I HAVE AN EIGHT YEAR OLD RED SLIDER WHO'S BEEN 'OFF' FOR SOME TIME. yESTERDAY, SHE WAS BUBBLING, WHICH i READ IS SIGN OF

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Customer: i HAVE AN EIGHT YEAR OLD RED SLIDER WHO'S BEEN 'OFF' FOR SOME TIME. yESTERDAY, SHE WAS BUBBLING, WHICH i READ IS SIGN OF RI. jUST NOW, SHE WAS UNDER WATER OPENING WIDE, LOOKING LIKE SHE WAS GASPING FOR AIR. i TOOK HER OUT OF HER TANK AND HAVE HER IN A BIN WITH SOME WATER AND AN ANTIBACTERIAL. sHE SEEMS TO HAVE STOPPED THE GAPING, BUT NO VETS OPEN IN MY AREA. IS THERE ANYTHING i CAN DO UNTIL i CAN GET INTO A VET TOMORROW.
Answered by Anna in 1 hour 9 years ago
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Anna
30+ years of experience
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17,040 satisfied customers

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

Hello and welcome,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. I'm sorry to hear of Sally's problems. Some additional information will be useful.

What are the temperatures under the basking light and in the water?

What is the name of the antibacterial you put in the water?

Will she eat?

When she swims, does she have trouble or float lopsided?

Thank you.

Anna

Anna41553.6324439815
Customer

water 82 b/c she's not well, and 90 in basking area, however; she's been kept outside in Texas weather 90s (w/ shade of course). Today's cooler so she's under uvb and heat but from a distance of about a foot. The antibacterial is Melafix for fist, but I thought it to be better than nothing b/c she's missing her last nail on a front foot??? She must be eating, not turtle food, but live rosy reds go missing and so does anancaris fronds. No, I've watched for lopsidedness, but she doesn't present it, however; she does have bursts of swimming frantically, banging around the walls of her tank. The pH has been high in an otherwise pristine 75 gal. tank. I was concerned that it might have something to do with it, so I added Proper pH 7.0 yesterday. I neglected to say that I did bring her to a vet about a month ago when I saw she wasn't eating or basking as she did, but no blood was taken. Her vitals all were good. That's when the vet said to pull her from the tank for most of the day b/c she was concerned with shell rot (a couple of greenish looking places on the shell, but I don't think that's it. Just now I heard what I thought was a sneeze and I checked on her and she was gulping at the water in her bin. Otherwise, she's bee quiet since this morning, sleeping.

Thank you for getting back to me. I have one more question. How high was the pH when it was too high?

Anna41553.7386117824
Hello again. It appears you went offline without seeing my question about the pH. I'll go ahead and answer without knowing how high it was. Slider turtles do quite well in a pH up to 8.5. Trying to adjust pH often causes more problems than it solves, so unless it's somewhat higher than that, it's best to leave it alone. Proper pH is best at maintaining the right pH once you have it, rather than changing it. If you need to lower the pH, using what is called a blackwater extract is a more natural and less drastic way to do it. These are sold in pet stores or online. You can read more about turtles and pH here:

http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/waterquality.htm

The temperatures you have now are good, but that's where they should be all the time, not just when she is sick. She also needs UVB all the time for 12 to 14 hours per day. Insufficient UVB leads to many shell problems.

Your turtle does have signs of a respiratory infection, but Melafix isn't going to help. We ahve to be careful with using fish medications for turtles because they don't respond the same way or metabolize the medications the same way. To treat RI in turtles, safe prescription antibiotics are either given by mouth or injection.

I suspect the fish your turtle lives with and eats may be the source of some of these problems. I would remove the fish at once and do a water change. Live fish of any kind carry bacteria that can make turtles sick. The fish themselves are immune to the bacteria. Websites that suggest feeding fish often mention that wild turtles eat them and live with them. They do, but it's very likely that living in the wild, they have also developed immunity to the kinds of bacteria the native fish carry. A wild turtle will not run into a tropical fish or goldfish. And if a wild turtle does develop an infection and die, nobody even knows about it.In addition, when fish are the main source of protein, nutritional deficiencies, especially of thiamine, develop.

Commercial food should make up 1/4 of the diet. A wide variety of animal products (cooked meat, earthworms, cooked fish, 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 more information on care, this is among the most reputable sites on turtles.

http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/caresheet-red_ear_slider.htm

I am also concerned about your turtle scrambling in the tank as if she wants out. At age 8, she may need to lay eggs. A female slider will retain eggs as long as possible while she seeks 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, trying to escape, and kicking of the back legs.

You may want 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 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/reproduction.html

The only way to be certain if she is or isn't carrying eggs is by x-ray. This is something else to bring up with the vet. If the vet you've been seeing isn't a turtle specialist, you may want to find one who is. These links will take you to directories:

http://www.nytts.org/nytts/helpnet.htm

http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Info/state_resources.htm

http://www.anapsid.org/vets/texas.html

Your turtle has multiple problems - torn claw, RI symptoms, shell problems, possible egg retention - so the sooner she can see a vet, the better. There really isn't a lot you can do on your own. Maintain those warm temperatures. you can even increase the basking area by a few degrees, but no more than 95*F. Warmer temperatures can give the immune system a boost. I would leave her in the bin until after her check up. If you have a way to do it, consider giving her a nesting site.

If you have more questions, let em know in a REPLY. I hope your turtle will reach a full recovery.

Anna

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