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FAQs About Red Ear Slider (RES) Turtle Disease/Health 12

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 11, 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,

Severe Eye Issue with my RES      12/29/16
Hi crew
<Hiya, Darrel here>
It all started several months ago, with the right eye of my RES, having a little "white stuff" at the corner of its eye. At that point in time his eye was kind of swollen so we brought it to the vet. Initially they prescribed Antibiotics and Vitamins for him, but to no avail. So the vet said that if this "stuff" is not bothering him (as he still behaves, eats as per normal), just let it be. So months later, things started to worsened and the little "white stuff" soon occupies his entire right eye now. I don't even know if the right eye is blind now. I attached some photos for clarification purposes.
What should I do now? Please help.
<This is perplexing. The initial photos show classic Vitamin ‘A’ deficiency, but that’s the first thing your Veterinarian saw. I’m guessing he gave an A-D-E-Calcium injection and sent him home with vitamin A eye drops?>
<at this point, I’d feed her small pieces of liver (beef or chicken) as her daily meal(s) for three weeks and twice daily Vitamin A eye drops and check again in 4 weeks.>
<Feeding is done by putting her in a separate container, like a plastic tub with an inch or so of water … give her 5 minutes to adjust and calm down, and then small pieces of the liver. The separate feeding is because the oils in the liver pieces will quickly pollute and foul her tank water>

Red eared sliders with bumpy shells; plus nutr. f'      6/26/16
Dear WWM crew,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have two red eared sliders both two and a half years old. They are in a 50 gallon tank about three quarters full, they have access to basking area, water heater, canister filter, uva and uvb lamps. Sometimes I take them out for direct sunlight.
<so far, so good>
I am feeding them every day with 3 - 4 pellets (either ReptoMin or zoo med growth formula) and red leaf lettuce or romaine lettuce in the size of half their shells. Occasionally also carrots, fruits like blueberry, strawberry, banana, papaya and grapes, and dried shrimps.
<almost none of which would be anything they'd ever run into in the wild.
And only the ReptoMin & Zoo Med pellets have any nutritional value>

However, they are not growing very fast, they are still a bit under 3 inches SCL. They also have retained scutes and quite bumpy shells (one is worse than the other), slightly curling upwards.
<Well, the damage is done, to a certain extent. A lot of what has happened can't be completely undone. That said, we can fix their diet and the shell problem will start to sort itself out>
So I am in a dilemma, I want to feed them more food to make them grow, but I am afraid that this will make their shells worse. I am also worried that if I am not feeding enough, their growth will be stunted.
<Feed them all the ReptoMin pellets they'll eat in 5 minutes ... 6 days a week in summer. 3 days in winter. No dried shrimp, berries or pork chops.
Once a month, for a treat, put in an earthworm (found as "nightcrawlers" at your local bait shop) or a small piece of beef or chicken liver. If you choose liver, place them in a small bowl or pan of shallow water, give them a few minutes to settle down and then place the liver. It gives off oils that will foul the tank really fast. No one who feeds liver makes the mistake of feeding them in their normal tank ... more that once.>
I have friends also with sliders and they are feeding heaps of protein but their sliders are bigger than dinner plates with beautiful smooth shells.
<Shell envy. Fix the diet and the problem will solve itself>
I would appreciate it if you could give me some advice as to how to help my turtles.
Thank you and best regards,
<Back atcha!>
Re: Red eared sliders with bumpy shells      7/10/16

Thanks Darrel for your reply. About the beef/chicken liver, should it be raw or cooked?
<Raw. But remember, liver releases oils into the water that foul that water in very short order, so ALWAYS feed liver in a separate container>

Soft shell and shedding    6/5/16
Hello sir
<Hiya Darrel here>
...sorry sir my English is not good but I try to make u understand
<So far it’s better than kids I run into here in Los Angeles>
...I have a red eared slider baby turtle I don't know baby is male or female... Three days ago turtle start shedding white thread films more on tail and little on chin legs or Shell... Shell also seems soft on edges and near tail shell is slimmed and soft...yesterday I gave him salt bath. my turtle not act normally not eating from yesterday.... And seems sleepy.... Whole night i put him on dry place... In morning for 10min gave him direct sunlight... And from morning to evening in water tank with optimum temp.. I am worried about him he is my first pet...please help me...is there any problem or it is normal...
Please reply...please send me email..
<Kismat, the shedding of skin in tiny white threads can be normal. The shell being soft probably means that he is not getting enough direct sunlight. He needs direct sunlight (not sunlight coming through glass or screen) every day. If not that, from a good UV-B light such as Repti-Sun light bulb. Without that he can not manufacture the Vitamin D he needs for healthy shell and bones.>
<The fact that he seems to have slimmed and is now not eating may be a sign of bad diet and now he is sick. Keeping him warm and under UV-B light until he feels better is important. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm>
<Hopefully he will start to feel better and eat again if we caught this in time. Please read here to see ALL the things you have to do to keep a turtle healthy: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >

Red eared Singaporean turtle is sick. ..need help       5/12/16
<Hiya – Darrel here>
My name is Farha from India Mumbai. I have 2 red eared turtles for the last 11 months. They do fine. They were active and normal. Since yesterday i have noticed that my male turtle is not swimming. Its just sitting whole day at basking area. He was not eating also. Morning when i wake up i found him again at the basking area . When i took out from tank i notices some red marks in his paws. His nails was damaged. Earlier nails was big. Pls
suggest what should i do...
<He seems to have hurt himself, although some times a female slider will bite the nails of a male that is bothering her. It’s not a critical wound as long as he doesn’t get an infection from it. He needs to stay warm and dry for a while to allow the wounds to heal. Please read this article – the section on treating wounds. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm>
Re: Red eared Singaporean turtle is sick. ..need help      5/23/16

Thank you Darrel
You are right my female turtle only hurt him . I have taken him to veterinary doc he suggested the same to keep him in dry place .along with this he found him suffering from congestion in chest and he suggested two medicine one for wound which is PENDISTRIN SH and for congestion one liquid which is BETNESOL 15ML (BETAMETHASONE SODIUM PHOSPHATE ORAL DROPS).
I keep him in dry whole day . Just 10 to 15 min.s for food in water. Pls suggest if i am doing right.
<You are on the right path, but he should be warm and dry for a few WEEKS not days. Reptiles heal much more slowly than humans. As he stays warm and dry his breathing will also improve. Just be sure to give him that time.>

Red eared slider turtle question. Phys. inj.      5/8/16
<Hiya – Darrel here>
I have had a red eared slider for several years now. She has been the only one we had until about a month ago when a friend no longer wanted her 2 red eared sliders. I did my research and found that some turtles of not around other turtles could be aggressive towards each other.
<Yes. Usually as long as the sizes aren’t too different>
So I decided to slowly introduce the new turtles with my older turtle, before I would put them in the same aquarium. All three of them where doing great together. I did notice the 2 females had been kind of rough towards the male turtle which is seriously much smaller than the 2 females.....the oldest name is Frog and her she'll is about 5 inches, the other female's name is big and her she'll is about 2-3 inches, the male tiny is maybe an inch to 1 1/2 inches. Today I went to clean out the aquarium and I pulled all 2 out of the tank....when I looked at tiny I noticed something different about his foot....his back left leg part of his foot is gone now..there is skin over that is really pink. When I first got the 2 new ones the first day I noticed he did have issues swimming almost as though his foot was broke or injured but it was all there. I have depressed the male from the females because I am concerned that one of the females ate it. But is there anything else I should do at this time for the male Tiny's foot.
<Two issues. First, treat him in isolation. Read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm>
<Second: He’s a baby and shouldn’t be in with adults. He needs his own place. Don’t work about his foot. After you treat it (see above) he’ll learn to cope and will do just fine. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm>

hello sir ,
<Hiya, Darrel here>
I have two red eared slider turtles.. One of them is not eating from 2 days . i tried to feed but i think it cant see anything . What shall i do ?? my tortoise was so active but now it is always floating on water and even doesn't responds to my finger gestures . please help !!!
<A turtle that is not active and doesn't eat or respond should not be left floating the water. At least take him out of the water and place him somewhere warm and dry until he becomes more active>
<http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm >

thank you for ur advice . It is doing well now but still can see . when i try to feed it guessingly eats anything that comes near mouth , even it sometimes bites the other red eared slider .
<read the article and treat for Vitamin A deficiency>

