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FAQs About Red Ear Slider (RES) Turtle Disease/Health 11

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, AmphibiansRed Eared Slider CareShell Rot in Turtles,

FAQs on RES Health:  RES Disease, RES Disease/Health 2, RES Disease 3, RES Health 4, RES Health 5, RES Health 6, RES Health 7, RES Health 8, RES Health 9, RES Health 10, RES Health 12, RES Health 13, & 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,


My Red Ear Slider; Am I worrying too much?       8/16/13
Hi, I'm Keyonna
<Hiya - I'm Darrel>
I've had my Red Ear Slider, Rye, for about a year and a half. He was very sweet when we got him, but now he's grumpy and mean like an old man.
<So am I. Although in my case I have a pretty good excuse - I *AM* a grumpy old man!>
The reason I'm writing to you is that, even though I've searched your site and others, I'm only finding general answers to my questions and those answers just won't do anymore. So, let me start from the beginning:
<OK - I'm ready!>
When we first got Rye, he was perfectly healthy. My mom had owned turtles before (4 of them, according to her) so I was counting on her "expertise".
Well, there wasn't any. It really didn't help that Rye was an impulse buy. So, on top of not knowing what we were doing, we weren't prepared for the responsibility of a turtle. We didn't get him a filter, a basking light, or even a basking dock. He had a rock and some water. So, needless to say, within the first 3 months of having him, his eyes swelled shut. And, what's worse, I didn't notice until a little over a month had passed. So, we're already off to a bad start. Fortunately, we did extensive research and found that Rye had all the signs of being calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D deficient. And also fortunately, we found an at home solution that wouldn't harm Rye, even if it didn't help him. Daily, we gave him a drop of cod liver oil on each eye and a drop of vitamin A oil in his mouth and we put him in a small square bowl that had previously belonged to one of my most beloved pets, my beta fish, Rico (he's in a better place now). I know this is long, but please, bear with me. Rye (still unable to see) now had a basking lamp and we fed him mainly oranges; not because we didn't know what his diet should be, but because that was the only thing he would eat. He had enough water in there so that he didn't overheat and one day BOOM! He opens his eyes! (In real time, it was about a week and a half).
<Great to hear>
So, fast forward and I start to notice a few things: Rye's shell is curving upwards around the edges and the scutes (is that a word?<yep>) sections of his shell are a bit . . . lumpy. Again, I researched and found that the curving of the shell could be Metabolic Bone Disease (is that a correct diagnosis?) and that it often begins early on if they don't have a basking
lamp which, at one time, Rye did not. I read that the disease could be stopped if I got him a UVB lamp, which I need to buy. He has a heat lamp. I also read that the lumpiness of Rye's scutes is what's known as pyramiding.
It's not bad . . . well, I guess any kind of pyramiding is bad. But, I can't reverse it, so I have to work with it.
<I'll get into that a bit later.  Please continue>
Another thing is, when I pick him up, he is not at all sociable. If I try to tickle the back end of his shell, he snaps at me -- and he's caught me twice already. I've checked his shell over and there are no soft spots, no white spots, no sort of indication that there might be a fungal or bacterial infection. Is it at all possible that Rye was simply traumatized by his first sickness?
<Probably a more simple explanation>
About every 2 weeks, I go over Rye's shell with a soft tooth brush and some water. Is there a special solution I'm supposed to be using? Do I need to do this more frequently? Also, if Rye's shell curving p around the edges is MBD,  after I've gotten him a UVB, how will I be able to tell if MBD is no longer affecting him? I've recently introduced live protein (minnows) and
he loved it. He snubs the leafy greens, though; I've tried everything from Anacharis to duckweed to romaine lettuce. I'm at a loss. I read somewhere that younger RESs are more carnivorous than the older ones, but this is just ridiculous! Is there any way to get him to eat his greens? I put a Marimo moss ball in his tank, too. I read that it helps keep algae away,
but it seems to have given his water a green tint . . . . Will that go away?  I can't tell if I'm worrying too much or not.
<No - you're worrying exactly the right amount>
Sigh. I love my turtle, but he worries me more than my dogs and rabbit does. Anyways, thanks so much for reading this! It would be excellent if you'd reply, though!
<First, you have experienced first hand what it's like to be unprepared and to make an impulse purchase of a live animal.  The problem is that RYE has also suffered from the pitfalls of an impulse purchase.  Still, all things considered, most people who make impulse purchases don't notice their errors until it's too late, so really - congratulations on seeing the error of your ways before Rye became terminal!>
<Now let's start at the beginning.   Rye's behavior is not that unusual for an adult male, which is what you have.  He may have been traumatized by all the past treatments but what's more likely is that as a little guy he was intimidated by his surroundings so remained quiet.  It's likely that now that he feels grown up and not afraid, he's asserting himself.  Make sure that, when you handle him, you move him slowly, don't turn him sideways or upside down and that you keep your fingers away from his head.  If you interact with him slowly and calmly, he may settle down and do the same to you>
<Now the shell.  The conditions of the shell don't appear to be primary MBD as much a signs of an overly fed turtle.   It's normal that the edges of the shell curl a bit as they grow, but the curling and the pyramiding of the shell can be seen in turtles with bad nutrition and also TOO MUCH nutrition.   Surprisingly I see this all the time.  People who feed their turtles and tortoises a PERFECT diet - but simply feed them too much and too often - will see the pyramiding of the scutes almost as if the shell is growing faster than the rest of the animal so the shell grows inward and upward.   The solution is of course, proper nutrition.  For a Red Eared Slider or any water turtle it's either Repto-Min food sticks or Koi Pellets, which is the same as the Repto-min only much cheaper, but a COMPLETELY balanced food source.  I raise hatchling sliders that grow into full sized breeders on Kay-Tee brand Koi Pellets with an occasional (once or twice a month) earthworm as a treat.  Fish, amazingly, are not part of Rye's diet in the wild and aren't all that good for him -- except that the energy he expends trying to catch them is good for him.>
<Buy a small bag of Koi pellets, but don't feed Rye for 4 days.  He'll be good and hungry by then.  Float a very few pellets in front of him and give him the opportunity to feed.  If he does, great - if not, scoop out the pellets, skip a day and try again.  Trust me, it may be a test of wills to see which one of you will caved-in first, but he WILL eat the pellets eventually>
<For his treat, you can also try small pieces of beef or chicken liver. 
When I say small I mean no bigger than your pinky finger nail.   Place Rye in a shallow bowl of water (not over his head) give him a few minutes to settle down and stop trying to climb out, then drop the liver in.   If he's hungry he'll eat it quickly and you can give him a second small piece. 
It's a great source of minerals and vitamins, too.)>
<Rye does need a UV-B lamp.  Our friends at Zoo-Med make bulbs that are a combination of UV-b and heat lamps that fit in a conventional reflector bulb holder>
<Here is a link to all the stuff you need to know:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm now, if you read, understand and follow the guidelines in that article, you may never need THIS article, but scan it anyway
<Now, regarding the pictures, Rye is a handsome looking guy!>

RES     8/13/13
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have 7 Red Eared Sliders and they all live in the bathtub with adequate water and lighting.
<Sliders are colonial animals.  They're happy to live in groups and usually get along provided there is enough space for any two to get away from each other when tempers flare>
However, I noticed that on the tub there will be some red fluid like waste coming out from my turtles but the problem is I do not know which one is experiencing it and I'm wondering will it affect the other turtles living together?
<Two possible things: The first, most common and most forgotten is simply poop containing red dyes in whatever food they are eating.  The second is blood in the urine or stools.   If a close examination of each animal isn't possible, the usual test is to put one in a separate tub overnight and check to see if that turtle's private water is OK>
<In MOST cases the bleeding is due to a cut or bite that heals within a few days, but if the problem persists you should isolate each animal one at a time until you find the one in crisis and then treat accordingly.>
<As far as good or bad for the others, that isn't a primary concern.  Since they live together they are all exposed to each other's pathogens so it's only a question of water quality>
My other question is that when I'm washing my turtles I would notice that inside the their legs and arms contain some orange pimple like skins and I'm wondering are they bad ?
<I'd like to see a picture, if possible.  There is a virus that causes benign cyst-like bumps on the limbs but the orange color is not familiar to me>

