath of luke-warm water. Make sure that the water is not over their eye/nose level so that no water accidentally gets in their lungs. Other than that, keep them warm and dry - and allow them some peace and quiet.>
<Pay attention, of course, that they open their eyes and will move when necessary (such as during their bath) but you're treated the infection and now it's time to de-stress them>


Turtle Skin Problem          11/12/15
Hi WWM crew,
<Hiya Darrel here>
I really need some help in finding out how to treat my red eared slider.
*Before bringing to the vet:*
Initially, I noticed that the neck area looks very wrinkly/bulging and has these brownish red patches around it (its only at one side of the neck). She's not as active as she used to be and she didn't stick out her neck much even when she's eating. When she swims, she doesn't use her right arm much (the arm near the affect neck area) so she tilts to one side when she swims. There were also foams in the tank but I'm not sure if its because of the water, the filter or the turtle. The foam started around 3 months ago but it only happened 2 or 3 times. She stays together with another male red ear slider that is slightly smaller than her and i feed her the pellets once a day.
She's about 4 years and 7 to 8 inch.
So I brought her to the vet and the vet said her shell seems fine and the formation is good. I told him about the skin and he gave an antidote jab to see if it helps as we weren't sure what's the cause. The shell gets slimy but the skin is not slimy. He said she looks fine and I just have to ensure the environment and the water is clean so now i change the water once in 2 to 3 days. Previously I've always filled the tank with tap water but I've found out that I'm supposed to put the water overnight before putting into the tank or use filtered water so now i use filtered water in the temporary container.
<No… that’s for fish .. from the days where the water supply had simple chlorine in it that would burn the gills and kill the fish. Today even an overnight aeration doesn’t get rid of the chlorine because it’s often bound to ammonia that stays in solution much longer>
<For turtles … any tap or well water that you could possibly drink and not die from is just fine – as is>
*After bringing to the vet:*
She's eating fine and seems to be sticking her neck out more often to eat. She also opens both of her arms wide now when she swims. Everything seems better but the skin condition around the neck seems worst. The skin is not wrinkly brownish red anymore but it looks as though it has torn opened or like the skin is rotting. Its pale pinkish and has bumps and looks a bit flaky too. I'm not sure if its the fungus in the water that's worsening the skin condition or whether its some internal infection.
Note: I've read the previous FAQs and I couldn't quite find a similar problem, I think it might be skin infection and saw some advice to keep the wound dry. Should i keep my red eared slider in a dry area so the wound can possibly heal?
<Yes!! Read this carefully and treat as if it’s a cut or scrape http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm  this may have started from a simple irritation or a scrape and gotten worse, but in any case the treatment is to keep her dry, apply betadine twice daily and allow her to heal>
I plan to bring her to the vet again but your opinion, experience and advice would really help so that I can inform the vet as well on possible cause and solutions. (Treating turtles is not common around my area)
<If your vet suspects that the infection may be internalized, then ask him if he can prescribe Danofloxacin or the old standby (but harsher) Baytril>
I've attached 2 pictures when the skin was wrinkly and 1 picture when the skin has gotten worse.
I would really appreciate a reply.
Thank you!

Issues with my RES     10/1/15
My name is Kaitlyn Thomas. My Red Eared Slider, Tiny, ​is 6 years old and has been pretty healthy until now.​ ​ Current history that led to his issues. Moved twice and got married. Was on honeymoon for 2 weeks and had family member watching him. Tiny has been experiencing some shell rot for the first time​, but I was able to find the one vet in the upstate of South Carolina​ that treat​s​ reptiles.
<Unfortunately. But luckily if Shell Rot is the only thing wrong, you can treat this at home. Dry-docking plus "Iodine" as used as an antiseptic (i.e., Povidone-iodine or Betadine) works well. Let me direct you to some reading:
The real trouble starts when infections are inside the turtle, such as respiratory tract infections (RTIs) as these really do need antibiotics from a vet.>
His shell rot seems to be healing well with the current treatment regimen of diluted betadine, Silvadene cream and dry docking for about an hour and a half to two hours a day. He was also prescribed Ceftazidime injections to prevent or fight any type of possible infection.
Up until this past Friday he was doing fine. When I got home Friday night I realized that he was acting pretty mellow, very unlike himself, and I caught him opening his mouth very wide under water. After treating him on Friday night ​with his sell rot treatment ​and upon putting him back in his tank, he began to panic once he put his head under water. He began sticking his neck out, widely opening his mouth and bubbles were coming out every now and then. It almost looked like he was struggling for air or gagging. Maybe even gas.... I'm not sure.
<Inability to swim normally can mean fluids in the lungs, and this can be a sure sign of an RTI, especially alongside a bubbly nose, weird sounds when breathing, lack of movement, and so on. Again, let me direct you to some reading:
Such problems are treatable, though a vet will need to help.>
I took him to the vet the following morning and they really did not know exactly what was going on. Other than his episodes under water, he was acting perfectly normal. No swollen eyes, no bubbles coming out the nose, no wheezing, and still very active. The vet did a radio graph to see if she saw anything internal that could be causing the issue, but it came back clear. She thought ​ t ​ maybe it could be gas related and wanted to prescribe an injection for issues with this, but they did not have it in stock. In case it is a respiratory infection we are starting another round of Ceftazidime. ​(Which he had been on before this occurred)​
This morning, we attempted to feed in shallow water ​ instead of in his tank​ , but as soon as his head went under and he began to open his mouth it happened all over again. Tiny has not been able to eat since Friday morning. How long can he go without eating?​ ​
<Months, assuming he's a decent weight to begin with.>
Currently, he is dry docked with both heat lamp and UV lamp.​
<Good. Do check the age of both, but especially the UV lamp. A UV-B lamp (the one you need) has a useful life of between 6-12 months depending on the brand. Certainly, if more than a couple of years old it probably isn't doing much that's useful.>
At first I was putting him in his water tank to eat and potty but after Friday have only tried putting in shallow water since he freaked out so badly in tank when his head goes under. Either way he will not eat.
I am hoping ​you can help me figure out what to do. I have also contacted his old vet from where we used to live to see if they have any ideas. I read through you site but only see RI symptoms similar, but I just can't believe this is it since he was on antibiotics when this started and he doesn't have the usual symptoms that go with it. He really looks like he has forgotten how to swim and starts to freak out when his head goes underwater. I am struggling on what I need to do. My husband did bring up the possibility of Tiny being allergic to the Ceftazidime as he has been getting injections for a few weeks now every 3 days.
If I need to send pictures or video of this behavior I can most definitely do that. I am just very worried as I have been unable to get a clear answer on what is wrong with him ​.
Thank you so much for your time. I truly appreciate anything ​you​ can be done for my little man.
Kindest Regards,
<I hope the above links provide some help. I've cc'ed Darrel, our turtle guru, in case I've missed something obvious. Cheers, Neale.>

red eared slider     10/1/15
I have had this red eared slider for about 5 years. About a week ago, it started going limp when I would pick it up. Then started to gasp for air.
What has caused this?
<From your message, I can't really tell. So let's do a checklist of the "big three" reasons turtles get sick...
(1) Heat lamp over the dry basking spot working?
(2) UV-B lamp is in use, and less than a year old?
(3) Calcium-rich diet provided?
If the answer to any of these is "no" then that's why! There can be other reasons, but honestly, 99 times out of 100 these three are the reasons turtles sicken and die.
A five-year old turtle is just a kid really, these things should live 20, 30 years in captivity, but often a vivarium that was adequate when they were really tiny becomes less useful as it matures. UV-B lamps for example have a finite life, and even if they "light up" to your eyes, they won't be producing enough (invisible, to us) UV-B light after 6-12 months depending
on the brand. So if you haven't replaced the UV-B lamp since you bought the turtle, then that DEFINITELY needs to be done -- and if you don't have any UV-B, then that's ALMOST CERTAINLY going to be harmful, even lethal to your turtle. Have cc'ed Darrel, our turtle guru in case I've missed something.
Neale Monks>


RES care       5/3/15
i have just bought a baby RES and her reaction is weird. she has not eaten anything from past 2 weeks. and now she is really very ill. taking long breaths, keeping eyes close ll the time, laziness in the motions she is doing. i have already given her the sun light for a day but her reaction is the same. she is not responding me well. i am worried about her. please
lemme know if you can help me out in this.
<Hello Kanchan. Your turtle has a respiratory tract infection. Very common (indeed, inevitable) when they aren't kept properly. Start be reading, here:
Then read here for treatment (about halfway down, under "Wheezing or bubbly nose"):
Warmth, UV-B light, and a trip to the vet are required. Without these, death follows... days, weeks, months later. On the positive side, keep turtles properly and they rarely get sick. So get this chap to a vet,
re: RES care

But sir she seems like she is dead she is not breathing. Her body is intact as she is freezed.
<Oh dear. Well, another pet turtle killed by its owner not keeping it properly. Do reflect on what you have done wrong. Don't get another turtle until you have read about their needs. Reptiles are not cheap or easy pets.>
M not able to get the situations
<I have no idea what this means. Cheers, Neale.>

