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FAQs About Red Ear Slider (RES) Turtle Disease/Health 5

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

Amphibians, Red Eared Slider Care, Shell Rot in Turtles,

Related FAQs: RES Disease, RES Disease/Health 2, RES Disease 3, RES Health 4, RES Health 6, RES Health 7, RES Health 8, RES Health 9, RES Health 10, & Shell Rot, Turtle Disease 1, Turtle Disease 3, Shell Rot, Turtle Respiratory Disease, Turtle Eye Disease,

FAQs on RES Health by Type: Diagnosis, Environmental, Traumas, Social, Nutritional, Growths/Tumors, Infectious, Parasitic, References,

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

RES - Unknown Illness R.I.? 8/26/2009
I have a RES, age unknown, she (Pache) was purchased from PetSmart on July 18, 2009. When my husband and I got her there were some marks on her and she was very skittish. I chalked it up to 'maybe she was attacked by a predator or another turtle before making it to PetSmart'. Within the 1st 2 weeks she was eating food, chasing fish, sinking when diving into the water, and basking normally.
<Very good. Actual physical shell damage, as opposed to fungal infections and Shell Rot aren't really a problem provided there's no blood drawn. By their very nature, turtle shells have evolved to be able to sustain damage, and because they grow from underneath, damaged scutes (the bony plates) eventually fall away, so that most damage is temporary.>
Last week I noticed that when she dives into the water from basking she floats on top of the surface. She no longer sinks to the bottom ANY time she dives in. She constantly remains with her shell out of water while the rest of her struggles to be under.
<This can be a problem with turtles and terrapins, and can be caused by a variety of things. Fluid in the lungs (because of respiratory infections) can cause turtles to swim in an irregular manner. Constipation will cause different problems because of increased weight. Ear infections will mess up balance. In short, there's a variety of things, and you absolutely must call a vet and explain the symptoms. In all likelihood a visit to the vet will be required. Please don't neglect this; reptiles have all the same nerves that we do, and can suffer just as much as any warm-blooded animal.>
Eventually I think she gives up and climbs back onto the dock and continues basking. She is basking very frequently as well. When I go outside in the morning to the tank to turn on the light, she is already on top of the dock. I've kept tabs on her and 95% of the day is spent basking. From what I understand the majority of their time is to be spent in water.
<Actually, tends to vary dramatically. Typically, turtles warm up on land, and then dip into the cooler water to feed. The amount of time they spend on land will depend upon how warm the air is, how much they're eating, and so on. The main thing is that your turtle has easy access to a heating lamp and a UV-B lamp, the one for warming up their blood, and the other for proper vitamin synthesis and growth. Just one or the other won't do!>
In the morning I sprinkle some pellet food in the tank, and in the evening when I get home I put in frozen turtle food bites.
<Neither are terribly good foods for turtles. Do review here:
The cheap "by the bunch" aquarium plants sold as Elodea are ideal staples, or you may find Koi Carp pellets easier to buy and use. Either way, it's a plant-based diet you want, with meaty treats very much the minority component.>
She doesn't seem to care for any of it right now.
<A bad sign, underlining the need for a prompt trip to the vet.>
There are lots of fish in the tank should she choose to hunt. I also have a 5 year old male, (speedy PT). He doesn't seem bothered by her and it appears that he basically ignores her presents. However, when he hunts, he will usually bite off the fish head and eat that, while leaving the body for her to devour, but she has not been eating this either.
<Hunts...? You really, REALLY shouldn't be using live fish as food. For a start, these turtles don't eat fish in the wild. They're mostly herbivores with a bit of a scavenger side to their palate when the opportunity
presents itself. But more importantly, in the past people used things like Goldfish and Minnows. But now reptile keepers (and indeed fishkeepers) have learned that these foods are extremely bad for their pets, as well as being cruel to use and loaded with parasites. The problem is that the carp family contains fish which have a lot of fat and a chemical called Thiaminase.
Over time, Thiaminase breaks down Thiamine, what we called Vitamin B1. So while the reptile is eating these things merrily enough, with each mouthful it's getting closer and closer to a serious vitamin deficiency. The symptoms in reptiles are multiple, including damage to the nervous system, which could *easily* accounted for the problems your turtle has swimming.
Thankfully, the use of "feeder fish" is practically non-existent in the UK, so not an issue I often have to deal with, but in some parts of the world feeder fish are still being used, despite mountains of scientific as well
as anecdotal evidence that such things are VERY BAD IDEA.>
I have done much research about this in the past, but for some reason am unable to find the materials again this time. I barely recall conversations with my vet when he mentioned floating. What is sticking in
my mind is a respiratory infection (R.I.), but I am unsure.
<Could be, or Thiaminase issues. Do mention to your vet that you are feeding your animals with items that contain Thiaminase, if you are doing so, so he/she can correctly diagnose, medicate the problem.>
Before I make an appointment with my vet, can you confirm this or provide me with another explanation please.
Not sure of its relevancy, but when we got her, as I mentioned above there were some markings on her (there is a particular spot on her left red ear that looks as if that was an "attacked" area. right now it looks like it is scabbed over and healing) and I assumed she had been attacked and recovering. Her shell though, it looked as if it were in a stage of shedding, but it looks different from when my older turtle sheds.
<Does vary, but have a sniff, just in case of Shell Rot. Also, in hard water, lime scale sometimes builds up on the shell, and this feels chalks and is often a dirty brown.>
After having her a little over a month now, she has not shed her large shell scales yet, nor does it look as if that is still progressing. It appears as if the shedding is on hold or something. (hope that made sense)
I have provided a picture of this for your viewing. I picked her up just before writing this message, and on the bottom right of her beak/mouth/snapper whatever you want to call it there is a reddish/dark pink mark. My husband has said he has noticed mucus coming out of her nose, but when I looked at it when he first mentioned it, it appeared to be shedding skin to me. The first time he mentioned it was about 2 weeks ago now. Last week he made another comment about it, perhaps I spoke incorrectly and it is snot/runny nose?
<Classic signs of a respiratory tract infection; see here:
Any and all feedback about this matter is most appreciative.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

