I have a cotter turtle. Been sick other two are not. want eat. When I Frist notice was three days ago it he or she was

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Customer: I have a cotter turtle. Been sick other two are not. want eat. When I Frist notice was three days ago it he or she was upside down in tank
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Can you tell me a little more about the turtle's situation?
Customer: I have taken the turtle out a few times to put in a very small plastics tank bowl. With light and two larger rocks
JA: What type of food does she normally eat?
Customer: Tried very small piece of apple. They eat dried shrimp and m.worms dried
JA: And what's the turtle's name and age?
Customer: 2 years got three at the same time…the one sick is small and there one lager than the other ones. They were all the same size at first.
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: she/ he opens his mouth like taking in area. Not all the time. If I could send a video that would be great.
Answered by Dr. Caryn – Vet in 4 mins 1 year ago
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Dr. Caryn – Vet
Pet Specialist
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2,228 satisfied customers

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

Hello and thanks for posting your question on JustAnswer.com. My name is***** and I have been a veterinarian for over 21 years, specializing in aquatics, reptiles, amphibians, avian and other exotic species. You may already be aware, but on this platform, veterinarians can provide insight and advice, but as this is not considered a legal client-patient relationship, we are unable to prescribe medications, provide medical records or sign documents for your specific pet. For that you would need to make an in person visit with a local veterinarian. I am happy to chat with you via text but if you are interested in a phone call instead that is an option you can choose for an additional charge. In the meantime, I am putting together some questions and/or suggestions to help with what’s going on with your pet.

I am sorry to hear that your turtle may be under the weather. I am sorry but wondering if you mean a cooter turtle as I am unfamiliar with a cotter turtle. If it's a cooter turtle, do you know what type? River or pond cooter or a red-bellied turtle? Thanks, ***** ***** because their diet and care is slightly different.

With any sick turtle, it's important to first look at their husbandry. For cooter turtles, they are avid baskers and in addition to clean water around 75F, they do require a warm, dry basking spot, with temperature up to 85F, so they can regulate their metabolism. The basking area should be large enough for them to be fully out of the water to allow themselves to fully dry, this helps prevent shell rot and other disorders.

The fact that your turtle was upside down in the tank is concerning. Was she stuck under something or was she doing this on her own? Also the fact that she is opening her mouth a lot, makes me wonder if she has a respiratory infection. This can cause abnormal floating in the water and they often will open their mouth to gape because they are having trouble breathing.

If you can upload a photo or video that might be helpful. Use the upload attachment icon (paper clip) below the text box to attach them. The files you upload need to be less than 5 Mb in size, otherwise they won’t upload correctly. Also, here are written instructions for how you can share a photo or file with an expert on JustAnswer.com

https://www.justanswer.com/help/how-do-i-send-photo-or-file-expert

Respiratory infections or pneumonia in turtles can be secondary to environmental conditions such as sub-optimal humidity, temperature, or environmental irritants though there are infectious agents that can cause respiratory infections, such as bacteria, parasites, fungi, and viruses.

Clinical signs might include oral or nasal discharge, bubble blowing, sneezing, open mouthed breathing, abnormal body posture, increased respiratory sounds like gurgling or wheezing, or crusted nares (nostrils).

In turtles, you might also see exaggerated movement of the limbs, neck and head associated with each breath, which in a normal turtle is very subtle. If the lungs are consolidated or filled you may see listing in an aquatic turtle, e.g. floating with one side up and one down.

Turtles with a respiratory infection may also show systemic signs of illness such as lethargy (depressed activity or energy level), inappetence (depressed appetite), shallow or open-mouthed breathing. Difficulty breathing or abnormal respiratory sounds could be caused by other conditions such as mechanical obstruction of the airways, nares or choanae with material, like pus, mucous or cage substrate or by abscesses in the mouth or tongue, hyperthermia, or exposure to toxins.

So appropriate treatment depends a lot upon the examination by a trained veterinarian to find the cause of the problem. Because respiratory infections and other disorders that present with similar clinical signs in turtles are potentially serious and life threatening, it is recommended that you make an appointment with a local reptile veterinarian. They will perform an examination and will probably recommend imaging, such as an x-ray, to evaluate the turtle’s lungs to look for signs of pneumonia and may prescribe oral or injectable antibiotics. With turtles with pneumonia, sometimes nebulization treatment is recommended (medication is administered in a cool mist via a device called a nebulizer).