RES turtle help     1/19/15
My baby red ear slider turtle has something orange in his nose nostril I tried wiping it off but he just got really mad at me and snapped at me (he has never snapped at me before!!)
What can I do?
<This turtle needs to see a vet. More than likely this is a combination of blood, dead skin tissue, and bacterial infection. Quick run-through just to be clear: Do you provide your turtle with UV-B light? Do you provide him with a suitable basking (heat) lamp? Do you provide him with a varied diet including fresh greens? Lack of one or other of these is why turtles get
sick nine times out of ten. Your vet will be able to diagnose the problem and give you tips on better care (if needed).
Cheers, Neale.>

Hello, Myself Mohit and i am from India, Asia.     12/27/14
<Hiya - I'm Darrel from Los Angeles, California, USA - nice to converse with you>
My friend gave me my first pet red ear slider 2 months back and from last few days I am seeing that something has grown from his face. I don't know. I am sending you a picture of it. I don't have much of a vet and such doctors in here. By reading your forum i found that i was not basking him correctly. For warmth we had put him in sun light for few hours. Hope you can help.
<A health turtle can be given a few hours of sunlight every day or two and survive. The sunlight necessary to process the Vitamin D doesn't not need to be 8 hours every day, especially in India where the sunlight can be so strong. It DOES need to be direct sunlight - not coming through glass or even screen. You can read all about what it takes to keep him healthy in this one article: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm it doesn't take very much, but please don't skip any step>
<Now as far as the lesion on his face, the picture appears to be a tumor… but as I examine the picture more closely it appears that the skin around his right shoulder is also showing signs of the same skin condition and this leads me to think that a vitamin deficiency may be contributing.>
<First, you will needed a skilled person to remove the lesion on his face with a scalpel or a sharp razor blade. This should be done by a veterinarian, but if one is not available or affordable it could be done by anyone with basic medical training, such as a nurse, a medical technician, etc. If no such person is available then you might look for a local turtle and tortoise club to find and experienced member (over the years my veterinarian taught my how to perform many simple procedures.)>
<Once the tumor has been shaved off, keep the turtle warm and dry and treat the open wound with Betadine (any brand of ordinary Iodine for human skin treatment) until it begins to scar over. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm >

White spots    4/7/14
Dear Crew
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have a 20 year old RES who I have had for around 6 years. She has always been healthy, in spite of the fact that her previous owner kept her and her 'buddy' (male) in a 30 gal. tank that was only half full. Believe me, she certainly was happier when I put her in a larger habitat.
<I believe you>
I now keep her outside in a plastic pond liner, probably upwards of 250 gallons where she has lived for years. In the pond with 3 others, she behaves the same as always with no change in appetite, behavior or any other change except that she has developed 2 small white spots on her shell, and a large (half Inch) spot on the edge that seems to be slightly (for now) eating away her shell. It will scratch off a little bit, and there seems to be an erosion, as if her shell were disintegrating.
<It likely is>
They have been in a semi hibernating state for the winter; only out now and then and no eating. All behave the same; her behavior isn't different from the way it's always been. She molted before the winter, as did 2 of the others; the other one just molted and nothing appears to be wrong with any of them. I don't know of a vet that takes care of reptiles or amphibians in my area and frankly at this point I don't know if I could afford one! Can you offer some insight into the problem?
<It sounds like a low level fungal infection. Read all about dry docking and fungus here:


Mature Red Eared Slider with swollen leg    11/29/12
<Hi Sean, Sue here with you.>
Timmy is a 15 year old red eared slider. He lives in a large well filtered aquarium, with a nice basking spot with a lamp
<Do you only have a heat lamp or a UVB as well?  Especially if he’s an indoor only turtle, he must also have UVB.>
and his water is heated to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
<Actually the water should be on the cooler side, around 68-70 degrees F. Because turtles depend on their external environment to thermo-regulate, the idea is you want to give them a clear choice between cool water and warm dry land.>
He has never been ill previously.
<That’s fortunate, especially if he hasn’t had a UVB light his whole life!>
He stopped eating about a week ago.
<This is usually one of the first signs they show when they’re not feeling well.>
Based on research I thought he may have need to be introduced to a UVB light to get his appetite back, so I bought one.
<How long have you had him? Has he had no sunshine or UVB for 15 years? He doesn’t only need it when he’s sick, he should have it every day. If it’s an artificial light should be on a 12 hours on/12 hours off cycle. Turtles require UVB to metabolize vitamins in their food for their bones and immune system.>
No response yet.
Just today I noticed that one back leg is bloated three times as thick as the other. The webbing and nails are pretty much subsumed by the swelling, appearing more club like than web like.
<Swelling is clear indication for a trip to the vet. It could be a localized infection or it could be something systemic. Either way, I would schedule an appointment for him to be seen ASAP. >
He obviously favors the healthy one. 
Based on the FAQ section I am leaning towards doing a Repti Turtle Sulfa Dip then putting Dr. Turtle Sulfa Block in the tank thinking it is fungal. Am I on the right track.
I don't see lesions, blisters or discolored skin. He did not like it when I gently palpated the swollen leg.  Pls see photos below. See swollen rear right leg below and above. Compare healthy left leg below
Please help me and Timmy!
<Will try! --
1st – Timmy needs to see a vet now. Try to find one who has experience with turtles or reptiles. Even vets who treat birds will often have knowledge of turtles.
2nd – Any time a turtle is sick or you suspect they might be sick, water becomes their enemy instead of their friend. Timmy needs to come out of the water now and be placed in a warm dry enclosure with a UVB light over him. We refer to this as dry-docking – here is our link with instructions for how to do that. Look under the section called “Immediate treatment – isolation and dry-dock”. This will explain exactly what you need to do --
<Sean, I’m also giving you this link to our general care guide which I recommend you read --
I’m sending it because it sounds like you didn’t realize the importance of UVB and I want to make sure you have everything else covered that he needs as well. >
<I hope you can get him to a vet real soon because he really should be seen before he gets any worse. If any other concerns come up or you need clarification on any of the above, please feel free to write us back; we’re happy to try and help however we can!  ~ Sue>

RES cannot submerge in water - 11/25/12
I have read many of the responses on your forum, but unfortunately I could not find my answer. I have a red eared slider turtle named Kevin. He (could be she) is about 18 months old now. He is in a 40 gallon tank since he was 3 months old. He is about 7 inches in diameter. Since he was young, he had a great appetite and grew very fast so that is why I moved him to a larger tank so early. His tank is about half way filled up with water and he has a basking spot with a large rock on the corner of the tank. He hangs out there about 8-10 hours a day. The light is on a timer so he can also get his rest at night. He always ate well....pellets, shrimp, dried worms, crickets, greens, water lilies....he also has a water heater to keep his water around 80 degrees. We live in NJ and after the storm about 3 weeks ago we lost power for about 5 days. It was pretty cold, and his water temperature went down to about 67 degrees, and also he had no way to bask.
I felt awful, but there was nothing I could do. After this incident, he stopped eating.
<Reptiles will stop eating when they get cold; that's perfectly normal.
Furthermore, short-term exposure to relatively cool water as you've described shouldn't cause long-term problems. Red Ear Sliders can and do experience brief chills in the wild, and while some certainly do die when it gets frosty, many survive. Since yours wasn't exposed to bitterly cold conditions, merely room temperature, it should be fine.>
After a week I took him to the vet and he told me that he probably has respiratory infections and prescribed antibiotics. I gave him the medicine for 10 days, and his appetite came back. This issue looks Ok, but I do have a much bigger one.
<I see.>
Since we had him, he could never submerge in the water. He swims on the top of the water, side ways and when he tries to submerge to get something that went under it looks like his right side keeps him above. Like he has a balloon or a lot of air inside. When he was young it was not so obvious, but as he grew larger it seems to be a problem. The vet said it is the infection and should go away after the antibiotics, but as I said Kevin had this for 18 months since he was born.
<Has Kevin never been able to sink normally? That's unusual, and usually when a turtle can't sink (submerge) when it wants to, that's a sign there is a bacterial infection that causes the lungs to fill with fluid.
Antibiotics can take a long time to work on reptiles.>
Because he was eating and very active I never thought that this is a problem, but I think if it is possible, I would love to help him to get better.
Thank you for your attention.
<Keep talking to your vet, and be patient. Good luck, Neale.>


Red-Eared Slider question re compact UVB bulb & slight pinkish hue to skin - 11/05/2012
Thanks for all your great work. You're a wonderful, trusted resource for me and helped me in the past when my turtle had eaten a whole pant load of plastic decorative plants.
<And thank you too, there are few things we like better than adoring fans.!! Darrel here with you (actually WITH you - I'm in Torrance, too)>
This is Lucy's lighting/basking setup. She had a long 18" fluorescent bulb but I gave that fixture away recently, thinking the double deep dome thing would be more "handy." So far I like it and it's on a timer, everything is good, basking temp is good, etc. My only question is whether she is getting ENOUGH UVB from the compact fluorescent Repti-Sun 5.0 Tropical bulb, as it doesn't cover much surface area. She does normally bask RIGHT UNDER it.
<She's getting plenty of UVB with that bulb>
You can see the UVB bulb on the right on this picture. Her Turtle Tuff heat bulb is on the left. The dome lamp is a "reflector" lamp. (It's a 90-gallon tank.)
Earlier this year Lucy was laying about 6-8 eggs every 3-4 weeks for MONTHS. Since I upgraded from a 55-gallon tank to the 90-galloner about 9-10 weeks ago, she has not laid any eggs. Perhaps she is no longer stressed out.
<Or finally out of eggs.>
I have read a lot about the link to eye problems and it seems that was more in the past and more when people positioned the bulbs so that the critters were looking right at them, rather than the bulb being directly above the critter. My concern is more with whether these kinds of bulbs
provide enough UVB, since they cover a relatively small surface area (unlike the tube kinds).
<Yes, but the positioning and the focus, rather than the diffusion of a florescent makes up the difference>
I hope you can see this pic:
<I think its fine>
Also, of late I've sometimes noticed a very slight pinkish hue to her skin when she's basking...the skin nearest her shell. Is that normal?
<Normal? No. But not a reason to panic. It CAN be sunburn from too much UV - back the bulb UP about 2 inches and wait a month.>

