I have a read eared slider that I think is trying to nest. We have her in a 30 gallon tank with 3/4 water and 2-3 inches

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Customer: I have a read eared slider that I think is trying to nest. We have her in a 30 gallon tank with 3/4 water and 2-3 inches of gravel. Should we remove her to a tank with moistened garden soil for her to lay her eggs? We have no male. We were wondering if we could use shredded newspaper moistened instead of dirt? We live in Pennsylvania where it is too cold to put her outside somewhere to nest. How long after laying eggs, if she does can we put her back into her regular tank?
Answered by Anna in 1 hour 13 years ago
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Anna
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Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hello,

Turtles will retain eggs as long as possible while they seek an appropriate nesting site. This retention 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.

So, yes, you'll need to provide her with a nesting site. For a slider, that would be a 50/50 mix of sand and organic compost, about 12 inches deep. The bigger the area you can give her, the better. You may have to move her to a preformed pond or a child's wading pool in your basement to make room for everything she needs. Be sure that you continue to provide UVB light and a basking light no matter where you put her. This site has very detailed instructions for making nesting sites, including photos:

http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/Nestsites.htm

At this one, you can read more about egg-laying and egg retention:

http://www.redearslider.com/physical_conditions.html

As for when she can be taken back to her regular tank, after she lays and buries a clutch of eggs, you can try putting her back. however, you’ll need to watch for signs that she has more eggs. That would include lethargy, pacing, lack of appetite, digging motions, and kicking of the back legs. If she exhibits any of these signs, put her back in her nesting site.

This is a serious situation, so be sure to build a nesting site as soon as possible. If you have further questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY.

Anna

Customer
Thank you for your help, but we ended up taking her to a vet that dealt with turtles. He did surgery and removed as many eggs as time would allow and did a spaying of Myrtle so we don't have to worry any more. He didn't have time to remove 5 large eggs, because he had her under anestesia so long but she laide those 5 last week. Her surgery was Jan 2. She is doing very well, it is just hard to keep her surgery area dry so it can heal. It needs to be dry about another 4 weeks. I am trying Waterproof tapes and duct tape so she can still swim in her tank. She started eating the day after she laid her 5 large eggs. Thanks again.
Thank you for the update. I'm glad to hear you got the problem taken care of. Myrtle will be better off if you don't have to worry about egg-laying. I hope she recuperates uneventfully.

There's no need to click on accept again. Thank you for accepting above.

anna
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