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I saw some yellow mucous come out of my painted turtles

I saw some yellow...

I saw some yellow mucous come out of my painted turtles behind

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the turtle?

It's not eating feeder fish anymore never liked the pet store food but he did eat 2 nightcrawlers today

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the turtle's name and age?

Hardy 1 yr

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Hardy?

That's the only thing he changed the way he eats I don't know what else to feed him

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Answered in 1 hour by:
3/17/2018
Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11,923
Experience: Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with over 20 years of experience keeping reptiles. I 'll be glad to help you today.

As you know, the mucus indicates some kind of problem with the digestive system. The turtle may have parasites or an intestinal infection. The pet store should never have been feeding him feeder goldfish. Those fish carry bacteria that don't affect the fish themselves, but can make turtles sick. Fish can pass on parasites, as well. The fish also contain an enzyme that destroys vitamin B. Taht leads to a deficiency that can cause neurological symptoms. There are other fish that are healthier foods, such as platies and mollies, but even they can pass on parasites. Here is a link to a reputable forum where you can read more on this subject:

https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-dangers-of-using-goldfish-and-rosy-red-minnows-as-feeders.34624/

It is always a good idea to have any new reptile pet examined by a vet shortly after purchase to catch any health problems early. When symptoms appear and the turtle has been fed an inappropriate diet, it is even more important. I recommend that you schedule a vet visit. Be sure to tell the vet about the mucus. This site has a directory of reptile vets:

http://www.anapsid.org/vets/index.html#vetlist

Nightcrawlers are an acceptable food, but to be healthy, turtles need variety. Because there is so much misinformation available both online and from pet stores, I’m including a care sheet I’ve written for painted turtles. It takes months to years before incorrect conditions result in health problems, so even a turtle that has seemed to do well, will eventually become ill. You can use the care sheet as a checklist to make sure everything is right. There are suggestions for food in it, too. If you have more questions, or want me to check on your lights, just let me know. I hope your turtle will soon be thriving.

Anna

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service after you have all the information you need. I will greatly appreciate a positive rating as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you!

PAINTED TURTLE CARE SHEET

Well-cared for painted turtles can live 30 years or more.

The Tank

It's recommended that a baby 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 80*F, 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 88-92*F. 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 in the low 70’s.

UVB Light

It's extremely important that you buy an additional light that produces UVB rays. A Reptisun 10.0 in the straight tube style 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.

Filtration

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

Feeding is an area where pet stores often give out bad information. Commercial food and animal products (meat, earthworms, canned cat food) should make up about 3/4 of the diet. The remaining 1/4 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.

Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11,923
Experience: Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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