Thank you SOOOOO much,
Linda Abbott
Torrance, CA
<Yer welcome, Linda - do us a favor? When you hit the lottery … remember the 'donate' button on the top of our home page. Every little bit helps>
Re: Red-Eared Slider question re compact UVB bulb & slight pinkish hue to skin    11/17/12
Thanks for your reply, Darrel.
<Yer welcome!>
You helped me the other time too.
<That's the law of large numbers, Linda.  If I answer ENOUGH questions, one or two are bound to be right>
I really appreciate it.
<That means a lot>
I will donate a little something after the 20th, next time I get paid.
<Our web host service thanks you!>
I got a higher wattage heat bulb so I moved the deep dish combo dome lighting fixture up about 2.5 inches, give or take, which means now the UVB compact bulb is higher. Perhaps her pinkish tint will go away? I do notice it between her toes too...unless it was always like that...am I paranoid?
<Well, Linda - just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.  Paranoids have real enemies too!>
<It's always a concern … but then as I say - if Lucy is alert and active, aware of you when you're around … eats well and bathes and basks regularly - then don't sweat the pinkish color>
Here are two photos attached. Not sure how good they are in terms of showing a pinkish hue.
<Great pics - they show it clearly>
Thank you so much (again)!


Red Eared Slider fungus question  2/13/12
Dear Crew
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have a female RES about 8 inches long.  She seems to have fungus on her hind leg, it's a gray area.  I read your website about putting Tolnaftate on the area.  My question is this; I plan on putting her into my bathtub to dry out and once she is dry I will put on the medication.  I also plan to let her stay in there for 30 minutes before returning her to the tank, do you think this treatment is adequate?
<Sure.  That's just right>
I do not have the capabilities to make her a separate place to stay and even if I did her back foot would still be in water.
<The bathtub is fine - but remember, plastic storage containers from the Building Supply stores are really cheap>
My tank is spotless clean and has been since my grandson moved and gave her to me, they have 120 gallon tank (2 females), I drain 1/2 of the water every Saturday and I have a big Aqua Clear filter which has a large sponge, bio balls and charcoal in it.  I scrub the inside of the tank fully when I change the water.  Am I doing something wrong?
<Not at all.  You're doing everything right!   But you didn't mention a heat AND a UV-B lamp on the basking area both are important>
I am not sure how she got this fungus unless from lettuce?
<Nope.   By The Way - have you verified that it's not just shedding skin? 
The skin turns gray before it falls off>
They eat:
Tetra Repto Min
Grated carrots
Romaine Lettuce
<OK, but not real value>
Gold Fish
<Typically carry parasites.  No.  BAD!>
<Empty, fatty calories with no nutritional value>
<Fine but not particularly of value>
<Hmm - never seen one actually EAT that stuff before>
<I raise mine from hatchlings to breeders on two foods.  A basic high quality Koi pellet like Kay-Tee brand from Central Pets -- and an occasional (monthly) earthworm>
Thanks for your help in advance!  I really enjoy your web site.  I have read so many conflicting things on the internet about feeding that it has confused me quite a bit.
<I couldn't agree more.  The Internet has given us a faster way to spread misinformation than ever before AND a generation of people that have the attention span of fruit flies.>
<Fortunately there is WWM!>


RES with an eye infection - advice needed 1/7/12
Hello, I'm Diego, a female red eared slider rescued in May of 2011.
<Hi Diego, nice to meet you!  Im Sue, a parent of some rescued turtles just like you.  But none of my turtles know how to type so you're very special!>
I'm 53 grams and about 3 inches.
<Oh, a teenager!  I hope you're listening to your parents and doing everything they ask!>
My parents and I love your site and your expert advice.
<Glad to hear we've been of help!>
I've had a problem for about three weeks now and I'd like to ask a few questions. I went to the vet yesterday (1-3-2012) because my eyes are, reddish, pink and swollen, there are little white marks in the corners. At first they would open, but for the last 5 days, they've been stuck closed.  My parents are worried it might be an eye infection from lack of Vitamin A or a respiratory infection.
<Your parents sound like very wise people!>
My vet isn't sure which, but gave me an injection (ouch) of an antibiotic and wants to give me another in 72 hours.  She said I couldn't have a Vitamin injection because I'm too small,
<Hmmm, not true!  She can and should give you a Vitamin A injection.  She may just have to be dilute it so that it corresponds with your gram weight. You should have your parents ask her about this when you see her again for your next shot!>
but did tell my parents to keep my water temperature and basking area in the higher temperature (80 to 85).
<Well, almost but not quite.  Right now while you're not feeling well you should be in a warm, DRY environment 24 hours a day until you get better again, except for just a few minutes each day in water so that you can eat, take a drink and poop if you want.  Tell your parents to check out this link and read the whole article
especially the section called *ISOLATION* to learn more about why staying warm and DRY is so important and to find out how to set this up for you.  They'll also want to carefully read over the section called SWOLLEN OR CLOSED EYES.  >
<And here is a link to another article that they should also read that specifically talks about eye infections:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turteyedisart.htm >
<When you feel better again, your parents should be allowing you to choose between COOL water (68-70 degrees F) and warm dry land (88-90 degrees basking temperature) since your body cant regulate its own temperature. >
She said my housing and setup were good to go though.
<Could be ... but the problems you're having can sometimes be the result of both a poor diet AND something wrong with your environment.  So ask your parents to also carefully read over our care guide in this next link, compare your set-up and care to whats recommended here, and to make any changes that are necessary:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
I feel safe and cozy in my tank. I'm a picky eater and will only eat dried shrimp, my parents try to give me other foods, but I won't touch it. 
<Well, you need to listen to your parents because this time they're right!!  A diet of dried shrimp is not good for you, and at least one of the main reasons why your eyes are closed right now!!>
My mom has been helping me eat since my eyes are closed right now, she tries to sneak the gross turtle pellets in, but I spit them out.  I was eating, barely, the first week, the second, I ate a bit more, and this week I've been very hungry and wanting food all the time. I've also had some air bubbles come from my nose, but no signs of mucus and although I seem to be tilting just a bit, I am swimming pretty well. The first two weeks I was lethargic, I didn't move around a lot, but this week I've been getting hyper.  We know these are typical signs of an infection, but the vet wasn't positive of an infection.
<Losing your appetite, feeling unusually tired, and bubbling from your nose are signs that you were starting to come down with something which is likely now improving because of the 1st dose of antibiotic you received.  So make sure you continue taking your medicine as long as your vet suggests!> 
<This is also why its so important for you to get out of the water right now and into a warm dry place until you fully recover.  Bacteria and fungus LOVE water especially WARM water!!>
She warned that Diego might not pull through this, although I don't understand why she seemed so negative since we're trying to do everything we can. We DO NOT want to lose our little one.)
<I understand your concern; I have little ones of my own!  And we obviously don't have the advantage your vet has of physically seeing him.  But Diego's appetite and energy increasing are two encouraging signs that he's improving.  Based on this I think he has a good chance to pull through IF the right steps are taken.>
Our questions are:
1. What do you think might be wrong with Diego?
<At the very least a Vitamin A deficiency caused by a poor diet and (possibly also) living conditions that aren't quite right.  Given the other symptoms he was having besides his swollen eyes and the fact that he seems to be responding better after his 1st dose of antibiotic, its also likely that he did come down with an infection.  Vitamin deficiencies uncorrected over time eventually cause their bodies/immune systems to become debilitated to the point where they become more susceptible to illnesses such as a respiratory infection.>
2. What can we do to get Diego to eat other foods? The vet suggested mixing the turtle pellets into paste and feeding me that, but I only eat in water and paste doesn't work so well in water. What other tricks could we try?
<Try feeding Diego in a shallow bowl (in the manner described in the 1st link I gave you under the section called *Isolation*).  This will make it easier for him to take the food in his mouth with his head above water (which turtles are normally capable of doing).  Once in his mouth he will instinctively put head under the water to swallow.  You may have to wait a few minutes for him to settle down before trying this though!>
<You can also try coating his food with cod liver oil instead of the paste.  The section in that same link called *Swollen and Closed Eyes* gives some suggestions for this. >
<If he's either unable to or not buying into anything coated with the cod liver oil, try putting a few drops of cod liver oil (and/or the Vitamin A drops) directly into his mouth.  Draw up a few drops using a narrow size syringe and irritate him to the point where he opens his mouth so you can put the syringe in (depending on his temperament, this could take you anywhere from 0 to 25 or more attempts!)  With any luck hell bite down on the syringe and hold his grip for a few seconds.  This will give you some time to SLOWLY place a few drops of cod liver oil off to the SIDE of his mouth.  The reason for this is to avoid forcefully squirting any fluid into his glottis, the tiny hole you'll see in the middle of his tongue if you look closely.  The glottis leads to his lungs so you don't want any fluids going there!>
3. What other foods would you recommend for me? I'm so picky and my parents have tried lots of things, but what are nutrient foods they should keep trying with? 
<For now because of your immediate need, your parents should concentrate on getting ANY source of Vitamin A DIRECLTY INTO your system besides just the topical Vitamin A on your eyes.  In particular, try to eat pellets coated with cod liver oil (since pellets should be your *main staple* anyway when you're not sick!)  And cooked liver (beef, chicken or turkey liver) is the most concentrated *food source* of Vitamin A.  Ask your mom to chop up a few tiny pieces and check it out!  You can also try eating some shredded up some sweet potato.>
<And give your mom this list of a few simple *diet* rules to follow once you're all better:
 1)   Keep Diego's diet simple yet complete.  The more things you offer him, the more you risk him fixating on something that's not part of his basic diet and then refusing to eat the food he SHOULD be getting. 
His *staple* should be a Koi or good quality turtle pellet such as ReptoMin.  ReptoMin also happens to be a favorite with most turtles so I imagine (to a turtle at least) that they taste real good, too! 
For a treat give him an occasional earthworm or two every few weeks.  Earthworms are another source of Vitamin A and have other beneficial nutrients as well.  And that's it!  You can also offer him some of the plant material recommended in the 2nd (Eye disease) link if you'd like, though he may not be as interested in this until he gets a bit older.
2)    NO feeding him dried shrimp or other junk food just to get him to eat!  Its actually better for him to eat NOTHING and go hungry than to eat bad food!  Filling himself up on junk food just makes it even more likely that hell refuse any healthy food!  And if he refuses to eat, remove the food and try again in two days.  A healthy turtle wont starve!  Eventually you'll win the battle of wills, and in the long run, Diego will win too!>
3)    Don't over-feed him!  This is the most common mistake people make with turtles.  Feed him only as many pellets as he can eat in 5-10 minutes, and ONLY every other day.  Not only is this healthier for him, being hungry gives him added motivation to eat what you're feeding him! >
There's so much information available, but it's almost too much when you want to make sure I'm getting all the nutrients I can.
<Yes, unfortunately too much information is not always a good thing, especially when much of it is conflicting!  But you can tell your parents that the recommendations in our care guides are made by crew members who have kept many turtles for many years, have been proven to be *tried-and-true*, and are NOT the ones they'll often see copied from one site to another, where the original source for that information is anyone's guess!>
*4. What should we be putting on my eyes? My vet said I could keep putting the ZooMed Repti Turtle Eye Drops with Vitamin A on (and keeping me out of the water for a few hours. We've been putting the drops on since this started and although it seemed to help a bit at first, it hasn't done much).  ((She also said to maybe put some of these drops on my food, would this be too much though?)), but my parents are worried because my eyes are swollen closed so how will they come open even if the antibiotics help? Is there something else we should be putting on? We've seen others use saline water, cod liver oil, etc., but we don't know what would be best to get my eyes open again. Any information with this would help. We want my eyes open.
<I understand.  Treatment for a Vitamin A deficiency works best when the vet first gives an initial *booster* injection of Vitamin A (and D also) that is then followed by Vitamin A eye drops and/or oral Vitamin A.  And as I mentioned in the beginning, you are NOT too small to get an injection! So Id check with your vet again about this, or find another vet who can do this.>
<Also tell your parents to read all the links I sent including the instructions for putting you in a warm, DRY environment, and try to get some additional Vitamin A (via cod liver oil, liver, etc.) actually INTO your body in addition to the eye drops.  It also wouldn't be a bad idea for them to coat your food with some phosphorus free Vitamin D3 powder, and once a week with a powdered vitamin supplement until you're back on your feet (so to speak!) AND eating a healthier diet!>  <Finally (and this is also in the 1st link), tell your parents to get you outside in the direct sunlight as much as possible right now   at least 2-3 times a day for at least 15 minutes per time.  They should also provide you with an artificial UVB light if they don't already have one.  UVB will help you metabolize the vitamins you're getting.  And they should continue to use this with you even after you're feeling better.>
<And if you get any more signs of a respiratory infection, tell your parents to follow the additional guidelines from the 1st link under the section *Bubbly nose*.>
<Finally, while you're *out* of your *normal* home recuperating, tell them this would be a good time to read over the care link I sent and make any corrections in your environment that may be necessary so that its all set for you when you return!>
Thank you in advance. Cheers from Illinois.
<You're welcome; I hope Diego feels better soon!  If you can get him the vitamin injections and take the other measures, hopefully hell be able to open his eyes back up in the next few days.  Feel free to write us back with an update or if you have any more concerns about him.  Hope this helps!  ~ Sue>


