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FAQs About Turtle Disease: Social

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

FAQs on: Turtle Disease 1, Turtle Disease 2, Turtle Disease 3,
FAQs on Turtle Health by Type: Diagnosis, Environmental, Traumas, Nutritional, Growths/Tumors, Infectious, Parasitic, References,
FAQs on:
Shell Rot, RES Disease, Turtle Respiratory Disease, Turtle Eye Disease,


Yellow-Bellied Slider need help please!      8/5/15
<Hiya - Darrel here>
This is my yellow belly baby and he was beginning to shed and after awhile the other two yellow bellied babies of mine decided to attack him and they did draw blood from him (picture 1) I hurried and switched him from that tank to his own and I have been keeping the water clean and applying medicine to the water (it's a medicine for fish but the lady said it would work for turtles as well) and after a few weeks of that, it has healed, but sadly there's now a big bump on the back of his neck :( do you have any idea on what this could be and what I should do? Any type of medication I should apply to it?
<He's not healed yet - not by a long shot. Read everything about treating wounds here:
Keep him warm AND DRY (we call it dry docking) until all the wounds have scarred over. Treat with Betadine -- which is all in that article -- so read it completely and follow it diligently>
<As far as the bump, that could be many things none of which I can see or diagnose from here. I would certainly see if I could find a veterinarian willing to excise the wound>

Sores/Scabs on RES arm  – 8/13/12
<Hiya - Darrel here>
Thank you so much for your fantastic and informative site.
<You're welcome.   When you win the lottery, please remember the "donate" button on the home page>
My wife and I have written you before regarding our RES' ears not being very red. We were so impressed with your quick response and help.
<That's why we're here.  Well that... and the free food>
Sadly, we now have a more pressing question.  We went on vacation for a week, and left Horace in his tank with an automatic feeder.
<For future reference, that wasn't necessary.  Any trip less than two weeks, just don't feed him>
We came back and he had knocked his ramp down, as well as dislodged his basking platform.
<Turtles can be little wrecking crews.  Things have to be settled and secured.  I use plastic wire ties even on my rock work.>
We don't know how long he was in the water without the ability to bask.  It couldn't have been more than 3 days.  When we came home tonight, we noticed three sores/scabs (not sure which) on his arm.  They are about the size of the head of a q-tip and brown.  This has never happened before!  Could it be caused by the prolonged water exposure?
<No.  Most likely he scratched or injured himself in the scuffle and then the wound succumbed to some sort of infection>
There are no other turtles or animals in his tank.  His water was very clean and clear when we got home, as his filter had been running the whole time.  Perhaps he cut himself when he dislodged his ramp and platform?
What should we do to help him heal? Will this kill him?!?!??
<Not if you treat it>
We have some skin and shell conditioner we put on his wounds to discourage him from biting them.
<Read here and treat.  Dry-dock him for a few days, iodine and hydrogen peroxide and Horace will be just fine. 
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm  >
Sidenote- in the past, we have sometimes seen him biting this same arm on occasion.  We figured he just had an itch as he never broke the skin or even caused redness to appear in this area.  Could these wounds be related to this biting behavior?
<Probably not>
Should he never have been biting his arm in the first place?
<They do lots of things that shouldn't do, but habits are hard to break. 
Our job is to see that his water is clean and cool and his basking place is warm and dry and his food is a balance diet.  Beyond that if he wants to bite himself or sing country music, indulge him>
Thanks again!  Horace is much appreciative!
<No charge!>
All the best,
Ricky and Jacqueline

Yellow-bellied sliders ears suddenly turn red  11/30/10
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have a juvenile yellow-bellied slider (approximately 8 months old male). Last night I had to remove one of the other male yellow-bellied sliders because he was becoming aggressive and biting the others.
<that happens sometimes. Hopefully it's temporary. An important thing in keeping any group of animals is realizing that there WILL be fights for dominance and position. The two best ways to avoid any serious injuries are
1- Keep the sizes relatively even (not hatchlings with adults, etc.) and
2- may sure that the enclosure is large enough that they can get away from each other, meaning out of visual range, when they need to. Sometimes putting up a visual barrier that semi-divides the tank or enclosure into two sections is all it takes>
Tonight I notice that his ears have suddenly gone red. The other juvenile (small age female) can from the same group of hatchlings and still looks like a yellow-bellied slider.
<That is unusual, to say the least>
Can you please give me any suggestions as why this would happen and if it is possible that he is a red-eared slider. If so, will she also develop the red markings?
<All of the sliders, cooters, painteds, etc. interbreed easily and produce many variations in offspring. That is likely the case here -- that what you have is a Red Eared Yellow Belly. Usually the combination of the various genes expresses in the egg and they simply come out in various shades and patterns. What caused this transition after birth is unknown. It's not UNHEARD of .. but very rare. Whether or not it will happen to any of the others is unknown. And, in the overall scheme of things, unimportant.>
<If, on the other hand, one of those guys develops opposable thumbs and begins to cruise the Internet lat at night ordering all sorts of turtle toys on your credit card THEN you have a problem!>
Thank you
<yer welcome!>

