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We got a box turtle 15.5 years ago(not sure of his age when…

We got a box...

We got a box turtle 15.5 years ago(not sure of his age when we got him). He has always lived inside with a habitat of half reptile bark and half water. He likes to spend a lot of time in the water.He has a heat lamp that is on for about 12 hours a day. He has always been healthy. He has never hibernated since we have had him. I noticed he has been in the same spot in his water since yesterday and hasn't moved. His eyes are closed and when I try to jostle the water pan he does not move or open his eyes. In the past he would always wake up if he were bumped. What

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the turtle. What is the turtle's name?

Boxer

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Boxer?

The only other thing I can think of is that about 14 years ago he had surgery for an ear infection. Other than that, nothing has been wrong. He has always been a good eater too.

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/9/2018
Joan
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 19,739
Experience: 35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
Verified

Hello,

My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 35+ years and have worked with Reptiles for over 40 years.

Can you tell me what type of turtle Boxer is?

UVB light, How old, Strength and brand?

Basking spotlight?

Diet?

Supplements?

Any bubbles from the nose or mouth?

If you pinch a back foot is there any pain reaction?

If you prod tail does he move?

Joan

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
He is a box turtle, not sure what type. His heat lamp is just one we got at the pet store that uses a regular lightbulb. He likes to eat tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, and worms. We use a vitashell cream on his shell. There are no bubbles. When I prod at him he does not move his limbs or eyes. His whole body shifts a little(he is in the water). I can't bring myself to pinch him and I am the only one home right now.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Is there any other info you need ?

Thank you! You need to have two types of lighting for a turtle. They need a Light for basking and they also need a UVB light. The UVB light works with a calcium supplement and turns the calcium into D3 in the body. Without The UVB and the calcium The turtle will get Metabolic Bone Disease.

The diet you are feeding is also a problem. He should be getting leafy greens as well as worms and other crustaceans.

Without pinching the back foot it is impossible to know if he has a pain response or if he is gone.

If he has shut down we need to warm him in a nice warm soak and then get him under the proper lighting.

Joan

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I understand what you are saying about the light. But if he has been ok for over 15 years, how did it just become a problem now ?

MBD is progressive and it can start from hatching and go from there. The body cannot manufacture D3 which is needed for bones and organ health. In the wild Turtles get natural sunlight and eat items that have calcium. In captivity humans have to provide the sunlight with a UVB bulb and a calcium supplement to be metabolized into D3 in the body. MBD slowly depletes the D3 in the body and also affects the organs as well. So a UVB light and Calcium supplement should be available at all times. We run the bulb 12-14 hours a day and give a calcium supplement as well as have a calcium block available at all times.

https://www.thespruce.com/metabolic-bone-disease-in-reptiles-1237237

Joan

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I just picked him up out of the water, he is limp & his skin looks pale & there seems to be no reaction to me pinching his feet.

I am sorry to read this. That means he is gone. My condolences on the loss. I was hoping he was just shut dwn due to temperature. This is the hardest part of my job telling an owner that their pet has passed. Makes me very sad.

Is there anything else I can assist you with? If I have assisted you today Please take a moment to rate my service. I am not paid by the site for answers or time until I get a positive rating.

joan

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I was afraid of that, wanted confirmation though.I just wish we knew that we needed that light. Honestly, we were never told that. I would have done whatever we needed to do for him if I had known. I feel horrible that our ignorance hurt him like this. Thank you for your help.

Pet shops are very neglectful with advising of proper care. I wish I could have done more. Please take a moment please rate my service 5 stars.

My Condolences.

Joan

Joan
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 19,739
Experience: 35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
Verified
Joan and 87 other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you
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Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Joan
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