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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 acquired an African Sidenecked Slider from a student who

Customer Question

I acquired an African Sidenecked Slider from a student who could no longer care for it. I have had her for 4 years. Year two it laid an egg in the water, discovered he was female. Researched and did what was described and she laid about 6-8 eggs. Did the same last year. This year, the timing was the same. In June she started basking all the time trying to climb out, so I put her in the dirt aquarium again. It has been 3 weeks. She has not laid eggs yet and get very agitated in the water tank, so I put her back in the dirt. There is a large dis she submerse herself in from time to time, but keeps burying herself in the dirt. I am worried she is not eating enough. How long can this behavior go on?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the slider. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the slider?
Customer: I am not sure I would say lethargic... more frantic.
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: 3 months ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Anna replied 3 months ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. I'm sorry o hear your turtle is having a problem. I'm working on your answer and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I'll be back shortly.
Expert:  Anna replied 3 months ago.

Thank you for waiting. There is an excellent chance that your turtle needs to lay some egg, but is having trouble. Turtles can retain eggs or become egg bound (unable to pass eggs) This can cause infection, organ damage, and even death. Symptoms of a problem may include not laying eggs, laying only a few eggs, lethargy, pacing, lack of appetite, prolapse, digging motions, and kicking of the back legs. At this site, you can read more about egg-laying and egg retention:

There is no way to be certain this is what is going on without a vet exam, but all the conditions point to it. Once this happens, there are three potential outcomes: eventually the eggs are laid, the eggs are resorbed by the body, or the turtle dies. I recommend that you take her to a reptile vet. X-rays will help determine the nature of the problem. The vet will decide whether it's appropriate to try an injection of a hormone that will induce egg-laying, or if surgery is necessary. Here is a directory of reptile vets:

If you have further questions, just let me know. I hope your turtle will be fine.


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Expert:  Anna replied 3 months ago.

Hello again,

I'm just checking to see how your turtle is doing. I hope she has been able to lay some eggs.