He is very lethargic and won’t open his eyes. Red eared slider turtle. About 2 days...I don’t think he’s been eating

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Customer: He is very lethargic and won’t open his eyes
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What type of reptile are we talking about?
Customer: red eared slider turtle
JA: How long has the red eared slid been lethargic? Any changes in his appetite?
Customer: about 2 days...I don’t think he’s been eating much as he usually does
JA: Could he have eaten something unusual?
Customer: No he gets the same food everyday
JA: And what's the red eared slid's name and age?
Customer: alfalfa he’s about 5 years old
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Alfalfa?
Customer: He’s been spend lots of time in the floating log under the heat lamp and his shell has been peeling
Answered by Tracy in 9 mins 1 year ago
Pet Specialist

4 satisfied customers

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

I am so sorry to hear Alfalfa isn't feeling well. I've got a few more questions for you about him. Mostly about how he is kept and what he eats. I am concerned about a vitamin A deficiency +/- a fungal infection based on your summary

He lives in a 10 gallon tank with my other turtle who is about 2-3 years old. I also have a filter in the tank

What do they eat? How often do you change the water? And finally, do you have a full spectrum UV light for them? Sorry for all the questions, I know it is a lot

They eat reptomin mini sticks, I change the water once a week, and I do have a uv and heat light

Can you send me a photo of Alfalfa? It helps me see if his eyes are swollen or puffy. And how often is the UV light changed?

He has opened his eyes
Customer attachment 12/10/2020 5:38:06 PM
I haven't had to change the uv light yet
Customer attachment 12/10/2020 5:38:53 PM

Well excellent our eyes do not appear to be swollen or puffy! That is great news. A few thoughts, the flaking shell can be due to bacterial or fungal infections. I would change the water more frequently (ever other day for a few weeks). You can soak Alfafla in a dilute betadine solution, dilute it to weak tea and then let him air dry. The big concern is developing sepsis/ a blood infection from being sick. This is unfortunately common in reptiles when they get sick they get septic. I'd recommend he see a vet for some antibiotics. If that is not possible then I recommend you syringe feed him Flukers Repta-boost (you can get it from the pet store).

You can also increase heat/ basking temperature slightly to induce "an artificial fever" to help fight off infection.

Ok thank you! Do I also get the betadine solution at the pet store?
Also the heat lamp does not have a warmer setting

It would also not be wrong to supplement vitamin A, also available at the pet store. It is hard to overdose them with oral vitamin A and red eared sliders are prone to low Vitamin A levels. I would add in another heater either an in-tank heater or another basking light. The Betadine can usually be bought at the pharmacy (walgreens or CVS) or even the local feed store. If you UV light is older than 6 months I'd replace that too.

Ok thank you so much

Absolutely, if I can help in any other way please let me know. Good luck with Alfalfa!

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