Red Eared Slider Skin Issue 12/19/11
Hi there,
<Hey there! Ho there! Hiya - Darrel here>
I had a question about one of my Red Eared Sliders.
I've had them for about 2 1/2 years - rescued them from a dorm bathroom at my undergrad, so they are probably older.
<I wonder how long they'd been living in a bathroom -- and what kind of housekeeping service wouldn't notice a turtle in the bathtub?>
I last saw my turtles in August, so I'm also not sure how long this has been an issue.
<Do they take frequent trips?  Or is this some sort of shared custody thing?  Who feeds them every day?>
I noticed that on one of the turtles, the skin around his hind legs is really reddish. His front legs are a little bit but not nearly as noticeable. His behavior is normal otherwise: he eats his regular amount, swims actively, and fights his sister for the prime sunning rock. Any ideas?
<Well, it depends.   The two usual culprits are excessive amounts of red dye in the food they're eating (they should be eating Koi Pellets or Repto-Min food sticks, neither of which contain any red dye) or stained from the water:  Some people use red bricks or roofing tiles as basking areas and both of those can leach a dye into the water.>
<The reason we look for superficial things here is that a systemic redness of the entire skin surface can also be a sign of sepsis - a systemic infection of the body - and since that's almost impossible to treat by the time it shows, we'd rather look for things we CAN fix.>
<Swab the area with alcohol on a Q-Tip (Q-Tip brand cotton swabs!) and see if the color comes off.  In any case as long as he's eating, active and alert swims, basks and fights with his sister I'd just keep an eye out for it getting worse and not worry too much>

turtle inflamed limbs   12/3/11
Dear Crew,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
My red ear slider has inflamed limbs and tail.
<By inflamed, do you mean swollen?>
He has a little bit of pink around his tail area (hard to notice) and when he walks he makes an air sound as if he was to deflate.
<Sounds like his tissues are swollen and he's having trouble breathing - the way our noses sometimes wheeze when we have a cold>
His shell is also not looking so good as if he had a case of soft shell.
<This all fits together>
I'm on a budget and cannot afford to take him to the vet, what can I do to help him?
<It seems like the turtle is suffering from a long term of poor care, Vanessa.  Soft shell comes from poor conditions and/or poor diet and a general swelling of the tissues usually comes from a secondary condition brought on by the poor care.>
<First, take him out of wherever you keep him.  For the time being, he needs to be warm and dry.    Read this article COMPLETELY.  Read it multiple times if you need to  - to make sure you truly understand what to do.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm    This article tells you how and why to keep him warm and dry.>
<Now the bad news is that without proper medical care, he may or may not recover.  Proper diet and exposure to sunlight (UV-B not filtered through glass or window screen) will firm up the shell.   Vitamins A & D will help clear his lungs reduce some swelling - BUT if a secondary infection has developed or any number of internal conditions have gotten hold, these measures may be too late.>
<Also, read HERE and measure your care against what may have been wrong: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
<Your best bet is to keep him warm and dry (with daily baths) so that with proper diet and in a lower stress environment his body may be able to heal itself>
<Once again, to all our readers - this is another example of why it's important to check out pets EVERY DAY.   Look for the smallest sign of change EVERY DAY - and when we see anything out of the ordinary, investigate it RIGHT AWAY.   Almost all these problems are SO EASY TO CURE when they first occur and yet are so hard, long and expensive when we let them go for too long >
<Our thoughts are with you>

RES having swollen right ear  11/30/10
<Hiya - Darrel here>
My name is Suhas am from India
<Nice to meet you>
I have recently brought 2 RES , one of them which was little bigger and more active is now having a swelling on its right ear , it looks like some puss is collected from within , its not showing any sort of discomfort as if now and is still very active, I would like to know if its something serious or will it cure by maintaining the water fresh , or if it requires any extra care
<Yes, Suhas - it does require extra care. Once an infection has reached the level of pus accumulation, it's doubtful that any extra care you can provide will be enough. The infected area should be opened with a scalpel and the pus drained, and then the area must be cleaned and coated with a topical antibiotic. After that, a 14 day course of oral Baytril should be administered.>
<In other words, this is very clearly a case in need of veterinary care.>
<I'm enclosing links to two articles. One on general turtle care, so that you can gauge what care they have against what is needed and the second on treating common illnesses. Your Slider will do a bit better if you isolate him - keep him warm and dry.>
<At the very least someone must take a needle and puncture the infected area (a VERY shallow puncture) and allow the pus to drain. Topical Iodine twice daily for 7 days, while keeping him warm and dry except for daily feeding) might help a bit, as well.>
thanking you
<You are welcome. Best of luck to you!>
regards / Suhas