Sick res      2/1/16
Hey guys!
<Hiya - Darrel here>
Ok here's the issue! I have a young male RES, and he's not super healthy! I rescued him from a bad set up.. No dry basking area etc. Anyways.. We ended up taking him to the vet, he had a bad infection, and we had to tube feed him for two weeks! After that he started eating on his own! He had some shell rot issues that we recently started addressing since he seemed to be feeling stronger, and the vet told us to dry dock him. He's been dry docked for about 10 days now, and he gets water access to eat and do turtle things for about 90 minutes each day! His dry tank has a heat light day and night.. But it's big enough he can get away if he gets too warm too. Most of the time he hides under a towel :-/. I'm concerned because his eating seems to have slowed down, and because we went through hell to get him to eat on his own before, I'm extra paranoid! Any advice?
<You're doing everything just right! Read here:
<just take your time, he can stay in dry dock for months and months with no ill effects ... so be patient>
Ashley & Abraham the RES
Re: Reddish tint on gourami fins = ammonia issue?      2/2/16

Thanks so much for your reply. Wow, this is great news. I was feeling pretty defeated about the situation; it can be such a frustrating hobby, as can any. Thanks for the barb suggestion as well. Will get the test today.
Can I report back?
<Sure thing!>
Also, should I stop feeding until conditions improve?
<If you have non-zero ammonia or nitrite levels, you shouldn't feed your fish, no. Cheers, Neale.>

Healthy, active RES - but stopped eating/eats very little the last few weeks      1/6/15
Hello WWM Crew,
<Hiya – Darrel here>
First of all, thanks for all the wonderful information you have on your website.
<You’re welcome. And may we say that you show a great deal of style and intelligence for noticing!>
Yes, I have read, and read, and read about possible reasons for RES not eating. I am only writing because so far, I haven't read about a red-eared slider which is active, basks normally in unfiltered sunlight, appears completely healthy (eyes are clear, no bubbles from nose, no spots anywhere, shell is smooth, swimming normally, etc), but has simply stopped eating/ eating very little these last few weeks.
<sure you have.>
Current Habitat/Situation:
I live in the UAE where the summers are brutal (but only in the high 80F's to mid 90F's on my balcony), and winter lows are about 60-65F at night, with day highs in the upper 70F's to low 80F's.
<Sounds like places I’ve lived in Florida>
Lily, my RES, came home with me when it was a hatchling in June, smack in the height of summer. It lives in an open baby bathtub on my balcony with a rock for basking, and a tile for walking up to the rock (so there is shade under the slope). Very active, ate like a horse, and grew quickly. Then the weather started cooling down in November and dropping into the high teens at night, and I did not have a heater immediately, and I noticed it slowed down its eating. I got a heater for its water a couple of weeks after that,
and almost immediately saw its appetite coming back. Then, I tried getting it to eat plant food since it was now about 7 months old. It would not eat. Tried re-feeding it turtle sticks. But no luck there.
<Turn off the heater>
Apart for not eating, or eating one or two bites and then stopping, Lily is active and apparently healthy, with a nice hard, smooth shell and plastron. My hubby thinks Lily is fine and that its appetite is just slowing down due to the overall cooler temperatures.
<Guess what? Hubby is right. But be SURE to tell him this is a fluke occurrence and to NOT get the idea that he’ll ever be right about anything, ever again>
I know that for a while there last month, it seemed very, very stressed when I tried to feed her separately in another tub as many people recommend, to keep the water cleaner. It would not eat in that separate container, and would frantically claw and claw and claw the side of the tub. I tried doing this for about a week and finally gave up as it simply
wouldn't eat in that separate tub. From then, it seemed, it stopped eating.
<She’s not hungry!>
Please advise. I am worried because it's more than a month now, and it has eaten maybe 25 bites of food in this entire month, where, as a tiny hatchling, it would eat between 15-20 sticks of turtle food each day, and 2-3 heads of tiny anchovy heads, which it LOVED. Now, it won't even eat the beloved anchovies anymore. :(
<Ok – as odd as this may seem – fish are not part of Lily’s natural diet and not all that good for her. So use them as a treat only.>
I have tried feeding it greens, and it wouldn't eat those. Nor carrots, nor strawberries, nor boiled egg whites, nor anything else. So, I thought, ok, maybe it's not eating veg yet, so back to the anchovies and the turtle sticks. Nope. Thanks and look forward to any ideas you may have. Have a happy new year!
MiowLin Y.
<there is a great scene in an otherwise obscure movie called “Other People’s Money” where Danny DeVito offers Piper Laurie a donut and she says “no thanks, I’m not hungry.” DeVito replies one of the greatest lines every uttered: “What does that have to do with eating a donut? Do they taste better when you’re hungry?”>
<My point is that most of us keep eating long after we’re no longer hungry and when someone (or a beloved pet) stops eating before the food literally bulges out of our stomach we think something is wrong.>
<Lily has stopped eating because she’s not hungry. The seasonal cycle has triggered an instinct in her – NOT to get trapped in winter with a full stomach. If they bruminate over winter with a full stomach the food can rot and cause a fatal infection, which is why they stop eating a month before it gets cold. This is all normal>
<If Lily is active and alert, let her enjoy life. And YOU enjoy life, too>

Turtle growth      12/29/15
Hi –
<Hiya – Darrel here>
Attached are pics of a growth on my red eared slider. I've been treating him with warm soaks, rinsing the area with peroxide and anti fungal cream twice daily.
<Won’t help>
The lump is firm in the center and fleshy around it. There is also a small area like this coming out of the other rear leg hole in his shell. Any advice is much appreciated. Sam is about 9 years old.
Thank you,
<That is a growth of some sort, not an infection, so soaking it won’t help. It is very likely a fatty tumor. The treatment is to have a veterinarian excise it or at least stick a needle in and see what they can draw out. If a veterinarian is not available, look online in your area for a turtle and tortoise club. You will likely find an experienced ‘old hand’ that has excised many fatty tumors>

Re: Turtle growth      1/6/15
How would you numb or anesthetize them? For removal of the tumor? Or could he just live with it?
<They are remarkably tolerant and resilient. If it was me I'd immobilize the area and excise the tumor, cover the area with Betadine twice daily and keep her warm and dry for two weeks. Most numbing agents that are effective on turtles have more side effects than benefits.>
Re: Turtle growth      1/6/15

Dear Crew
Is there any reason not to just let it be? I looked for someone here in NJ but can't find anyone. I can't spend the 80$ on the vet consult that the reptile specials wants.
<yes, and the $80 would be for the consult - then $125 more for surgery, etc. so I understand>
<The think about tumors is this: It may be benign or it may be cancerous. It may have spread, but it may not have. So there is so much more we don't know that we DO know - there isn't a right answer. If it doesn't impact the turtle's movement or digestion then there's not driving reason to remove it.>
Thank you for your help!