RES: White spots on leg -- 08/23/09
Hello WWM folks;
<Hi there, Internet reader person! Darrel here>
I have a Red Eared Slider who has been healthy (and still is) for about three years now. I got him when he was one month old. He's living in a very large marine environment with a floating basking area and uses it often.
<You mean aquatic, right? Not Marine as in salt water?>
I have a large (350g) floor model filter constantly recycling the water, and keeping it very clean. He's grown to have a shell length of about 15 cm right now. I've looked everywhere for a similar problem but feel this is a little odd.
<Don't look for problems, Pete - problems have no trouble finding YOU all by themselves>
About three weeks ago I noticed that the filter's protective covering had separated from the intake hose, and my slider had his back right foot stuck in it. After turning off the filter and rescuing his foot, it was red and a little swollen, but in about 12 hours had returned to normal and has been functioning fine ever since, and every measure has been taken to ensure this doesn't happen again. However, I noticed two days ago that the leg has two white spots on it. The turtle is acting fine and the leg is operating fine, and the spots aren't growing. What would this most likely be? Is it related to him getting his foot caught?
<Yes. Under the skin is whitish when there's no blood present, so what you "Probably" have is simple the start of normal scar tissue>
I have read around and am planning on beginning a one-to-two-week salt bath routine for 1/2 hour a day because I heard it may be a fungal sickness. Is this the right action to take?
<That's a great treatment, Pete. I'd go further and take him out of the water for a few days (warm and dry is tough of fungus and eases healing) and put some athlete's foot cream on the spots. Link enclosed>
Thank You very much for your time.
<It's worth every penny!>
<treatment of common ailments:

Turtles... RES hlth. -- 08/23/09
<Hiya. Darrel here>
I've three, two months old, red eared sliders that all have a carapace of under 2 inches and for about a week they all have swollen eyes and their shells have become discolored. I've provided the correct water temperature and basking temperature/area along with a filter and have fed them either ReptoMin baby mini floating food sticks, Nutrafin Max pellets with Gammarus shrimp or raw beef twice a day. A little over a week ago I was not around to feed or clean their tank for two days and the people I left in charge of this, were somehow not available. When I returned the water was cloudy and hard to see through and my turtles shells appeared unhealthy(?). Other than the strange dull colors of the shells the dark lines dividing the cutes widened. Could this have been the dirty water?
<It's possible, but it also seems like they may have a vitamin deficiency. Swollen eyes is a CLASSIC sign of Vitamin A deficiency... HOWEVER ... ReptoMin is a perfectly balanced diet, so that's puzzling>
<Also, you mentioned basking light but not UV light --and-- room temperature is perfect water temp, remember they choose to get hot under the lamp and choose to cool off in the water.>
concerned turtle owner
<Yeah, I'm concerned too. I'm going to give you two links,
one on the care of Sliders and the other on the treatment of common ailments. Both articles are written by a GENIUS at keeping, raising and even breeding Sliders, so you can trust what's in there. First read the treatment article and see if the descriptions match what you see -- and then begin treating immediately. Also, read the care sheet and match every aspect of your care point for point. If you find even a small deviation, that might give you a clue as to their affliction. Right now I'd like them warm, dry and with plenty of exposure to UV lighting>
<Also, stop the shrimp and meat. Neither are a part of their natural diet and it may be that they're eating THAT to the exclusion of the balanced stuff.>
<All that said, Nick -- the pics you sent look OK, these look open and the scutes look normal. Is there a smell coming from the shells or skin?>
<Read up, see what you think, start treating, wait 4 days and take some more pics and write back with more details, OK?>

Re: More: re: turtles, RES hlth. 9/1/2009
Hello again!
<Hiya right back!>
So, I've treated the turtles for seven days as advised and I'm extremely happy to report the their shells looks a hell of a lot better and their eyes are no longer swollen! I can't thank you enough for the assistance in
caring for these little guys.
<No thanks, necessary, Nick -- helping people is why we're here! That said, if you have the resources now or even some time in the future, a donation to the WetWebMedia is always appreciated.>
There is one thing that is new- when all three turtles were returned to the water, two paired up and haven't left the others side. They constantly swim around happier than ever and I've noticed that they will face each other and stick their hands forward (as if they were holding hands) and touch noses. Are they experiencing turtle love?
<well ... umm .... probably not. That is, generally, turtle courting behavior but not in ones so young. But they have interesting and funny ways of being social. The important thing is that it's not bad for them and it's fun to watch.>
<Here's another thing that's important: It takes a long time for a turtle to get sick because they don't show it at first. Then when they start to heal, they'll look and act better long before they are completely healed --
so please keep an eye out for any signs of their conditions returning PLUS make ABSOLUTELY SURE that you've corrected the situations that caused the conditions, otherwise they could have a relapse.>
<Glad everything is working out>
appreciative turtle owner,

Turtle trouble 8/20/09
Dear Crew,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have 2 half dollar size red eared sliders, at least that's what I think they are. One of them has a lump on his neck just behind his head. At first I thought it was a piece of food stuck there, because when he moves his head it goes in and out with his neck. But now its kind of just this lump about the size of a bb. It has a small white dot in the middle also. It doesn't seem to bother the turtle. He eats and swims around and acts normal still. Do you know what that bump is?
<Not exactly. We'd need a proper physical exam for that, but it sounds like an abscess, which is the result of an internal infection.>
Is there something I should do?
<Yes. There is only one "proper" thing to do and that's to get little Tinky to a qualified veterinarian and have him treated. If you can't do that, my next suggestion is that you search the internet in your area for a Turtle & Tortoise Club. They often have web sites listing contact information and you might be able to find a really qualified 'old hand' who has had & treated enough turtles that he or she is capable of lancing and treating a wound. It's a long shot, but worth a try.>
Thanks for your help! :)
<In the mean time, here are two links -- one on general care (check your care of the turtles against what's in the article and correct anything that's out of line) and the other on common home treatments for typical illnesses. They might provide some further insight.>
<care: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm>
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
<Sent from my computer right here at my desk>