Dire! Very sick RES despite vet visits!  11/19/10
Hi guys,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I wrote to you before (apologies for the disjointed sentence construction of the last one - was trying to be cute and ended up sounding quite daft!)
<I'm daft in general, so I understand>
About two weeks ago, my littlest RES turtle, a 1.5 inch called Kecik (who has lived through shell rot from store, going missing, being bitten) was showing symptoms of RI (about a month plus after I got him). He was swimming slightly lopsided and seemed to be yawning a lot more than usual. He also had poor appetite and I started freaking out when he started making choking noises. However, I followed your FAQ and kept him dry and warm, and it seemed to do the trick. His appetite has improved (would say back to normal) and no more excessive yawning. He still lists slightly when he's coasting in the water but I suspect that its more to do with him favouring one leg (he keeps the other tucked in most times).
<I don't know how long you'd dry-docked him, but if you wrote back on 7 October and did it then -- he's just now ready to be a bit normalized>
Now that Kecik is much better, my largest RES turtle, Debab is showing the same symptoms. Debab was isolated about three weeks ago after a biting incident and did sneeze from time to time (once or twice a day) but I didn't think much of it.
About a 1.5 weeks ago, Debab's appetite started deteriorating, with her refusing all food about a week ago. She started foaming at the mouth and making croaking noises about 4 days ago and I took her to the vet immediately (3rd 'herp' vet I'm trying for my RESes- the first two didn't seem to do any good). The vet examined Debab and said she had two infections - one in her mouth (causing the thick white bubbly mucus in her mouth which I thought was foaming), and a slight respiratory infection. Vet prescribed 2 different oral antibiotics (didn't give me the names though) - the one for her mouth was to be taken twice (Day 1 and Day 15), and the one for her RI was a course of 7mls/day for 5 consecutive days. Vet said I was to keep Debab in normal water, as long as its clean (I asked if I should keep Debab dry, and vet said no). Btw, Debab is about 0.5kg, about 5 inches and (according to the vet, counting the rings on her shell) is approximately 3-4 years old (I adopted her a few months ago).
<I understand>
It's now Day 4 and Debab is getting worse. Her breathing is permanently laboured, sounding like a combination of a chest cold and a really bad sniffly nose (I've got asthma and I don't wheeze that much!) and her lopsided swimming is also more pronounced. Her appetite has improved somewhat after I introduced this supplement Vet No. 2 had given me (yellow fluid, I think he mentioned Vitamin A?) but she's still not eating much.
She's still a trooper, bless her, and is still relatively active. Despite what the vet said, I've decided to dry out her tank tonight because she seems to be slightly more comfortable outside water.
<You are correct in doing this !!!!! this will help her a lot!>
Her UV-A and UV-B lamps are now on 24/7 and the whole room is now warmer (no more air conditioning to my usual 24C). Anything else that I can do? My heart breaks every time I hear her breathe and the rattling sound is horrific.
<Sadly, no. You're doing everything that can be done. The dryness and warmth will help her fight the infection a bit better than in the water. Make SURE she is hydrated every day with the bathing-feeding ritual, and hope for the best>
Hope to hear from you as soon as possible!
Thanks heaps!
Yazmin (and Debab!)
Re: Dire! Very sick RES despite vet visits!   11/22/10

Hi Darrel,
Just an update - took Debab to the vet again and they administered two shots of meds, one of which was an antibiotic. Going for another round tomorrow morning.
Have kept her dry in her tank except for an hour of shell high soak for eating and pooping. Her wheezing has reduced slightly.
<as expected - keep it up>
Thanks ever so much for your advice! Fingers crossed that she makes it!
<We all will, Yazmin - just don't be in a rush to get Debab back into normal life. Infections in reptiles take a long time to clear. Just in the way Debab was probably sick for a long time BEFORE you noticed the
first symptom, so she'll SEEM better long before she really clears the infection. My advice is 4 weeks after you can't see any more symptoms at all.>
Warmest regards,
<Our wishes are with you>

Turtle help!
Res help! - 10/10/10

Hello, My name is Vinetta.
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I was hoping you could help me out with a few questions.
<You have questions? I have um .. er .. ah .. something>
Three days ago the maintenance man at my apartment complex came to me, ( I am an animal lover and everyone comes to me when they find or want to unload unwanted pets),
<We should form a posse and track down people like that and have their names added to nut/kook/cult mailing lists>
-- because someone moved out 3 weeks ago and left a Red Eared Slider in a 10 gallon tank with about 2 inches of water which was black and nasty. I must add that this turtle is roughly about 5 inches wide,( about the size of a bread plate), maybe a little more.
<Likely to be a "her" at that size>
I took him and cleaned him off, which brings me to my 1st issue, thin scales came off when I rubbed his shell with my fingers to remove the slime that coated him. I've read that this does in fact happen, but in a few spots his shell is a whitish color with a few tiny spots of red. Is this something I can correct on my own?
<yes. The thin scales (called scutes) normally shed with age & growth - the white spots sound fungal - the red spots indicating either very advanced fungal or bacterial>
And if so, how?
<It's not hard, either. Here is a link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm Treat as if he had a fungal infection (he probably does)>
<The main thing we want now is warm and DRY, DRY, DRY!! Everything he's fighting is more virulent while he's warm & moist>
I have for the time being put him in the largest tank I have, which is about 20 gallons and long. I plan on in the very near future getting something larger, but for now this is what I was able to do.. I have filled it a little more than half way full of water, placed a large rock for basking, a cuttle bone, pebbles at the bottom and a clamp lamp with a 65 watt spotlight to bask with. Right now the water reads about 75 degrees with a small 2 to 5 gallon tank submersible heater. ( I read that room temperature is fine, but my house runs a little on the cool side so I figured a small heater might be Ok..) The basking temp is about 82 degrees.
<Cool side is fine as long as you're not into the mid 60's. I'd rather her have water on the cool side that to have a heater in the tank. The AIR on the other hand *IS* a little cool. When she's ready to go back in try to get the basking area to between 88-90 (just bring the lamp a 1/2 inch or so closer>
I also have a filter running. I'm going to buy a turtle conditioner thingy that you put in the tank later today.
<No need. Those things are of little to no value>
I am going to use the 10 gallon tank to feed him in. I've bought some commercial turtle pellets, and some romaine lettuce. I do not have a UV light yet, but I do have him sitting close to a window. Is this enough to help him start to recover?
<UV light does not travel well through glass -- or even windows screen, believe it or not. Is there a chance that you could take him outside for a walk for even 10 minutes of sunlight per day until you get the UV? Even that little bit will help>
Also I've noticed when he swims he sometimes kind of tilts to the side a bit. Not all the time but a I've noticed it a few times. Is this normal?
<Sometimes, yes. Gas bubbles inside their gut can make them float unevenly. It COULD also be the sign of a serious infection but lets' not go looking for trouble here - just assume it's no big deal>
I've had all kinds of reptiles as pets, but this is the first turtle. So I'm pretty clueless. I am trying to do the best I can with what I can afford at the moment, seeing as how I hadn't PLANNED on taking in a turtle...loll.
<Welcome to a very large club. Orphanages, Irish Families and Pet keepers see to live by the motto "there's always room for one more!">
Also he does not seem very friendly, as is understandable, but if given time and the right treatment do you think he will eventually come around?
<They often do. As she equates you with her food supply, she may come around>
I am enclosing a picture of him doing the tilting thing, also in the picture you can see the white spot. (The water is still slightly cloudy as I have just cleaned the tank and installed the filter). Also included is another picture of the whole set up to show you what I have done, and to help assist you in any advice on how to improve it. Any help or advice you can give me would be much appreciated.
Thank You for your time!
<The pictures show a couple things. First, any time she wants, she can climb right out of than tank and take a bad tumble. She'll likely survive that, but then will go for a walk and if you're new to turtles you should know that they can climb in ways beyond imagination, can move at barely sub-light speed when you take your eyes off of them for just a second and they choose to get into places that you didn't even know existed.>
<Second thing is that the white spot could be fungal -- but it can also be a dead scute. It's hard to tell from the pictures. When a scute gets so infected that it dies, it comes off in place and leaves pink living tissue below. That tissue scars over to become hard and whitish. If that is the case, it will leave her always just a little more susceptible to infection in that area -- but she can still live a happy life.>
<Here is basic care instructions: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
<The most important thing for you to do right now is to treat her for a fungal infection: warm, dry, Dry, DRY and get her as much UV-B lamp as soon as you can.>

