I have had my box turtle for twenty-three years. Just recently he has stopped eating. I tried all of his favorite food and he won't eat anything. I'm worried. He's still active and does still drink water. Any suggestions. He's never eaten some of the foods usually suggested, like worm, lettuce, or carrots.
Pet's Gender: Male
Pet's Age: >12
Name of Animal: Dorkin
dried turtle food moistened, chicken, tuna, cantaloupe, apples, strawberries,bananas, fish. He used to eat different types of cat food.
Where is the turtle housed?
If inside do you have a UVB light? How old? Tube or coil?
Do you feed any supplements?
What is the normal diet?
Has he been soaking?
Is he lethargic?
He walks around freely in the house, mostly in the kitchen. No UVB light because I take him outside.
There are a few reasons we see Turtles go off food : The first is during this time of year, is breedin season and make turtles will forgo food during this time of year. Since he is a mature male this may be a possibility.
Another reason for going on a hunger strike may be a parasite issue. We see this in turtles and a Fecal check may be needed to rule that out.
I suggest that you may try some live earth worms to see if he may respond to live prey. Make sure to dust them with calcium powder. I would also try setting him up with a UVB light inside where he eats. Lighting can have a bearing on the appetite.
This link goes ove dietary needs and some suggestions on feeding especially when they get picky: http://www.boxturtlesite.info/diet.html
Hopefully he will respond to the live prey and you can add in the fruit and veggies.
If you need a Herp Vet, please let me know if you need a Herp Vet and I can try to locate one with a State.
Please hit reply for further help. I am here to assist you until satisfied.
He doesn't eat worms. He never has. I have two turtles. My second turtle is older. I've had him one year longer than Dorkin. That turtle eats earthworms, slugs, bugs, and lots of things that Dorkin would never accept. Dorkin has never accepted any live food.
As I said this may be an issue related breeding season, or he may have picked up a parasite that needs to be addressed. It certainly sounds like Dorkin has a mind of his own as far as proper diet.
It may be wise to have him in for a Fecal check and some blood work to rule out any medical issues that can be causing the refusal of food. The fact his activity level is good it definitely a positive.
I wish I could pinpoint this down for you, but without a hands on exam, I am afraid I am at a loss. If you would like another Expert to assist you please let me know and I will opt out. If you would like a Herp Vet, please supply a State and I will locate some for you.
What is a Herp Vet? I already have a vet I've used before when the other turtle had a parasite 4 yrs. ago. Dorkin didn't get sick at that time. That turtle had a change in his stool and exhibited very different behavior and is considerably older. Since that turtle eats live prey I could understand parasites as a causal agent. Dorkin doesn't eat that kind of food so I didn't think that would be the problem. Where would he pick up the parasite?
Parasites are carried in the intestinal tract of all reptiles. We sometimes see an increase in the load which can throw them off their food. Some time as will other animals we see organ issues pop up over time and this may even be a vitamin deficiency. As I said lighting can be a factor, and some turtles will just go on a hunger strike. Without a hands on exam I am only able to give you suspicions of what may cause this. A Herp vet is a Reptile Specialist. Most regular Vets are not familiar with illnesses and anotomy of these marvelous creatures. It sounds like Dorkin does not realize he is a turtle. I can say one thing he has you well trained with his diet. Just like most reptile people get wrapped around their foot and they control us. People do not give them enough credit for how smart they are.
Dr. Herko did the kind of exam you mentioned with blood work and put Speck (that's the other turtle) on a week of Baytril. He wasn't a reptile specialist. I guess I should use a Herp vet. Can you give me the name of one in Baltimore, MD?
This is a link for Herp Vets in Maryland that treat all reptiles:
These are Turtle Vets in Maryland:
CLINIC'S NAME: Bowie Animal Hospital
ADDRESS: Collington Plaza, 3428 Crain Hwy., Bowie
PHONE NUMBER: (NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>
VET'S NAME: Thomas Carman, DVM
ADDRESS: 6215 Baltimore Ave., Riverdale
CLINIC'S NAME: Kingsbrook Animal Hospital
ADDRESS: 5322 New Design Road, Frederick
CLINIC'S NAME: Reptile Wonders
VET'S NAME: Brian Kristal, Wildlife Rehabilitator
ADDRESS: 12936 Pickering Drive, Germantown
CLINIC'S NAME: American Histolabs
VET'S NAME: Richard Montali, DVM
ADDRESS: 7605-F Airpark Rd., Gaithersburg
CLINIC'S NAME: Fins, Scales, & Tails Vet. Hosp.
VET'S NAME: Thomas Ryan, DVM
ADDRESS: 330 One Forty Village, Westminster
CLINIC'S NAME: Lexington Vet Association
VET'S NAME: Daria Smith, DVM
ADDRESS: 511 Waltham St., Lexington
CLINIC'S NAME: Swan Corner Animal Hospital
VET'S NAME: John Athans Spodick, DVM
ADDRESS: Tygn's Tarry Complex,XXXXX Tyngsboro
VET'S NAME: Pat Steele, DVM
ADDRESS: 11206 York Rd., Kockeysville
CLINIC'S NAME: Community Animal Hospital
VET'S NAME: Aaron Weisberg, DVM
ADDRESS: 9035 Liberty Rd., Randallstown
CLINIC'S NAME: Phoenix Vet Hospital
VET'S NAME: Flavia Zorgniotti, DVM
ADDRESS: 9 Pelham Island Road, Wayland
I am not sure of proximity to where you live, but these are all I have listed.
I have been doing Reptile Rescues for 15+ Years