Red eared slider         12/19/15
Hello, I was going to ask u about my turtle being sick, my turtle never comes out of its shell and it just sits there all day. I don't see it eating much and he never seems to be eating any of the lettuce leaves that I put in there.
<Mmm; lettuce isn't a good steady item to feed RESs; and certainly not exclusively. I'm asking you to read Darrel's article posted here:

and the linked files above.
Do you have adequate heat, UV light for this animal? DO see Darrel's listing of absolutely necessary environmental needs>
Thanks, Carley
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

res respiratory problem       11/23/15
Hi I m Sid
<Hiya – Darrel here>
I bought a res turtle a month ago. He is 2 inches long. He is showing strange things since last 3 days listed below
1) not eating a single thing.
2) not going into water, always sitting on basking stone.
3) not going in shell when panicked.
4) opening mouth periodically to breathe, not always.
5) sometimes I saw white foam around his mouth.
Please help. he was basking properly fed him Taiyo discovery plus turtle food sticks.
He was jolly and active. Now he has active limbs but he is not that jolly.
Please help me ,I cant see him d..!
<OK – first things first. If I understand, he HAS been active and alert and eating and just in the last 3 days you’ve seen these symptoms? If that’s the case, you’ve caught his upper respiratory condition early and you can treat him. He’s probably had it since you got him, but it’s been getting quietly worse.>
<In any case, read here for everything you need to know about URI http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm -- Don’t worry if he doesn’t eat for the next few days. If he’s been eating regularly until recently he can go a week or so without food and if he’s warm and dry that can help him get better.>
<In the mean time, here is everything you need to know about KEEPING him healthy: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm
make sure you read and understand everything and check to see you haven’t missed anything>
Re: res      11/29/15

My res showed symptoms of URI. Like not eating since last 7days,always on land, opening mouth sometimes, not going inside shell, budging throat often took him to vet . He says something s stuck in his throat, and told to put drops of honey in his mouth. Is it right. will he die?
<Bob is right -- he usually is -- a turtle that is otherwise healthy can go a long time without food or even water. I personally have never heard of anything stuck in a turtle's throat, but then I didn't examine him. In your position, I would read this article and treat him for vitamin deficiency
Re: res       12/3/15

Now i always see him sleeping. It feels as if all his energy has gone as if gone limp. But he can still shake his legs if touched.
<He sounds very sick>
Till now I depended on natural sunlight should i add a UVB BULB. Should I force feed him?
<No. He does not need that stress>
I have very less hopes left. there no herp vet or reptile vet in goa India ,that's another problem.
<I understand>
plz help.i don't think he will survive. Turty is his name. Plz pray for him. Everything's in the hands of god.
<Our thoughts are always with a sick or distressed pet, Sanjana. If this case, it’s likely that Turty was sick for a very long time. They don’t show sickness on the outside until it’s very late. THAT is why we stress proper care, diet, light, heat, etc. because we can’t tell when they first get sick and by the time they show sickness they are VERY sick and don’t always survive. Continue treating for URI just like in says in the treatment article.>
<If you give Turty the light, heat and dryness then you have done all you can do>
Re: res      12/13/15

He is alive till now and looks as if he is improving. Now the only thing that worries me is he does not eat anything.
<Don't worry about that right now>
Whenever i take him in sunlight ,he looks active he walks around, looks around and whenever i go close acts as if sleeping.
<He is probably scared right now>
Sleeps most of the time.
<when he's in his warm, dry place? That's fine for now>
Looks as if honey is showing its magic. He does not open his mouth to breathe and looks better. Though sometimes his nose is runny. Will he survive and what more should i do?
<Keep dry-docking him! Keep him warm and dry - that helps fight the infection he has. Give him a bath every day, for just a few minutes so he can drink and poop. Water barely to the bottom of his shell so there is no chance of his nose going under water unless he puts it there. Once he's been in the water for 5 minutes or so, place a very small piece of liver (chicken or beef) in the water in front of him ... give him a chance to smell it and maybe take a bite. If he eats, fine, if not don't worry. Take him out of the water and back to his warm-dry spot and try again with fresh water and more food tomorrow. Keep dry-docking him and giving him sunshine until he feels like his old self>

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

Turtle Dying; RMF, clueless      10/27/15
<I will forward your message; and hope the turtle folks here reply ASAP...
HAVE YOU READ on WWM re? I would leave this turtle out of the water. Bob Fenner>
My turtle is acting strange. His arms have turned white and he has lost almost all of his nails. Now his shell has softened and he won't swim. When I put him in the water he just floats and won't put his arms back in his shell. Is he dead? What should I do? Please Help
Turtle Dying /Neale      10/27/15

My turtle is acting strange. His arms have turned white and he has lost almost all of his nails. Now his shell has softened and he won't swim. When I put him in the water he just floats and won't put his arms back in his shell. Is he dead? What should I do? Please Help
<Need to get this turtle to the vet, ASAP. The loss of his nails and the poor state of the shell suggest a metabolic bone disease of some sort, while the floating suggests a respiratory tract infection. Both are almost always caused by poor care. Yours might be the exception, but do check the following list:
[1] A UV-B lamp for proper growth
[2] Basking lamp for warmth
[3] A diet that includes both fresh greens and a source of calcium
Almost always, "poor care" translates as one or more of these key things being ignored. Your vet can help turn things around very quickly using antibiotics and vitamin injections, but the turtle's environment must be reviewed and improved as necessary. None of the three things mentioned above are optional. Note also that UV-B lamps need replacing every 6-12
months, while heat lamps may need replacing every year or two. I've cc'ed Darrel, our turtle expert, in case there's something I've missed. Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Turtle Dying     10/27/15

Have replied as best I can; Darrel, what more can you add???

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

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

RES with lots of issues      7/26/15
Hi there,
Great site and mods-your dedication is much appreciated. I have been taking a class at a facility that has a children's centre and my class got a tour of it recently. I saw that they had an RES and fish tanks and volunteered to help care for them.
<"No good deed goes unpunished!">
Last Friday was my first time really getting in there and the first thing I did was deal with the turtle tank. The turtle was donated, and they were told SHE was a 16 yr old male-she's been at the facility for 4 years which would put her at 20, and her SCL is only about 5.5. . She was in a 1/4 filled 20 gallon in front of a window, no filter, no heat source and a tiny basking area made up of stacked rocks and bricks. The ammonia in her tank tested at 8.0 on API.
<What you'd expect without biological filtration.>
My partner went and with his own money, bought a reflector lamp, a medium turtle dock and a Zoo Med 318 filter (not what I would have chosen but beggars and all). I put in an infrared bulb that was in the room just to get
some heat on her and filled her up with fresh water, added lots of anchors, her new dock, the filter and a rock with some Anubias tied to it.
<The Anubias will probably get eaten once the pondweed is gone, and I'm not entirely sure it's non-toxic, so do keep an eye open.>
She was shedding excessively and to me it looked like there was a fungus issue on her skin. She had another 100% water change the next day and was offered dandelion and watermelon. She got a 100% water change on Tuesday, today and scheduled for Saturday. Today I heard her wheezing and when I checked her plastron there was a tiny red pit-beginning of SCUD?
<Possibly, but wouldn't get too alarmed just yet, given what you're doing now...>
In any event, I've asked them for money to buy a UVB/heat bulb, EHEIM 2213 and to take her home to dry dock her for 2 weeks.
I will bleach out her tank and get it set up for when she goes home. Also found a herp vet close by and asked them to let me take her. So, I'd like your input-would a turtle with potential fungus, bacteria and respiratory issues be too stressed with the dry docking procedure or should I just leave her be with 3x's weekly water changes while the filter cycles and the UVB light?
<Dry-docking isn't stressful, but provided the turtle's shell doesn't smell moldy or funky, I wouldn't worry about dry-docking just yet. Nice clean water, big dry area above the waterline, and a good dose of UV-B and warmth from the basking light should fix things. Do bear in mind that the shell scutes are more or less dead, like nails or hair, and get replaced from underneath. So while the top ones do eventually peel off, healthy new ones will replace them. You can certainly do a bit of a clean if you want, dabbing with a bit of iodine tincture or failing that really strong salty water will help clean things up. Rinse off, then pop back in the tank.
Assuming the turtle is feeding normally, breathing normally, has nice bright eyes and doesn't show signs of being lethargic, she's probably fine and won't need much/any help from the vet (though a quick check-up is never a bad idea).>
I will do all that I can for this long neglected turtle but feel better with your thoughts on the matter. PS-they're not bad people. They will be moving rooms eventually and would like my input on a proper set up for her.
Thanks in advance.
<Have cc'ed our turtle expert, Darrel, in case I've missed something.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: RES with lots of issues-thanks Neale!      7/26/15

