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FAQs About Red Ear Slider (RES) Turtle Disease/Health 7

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 5, RES Health 6, RES Health 8, RES Health 9, RES Health 10, & Shell Rot, Turtle Disease 1, Turtle Disease 3, Shell Rot, Turtle Respiratory Disease, Turtle Eye Disease,

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

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

Rescued Red Eared Sliders 10/6/10
Hello you wonderful people at WWM!
<Hiya gentle reader!! - Darrel here>
I started reading your site since my close friend bought a pair of Red Eared Sliders. I too fell in love with them (never knew Sliders had so much personality) and got my own as well about 2 months ago - a pair of 1.5' babies.
<After all these years, still one on my favorites>
Subsequent to that, I adopted a 5 inch slider who was abandoned at a pet store. Lost one of my small babies to a lung infection (vets in my country don't deal with herps unfortunately) but the other one is thriving - she's now about 3' and growing. They share a tank with ample UV A and UVB lights, basking area (the big one gets separated out at mealtimes to give the smaller one a chance at food)
<Sounds like great care>
About 2 weeks ago, I was at a pet store and I saw a little 1' Slider baby who had white spots all over its shell. After giving the sales attendant a thorough scolding, I decided to adopt the 1' baby since I was quite convinced it would die if I had left it there (about a month before, the same pet store had a rotting dead Red Ear in the tank and didn't bother fishing it out).
<I sympathize and agree with you about such sad conditions.>
I also bought several tubes of anti fungal drops, anti bacterial drops and appetite accelerators - the baby was still quite bright eyed and active despite the shell condition.
<That's great to hear!! I can't say I have faith in anti-fungal, bacterial or appetite drops from such stores - usually those products are ineffective>
After reading several advice already given, I dry docked the little one for a few days, administered the anti fungal and anti bacterial drops in turn. The back shell near the tail was very very soft (would bend if I applied slight pressure).
<Soft shell is a lack of calcium, vitamin D and sunshine (UV) in most cases treatable by correcting those deficiencies>
After a week, most of the smaller white spots cleared up, but there was a large persistent one on the left side of the shell just above the leg. I didn't touch the white spots very much, in case it was painful for the little one. All this while, the little one had a decent
appetite and was pooping regularly (oh the joy of watching them poop! My friend thinks I'm weird, but when they poop, it reassures me that they're okay!)
<You're correct. APE in the acronym (Active/Pooping/Eating) that indicates a positive situation: Lack of any one of the three is the second sign of problems (the first sign is any change from an established routine that can't be explained)>
Yesterday, I examined the little one's shell and noticed that bits of it were peeling away, like fish scales, particularly where the white spots were concentrated. I lifted the peeling bits as far as it went and trimmed off the peeled parts. But when I got the big white part, the whole thing came off! The white bits were quite dry and compact and came of in chunks and the area around the white bits looked normal and healthy. So the little one now has a gaping space where the white spot used to be.
<The normal shedding of scutes is done in thin almost-transparent layers that could look like fish scales '¦ but if the shedding is of the underlying material (not transparent or translucent) then it's a medical problem>
Just wanted to check whether the danger is over? And based on your experience, will the little one always have a gaping space on its shell or will it grow back over the years (if it survives!)
<From the pictures I looks like that piece of the shell was weakened from lack of vitamins and sunshine to the point where it eroded through. As the turtle grows that shell erosion will look smaller and smaller until it would never be noticed by anyone who didn't know to look for it>
Have put in some pictures (one when I first got it, and 2 after yesterday's shocking post-white-stuff-came-off experience). Apologies for the blurriness - don't know if you can see anything but that's the best I can do with my dodgy phone camera (don't have any other cameras)
Thanks a lot you guys!
p/s - I've refrained from naming the little one until I know he's got a fighting chance of surviving!
<If he's active, pooping and eating, he has a fighting chance! You're doing everything right so far. Don't stop treating him topically (whatever drops you're using seem to be working) make sure he gets calcium-rich foods and plenty of UV-B or better yet, natural sunshine. I'd treat for at least a month after the last white spots are gone and/or the shell becomes firm under the touch before I'd place him into an aquatic environment again>

Re: Rescued RES -- 11/07/10
Hello again guys!
Thanks so much for the information from the last time. The little one is still nameless but I'm hoping to finally be able to name him by Christmas (he's still too small for me to be confident!)
Sorry to keep bugging you but just a few more questions -
<No Problem>
1. I've been rather naughty and not dry-docked the little one for as long as was suggested - put him back into the tank after about 2 weeks (out of pity) after a dry-dock incident went wrong. (long story involving cats and the little tort going missing for two days, only to be found outside the house).
Unfortunately, I've noticed that while all the white stuff was initially gone, some have reappeared in the cracks of the peeling shell. When I saw that, I immediately put him back into dry dock mode (with a new, dedicated UV B light on him in a small tank), only an hour of water for eating and poo-ing.
<And cat-proof, I hope>
What concerns me is this - whenever there is water in the tank, the little one is fine, but as soon as I empty out the water, it makes this screeching sound, from time to time, more frequently just as I've emptied out the water and the lamp is on, and then on occasion when he's finished a 'tour' of the small tank and is probably frustrated. Having lost one RES to a lung infection, I am quite concerned that this may be a repeat incident. My room is air conditioned (I live in a year-round hot and humid country!) to about 20 degrees Celsius so I am a little concerned that a water free environment at night (with lamp off) may be too cold for the little one? I've Googled sliders/turtles and sounds but the only advice I got was about the lung infection and/or mating. No specialist herp vets
around here for me to take the little one to (he had an altercation with the larger turtle (who was punished by being made to stand in the corner!) and took the little one to the vet, but they don't seem to particularly know what they're doing - more cats/dog vets)
<I'm a little confused about what you're doing here.>
<I'm not sure about the sentence structure, either.>
<The vet got into an altercation with a turtle and made the turtle stand in the corner?????>
<You drain the water from their tank at night??????>
<When you are keeping turtles in normal conditions, you want the water temp to be from 21 to 23 degrees. If it dips slightly below that for a few hours at night, that's fine. The basking area should be between 31 and 33 degrees for 12-14 hours per day. The turtles will typically abandon the basking area in the evenings and spend the nights sleeping in the water '¦ only to see basking temperature the next morning>
<When a turtle is being isolated, we no longer want to give it those choices. I use a regular-old heating pad under the container so that the floor is 30 degrees all the time and then a UV/B lamp in the center. The problem is that sometimes all the heating pads have a 3 hour "auto off" feature which makes them useless. If you have to heat with lamps, arrange the basking lamp to be on 24 hours a day, pointing at the center of the enclosure, so that directly underneath is 32-33 and as far away as they could get is no cooler than 26. If the heat lamp is a plain ordinary incandescent lamp, leave it on 24 hours. Don't worry about them sleeping - they'll manage>
<The point being that when we are treating them for any condition, we no longer want to offer them any choices.>
2. Speaking of the bigger (also adopted) turtle, named Debab (which is slang for Chubs in my country) - she is a greedy not-so-little thing. She's always been homed separately from the two smaller ones, and now isn't allowed to visit the smaller ones after she tried to bite the little one's head off.
<Yeah - that's a deal breaker for me, too>
I'm trying to figure out if she's obese/fat. I do try not to feed her more than she can eat in 5 minutes and I supplement her diet (and begging!) with lots of baby romaine lettuce which she devours quite happily. Is there a test to figure out if she's overweight/obese. I read somewhere that if they can't fit in both legs and hands at the same time, then they're obese, but I've noticed with all my turtles that the moment I push their legs into their shell, their heads (followed usually by their hands) will come out.
<It's not about pushing - you can't test that way. When you put Debab in a position where she is unsure or frightened and she retracts herself NATURALLY '¦ can she pull everything in? -- that is how you test that>
<More importantly, I feed my adults all they can eat in 5 minutes -- 4 times per week - no more. That and a 22 degree water and 34 degree basking temp is enough for their metabolisms to keep them in the healthy range>
Thanks again for any help you can get. You guys are pretty much my herp
vets! :)
<We do what we 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. I'm not sure how old he is (I've had him around 3 weeks), but his carapace is about 1' long.
<Still just a baby; can't 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 Rocky's size, but he did mix an antibiotic solution for me to drop in Rocky's eyes once a day.
<Did he mention anything about a Vitamin A deficiency?>
It's 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 who's had many years' experience with turtles does not feel this treatment is of much use/value.>
Rocky's 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.>
Rocky's 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 it's 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 what's 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.>
<It's 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 it's 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. I'm 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, I'm 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, it's 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, I'm very sorry to hear little Rocky didn't make it. It's 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!)>