Sick RES ? Cute names, no reading 8/20/09
Hi, I have 2 RES for about 2 months now and they seemed to be fine until about last week. I live in Huntington Beach, so the weather is fairly warm and sunny, good for RES right?
<Mmm, not necessarily>
They eat a varied diet of fruit, veggies, pellets, and some meat.
<... this last not a good idea>
The water is almost always very clean and warm. One of them (flubby) seems to close its eyes for about 2 minutes, come up for air (where its eyes open) and then go back underwater(where its eyes close again.) The other one(bubby) closes its eyes too, but not as frequent or for as long as flubby does. And they both have little bubbles coming out of their nose and mouth sometimes(more Flubby than Bubby though)A couple of times, I heard both of them wheezing or coughing or sneezing, something like that. Also, after some internet research, I figured out that Flubby has a prolapsed colon. Tonight, Flubby is not very active and just lays at the bottom of the tank with arms and legs tucked in, eyes closed, and occasionally coming up for air. (As I said before.) This is the first night where I noticed the prolapsed colon, and "severe?" eye closing. I am really concerned! What should I do to make them better? -Katyana
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Red Eared Slider 8/18/09
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I am writing because I am concerned about Captain again and I just searched the website, but don't see anything about what he is doing. He has been swimming very quickly through his tank lately, like he is trying to get out. Then, he will get up on his log and sit there, but it seems like he is having muscle spasms. His right arm and leg both shoot out of his shell and his head snaps to the side. It doesn't appear to be a controlled motion. I can't tell if he is in pain. He is eating and pooping and swimming, but this weird spasm thing has me pretty concerned. Have you ever
heard of anything like this?
<The kind of things you describe aren't uncommon at all, but when I see it it's almost always in younger turtles that are housed indoors -- in other words not something I see in the wild or in a pond situation, so without doing a blood workup, my mind wanders toward calcium and maybe potassium deficiencies. Both those are easily treated with powdered supplements that you can put in his food>
Should I take him to the vet immediately?
<Not if his only symptoms are spasms. Chop some small pieces of raw liver, coat them in calcium and potassium powder(s) and feed him one small piece a day for two weeks.>

My RES is Turning Orange! 8/18/09
Hi there!
<Hiya! - Darrel here>
I have a 6 year old female Red Eared Slider named Nostradamus (I wrongly guessed at her gender when I named her... oops!).
<More interesting is the base name to begin with --- were you expecting Nostradame (ne Nostradamus) to be making weird, almost indecipherable predictions that someone in the far future would turn into infomercials about food choppers?>
She has been very healthy throughout her life with an occasional respiratory infection here and there (about every other year treated with injectible Baytril). She also laid 17 eggs last winter!! My question is, do you know why she is turning orange? I don't mean a pale orange, I mean a bright, bright orange! It looks like a mask around her face, on her nails, and her shell is now turning an orangish tint. The "mask" on her face does not touch her nose and eyes, just the surrounding skin. She is also more lethargic, sleeping more than usual, and occasionally gapes her mouth and rubs her face.
<Changing color isn't a common symptom of any disease I'm familiar with, Kathy.>
Nothing has changed in her tank, I do not use any sort of heating equipment and the water is consistently around 75 degrees. She has never been much of a basker, but she is eating well (ReptoMin with RepCal mixed in). I keep her in a 55 gallon tank with a Fluval 404 filter. I took her to a new vet two days ago who seems very knowledgeable and he said the orange could be a couple of different things. First, vitamin A deficiency. Second, fungal infection.
<Vitamin A deficiency almost always presents with eye infections, however nasal discharges are also common and your reference to respiratory infections makes an interesting connection. A SEVERE deficiency can lead to all kind of infections and skin infections often show reddish or orange .. but that's a huge leap of logic at this point>
To be on the safe side, he drew a basic blood panel to send out (no results back yet).
<That will tell us a lot>
He gave me a supplement called the Sunshine Factor, which is red palm oil that can safely supplement vitamin A. I've been giving 1mL orally per day... this involves making her so mad that she tries to bite me, then quickly squirting in the supplement :-(.
<Small pieces of beef liver are also high in Vitamin A and turtles like them. When the blood work comes back, injectibles are the way to go>
I haven't seen any change back to her normal color, however, and she is still lethargic.
Does this diagnosis seem about right to you? I'm inclined to trust my new vet, but I have never seen this before from her and I'm a very concerned turtle mom!!
<Thank you for being concerned, Now I too am concerned. But just a little. Regardless of trusting vets, I DO trust blood work, so let's see what we get. In the mean time, please write back and tell me more about her diet and about her basking & UV lighting>
Thank you so much,
Kathy :-)

Red ear turtle nose rot 8/9/09
Dear Crew
<Hiya -- Darrel here>
I have had three red ears for many years.
<That must make it hard to wear glasses, but I'll bet you hear everything people say about you .....>
<Oh wait. Maybe you meant you have three different Red Eared Sliders.
THAT makes more sense!>
They have always been healthy and on a diet of mostly fish and shrimp.
<Well, right here we can start by saying BAD DIET!! Turtles rarely catch fish in the wild and the only time turtles eat shrimp is when they go on vacation to expensive, all-inclusive resorts.>
I noticed last week that they were not eating and this week I see that the noses are rotted away. On two of them it seems to be only the noses. The third, has its upper eyelids and inside its mouth also affected. There is no pus or abscess on the nose. The eyelids are red and sore. The mouth also looks red and sore. They are eating in small amounts. The shells are hard and do not show signs of damage. There are no visible signs of skin issues on the neck or legs. Breathing is slightly labored on the turtle with the nose/eye/mouth problems but not for the other two. There is no sign of mucus or nasal discharge from any of them.
<this is not good ....>
I cannot find any info about this condition or how to treat it.
<Rhea, this is indeed unusual. I've only run into this once or twice myself and almost always in a deceased animal that hadn't been noticed for some time. For this reason I'm going to make some guesses AND pass this letter along to a colleague that's smarter and better looking than I am>
<The bad diet is an obvious place to start, Rhea and a bad diet leads to vitamin deficiencies which can lead to all sorts of problems including eye and skin infections. The first thing to do is get them out of their normal environment and get them somewhere warm and dry. All the conditions they have are made worse by them being warm and moist most of the time. Read the enclosed article on treatment and follow the 'isolation treatment' protocol. Keeping them warm and dry will slow the progression of any ailment that thrives on moisture and it eases the turtle's burdens on basking/cooling at the same time.>
<Either via sunlight or lamp, get them as much UV lighting as possible. If you have a UV lamp (even if you take one from the tank they currently inhabit) leave it on 18 hours a day. Treat for both fungus and bacteria as described in the article>
<When you feed them, feed them a proper diet. Either regular Koi pellets from a local fish store or Repto-min food sticks by Tetra, which are exactly the same diet, just shaped differently and more expensive>
<While you're treating them in isolation, read the second link about general care. Compare what is recommended against what they have -- and find out what went wrong>
<General care: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm>
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
Re: Help? fw: re: red ear turtle nose rot -- 08/11/09