Hi Darrel - Turtle in trouble. RES hlth.    7/11/13
Hi Darrel,
How are you doing? I have “run” to you for help before for my turtles and your advice has always been spot on. I thank you ever so much for that.
<Proving that even a broken clock is right twice a day!>
I have a friend who is not net savvy at all but she has a baby red eared slider who is about 3 inches and a smidgen over a year old. Her turtle has not eaten since over 10 days, and both eyes are swollen and shut. The eyelids are a normal color, no reddish tinge to them, no sliminess. When she brought him to me I checked him out and put him in the tank to check for listing.
a) He is listing to the right though not alarmingly, but definitely listing.
<Not something I'd care about right now>
b) Quite energetic. Didn’t touch the food (I am assuming because he is unable to see and my tank is quite large 4ftx2ftx2ft so basically he was just enjoying swimming and bumping into the tank, no noticeable bubbles from the nose.
<Right - because he has a vitamin deficiency and not a respiratory condition>

c) He cannot see at all because his eyes are totally shut. I am attaching a pic closest to what his eyes look like, that I got off the internet because I forgot to take a pic to mail you.
After going through your site I suggested to her:
1) Keep him warm and dry. His tank clean and filtered.
<The first being a treatment for the time being - and the latter being good hygiene>
2) Beef liver is not an option, however since the site suggested cod liver oil, I suggested the same. Freeze dried shrimp ok to try and feed? My guys love freeze dried shrimp, though its given as a treat every 10-12 days.
<Chicken liver or fish liver would be good.  Dipping the food in Cod Liver Oil would be OK as well, just not as effective - so would take longer to help him>
<Neither of which matters it he's not eating>
3) 15-20 min.s in distilled water, twice a day for feeding. The water level not to be higher than the plastron. Basically enough to get his feet wet.
<Doesn't have to be distilled water - any "clean" water will do.  And what we don't want is water deep enough that a sick turtle could drown.  As long as he's active and has a sense for where he is, the water could be a bit deeper.  The shallow water is for a turtle so weak that we fear it could drown if we just set it in water over its nose.>
4) Mutlivitamin drops once every 3 days. 2-3 drops.
<The turtle has a vitamin A deficiency.  If we could get his mouth open I'd give him 3 drops twice EVERY day to try to get the vitamins in his system as fast as possible>
5) We are in the middle of the monsoons and getting the little guy any sun is quite difficult, though I have mentioned that if possible whenever the sun is out to keep him in the sun for at least 30 min.s if not more. As an alternative I have suggested bulb heat and he seems to enjoy it.
<Heat is good.  UV-B is also necessary -- but as you have already correctly guessed, this is not his immediate problem>
Basically have recommended this much, and after 3 days if there is no change then a trip to the vet. Is there anything else I can do or have missed out? Please advice.
<You're doing very well, Pa - your friend is lucky to have you.   If she can afford a trip to the vet, a multi-vitamin shot containing A, D and Calcium would give him and instant boost.>
<Failing that, you can TRY some liquid drops on his eyes.  It's a very poor way to deliver the vitamins, but unless you can get him mouth open it's worth a try>
I thank you for taking the time.
<Thank you for helping out Pa - we appreciate it!>

Re: Hi Darrel - Turtle in trouble   7/11/13
Thank you :) My babies say Hi to you

res strange behavior, feeders...   6/19/2013
I recently feed my six year old female res feeder fish. After I put them in the tank I left for an hour. When I came back my res was swimming in circles, not moving its head up or down. It was dragging it along the ground. I placed on the basking dock and it just sits there lethargic with its head laid out and eyes closed when I touch its legs it flinches, but when I touch its head it does not  move. Any thoughts? Thanks
<Thoughts? Yes, along the lines of "why on Earth were you feeding your turtle feeder fish"?! Let's be clear, feeder fish are parasite time bombs, and furthermore, since your turtle species is more or less a herbivore as an adult, you should be paying more attention to green foods if you want to offer it something different to dried turtle food-sticks. In any case, assuming it's not behaving normally now, you need to rush this turtle to your nearest vet for a check-up. The sorts of diseases that come from feeder fish aren't ones that get better by themselves. There's also the risk of a bone stuck in its throat, which again, isn't something you could fix. Regards, Neale.>

RES problem     6/8/13
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have a baby Red Eared Slider, maybe 2 inches long. For the last couple of days, I noticed that the orange (reddish) spot on his right side has kind of  disappeared left side is nice and bright orange still) and the back of his neck to the right side has a fold over skin almost. I don't know what to call it, it is not a lump to me cuz it is like kind of longish, not like a round lump. It's right where his neck goes in his shell. It looks like skin gathered and made a hill-y shape on his neck. I am very scared for him, he still swims and eats, etc. Please get back to me.
<Melis, I'm not able to visualize what you are talking about, but I will first tell you this.  As long as he is alert, active, swimming, basking and eating - things usually work out.   Would it be possible for you to take a picture, even with a cell phone camera, of the areas of concern?   An orange-reddish spot that disappeared sound like a simple stain - maybe from
a brick or log that he basks on or swims near?>
Thank you so much in advance!

Red Eared Slider     6/8/13
<Hiya  - Darrel here>
I have had a red eared slider for about a year now. I change his water out periodically, and he has a filtration system. Until I read this article, I didn't know I was supposed to remove excess food. (By the way, why does he eat so little sometimes, and so much others?)
<A variety of factors, but that's completely normal>
The other day I emptied his tank completely out, cleaned his rocks, replaced the filters, and washed the tank. After a few days he was scarcely moving. I put him in the basking area because I thought he wasn't able to climb up to it anymore. He didn't move an inch from the spot I put him for several days. Yesterday I noticed that there were small black worms in his water, and his eyes were swollen shut. I got him some eye ointment and his eyes opened up, and I removed him from the tank. Today I got rid of everything in his tank, bleached the glass and rinsed it thoroughly. Now all that's in there is a small amount of water (enough to soak his belly) and an upside-down plate to facilitate a dry area. This is only a temporary set up until I get a new system, I don't want to use the old one.
<That's enough for now.  Almost everything we put in their tanks is for our visual pleasure, not theirs>
Anyway, I put him in the tank with the small amount of water and he began to move around (I was so excited!) but I noticed it was much slower than when I got him a year ago. He seemed like he was even struggling to move. Then I noticed that he was making forward progress only using his front legs, and his back legs dragged behind him. I need to know if these worms got him some kind of disease that will disable him or something of the sort. I am very worried.
<The eyes being swollen is usually a sign of a vitamin deficiency and the dragging of the hind legs can be as well.  The good news is … if it IS a dietary problem, when you correct the diet, the problems will slowly disappear!>
<Please read here about all his basic needs, especially on diet.  You'll notice that he doesn't need a LOT to be healthy… but he does need EVERYTHING mentioned.>
<Yer welcome>

Help for sick turtle      5/10/13
Dear Crew,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
We got 4 Red ear turtles kids of around 3 months old. Earlier 2 were not looking normal so we got guidance from VET & gave booster shots then all was fine. But after another 3 months 1 kid stopped food for almost now 15 days. Gone pale & just every 15 mints makes click sound & heads up to yawn like. He always bask under UV & remain away from water.
Please guide at the earliest, We are very much worried.  Other 3 are fine & well grownup.
<Yes it sounds like the little one needs some help.   He probably has a respiratory infection and should be seen by a veterinarian and likely a course of antibiotic treatments.>
<Please read here about treating at home:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm  >
We change water 3 times a day & feed 2 times a day & bask UV 15 hours a day.

Red Eared Slider, hlth.      5/7/13
Hello there, Crew!
<Hiya!  Darrel here>
I have a few questions about a Red Eared Slider I got for my daughter about 3 weeks ago.  She is roughly 4 inches, in a 30 gallon tank for the moment, and getting moved to a 75 gallon tank as soon as the table I ordered for the tank comes in next week.  She has river rocks on the bottom, a floating basking dock, and a basking log.  I have both a heat/VitA bulb and a VitB bulb in Zilla 8.5inch domes for her.
<I'm not sure what bulbs those are, so I'm guessing you mean any time of heat emitting incandescent bulb and a specific UV-B bulb as well>
She has a Fluval U4 filter and we do a 50-75% water change once a week and 100% water change the other day the tank gets cleaned.
<That's more than she needs - but it sure is clean.   Just make sure you don't burn yourself out with chores.>
She is also taken outside for real sunshine when the sunny South Carolina weather permits for short periods.
<A word to the wise here.  Turtles are slow and ponderous creatures … until we let them out of our sight for over 10 seconds.  Then they seem to sprint, jump and fly.   Seriously, they can be extraordinarily fast when they want to be -- and they are remarkable fence climbers!>
She feeds mostly on the ReptoMin floating sticks or the All Living Things floating sticks, with the occasional dried shrimp, romaine, tuna, or dandelions.  I have a few aquatic plants in her tank with her that I can't remember the name of right now, but she thoroughly enjoys playing in them and making a mess with them.  She is just as active as ever, her eyes are bright and wide open, and doesn't eat much, but eats as much as when we brought her home so her appetite has not changed. Now that I think you have all the background info and the specifics, here are my concerns:
Roughly a week ago the skin on the top of her head and neck turned a very light pink color.  The skin there seems to be getting darker, but the skin also appears to be a different texture now.  The color has also not returned completely to normal and poor Lily, the RES, doesn't have red ears!
<The skin on her head looks pretty normal -- their skin color darkens as they get older.  The only thing from the texture is that she looks a little sun-burned.   Back up the heat lamp a few inches perhaps?>
I have also noticed a spot on her shell that has flaked off and appears white underneath.  The spot is not soft and has no odor to it, but does not seem to be in a logical place for her to begin shedding her scutes (sp?).
<That looks almost like mechanical damage -- meaning that she chipped or scraped it on something.  Is that possible?   In any case, it's not to worry as long as it's the one small area.>
Am I doing something wrong?
<It doesn't seem like anything is wrong>
Is this a simple, easy fix or do I need to get her to the vet pronto? 
<No vet at this point.  As long as she hauls out to bask long enough for her shell to get completely DRY from time to time, I wouldn't worry about the damaged scute -- let's just watch to see that it doesn't spread.>
I've attached pictures, and please let me know if you need any additional information!  I appreciate any and all help!
<Sarah - I think you're being a great turtle mom.  Lily looks healthy (AND BIG!) in the pictures, her coloration is right about what I'd expect for someone her size … so as long as the skin changes and the shell damage don't spread and as long as she's bright, active and eating, my best advice is keep doing what you're doing and just worry a little less!>