The Story Of The Bad Owner Who Wishes To Repent For His Actions, RES hlth., env. 9/7/10
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I've got a Red-eared Slider Turtle that I've had since I was 5 (I'm now 17) so that's 12 years.
<Basic math: check!>
I would like to inquire about my turtles health. I have a female, not sure of exact size but very big, I'd estimate 6-7 inches maybe, in what I believe to be a 55 gallon tank. There is a UV light, a basking raft, which used to be suctioned to the wall, but I guess she didn't like that and bit off the suctions so now it just floats there, a water heater thingy which I keep at about 80 degrees, and an Aqueon filter.
Sorry for my rudimentary description but we got these things years ago and I don't remember the exact product names as I was not as mature as I am now, and didn't think to remember them. I've been around your site and you're right, turtles are NOT for children.
<Not without parental support, no>
I sucked as an owner and my parents didn't do a thing. Years ago we had no filter and I rarely clean the tank, and when we had to keep her in the basement for 2 years, I'd forget about her for weeks, and then go back and dump what I'd imagine now to be half the tube of food into the tank.
<Sad tale and all too common>
Another time when I was maybe 8, I put 2 miniature Red-eared Sliders (maybe 3 inches? I don't remember, really small) that I'd got from Chinatown in the tank with her because I thought she'd be the mommy and take care of them.
She ate them both and buried their shells in the gravel. I was horrible and I apologize and I've been trying to repent.
<Thank you>
Well, until about a month ago, for maybe a year, the tank's filter was broken and my mom was saying we were too poor to buy a new one, and I couldn't clean the tank because it's too big for me to pick up alone because I'm skinny, frail and
weak, and no one else wanted to help me. So for about a year, my turtle sat in maybe 3-5 inches of extremely bad water, and I couldn't do anything about it. But about a month ago I was able to get a new filter and someone finally helped me
clean the tank. I am EXTREMELY SORRY, and I know you guys probably hate me as an owner by now but I'm going to try and keep everything well for her as I'd like to have her as a life long companion.
<Red Eared Sliders are very resilient, Heru. When conditions improve, they often improve>
First of all, I wanted to know, could the bad conditions she used to be kept in have lowered her life expectancy?
<Not as long as no serious infection developed>
She never seemed to be in bad shape, surprisingly, and now she seems fine for the most part. Another thing is on her shell, There are small shiny patches. They don't look like anything bad. Have you ever seen a plastic like saran wrap (sorry if I spelled that wrong) stretched tightly over a smooth flat surface with a thin layer of water under it? It looks like the little areas of air that shine when the light hits them. The one's on her shell also only shine when light hits them. Should I be concerned about this?
<It's really hard to say without seeing her. As she grows, the scutes of her shell shed - and in the process they become very thin layers that would shine when the light hits them. It could also be a fungus starting>
Another thing is occasionally I'll catch her biting at her left arm. She hasn't broken the skin, and sometimes she only rubs it against her head instead of biting. She stops after a while though. What does this mean?
<That sounds like something they do when they have a skin condition, like a fungus. It's their version of scratching>
And also, I won't lie. The filter is pretty loud even though it claimed to be extremely quiet, and sometimes, I HAVE to unplug it at night in order to sleep.
<That's not a problem, either. Unlike fish, turtles have a high tolerance for variable water conditions. We're not trying to make a nitrogen cycle like we do for fish. For turtles, filtration is more about straining the particles out of the water so we can remove them by rising the filter material. The filter can be off overnight with no ill effects at all as long as the water is more or less clean again during the following day>
Sorry to bother you and sorry I was such a sucky owner, but I'm mature now and I understand that a life is in my hands and I need to take specific steps to make sure that life stays existent.
<Thank you for that>
Please don't hate me.
<We don't hate you, Heru - we appreciate you and we're hear to help.>
<With that said, I have a few suggestions>
<First, read this link on basic care. Check the suggestions against your setup and think about what you may need to change. Nothing needs to be expensive - there are ways to accomplish everything without great costs if we take the time to think about it>
<Now, there ARE some things to change -- but what we want -- and this is IMPORTANT -- is to change things SLOWLY. As unusual as her care has been, she's survived 12 years of it, so we don't want to change anything too quickly unless it's life threatening>
<Start turning the heat DOWN on her water heater. The goal is to try to have it off completely and removed from the tank within 2 weeks. If she lives indoors then plain old room temperature is good enough for her water.
What we want to do is create a situation were she gets to CHOOSE between a warm basking area and cool water -- then she'll go to wherever she needs to go.>
<For a basking lamp, a plain old 60 watt incandescent bulb will work just fine. Take a wire coat hanger and bend it in some way to wrap around the floating dock and then snake up the side of the tank to the top and hook it over. This is to try to get the floating dock to stay under or near the lamp. The lamp can be held in a very inexpensive 'clamp lamp' from any local hardware or building supply store and set 10 to 12 inches above so that when the lamp has been shinning on the floating dock for an hour, put your hand on the dock and the light shinning on it should feel pretty darned warm>
<She also needs a source of UV light, but for the present time, you can accomplish this for taking her outside for walks. 15 minutes of moving around in the direct sunlight will help her immune system fight off any fungus, her metabolism manufacture Vitamin D, etc.>
<Here is another link to possible treatments for illnesses. In your case I don't hear any real illness, but reading about them might help you recognize one early at some time in the future. Also, the isolation treatment, where we keep them warm and dry for a few weeks, can be like a "vacation" even for a healthy turtle.>
< http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm>
Now, it seems to me that, at present, water quality is your biggest issue.
Sliders can endure a great range of water qualities because they haul out under warm lamps and dry out -- most of the pathogens in the dirty water that are trying to get a foothold on the turtle are kept at bay by the heat and dryness. But that presumes proper UV lighting and basking temperatures and other things we're not sure of yet.>
<But here's the thing: You don't HAVE to move and dump the tank when it needs cleaning: an inexpensive siphon tube will suck the water out or failing that you can bail a great deal of water out with a plastic cup.
Just stir up the water really well as you siphon or bail so that you're getting as much of the big particles out as you bail.>
<Here's another thing you can do on water changing day: Take the turtle out first thing in the morning and place her in a box or container. Move the basking light to one corner of that container (so that she can get directly under it OR get pretty much away from it). Now clean the tank like I suggested: siphon or bail and refill with clean water. Now assuming a 55 gallon tank and approximately half full, put in 4-5 tablespoons of household bleach. Make sure the filter is on and running
(to keep the water circulating). At night, turn the basking lamp off and let her sleep in the dry box. In the morning, the bleach will have killed a lot of pathogens then dissipated and it's safe to put her back in and replace the lamp.>
<everything that she needs to live a long and happy life can be given to her with very little cost if you're willing to put in the effort>
<Lastly, and I really think this is a good idea, is to look around for the local turtle and tortoise club in your area. If you can find one, I'm betting that you can find and experienced "old hand" who would be happy to help you.>