Sick Baby RES Turtle - Any options left based on care to date, which has included trip to vet? 9/30/10
Dear WetWebMedia Crew:
<Hi Tara, Sue here with you tonight.>
I have a baby Red-Eared Slider (RES) Turtle named Rocky. Im not sure how old he is (I've had him around 3 weeks), but his carapace is about 1 long.
<Still just a baby; cant judge age reliably based on size because there are so many variables that can affect how fast a turtle grows, like diet and environmental factors, but a guesstimate would be around 6 months to a year old.>
Within a few days of getting Rocky, I noticed his eyes looked swollen. I started using the ZooMed eye drops on him twice a day, which seemed to help at first.
<Swollen eyes are often indicative of a vitamin deficiency, in particular Vitamin A, possibly also Vitamin D.>
Within a week, however, he kept his eyes closed most of the time and became very lethargic, spending most of the day basking on his turtle log.
<This is a typical sign of debilitation and illness.>
I live in north Alabama, and there is not an overabundance of experienced reptile vets in the area, but I did find one about 30 miles away that agreed to see Rocky. The vet admitted he'd only seen one large adult turtle in his practice, and was surprised when I showed up with such a small turtle. However, he examined Rocky and said he probably had a bacterial infection in his eyes, possible in his system. He was afraid to give Rocky an injection of antibiotics given Rockys size, but he did mix an antibiotic solution for me to drop in Rockys eyes once a day.
<Did he mention anything about a Vitamin A deficiency?>
Its been a little over a week since I took Rocky to the vet and I've used all of the eye drops. I've also been soaking Rocky in a turtle sulfur solution for about 20 minutes each night.
<I've had no direct experience with this, but another crew member whose had many years experience with turtles does not feel this treatment is of much use/value.>
Rockys eyes don't look as swollen as they did and he can open them, but his overall health has deteriorated. He rarely gets off his log, and today when I put him in the water to hydrate him, he just floated (no diving). When I pick him up, his head, arms, and legs stay out of his shell; he's almost limp. I haven't observed him eat anything in 3 days (he was eating krill and canned crickets).
<Krill and canned crickets are not an appropriate diet for Rocky. This further supports a vitamin deficiency as a probable cause.>
<And you're right, it does seem as though he's taken a turn for the worse. These are not good signs. Rocky needs immediate medical attention. See more below.>
Rockys habitat is immaculate; I've been changing the water in his 29 gallon aquarium (filled a little over half way) every single night. There is also a reptile waterfall-style carbon filter in the tank. His water is heated to 82 degrees,
<The water is way too warm. Contrary to what you may read on many websites, turtles rely on their environment to regulate their internal body temperatures in order to perform vital functions. In order to be able to do this properly, they (even young turtles like yours) need to be given a clear choice between cool water (around 70-72 degrees F) and warm air (around 88-90 degrees F). They will select which one they need at any given time.>
<Another thing that may be at play here is that bacteria unfortunately thrive in warm, wet environments and will seize the opportunity to take advantage of a debilitated turtle. It can become a vicious cycle a malnourished turtle becomes debilitated making them more susceptible to infection, etc.>
<You should remove Rocky from the tank as soon as possible and place him in a warm, dry enclosure except for just a few minutes each day hydrating in shallow water (not quite covering his shell). Please carefully read over the link below as to how to go about keeping him this way while he is ill. You'll find it under the section entitled, Immediate Treatment Environment First Isolation. You may also want to read the sections in this article under "Swollen or closed eyes" and "Bacteria":
he has a basking light and a UVB light, and a turtle log for basking. I've spent several hundred dollars making sure everything was right.
<The heat and UVB lights are good. However, if/when Rocky recovers from his current ailment, his diet and water temperature will need to be changed. Also, a few things to check re: the heat and UVB - Do you have both lights placed directly above his basking log? Do you have the UVB on him for about 12 hours per day? What is the basking temperature? Is it around 88-90 degrees F? >
What more can I do for this little guy? I don't have confidence that taking him back to see the same vet we saw last week will help since the doctor seemed so inexperienced with this type of animal. Every day when I get home from work, the first thing I do is run to his aquarium to see if he's still alive. Watching him slowly wither away and die is unbearable.
<First, remove Rocky from the tank and place him in a warm, dry environment (as above).>
<Next, in addition to the article above, please carefully read over the link below about turtle eye diseases and have Rocky seen again immediately for the medical attention he needs:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turteyedisart.htm >
<A bacterial infection may be/have been part of the problem, but its also likely Rocky has a serious Vitamin A and possibly Vitamin D deficiency. Regardless of which, either way Rocky requires immediate medical treatment beyond what you can provide him at home. Either do some more searching for a vet with more hands-on experience with turtles (check out the links below to try and find some other herp vets and call to inquire as to their specific experience with turtles) or contact the vet you just took him to and share the eye disease article with him (especially whats written under Diagnosis and "Therapy" to help him further diagnose and treat him (also the other health article above re: treatment for bacterial infections and swollen eyes):
http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/herpvets.htm >
<If Rocky does have a Vitamin A deficiency, the vet will likely give him an immediate injection of it and prescribe Vitamin A drops orally as a follow-up.>
<Its also possible that your turtle does have a bacterial infection, but that the antibiotic prescribed/given wasn't specific to the type of bacteria he's infected with. Your vet may need to take a sample of mucous from the eye and test it. Again, see the section under Diagnosis for more on this.>
<If its not already too late and Rocky does receive the appropriate medical attention he needs and gets better, you will need to change the diet you were feeding him to the one he requires. For more on this, read under the section entitled, Prevention. You may also want to compare all the care you've been providing him in general to the care guidelines listed in the following article, and make any necessary changes:
< http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
Thanks in advance for your advice, and for providing such an exceptional service to the community.
<You're welcome, Tara. Please write us back and let us know how you're making out. Im also going to pass this by another one of our crew members to see if he has any additional thoughts.>
Re: Sick Baby RES Turtle - Any options left based on care to date, which has included trip to vet? 10/4/10

<Hi Tara,>
Thank you so much for your thoughtful and expert advice. I only wish I'd found this site sooner; Little Rocky passed away yesterday while I was at work.
<Ohh, Im so sorry to hear that.>
There is a lot of mis-information on the Internet, e.g., raise the water temperature for a sick turtle.
<Yes, unfortunately there is.>
I do have another question concerning my 5" RES turtle, Delilah. She's currently living in an 1100 gallon garden pond in my backyard. The pond is filtered (including UV filter) and aerated with a waterfall. There are six 6" Koi in the pond, and a number of feed fish for Delilah (minnows),
<As a general rule, we don't recommend feeder fish because of the risk of them carrying and transmitting diseases to the turtles.>
though she much prefers turtle sticks and krill, which I give her daily.
<All I ever feed mine (as well as Darrel, my crew mate) are high quality Koi or ReptoMin turtle pellets (and only every other day for as much as they can consume in 5-10 minutes to avoid overfeeding, a common mistake people make), assorted pond plants and greens (no limit on this) and occasional earthworms (a couple every week or two) as a treat. I don't recommend krill; it has little to no nutritional value. Since they eat so infrequently to begin with, its important to make when/what they do eat count in terms of offering them foods with good nutritional value.>
There is plenty of sun and shade, and a great basking rock which she loves.
<That's perfect.>
So my question is, when - under what water and air temperature conditions - should I bring her in the house (aquarium) for the winter? We've only recently had a few cool nights. The water in the pond was 70 degrees (air was 80 degrees) when I checked yesterday, though the water temperature dipped to 65 degrees a few nights ago. But lows in the mid-40's over night are predicted for next week, and that has me concerned. I know she's much happier in the pond than the aquarium and I would like to prolong her stay
in the pond as long as possible, but I don't want her to suffer in cold water either.
<I ran this question by Darrel as he keeps many of his turtles in an outdoor pond also. What he said was in general, cool weather can in many cases be more harmful than cold weather because they may still eat in cool weather (vs. hibernate in cold weather), but the air temperatures may be too cold for them to digest the food so it will rot in their stomach.>
<He said there is no set rule for when to bring them indoors, but what he uses as his criteria is when the water dips below 40 degrees F or the daytime air below 60 degrees F. He said he doesn't mind if the night time temperature gets down to 40 degrees as long as the daytime temperature still gets to 70 degrees and there is plenty of sunshine as they can heat up to over 100 while basking even in 65 degree air).>
<Alternatively, he also looks at his turtles movement and activity. As long as he sees both, he leaves them alone.>
Thanks again for the love and compassion you and the crew obviously pour into your responses. My family will bury little Rocky by the Koi pond today.
<You're very welcome. Again, Im very sorry to hear little Rocky didn't make it. Its amazing how quickly attached we can get to all our pets, even turtles and fish. And best of luck with Delilah (I love that name!)>

Sick RES..pls help 5/13/10
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have a baby RES , bought her exactly 13 days before, last week I found some white spots on her eyes and on one leg...I gave her antibiotic also but didn't noticed any changes
<White spots are usually fungal in nature and an antibiotic won't help fungus>
after couple of days I took her to vet, he gave some vitamin A drops..
<I suspect the Vet saw an eye infection as well. Vitamin A is the treatment for that>
I am changing water twice a day and daily giving her that vitamin drops but I guess its not working, now she is not eating also not even swimming ..Just laying in dry area..What should I do please help me I don't want lose her
<We'll do what we can, Darshana. The problem is that when a turtle gets THAT sick that it won't eat or move, then the sickness is quite advanced already. I'm enclosing a link to a basic treatment article. As it says, keep her warm and dry while treating -- she doesn't need water at all except for a few minutes a day to soak. Make sure its a very shallow pan and that the water is not even up to her nose. In her weak state, plopping her in water over her nose could simply drown her. If the water reaches her tail, she'll sense it and if she wants a drink, she'll take one.>
<Continue with the vitamins and treat her skin for the fungal infections as outline here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm >

RES foot problem   7/24/10
Hey WWM Crew,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I'm asking this question for a friend of a friend.
Here's a quote of the situation:
"real bad foot fungus, to the point where the claws are starting to fall off and it does not want to swim nor eat; it just lays on the floating log, looking stupid. I've already declared to the family that I ain't taken it to the vet, and the things too hobbled to run away like the other one did last year. Any advice?"
<Um, yeah>
I read as many FAQ's as I could just now, but didn't find a solution. Does anyone have any input?
<I'm afraid all we HAVE is input>
Other than the, "Shoot the owner" which has already been mentioned.
<If you send this link to your friend
There is a section about treating fungus. Mainly you need to get the turtle OUT of the tank, keep him warm and dry and apply a topical anti-fungal like you'd use on athlete's foot. Properly and aggressively treated, it may be possible to save this turtle if it's not already septic>
<Now here's the other input, Scott:>
<You can tell more about a person's character by the way they treat their pets than you can from the way they treat their friends.>
<Find someone to take the turtle off his hands>
<Why are you friends with a moron like this?>
<Place a call to your local ASPCA and to the humane society and report this jerk as the animal abuser that he is.>
<Rip his name out of your Rolodex>
<Delete his name from your buddy list>
<Erase him from your contact list.>
<Call up your local chapter of The Jehovah's Witnesses and tell them that you desperately need to learn more, then leave HIS name and HIS address.>
<Find some hate group and sign up from their mailing list under HIS name, but use his next door neighbor's street address.>
Thanks guys,
Scott T.
<Scott de-friend this guy before his karma rubs off on YOU!>


Hi Guy's hope you can help me :) 12/17/09
RES, small, sick

Hi, My name is Rick
<Hiya Darrel here>
I have a Red Eared Slider- he is small about the size of an English 50p or maybe slightly bigger :) I have noticed that he could hardly open his eyes for about 2 days and now today, he has them shut even when he swims!! I have noticed some grey like slimy stuff on his two back feet, I used a warm salty bath twice a day and that seems to have gone but not completely. Some seemed to wash of when he would let me brush it, that was hard as he kept pulling his feet inwards under his shell.
<Common symptoms of a fungal infection, Rick.>
I'm worried, it seems that he is eating his Turtle sticks, but can't be sure as sometimes the filter gets them. I have seen him eat before but that's on my days off. won't get another till next week. So I have missed him eating!!
<My suggestion here is to change his feeding schedule. Have his lights turn on early enough in the morning that he is awake and active by the time you get up that way you can drop his food in and watch for a minute before you leave home. Something like that>
I pick him up and he still has lots of fight in him, I have used some iodine solution in water to clean him and a salty baths, I now keep him in a dry container on top of a radiator (Not too hot though) I allow him to in shallow water for around 10 to 15 minutes a day. it's been two days or so and he won't open his eyes!
<Your care regimen (keeping him warm and dry) is good. I've included a link on how to treat fungal infections and you already have most of it in place>
I live in China now and I can't seem to find any eye drops for him! My fiancée is Chinese and she has asked all over! what can I do if anything?? I don't want him to die !! Like I said he is still strong will he recover by himself?? are the Turtle sticks a good enough diet it say's Nutritionally balanced on the pack + Vit-C
<His diet should be based on Koi pellets. They're inexpensive, easy to find and a well balanced diet>
I have a full spectrum strip light and a heater that keep the water around 29c I have a thermom- that tell me the temp. I have a sponge filter and clean that under the tap every two days. PLEASE help me :) as I don't know what to do here in China-- can't find the right stuff!! really on my own here!! I save the RES from a small plastic tub about 2 months ago!! very lively little thing and I felt he needed a better home the pet shop he was in!! Now even though I read up on how to keep them it seems he may die :( ... please if you can help please please do :)
<Rick, the main reason they develop eye problems is a vitamin deficiency, especially a lack of Vitamin A (this is also covered in the treatment options Im including). An injection of vitamins from a veterinarian would be nice, but we can also treat it with diet. You're going to have to make sure he IS eating, even if it means feeding him in the evening when you get home. Cod Liver Oil on some Koi pellets, a live earthworm or two or maybe even a piece of raw liver .. something high in iron and vitamins will help him fight the eye problems.>
<Between the two, the fungal infection is more immediate, so make sure you diligently treat that according to the tips in the link. Here you go: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm>
Waiting in hope- Rick
<Were hoping too, Rick! Best of luck!!>
Thank you- Follow up :)   12/19/09

Hi Guy's-Darrel-
(My Red Eared Slider - Back feet and eye's)
Today I ran some warm water and placed him in it with two Turtle sticks, he swam around and ate one of the sticks.... after about 10 min.s I was going to take him out. It was at this time I noticed his eye's were partly open, not fully but the best they have been in around 3 days or more!
<Progress perhaps!>
Also he was striking at the other Turtle stick!! He didn't seem to be able to get it and it took another 15 min.s or so before he could eat it. I was happy.
<Yes, a little bit of nutrition is enough to get him through this. Just makes sure its balanced nutrition>
I gave him a quick salty bath, followed by an iodine bath-very little water just enough to cover his feet- I then left him to air dry on the window sill in some natural sun light!
He is now back on top of the radiator. I will buy some liver- Do I feed raw I guess I do right?- and it needs to be floating in water for him to eat it right??
<Correct and were talking a miniscule piece too.>
Thank you for your help!!
He seems to be making a come back.. TY TY TY THANK YOU!!!
<Rick .. Were glad to help. Make sure that you continue the regimen WELL after all appears to be normal. This is because they APPEAR well very early on .. yet they still have recovery ahead>

Please help my red ear slider turtle 5/5/09
Hi, I'm Felix from Malaysia, hope that WWM crew can help me with this, as I never pet a turtle before, it's my first time:
<Hello Felix! I'm Darrel and we're here to help you!>
Well, I bought 2 of my Red Ear Slider turtles few weeks ago, both are not from the same pet shop, put them in a small plastic tank, with water in it, feed them turtle stick which is the only turtle food they sale here, wash the tank daily, it has a calcium bar in it and I will pour some anti-chlorine liquid & some turtle clean liquid (which introduce by the pet shop keeper, it contain beneficial bacteria that will destroy ammonia and
keep the tank clean) every time I wash the tank.
<To save yourself some time and money, you can use KOI pellets (a food pellet for Koi and Goldfish) that is as good a balanced diet as anything else, available anywhere and inexpensive, too.>
<Also, turtles do not need to have dechlorinated water like fish do -- and if you clean the tank regularly there is no reason to try to have beneficial bacteria .. so you can save THAT money as well!>
As both of them are still small, like 1-2 inches, plan to get a bigger glass tank, light and filter when they are bigger... Usually I put under the sun for around 40 min.s in the morning around 10am, as the pet shop
owner told me, I didn't use any UV light or basking area, they told me that turtles need natural sun light, am I doing the wrong thing with this?
<The amount of UV light they're getting from the natural sunlight is adequate -- as long as that sunlight is not filtered through glass or even window screen. Most people don't realize it but window glass and even
window screens filter out large amounts of the beneficial UV light. Also, if they ARE out in the direct sunlight, make sure they have a place to crawl into some shade! Tint turtles can easily overheat>
<But in their tank they DO need a basking area and that basking area should have a small lamp over it in order to make it warm. Our goal is to try to give them a choice -- cool water and warm, dry land -- and them they will move from one to the other as they feel the need.>
One of it mostly stay out of the water, it's shell is softer than the other one, and will just be on the rock which I put in the tank, with it's eyes close, but it does eat, is it sick?
<My guess is that it's not REALLY sick but that it's getting sick. I think that, for a while, you should keep both turtles somewhere warm and dry .. give them a chance to get really dry and warm ... and just put them
in their water tank for 15 minutes each day so they can drink and eat>
About my other turtle, it looks normal, eat a lot, and does not close it's eyes, but something that looks like a white semi-transparent object grow on it, and those object doesn't not grow on the shell, but on the turtle's
feet, and neck, which the other turtle doesn't have this problem, and I'm putting them together in a tank, what should I do?
<It sounds like a bit of a fungal infection, Felix. This will also be helped from keeping him warm and dry. You can find any number of antifungal creams at your local store -- the same you would use for athlete's foot and you can rub a tiny bit on the skin once a day.>
I'm sorry if my English is not that perfect, I just wanted to help my turtle, please help me, we don have a qualified veterinarian that deals with turtles here.
Thank you very much!
<Felix, your English is just fine and thanks for asking. Here is a link to an article on simple and inexpensive ways to keep a turtle. It covers everything you asked about and more. Remember, turtles don't need a LOT of care ... but everything in this article are things they ABSOLUTELY do need.>
< http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm

RES with tail infection of some sort/compatibility with Mississippi Map turtle   4/26/09
Hello, I'm Erin
<Hiya! Darrel here>
I'm in need of identifying/treating a skin infection that my Red Eared Slider has on his tail. I've had him for about 6 years now, and he is has been in good health for the majority of those years. I acquired him as a hatchling from a flea market, so I expected him to have issues when I first got him. At around 2 he began to.. expel..a tapeworm, which as a whole was about a foot long. I got medicine to kill it, and he was back to normal. At 5, I came home and noticed he was missing the longest claw on his right front leg. He has not seemed to be phased by this, as he has remained active as normal.
<You're very attentive. That's great>
Anyway, aside from past issues, a few months ago he began to develop pinkish gray areas of skin that became bloated and very unhealthy looking.
I limited time he was in water and after about a month of long hours of basking, the infected areas cleared up and I placed him back in his normal tank. Well, it seemed as if he was fine, still very active, still eating, but within a few days back in water, the skin problem reappeared on his tail, no where else though. I did not want to put him back in a mainly dry environment again, as I'm sure that, despite clearing up the skin issue, is not particularly good for him.
<Actually no -- it's just fine! With daily access to a shallow bowl of water for just a few minutes to hydrate, eat and poop, he can --and should--go indefinitely this way. Sunshine or UV basking in important, as is dry skin. As you've already found, warm and wet is a perfect place to grow a fungus>
He is currently in a 75 gallon long tank, and seems happier than ever. I have researched the symptoms of his tail and have not come up with anything. The end of his tail is bloated in two places and pinkish. The very tip of his tail is nubbish now, rather than pointed and is very pink and slightly yellow. Can you please identify this skin problem and help me treat it? If you need a picture to identify the problem, I do not have one at the moment, but can provide one if needed.
<A picture would be helpful. I'm leaning toward a fungal infection but the yellowness is atypical -- and external infections usually do not cause swelling, so I think there may be something else going on here.>
<Obviously a trip to an experience herp Veterinarian would be in order, but if you don't have access to one or the cost is prohibitive the continue the "first aid" approach that worked before. Three things: One is that you need to keep him out of water longer. Two is to treat the affected area topically with an over the counter anti-fungal cream from your local pharmacy. Lotrimin, Tinactin or any of the generic products will be just fine. Hydrate him, let him bathe, eat & poop, then take him out, allow him to dry off and then apply the cream. Let's do this for 6 weeks.
Third, if you can, take this opportunity to break down the 75 gallon setup and sterilize it. I use regular chlorine bleach when I do this, but I do it IN PLACE ... which is to say that after evacuating the desired living things, I pour in 3 cups of the bleach, leaving everything else as is.
What I'm trying to do is get the oxidizer into the filter, through the filter HOSES, into any gravel or substrate ... ALL the places that harbor bacteria and fungi.>
<A Mushroom walks into a bar and tries to order a drink ... the bartender says 'sorry pal, but we don't want you in here.' The mushroom responds with "well, why not? I'm a fungi!">
<After 24 hours, I dose again and then after another 24 I neutralize with Novaqua (or similar) and then I rinse by draining and refilling 3 times.>
<That only makes sense if you pronounce Fungi as ...... FUN-GUY not FUN-GEE>
<Doesn't make it FUNNIER though ......>
<As with all first aid approaches, what we're really doing is merely affording the turtle an environment more appropriate for healing itself and warm/DRY will do that far better than warm/wet. If the swelling doesn't go down within a few days then it may be more than a simple fungal infection and more serious medical treatment may be required.>
Another thing I am worried about is that a juvenile Mississippi Map turtle has been introduced into the environment. I do not know the history of the turtle, but it looks and acts very healthy. I have only had it a few days and it has already grown out of the initial relocation stress and responds to me and eats well. So far, the two turtles have gotten along well, aside form the larger RES frequently performing that vibrating-claw ritual at it, which I expected. Even though the map turtle is not as large, and (I'm assuming) is aware it is not dominant, it has not shown any hostility to the RES, even while feeding.
<Well, the vibrating-claw ritual is actual the male's attempt to interest the female in a more serious relationship, if you get my drift. He's over there going "Look! See? See how long my fingernails are???? Meanwhile she's on the other side going "Oh great! Look at him! I've been trying to grow a decent set of nails all my adult life and they keep breaking and
spitting if I just LOOK at them funny .... so here NAIL-BOY goes flaunting his in my face ..... and THEN HE WANTS A DATE ???????? AS IF!!!!!!!>
However, my main concern with this new turtle is that from being exposed to the RES's tail infection, that it may also develop the same issue. Do you think that this is likely, and if so, should I immediately separate the two? Also, should I treat both (that is if you can provide me with a treatment plan/idea) even if the map turtle does not show signs?
<The Graptemys (Map Turtles) have two things going against them here. First, they don't have as much natural mucus layers as the Pseudemys (Sliders) do, which can make them more susceptible to ANY kind of infection, but second they usually spend far more time in the water -- they bask less often and for less time ... both of which leave them more susceptible to any opportunistic infection. The bottom line on the Map Turtle is that water quality is a far more critical issue than for the slider. For this reason I strongly suggest you take an aggressive approach to sterilization and since the Map Turtle will not have a home during this process, I suggest that you give it the same hiatus as the Slider, just without the cream.>
One final concern I have with my turtles is that I am positive my Red Eared Slider is a male, and I'm not sure, but I believe the map turtle is female.
<That would be my guess too, the Slider is undoubtedly male, and we can both assume that since he's asking the Map Turtle for a date, we can assume she's female. Or at least really hot looking>
I know different species can mate and not reproduce. I was just wondering if Sliders and Mississippi map turtles are unable to successfully fertilize and reproduce.
<I don't think so. At least I've never heard of it. Sliders WILL cross with Cooters and Painteds (Pseudemys and Chrysemys) but I've never even seen discussion about Graptemys. And even if it WERE possible ... it would be like a cat wearing a pair of roller skates -- regardless of how it happened, you know it just wouldn't end well.>
I will be overjoyed if you can provide me with solutions to these problems.
I just want my turtles to live long, healthy, and happy lives.
<That's what we all want, Erin. The first thing is to treat the supposed fungal infection and a cleaning of the environment. Next, check your care and conditions against the suggestions in the link below and correct any deficiencies and finally, get them into a really good retirement savings account while they can still shell out the dough.>
<I can't believe I went for that cheap a joke>
Thank you for your time.
<Yer welcome!>
< http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm>

Red ear slider turtle fungus? - 07/13/08 Hi, <Hiya, Darrel here> I have 2 red ear slider turtles, one male, one female. They are about 6 years old. Lately I have noticed that the scales are coming off of the female's bottom shell and her skin is a pinkish color instead of yellowish. Is this normal or is there something wrong with her? <Yes and no Lorri. As turtles grow the thin outer layer of their shell, Carapace (top) and plastron (bottom) become almost transparent and then shed. As they come off, what you clearly see underneath is an identical scale (actually called a scute) taking it's place. So if what you're seeing underneath is like that it's a normal sign of growth. If you're seeing something else, as if the plastron itself is turning mushy and disintegrating, then you have a serious problem that requires immediate professional medical help. Same thing, essentially, with the skin. Normally, turtle skin sloughs off in such small pieces that they're almost never noticed. If the sloughing skin is in bigger sections .... almost as if the skin looks "fuzzy" then it's a sign of an infection, usually fungal. You can search here on Wet Web for many FAQ's about slider fungus. Ultimately, better conditions, better lighting and proper nutrition are the solution -- AND the prevention.> Thanks for your help <Hope it helps, Lorri>. Lorri < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm>

Red Eared Slider with possible fungus 06/14/07 I have gotten a 5 inch Red Eared Slider, and recently I've noticed some white spots on his skin and shell. I looked it up and found out about Fungus infections, but I've also read that he could be shedding, which is activated by Overheating or Overeating and is mistaken by a fungal infection. But I'm not sure this refers to the shell. <White spots on the skin are typical of fungus as are small white spots under the scutes and tiny white lines around the edges of the scutes.> Also, a lighter portion of his shell has appeared, which makes me think that he is indeed shedding. <As the scute gets ready to shed, it takes on a milky white appearance, so this could indeed be a shedding of the scute.> But I still suspect a fungal infection because of the white spots. White or gray spots or patches on the skin would support that. In normal growth, Red Eared Sliders usually shed their skin in small sections that are barely noticeable. If you begin to see larger patches of dead, gray skin, that's a typical sign of fungus.> Any suggestions? <Sure. Air, sun and treatment. First, take him out of the water and allow him to stay dry except for a short bath and feeding (about 5 minutes every third day). Second, try to see that he gets as much natural, unfiltered sunlight as you can. Third, treat the skin condition. Start with athlete's foot remedies such as Tinactin, Lotrimin, etc. or the generic equivalent -- look for the ingredient Tolnaftate or Clotrimazole (or any antifungal ending in "azole"). Apply it once a day to the effected areas and as always, keep them clean and dry and you should see a change for the better after about 5 days and the fungus gone after 14 days. Keep treating for a minimum of 7 days after everything looks fine. For the shell spots, I would wait until the rest of the treatment is started -- if it is the normal shedding of as scute, then no treatment is needed. After everything looks better, please pay close attention to his water quality. Clean water helps prevent infections> Thank You very much, <You're welcome, Jay.> Jay Smith <Darrel>

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>

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 don't 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.>

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 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>


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>

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