> Hi Neale -- I answered, but forwarded it to you as well -- I'd like a second opinion
> D
Hi Darrel,
If this turtle has been feeding primarily on goldfish and shrimps, it is VERY likely to be suffering from a Vitamin B1 deficiency. Both goldfish and shrimps contain a lot of thiaminase, and over time, this causes all sorts of problems for reptiles. It's a fairly well recognised syndrome in reptile care, certainly when compared to fishkeeping.
As you correctly state, red-ear sliders should be fed a largely plant- based diet. Whether this is live plants or pellet foods based on plant foods (such as Koi pellets) probably doesn't matter too much, though as always, variety helps.
Vitamin B1 deficiency will of course reduce the effectiveness of the immune system, so secondary infections of the eyes and respiratory tract will be more common. It sounds as if these turtles are suffering from these problems. A vet will be able to prescribe the appropriate medications, and will also give vitamin injections to provide a quick boost. These turtles must see a vet, and soon, if further suffering is to be avoided.
Cheers, Neale

Red eared slider, hlth. 8/9/09
Dear Crew
<Hiya - Darrel here>
We have three sliders - only one is ill. She won't open her eyes. She does eat and stays at the bottom of our tank.
<But when you do take her out and put here on firm ground, she at least does move?>
The other two are fine. We take them outdoors to another tank to take in the sun.
<Make sure the sun isn't filtered through glass>
We do keep the water clean - every day we change it. We don't know what to do to help her out.
Please help. Thanks.
<Yes, the little girl is sick and the first thing to do is take her out of the water and keep her out. The first link here is a guide to treatment of common illnesses. Without more specific information, it's hard to say which particular illness to treat, but keep her warm and dry, make sure she gets good doses of UV light and offer her proper foods.>
<The most important thing is to make her life easier with the 'isolation treatment' described here>
<While we're wait to se if she'll improve, read this link about general care and match your care against the article and make any necessary corrections>

Turtle Shell: Injury or Fungus? 7/31/09
I've attached two photos of my six-year-old yellow-bellied slider, Moose. His "twin" brother, Merytle Louis Rutherford, has always been the bigger, stronger, more coordinated, healthier, and luckier of the two, but we love them both all the same. Moose has always had a much bumpier shell, longer front claws, and slower overall growth since I got them both as babies due to some metabolism issues which I try to correct by separating the turtles regularly and giving Moose a more calcium-rich diet and his own private basking spot.
<Smaller size and longer claws is also characteristic of males, Adrian.
Maybe you have one of each sex.>
In spite of his handicaps, Moose recently managed to climb out of his enclosure (now being completely overhauled with a much lower water level and LOCKING screen cover in light of his new-found skill),
<Turtles are AMAZING climbers. I've seen a 8 inch River Cooter (a cousin to the Slider family) climb a 6 foot chain link fence. Without a locking top, you have to have an inward lip at least 1 1/2 times the length of the largest turtle.>
... ending up on his back, where I found him quite cranky and stressed out a few hours later. At that time, it looked as though he had just barely scraped the prominent points on his shell from all the rocking back and forth in an effort to get himself upright after the fall.
<When I encounter a turtle that's been upside down, I always pick it up and hold it upright (Head UP/Tail to the ground) for a few minutes to let the internal organs hang vertically. Although uncommon, the stress of being upside down and flailing as they do can cause the intestines to twist.
Again, not a very common thing, but a very easy & quick thing to do>
Since then (it's been about a month), these supposed scrapes have turned into something else entirely. When they didn't go away initially, I started dry-docking him and disinfecting his shell with peroxide, then iodine solution, then, finally, my Nolvasan solution arrived from the vet supply store, and I started swabbing the spots with that. Fearing shell rot in the injured areas, I started trying to scrape the areas with a plastic card, and treating with more antiseptic. The current white areas, which have grown considerably, LOOK like exposed bone in texture (though I know the entire shell is integrated with the skeleton), and they are the result of the scraping...what came off was just a thin layer of pigmented shell, not even the thickness of Moose's normally-shed scutes. After that horrific experience, I stopped trying to scrape stuff off, and have just been using a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub the areas. The areas are not, and never have been oozy or sticky or smelly.
<I don't think you've caused as much damage as you think, Adrian. It's not possible to scrape off a healthy scute with a plastic card. Something was already going on there and all you've done has been to expose that condition (to make a pun).>
Have I damaged my turtle unnecessarily in my vigor to treat an imaginary case of shell rot? The exposed areas had started to faintly show some of the pattern of the rest of his shell (which is pretty pronounced for an adult), as if the cells were starting to regrow, but that recently seems to have faded away, too, leaving these huge blank white areas.
<The pictures show the bone that is normally under the scutes, so the most obvious answer is that due to some cause not currently known, but possibly related to something metabolic, the scutes have died. This in itself is not fatal or even debilitating. Moose can live a happy live of joy fulfillment as long as we can find and correct the root cause. That and making sure he doesn't become an Amway rep.>
<That said, finding the cause isn't as easy as it sounds. If we assume you've provided proper diet, heat and UV for both turtles then finding the source will likely involve a scraping culture and/or a blood test.>
Now, since they're in temporary housing anyway as the new tank comes together, I have them separated and Moose is, sadly, back in dry-dock state with a bath every 24 hours, and halting all the doctoring I've been playing at. What is the next step, and what should his shell look like when, or if, it is healing?
<Review every detail of your care instructions against the care sheet below, Adrian. The best possible outcome here is that upon detailed review, you find something subtle that might end up making a huge difference. I'm not suggesting it's a Good Thing(tm) that we find a mistake ... but if, for example, you'd accidentally hung a plant-Gro bulb instead of a proper UV bulb, the FIX would be easy and inexpensive. I want to cover the basics 2 or 3 times before we have to resort to the more esoteric and expensive.>
I am very concerned about Moose, as I am far too young and irresponsible to have a REAL child, and I was really looking forward to these little turts growing up to support me and place me in a good nursing home in thirty or forty years...
<Well, you seem more responsible than a number of parents I know, Adrian.
Besides, it's unlikely that turtles would be able to support you in your old age ... they're financially irresponsible (never let a turtle NEAR your ATM card)>
< http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm>
< http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm>