Turtle anatomy 8/30/10
Hey Sue...
<Hey there!>
There is a serious problem this time...
<Maybe, depends. . .>
I'm attaching a photograph of my female turtle. It looks like a hernia or something has happened to her.
<You may want to re-think the *her* part -- see below!>
But whatever it is, it's scaring the hell out of me. Everyday I clean my tank and my turtles...and when ever I put them in clean water, they poop..both of them. But for the last 2 days, while I was cleaning,
I observed this black colored thing hanging from her anus (when I keep her in the clean water.) Could you tell me what exactly is happening with her, and suggest me some medicine to cure this?
<Well, I THINK I can tell you what's happening here, but to the best of my knowledge, no medicine has been invented yet to cure it! Heeee!! I think what you have here is not a female, but actually a male turtle! And, yes, male turtles are quite *well-endowed* shall we say!! To those who are unsuspecting, it can be quite shocking when they see a male turtle's *private parts* (or as another crew member refers to it -- their *party animal* -- for the very first time!! It even was for me -- and I KNEW about it!! Bob --- can you show *X-rated* turtle pix on WWM?!! LOL!)><<I think so...>>
<Remember my *Option 2* in my August 18 reply? It looks like you do in fact have a male turtle that's growing at a different rate than your other turtle (who's still too small at this point to know which sex it is for sure).>
<Read here to learn what to do (and also what NOT to do!) when you see this *display* happening!:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm >
< Scroll down this article until you come to the heading about *Odd Body Parts'¦and what NOT to do*. Most important here is NEVER try to press his organ back in!>
<Was he able to retract his organ shortly after? If not, you will need to *assist* him the best you can, again -- WITHOUT attempting to press it back in. If you took my advice and are keeping your turtles outside the water right now, the best thing is to temporarily place him in water to see if that makes it easier for him to retract it. Alternatively, you can try spreading some mineral oil or regular vegetable oil on the bottom of your tank (or very smooth surface) to make it slipperier for him and see if that works.>
<If it has remained out for the last 2 days, and none of the things mentioned above or in the link work, you will definitely need to take him to an expert who is experienced with turtle anatomy and have them try to reinsert the organ. But do not attempt this yourself or you will likely injure him!>
[I'm trying to get all the things you recommended me the last time. It will take some time for me to arrange everything for my turtles.]
<Glad to hear you're trying to get all the things you need for your turtles! Except for trying to fix this latest situation with your one turtle, they are perfectly fine (and should be) being kept out of the water in a warm, dry environment until you're able to get what you need for them.>
There is one more problem: I stay in a (country) where it's not allowed to keep turtles. So I doubt if there are hospitals and doctors specially for turtles (if in case a Doctor is needed.) If you know some place (in this country), do let me know.
<I'll be happy to do a little research on this for you and see what I come up with.>
I request you not to put my mail in your library because I fear I might land into some trouble (because of the rules). I hope you would consider my request.
<I'll pass your request along to Bob to see if he can either block out or remove your name, location, etc. from your earlier messages to WWM.><<... Sue... where is all this?>>
thank you very much for your help.
<You're welcome! Please let us know how this all turns out!>

Need help looking for turtle vets 9/8/10
Hi Sonal,
Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you about finding a vet for your turtles! It's been a busy week with kids back to school, holiday weekend, etc. Below are a few links I found for potential vets in your area who may have specialized training to treat turtles. You should, of course, find out more information about each of them before deciding on which one, if any of them, that you'd like to use.
1) http://petturtle.htmlplanet.com/turtleaid_exoticvetlist.html
Dr. Percis A Ghiara
4. Perojbai Building , 19,Sleater Road, Mumbai 400007
Tel : 022-3819865
2) http://mumbai.justdial.com/rrsc-(reptile-rescue-and-study-center)_Mumbai_kyqsvcePrsq.htm
3) http://in.88db.com/mumbai/Pet/Veterinary-Clinics/ad-769179/
4) http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?
5) http://www.herpvetconnection.com/india.shtml
6) http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/herpvets.htm
7) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taraporewala_Aquarium
(This aquarium has turtles so should be able to refer you to a specialty vet.) >
If any of these vets are not located near you, they may at least be able to give you the name of someone who is. You can also try asking your local *regular* vets for recommendations of veterinarians that specialize in exotics, reptiles. A local zoo, aquarium or university may also be able to help direct you to a specialized vet.
How did everything turn out with your male turtle? Hope everything's going well with both of them. Let us know if you need any more help.
All the best --- Sue

Red Ear Slider is not acting like normal self - 8/17/10
Dear Crew
<Hiya Lexi -- Darrel here>
I'm very worried about my Red Ear Slider. We purchased 2 babies on May 23, 2010, one was approx. 1.5 in. in shell length and the other was approx. 1.75in-2in. in shell length.
For the past two months they both seemed to be healthy and showed no signs of any problems until Aug. 4, 2010 when the smaller one suddenly stopped eating. I was feeding him ReptoMin food sticks and pellets,
<That's a good, balanced diet>
-- and would also alternate between giving him crickets, mealworms, or earthworms.
<earthworms are a nice treat, crickets and mealworms -- not really so good>
I also would feed each turtle separately in a different container so I could make sure each turtle got enough food.
<That's a good, caring idea, Lexi>
The little one had always loved to eat and would beg for food anytime I would walk into the room, so I found it very odd when there was food in front of him and he wouldn't bother with it. Its been 12 days now and he still will not eat; however, a few of the days he would grab the food but then spit it out as if he just didn't like it and then when I would put him back in the tank he would eat the pebbles on the bottom.
<That is unusual>
I have since removed the pebbles because I didn't want them to hurt his stomach.
<Good idea. They're not necessary and the turtles do sometimes ingest them>
I then decided to try to feed him in his tank, but he still just doesn't want the food. He spends a majority of the day basking and every once in a while will get in the water but he doesn't swim too much. He'll swim around for maybe a minute then goes over to one of the fake plants and just hangs on them for an hour before getting back out and basking again. I have thermometers and the temps seem at the right degrees so I don't believe he's just cold. The water stays around 78 degrees, the basking area between 90-100, the rest of the tank around 80 and a UV/UVB bulb that goes on 12hours a day.
<The water is quite a bit hotter than it should be -- around 68 to 73 (normal room temperature) -- no warmer>
I don't notice anything else wrong with him besides him not wanting to eat but after so many days of not eating I'm getting worried that he's not going to make it.
<It is a little disconcerting and yes, it may be an indication of a deeper problem>
Any suggestions on why he would stop eating so suddenly or how to get him to eat again?
<Well, Lexi - you've already covered all the bases, so what's left is to do things differently. Lower the water temp to room temperature. You probably have a heater, so just unplug it and remove it -- never was a need for it anyway.>
<Take the little guy out and put him some place warm and dry (about 80 degrees, not any hotter) for a day or so, then put him in the separate feeding bowl and let him swim for a minute before adding food. Then try a small earthworm.>
<What we're doing here is really changing his "world" for a few days on the chance that something about his tank is bugging him. Vibrations from a filter, current leaks from a filter '¦ just something that perhaps you and I wouldn't notice but that could be a BIG deal to him. A few days alone and dry might give him the rest he needs to shake off whatever is bothering him but even if it doesn't we'll have ruled out environment.>

