My painted turtle was stuck under the water for a while--don't know how. I freed him and put him on his turtle dock

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Customer: My painted turtle was stuck under the water for a while--don't know how long. I freed him and put him on his turtle dock under the basking light. He seems a bit lethargic, breathing a bit hard and just laying his head on the dock. Usually he holds his head up.
We've had him for 20 years.
Answered by Jav917 in 25 mins 7 years ago
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Jav917
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27,324 satisfied customers

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

Hello,
My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet Tech for 30+ years with special interest in reptiles and reptile rescue.
Do you see any bubbles from the nose or mouth?
Any open mouth breathing?
Can he swim if put into the water?
State to locate a Herp Vet?
Joan
Customer

When I got him unstuck, I put him in the water and he swum frantically then just stopped. I put him on his turtle dock under the basking light and he just put his head out on the dock with his eyes open. He was breathing but no bubbles or open mouth breathing. When I would approach him, he'd pull his head into his shell which is unusual for him. It's been about an hour since I found him stuck. He's picking his head up now which seems like a positive thing but he isn't moving from his dock and he's not moving his limbs. Normally, he jumps in the water when you go toward him. Clearly something is wrong. Perhaps he's distressed. I'm keeping the basking light on for warmth as I don't think he will move from his dock. I'm very worried about him. He seems so lethargic.

We live in Maryland in the DC/Baltimore area.

Hello,
Thank-you for the information. My concern is that he may have aspirated some water into the lungs. This can lead to aspiration Pneumonia. Turtles when hibernating will bury themselves in the mud on the bottom of a pond or tank. The issue is that your turtle was not prepared bor being at the bottom of the tank. The temperature is usually cold and their matabolizm is slowed so the can stay down. In this case he was litterally drowning until you rescued him, I am going to give you links for Herp Vets, becuase I feel he should be seen asap to be evaluated and most likely be started on an antibiotic to help him feel better.
Herp Vets in DC/Baltimore:
These two Vets treat turtles: http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Info/washingtondc.htm
These are in Maryland: http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Info/maryland.htm
These are Herp Vets in DC: http://www.anapsid.org/vets/dc.html
These are Herp Vets in Maryland: http://www.anapsid.org/vets/maryland.html
I hope this is helpful and you can get him seen asap.
Joan
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