My Red Eared Slider I found her just sitting at the bottom of her tank ( she's 7 years old ) she's not responding and

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Customer: My Red Eared Slider I found her just sitting at the bottom of her tank ( she's 7 years old )
she's not responding and she has one eye open and one closed, is it possible she's starting
to hibernate or is it worse, she exhibited what appeared like sneezing a couple days before.
Answered by Anna in 43 mins 12 years ago
30+ years of experience

17,022 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hello Dwight,

Some additional information will help me to answer your question.

Have you noticed the turtle opening her mouth repeatedly, as if yawning? Any bubbles from her nose?

What temperatures do you have in the basking area and in the water?

What kinds of lighting and heating equipment do you use?

How big is the tank? What kind of filtration do you use?

Thank you.




The water is at about 80 degrees and yes she did do that yawning action periodically, the tank is 4 ft. wide about 1 1/2 ft deep I believe it's a 40-50 gallon tank and I keep it

half full when she stands on her hind legs her shoulder and head are completely out of

the water. I have not been using her heat lamp lately I've been letting her use direct

sunlight, she would float totally outstretched in the sun & water. I would let her spend the night sometimes out of the tank buried under my swearshirts on the floor. When I

was holding her today I could feel like a cool breeze of air coming out her butt i thought

and then a dribble of water. I have a Fluval 2plus filter submerged in the tank, usually

takes a week before the water needs changing. She displayed this behavior about

six months ago then it just passed usually after iI let her walk around outside in the

warm sun and grass.

Thank you for getting back to me. From your description, it sounds like your turtle is quite ill. She's exhibiting symptoms of a respiratory infection, and possibly a digestive upset, too. She needs to be seen by a reptile vet. There are no home treatments for respiratory infections. Here are two reptile vets in your area:

Parkview Animal Hospital
Bradley Fear, DVMXXXXXbr />Warren, MI 48092
Telephone:(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr />
Serenity Animal Hospital
Karen M. Michalski, DVM
Sterling Heights, MI 48312
Telephone: (586) 264-VETS

Your temperatures may have something to do with the turtle becoming ill. The water temperature is fine, but that heat lamp should be on every day. 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 (24*C) degrees, 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. The basking area should be kept at 85-90 degrees (29 to 32*C). Use a thermometer to be sure. You can adjust the temperature by raising or lowering the light fixture.

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, daylight, UV, and UVA are NOT the same thing. I'm putting a lot of emphasis on this because it's crucial to a reptile’s health. Without this light, Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) will develop because they 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. After 7 years with no UVB light, your turtle most likely has already developed some MBD. 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 the UVB rays. The sunlight probably feels good to her because it's warm, but doesn't provide the needed UVB rays, unless you're actually taking her outside. Turtles need 12 to 14 hours of exposure to UVB light each day. If you want more information on care, here is a reliable site:

I hope you're able to quickly provide the proper conditions and make an appointment with a vet, and that your turtle will reach a full recovery. If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY.

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