Red Eared Slider won't eat, doesn't stick out tail     5/3/13
<Hi Emily! Sue here with you.>
I have a couple of questions regarding my Red-Eared Slider. After checking your website (and multiple other websites) for the answers and not finding any, I decided to email you for help.
<We’ll do our best!>
1. I have never seen my turtle eat at all in the 6 months I have had him. He seems healthy (swims around and acts all turtle-y), but he doesn't seem to eat at all.
<That’s a positive sign that he appears active, but it’s very unusual for a turtle to go that long without eating unless they live outdoors in a 4 season climate and hibernate in the winter.>
I have placed the pellets in his tank and left, then came back later and counted the pellets to see if he had eaten any (did this multiple times over the last 6 months), and each time all the pellets were still there. Is he anorexic or something? Is there anything I can do to encourage him to eat?
<Will need more information from you; see below.>
2. He never sticks his tail out, ever. I saw a bunch of sliders at the zoo and the all had their tails out, and my brother's turtle also sticks her tail out, but my turtle never sticks his out! Is my turtle just a nerdy, introverted turtle, or does he have some kind of strange problem? Do you have any suggestions or explanations regarding my turtle's behavior?
<The only time I’ve seen turtles tuck in their tails is when they’re afraid or uncomfortable in their surroundings. I’d like to get more detailed information from you about his habitat.>
Additional information:
My turtle is about 6 inches long (just his shell, not including his head or the tail he never sticks out). He is kept in a large Sterilite tub outdoors, and there is plenty of sunshine. I feed him regularly (even though he doesn't eat) with turtle pellets from PetSmart. His name is Jason Whittaker.
<Emily – Without knowing more detail, my guess is that his lack of appetite and strange behavior is more than likely due to a problem in his habitat.  Here are some of my initial thoughts based on what you’ve written so far:
Ÿ   1st, I would NOT keep him outside in any sort of plastic or glass enclosure. These types of enclosures are especially susceptible to large temperature swings and can easily overheat if put in the sun. You don’t want to risk cooking him!
Ÿ   Also this kind of an outdoor set-up makes him vulnerable to a predator attack.  This could be why he’s exhibiting what appears to me to be very nervous behavior with his tail tucked in his shell.
Ÿ   Next, are you in a 4 season climate where it gets cold in the winter?  If so, did you keep him outside over the winter?  If you did, the reason he didn’t eat was because when temperatures drop in the fall/winter, turtles go into brumation, a period similar to hibernation in animals when their metabolism slows down to the point where they stop eating until the weather warms up again.
Ÿ   If you want to keep him in a Sterilite bin vs. a glass tank that’s fine, but you should be keeping it/him INDOORS, not outdoors.  Also given his size, you want to make sure it’s large enough for him (in particular the surface area). Turtles enjoy having a lot of room to swim around.
Ÿ   You didn’t mention what you have inside his enclosure. Is there just water inside, or is there also a dry basking area that he can haul out onto?  Sliders need an environment that’s part land, part water.  The water should be kept COOL (around 68-70 degrees F) and “the land” (or basking area) should be WARM and DRY (around 88-90 degrees F).  Besides the heat lamp, you will also need to provide him with a basking light that specifically has UVB (if the bulb says only “basking” it’s likely NOT a UVB bulb).
Ÿ   Lastly, I'm also going to give you this link to our basic care guide to read over:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
<Compare what you’re doing to what I’ve said above and what’s in this article, and make whatever necessary changes in his habitat – hopefully that will be enough to do the trick and you’ll start seeing him eating and behaving more normally. Make sure you also read about filtration and water changes as you didn’t mention this either in your note. I’d also suggest reading the section on Diet to make sure you have that covered appropriately as well.>
Thanks in advance for your help,
<You’re welcome, Emily. Write us back if you have any questions about any of this, or if you’d like to provide more information about his habitat, we’ll see if we can help you even further! >
Emily L. Gullion
Freaked-Out Owner of Jason Whittaker
<Sue, Frazzed-Out Mom-n-Chief of a 6 and 11 year old (humans)!>

RES with pulmonary scarring     3/17/13
To the wonderful people at WetWebMedia,
<Of which there are many!  Unfortunately you got ME instead - Darrel>
I wrote to you last year concerning my Red Eared Slider, who had a respiratory infection. You gave me some great advice, and I’m hoping you can do your best with my current (or rather ongoing) issue.
<Well, given the law of large numbers, I was liable to give some great advice eventually>
To summarize as best as possible, my turtle had an RI. I believe you had consulted me to dry dock her and see the vet (I can find the original email and your reply if it helps, but her situation is quite different now). My turtle was on Ceftazidime (injections) for a few weeks, and after that didn’t help, she was put on Baytril (oral). During this time, she had an ‘incident’... I basically put her back in the water too early and didn’t give her an adequate platform for her to rest (it was entirely my stupid fault, and I feel horrible for this). Overnight, she essentially ‘drowned’ as a result... the next day she was bleeding from her mouth. Emergency trip to the vet, tests, and 1one C-scan later, we were unable to find what exactly had caused the bleeding (the vet assumes that some sort of pulmonary scarring had occurred), but the good news was that she was ok (as well as could be). Her treatment was to remain on the Baytril (for what ended up being a good couple of months), go back to being dry docked, and make sure her ambient and basking temperatures were adequate, etc.
<Yes, something people often overlook is that infections that run a 24 hour course for beings at 98.6(f) can take months to cycle at even 80 degrees.   When it comes to treatment in reptiles, longer is always better>
After a few months (as this had happened late last summer), I took her back to the vet. Seeing as how her condition hadn’t changed much (will explain her ‘symptoms’ below), the vet decided it would be best to ‘induce’ a brumation period by reducing her ambient temperature to 20 (Celsius) and giving her lots of rest (baths once every 2-3 days instead of daily). Our hope was that she’d maybe ‘come out of her shell’ (haha) once she came out of brumation in the spring. It is now April, however, and she’s neither showing signs of improvement, nor showing signs of activity for the spring. She hasn’t eaten since early December, and she shows no interest whenever I try offering her anything (and I really try to offer her a variety of foods). When I do bathe her,
she doesn’t eat (her weight is surprisingly stable, however)
she doesn’t move around much (mostly just ‘falls back asleep’)
she occasionally shakes her head
she occasionally sneezes (1 sneeze every 2-3 baths)
she very occasionally still gets ‘gurgly’ (mucous-filled breathing with some mucous from nostrils)... this has happened 2-3 times since December, the last time being about a month ago. It always goes away after a few days.
She is obviously still uncomfortable being in the water, and I assume her pulmonary scarring is still a big factor. I’m wondering if you could offer any advice... on anything.
<I'm forming some ideas>
I’d love to encourage her to start feeling good being in the water again. The water level of her baths is just above plastron height, and I don’t know if I should (very) gradually start increasing the height, or if that would just further stress her.
<yeah - don't do that>
Also, any way I could encourage her to come out of brumation? I’ve thus far started turning on her basking lamp (though it’s not yet at basking temperature) and UV light during the day, but she never comes out of her covered area. Should I remove the sheltered area, maybe?
Finally, I assume she’ll start eating (hopefully) when her temperature increases, but are there any other tricks I could use to get her interested in food?
<Hmmm - I don’t think this is the time from tricking her>
<What I'd like to do is place her in a modified habitat.  Imagine a regular tank (dry) with the basking light at one end, the UV-B light pretty much evenly spread and a small pool of water at the other.  By pool I mean something like the lid of a plastic shoe box upside down at one end.   Floor covering can be as simple as newspaper.   Now put a heating pad set on "low" underneath this whole thing.   Starting with the basking light on around 1 hour a day and the UV on for 12 or more and the heating pad 24 hours … her metabolism will react within 2 or 3 days.   At first you won't necessarily see signs of movement, but you should see signs of alertness.  At this point 'bathing' will be nothing more that picking her up just a tiny bit and moving her to the water tray, but no real soaking or scrubbing or feeding.  Our first hope is that she can be active enough to climb out of the water tray on her own.>
<What I'm getting at here is for her to have a warm, no-stress, no-challenges environment in which she'll come up to a constant temperature and adjust.   Only AFTER we see the alertness and the intention (or attempt) to move around do we add more basking light and reduce the heating pad until finally she has a "normal" environment where she can actively seek warm and cool.>
<If there is no improvement then I'd like to take her to the vet one more time for an injection of calcium Gluconate and one of vitamins A & D -- BUT … I only want to do this if there's no improvement over a week or two.  The stress of more handling and more movement is exactly what she doesn't need.  My concern, and I'm sure you've thought this yourself, is that she's been through a lot, many different treatments, handlings and situations and the normal resilience we see in these animals doesn't seem to be showing>
<Finally, put the dreams of fresh, deep water away for a while (6-8 months at minimum) until and IF you see enough improvement in her activity that screams out for deep water activities.  Even then we're going to need a shallow "beach-type" entry and not a "climb out on rocks" setup>
I guess that’s about it. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated (and yes, I know I can show my appreciation using the ‘donate’ button...hehe... and I promise I will. I think the advice you guys give is thorough and pertinent, and you help a lot of peeps out and that’s awesome.) I thought I’d write to you guys before contacting my vet... just in case you might bring something new to the table.
<Well, I think we've covered it for now.  Thanks for all your kind words!>
Thanks. So much.

