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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18364
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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Our 15 year old box turtle about a week ago started staying

Customer Question

Our 15 year old box turtle about a week ago started staying in her water dish. I take her out and she goes right back in the water. She has stayed in the water for a week now all the time. What can be wrong with her? The water is not heated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Reptile
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It has been over two days and I have not received an answer. Please help!
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.


My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years with special interest in Reptiles and Reptile rescue. I need to ask some questions to best be able to assist you.

Can you tell me where the turtle is house?

If inside do you have a UVB light, age of bulb, linear tube or compact coil, strength?

Basking light?

Have the temperatures gotten cooler where you live?

Has the turtle slowed down eating?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is inside. Her glass tank is 72x22. We use regular bulbs that we have used for 15years. Had a reptile light and thought maybe too strong and why she went to water. Maybe hurt her eyes. So switched back. But no difference with her getting out of the water. The temperature stays about 75 in the house same as she is use to for 15 years. Nothing has changed with her living conditions, the only thing that was different, was we got her crickets like we always do and she did not eat all of them so they had babies. They are bigger now, probably about 20 in there now. She has gotten in and out of the water today several times but keeps going back. I put food in the tank and she does not eat it. She has had attitudes before where she won't eat her food.
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.


She need the UVB light and calcium to prevent Metabolic Bone Diesease : Metabolic Bone Disease is what weakens the shell and bones and can attack the organs in the body. I suggest a Reptisun 10.0 linear tube which is the best light. She also need a basking bulb to create a basking spot. The Calcium works with the UVB light to metabolize into D3.

I suspect the reason for not eating is that the turtle is preparing to go into hibernation. In order to prepare a turtle will stop eating and then soak to be ready for the long winter sleep. During the time in hibernation the turtle will not eat or drink until it awakens. This is some information on Hibernation:

The hibernation is the only reason I can think of for the constant soaking. Animal know how to prepare their bodies, so this is why I am assuming the soaks are happening.