I have a very sick red eared slider with swollen eye 7/27/2009
<Hiya> my name's Adam from Malaysia.
<Darrel from Los Angeles here>
I have a very sick red eared slider with swollen eye for about 1 week, have been using turtle eyes drop but without the vitamin A in it (cant get the zoo medic brand). How do I get it to eat if it won't open it's eye?
<It's very important that you get him to eat, Adam. You need vitamin A and vitamin D into his system, not just around his eye, of the problem will get worse.>
How long can it survive without eating?
<Assuming he's otherwise healthy -- and that is not very sure at this point, he could go even a month or so without eating. BUT .. and this is the really problem ... if he's developed a vitamin deficiency it means that his diet has been wrong for quite a long time.>
What is the duration of treatment with the eye drops? Currently it's quarantined all day, I only it let in distilled water for 15 min.s a day max. As for a vet, cant find one who knows the stuff here.
<Here are two links. One will tell you how to treat a eye problems and the second will cover all the basic care needs that you have to meet to prevent this from happening again>
<care: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm> plenty of UV light, even if that means you take him outside in the sunshine. Sunshine is a great way to get his body to start manufacturing Vitamin D, just make sure you watch him and don't let him overheat. 10 minutes 5 times a day is far better than 25 minutes twice a day due to the danger of him heating too much.>
<One way to stimulate eating is to warm that daily bath. Give him 20 minutes swimming time in warm water (but only up to his shoulders, no higher) and often that will help stimulate his appetite.>
<Offer earth worms or very small pieces of liver, both are high in Vitamin A>

Red Ear Slider Sleeping 7/27/2009
<Hiya - Darrel here>
Hi I have two RES about 4 - 5 months old. One of them is constantly sleeping, and kind of both of them have been avoiding the lamp they don't go on the rocks that I have put in my aquarium anymore, and they used to do that a lot, since I have changed the rocks positions (they wanted to escape in the position the rocks where placed) they don't do it anymore. The water from the summer heat gets really warm and from the lamp, so periodically I put cold water to stabilize the temperature!
<If the heat lamp is heating up the water, then you need to redirect it so that it hits ONLY the basking area, or move it further away from the basking area. The rapid swings of temperature could be part of the problem, so while I commend you playing so close attention and treating the condition, we need to find a way to PREVENT the condition>
They eat normally but the fact of day sleeping almost every time I check it its sleeping. Is this any sign of illness or it is normal?
<No, it's not normal. A turtle will choose between the heat of basking (around 88-93 degrees) and the cool of the water (not heated, just room temperature) as they need. A turtle that avoids the basking OR the water and is not active is usually ill. The link below on treatment contains the instructions for keeping them both out of the water (except for daily baths) for a while to help their immune systems fight whatever they are getting. But here's the thing: Without knowing more symptoms, I can't help you decide what they have and therefore how to treat them, so here's what I'd like you to do: I'm also sending a link on basic care instructions. It explains what the need and why. Go down the list of care items and prove to yourself that your care fits the needs. In other words, start out by assuming you have the wrong heat and prove that you do because it matches the care. Then assume you have the wrong UB and again, prove that you do because it matches the care. Water, rocks, diet ... right down the list. If you're lucky, you'll find something that is wrong ...
because by knowing what's wrong, we can figure out what to do to treat them!>
<Best of luck with your detective work>
Any advice?
Thank you in forward,
<Care: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm>

Re: Red Ear Slider Sleeping -- 08/11/09
Hello WWM Crew
<Hiya Again - Darrel here>
It has been now 8 days that my Red Eared Sliders are in isolation. They are showing great improvements, but I am concerned in two cases I have noticed.
<First, Darsej, remember this -- it took a long time for them to get sick before you could even notice, so keep in mind that it will take a long time before they are completely well again.>
1. They are still avoiding direct sun light
<Not uncommon. Make sure it is still offered to them every day. Even unfiltered sunlight that hits their cage bottom and reflects onto them is still very helpful>
2. In one of them I have identified some liquid running from its nose (and that one is still scratching its face), while the eyes have been healed almost totally.
What does the nose indicate and should I do anything to take care of that?
<He undoubtedly has a respiratory infection, Darsej. The only proper course of treatment is antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian and I'm sure you've considered that. STILL ... if you keep them warm and dry,
hydrated, well fed and with plenty of UV, it's very possible that he'll recover on his own.>
<What you have to do is continue the treatment and look for vital signs - is he getting stronger or weaker? More or less active? eating more or eating less? Nose running more or less? The answers to these questions
will tell you if we are on the right path. If we are on the right path, we need to continue with the treatment for a minimum of 8 weeks. If not, then a veterinarian may be your next step>
Thank you in forward,

Please Help, my RES is sick :( 7/26/2009
Sorry to bother you,
<No bother at all! Darrel here>
but I have four baby water turtles, and I think one of them (Jacob) could have a shell infection of some sort. He's about the size of my palm, and has a very big appetite. But recently he has been shedding this white tissue like substance from all over his body, I peel it off sometimes and it doesn't seem to bother him. But it also seems like his shell is becoming more and more sensitive. Whenever I touch his shell lines a little bit or the other turtles crawl over him, he moves back and forth like he is irritated or itchy. The lines on the bottom and sides of his shell are a bit pink as well and he keeps on itching it with his feet. Is this some sort of infection?
<You're describing a case of fungal infection, Jackie. I'll give you two links. The first is how to treat the fungus and the second is a set of care instructions that should help keep it from coming back.>
Is there medicine I can buy that can help Jacob get better? I can't really go to the veterinarian because of the expenses but I will if it's really serious.
<It's not serious YET ... so lets see what we can do. The thing about fungus is that it is opportunistic -- which is to say it's always around, doing nothing, just hanging until it sees an easy opportunity. In that way it's much like my brother-in-law.>
<Turtles haul out of the water to get dry and warm ... and when they are completely dry and able to soak in plenty of UV rays, the fungus that is on the skin dies quickly before it can do any damage. What changes that is either the turtle gets a cut or scrape that allows the fungus to grab a solid hold, or the water is too hot, the basking area is too cold and/or no proper UV lighting. Even after we treat the fungus, you have to correct the root cause.>
<As you'll read in the care instructions, Jacob is going to have to say goodbye to the other turtles for a while because he needs to get warm and dry and stay that way for a while, but here's one last thing: If you have reason to believe that any part of the normal environment (water, gravel, filters, basking area) are contaminated or fouled, then you should treat all the turtles with the same process just to be sure, meanwhile you can then sterilize their setup with 1 cup of bleach per gallon of water, leaving the pumps and filters running to circulate everything for 24 hours.
Then drain, re-fill, repeat .... then drain wash, scrub, rinse a couple of times and then set everything up again. It's a lot of work, Jackie ... far more work than keeping things ship-shape to begin with, but it's also a lot cheaper than the vet bills will be if we can't fix this.>
Thanks for your time, I hope u can help,
<So do we!!>
<Care: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm>