Possibly Sick Red Eared Slider 8/11/10
Hey WWM,
I have tried searching your website for what could possibly be wrong with my Red Eared Slider, but I can't quite seem to locate anything exact.
I found a few articles with similar symptoms but nothing was 100% the same.
<I see.>
I got my RES about two months ago, and I got them from the infamous china town in NYC where they are notorious for selling these illegally.
<Oh dear.>
They came in that little clear case with the plastic palm tree.
<I had this exact contraption circa 1980. Useless.>
I took them out and moved them to a 10 gallon aquarium at home, at it is filled with about 9 gallons.
<Do review the needs of these animals.
Water is only 50% of what they need.>
I also have a pump that does about 160g/h, and it is hooked up to a home-brew canister filter filled with carbon and the filter material. The water is crystal clear and I siphon the remains that the filter doesn't get about once a week.
I also have a UVB heat bulb on their basking area which they use frequently and seem to be enjoying.
The water is about 76 and the basking area is about 86. Their diet consists of the ReptoMin pellets, krill, and shrimp.
<Do need veggies more than these. Shrimp especially provides calcium but contains thiaminase, and overuse of crustaceans can lead to serious health problems.>
The turtles seemed to be doing fine for about the first month, then one of them stopped eating. He didn't seem sluggish or anything, he just wasn't eating as much. This was a problem because I was about to leave for a family trip. I tried to over feed my other one and everything worked out fine, but when I came home the other guy still was not eating. I had to leave again for another vacation but my parents were home and I told them what I did and they took over for another week. They said that the one turtle began to eat, but not much. Then I came home again and he started to perk up and eat. Then he stopped again. I tried removing him from the tank to eat, I thought he might be intimidated by the other turtle because it would always hog the food. This worked, but not well.
Not only does he not eat now, but he seems to be basking almost all the time, and is rarely in the water, or he will bask with his shell/head/front claws out, and the back half in.
<Not promising.>
The other day I saw him floating in the water and thought he was dead.
He was just floating with all of his limbs out, not moving at all. I touched his back to see if he was dead and he swam away like he was fine.
He also keeps his head retracted most of the time too. If I try to move him he will stick his head out, but it will bob in and out and up and down, but not like he's sniffing for something or something natural, it looks like a mini bobble head turtle. Within the past day or two I also noticed he hasn't opened his eyes, however, there is no white fungus or any discharge, they are not swollen either, just closed.
<This is a very bad sign.>
He also runs his face across his arms when he does stick his head out. I am really afraid that he will die from not eating, and I don't know what the problem is or if he has some kind of a serious infection that I can't see.
<I concur with this analysis. Get him to a vet, post haste.>
I have attached a picture of him to show you what he looks like, but his head is still retracted. If you have any advice, it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you, Devon
<I've cc'ed Darrel and Sue just in case I'm missing something obvious. But for now, call the vet. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Possibly Sick Red Eared Slider 8/14/10
Hey Neale,
Thanks for your help be unfortunately he died before I could get him to the vet. Although, maybe how he acted right before he died would reveal more about what was wrong with him. If you have any information on this or any help it help me to prevent this from happening to my other turtle.
<It's always very difficult to be sure without doing an autopsy. I'd simply recommend you review Darrel's articles on terrapin maintenance and feeding, and then review the conditions you're providing your remaining animal. Make a list, tick them off, and then relax. If you're sure you're doing everything right, then that's all you do.>
The other turtle seems to be very healthy and lively so I hope I won't run into this problem. Just before he died, I had removed him from the tank and put him into the smaller container that he came in. His eyes did seem a bit swollen, but this was for the first time.
<Review vitamins in particular.
However, I became excited when I saw him open them upon entering the new container. This did not last long but he did open his eyes periodically.
I placed some food in the container hoping he would eat, but he ignored it entirely. I tried moving him towards it and vice versa, but still nothing.
I came back about an hour later and he had moved a little and it had looked like he nosed the food a bit, but I couldn't tell if he ate much if any.
Before the two days where he was acting strange he was eating, just not much, and he would often rip the food apart and eat bits of it, but again, not much. I gave him a little tap to see if he was alive and he started to swim around, which was more than he was doing for two days. After that I noticed he would open his mouth very wide and sometimes blow a big bubble. Then he started going crazy.
<Again, vitamins and perhaps an RTI could be at issue here.
He was clawing at the walls like he was trying to escape, but not like they were doing when I first got them. When I got them, they would just paw at the sides because they hated the small enclosure, which I know is way to small/cruel etc. but this was very ferocious, which you can imagine is quite a bit if I'm saying ferocious for a turtle that is about 2in.
<Oh dear.>
I didn't know what to do and I didn't want to shock him by putting him back in the tank or risk him attacking the other turtle and getting him sick so I waited about a minute to see if he would calm down but he kept going at it when suddenly he just stopped and fell like a rock. It was as if in an instant, he turned to stone. One second he was moving and clawing faster than I had ever seen and the next he was on the bottom of the container. I don't know if any of this means anything specific but if you have any information that would be great.
Thanks again,
<As I say, read Darrel's article, and act accordingly. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Possibly Sick Red Eared Slider, SueG's further input 8/14/10
<Hi Devon,>
<I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your turtle. Neale copied Darrel and me in on your message asking for any additional input. Both he and Darrel have had years' more experience at this than I have, but there are a couple of things I'd like to mention in addition to what Neale said in the event the same type of thing happens again with your other turtle. I'd just hate to see you go through a similar experience with him.>
<First is that a common mistake people seem to make is that they focus their concern around the symptom of their turtle's loss of appetite rather than on what actually caused it. Turtles can actually go days/weeks without food. The important thing is if you ever see a noticeable change in appetite, activity level, and basking behavior occur like that again with your other turtle, forget trying to get the turtle to eat, and instead get the turtle to a (preferably herp) vet and/or try to get to the root cause of the behavioral/appetite change as soon as possible. Once the root cause of the problem is resolved, their appetite will return naturally once they start to feel better. And the earlier you treat the problem, the more likely you'll have a successful outcome. It does seem as Neale said that your turtle may in fact have suffered from a respiratory infection and possibly also either an eye infection or a Vitamin A deficiency. Either of these conditions would warrant a trip to the vet for treatment involving antibiotics, Vitamin A injections, etc.>
<The 2nd thing is that any time you are again concerned that your other turtle is ill, it is best to promptly remove him from the moist, warm environment of his aquarium and place him in a warm dry container (still under a heat and UVB bulb), allowing him access to only a shallow container of water for just a few minutes each day to drink, poop and eat if he wants. The reason is that bacteria and fungus thrive in warm, wet environments and will seize the opportunity to take advantage of a sick or otherwise debilitated turtle, making a bad situation even worse. And even if it turns out your turtle is NOT sick, there is no harm at all in keeping him in this environment for extended periods of time. In addition to the other links Neale referred you to, below is a link to an article written by Darrel that outlines exactly how to go about properly isolating your turtle in a warm, dry environment:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm >
<Lastly, besides reading over and comparing your care to the care guide link Neale sent you in his 1st email (along with the other 2 links in his 2nd email to eye diseases/vitamin deficiencies and respiratory infections), I'd also strongly advise you against buying any more turtles from street vendors, even from pet stores. The conditions in which these turtles were raised and also shipped before arriving where they did are often horrific, and as a result they are often very malnourished and/or very ill from the day you buy them (turtles can mask illness for long periods of time before showing any actual symptoms; this is their survival tactic from the wild so they don't alert their predators that they're ill). If you ever decide you want to get another turtle, New York in particular has several herp/reptile associations/clubs who can direct you to either a rescue group or to a breeder where you are much more likely to get a healthy turtle; just do a Google search. Unfortunately buying turtles from street vendors and pet stores only continues to propagate their business and the suffering of these poor animals.
I wish you the best of luck with your other turtle, and please don't hesitate to write back if you have any other questions or concerns after reading all these links! Sue>
Re: Possibly Sick Red Eared Slider 8/18/10

