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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11061
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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I have a red eared slider, about the size of a half dollar.

Customer Question

I have a red eared slider, about the size of a half dollar. By his back legs where his shell meets is puffy, the underside of his shell seems to be a little red-ish around the edge and he makes this noise which I assume is a turtle sneeze
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: Yes. I didn't see one
JA: The Veterinarian will know what to do. What is the turtle's name?
Customer: Myrtle
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Myrtle?
Customer: It looks like his shell might be shedding a little. I wasn't sure if maybe he's being over fed or if there might be something wrong with him
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Anna replied 5 months ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. I'm sorry to hear of this problem. From what you have described, Myrtle is very ill, and will probably need to be seen by a vet for appropriate treatment. If you'll give me some additional information, I can tell you what you can do at home until you can see a vet.What temperatures do you maintain under the basking light and in the water?What brand and size of UVB light do you have? How old is the bulb?What do you feed? Any supplements?Does the tank have a filter?If you are asked to rate my service, please don't do that just yet because we are just beginning. Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Under the basking light is 85 degrees. The water would be room temperature.I have a 13 watt 5.0 uvb the brand is reptisun and I just got it in April.I feed them juvenile omega one pellets.Yes there is a filter and I change the water once a week. I have two red eared sliders and the other one doesn't have any of the symptoms myrtle has.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I uploaded a picture of myrtle
Expert:  Anna replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for the photo. I'll post some additional information in a moment , but will you also give me your zip code, so I can find a reptile vet for you?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Expert:  Anna replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for waiting. Redness like thatis often a sign of septicemia - blood poisoning. It could be the result of a minor wound, but often no cause is found. . It must be treated by a vet. You can read more about septicemia by scrolling down about 1/3 on this page: are several possible causes of swelling. Bacterial infections are one. Kidney disease can cause swelling of the back part of the body. A digestive problem, such as severe constipation or a blockage could also be responsible. These conditions can be serious, and also require a vet's help. The noise Myrtle is making could indicate a respiratory infection, or it may mean he is in pain. Your basking temperature is good. The water should be 78*F to 82*F. Your UVB light is not strong enough for turtles. They need one with a 10% output, such as the Reptisun 10.0 in the straight tube style.Here are some vets: Oaks Veterinary ClinicRick L. Harmon, DVM2030 27th StreetDes Moines, IA 50310Telephone:(###) ###-####es Moines Veterinary HospitalLiz Conger, DVM21935 Pacific Highway S.Des Moines, IA 50310Telephone:(###) ###-####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. 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. I hope Myrtle will be fine.AnnaMy goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service after you have all the information you need. I will greatly appreciate a positive rating as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you!SLIDER TURTLE CARE SHEETWell-cared for sliders can live 30 years or more.The TankIt'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 AreaTurtles 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 LightIt'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.FiltrationTurtles 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.FeedingFeeding 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 ReadingThis is among the most reputable sites on turtles.
Expert:  Anna replied 4 months ago.

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