Re: Please Help, my RES is sick :( 8/12/09
Thank you so much!!!!!!!!
I bought the UV light and I have all my turtles lay under it for 2 hours a day almost, but Jacob seems to like it a lot. He just lays there with his feet sticking out its soo cute!
<That's what he should do!>
His shell is better and it doesn't seem to be irritating him anymore, but today he was laying there and started making a clicking sound with his mouth, and every time he does it his throat expands and stuff. Is he still
sick? It different from when my other turtles had respiratory infections, this sound is like a clicking noise.
Is it something serious?
<The clicking noise isn't serious, Jackie. Many turtles make that noise as they breathe and (maybe) yawn or otherwise just be turtles.>
<To answer your other question, Yes, Jacob is still sick. Remember .. we was getting sick slowly, almost invisibly, for months before it showed.
The reverse is now true -- he'll show marked improvement right away but still be in need of special care for a while yet. A minimum of 6 weeks after he starts acting like himself ... 8 weeks if you can hold out that
Thanks, Jackie
oh and Jacob doesn't have swollen eyes or any problems eating or evening mating...its just the clicking noise
<That's great news! Now keep up the treatment for 6-8 weeks and he'll be playing the piano again!>

Red Eared Slider missing two claws 7/26/2009
Dear Crew,
<Hiya -- Darrel here>
Hope all is well.
<Yes, thank you for asking>
For the last year, my husband and I have been caring for a Red Eared Slider which we inherited from my in-laws.
<You're in-laws left you a turtle? I want to inherit some property from my in-laws. Did they not approve of you or something?>
Precious is an approximately 15-year old female turtle and is fairly large.
Her home is an medium-sized outdoor pool, bigger than the "kiddie" size with an inflatable ring around the top. Recently, around a month ago, my husband rescued a smaller male RES from a busy street after witnessing it get struck by a car. He did not seem to be too severely injured, but a couple of the scutes at the back of his carapace were damaged. We decided to let him
<let's call him Ted>
recuperate with Precious, and they seemed to be getting along okay, though they do compete over food. We were considering releasing him back into the wild, but he acclimated to us so quickly that we thought he must have been a pet at some point and was dumped some time ago. Also, we are aware that Red Eared Sliders are not native to Florida and are considered an invasive species. So, we were going to keep him
<Good. We never, ever, EVER release animals into the wild! EVER. The Red Eared Slider may not technically be native to anywhere the northwest most corner of Florida, but for all practical purposes the horses have already left that barn. But even so, there are communicable diseases to consider -- turtles have them and the easily spread them to other colonies. Not only that but a captive-raised turtle, even if it was originally wild caught, is at a huge disadvantage in everything from natural immunities to microbe loads to natural fear responses. So thanks for never doing that.>
Today as I observed the two turtles competing for a spot to get food, I saw that 2 of his claws on his right front foot are just completely missing. I am worried that he may have been bitten my the much larger female, though he does not seem horribly intimidated by her (though he does get the heck out of her way when she's on the move).
<That would be very unusual but I've always wondered about that. Here he comes with these long fingernails, waving them in her face all the time, as if to say "Look!!! I have long fingernails aren't they beautiful??"
meanwhile she's swimming there FUMING to herself .. thinking "I've been trying to grow nails like that for FIFTEEN YEARS and every time they get longer than a quarter inch some darned thing comes along and breaks or chips them ... and then HE falls in here showing off like that ....I ought to bite those nails right off of him .. and maybe a few other things, too!">
He is about a third the size of her.
<Males are much smaller>
Also, there is no wounding apparent on the surrounding flesh of the area.
I haven't read about this in other resources and am concerned. My husband was laid off recently, so a vet is not an option. How should I treat this and is it likely caused by aggressive behavior?
<A thorough examination of the area and the whole turtle is in order. If there is no damage visible, things look like they're healing or healed, the rest of the skin is clear and colorful, the shell is hard? Is Ted active and eating well? Do they bask together?>
<If the answers to all these are "yes", then just keep a weather eye out for a future infection at the base of the nails and otherwise just assume that it adds character.>
Thank you for all your time and the great advice I've found on your website.
<We thrive on compliments! Keep 'em coming!>

Red eared slider question 7/25/09
<Hiya - Darrel here>
My red eared slider has a white long stringy thing coming out of her cloaca (anus)
it is white and has come out about two weeks before and then it stopped.
<Do you mean she's pooping white stringy things? Or it's the same white stringy thing that hangs out for a while, then disappears only to return again another day?>
I had recently moved her to a new location and she seem to be stressed so I moved her back, and went back to her normal self.
<New location? Another tank? A different city? What's different about the other location that would be stressful?>
I was wondering what this could be, is this a parasite and how do I help
her,(get rid off this).
<My guess is that it's a worm of some sort. The proper treatment for the turtle is a course of an anti-parasitic such as Metronidazole. but this is NEVER to be done without an veterinary exam. What you can do is mix a shallow bowl full of lukewarm water and 6 Tbs of salt and soak the turtle for 15 minutes daily. Just enough water level to cover the cloaca. This won't stop the life cycle of the worms but often it debilitates them just enough that the turtle's own metabolism can resist them. Also, take this time to completely break down the tank and wash, rinse and sterilize everything.>
<The proper course of action is to remove the turtles to a temporary home and sterilize the tank by adding chlorine bleach. One cup per gallon of water [approx 75ml per liter] (not the size of your tank, but actual volume of water - including filters). Let the setup run for 24 hours, drain & rinse well with fresh water, then break it down and wash with soap (such as dish detergent). Fill again and run the setup for 24 hours, then drain, rinse and refill. This is a long process, but you have to kill the worms and any larva and/or eggs that they've left behind. This is why we run the setup with the filter and gravel and basking areas, etc. - every area the contaminated water could touch.>