Hey Sue,
<Hey, Devon! Sorry just getting back to you now; I was away on vacation.>
Thank you so much for your input! I didn't know anybody else would be writing back to me or looking at the e-mail, what you and Darrel/Neale are doing is wonderful, thank you!
<You're very welcome! We're all happy to help.>
I figured I would ask about the symptoms for the second time because I would really like to prevent this from happening again, and thanks to the links you guys have sent me, I have no doubt that this should not be a problem (fingers crossed).
<We hope so, too.>
I did have just two small questions though that are somewhat related. One thing that you guys mentioned is the vitamin A. Is there any one specific vitamin supplement that you would recommend over the others or a specific type of food that could offer this instead of a supplement?
<If you're feeding your turtle a balanced diet that is at least 50% vegetarian/plant based (75% when he/she is an adult), you shouldn't be too concerned about a Vitamin A deficiency. A balanced diet should include:
'¢ A good quality pellet like Koi pellets or ReptoMin contains some Vitamin A. Feed this to him only every other day; no more than he can eat in 5-10 minutes though (do not overfeed him as this can also lead to illness).
'¢ Earthworms also have some Vitamin A, and something your turtle will really enjoy as an occasional treat. You can offer him one or two every week or so.
'¢ Leafy greens offer not only Vitamin A but also some added fiber. I offer my turtles unlimited access to greens (dandelion greens in particular are good -- can actually get it in some grocery stores). Also red and green leaf lettuce (but no iceberg lettuce as this has no nutritional value). I attach them to a clip with suction cup (which you can buy in a pet shop) and leave it in the tank all the time, replacing as needed. Your turtle is young and may not initially go for this, but keep offering it anyway. When he gets hungry in between feedings, he eventually will start to nip at it.>
<If you haven't been providing a balanced diet up to this point and/or want to correct a Vitamin A deficiency, you may want to offer some additional sources. Liver, for one, is an excellent source of Vitamin A. You can offer him some very small pieces of cow's liver from the grocery store. You can also coat some Koi pellets and earthworms with a drop or two of Cod Liver Oil. Also, the following two links talk about Vitamin A supplements as part of prevention:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm (under the Section called Swollen or closed eyes) >
<In addition to Vitamin A, it's also extremely important to make sure your turtle is getting enough Vitamin D. This vitamin plays a vital role in maintaining their shell health, one major source of disease for turtles. The best way to provide Vitamin D other than through diet is by placing a UVB bulb over their basking area and keeping it on for about 12 hours a day. I also (though I probably don't need to, but err on the side of caution), add a pinch of Rep-Cal (Phosphorous-Free) Calcium with Vit. D powder to their pellets every other day as part of their feeding. I let the pellets and Vit D powder soak in water for 15-20 minutes to allow the pellets to fully absorb it. If the pellets get soft enough, I sometimes even mash it all up together and then feed them tiny bits of it at a time off the tip of a plastic spoon.>
I was also wondering what you do in terms of diet. I have been researching the diet since the day I got the turtles so that I would be well equipped with food and knowledge so I could properly care for the turtles. Unfortunately, everywhere I look has something different. They are all close, but nothing is quite the same. They all have the same foods on the list (more or less) but as far as how much and how often, they all vary.
<Yes, and ironically as it turns out, diet is the easiest part of their care! However, like you, I had the same frustration when I started out with my turtles. A lot of conflicting information out there. In the beginning, I actually even cross-referenced different websites to see which foods got mentioned most often!>
<What I wrote above, though, is based on both Neale's and Darrel's expertise, experience and long term success in raising many, many turtles for many, many years, and also through Darrel's personal contact and friend, Doug Mader, who is a world-renowned vet. He literally WROTE the book, Reptile Medicine and Surgery, which is a guide most all specialty vets have in their office! So needless to say, I feel very comfortable offering you the diet advice above!! And I can tell you in my own experience as well, I've never had ANY health problems at all with my turtles.>
And one final thing, I don't really know if this is a concern, my other turtles head seems to be... I don't know how to say this... large? It doesn't looks like it's swollen or injured and he has been just fine,
getting more and more active everyday (not that he was inactive before but he seems very healthy). It just looks like his head seems to have grown a little more than his body, but this might be because I am over feeding him?
<Overfeeding is definitely something you should be concerned about, so again refer to my comments above about this. What is most likely happening here, though, with your young turtle is not much different than what happens to young children when they're toddlers. Their heads initially grow at a faster rate than their bodies when they are young. Once your turtle's body eventually catches up in size; his head (should) be more in proportion to his body. At least this has been MY experience, and you're right, it does look odd for a while! However, I'll also pass this one along to Darrel and Neale to see if they have anything else to add. But I believe this is what's happening in your case. If so, nothing to worry about, completely normal.>
Which again, brings us back to the last question. Actually, I lied, I do have one last question, just thought of it before I hit send. I will be going back to school in a few weeks, and I would really like to take my turtle with me. Is there any specific safe or proper way to transport him or would it be better to leave him at home. My only concern for leaving him at home is that my family may forget to take care of him or just not do it properly. Any suggestions?
<If you're traveling by car, you can simply transport him in the front seat with you in a corrugated cardboard box; or you can purchase one of those plastic 'critter containers' from your local pet shop, which is what I use. They have a handle on top for carrying; just make sure you have the lid on tight so it doesn't separate from the container when you're carrying it around! Turtles can sustain serious internal injuries from falling even though they have their hard shell. You should also make sure the box/container is properly secured in the seat so no chance of him getting tossed around. And, obviously like any pet or child, never leave him in the car on a very warm day. If you have to get out of the car for any reason along the way, take him with you.>
<As far as keeping him at school with you, you may first want to check your school's policy regarding keeping pets. If they do allow it, he should at least be in a 20 *long* tank (turtles prefer more surface area for swimming). However, as he grows, he will need a larger size aquarium. This may or may not be practical for you at school. The other concern would be whether you can really commit the time to caring for him at school with your other commitments, interests. I don't know about your situation, but I remember when I was in college, I didn't have time to take care of myself, let alone a pet!! But only you are in the best position to answer that question based on all these different considerations. If in the end you are concerned about leaving him at home and you aren't sure you can take proper care of him at school either, you really should consider trying to find a rescue group to take him (again, just Google in New York; I've seen them listed before). Whatever you do, though, DON'T release him into the wild. He most likely would not survive.>
And I know buying from the street vendors isn't ideal for buying turtles hahah. It is obvious that they are mistreated and not cared for (before and after birth), if they were properly cared for, they wouldn't be sold at only 1inch, which as you and I both know, is illegal. But I hate to see the animals live like that, who knows how long they've been in those tiny containers, with little to no water and a plastic palm tree, and who knows how often they're being fed... or what they're being fed for that matter. I figured if they had any hope for survival, it would be if I rescued them and did what I could to give them a chance to survive. I do not want to support street vendors, but at the same time, I didn't want to just let those poor things sit there on the dirty streets of NYC.
<I completely understand, and that's why I intentionally don't go to Chinatown, because if I did, I'd likely collect all of them and take them home with me! However, unfortunately these vendors have an ENDLESS supply of red eared slider turtles -- AND, the turtle farms down south are only more than happy to replenish their supply, they literally have MILLIONS down there. So unfortunately all buying them does is cause even more baby turtles to land up suffering.>
<I've never had the opportunity to offer this advice to anyone who lives in New York before, and in particular someone who has access to Chinatown. You're fortunate that you happen to live in or near one of the, if not the, most aggressive states in the country when it comes to animal cruelty. And the unconscionable practice of either keeping them in tiny plastic containers and/or throwing hoards of baby turtles into a bucket for sale on a city street certainly constitutes cruelty. As you know, it's also illegal for them to sell them under 4' -- so either way you're covered here. So, rather than continue to buy any more turtles, if you're willing (which I hope you are since you seem concerned enough), here is what I'd suggest you do instead -- Report this vendor and any others you see who are selling them (and probably best to report them in *real time* if you can in case they relocate. Here is one link that tells you what number to call/how to report them (I believe you can also call the local police):
http://www.aspca.org/fight-animal-cruelty/report-animal-cruelty.html >
<For whatever reason, I've never actually read where anyone has in fact followed this advice or what the outcome was! So -- if you can/are willing to report this vendor and/or come across one again, please do me a favor -- try this suggestion out, and then please write back to let me know what happened. What may happen is that it may *work* only to temporarily relocate them, but if enough people did this enough times, who knows what might happen? But, either way, if you do try it out, please write back and tell me what happened, so at least I'll know if this advice is something I can pass along to others in the future. And if it does do some good, you may land up saving many more hundreds of baby turtles this way than just through the act of buying only one or two out of sympathy. Then it would be our turn to say thank you to you!!>
Thanks a million for your help!
<You're very welcome, Devon. Write back and let us know how everything turns out!>

Red Eared Slider with swollen eyes and weird white patch of skin on top of his head. 8/7/10
Dear Crew, Hi my name is Alexis.