bump on red slider's tail    4/13/13
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have searched your site and cannot find a question similar to mine, and I am in great need of your guidance for our turtle.  We have had a red slider female for 4 years.  She lives in a 40 gallon tank that is cleaned weekly and has a filter that runs 12 hours per day on a timer with the lights and water heater.  The water is about 73-75 degrees and the basking area is about 88 degrees.  In the basking area, she has a ReptiSun 10.0 UVB light (on top of a screen about a foot from her basking place) and a Zoo Med Blue 60 watt daylight bulb for UVA and warmth.  She is fed 4x a week - green and red lettuce, 1 freeze dried cricket, and 5 ReptoMin sticks, and the occasional bit of turtle bone.  She has been on this regimen for 4 months.  She had been gaining some weight, so I did a lot of reading to optimize her diet and environment.  Before that, she ate romaine lettuce almost daily and each month she would get a few days of 3-4 live
crickets.  Also, her lighting used to be a ReptiSun 5.0 UVB that was further away from her basking place, which was not as large.  Now, she has a large platform and she loves to spend time in her basking spot!  She has shed a lot fewer pieces of her shell since upgrading, and is currently shedding skin on her hind legs and tail.
<The environment is PERFECT!!!   Give yourself a pat on the back for that.>
<The diet … not so much.  Turtles would never eat crickets in the wild.  Red & Green lettuce are OK, but not nutritionally valuable.  And the turtle bone seems creepy in a cannibal sort of way.>
<May I suggest that you improve her diet and simplify your life?  Feed her Koi Pellets 4x a week (all she can eat in 5 minutes) and an earthworm or two once a month.   Repto-Min is fine by the way - exactly the same formulation as Kay-Tee Koi pellets - just 4x more expensive.>
I noticed yesterday that her tail has a bump.  It is the same color as her skin.  The tip of the tail seems a little off color - a bit brownish - and a little withered.  I called the vet and they felt that it wasn't an emergency since her appetite and activity level is normal.
<I agree>
What could it be?  Is she getting sunburn from the stronger UVB lighting?
<I doubt it>
Or could it possibly be something to do with egg laying?
<Unlikely - that's all internal until laying time>
I really hope she doesn't have an infection or tumor.
<It sounds like a cyst.  It's common in the Slider family and usually benign>
She doesn't like to be handled so I hate to take her to the vet and stress her out if it's something that will heal on its own or can be fixed with a change to her environment.
<Well - let's talk about stress, shall we?  Does she go to work every day to support you?  Does she pay taxes and shop for groceries, do laundry or have a teenaged son that wants to stretch his earlobes to the size of dinner plates?>
<I didn't think so!>
<Tell her to DEAL WITH IT -- and take her to the Vet & ask them to excise the cyst.  I'd recommend not getting a biopsy until the Vet really feels it necessary or you have a secondary income stream that the rest of us don't have.>
I have posted a couple of pictures of the bump in case that helps: 
<{yes you did.  Pretty turtle & cute puppy!}>
Thank you so very much for any help you can provide!
<The advice was worth twice what you paid for it!>

Red-Eared Slider skin condition   3/10/13
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have had a red eared slider for a few months. The turtle is at least 2 years old and only has a shell length of 2 1/2 inches.
<That's a fine size for that age.>
The last owners kept him in a very small critter keeper container and he did not have a proper diet or basking area. He is now in a 55 gallon tank with proper heat and basking area.
<Thank you!  I'm sure Shelldon (or whatever his name is) appreciates your efforts>
He shed about a month ago and soon after developed light brown spots on his belly which have now become more pinkish in hue. I took him to a vet today who said he should be ok as long as he doesn't start blistering, oozing or swelling. She normally deals with non exotics so I am afraid the diagnosis may be wrong I am not sure if I am being extra worried or if I have concern to be.
<Nope - please don't be worried.  That discoloration can come from a huge number of sources and almost all of them are unimportant.>
<Make sure he gets plenty of natural sunshine (unfiltered through glass or window screen) or has a UV-B bulb above his basking area.  Make sure his basking area is between 88-92 degrees and his water is clean, clear and unheated.  His diet should be Koi pellets or Repto-Min floating food sticks (which are the same as Koi pellets - just more expensive). Feed him all the pellets he can eat in 5 minutes … 4 times a week - then scoop the rest out.>
<If you have the time, take him outside for 15 or 20 minutes and let him have an actual walk in the grass and sunlight … but don't take your eyes off him for even a second! It's as if they can move extra-fast when no one is looking.>
Also, the vet did say to call back for antibiotics if I noticed any of the above mentioned symptoms.
<If the skin breaks or the shell material starts to decay, then yes we have a serious problem, but as long as he's alert, eating and active and he basks and swims all on his own, don't get worried>
<Here is an article about basic care - check your conditions against the article and make any corrections needed. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
<Glad to help>

Red Eared Sliders with pink bellies   3/10/13
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have spent the past few hours reading over your webpage and still have a few questions.
<I've been reading it for YEARS and I still have questions - fire away!>
I have three Red Eared Sliders that are a year old. My husband and I noticed tonight that all three of their bellies are suddenly pinkish in color and one has a sore on his leg (which I think is a bite, this is the smallest of the three).
I have double the amount of filtration on the tank and we change the water weekly. We have a UV light and a basking dock. They get pellets every three days and a mixed green salad mix on the other days.
<Sounds good - hope it's the "proper" UV light>
I am a bit concerned though because I read tonight on one site that spinach was not good for them, which is included in this mix.
<Spinach and Kale tend to bind calcium and can cause some kidney problems ---if they were given in HUGE volumes.  I mean HUGE amounts.  Other than that … no problem in the amounts these guys are getting>
I had read somewhere else that it was ok. They have only been getting this new mix for the past two weeks. Could this be the cause of the pink belly?
<Certain foods can cause skin discolorations, but it's not common.   Still - all things considered, what you should ask yourself is how much Spinach or greens mix would a Slider get in the wild?  I feed my sliders plain old, ordinary Koi pellets as a stable diet and then occasionally -- like once a month or 6 weeks -- I give them each an earthworm (night crawlers are usually available in box of a dozen at a pet or bait store.  Feed one to eat one and dump the rest in your garden or planter.>
All three of the turtles have great appetites and are very active.
<THAT is the most important indicator>
Tiny turtle is only swimming with the three legs, but other than that they seem ok. So I'm wondering how to treat the sore on the leg and what to do about the pink bellies? We are going tomorrow to buy another tank to split them up so they won't pick on tiny. Ay advice would be greatly appreciated.
<Amanda - read here about how to treat Tiny.  Dry-dock him for a week or two, keeping him away from the environment that encourages bacterial growth and give him a chance to catch up.   I'm not at all concerned about a small amount of discoloration on the bellies - especially when it's on all of them - could be a reaction to a food dye or (and this one is common) people make basking shelves out of red bricks and don't notice when some of the brick powder rubs off & onto the turtle.  THAT SAID … if you wanted to dry-dock ALL of them for a week or two, it can’t hurt them at all.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm >

Baby RES, burned     2/17/13
Hello, My son was recently given two RES and I have been taking care of them trying to do my best since I have grown to really care for them. But, I have made a mistake already and accidentally burn one with hot water when i had them in the skin I realize quickly and started to Google what I should do next. I've called to Exotic Pet Medical places but the cost is impossible for me to put up. So Im sending this Email... When she was burn her legs were stiff and a little red but after an hour or so she was moving around, the next day I noticed the blisters on both legs by the end of the day her left leg bubble was slightly gone but the right legs bubble is still there and big. She is still moving around fast. Please is there anything I could do to make it better. Also she has a couple white spot on her shell is there something for that also... Thanks
<Without recourse to antibiotics, there's a high risk of secondary infection. I would urge you to have this turtle looked at by a vet as soon as humanly possible. Do call around other vets. Animal welfare charities can help, too. But in any case, if the burn is "clean" it can heal nicely without problems. However, you must "dry dock" the turtle for a few days.
Allowing the turtle to swim will allow bacterial infections to start.
Provided they have access to drinking water, aquatic reptiles can be kept out of water for weeks at a time, and this allows the skin to dry out, preventing bacterial infections to a large degree. Do read here:
The section on "Dry Dock" and "Isolation" is the section you want to read.
After about a week to ten days it should be obvious if the skin is healing nicely or the turtle is still suffering (e.g., the skin remains red, is getting worse, or is starting to smell). Do also read here:

