I came into work Wednesday night to a bloody turtle tank. I checked the turtles and found one of them had a bloody left

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Customer: Hi, I came into work Wednesday night to a bloody turtle tank. I checked the turtles and found one of them had a bloody left hind leg. I immediately called my boss and he came in and did a water change while I quarantined the injured turtle in a large Rubbermaid container we have for emergencies. It looks like she scraped the bottom part of her foot. I think she injured her foot trying to dig or move a rubber mat that my boss recently put into the dry part of the tank as a cushioning. She is in her egg laying stage. We have since replaced the rubber with fake grass. I looked up what I should do online and proceeded to stop the bleeding with cool water and then an application of betadine on the wound. I read she should be drydocked for 48 hours and her leg cleansed with betadine and gauze twice a day. I did apply some neosporin cream on the first night to also help with the bleeding. On friday night I started giving her baths twice a day with food during one bath. The baths last around 45 mins to an hour. She has a good appetite and it looks like the wound is healing well. No signs of infection. She has also only laid two eggs but I don't know if the stress/situation is effecting her egg laying. They were not calcified and looked normal. She has become a lot more mobile and moves around the container wanting to escape. We were wondering when she should be put back into the tank or back into water. She has also started hissing when she is picked up to have her leg checked or when she see's you walk by to check on her.
Answered by Anna in 12 mins 3 years ago
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Anna
30+ years of experience
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17,046 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with over 20 years of experience keeping reptiles. You have done everything right in terms of caring for the wound. However, the egg laying situation is concerning. Some additional information will help me determine the best steps for you to take now.

What kind of turtle is this - slider, painted, box, etc.?

Where did she lay the two eggs?

How many times in the past has she laid eggs? Where did she lay them then?

Thank you.

Customer
She is a red eared slider, She laid the two eggs where I have her dry docked which is a large rubbermaid containers with some towels down. She has laid eggs consistently for the past couple years, She had already laid two clutches this past month and a half. She laid them on the dry part of the tank.
Customer
I work from 10am to 3pm and 8pm to 1am so I can check on her twice a day. I check on her when I come in the morning and give her a bath for 45 min to an hour around 10:30 am. Then I treat her foot and check on her periodically where I have her dry docked until 3pm. Then when I come in at night, I check on her again and she gets another bath around 10:30pm where I feed her and then treat her leg again. Then I put her back into drydock. It looks like she has healed well and there are no raw bleeding spots on her foot. She is active and eating. How long do you think I need to continue this? I don't know how fast turtles heal and when she can be put back into the tank.

Thank you for getting back to me. I just received notification that you had responded. Turtles heal pretty fast, especially when the wound is treated as you have. However, you have been lucky with the egg laying so far. It's usually necessary to provide a nesting site for them to lay their eggs properly.

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

Females usually 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.
Here, you can read more about egg-laying and egg retention:

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

I would provide her a nesting site. After she finishes laying her eggs, clean her leg and treat it. Then I would dry dock her for two more days. If the wound looks ok then, she should be able to safely go back to the tank.

If you have more concerns, just let me know.

Customer
I put her in a nesting site after I gave her a bath and treated her foot at night. When I came in this morning, she had laid two eggs. How many eggs do red eared sliders usually lay? I am about to give her a morning bath and treat her leg again. Then I will place her back into the nesting site. If there are no more eggs tomorrow morning,can I place her back into the tank again?

Sliders lay anywhere from 2 to 30 eggs. However, it's normal for them to dig a hole and lay them all at once. A couple weeks later, there may be a sceond clutch, but they normally don't lay a couple, then 2-3 days later, a couple more. When you put her back in the tank, all you can do is watch for signs that she needs to lay more, especially scratching or digging at the bottom, which can also re-injure her foot. If it looks like she needs to lay more, just place her back in the nesting site.

It sounds like she is doing pretty well, so just monitor the situation.

Anna

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