<Hiya - Darrel here>
I sent this email with another picture about a week ago, I think my pictures were too large so I deleted one and figured I'd send it again.. Sorry for my persistence. I'm worried about my little man. (plus the vet I took him to was no help at all..)

<We'll do what we can, Alexis>
I have a 3 1/2 in. Red Eared Slider named Squirt. (My little sister loves 'Finding Nemo.') I've only had him a few months.. One of the guys where I work found him in our parking lot and saved him. I couldn't let some little kid have him who wouldn't take care of him. He was just too tiny and cute! :-) I have him in a 16 gallon plastic tub filled to roughly 12 gal. right now so he can't climb out.

<That's more water than he needs '¦ but I'll be he appreciates it anyway>
I have a heat lamp kept on his basking log about 12 hours a day. Temperatures in the water at the opposite corner of the basking light is about 80 on warm days.

<That's too hot for his water. His water should be around 68-72 -- around normal room temperature. The idea is to allow him to choose between being warm under the basking lamp (between 85-92) and cool in the water. Remember, Squirt is an EXPERT at being a turtle '¦ he knows what he needs, we just have to be able to offer it to him>
I also have a UBA/UVB Zilla light at an opposite corner overlooking the whole tank.

<Problem #1: UV lamp needs to be on the basking area so that Squirt soaks up the UVA/B rays while basking>
'¦. and a 10 gal. Whisper filter has been used until just this week because I have been saving up for a large 100+ gal. tank and canister filter. I change his water regularly, and use TurtleClean which breaks down the poop and things like that, as well as ReptiSafe Water conditioner.

<I don't do any of that, Alexis. I raise my babies all the way up to breeders on plain old ordinary tap water, complete with chloramines and everything. Things that affect a fish because he just about breathes water have little affect on turtles. It's not BAD that you do these things, it's just that I think the same time and money can be used more effectively in other ways>
I have a Crowntail Betta as well so occasionally I add a few drops of his water conditioner to it because the water where I live isn't the best. I introduced a Repto-something sulfa block a few weeks ago to make sure I was doing everything right also.

<THAT is, for sure, a waste of your money, Alexis. Turtles get their nutrients via diet and not via the water. Sulfa & calcium blocks do nothing at all of value>
His diet consists of ReptoMin Plus, and I recently bought the ReptoMin with Mini Krill and Baby Shrimp for treats. He eats well, and is extremely entertaining to watch. Lol

<I'm not a fan of krill and shrimp for treats. A simple earthworm now and again (once a month perhaps) is better>
His tank sits up a foot from the ground on a box so my little dog can't bother him, but it is a clear plastic container so they like to taunt each other. Squirt will taunt my dog. He isn't scared of him at all he will come swim on the end closest to my dog and stare at him. It's hilarious to watch. He is very friendly and isn't really afraid of anything. The pictures I enclosed are one of the day I got him early May of this year, and the second is just a close up of how much bigger he's gotten.

<Yes, he's much bigger>
The third is where my problem lies.

<Problem #2: there is no third picture attached. Send again, please?>
His eyes swelled up just the other day and a weird white blister-like patch appeared and covers the top of his head and ears.. I've looked everywhere and haven't seen anything like it. It doesn't look like a fungus.. it's almost like a blister. I can see his skin underneath now and when he retracts his head a little it moves just like his skin. Anyway, over the last two days it has spread to the other side of his head, and there is a small strip that continues from the patch and stretches under his eyes. The day his eyes swelled up I called the vet and scheduled an appointment for two days from now because that is the first day I could get him in. I have touched it to see if there is any fungus, swelling, or discomfort but it doesn't seem to bother him. He is mildly lethargic, basking a little more, but as soon as I get home from work he is back to acting perfectly normal. I'm slightly concerned..

<Me too>
Any ideas?

<Swollen eyes is a classic sign of vitamin A deficiency, but ReptoMin turtle sticks are a fully balance diet, so that's unlikely.>
White patches are indicative of fungus '¦ even if it doesn't seem so. It's very hard to tell from here. But I have a few suggestions -- read on>
and is there anything else I should be doing more/less of?

I want to make sure everything is going as it should.. and when everything runs correctly I'm going to adopt another if possible. Please help. Alexis.

<Suggestion #1: Read the following article about treating common illnesses. Treat Squirt as if he has a fungal infection even if we're not sure. Simply keeping him warm and dry for a few weeks will help him fend it off regardless of what it is. During that time, make sure that the UV lamp is moved to the dry box and keep it shining on him 14 hours a day. The basking/heat lamp should be on one side so that he can choose between being slightly warm or slightly cool '¦ but the UV lamp should be in the center so that he's getting a maximum dose regardless of being near or away from the heat lamp. Remember, UV waves don't travel very far - they have to be within 8 to 14 inches to be of benefit. Anyway, treat for fungus for a couple weeks or until another symptom presents that gives us more info Suggestion #2: Here is a basic care article covering all the basics. You've already covered the basics -- and done even more -- but it never hurts to review. Check your setup against the suggestions listed and correct anything wrong. We'll be waiting for picture #3 -- just remember '¦ too close/out of focus doesn't reveal anything useful. Treatment: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm>
Basic Care: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm>

Re: (Darrel) Red Eared Slider with swollen eyes and weird white patch of skin on top of his head. 8/10/10
Thank you SO MUCH for the advice..
<Yer welcome!>
I really appreciate what everyone at Wet Web Media is doing for people who have simple (and sometimes complicated) questions. You guys are awesome.
<Thank you again!>
Squirt is doing better. Whatever it was on the top of his head is gone. His eyes are still a little swollen but he is now dry docked as of today. Your suggestions on the water conditioners are great; my wallet greatly appreciates that knowledge. :-)
<That's why we get the medium bucks!>
I moved his heat lamp up higher and resituated his tank so the UVA/UVB is in the middle so he can get as much as he can.
<I place mine over the basking area - it doesn't penetrate water very well anyway>
He still eats great and hasn't seemed off at all.
I haven't been able to get another picture to send since the white spot is gone.. but if it reappears I will try to get one to send.
Thank you so much for your help and I'll keep researching and reading up on your guys' website. I really like it!
<Oh gosh '¦ we're getting a swelled head from all the compliments!! Thanks again!!>