Baby RES
Hi Bob,
Saw this one already; but not sure how to reply on it. Hopefully Darrel, Neale have some experience, knowledge re- this and can respond.
~ Sue
<Thank you Sue. I don't know what to do either; than to ask for help.
Baby RES, hlth.      2/16/13

Hello, My son was recently given two RES and I have been taking care of them trying to do my best since I have grown to really care for them. But, I have made a mistake already and accidentally burn one with hot water when i had them in the skin I realize quickly and started to Google what I should do next. I've called to Exotic Pet Medical places but the cost is impossible for me to put up. So Im sending this Email... When she was burn her legs were stiff and a little red but after an hour or so she was moving around, the next day I noticed the blisters on both legs by the end of the day her left leg bubble was slightly gone but the right legs bubble is still there and big. She is still moving around fast. Please is there anything I could do to make it better. Also she has a couple white spot on her shell is there something for that also... Thanks
<Sorry for the delay in responding... We are waiting on our turtle folks here. In the meanwhile, please do read here:
and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turtshellrot.htm
Bob Fenner> 

Red Eared Slider questions   1/17/13
Dear Crew
<Hiya - Darrel here>
6 weeks ago my red eared slider, approximately 5 months old stopped eating and became lethargic, stretching his neck out and wheezing.  I went to my
local vet (I am in a rural setting and there are no vets who specialize in reptiles in 100 mile vicinity) and got a round of antibiotics. We were able to wait patiently for his head to pop out and open his mouth to get a drop in his mouth for 5 days; we noticed he was doing better, but then we were not able to get him to take his drop.  First setback. I finished off the antibiotic and we started another round. Then it became impossible to get him to take the drops again. So I asked the vet to add something sugary which he did. He has been taking these since Dec. 27th. On the New Year's Day, he slept in the water, ate food and swam around- not strongly, but he was doing better... For 6 days he did well and I continued his meds, then a second setback. Sleeping outside in the cool and not eating and wheezing. I finally found your sight and I have dry docked him with a warming pad under the container and a basking light, keeping my eye on the temperature. I do not have extra UVB lamps, but I can put it over his container for some time each day as he still has 2 siblings who do need it too, ( how often? ) and there is no way for him to get sun. It is 16 outside and snowy. So, how do I proceed?
<The sick one needs the UV lamp far more than the others, so take it from them and give it to him.  I'd run it a minimum of 18 hours a day>
Is there anything else I can do for him?
<If he's warm and dry, that's a good start.  If he eats at all, you can feed him small pieces of beef liver (very high in vitamins and iron and other good things).  Place him in a shallow bowl of luke warm water, just up to his shoulders, let him sit there for a few minutes to get accustomed, then see if he'll get interested in a very small piece of food.>
He is weak. And making sounds. No mucus yet.
<hmmm - can you tell me what anti-biotic you're using>
Thanks you, Dawn
Re: Red Eared Slider questions, hlth.  - 1/25/13

Thank you!
The antibiotic is tetracycline.
<Yes, that's fine>
He has not gotten much, if any, since I placed him into his new dry spot.
<Giving a turtle an oral medication is - to say the least, a challenge.  I usually use the tip of a syringe (not with a needle) to pry his mouth open.  It's not pretty>
He is not gasping for air, which I suppose is why I was able to give him the drop each day.  He sleeps underneath the towel most of the day, will that interfere with the UV lamp?
<Yes.  In that case, take the towel out.  The UV is important.>
When I pick him up to give him the drops he doesn't bother opening his eyes! I sit with him for 20 minutes hoping he will open his mouth!  I will buy some beef liver and see if he will eat it.
<shallow container of luke warm water.   Don't bother to feed him right away.   He'll initially just sit there and want to see what happens next … that's why the water is shallow, so it's not up to his eyes or nose.   Then when things settle down in his mind, he'll start to move around, swim or try to escape.   Wait until AFTER that, when he settles down a bit before giving him a small piece of liver>
So please advise me on how to proceed, gosh I really appreciate this!
<You're doing fine>

4-5 year old RES was in terrible conditions and won't eat at all    1/11/13
<Hi Jennifer; Sue here with you.>
I am seeking help for an RES that I have adopted for a friend. His roommate apparently had the RES for 4-5 years. Sadly, the roommate left on a long vacation and didn't arrange for anyone to care for his turtle.  When my friend discovered this, it had been over 6 weeks. The tank had no filter or heater, only a basking light on a timer and no auto feeder.  I have taken the RES since I had one years ago.
<That was so kind of you!>
I now have it in a 40 gallon breeder with a basking light and a UVB light, a standard filter system and a floating ramp.
The RES shows no visible signs that I can identify as eye infection, shell rot or fungus, but still won't eat. Unfed that whole time I thought it would be ravenous, but it won't eat at all from what I can see. The first week and a half I had it, it shed almost all its scutes, but the shell looks healthy from what I can see. 
<That’s a positive sign!>
All the RES does is hide under the float. I work long days so it might be basking then, but I don't see any evidence of this.  It also seems small for its age, only about the size of the palm of my hand.  Please help because I fear it will starve very soon!
<I understand your concern Jennifer, and it’s good that you thought to write us now because lack of appetite is usually one of the 1st signs they show when they’re either not feeling well, or something is “off”. >
<It’s not clear from your note how long he’s gone without food but unlike humans, turtles can actually go a long time without eating.  So the question we need to be asking right now is why he’s not basking – because it’s the HEAT AND UVB (along with hopefully feeling better now that he’s in a proper environment!) that will help jump start his appetite.  On that question, a couple of possibilities come to my mind in your case –
1) He needs to adjust to an entirely new environment and an entirely new owner -- Turtles are creatures of habit and even when you DO transform their home to one that’s much better, they will STILL freak out and need some time to adjust to it. That MAY be why you’re seeing him hiding right now.
2) The temperatures may be off – Check the temperature of the water and the temperature of the air directly under his heat and UVB lamps (hopefully you have both of these positioned right above his basking ramp). The trick is to give him enough of a variation between the two temperatures so that he’s motivated enough to get out of the water. What you want here is COOL water temperature (68-70 degrees F) and WARM dry basking temperature (88-90 degrees F). If he’s cozy comfortable in the water he won’t get out – and as you probably know, that’s bad for him. >
<If the temperatures are all fine and it’s been days, a week or more that he’s been hiding, then we go to “Plan B”. Take him out of the water and dry-dock him (still using the heat lamp and UVB) for a week or two and see if that helps get his appetite going. Read here under the section called “Immediate treatment - Isolation and Dry-dock” for instructions on how to go about doing that –
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm  >
<Give all this a try and hopefully it will do the trick!  Any other questions or concerns, let us know! ~ Sue>
Re: 4-5 year old RES was in terrible conditions and won't eat at all     1/13/13

Thank you so much for your advice. 
<You’re welcome.>
I tried the dry-dock suggestion but my turtle literally ran and clawed for 2 straight hours and I was afraid of stressing it out.
<That’s normal for her/him to do that, and yes it’s not ideal BUT – taking her out of the water to dry dock her (following the directions I sent you) is STILL the better of the two options right now given how long it’s been that she hasn’t eaten. She should eventually get used to it and settle down. But either way (whether she calms down or not), you should still dry-dock her nonetheless until her appetite comes back around.>
Based on your comment about the water temp, I did investigate this further too, which leads to my new question...
Could this be caused by the water being too cold? It looks like the water is about 62-65 degrees. I have a heater in the tank that is set for 75 but apparently it isn't keeping up.
<That’s on the cooler side and yes, likely diminishing her appetite.  But I think your more immediate problem is the fact that she hasn’t gotten out of the water AT ALL and for so long, as that can lead to illness, fungus, shell rot, etc.  So … while you’re working on correcting the temperatures in her aquarium, keep her out of the water and dry-docked. >
<As far as the temperatures, the important thing is to make sure there’s enough of a variance between the water and the basking temperatures so that when you do finally put her back into her aquarium, she’ll get out for a few hours every day to bask.  That’s why we recommend about a 20 degree variance – 68-70 for the water and 88-90 for the “land”. .>
Unfortunately, it is proving to be a very cold winter. Do you have recommendations for tank heaters? Or suggestions on how to insulate my tank better to not require so much heating?
<Maybe just turn up the heater you have to a higher setting. Or put allow part of the heat lamp to be above the water.  But again – be careful because you don’t want the water too warm. Normally we don’t tell people to bother at all with a heater and just leave the water at room temperature because room temperature for most people tends to be just in that 68-70 degree range. But if your water gets that cool then you may want to increase the water temperature A BIT higher.
 Also, in regards to your question, I've had the turtle now for 3 weeks and haven't seen noticeable eating or basking that whole time. I'm really getting worried for the poor guy!  Thanks!!
<You’re welcome Jennifer.  That's exactly why it's so important for you right now to dry-dock her, because of how long she’s been both in the water AND not eating.  You might want to also consider trying to offer her an earthworm when you put her in the water once a day to try and feed her. That might also help peak her interest in eating. We recommend giving them an earthworm or two now and then as a nutritious snack, and they typically love them. If you do give her an earthworm, dust it first with some powdered vitamins and calcium/Vit D before giving it to her.>
<However, if after a few days she still remains uninterested in food, and/or you start to see her exhibiting other symptoms, then you may want to consider a trip to the vet for some injectable vitamins. I hope this helps; let us know how it goes!  ~ Sue>