Hi Neale!
Thank you so much for your reply. Your input makes me feel much better.
I've done everything that the WWM crew has suggested in this case, and bought the suggested meds as well.
<Glad to have helped.>
I brought her home on Friday night, applied Hydrogen Peroxide, iodine and Polysporin to the two plastron pits, and athletes foot cream to her limbs-she was very good about the whole ordeal!
<Mindful of that comment by Bill Watterson about 'Hobbes' having that quiet dignity of most animals he'd met. On the whole, I think that's true, and shows up a few people, I can tell you!>
Set her up in a 2cuft packing box with puppy pads, a towel and her tank screen with UVB, infrared and Zoo Med digital thermometer. But without knowing really what I was doing, it was way too stressful for ME and it seemed to be for her. She was constantly scratching at the box and I was constantly watching her temp. When she came out for water time in a bowl with a little bit of water, she wouldn't drink or eat and seemed panicky.
<Would have you read here:
Scroll down to the bit about isolation and dry docking.>
Yesterday I went and got her tank, gave it a dilute bleach and bombed with enough Prime for 100 gallons. Filled up with fresh, Primed water and put her back in with that puny filter, UVB and new 75 watt infrared bulb. So she
had a 24hr dry-dock with 2 times in a bit of water. We don't run A/C at home (Toronto))so after all lights out, her basking area stayed 80 degrees.
She was swimming when I woke up!
I will keep her here for 2 weeks with 3 times daily 30 percent water changes and short dry-docks for topical medicine application.
<Sounds good.>
I'll also just suck it up and buy the EHEIM (or whatever you think best for her current set up-9 gallons water in a 20 gallon).
<While an external Eheim canister is probably the ideal, you may want to balance that against the fact internal canisters are much easier to maintain. Since turtles aren't as strongly affected by water quality issues as fish, it isn't necessary to go into overkill when it comes to filtration. Do have a peruse of Eheim's website page on their internal
filters, here:
The Aquaball is an excellent budget unit (I have two and love them); the Biopower a step up in terms of flexibility and a good choice for messy fish (and turtles); while the PowerLine is a top-end system that works really well but costs a bit more. Cut according to your cloth, they're all good, but get the biggest turnover rate you can afford. So for a 20 gallon tank, I'd easily choose one suitable for 40 gallons or even 60 gallons -- you're turtle will thank you, as will your nose and eyes. Since turtles produce a lot of solid waste, the main job of the filter is not to remove ammonia (as with fish) but to remove faeces and moulted skin (to keep the water clear and not too smelly). Internals are quick and easy to clean, even weekly, and not as nerve-wracking when it comes to reconnecting everything (if, like me, you're paranoid you'll not connect some hoses up properly and get water everywhere on the floor).>
Once that's done we'll have spent $500 on a turtle that isn't ours-but the alternative is unacceptable, I think. Once she's back in the classroom, I will continue to go weekly and service her tank AND educate them on proper
husbandry for the interim days.
<To be fair, the thing with reptiles as pets is this: day to day, they're cheap. Unlike cats and dogs, their maintenance costs are very low and provided they don't get ill, their vet bills are minimal (even with healthy cats and dogs there are checkups, flea control, neutering, and so on). So while $500 sounds like a lot (and you can actually save a bunch of money on that) across the 20 year life of a turtle, it's not a lot. But, reptiles do have these up-front costs that come across as more than for cats and dogs.
They can't sleep on our sofas and eat from old cereal bowls, so we need to buy a bunch of stuff just for them. Do that and their healthcare costs are small, but get something wrong, as you're learning, and stuff becomes more
complicated (and expensive). Do also read here:
As Darrel makes clear, there are some workable budget alternatives if aesthetics aren't crucial.>
I'd like to know what you think the possibility is that this female RES turtle at 5.5" could be 20 years old?
Could she just be small because she didn't have proper life support all these years?
<For sure, or simply genetics.>
I wouldn't have thought she could have survived in a cold, toxic tank for so long?
<Reptiles are (mostly) amazingly tough animals. They generally get sick only after months and months of abuse. Turtles are especially robust animals. As a book I had as a child put it, they were around millions of years before the dinosaurs, and if we give them half a chance, they'll be around millions of years after us. They are truly born survivors. Red-Ear Sliders have managed to get established here in the UK, which is generally too cold for them, in theory. While they probably don't breed much, if at all, in urban centres like London, there seem to be enough microclimates they can scrape a living. And yes, these are turtles that were "set free" after being unwanted pets for a while.>
I got her water lettuce and water hyacinth-the Anubias got trashed so it's gone. Thanks for the heads up on that.
<No problems. Do be aware that many plants rated as "fish proof" are actually toxic, Java Fern being the classic example. Since turtles eat a lot of plants, buy cheap and cheerful stuff or find a local aquarist who has excess plants they want to get rid of. One of my tanks needs the floating Indian Fern cropped literally weekly, armfuls of the stuff.>
Thank you again for being part of "Jack's" upgraded care!!
Have cc'ed our turtle expert Darrel in case I've missed something. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: RES with lots of issues-thanks Neale!      7/27/15

Last one!!
Thanks so much for the filter options-will read up and get something tomorrow.
I did a lot of research online before considering dry docking. I read the WWM dry docking page about 8000 times before attempting. Found differing opinions on method and duration elsewhere online but felt more comfortable
relying on your advise. There was also a video on YouTube but his turtle was only at 70 degrees which is not the temp WWM suggests. I didn't sleep at all when she was dry docking and was very nervous about me causing harm
to any animal, let alone one that isn't mine. I don't approach things like this without first recognizing that I know that I don't know. I spent a lot of time researching your site and others but thank you for the links.
<Dry docking is not dangerous providing the turtle is given periodic access to water for drinking and defecation (they tend to do both in water). If the damage to the shell isn't infected (smelly) there's no real need to dry dock if you clean using iodine tincture, wait for that to dry, maybe 20 minutes to so, then return to the vivarium.>
I had female RES that I rescued from my nephew 20 years ago. She was 2" and in my care, grew to 9" in three years and had to live in a bathtub ultimately-with filter, heat lamp and basking area. I was fortunate to not have any 911 or vet moments-especially as home computers were not de rigueur. I also run 2 tropical tanks at home so am familiar with equipment for that application-which is why I thought of the 2213 for a turtle-as opposed to what's in there now.
<An excellent filter. Good value. Have the similar 2217 for my big aquarium. Nothing to say against this/these filter/s, except maintenance is not as easy as with internal canisters.>
Anyway, WWM is an excellent resource for the rest of us and I appreciate your time.
<Thanks for the kind words. Cheers, Neale.>

My RES Will not use his/her front left leg.      5/26/15
When I first got my RES he/she was very active and lively... Then she came down with an eye infection and was really depressed it seemed, as well as he/she seemed to be losing the use of the front left leg.
<Can happen, though reasons are multiple. Lack of calcium, vitamins and UV-B light in particular can affect the growth of bones, and this in turn can lead to lameness. Dietary shortcomings, but especially lack of Vitamin B1 through overuse of thiaminase-rich foods (shrimps for example) can lead to problems with the nervous system. Do understand that dietary problems and lack of UV-B are major reasons for the perceived difficulty in keeping reptiles healthy in the long term, and many vague sets of symptoms seem to have their underlying cause in these two key factors. So review diet (enough greens in particular, but also regular calcium dusting) and ask yourself when you last changed the UV-B lamp (most only last 6-12 months, consult with the manufacturer if you're not sure). A quick (and
inexpensive) vitamin shot from the vet is a good way to jump start the recovery process, but obviously conditions in the vivarium must be appropriate.>
I cleaned the tank and put he/she in some clean water for a time being. The eye infection seems to be going away but the leg is all but useless it seems, and the only time he/she seems to use it slightly is when swimming...
<Worrying. Do consult a vet.>
Note I do have a Plecostomus and have heard nothing but bad things from this fish... May this be the problem and if so, why is my turtle not able to use his/her leg???
<Mixing fish with turtles in home aquaria is invariably a bad idea. I can't think of a single situation where it won't end badly for one or other species. Their requirements are too different. So yes, separate them. While it's unlikely the Plec caused the damage, water quality won't be acceptable for the catfish in the long term, and I guess it's possible that a hungry Plec might graze on bleeding skin or damaged scutes, preventing normal healing. Have cc'ed our turtle expert in case I've missed anything. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My RES Will not use his/her front left leg.      5/28/15