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

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

Sick Little Turtle May Just Be A Male - 10/24/05 I bought 4 Red Ear Sliders in May of 2005. 2 were around 1 1/2" in size and the other 2 were 2" in size. I bought a 40 gallon tank, finally figured out the Fluval 3 is the best filter. I have a 75watt basking light (use to have 100watt), a heater and the water is around 78 to 80 degrees always. I use turtle clean once a week to reduce the waste. Feed them daily or twice a day small amount. 3 have grown to about 4 inches the other remains the same size. The larger ones have gotten the cotton film on them several times but have cleared up by bathing in the sulfa dip in a separate bathing tub. I am assuming this was to my problem finding the right filter. My tank was constantly getting dirty, started to get algae. The little one never got this and all 4 have always eaten. I did notice the 3 big ones (even when they were all the same size) use to push him away but we always put food by the little guy for him to eat. Well I guess the other 3 received more food since they all grew to the same size. The l little guy has started to slow down on eating over the last month and now eats once a week from what we noticed. He does not swim much, just stays on the basking dock. He used to occasionally swim (not like the biggers but he did swim). The only thing I have done in the last month was take out the rocks. Constantly getting algae and trying to keep the waste from laying in the tank, finally last week just put in a small amount so they have something to dig in. The big turtles like to move things (my filter, my heater, my thermometer, the rocks) the little one never did.  I have put algae destroyer in the water . I had the heater out for about a week because it broke while cleaning (my big turtles like to move it).  Tried taking the little guy out of the tank and feed by himself. He moves more in the bathing dish with no water but does not eat or grow. What do you think? Should I separate him from the 3 big turtles or is he sick? I do not see anything unusual about his appearance. < I would set him up in his own tank for awhile as a precaution. Male turtles are smaller than females so this just may be related to sex and not his overall heath. In a separate tank I would set him up and keep him there until his appetite picks up and he starts acting more normal. If he is a he, the front nails will be very long and the tail will be longer than the others.-Chuck> 

Female Bit Off Male's Claws?  Turtle Stuff I apologize I am just now getting back to you. The email you wrote inexplicably went into my junk mail box so unfortunately I just saw your response. Thanks so much for answering ALL of my questions. It is so kind of you to take time out of your day to help others.  I definitely try to take care of the turtles as best I can. (You should see how I care for my dogs!) The main reason I suspected it was her who caused the wounds was due to the simple fact he was really hot on her tail at that time and sometimes she gets really pissed and snaps at him. I did think it might have been too suspect t hat it happened on both claws though. I picked up some RidRot drops and Sulfa baths to treat him with he seems to be healing well (but of course I still would love to know what happened to him). I have been watching them closer to be sure it doesn't get worse. I am positive it was not caught on anything since their recent tank set up is stripped down and there is actual wounds where several of the claws are missing so a trim is probably out of the question too. But again I learn everyday so I wouldn't surprised if it was something I never considered. I have raised their temps. I don't plan to hibernate them. I have never done so in the past. If it is something you recommend please let me know. I will check out the site you mentioned. Wiggle Puppy is just my company's name. Named after my first dog, Bootsy, who would do what we called the wiggle puppy when he was happy to see us (paws down and butt in the air while shaking his tail). We do film and video work (some features but lately mostly band/concert films). Our last bigger release was a rockumentary for the band Phish entitled IT.  Thanks again for the advice. Let me know if you ever need any multimedia work! < Make sure that you try and keep the water clean so the wounds don't get infected.  Once again a warm dry area to bask is essential for their health.-Chuck>

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