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

Cause of death? Baby RES   11/22/12
<Hi Lana! Sue here with you.>
I was wondering if you could give me some peace of mind. Last April a friend gave me a Baby RES (sold legally in my country... I think) as a present, I kept it in a big bowl with water for a while until I had saved enough money to buy a proper tank (about three months).
<Did he not have any heat lamp, UVB light, or warm, dry basking spot for 3 months?  If so, that was a very long time to go without them. All 3 are absolute “must-have's.”>

The tank I bought is maybe 20 gallons, longer than taller.
<That's a nice size. And yes, longer is better. Turtles appreciate the extra surface area for swimming.>
It had a nice castle-like basking spot and some gravel(I removed the tinier ones so she wouldn't eat them) I eventually bought a thermostat and a filter ( please consider I'm an unemployed teenager before you preach)
<I understand and realize you got him as a gift. If you think you might want to get another though, I’d hold off until you can afford to get everything you need. Except for my questions about the 1st 3 months, what you say you have here so far is good. You didn't mention the types of lights you have, basking temperature, and how often you change the water. These are important aspects of set-up and care also.>
<In particular with the lighting, turtles need BOTH a heat lamp and a UVB light placed directly above their basking spot. It’s also important to make sure that their basking temperature under the lights is around 31-32 C; or 88-90 F. They need both of these lights and this amount of heat in order to properly digest their food and absorb nutrients.>
I kept the water at 28C
<Equivalent to 82.4 F – too warm! Did he get out of the water and bask every day? Often when the water is this warm, they don’t get out to bask because mostly what drives them out of the water to bask is the need/desire to warm up.>
<You want the water on the cool side (only around 20 C or 68 F) – no matter whether the turtles are young or old. I know this may be contrary to what you may have seen on other sites, but they’re wrong! Turtles depend on their outside environment to regulate their internal functioning, so they need to be given a clear choice between cool water and warm dry land. >
as read in this site(excellent site, by the way)
<Thanks; glad to here!  However, I’m not sure where you might have seen a recommendation for water this warm on our site.  Darrel and I reply to mostly all the turtle queries and we always recommend cool water.>
and fed her pellets(again consider my age and unemployment) once a day, I used to do it twice a day but she started shedding and pyramiding so I changed it.
<Yes, those are signs of over-feeding. I’m glad you recognized that and changed it; less is more when it comes to feeding turtles.>
She never had any of the symptoms you describe here, no bubbles no swelling no nothing she was perfectly fine. I buried her a few hours ago, after some weeping.
<I’m so sorry, Lana. It’s such an awful feeling when we lose our beloved pets.>
In the morning she was sleeping in the castle thing, woke and ate, before I left she was swimming around quite contented so I already ruled out electrocution. My mom says she saw her spinning in a corner before swimming against the current of the filter (she enjoyed that) she assumed the poor thing had gone mad and left the room, later she went back in and found her upside down, freaked out and  turned her around.
<When your mom found her upside down, was her head under water? And if her whole body was in the water, was it too shallow for her to be able to turn over on her own? How deep was the water? >
When I got home, like three hours after that, she was still alive and just chilling in the water, I left to do stuff. Halfway through my stuff-doing I went to check on her just for the sake of it and found her in the same position, didn't think anything of it and left to continue my stuff. So my stuff is done and I go check on her again, still the same. Do I freak out too and start searching on the Internet how to know if a turtle is dead. All things matched: eyes open, extremities and head completely out of the shell, stillness, all that stuff. I of course was near hysterics by then, got the out of the water and poked her with a straw. Nothing. I poked her again and still nothing so I started stretching her legs to see if he responded but she didn't, I poked her eye, no movement, so i flipped her and a lot of water started outing out of her nose! So I waited until the water was all gone be tried to open her mouth to see if there was still more water there(it's really hard to open a turtle's mouth by the way) I was unsuccessful. So there was my tiny turtle all floppy and limp.
<I’m sure your heart sank as mine would have as well.>
I read somewhere I should try to warm her so I switched on her lamp and left he there for like half an hour or so and researched more meanwhile. So the turtle is still unmoving but totally dry and I am freaking out and stuff. I pronounced her dead after poking and shaking her for a while and trying to a listen for a heartbeat or breathing with a stethoscope. I buried her in the front yard. So, after all that, could you tell me what caused her death?
<It’s really hard for me to say for sure, Lana. One possibility is that she got enough water trapped in her lungs from the time she flipped over (assuming her head was in the water when your mom found her upside down) that it may have robbed her of enough oxygen that she eventually died.>
<It’s also possible that she had a longstanding, worsening, chronic systemic infection and just wasn’t showing any obvious outward signs yet. Turtles are also notoriously good at hiding their illness. This is one of their survival techniques in the wild. They don’t want predators to see them ill and vulnerable. Because of this, they often appear completely normal right up to the end when in reality, they’d been sick for months.>
<If she did die from illness rather than from drowning, it’s possible she might have started becoming ill in those first few months you had her in the large bowl. If turtles remain in water for extended periods of time with no access to dry heat or UVB, the food can rot in their stomach and eventually over time lead to a systemic infection. In fact, this is how almost all the “dime store” turtles died that were so popular back in the 1960’s. They were kept in bowls of water 24-7 and rarely lived more than just a few months.>
Or did I do something wrong?
<Without knowing the exact cause, it’s hard for me to say for sure. But what you wrote about her care and environment (both initially and now) raises enough questions in my mind that I can’t rule it out. >
<If you think she could have drowned, my questions would be related to whether the water was too shallow to allow her right herself if she flipped over by accident in the water; or whether there were any objects in the water that could have caused her to become trapped under the water for too long.>
<If drowning or injury didn’t cause her death, almost all turtle illnesses and deaths occur because of something amiss in their diet, environment, or care. In your case, it would be important to know how often she basked, more specifics about UVB lighting/heat/basking temperature; and water quality/water changes (in both the old and new set-ups). >
Thanks in advance.
<You’re welcome, Lana. Again I’m so sorry for your loss. The death of our pets is something we all dread. It’s good that you’re trying to figure out what may have happened, especially if you think you may get another turtle at some point in the future. Just in case you think you might, I’m also going to give you a link to our general care guide:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
<Compare your set-up and care to what’s in this article to make sure you have everything you need if/when you should decide to get another one. If you can’t afford any other necessary items right now, just hold off buying a turtle until you can get what you need. It’s no guarantee he’ll never get sick, but it will at least help tip the scales in your favor! I’m also going to pass thing along to Darrel on our crew to see if he has any additional insights that might help you. >
Lana O.
Hi Darrel - Just copying you in on my reply to Lana in case you want to email her with any other thoughts, insights on what could have caused her turtle to die.  ~ Sue
Re: Cause of death?    11/23/12

Hey Sue, thanks for replying so fast!
For the three initial months he had a heat lamp and a dry spot to bask, yes. I changed the water daily because I figured if I wouldn't like spending a lot of time in dirty water, neither would my turtle. With the bigger tank I changed the water once a week and managed to get an uv light from my sister's ex-boyfriend, it wasn't on all the time but I did make sure she got at least four hours of uv light everyday. And now I that I made a mistake when converting the temperature for the water, yes she got out everyday to bask and sometimes would sleep out of the water(it drove my mom nuts, she thought the turtle had died).
I assume she drowned because my mom found her in the shallow end of the tank, where I had made a sort of ramp with the gavel to the basking spot; the water there wasn't very deep maybe about an inch high. I also think it might be that she was sick long before, the conditions they are kept in the store wee my friend bought the turtle aren't ideal.
Thanks for your time.
<You’re welcome, Lana. Yes, unfortunately store conditions are often subpar and it’s true many turtles are already sick by the time you purchase them.  I’m also glad to see you provided your turtle with a heat lamp, dry basking spot and clean water. However, from what you said above, just a few things to caution you to put in place should you decide to get another turtle – >
<Make sure the basking heat is in the temperature range I mentioned earlier.>
<You didn’t mention UVB above, only UV. The bulb must be UVB specifically. Many store bought lamps that say “basking lamps” are not UVB and not meant for turtles but other reptiles. Turtles must have UVB specifically in addition to heat in order to properly process the nutrients from their food – otherwise they can and will become sick.>
<4 hours of artificial UVB light is not enough. It needs to be on for 12 hours a day.>
<Try to find a “floating dock” for basking if you can so you don’t need to worry about shallow water. Zoo Med makes a fairly sturdy one that uses suction cups and it comes in several sizes. Petmountain.com is a good source that sells supplies for less than you might find elsewhere. They also sell ReptiSun UVB strip lights. >
<If you don’t want to use a floating dock, you can alternatively place fake plants next to whatever “land” you’re using. Turtles can then use the plants to climb up to the land (they’re surprisingly good climbers!)>
Lana O.