He/she will eat nothing but the algae tabs that I was feeding my bottom feeder... what are some of the things I can buy/try to feed he/she that can solve this potentially harmful issue??
<Do read:
Numerous food options. Not feeding other foods for a few days/couple weeks will usually encourage turtles to take new items of food offered to them.>
FYI I have all the lights and correct temperature, so more than likely its the diet?
<No, diet in itself is rarely a "killer" issue (Red Ear Sliders are highly omnivorous) but a lack of calcium and UV-B (not light, UV-B) will turn an indifferent diet into a fatal set of problems. Do read, review where you were sent, and use a process of elimination to establish what's likely wrong. If you dust food with calcium, and changed your UV-B lamp in the last 6 months, yes, you can rule those two out. If not, change the UV-B lamp and start dusting food with calcium (a cuttlebone is great for this, cheap, easy to use, and if you put a piece in the tank, they'll nibble on
it periodically as well). Do also contact a vet if this turtle has been "out of sorts" for a few weeks and isn't getting better. Turtles, like all reptiles, are cheap to treat early on, but because their metabolism is slow, things worsen slowly, so if you aren't careful, the reptile gets very sick. A vet will check for a broken bone, give a vitamin shot, and provide you with a list of things to change/improve based on their observations.
Well worth doing. Cheers, Neale.>

My red eye slider        5/6/15
Dear Crew,
<Hiya, Darrel here>
I'm not sure what this is. Or what to put on it? Help
<Sure. That right there appears to be a simple physical abrasion caused by continual rubbing against something sharp. The treatment is to dry dock her, treat with Betadine liquid and let her heal. Read here:>
<Sometimes, when they get a bit obese, their skin will rub on their own shells too much and this will result, but usually it's something else they come in contact with. Search around her habitat and see what might be causing this>
Re: My red eye slider        5/6/15

Thank you so much for your help!

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

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

puffy res        4/24/15
Dear crew: Our RES has a puffy, bubbly appearance by his legs. No ulcers, bleeding or soft spots. His skin hangs out the back and seems to be bloated. He is not eating but no swollen eyes, shell rot and he still crawls in the grass. Any suggestions? Staci
<Get him to a vet, ASAP. This isn't something that's going to recover on its own. More than likely a vitamin shot plus antibiotics required. Otherwise a very bleak outlook I'm afraid. Something is obviously very wrong with his care, so review that as well. Cheers, Neale.>

My turtle is not fine          3/30/15
Hello Sir/ Maam
I have a 1 year old red ear slider. He was doing well but since (3 months)
I took him out of his aquarium and kept him in a tub filled with water due to some reason he is not eating food neither pellets nor anything else.
Yet he used to be active. But now He keep sleeping all day long. I don't have any vet near by to diagnose his problem.
Please help I am worried
<Prachi, let me direct you to this article first:
Sounds a lot like your turtle has not received the right care. Assuming he doesn't have an infection yet, improving his living conditions in three ways will help:
(1) Provide a source of UV-B light.
(2) Provide the right food (not just pellets).
(3) Provide a suitable source of warmth.
My educated guess would be he's not been getting all three of these things.
Reptiles take a long time to die, and when they go off their food, it's almost always a sure sign of poor food. By the time other symptoms become obvious, it's often too late to treat without medical attention (antibiotics, vitamin shots). But do read:
A vet will be able to diagnose the problem more specifically, of course,

Re: Please help-Sick RES; resp.       3/17/15
i once again come to u with a problem...for the last few days i have been away and our turtle has been under my husbands care.. aftr i returned i noticed (1) a sort of peeling which is reddish yellow in color in his left front leg joint skin... attached is a pic. if i touch it, he lets me n doesn't react so am hoping its not hurting him. (2)He's also acting strange by going in circles all d time as though he's chasing his own tail or smone chasing him. noticed (3) today i noticed he was breathing heavily n den i cud hear a sound as though he's finding it difficult to breathe ..a wheezing sort of like humans have..but aftr a while it stopped.
pls let me know if anything's wrong with him. look fwd to yr early reply .
thanx n regards,
<Sharda, a wheezy turtle is not a healthy turtle. May I direct you to these pages?
Short term, you need to contact a vet. More than likely antibiotics will be prescribed. The red patch on his front leg looks nasty, possibly bacterial or fungal infection, and again, a vet will sort this out. Nothing much you can do without a vet. Respiratory tracts infections are quickly treated with antibiotics (such as Baytril) and without them the outlook is poor
(read: death). But do read here:
Re: Please help-Sick RES
Dear Neale,
Thank you very much for providing me with all the valuable information and the appropriate links.
I shall certainly heed your advice in treating my turtle. If need be, I may trouble you with queries if any during the treatment.
Thank you once again and with regards,
<Glad to help, and thanks for the plain English this time! Regards, Neale.>
Re: Please help-Sick RES      3/17/15

thank you so much Neale for yr reply.
<Welcome. But please, I'm English, not American, and definitely prefer the Queen's English to Teenager Text Speak!>
here in India we do not have vets treating turtles.
<Unfortunate. Perhaps a local university? Zoologist? Even a doctor could help.>
i have contacted a few n they know nothing abt treating turtles. if you could guide me what medication and how to administer it in what dosage (for his respiratory tract infection as well as bacterial/fungal infection) to him i have some hope of saving him.
<I'm not a vet. But Baytril is what you want, and you could research this online; perhaps start here:
Regardless, a medically-trained professional is what you want.>
pls pls send me the info so i can start treating him..this is my only hope else il lose him ..unless ders a miracle n he heals by himself..
<A miracle indeed. Turtles with respiratory tract infections rarely heal by themselves. You can "treat at home" but it takes A LOT longer than visiting a vet, and the chances of success are much smaller. Do read:
The section "Wheezing or bubbly nose" is what you want to read.>
thanx n regards,

My turtle     2/25/15
Ayee my name is amber I have 3 red ear sliders and I have had them for about 2 years now and they was fine everything earlier yesterday and then I took them out to clean their tank. And put them back in well I noticed the smaller turtle won't move he try's climbing the rich
in his tank and falls over on his back and I have to put him back over he can barely move. It's like he is weak or something. He has is head out and is blinking but won't move. I have the whole banking area and them uv light and everything. Like I said they was all fine b4 I cleaned the tank and no he is acting weird and won't move and when he try's he falls on his back. My mom says he does it all the time when they clean it he like to play died well I cleaned the tank at 9:30p.m. On February 24 and it's now 4:40a.m. February 25. I really concerned that my turtle is about to die and I don't want him to if u could plz help me I will so appreciate it.
<Hello Amber. You haven't provided anything useful here for a diagnosis. So let's direct you first here:
Then ask yourself the following:
Do you provide UV-B?
Do you have a heat lamp?
Do you provide a varied diet including fresh greens?
Let's also have you read here:
<Mostly, sick turtles get sick through something being wrong in how they've been looked after. Visiting a vet would be an extremely good idea. Often then can fix problems that without vet help will be fatal. This turtle sounds very sick, so don't hang about! Have cc'ed Darrel, our turtle ,,,, <<this is it msg. wise>> Neale?>

slider die-off? 6/26/14
Hi Crew,
We have a huge pond on our site. It contains fish, frogs, water lilies and lots of filamentous algae. Up until about three months ago, we had lots of red-eared sliders. They seem to have disappeared. This has never happened before, even during the hottest part of the summer. Any thoughts? We considered the idea that plant die-off is contributing to oxygen depletion, but that seems not to be the whole answer. Is there something we don't know about sliders that could be the reason for their disappearance?
<Mmm; I suspect two-legged predators are at work here. Is there security about the area? Bob Fenner>
Brandis Hartsell, Ph.D
Dept. Chair and Curator
Marine and Earth Sciences
Roper Mountain Science Center
Greenville, SC
Re: slider die-off? 6/26/14