my turtle may have metabolic bone disease 07/23/09
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have a red eared slider turtle that is 3 years old and have noticed something wrong. I've noticed that my turtle sometime jerks its head or makes a twitch like movement. Another thing I have noticed is my turtle is walking with its right front leg bent back and want to know if it is broken or fractured or anything like that having to do with the disease. I read an article saying these are some of the symptoms of the metabolic bone disease.
What can I do to care for my turtle if it has this disease?
<The first thing I should say is that any serious illness should be treated medically. A qualified veterinarian who diagnosed MBD would give your turtle a calcium and vitamin injection and you'd see a marked improvement within days. Treating at home will take longer and there is a risk:
Reptiles and fish are very stoic animals, which is to say that they tend to hide their sicknesses for as long as possible. We often don't see any outward signs until the animal is VERY sick .. and sometimes by that time, it's too late.>
<In any case, your first action should be to remove him from an aquatic environment and house him someplace warm and dry. The hard part is getting the calcium into him, since normally turtles eat in water and the water tends to wash away any coatings or powders. Some turtles will eat cheese or bite into yogurts or cabbage while on land and all of those contain calcium.>
<Get some calcium tablets from the local drug or vitamin store (pure calcium carbonate is best, ground oyster shells, etc. but even if they contain phosphorous or magnesium it's OK - just make sure calcium is the primary ingredient) and crush the tablets into a powder and coat whatever food he'll bite into. Maybe a piece of liver would entice him. I've even had turtles that will simply eat a vitamin tablet -- there's just no
accounting for taste.>
<The problem though, which I've already mentioned, is that this a painfully slow way of getting a relatively small amount of calcium into an animal that very likely has a large deficiency. It would take months of this kind of care plus a balanced diet and plenty of natural sunlight to begin to see a difference... and as I also stated earlier, this will only work out if it's not already too late, so again I suggest you consider seeing if you can find a Veterinarian.>
<If you read enough literature on the diseases and ailments of fish and reptiles you will see a constant thread running through everything:>
<Sorry to shout like that, but it never seems to sink in to people: One trip to a veterinarian for a relatively simple procedure will cost more than the sum total of proper care for several years. Preventing is FAR cheaper than curing.>
<Back on topic ... Liver is high in vitamins and will easily accept a coating of calcium and if you chop it into small enough chunks that he can swallow, you may be able to deliver enough calcium to start correcting the immediate problems. Better care and diet will address the longer term issues. Please read:

red ear slider sick? 7/22/09
Dear Crew
<Hiya - Darrel here>
We have a red ear slider turtle (named Clip). We've had it for about a month. When we first brought home he was swimming around and lounging on his rock.
<With proper basking and UV lamps?>
We recently fed him a feeder fish (recommended by the pet store).
<Bad recommendation. First, believe it or not, fish is not a major part of a Slider's diet and second, feeder fish are notorious for carrying parasites. So the first order of business is to stop taking recommendations from that fish store.>
Now he doesn't go under water. It looks as if he floats when in the water.
He lays on his rock with his head down against the rock and his eyes closed. He barely ever opens his eyes or responds to noise and vibration like he used to. He will not eat anything. It doesn't look like there is any waste in his tank. We think he threw up (looks like fish guts). When I took him out of the tank to clean it there was a foul odor. We clean the tank every two to three days when we feed him. We don't feed him in the tank.
What can we do to help our turtle Clip?
<It's rare that a single incident like you describe would cause Clip to get so sick so quickly. My guess is that he's been slowly getting sick for a while. The best choice is always to find a qualified veterinarian, but what we CAN do is provide Clip an environment that will allow him a chance to recover.>
<Immediate Treatment - Environment first - ISOLATION>
<Recognize immediately that the very environment preferred by the turtle, warm and wet ... is also the optimal environment for the growth of fungus and bacteria -- and even if neither are the primary illness, you can be assured that if you leave a sick turtle in a warm, wet environment long enough, fungal AND bacterial will seize the opportunity to take hold and take over. For this reason, the single most immediate treatment for any illness in a turtle is to remove them from their tank, pond or enclosure and place them somewhere warm and dry. Remember that, in the wild, water turtles occupy the habitat AROUND the water as much, if not more than IN the water. Moreover, a turtle in good health can survive months out of water and a sick turtle really needs the rest. A temporary shelter can be anything from an empty aquarium to a plastic bin or trash can or even just a cardboard box with high sides (keep in mind a determined turtle is an incredible climber). Add a heat source, which can be a regular electric heating pad (if you're lucky enough to be able to find one without the annoying 'automatic off' feature) to a light bulb suspended over head.
Ideally you want to achieve a constant temperature of between 85-87 degrees. Since we are deliberately taking away the turtle's choice to move from cool to warm, we have to pick a constant that fits both needs. NOT having to move between temperature zones and not having to swim or climb is the first step on giving the turtle the ability to direct his attention more toward healing.>
<You must also provide UV-A and UV-B light sources(NOTE 2), which perhaps can be moved from his original enclosure or -- in the alternative, a minimum of 10 minutes of direct (NOT filtered through any kind of glass or screen) three times a day.>
<Assuming he is healthy enough to be moving, the regimen will be to place him in a shallow container of luke warm (room temp) tap water every day for minutes in order for him to drink, poop and possibly eat. Shallow means no more than half his shell under water when you place him in it -- and really only enough to cover his tail and cloaca. Assuming that he is being treated for his actual condition and improving, he can go YEARS in this condition without ill effects.>
<What we're trying to do here is make a place where Clip can rest and recover. If his condition doesn't show improvement after a day or so it's time for veterinary care>
<Finally, here's a link to general care guidelines. Please make sure that all Clip's needs are being covered.

