My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years with special interest in Reptiles and Reptile Rescue. Please disregard the Phone call. That is an auto request done by the site.
Has the turtle moved?
Is it able to get into the pond, or has a leafy area to go with the change in weather?
Thank-you Right now we see Reptiles going into Hibernation. He can be brought in, but will need to be set up in a Tank with a UVB light a Basking area and a Basking light. The tank will need to be heated and filtered. I can give instructiions on this. Most turtles will go to the bottom of a Pond during this time or others will find a place under leaf litter to hibernate,. It sound like your Turtle is in Torpor which is a semi hibernating state, so we need to either get him into the pond to hibernate or into the house with the correct set up, because from the sound of things the cold will kill him of not cared for soon. Please let me know if you need the care sheet to help you set up for him inside the house.
He may have been sick prior to this and they do hide illness well due to being easily gotten by preditors. I can locate a Herp Vet for you here in Fl that can see the Turtle, which would be wise to see if there si something going on. This has been a strange with animals going down for Hibernation late as well as other strange behavior. Fl Herp Vets: http://www.anapsid.org/vets/florida.html
Hibernation is in the DNA. It helps them prepare for breeding season.
Since he seems ill if he comes in I would keep him in for the season until it wars up and I would have him seen by the Herp Vet.
Yes, I think that would be the best thing for him now. If he is sick this cold weather could kill him. I am very concerned because the behavior even for Torpor or hibernation for a Slider is not normal the way he is acting. He has a better chance inside at this time.
SLIDER TURTLE CARE SHEET
Well-cared for sliders can live 30 years or more.
It's recommended that a baby slider have at least a 15 gallon tank. By the time the turtle is 3-4 years old, it will need a 60 gallon tank, so it's best to get the biggest you can in the beginning. You can also use a large RubberMaid tote. That's not as pretty as a tank, but costs a lot less. Set up the tank so there's a land area and a water area. Put the basking light at one end so the whole tank doesn’t get too hot. You want the water to be about twice as deep as the turtle is long. If the turtle is two inches long, you'll want four inches of water.
Temperatures and Basking Area
Turtles need certain types of lighting and need to be warm. Air and water that are not warm enough can lead to fungal and respiratory infections and unhealthy shells. 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 *F (24*C) , 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. Hardware stores sell similar fixtures as work lights. The basking area should be kept at 85-90*F (29 to 32*C). Use a digital probe thermometer to be sure. You can adjust the temperature by raising or lowering the light fixture.The lights that come with the covers on aquariums are not suitable for turtles. You'll also need a submersible aquarium heater that will keep the water 78-82*F (26 to 28*C).
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, sunGlo, UV, or UVA are not the same thing. I'm putting a lot of emphasis on this because it's crucial to your turtle's health. Without this light, Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) will develop because your turtle 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.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 most of the rays turtles need to stay healthy. To prevent MBD, turtles also need calcium. The easiest way to provide it is to place a cuttlebone in the tank. Cuttlebones are sold in bird departments of pet stores.
Turtles are very sensitive to water quality. Even if you change the water every day, it can still contain harmful chemicals. A good filtration system is essential. Water changes are also needed even with a filter. If the tank is too small, no filter can keep up with the amount of waste that turtles produce.
Feeding is an area where pet stores often give out bad information. Commercial food should make up only 1/4 of the diet. Animal products (cooked meat, earthworms, 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 Further Reading
This is among the most reputable sites on turtles.
Just checking in to see if the information was helpful. How is the turtle doing inside?
The pictures did not come through. I too am in Florida and I know many people with ponds were concerned. I am so sorry for the loss. I am sorry we could not save him, it is sad. I am glad the information was helpful. If you have a chance, Please take a moment to rate my service 5 stars.
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