Hi Bob,
Thanks for your response. Yes, we have school district security for the 62-acre area as a whole, but not in particular for the pond. So there is that possibility. Oh well.....
<<This further input from DarrelL here:
slider die-off? 6/26/14

Personal experience (sad)
When a troupe of Raccoons infests your pond, you will find turtles shells in adjacent yards.
For reasons I've never understood. Raccoons and even skunks will attempt to carry their prey (if they can) over the first logical "barrier" (away from the scene of the crime, I guess) before trying to eat it.
<Yeeikes... they didn't state re finding any parts... Am sharing/accumulating this. B>
Brandis Hartsell, Ph.D
Re: slider die-off? 6/27/14

I found one slider shell with one leg left. I found no other shells, and saw a slider laying eggs. A larger-than-usual pred population may be a actor!
<Ah yes. BobF>
Brandis Hartsell

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

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

White film on turtles eyes      10/22/14
Hello my name is Corrissa.
<Hiya - I'm Darrel>
My family and I have four red eared sliders. Yesterday we woke up to find that the one and only female was dead in the bottom of the tank. When we took her out we noticed that she had a thick white film over both of her eyes. She never had any weird symptoms to alert us of anything being wrong. We don't know what happened. I would hate to think that we did something to cause her death. Please message me back. Thanks.
<On behalf of Bob Fenner, Neale, Sue and the entire crew, we're sorry for your loss, Corrissa>
<A white-ish film forming over a dead animal in a fresh water tank is not an unusual circumstance, Corrissa. In itself it's not indicative of any specific fungus or bacteria. Still, just to be safe, I would dry-dock the remaining turtles (read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm ) and treat for fungus. Meanwhile break down their tank and sterilize as follows:>
<Basic sterilization technique:
First find a temporary home for any other living things {that you care about} in the tank then fill the tank an extra inch higher than normal and add 1/2 cup of bleach for every 5 gallons of actual water (not tank size, but actual water volume).
Next, remove your filter media and throw it away but keep your filters running during this sterilization -- assume anything bad is everywhere the water touched or went.
Now, run the entire setup for 24 hours (make sure you have ventilation - chlorine fumes are bad news) and then drain, refill with clean tap water (1 inch higher than normal) and then run for 4 hours
Finally, now you can break down the setup, rinse the rocks, ramps, stones & hoses under running water from the sink … and then -- refill with tap water, run the setup and then reintroduce the pets. The best thing about chlorine bleach is that it dissipates naturally, so if there is any residual chlorine at all, it will go away on it’s own.>
<If the remaining turtles are kept in a clean, clear condition I'd expect no further trouble>

Hi I need help with my res turtle       9/17/14
Dear Crew,
<Hiya, Darrel here>
I have three baby RES turtles I bought online over a year ago.
They eat once a day but recently one of them got swollen eyes and bobs it's head back and forth constantly? Is he ok?
<NO! He's got a Vitamin A deficiency>
What do I do?
Also at night it makes a squeaking sound
<and possibly a respiratory condition>
The other turtle, without my noticing, got fat and now the crease In the bottom of its shell looks like it's splitting open. Is this normal?
<No. That sounds like obesity and just like a Vitamin deficiency is a sign of poor nutrition>
<Read here about how to treat them:
both their conditions sound advanced, so this may be a long road to recovery>
<After that, read here about proper conditions and proper diet:

Red Eared Slider Turtle Deaths      8/3/14
Dear Crew,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have a large outdoor pond. Have many adopted/rescued red-eared sliders, some were adopted over nine years ago, some are hatchlings that have grown up here. Recently, one of the original adoptees was found dead in the pond. I removed her, obviously. Now four days later, a juvenile male (about 3 years old) was discovered upside down on the bottom of the pond, apparently dead. I removed his from the pond and placed him on a basking rock, one black leg “fell out” and the two front legs “fell out” while on the rock. He appears to be quite dead.
Should I be concerned that there is some bacteria or viral infection in the water, or somehow in the turtles. I am fearful that this will spread through the entire turtle population in the pond (currently have 20) ranging in age from five months to mega-years.
<I've experienced this as well and like you, my fear is always an infectious disease. Part of that reason is that, in reality, an infectious disease is the only thing we could treat for, isn’t it?>
What should I do?
<OK - I'm going to tell you what I do, but keep in mind my pond is turtles only, no fish or plant life of any concern. If that's your case, remove the turtles to individual housing … which is to say (in my case) my entire garage floor holding 35 cardboard boxes, each with a turtle of one flavor or another.>
<Drain and rinse the pond, scrub the sides, rinse again. Refill with fresh water and add 1 gallon of chlorine bleach per 500 gallons of water. Turn on all pumps and filters (yes, any biological cycle you had going will have to start over) and let run for 4 days. This will kill just about anything alive in that system. If the water is clear and doesn't smell of chlorine (dip your finger and hold to your nose) then it's time to re-introduce the turtles. If the water is murky or milky, drain, rinse and refill again (no need for a second chlorine treatment).>
<As for the turtles, mix a 5 gallon bucket of water, add 2 cups of bleach and dip the turtles one by one tail-first up until the neck. Put them back in their box for an hour until they're good & dry and then back into the pond.>
<Finally, get some chlorine tablets or liquid chlorine from a local pool supply house along with a cheap tester. Raise the chlorine level to that of a swimming pool and keep it at that level for at least 4 weeks. The chlorine level of a pool is fine for them and it will make any transmission of virus or bacteria almost impossible.>
<Finally, after having said all that, there are tons of variations on this theme. Less chlorine, more chlorine… some people just replace pond water with fresh chlorinated tap water, but the point is all the same. You're not going to sterilize or individually treat 20+ turtles, so we do what we can to tip the scales in their favor>

RES can't swim/breathe       8/1/14
Hi guys! Im having a really tough time with my RES. He hardly ever swims around his tank an& he's always on his basking rock but when he gets up there he puffs out his neck and opens up his mouth. It almost seems like he's choking to me. But sometimes he eats his pellets and sometimes he won't eat for days. And yesterday he was laying upside down in his water..i thought he was dead but he wasn't. I just really need some help about what i can do to help him i have no vets where i live that see turtles...thank
you guys so much.
<First of all, do have a read here:
By the sounds of it your turtle has a respiratory tract infection. Such turtles often seem to have "the flu" in terms of symptoms -- inactive, runny noses, difficulty breathing. Other common symptoms include improper swimming (from the fluid in the lungs) and even audible wheezing. The only cure is a course of antibiotics, preferably alongside a vitamin shot. You should be able to find a vet of some sort in your area. Honestly, that really is the only solution. If you think you can't afford a vet, contact your local animal rescue; they may be able to help. Otherwise this turtle will almost certainly die a miserable death. Thousands and thousands of turtles die this way, needlessly, and it's usually caused by a poor environment. Review his home. Does he get fresh greens to eat? Does he have a UV-B lamp? More than anything else, it's these two things that people neglect, and the turtles, unfortunately, get sick and die. Your vet will be able to provide help in providing these, as will any decent pet reptile

