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My female turtle is lethargic. Basking all the time, not…

Customer Question
My female turtle is...

My female turtle is lethargic. Basking all the time, not eating. She laid 2 eggs about a week apart and that was about a month ago. I put her in the water and she just moved around a little, but shook her head and opened her mouth and kind of gasped. She then climbed back on the dock and is basking.

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 and age?

Shelly and she is 9 years old. She is about 7 inches.

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

Not that I can think of right now.

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Reptile
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Answered in 26 minutes by:
5/28/2018
Reptile Expert: Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist replied 2 months ago
Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11,946
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'm reviewing your question now and will be right back.
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Reptile Expert: Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist replied 2 months ago
I'm sorry to hear of Shelly's problem. Is she a slider turtle or some other type?
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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
She is a slider
Reptile Expert: Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist replied 2 months ago
Thank you for getting back to me. I'm working on some information for you now, and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience.
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Reptile Expert: Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist replied 2 months ago

Thank you for waiting. It would be very unusual for a 9 year old slider to only lay two eggs. I suspect that Shelly is retaining more eggs inside her.Turtles will retain eggs as long as possible while they seek an appropriate nesting site. This retention can cause infection, organ damage, and even death. Symptoms of a problem may include not laying eggs, laying only a few eggs, laying eggs in water, lethargy, pacing, lack of appetite, prolapse, digging motions, and kicking of the back legs.If these behaviors continue after you provide a nest, and she doesn't lay any eggs, you'll need to consult a reptile vet. Here, you can read more about egg-laying and egg retention:

http://www.redearslider.com/physical_conditions.html

My first recommendation is to provide her with a nesting site. For a slider, that would be a 50/50 mix of sand and organic compost, about 12 inches deep. The bigger the area you can give her, the better. You may have to move her to a preformed pond or a child's wading pool to make room for everything she needs. Be sure that you continue to provide UVB light and a basking light no matter where you put her. This site has very detailed instructions for making nesting sites, including photos:

http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/Nestsites.htm

If Shelly doesn't lay any eggs within 2 days, it would be best to see a vet. Egg retention may have progressed too far for the eggs to be passed, or the problem may be completely unrelated. If egg retention is teh problem, a vet can give a hormone injection to induce egg laying. If something else is wrong, appropriate treatment can begin. If you end up needing a vet, this site has a directory of reptile vets:

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

If you have more concerns, just let me know. I'm glad to help. I hope Shelly will be fine.

Anna

My goal is to provide you with excellent 5 star 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!

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