Res Turtle Got Injected     – 11/19/12
Hi Darrel my name is Vyushti and I live in India.
<Hi Vyushti, Sue here. I saw your note to Darrel in his box and left it there for him to reply also, but figured I’d at least get some preliminary info to you since your turtle does appear to be so ill.>
We have kept 2 turtles for almost a year now. They live in a 24" by 9" terrarium which includes a glass shelf for them to bask on, a water  heater set at 28 C and a filter.
<Your water is WAY too warm! No need at all for a water heater. The water should only be 20-21 C, what is considered average room temperature for most. Because turtles rely on their outside environment to regulate their internal functions they need to be given a clear choice in temperatures between cool clean water, and a warm dry (31-32 C) area (that's also under UVB) to bask. But while he’s sick, he should be in NO water at all – see more about this below.>
We couldn't get a UVA/UVB light because in India people don't really keep turtles here so they don't sell these.
<Can you order a UVB light online?  That’s how I get mine. Turtles absolutely MUST have UVB to remain healthy.  They don’t require a lot, but UVB is one of the “must have” minimal requirements.  Depending on your climate you can alternatively take them outside into the sunlight for some time every day, but often people find this regimen hard to keep up with consistently. >
And we feed them Taiyo Turtle Food, 3 sticks in the morning and 2 at night.
<I'm not familiar with this brand; we recommend a good Koi pellet which you should be able to find there. Also no need to feed them every day, just once every couple of days for about 5 or so minutes is fine. You may also want to consider feeding them separately if you’re not already to make sure they both get an equal opportunity to feed.>
In the beginning they both were doing fine but now recently one has stopped eating and was becoming slow and lethargic. At first we thought it was because winters is on its way so he was trying to hibernate, but then suddenly he became swollen, as in the whitish skin inside the shell it started to bulge as if it wanted to come out and his eyes were swollen shut. Then again he was okay for a few days and suddenly he just stopped swimming. He only started floating. And for a few days he has also been opening his mouth a lot. When we checked the internet it said it was a respiratory infection.
<Could be, from what you've described so far. Will give you a link below that has more about this.>
So we took him to the vet that evening itself when we noticed it and over there he was just still, he didn't open his mouth even once so the vet said it was a vitamin A and E deficiency and he gave him an injection. It's been 5 days since the turtle has gotten injected and has not eaten for a month and there is no sign of improvement. By the way he is opening his mouth lesser but when I pick him up he does and we heard a squeaking noise once. Is the noise normal?
<Squeaking is not normal, but they will often make a hissing sound out of fear when they’re picked up. Do you think that's what it is, or is he making more of a squeaky sound?>
I don't even know the correct or normal behavior of a RES after getting injected, so I am really worried. I searched your entire site and Google but couldn't find anything. Please help me, because I don't want my turtle to die.
<Vyushti, if your turtle DOES in fact have a respiratory illness, you really do need to act now to address it. Turtles can decline very rapidly with this sort of illness. Regardless of what's making him ill, though, you should immediately remove him from your tank now and “Dry-Dock” him. He shouldn't be in water at all while he’s debilitated other than in very shallow water for a few minutes each day to drink, poop, eat (if he can), and to hydrate his skin (just keep an eye on his skin to make sure it doesn't  become overly dry). One thing with Dry-Dock though is that he must have not only warmth but also UVB. Here's a link (that Darrel actually wrote!) that tells you exactly how to go about doing this --
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm >
<Next, call your vet and set up an appointment for him to be seen again right away.  Describe the new symptoms you’re seeing and tell them you want them to rule out a respiratory infection and/or to administer an injectable antibiotic if it turns out he does have this or some other sort of infection going on. I'd also read and bring along the section in the same link above that discusses the symptoms of respiratory illness and what to do about it. Note – you’ll also see a link within this section to another article on respiratory illness. This article also has some great information; however the only thing I’d add is that instead of keeping your turtle in the tank while he’s sick, you should instead follow the “Dry-Dock” instructions in Darrel’s link above.>
<Darrel’s link above also talks about symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency (under “Swollen or closed eyes”, so would recommend you read through his entire article that covers all turtle illnesses. And here’s another very good article on Vitamin A deficiency specifically that was written by another one of crew members –
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turteyedisart.htm >
<Finally, I’d highly suggest you read over our basic care guide in the link below and make the necessary changes recommended in it while he’s out of the tank –
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks
<You're welcome Vyushti. I’m sure Darrel will have some added advice for you also, but I just wanted to get this information off to you in the meantime so you can start acting now. Feel free to write back if you need any clarifications on any of this!  Best of luck; I hope he starts to feel better soon! >
Re: Res Turtle Got Injected     11/20/12

Hi Sue! Thanks for replying! Just one or two things ok?
<No problem; that’s what we’re here for!>
The first thing is I am not too sure if I want to dry dock the sick turtle because it gets quite cold here in winters and the water is warm.
<He shouldn’t be cold at all if you follow Darrel’s instructions.  You absolutely DON’T want wet and warm; you want DRY and warm (see more about this below). You want to either use a heat lamp over the enclosure (refer to Darrel’s temperature recommendations) or a heating pad set to low and wrapped in a towel underneath him (preferably the cheaper made ones that don’t have the automatic 2 hour shut-off). Just be sure to add a UVB light (as I mentioned see if you can get one online ASAP). It will also obviously help if the enclosure is not on the floor and away from any doors and windows.>
The second thing is that on a few websites I found that he does have respiratory information infection, and those websites even said that we should increase the water temperature to 32-35 C.
<It’s half right - Heat YES, water NO! And absolutely NEVER water that hot under ANY circumstances!! >
<Raising water temperature is an older, outdated recommendation – and a dangerous one at that. WARM and WET is the absolute WORSE environment for a sick turtle!  That’s because that happens to be the EXACT kind of environment that pathogens (harmful microorganisms) THRIVE in -- and they won’t hesitate to seize that opportunity to take advantage of a debilitated turtle.  This is actually mentioned in Darrel’s 1st sentence in the “Isolation and Dry-Dock” section of his article in the link I sent you.  Warm, dry heat helps give a turtle’s immune system a bit of an added boost while at the same time helping to inhibit the spread of pathogens. Also, when turtles are already feeling run down and/or having difficulty swimming, being in the water only creates additional and unnecessary stress for them that impedes their ability to recover. >
<So the net-net … warm and DRY is what he needs! Get him out of the water now and follow Darrel’s instructions for Dry-Docking … and … ignore the other websites! Seriously. Most of them only copy information they see in other links and are often written by people who have never personally raised turtles. Darrel has raised turtles almost his entire life.  His “Warm & Dry” recommendation is based on many years of actual hands on experience. The top vets in my area I’ve spoken with also concur with this approach. And I’ve also personally used this method successfully with rescue turtles I’ve rehabilitated, as I know many other people who have written us have too.  So I don’t hesitate for a minute to recommend it to you as well!  Giving your turtle’s body a chance to rest and recuperate on warm dry “land” is the best thing you can do for him short of getting him the medicine he likely needs. In fact, even if he wasn’t sick, warm and dry won’t hurt at all, and can only help!>
Third thing is we put a little homeopathy medicine in the water, and immediately after that he moved a bit but stopped.
<If he does have an infection which seems likely based on what you’ve written, antibiotics are the only way to go. He should be seen again by a vet.>
And the final thing is, what his Baytril dose be? I am not too sure if the vet knows all that because they are not knowledgeable about turtles here (the water temperature to be kept at 28 C was told by him) and I don't want an overdose.
<The dose is based on weight. Your vet would have to weigh him. I’d consult with him first and get his thoughts. If you’re still not comfortable after speaking with him, write back (with his weight) and I’ll look into the dosage question further for you.>
<Also, not sure where you are in India, but here are some vet links I gave someone else in India a ways back. You should, of course, find out more information about each of them before deciding whether or not you want to use any of them -
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?q=cache:xG1LkFfPL94J:www.vteams.org/associates.html+turtle+veterinarians+mumbai+india&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
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 still no luck from this list, you can also try asking your local *regular* veterinarians 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. >
Thanks again! And I love your site!
<You’re welcome! I’m glad you’re finding it useful. Try out our recommendations (dry-docking, UVB and vet consult/antibiotics) and see if that helps. Keep us posted and good luck; I hope he starts coming around soon! ~ Sue>
Re: Res Turtle Got Injected  11/21/12