Red Eared Slider health   7/5/14
Dear Crew,
<Hiya! Darrel here>
I bought a small RES and I've had him around the time of January 2014. The first few weeks, I had him living in a small plastic tank that he came in and then I eventually transferred him to a much larger tank with proper filtration, heating, basking deck, Heat lamp, lighting, gravel, and decoration. He seemed fine up until recently. While I was away at university my family fed him shrimp and krill as well as food pellets (Aquatic Turtle Food Zoo med brand) but very recently in these past 2 weeks we have noticed him ignoring any type of food pellets we gave him whereas before he use to go crazy about those food pellets. He only ate krill at this point and ignored everything else we tried to feed him.
<Yes, they fixate on this food, which is low quality and not very nutritious.>
He is very small and doesn't seem to be growing much in size since I bought him in January.
<Probably due to the diet>
He has also been having diarrhea.
<And health problems>
Two days ago we dropped in 4 small crickets that we bought from the pet store and he seems to have eaten those.
<NO!!! Stop feeding him foods that you seem to randomly come across. Crickets, Krill and shrimp? Not even CLOSE to his natural diet>
We needed him to eat protein hence the crickets.
<No, you don't>
It's been about a week or a little more than that we have not fed him any shrimp or krill. We have no idea what's wrong with him.
<I'll make a list>
We keep the water temp at 78-79 degrees F
<That's too warm>
We took him out last month or so and put him temporarily in the small tank while we cleaned his large tank and by the time we finished cleaning it, we noticed the water in his little tank was VERY cold and he was hardly moving until we put him back in his larger tank. Could this have been the cause of whatever has been ailing him? Is there any way to get him to eat his pellets like he use to? As I write this, he seems to be wandering around the basking rock and it looks as if he is "yelling" Is this normal? I have only just noticed this behavior. We cannot afford a vet unless we have very good feeling that he has a serious health problem so is there anything I can do?
<Gina, it's hard to say from such a distance but I'm going to assume that he has some health problems due to poor care on the part of the family. The problem with small turtles and fish is that by the time they show signs that we can see, their condition may be very advanced and that makes it difficult to treat them>
<His water needs to be at room temperature - 68-74 degrees. His basking area needs to be 88-93 degrees. He must have direct UV-B lighting and this is accomplished with a proper lamp. Not a regular lamp or a heat lamp or a plant "grow" lamp. And the UV-B can't come through glass or even small screen.>
<I'm also going to assume that he has a vitamin deficiency, since krill, shrimp and crickets have NONE (they are mostly fats). Get some beef or chicken liver to feed him. Remember, his stomach is as big as his mouth… so he'll eat 3 or 4 small pieces. Put him in a separate bowl with water just up to the bottom of his shell (wading water, not swimming water). Let him be there for a few minutes to calm down … then give him two small pieces of liver. TRUST ME, Gina - you do NOT want to put liver (or any meats) into his living tank, or anything that you can't wash easily when done. If he eats, you can give him a 3rd piece, then no more. If he doesn't eat after 10 minutes, take him out (back to his regular tank) and try again the next day - NO other foods AT ALL during this time, until he eats the liver. After 4 or 5 feeds, cut back to every 3rd day. After about 3 weeks of this, offer him a Koi pellet instead of the liver. If he eats it, then you've broken his food fixation. If he doesn't try again tomorrow, etc. until he's hungry enough to eat the koi pellets.>
<Once you've broken his food addiction, you feed him the Koi pellets and an occasional (once a month) earthworm or piece of liver in a separate container>
<Meanwhile, you and you family need to learn what a turtle needs: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm read everything in that article and learn. Don't improvise.>
Thank you in advance!
<Yer welcome!>

Should I be worried?     3/24/14
Dear Crew
<Hiya Darrel here>
I recently purchased 2 red ear sliders and based on your article I believe I have a pretty good indoor habitat set up for them. They are just babies (about one inch long) and they seemed to warm up to their surroundings pretty well. This morning I came into the room to check on them and one of them seemed lethargic... I looked at your "Do I have a sick turtle" page and none of the signs you mentioned i.e. labored breathing or any obvious eye or shell problems were present.
<Generally those show up in more advanced stages. One Day - doesn't qualify for sick>
It was sitting on the basking platform and not really doing much. This turtle seemed to become friendlier much faster than the other one but this morning like I said it wasn't very active. I've had them only 2 days now. It has only eaten once in this time frame (small turtle pellets). The water temp is at 75F and the basking platform is at 93F.
<The environment seems fine>
One thing I'm worried about is the filtration system I have...it's on a 20G tank but the water in just this short time looks darker than I think it should. It looks like the color of ice tea. Is this normal?
<no - but that I often caused by dyes leaching out of the rocks or stones, wood, etc. You didn't go into that. I remember one time I came home to find the water of a turtle tank almost blood-red… feared the worst… turned out to be die from cheap red bricks used to make a basking platform. Replace the water with clear water and rinse everything separately until you find what is causing the color>
Could it be why my turtle seems lethargic?
<Not likely in just one day. It’s hard to say, but worth a close look. If he is still lethargic tomorrow, take him out of the tank and put him in a bowl with a tiny bit of water - not even up to his nose - and set it somewhere bright. Let's f he sits there or roams around the bowl, etc. Let's see if the lethargy is him OR his tank>
The other baby turtle is very active. Should I replace the filtration system?
<nope. Turtles are incredibly adapted to varying water quality. Let's do one thing at a time and find the issue and not just start replacing things>

red ear slider with worms?    3/23/14
hello i have a two and a half inch RES and she looks like she might have tapeworms.
<The technical term here is ... EWWWWW!>
I take care of her and feed her freeze dried shrimps and baby pellets.
<Sounds good>
Yesterday i looked at her and there was a few inch string hanging from her anus. i pulled it out with no problem, but I'm just wondering if i NEED to go to the vet or if she even has tapeworms.
<No. Without seeing what you're seeing it's hard to make a diagnosis, but usually they get the worms from contaminated live foods such as feeder goldfish. In your case, take her out of the tank, wash the tank and everything in it with soap and water, refill and get on with your happy lives. You MAY need to repeat that once or twice over the next six weeks, but usually turtles excrete their intestinal parasites and the cycle will break if you keep the tank clean>

Hello, my little RES turtle is sick!     3/21/14
<Hiya Darrel here>
I bought my 2 res turtles about 5 months ago.. I feed them once every 2 days and clean their tank once every 3 or 4 days, they were active and healthy and their shell was hard.. I don't have any filter or heater anything like that, their tank is kind of small and I keep them near the window, 2 weeks ago when I wanted to clean their tank I found one of them stuck to the ground of the tank DEAD??? I was so scared and sad why did she die so suddenly?
<On behalf of Bob, Neale, Sue and the entire crew… we're sorry for your loss>
Her color was brown and her feet were stuck to something brown, those days clytem's shell is soft and kind of brownish and the cute bright green disappeared?!
<There are many issues there. First, as sliders grow they do lose that bright green coloration - but they don’t turn brown. Second, anything brown that they STICK to - is puzzling … not something we can even guess at without being there.>
I put her under sun longer those days so she can get vitamin d because I know that it's the reason her shell is soft but nothing changed and the color is getting more brownish and weirder
<She can't get ANY UV-B or produce Vitamin D if the sunlight goes through glass of any kind. The sunlight has to be direct. Even the very small window screens used to keep bugs out filters a great deal of the wavelengths needed for good health. And just as important, sunlight through glass can easily overheat a little turtle if they can't get away from it. Please read this entire article and match EVERYTHING it says against your conditions: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm Will she die just like the other one?
<Let's hope not.>
Please help:(!!