Turtle scratching her neck 6/27/2009
<Hiya -- Darrel here>
I have read just about everything on your site.
<Wow! We wrote it and probably haven't read THAT much of it!>
Very informative and I learned things I did not know about Red Eared Sliders.
<Thank You for saying so. That's what we're here for Mary. That .. and the free food>
I have a 9 year old female who is truly a part of the family.
<I'm happy to hear that, too. A lot of people don't like reptiles -- they think that they're mean, slimy and creepy... yet that describes my brother-in-law completely and HE is part of the family.>
A week or two ago I noticed Myrtle scratching her neck with her front arms.
I thought maybe she had mites or something. I had to literally wrap her in a towel so I could take a good look at her neck. She seems to be rubbing the area raw. Once after scratching she started to bite at the arm that she was using to scratch with. Is this a fungus or dry skin or mites.
I'm at a loss. Today I took the day off to go to "That fish store" to try to find an answer. I hope nothing is seriously wrong. The neck area is rubbed to a brownish scab like color. Can you give me some advise?
<Without an examination it's hard to say from way over here, Mary, but the treatment options are similar>
<First, take Myrtle out of the water and make her a temporary home that is warm & dry. Here's an excerpt from an article I'm writing:>
< Recognize immediately that the very environment preferred by the turtle, warm and wet ... is also the optimal environment for the growth of fungus and bacteria -- and even if neither are the primary illness, you can be assured that if you leave a sick turtle in a warm, wet environment long enough, fungal AND bacterial will seize the opportunity to take hold and take over. For this reason, the single most immediate treatment for any illness in a turtle is to remove them from their tank, pond or enclosure and place them somewhere warm and dry. Remember that, in the wild, water turtles occupy the habitat AROUND the water as much, if not more than IN the water. Moreover, a turtle in good health can survive months out of water and a sick turtle really needs the rest. A temporary shelter can be anything from an empty aquarium to a plastic bin or trash can or even just a cardboard box with high sides (keep in mind a determined turtle is an incredible climber). Add a heat source, which can be a regular electric heating pad (if you're lucky enough to be able to find one without the annoying 'automatic off' feature) to a light bulb suspended over head. Ideally you want to achieve a constant temperature of between 85-87 degrees. Since we are deliberately taking away the turtle's choice to move from cool to warm, we have to pick a constant that fits both needs. NOT having to move between temperature zones and not having to swim or climb is the first step on giving the turtle the ability to direct his attention more toward healing. You must also provide UV-A and UV-B light sources, which perhaps can be moved from his original enclosure or -- in the alternative, a minimum of 10 minutes of direct (NOT filtered through any kind of glass or screen) three times a day. Assuming he is healthy enough to be moving, the regimen will be to place him in a shallow container of luke warm (room temp) tap water every day for 5 minutes in order for him to drink, poop and possibly eat. Shallow means no more than half his shell under water when you place him in it -- and really only enough to cover his tail and cloaca. Assuming that he is being treated for his actual condition and improving, he can go YEARS in this condition without ill effects.>
<Now that she's out of what is basically an incubator for bacteria, fungus, mites, worms and insurance salesmen we'll start a basic treatment. After her daily bath, let her dry completely and then clean the affected area(s) with hydrogen peroxide on a cotton swab, then soak or dribble some Povidone (any kind of iodine) on the affected area. Do this for a week and note the healing. The scab may turn to a scar, but you'll still see the signs of healing. If NOT, then stop this procedure and treat the areas with a topical anti-fungal cream sold for athlete's foot and that contains Miconozole or Tolnaftate and give that two weeks.>
<Chances are that you'll see progress in a few weeks and Myrtle will be ready to return to her regular environment in a month. MEANWHILE this is a perfect time to completely clean and disinfect her normal home.>
Also, Thanks for your site.
<Once again, Yer welcome! We enjoy doing it.>
I will be coming back again and again and reading other peoples turtle problems and solutions. Very interesting.
Thanks again
Mary D.
[Editor's note: <sigh> The views of this particular crew member, while usually accurate in a bizarre alternate-reality sort of way, do not reflect the views of Wet Web Media, so .... Once again ......
On behalf of Wet Web Media, we'd like to apologize to brothers-in-law, mothers-in-law, insurance salesmen and in fact all kinds of salesman (except door-to-door salesmen who wear cuff links). ]

Tank change affecting turtle? 6/27/09
Dear Crew,
<Hiya -- Darrel here today>
I've had a red eared slider for about 2-3 months now. We just moved him to a 10-gallon tank and used water from the tap. I've noticed that he keeps blinking and closing his eyes and "sleeping" on one of his rocks for long periods of time. His rock is under the water but close to the surface for warmth.
<I'm hoping you also have a rock or platform OUT of the water for him!!!!
A Red Eared Slider will spend 60% to 70% of his day OUT of water, warming and drying himself. They climb out of the water to seek warmth and slide into the water to seek cool.>
He lifts his head up for air but keep his eyes closed. He also hangs his head down like he's bowing. I've never seen him do this before and I'm worried he may be sick or he may be shocked from the tank change. I thought it might have been the pH level of the water, but its the same water we've always been using and has seemed to work fine. He ate when we first put him in the tank and seemed to have normal energy but now seems to be more lethargic.
<Water Ph is not usually a problem for most water turtles. Any water that you'd drink is within PH and Chlorine ranges for a normal, healthy turtle.>
I've seen him blow a few air bubbles from his nose also. I've read a lot on this site about eye and respiratory infections and didn't know if this may be the same situation. His eyes don't seem to be swollen... We fed him a minnow for the first time today also.
<Bubbles from the nose is most probably a respiratory infection and it needs to be treated right away! Obviously the first recommendation is a qualified veterinarian. Failing that, take him OUT of his tank and place him somewhere warm and dry. A temporary shelter can be anything from an empty aquarium to a plastic bin or trash can or even just a cardboard box with high sides (keep in mind a determined turtle is an incredible climber). Add a heat source, which can be a regular electric heating pad (if you're lucky enough to be able to find one without the annoying 'automatic off' feature) to a light bulb suspended over head. Ideally you want to achieve a constant temperature of between 86-90 degrees. Since we are deliberately taking away the turtle's choice to move from cool to warm, we have to pick a constant that fits both needs. NOT having to move between temperature zones and not having to swim or climb is the first step on giving the turtle the ability to direct his attention more toward healing. You must also provide UV-A and UV-B light sources, which perhaps can be moved from his original enclosure or -- in the alternative, a minimum of 10 minutes of direct (NOT filtered through any kind of glass or screen) three times a day. Assuming he is healthy enough to be moving, the regimen will be to place him in a shallow container of luke warm (room temp) tap water every day for 5 minutes in order for him to drink, poop and possibly eat. Shallow means no more than half his shell under water when you place him in it -- and really only enough to cover his tail and cloaca.
Assuming that he is being treated for his actual condition and improving, he can go YEARS in this condition without ill effects.>
<This is not, strictly speaking, a "treatment" for a respiratory infection.
What we're doing is creating a condition that will ASSIST the turtle's own immune system in fighting the infection and healing. It will take 6 to 8 weeks of this isolation and treatment to help him beat it. Remember that the infection will remain for several weeks AFTER the last bubble is visible. If he doesn't respond or if his condition appears to deteriorate, veterinary care will be about his only hope.>
<Meanwhile, review your care and keeping conditions against the article in the link below and correct anything that is wrong.>
Please help!
<I hope we did>
< http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm

RES Issues -- 6/14/09
<Hiya, Darrel here>
I have a Red Eared Slider that is about 5 inches long and he/she hasn't expelled any fecal matter in about 4 days. He/she still eats very well he/she just doesn't go to the bathroom. I also noticed that the area around
his/her tail is hard and round and it protrudes from the shell.
<Sounds like the Cloaca is a bit impacted... think constipation. What I'd do is try a warm water bath for 15 minutes twice a day. See if simply warming the water that naturally seeps into the opening will help.>
One more thing, I saw him/her trying to eat a Doctor Turtle medicated block about 2 weeks ago.
<I doubt that's related. The calcium in those blocks readily breaks down in their digestive system. That said, those blocks don't do much good, either.>
<Good luck>

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