Why did my 2 red eared slider turtles die? It's not because of bad luck. 8/2/10
<Hi, Sue here.>
I bought a turtle 3 years ago and 1 year a ago I bought another turtle. at the beginning of course the older one bully the younger one;
<If you knew this, then why did you risk harming your new young turtle (and stressing both of them out) by placing him with your older turtle (who after 2+ years had now come to view his tank as *his home* and any newcomers as *intruders*)? Did you do anything to try to fix the situation, such as put your new turtle in a separate tank?>
however, later (6 months later) the older one stop moving, it got slower, didn't eat and just sat on the rock. the heater light was on and I bought a heater for the tank. however that didn't work at the end the older turtle had die.
<I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your turtle. Unfortunately, the water heater was not a good *fix* -- it made an already bad situation much worse. Water heaters shouldn't be used at all for your turtles -- and especially not for sick turtles. When a turtle becomes ill, warm and wet environments become their enemy rather than their friend -- as this happens to also be the same environment preferred by bacteria and other pathogens. Bacteria, fungus, etc. are opportunistic organisms, and will seize any opportunity to take advantage of a sick turtle. Sick and/or otherwise debilitated turtles need to be removed from the tank and kept in a warm, DRY environment around the clock (except for just a few minutes each day in a shallow bowl of water to allow them to eat, drink and poop). The dry environment gives their immune system a bit of boost to try and fight off whatever is ailing them.>
<Water heaters aren't necessary for healthy turtles. Turtles need an environment that gives them a clear choice to be either warm and dry; or cool and wet. Unlike humans, their bodies/organs have to rely on the temperatures of the environment around them in order to function properly. A clear choice for them means warm, dry land for them to bask on each day -- about 88-90oF; and cool water for them to swim in (about 70-72oF). Besides a heat bulb, they also need a UVB bulb to bask under. The UVB light mimics the rays from the sun that they would normally be exposed to if they were living in their natural environment outside. The UVB is necessary for them to manufacture the essential vitamins necessary for proper shell and skin health and growth. Without it, they become much more susceptible to a number of diseases and infections.>
Confuse so I bought another turtle
<You were confused, so in response you bought another turtle?? The only thing confusing here is why you bought another turtle. It would seem you should have done things in reverse order -- resolve your confusion by doing some research to find out why he might have died FIRST -- THEN determine if you should go out and buy another turtle.>
for the younger 6 months ago (recently after the older one had died),
<Turtles don't need or want other turtles as companions. They mostly view other turtles as either a mating opportunity or as competitors. They prefer living alone, especially in smaller environments like aquariums where they can't get away from one another as they could in their natural environment.>
today the 'younger' one died.
<Again, I'm very sorry to hear you just lost another turtle, especially at such a young age like the other one. This is very sad for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it's heartbreaking when a pet dies, and you've had two pets die now within a very short time of each other. Second is because with proper care, pet turtles like red eared sliders have a life expectancy of 40+ years or more. Both of these turtles' lives were cut short significantly (and unnecessarily). The 3rd reason is that they both likely suffered long, slow and painful deaths. Turtles are good at hiding illness -- this is an innate survival tactic so other creatures don't see them in a weakened state and take advantage of them. Unfortunately, the fall-out from this is that by the time WE notice they're sick, it's often too late to save them.>
<And finally, it's sad because both deaths were totally and easily preventable with some research on your part BEFORE deciding to keep turtles as pets. In particular, after the death of your 1st turtle after only 2 ½ years of age, this should have been your warning sign to do research before going out to buy yet a 3rd one.>
it too was doing the same thing the older turtle was doing, acting slow, not eating and just sitting on the rock. My question is that why does the red ear slider turtle does that?
<The one most probable reason they do that: when they have become so sick and debilitated from either a poor diet, improper care and/or environmental conditions that they can no longer hide their illness and suffering. Once they can no longer eat or move, this means that their illness is in its late stages.>
is it normal for the older turtle to pass away once I buy a new one
<NO! Unless one turtle attacks or stresses out the other to the point where it becomes injured or sick, and dies (which is why we recommend only 1 turtle per tank). Otherwise, with proper care, pet turtles can live to be up to 40 years or more!>
or was it just bad luck?
<And NO! I might have been able to understand this question after your 1st turtle died, but after your 2nd one died only 6 months later, it's harder to understand why you think the deaths were due to bad luck rather than considering the possibility that they were due to improper care, diet, and/or the living conditions/environment that you were providing them. The deaths of your two turtles had nothing to do with bad luck, and everything to do with your not understanding what their needs were.>
< Other than the water heater, you didn't provide enough information for me to tell you what other things you might be doing that are wrong, so until we know what these are, here's what you need to do NOW to prevent your 3rd turtle from suffering the same fate as your 1st two:
1. First and foremost, DO NOT buy any more turtles!
2. REMOVE your remaining turtle from the environment you're keeping him in right now and place him somewhere warm and dry until you find out and fix whatever is wrong. Only put him in a shallow container of water for a few minutes each day to eat, drink and poop (they need to eat food under water). Even though he may not look sick to you at the moment, if you've been keeping him in the same conditions as your 1st two, it's likely he is also ill, just not yet showing the signs. And even if he's not ill, putting him in a warm, dry environment temporarily will only be of benefit to him until you find out and fix whatever it is you've been doing wrong . Click on the following link which tells you exactly how to do this:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm3. Read, Learn, Fix and Commit to doing what you need to do to properly care for your 3rd turtle before it's too late for him. Compare each step of your care, conditions and environment to what is outlined in the care guide link below, and make corrections where needed -- including what/how much/how often you're feeding; water quality including frequency of water changes and filtration; water vs. basking temperatures; UVB lighting; and proper size enclosure. Turtles don't require a lot, but what they do require, they absolutely MUST have. In return, your turtle will reward you back tenfold with many years of enjoyment.
4. Once you have read both guides above, we'd be happy to answer any specific questions or concerns you might have. We all want your remaining turtle to have the chance to live a long, healthy and happy life.
5. All we ask is that next time you write us, please do a punctuation and grammar check first before sending us your questions to make it easier for others to search for and find this information on the website, especially those from other countries who use automatic language translators.>
Excellent; well-done Sue. BobF
Re: Why did my 2 red eared slider turtles die? It's not because of bad luck. 8/4/10

Thank you, Bob! Not sure I'll ever hear back from her, but hopefully she'll take the advice!
I do hope so as well. B

RED Eared Slider sick?
Poor care leads to illness? 7/29/10

<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have had a red eared slider for approximately 30 yrs, previously belonged to a friend of mine, so I believe he is at least 40 yrs old. In any event, he is in a 30 gallon glass aquarium, no heat lamp, no sun lamp and has been this way for the whole time I have had him and my friend had him. I change his water approximately 3 x a month.
<It's hard for me to decide where to begin to tell you how wrong and unhealthy that is. Without thermoregulation, his metabolism can't properly digest and absorb nutrients from his food. Without natural sunlight or an artificial substitute, he can't synthesize the Vitamin D he needs to help absorb the calcium that his bones need. Since calcium is necessary for muscle movement, his body is actually slowly 'eating' his bones in order to keep his heart beating.>
<Honestly, PW -- we don't recommend all these accessories because we're afraid that you have too much extra money, OK? He doesn't need very much, but he NEEDS what he needs. Read here - and FIX what's wrong: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm>
I just 'adopted' a new slider, I believe very young, with a wound on his/her neck that Petco suggested I treat w/triple antibiotics as they sometimes see that and use that to fix the problem. He is not the issue however, and he is being kept separate from my first born (so to speak).
<The new arrival should have the wound treated while being kept warm and dry. Read HERE also (and follow the instructions): http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm>
MY older one, the 40 yr old (more like 46) has recently increased his eating enormously, - non-stop it seems. Every time I go near tank, he comes over for food, and I oblige.
<Poorly kept, improperly housed AND over-fed. Hmm '¦ I wonder what's next?>
However, tonight, I changed his water and noticed that where his shoulders would be his skin seems to be a sort of ash white color (and a bit on the 'thighs" as well) and the skin itself seems puffy.
<That would be the fungal infection that comes from being cold and damp and poorly fed>
I am scared to death for him as I love him dearly and am quite proud that he has stayed with me for all these years (since 1986) - my friend gave him to me after finding him in a bucket in a basement, and the turtle had lost a good deal of his shell.
<It's not surprising that he's lost shell, what's surprising is that he's alive at all>
My friend John took classes at the Bronx Zoo and was able to restore the shell and the turtle (and his brother, who died 20 yrs ago of liver problems, he was autopsied to make sure I was doing all I could) - has continued to thrive even w/out a heat lamp/rock etc. he does bask and has rocks to climb out of his water onto.
<Actually '¦ he's not thriving. He has a fungal infection and puffy skin from being cold, damp, improperly fed, improperly housed in poor conditions>
I am terrified re this skin thing , never seen it before. His shell is hard and normal and appx once a year, he sheds some scutes, which like any proud parent I collect and save.
<Well, let's see what we can do>
Any help you can give would be appreciated. I discovered this late, and the exotic vet has odd hours and hard to get appt w/, though I will try to get one at the earliest. I just don't want him to wait or suffer or make it worse for Wind.
<The good news is that, unless things have gone too far, everything you mention is correctable! Get Wind warm and dry. Read the treatment article and treat the skin for fungal infections (wipe with Tolnaftate, etc.) but keep him warm and dry -- AND GET HIM SOME NATURAL SUNLIGHT!!!!!! Start at around 15 minutes twice a day while you buy a UV-B bulb from a pet store and set it up in his dry box (that's in the treatment article)>
<Put him in a shallow bowl of room temperature water every day for 15 minutes. During that bath, give him as much as he can eat in three minutes (no more).>
<This will all come as a shock to his system, but necessary to get him healthy.>
<Meanwhile, read the ENTIRE care article and supply him everything he needs - because he truly does NEED that stuff>
Thank you immensely.
Re: Poor care leads to illness? RES hlth. 8/1/10