taking care of my RES   3/10/14
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I just wanted to say your site is really amazing and helpful! ,
<Thank you!>
but I have a couple of question including my Red Eared Slider ,I have 3 so far , one of them I'm assuming just died it wouldn't move and one of its eyes is open and its blue and when I move it the head keeps going from side to side ,it haven't been eating since the day I got it ,
<that does sound dead.  I'm sorry to hear that>
the other two are eating and swimming and living normally, this one has been basking for 3 days straight that I had to put it in the water being afraid that it would die of dehydration, I think the reason is because it wouldn't eat, and now I'm afraid that the other two might die to so what I can do to prevent that? , for the basking light it's hard for me to get one because it isn't available here and I cant order from the internet , I really hope you help me
<I'll try.  The first order of business is to read this article: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm  it explains everything you need & why you need it.>
<A basking light can be an ordinary incandescent bulb - it's used to generate heat so the turtle can dry out and warm up from the water.   The UV-B light is the problem because it is specific and more expensive.   The answer is sunlight!  The turtles will require direct sunlight for a few minutes every day … or maybe an hour every other day.  The thing to be careful of is that they can overheat and die very quickly, so make sure there is shade available as well.>
<So - read the article and make sure you UNDERSTAND everything … then, once you've done that - then please write back to discuss any concerns you have - or how we can supply their needs on your budget>
Re: taking care of my RES        3/12/14

Thank you so much for replying!
<No charge!!  We enjoy helping>
The article helped
<It was written by a genius>
and I usually keep my window open for the turtles to have direct sunlight maybe an hour a day , ill see if I can get an inexpensive light bulb that would replace the UV light one
<no ... an inexpensive light bulb that generates heat would be a BASKING lamp, not a UV lamp>
and lately I've noticed one of the turtles skin is kind of shedding and it has this white pimple looking thing on the back of its neck. Do I have to worry about that ?
<The shedding of skin is normal.   So is the shedding of the scutes -- you can find thin, almost transparent pieces of the shell that are shed as a turtle grows.  A white BUMP is another matter.   That is more unusual.    Take several pictures of it from different angles with your phone camera and send them.... we'll see what we can make of them>
and sorry I'm very inexperienced with turtles , but thank you so much ♥
<Don't be sorry - we learn by asking the right questions and you are doing that!>

Young male RES scute shed before it was ready     1/3/14
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have an Red Eared Slider that has a scute that came off before it was ready, I was doing his daily feeding and he ate used the rest room and moved around just fine, reading elsewhere and on your site I have come to the conclusion of dry docking him
<Right!!  Thanks for reading first & asking second!>
I only used triple antibacterial as I did not have hydrogen peroxide and betadine as this happened later in the night,
<Good thinking>
When the scute came off underneath it was a filmy white, sort of gummy, but the shell underneath wasn't soft but not hard hard like normal, the scute wasn't super thin but bendable and fairly see through, I can see his shell pattern on the part that is exposed now
<What you're seeing is the bone underneath the scute>
He bled a little, I think just in the part that is exposed, a herp vet is possible but I really momentarily have very strict finances unless he is in danger from this
<Not yet, he's not in danger>
He has been dry docked with only a little water not above his shell for a little while.
How long should he be kept dry docked? I've seen everything from a few days to a
few weeks, I want him to be able to eat and get the lighting he needs, but not sure how to accomplish it as I'm not sure how to hold the lighting, right now he is in his feeding tub just to keep him dry, its about 80 degrees in the room he is in, does he need warmer and how would I do that?
<The description for Dry-Docking tells you to move his UV lamp if you can, but it's not critical.  What is important is that you keep him DRY until this area heals>
His lamps get really hot and I worry about them on anything other than his wire mesh tank top and his tub doesn't have high enough sides to put it on there, he would be too close to them.
<Then don't worry about it.   I share your concern that he can get too hot and we don't want that.>
 I'm very worried as I don't want anything to happen to him, how would I treat this? I'm including a picture, the picture makes it look a little redder than it is, it did bleed but I don't think too much. It's in the top. Half where the scute is gone
<For whatever reason, the scute has died and fallen off.  It won't grow back, but what will happen instead is this area will grow over with scar tissue.  It really isn't that big a deal as long as you treat it like any other wound, which you seem to be doing just fine.  Keep him warm and DRY except for a daily, shallow bath so he can drink, poop and eat.  Even the scute can get wet.  Getting it wet won't hurt it - just KEEPING it wet would hurt it.>
<Give him 6 weeks in dry dock until the wound looks healed and feels hard, then he's good to go back.>
<Because he's had this damage, you should be a bit extra careful to keep his water clean and sanitary.  This are will tend to be a BIT more sensitive to infection.  I said just a BIT -- so don't get paranoid… just be sure to keep his water as clean as we know we should anyway>
<As long as the area heals over, no need for a trip to the vet>

RES question   12/26/13
<Hiya! - Darrel here>
I adopted a red eared slider back in June.  He's about 8 years old and seems to be happy and healthy.  I enjoy having him in my classroom, and so do the kids!
<Glad to hear that.  Many turtles and iguanas languish in the backs of classrooms after the initial interest wears off.  Keep up the good work!>
Over the months I notice that when he's out of the water he jerks his head....and makes a noise as he does it.  It doesn't seem to be a voluntary movement.  What is that?
<It could be a number of things - the main one we care about is a respiratory infection>
My biggest concern is a sore on his leg.  I just noticed it today.  It's not bleeding, but it's a sore spot.  Every time he takes a step with that leg, it rubs over a spiky bump on his shell, causing irritation.  My first thought is to file it down, but I know he can feel his shell and I don't want to hurt him.  What should I do??
<If there is a simple growth on his shell, then you can file it smooth with the coarse side of an emery board.  Usually you can't file it OFF - just smooth.   If you can get a cell phone camera to take a decent picture, I could give you more specific advice.>
<As far as the possible infection, please read the following articles.  The first outlines care instructions - in case there is something missing that contributes to health problems.  The second addresses the treatment. 
Specifically, if you treat the skin condition with iodine and smooth the edges of the shell (which would also need iodine) you'll need to "dry-dock" him for a while and the second article describes the method>
<Lastly, I think you could do a little research and find a Turtle and Tortoise Club in your area.  With a bit of luck you might find an experienced "old hand" who could help you address the wound>

RES hlth.        11/21/13
<Hiya - Darrel here>
This is Tillie my Red Eared Slider and she has had an extended neck for about two days now.
<I can see it - it's due to swelling of the neck tissues>

Is there something I am doing wrong?
<something *IS* wrong, whether you're doing it or some other cause - remains to be seen>
We have had her three months and this is completely new.
<The swelling (technically called edema) is a buildup of fluid in the tissues and this is consistent with conditions that that be cause by poor diet and lack of proper lighting, but also other internal reasons.>
<The immediate treatment for Tilly is to dry-dock her and treat her as if she has a bacterial infection.  Note: she may NOT have one, but the treatment is essentially the same (give her a more optimal condition to fight it and allow her to try to improve).  Please read here
<Now as to the root cause, the most important thing to do is go over your environmental conditions and see what, if anything, you are doing wrong.  
Read here for general guidelines
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm  and please pay very close attention to UV lighting and diet>

Help sick Turtle!!  10-6-2013
<Hiya, Darrel here>
I have a Red Eared Slider and he is sick. His tank set up is 10 gallon tank with a dry dock, filter, heater, UV/heat lamp combo which is on for 12 hours per day. His tank was quite dirty so my husband helped me clean it. I noticed my turtle was not his regular self (not moving much). While cleaning his tank he was in the bathtub and he started throwing up brown goo. I saw it bubble out of his nose a little too. I have removed him from his tank to a box and have his uv/heat lamp on him. He is not really moving let alone eating. What else should I do?
<That's the problem with reptiles, Susanna.  They're very stoic - and by the time you notice they're not themselves they're usually very sick.   A brown discharge is indeed a bad sign.  It clearly indicates a trip to an experienced reptile vet.   Until or except for that, all you can really do is keep him warm and dry and hope that the favorable conditions help him fight it off.>
<In your case, if he's unable or unwilling to move, a heating pad under the box is probably a better idea than a heat lamp.  It keeps him warm without the chance of overheating/cooking him.   The UV-B lamp can be on 24 hours but after 12 hours it may be better to turn it off so he has a day/night cycle.  Make sure he gets a shallow bath every day so he can poop, drink and (if we're lucky) - eat.   Read here about it - treat him for a respiratory infection… but get him to a vet.>
Please any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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