Hi! Sorry to bother you, Vyushti again!
<No bother at all! :) >
I just thought to revert to you what the vet said and my turtle’s reaction to the medicine. So basically this time when I went I told him about your website and what you thought and even he thought it was correct so he gave me an antibiotic which is called Bayrocin which is also an Enrofloxacin.
<That's fine; it's the generic for Baytril.>
He gave me tablets which are 150 mg and told me to give a quarter of a tablet and then dissolve it in 1 ml water, then to give the turtle 3-4 drops of the water because in the injection the dose would be 0.01 mg which is sort of hard to give.
<The injectable form of Baytril can also be corrosive to the skin and underlying tissue. The oral form is fine; the tricky part is making sure they ingest all of it!>
So when I got home I did what the vet said and it took me around half an hour to get it in the turtles mouth.
<I feel your pain; been there, done that! Here’s a suggestion that (might) help – Fill the dropper with the diluted medication but don’t try to administer it right away. Instead, try to agitate him by gently tapping the dropper around his mouth. Depending on his nature, it may still take some time until he becomes annoyed enough. But hopefully if/when he does get annoyed enough, he'll bite onto the dropper! And if/when he does bite it, once a turtle latches on to something they usually hold onto it for a bit. This will buy you some additional time. What you then want to do at that point is aim (or gently slide if you can) the dropper slightly off to the side of his tongue but far back enough so that the medication can’t escape out of his mouth. Then release the medication sloowwwwly (do not force it in quickly). >
When the turtle had the first drop there was a sudden bubble that formed and burst, (not mucous, it was the medicine) splattering the first drop everywhere, then he asked for more, or at least it looked like that. So I was wondering whether the reaction to the medicine is normal and if what the vet said is right.
<It sounds like it might have just splashed on his tongue. Make sure to SLOWLY put the medication in – and it will be much easier to do this slowly if he’s distracted by biting the dropper! The reason I say slowly is because turtles have a little slit/hole in the middle of their tongue called a glottis. If liquid is forced into it, it can get into their lungs.>
<If some of it still lands up escaping despite all of this, then you'll want to estimate what you think escaped and re-administer that portion of it (if it lands up being a little more than the prescribed dose, that's OK).
Thanks again Sue!
<You’re welcome; I hope this helps!>
(PS- I live in Delhi) <So far it sounds like your vet is on the right path, so I’d stick with him for now. But should you ever decide to switch in the future, I believe some of the links I sent you may lead you to specialty vets in other parts of India. You could also check with the aquarium in that last link, or one similar. They may possibly be able to give you a recommendation also. Also vets that treat pet birds are often more common than reptile vets, and many of them also know how to treat turtles.>

Red Ear Slider, sys. hlth.   11/13/12
<Hi Jenn; Sue here.>
I hope you can help me.
<We'll see what we can do!>
I have a 4 year old RES that is approximately 6 inches long. We have it in a 10 gallon tank for now until we can afford a larger tank.
<At this size he really should be in a much larger enclosure. It doesn't need to be expensive or even glass. For example, here's a 110 qt clear plastic storage bin at Target for only $14.99. You can use something like this either permanently or temporarily until you can afford something else -
http://www.target.com/p/sterilite-clearview-latch-box-with-purple-handles-110-qt/-/A-13794501#prodSlot=medium_1_2&term=sterilite 110 qt  >
Over the past 3 or 4 days it has not been eating, has been closing its eyes more often and having difficulty opening them at times. I also noticed that the margins on the shell seem to be turning a shade of dark pink. It has been fed dry turtle pellets since it was a baby and I have never noticed any problems before now. Do you have any idea what could possibly be wrong and what I can do to correct the problem?
<Without knowing more details, it sounds like at the very least he might have a Vitamin A deficiency. Here's a link that talks more about this - http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turtrespart.htm >
<Regardless of what it is, though, the first thing you should do when you suspect any type of illness is to remove him from a watery environment and place him in a dry enclosure with heat AND UVB (must have both). This will give his immune system a boost. Here's a link with instructions for how to set this up a��� look under the section a Isolation and Dry-Dock. There's also another section in it that also talks about Vitamin A deficiency -
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm  >
<I realize you don't have a lot of money, but if you see his condition deteriorate despite dry-docking him and giving him the home remedies for Vitamin A deficiency mentioned in the above two links, then you really should take him to a vet. Nothing can replace a hands-on examination. A vet can look over his shell, skin, overall condition, and determine if he has any sort of systemic infection. They'd also be able to give him a Vitamin A injection, which is the best and quickest remedy. >
Thank you.
<You're welcome, Jenn. I'd also suggest that you re-examine the care and set-up you've been giving him to make sure you have everything covered. You didn't provide many details about it, but nearly all turtle illnesses stem from either one, or a combination of, dietary and environmental issues. It's critical that your turtle have a warm, dry spot to completely haul out and bask every day (is he able to do that effectively in a 10 gallon given his size?); heat, UVB, cool and clean water (which also becomes more challenging in a smaller aquarium the larger they get), proper water and heat temperatures, and a complete diet. This care guide gets into all the details -
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >

[urgent] RES seems to have a swollen tummy    11/12/12
Okay so here is my problem.
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I was trying to judge if my baby Red Eared Slider had shell rot and I was squeezing the bottom half of its shell a little to judge if the shell was softer than usual. I think I may have pressed a little too hard because my baby RES peed when I squeezed.
<When you pressed him, you created pressure and scared him and he lost control of his bladder>
Should I be worried?
<Not just from that, no>
Also since I was worried I started observing it a little more closely and it seems like the bottom half of its tummy or the part immediately above its hind legs is a little ballooned up. I can't tell if this happened after or was present before the incident.
<It's likely that he hasn't completely "unfolded" from the egg.  That happens quite frequently, where the back half looks bigger than the front half - some look like they're wearing a belt across the middle of the tummy.   As long as they can move and walk about, don't worry>
My other baby RES does not seem to have the same ballooned up tummy/upper hind legs so I am a little worried about if this is normal or not. Please help...
<This seem OK>
Also let me know if sending pictures may help and I can send you guys some right away.
<The thing to keep in mind about turtles is that they should be active and alert.  They should notice you and react to your presence & touch.  If they swim, bask and eat - those are all good signs.   Proper nutrition, UV lighting and basking heat and they do fine>

Re: RES help needed in Shanghai ~ please don't shoot the messenger!     11/12/12
Thank you very much!
<Yer welcome>
There are now 2 sick ones in independent dry dock, both are getting a peroxide swab 1x day and Neosporin application 2x day.
The healthier of the 2, Pauley, still has a lot of energy and is rather perturbed that he's in dry dock as he is trying to climb out unless he is resting in my hand. Neither are eating, though Pauley pooped 2x yesterday (and the crowd goes wild) and his shell is hardening up.
<Eating is not the primary concern.  If they don't eat for a few days, maybe even a week, I wouldn't worry about that.  The dryness and warmth will help their bodies fight the {possible} looming infection>
Poor Stumpy's is getting softer, but he does react whenever I pick him up, eyes don't seem to be swollen or cloudy.
<The bad news, Allison - is that for our fish and reptile friends, they tend to hide their illnesses until they are already too sick to hide them anymore, so very often by the time we see outward signs of debilitation, they are in crisis.  We do what we can but sometimes it's too late.  Let's hold a good thought for Stumpy.  Swab him and bathe him and offer food daily.  If you can find an earthworm (a small one) you might put that in the shallow water for Stump and Pauley during dinner time>
I've seen food containers with pictures of Koi on them ... but who knows what they have in them!  I'll keep looking for an imported brand.  The turtle food and water conditioner came with the turtles (I don't drink the water!)
<HEALTHY turtles are very forgiving about water conditions and I'd be more concerned about what is in the water conditioner than in any municipal tap water.  Regarding the food the best Koi food available here in the States is imported from Japan anyway (Saki-Hikari) and even the less brands are imported from Taiwan.  If there is a language barrier, go on the net and get a picture of Hikari-brand Koi food and show it to a local pet dealer>
Thanks again, and any further suggestions would be greatly appreciated,
Re: RES help needed in Shanghai ~ please don't shoot the messenger!    11/17/12

Thank you so much.
Stumpy died, but I know he was warm and dry and had received lots of love in his last few weeks.
<On behalf of Bob Fenner, Neale, Sue and the whole crew, Allison - we're truly sorry to hear that.  The loss of the least of us diminishes us all.>
Pauley is happy to be in deeper water for about 2-3 hours a day, and is happily eating turtle food, food that says it is to enhance koi's colour (no recognizable Japanese nor Taiwanese brands here) and some pre packaged frozen bloodworms (bribery food that worked!).  Shell is hardening up, but brownish/black crack on underbelly still there, along with white/grayish streak from the middle down the center to tail.
<Nothing to worry about.  Continue to let him heal>
Only 1 turtle now, so water will be very clean in 33 Litre tank.  Have some duckweed to add some colour and another attempt at bribery food :)
Thank you again for your patience and support.
<Thank you, Allison - it's clear that you are a caring and concerned turtle Mom and Pauly is a lucky turtle> 

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

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

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