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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 16780
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 20+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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How long does it take a 3 month old red eared slider turtle

Resolved Question:

How long does it take a 3 month old red eared slider turtle to show signs of pneumonia?how long would it take to show the littlest signs and how long would it take to show a serious infection
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.


My name isXXXXX am a Vet tech with special interest in Reptiles and Reptile Rescue.

Can you tell me about the set up?

Tank size?

UVB light? Florescent tube or coil, strength, brand?

Basking light?



Any yawning from the turtle?

Any bubble from the nose or mouth?

Any swelling from the eyes?

is the turtle able to swim normally?


Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He has lots of water to swim in that is about 78 to 80 f and it is a 20 gallon tank he has a basking rock ad that area is about 82 to 90 f he has a florecent UVB coil light not sure the brand. He is eating pellets and meal worms and has eaten a few fish. He has a calcium supplement in his water in the tank. He gasped for air and supples would start coming out of his mouth. Sometimes when he was in the water he would have a bubble on his nose I don't know if that was just an air bubble or what! Yes is eyes are a bit swollen but they are going down. All he does is sit on his basking rock so that he is somewhat in the water and somewhat not. He swam maybe like once a week for a total of 5 mins. I cleaned his water thoroughly take everything out and wash it off with water and clean the tank out and wash the rocks on the bottom and wash his basking rock off! I made sure his tank was always clean
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.


When we see the the bubbles from the mouth and nose and the yawning, that is usually the first sign of a Respiratory infection. If the respiratory infection progresses, it can go into pneumonia. There is no set time for that to happen. We usually can recognize pheumonia, because the symptoms get worse and the turtle has problems swimming because of fluid in the lungs. The only treatment is to make sure that the turtle is seen by a reptile specialist for an Antibiotic. I would improve the diet a bit for your turtle. They need 50% aquatic plants of dark leafy greens, 25% live prey like meal worms, earth worms or cooked meats, an 25% pellets. If you should need a Herp Vet please let me know and I can locate a Herp Vet with a State. RI'sare very common in water turtles, and if treated early you can avoid pneumonia and get the turtle feeling better. Please let me know if you have further questions and I will be happy to assist you. Joan

Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 16780
Experience: 35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 20+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
Joan and other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I got the turtle when he was 2 weeks old he was really active and everything and when he was about 2 and a half months old he started having signs of a serious respiratory infection so I took him to the vet as soon as I knew something was wrong and they have me medicine to give him by mouth for a week so I did that and he didn't seem to get any better at all so I took him to a vet in Edmonton that is a specialist! She gave him a vitamin shot in his front leg and then have me for medicine to give him by mouth for the respiratory infection so I was giving it to him and he started eating more and was swimming a little more then he stopped swimming and just say in his basking area with his eyes closed all the time! Then the other day I has come home and he had passed away! I was just wondering if it would have been me that made him sick or if he was probably sick when I got him!
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.


Most likely he was sick when you had gotten him. Many shops do not give the proper care and even sell wild caught turtles rather than capive bred. This is a common problem we see with reptiles coming out of shops and even bought online. I have had several customers with the same complaints and come to find out the turtles were bough from an online supplier, who has changed the company name several times because of complaints of selling sick animals. It sounds like your conditions were right and you did all you could do to give your little turtle a good long life. Joan

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What is a better all around pet a red eared slider or a red foot tortoise? Can you tell me some of the good and bads about both
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.


They both make good pets. Red eared sliders are easier to care for and are much cheaper. The Red Foot tortoise needs a tortoise table, or a rubbermade tub. They need special diet of grasses hays, fruits and veggies. They also need a UVB, Basking light and a humid environment. They are a very long term commitment and can live anywhere for 30-50 years. You can read about them here:

The Red Eared Slider is a water turtle and can be prettyeasy to care for once you have the proper set up. I am going to give you a care sheet that was put together by Anna, a fellow Expert. This will help you with a nice RES:


Well-cared for sliders can live 30 years or

The Tank

It's recommended that a baby slider have at least a
15 gallon tank. By the time the turtle is 3-4 years old, it will need a 60
gallon tank, so it's best to get the biggest you can in the beginning. You can
also use a large RubberMaid tote. That's not as pretty as a tank, but costs a
lot less. Set up the tank so there's a land area and a water area. Put the
basking light at one end so the whole tank doesn't get too hot. You want the
water to be about twice as deep as the turtle is long. If the turtle is two
inches long, you'll want four inches of water.

Temperatures and Basking

Turtles need certain types of lighting and need to be warm. Air and
water that are not warm enough can lead to fungal and respiratory infections and
unhealthy shells. Turtles must have a basking area where they can get out of the
water, dry off, and bask in very warm light. The ambient air temperature in the
tank should be around 75 *F (24*C) , with the basking area warmer still. Over
the basking area there should be some sort of lamp that will take a 40-60 watt
incandescent bulb (or you can buy a ceramic light fixture made just for
reptiles). If you live in an area that has farm stores, you can buy a metal
light fixture made to keep baby chicks warm for just a few dollars. Don't buy
the accompanying bulb, however. You need an ordinary incandescent bulb in the
basking light. Hardware stores sell similar fixtures as work lights. The basking
area should be kept at 85-90*F (29 to 32*C). Use a digital probe thermometer to
be sure. You can adjust the temperature by raising or lowering the light
fixture.The lights that come with the covers on aquariums are not suitable for
turtles. You'll also need a submersible aquarium heater that will keep the water
78-82*F (26 to 28*C).

UVB Light

It's extremely important that you
buy an additional light that produces UVB rays. A Reptisun 10.0 is a good brand
that does. If you choose another brand be absolutely certain it provides UVB
rays. Don't take the word of pet store personnel, but read it for yourself.
Full-spectrum, DayGlo, sunGlo, UV, or UVA are not the same thing. I'm putting a
lot of emphasis on this because it's crucial to your turtle's health. Without
this light, Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) will develop because your turtle won't
be able to produce vitamin D. Vitamin supplements are not a good replacement for
the proper lighting. MBD causes a very slow and painful death.UVB bulbs must be
replaced every six months as they lose their effectiveness after that, even
though they may still look fine. Light that comes through a window isn't
sufficient because the glass filters out most of the rays turtles need to stay
healthy. To prevent MBD, turtles also need calcium. The easiest way to provide
it is to place a cuttlebone in the tank. Cuttlebones are sold in bird
departments of pet stores.


Turtles are very sensitive
to water quality. Even if you change the water every day, it can still contain
harmful chemicals. A good filtration system is essential. Water changes are also
needed even with a filter. If the tank is too small, no filter can keep up with
the amount of waste that turtles produce.


Feeding is an
area where pet stores often give out bad information. Commercial food should
make up only 1/4 of the diet. Animal products (cooked meat, earthworms, canned
cat food) should make up another 1/4. The remaining half should be plant foods
(dark lettuce like romaine, bits of strawberry or melon, etc.). Hatchlings
should be fed every day. Older turtles should be fed 3 times per week.
Overfeeding can lead to gout and kidney failure.

For Further

This is among the most reputable sites on
Please let me know if you have further questions. My goal is to give you Excellent Service. Joan

Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
Hi Cierra,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Raphael. How is everything going?


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