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Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11185
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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I have a red ear slider that shell is about the size of the

Customer Question

I have a red ear slider that shell is about the size of the Palm off my hand, that seems to have an air bubble under her shell. Is there anything that can be done to help her get rid of it?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. I would like to help you with Frog tonight.

Is it possible to send a photo of the problem on her shell?

You can upload a photo by clicking on REPLY, then at the top of the area where you would type is a tool bar with icons. Click on the little paper clip icon (it's right next to the YouTube icon). Instructions will pop up. On some browsers, this doesn't work. if that happens, you can put your photo on one of the free photo sharing websites, such as www.photobucket.com. Then come back here and paste the link to your picture in a REPLY. For more help with posting pictures:

http://ww2.justanswer.com/how-do-i-send-photo-or-file-expert

Thank you.

Anna

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Her shell looks fine, she can't go under water. she just floats. I added two pictures below worth the add button.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I hope you can help. My oldest daughter brought her home when she was a junior in high school and my youngest took her when my oldest moved away for college.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. I misunderstood. I thought you meant she had a visible bubble on the shell. Turtles don't get air bubbles under their shells. The shell is living tissue - bone, and is part of the skeleton, with muscle tissue attached to it. There is no place for an air bubble to go.
The most common cause of floating as you've described is a respiratory infection (often pneumonia). The lungs fill up, making it difficult or impossible to swim. Sometimes they swim lopsided. Sometimes they just float. Other symptoms to watch for include bubbles coming from the nose or mouth, appetite loss, repeated yawning, and lethargy. Even with only one of these symptoms, this is serious. I know you would like a home treatment, and I would love to give you one, but unfortunately, this is a situation where there just isn't one. Frog will need to be seen by a vet. These sites have directories of vets who treat turtles. Just copy and paste the address to your browser window.
http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Info/state_resources.htm
http://www.nytts.org/nytts/helpnet.htm
In the meantime, all you can do to help is to make sure all conditions are perfect for Frog. Because there is so much misinformation available both online and from pet stores, I’m also including a care sheet I’ve written for slider turtles to help you with that. It takes months to years before incorrect conditions result in health problems, so even a turtle that has seemed to do well, will eventually become ill. You can use the care sheet as a checklist to make sure everything is right. If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I hope Frog will be fine.
Anna
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SLIDER TURTLE CARE SHEET
Well-cared for sliders can live 30 years or more.
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 Area
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.
Filtration
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
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 Reading
This is among the most reputable sites on turtles.
http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/caresheet-red_ear_slider.htm
http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/cs-yellowbelly.htm
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much. I will be taking her inn first thing tomorrow.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
You're welcome. I hope the vet can help.
Anna