thank you for your response - he's going to a vet tomorrow - but I do need to correct a few impressions you apparently have
1) he had lost his shell before I got him, over 36 years ago and was corrected by my friend john, who taught me how to care for him as he had been doing.
<That's what I gathered from your letter>
2) I've had Wind since 1980 and he has never had a skin or other problem - he's always been fine till now. (I just got back from a vacation so perhaps the interim person overfed or whatever)
<the problem with ALL our pets '¦ is that unlike our kids, they can't tell us where it hurts or what they need. It makes it hard on them to receive what we know how to give AND hard on us to know what's right.>
3) it's not at all an issue of money with this guy, and I will correct to place in direct sunlight 15 min a day etc. and the dry box -
<I appreciate that -- and so does Wind!>
4) thank you for your help and I'm sorry you seem to have the impression that I am either cheap, stupid or non-caring about him.
<That wasn't my impression at all. In fact, I don't do impressions -- my training is in other fields.>
<What I thought, PW, was that you were giving him the care that had always worked in the past -- all of us, every one, are very respectful of 'whatever works' so no, I did not get the impression that you were uncaring OR stupid. The impression I got was someone that cared very much and simply didn't recognize the signals he'd never seen before.>
<But the one thing we ALL want '¦ is for Wind to live a happy, healthy life. As long as we're all after that same goal, you have our full support>

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 thing's 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!>

Baby Res not eating and basking most of the time 7/20/10
<Hi there, Sue here with you.>
I have a baby RES that's around 3 1/2".
<If 3 ½' is her shell length, she (or he!) is not a baby; more of a juvenile.>
I've had her for around 6 weeks. She's in a 8 liters <just a little over 2 gallons> tun <??>
<Way too small an enclosure for a turtle this size. The general rule of thumb is 10 gallons for every inch of shell length. Ideally a 40 gallon for now (at least a 20), but he/she will eventually grow to be about 8-12' so will need a much larger enclosure down the road.>
with a heating and UV lamp.
<A heat bulb and UV bulb are very good, but is your UV bulb specifically UVB, or just UVA? It needs to be a UVB bulb. If it's just UVA, you need to replace it with a UVB bulb -- no matter what the pet store might have told you! See why below.>
I change the water every 1-2 days.
<That's good also; however, (especially if you don't have a filter) it's also a good idea to scoop up with a net any uneaten food and poop as soon as she's done eating and before it all breaks down in the water. Turtles, especially as they get older, become quite messy so I'd highly recommend you consider a very good quality filter -- one that's rated for several times more than the amount of water in your aquarium. Turtles need better filtration than fish.>
Recently her appetite slowly reduced. Now she won't eat anything and would mostly stay on her basking rock.
<The combination of not eating at all and basking all the time -- especially when it's a change in how she normally behaves -- is often a sign of illness.>
The water temperature is around 76-78°f during day and 72°at night. I've ordered for a water heater.
<I wouldn't put a water heater in the tank. When it comes in, return it. Her water temp. should only be around 70-72 degrees (F) all the time. Turtles need cool water and warm dry air -- see more about this below.>
I feed her dried blood worms and turtle pellets. And occasionally fed her dried shrimp and carrots.
<I'd replace the dried blood worms with an occasional (live) earth worm '¦ and ONLY as a treat, maybe just 1 or 2 every couple of weeks. They should not be part of her regular diet. Her turtle pellet should also be a good quality pellet such as a Koi or ReptoMin brand pellet. She only needs to be fed once every other day in the morning, and only as much as she can eat in 5-10 minutes to avoid overfeeding.>
<For some added fiber, I also give my turtles various assorted greens (not iceberg lettuce though). I attach a few of them together on a clip with a suction cup attached to the side of the tank and let them dangle in the water (easier to clean up later since they're all in one place!). I replace with new greens every couple of days (or more often if they gobble it all up before then). I was able to get the clip with suction cup at a pet store; it comes in handy.>
She never used to bask before. She loved to stay in the water.
<Turtles should be both basking and swimming every day. One of the main reasons you're having some problems now with her skin and possibly her shell is that she's been spending too much time in the water. Turtles can't self-regulate their body temperature like we can; they have to rely on their environment to properly maintain their bodily functions. Each day, they need to haul out of the water, completely dry off, warm up, and soak up the UVB light rays (mimics the benefits they would normally derive from the sun if they were outside) -- both for their shell/skin health and to properly digest their food.>
<In order to entice your turtle to get out of the water, she needs to be given a clear choice between cool water (low 70's F as above) and warm, dry air above her basking area (around 88-90 degrees F -- attach a suction thermometer to the inside wall immediately above this area to monitor). The wider gap between the cool water and warm air is what will entice her to get out of the water in order to warm herself up. If her water is too warm, she won't want to get out.>
<However, right now, she should be treated differently until her other conditions improve. See below.>
There's no reptile vet in my city (so vet isn't an option). How long can a baby RES stay without food? What should I do to make her eat again?
<What's more of a concern than her lack of eating right now is her skin and eyes. Turtles can actually go days, even weeks without eating and still be ok. However, her lack of eating is a sign that other things are going on with her, and that her environment may not be correct. These are the things that need to be addressed. Once these things are fixed (see below), her appetite should return. If not, write back and I can offer you a tip or two!>
<Also, as far as a vet, I'm aware of at least one herp vet who will provide telephone consultation to regular vets. If/when you need to take your turtle to a vet, write back and I'll see what I can pull together for you. It's always a good idea to plan ahead so that you're not scrambling around if/when your turtle should become ill enough to need to see a vet.>
I could see her shell peeling a very little bit. Is it shedding?
<It could be. A little peeling is a normal part of growth and not that noticeable. A lot of peeling, however, is not normal.>
Her shell isn't soft or oozing. She's a little active when she's in water.
<These are good signs.>
She has a little fungus on her legs and tails. I think her skin is shedding too as I could see a layer of her skin peeling (I think it's her skin ). Her fungus seems to getting better as she basks all day now. It's reduced significantly.
<Yes, and this is the perfect lead-in to my suggestion for you!! You should remove her from the tank completely right now and place her in a warm, dry environment until she's all better. Fungi, like other infections, are opportunistic and take advantage of warm, moist environments. Keeping her warm and dry right now except for a few minutes each day in shallow water to eat/poop will give her system an added boost and help her get better quicker. Click on the link below for a very good article written by another crew member that will tell you how to set up/isolate your turtle in a temporary warm, dry enclosure:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm >
<Oh and looking at her eyes. (They're) not fully open. But they aren't swollen or puffed/no discharge either.
<Her eye problems are likely the secondary effect of being generally debilitated as a result of not basking up until now, and as a result, not metabolizing her Vitamin D. I would recommend giving her ReptiVite vitamin supplements by ZooMed. They're calcium based and should also help a bit with the skin shedding -- though you should still isolate her using the guidelines outlined in the link above. A vitamin can never take the place of proper care. And as above, I'd also switch to a good quality Koi pellet or ReptoMin.>
How can I save my RES and is all this because of her shedding?
<By isolating for now, then afterward making some changes to her diet and environment. The problems your turtle is having aren't due to shedding. Rather, the shedding and the other problems are all due to environmental conditions (above mentioned) that need to be fixed. Here is another great article (written by the same crew member!) that outlines all the care guidelines in much greater detail. Give it a read over, and make whatever adjustments are necessary. Providing your turtle the right size enclosure, diet, water and basking conditions will go a long way to ensure that she (or he!) will live a long and healthy life. Hope this helps! http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >

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

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