In the meantime, while you are waiting for your turtle’s vet appointment, there are things you can do to help support your pet. It is extremely important to make sure that the environment is pristine, cleaned of waste, low dust and appropriate temperature and humidity for your species of turtle.

Having an easy to ascend basking area is important. Having appropriate humidity helps ensure that the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth and any secretions that may be produced in them do not dry out, which would make it harder to breathe, but also ensure the environment is not too moist, which can lead to secondary infection. If you use a fogger or humidifier, it is best to clean it regularly and disinfect it periodically to ensure it is not a source of infection.

If you need assistance finding a reptile veterinarian in your area, I am happy to help. If so, please provide your zip code so I can search for the closest veterinary practices or veterinarians that accept reptile patients.

I should be notified if/when you respond with additional information so we can connect about your pet turtle but, in the meantime, I hope this information is helpful and I wish you the best. Thanks again for posting your question to JustAnswer.com. Sincerely, ***** *****

Customer
i sent pictures i think
Customer
77573
I have not received the photos, can you please try again? Thanks.
Customer
ok
Customer
now
Customer
Customer attachment 10/24/2021 4:23:51 PM
Customer
Did u get this video

Thanks they came through, looking at the images now...

Customer
Thank you

Yes, I see the neck stretching, gaping and scratching her face. These are signs consistent with a potential respiratory infection. Are you seeing any bubbles from the nose, any swelling of the eyes or discharge from the mouth?

Respiratory infections or pneumonia in turtles can be secondary to environmental conditions such as sub-optimal humidity, temperature, or environmental irritants though there are infectious agents that can cause respiratory infections, such as bacteria, parasites, fungi, and viruses. Clinical signs might include oral or nasal discharge, bubble blowing, sneezing, open mouthed breathing, abnormal body posture, increased respiratory sounds like gurgling or wheezing, or crusted nares (nostrils). In turtles, you might also see exaggerated movement of the limbs, neck and head associated with each breath, which in a normal turtle is very subtle. If the lungs are consolidated or filled you may see listing in an aquatic turtle, e.g. floating with one side up and one down. Turtles with a respiratory infection may also show systemic signs of illness such as lethargy (depressed activity or energy level), inappetence (depressed appetite), shallow or open-mouthed breathing. Difficulty breathing or abnormal respiratory sounds could be caused by other conditions such as mechanical obstruction of the airways, nares or choanae with material, like pus, mucous or cage substrate or by abscesses in the mouth or tongue, hyperthermia, or exposure to toxins.

So appropriate treatment depends a lot upon the examination by a trained veterinarian to find the cause of the problem. Because respiratory infections and other disorders that present with similar clinical signs in turtles are potentially serious and life threatening, it is recommended that you make an appointment with a local reptile veterinarian. They will perform an examination and will probably recommend imaging, such as an x-ray, to evaluate the turtle’s lungs to look for signs of pneumonia and may prescribe oral or injectable antibiotics. With turtles with pneumonia, sometimes nebulization treatment is recommended (medication is administered in a cool mist via a device called a nebulizer).

Customer
A few times from noise eyes were puff

In the meantime, while you are waiting for your turtle’s vet appointment, there are things you can do to help support your pet. It is extremely important to make sure that the environment is pristine, cleaned of waste, low dust and appropriate temperature and humidity for your species of turtle. Make sure the basking are is dry and is warm (85F).

Having an easy to ascend basking area is important. Having appropriate humidity helps ensure that the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth and any secretions that may be produced in them do not dry out, which would make it harder to breathe, but also ensure the environment is not too moist, which can lead to secondary infection.

If you use a fogger or humidifier, it is best to clean it regularly and disinfect it periodically to ensure it is not a source of infection.

I will search for vet options in your area, please give me a few minutes.

Customer
what do i need to do
Customer
Keep light on small water in bowl humidity i live in League city texas high humidity but keep home at 70.

You need to make sure the water and air are appropriate temperatures. And she does need to see a local veterinarian. Still offer her food, but don't force it if she is not eating.

Customer
She is weak
Customer
Should l keep my clean hands off her
Customer
Keep her away from other turtle
Customer
Please let me know
Customer
How much lamp time
Customer
Customer attachment 10/24/2021 4:41:43 PM
Customer
Customer attachment 10/24/2021 4:42:20 PM
Customer
Customer attachment 10/24/2021 4:42:39 PM
Customer
Do i need to get meds or stuff from pet store???
Customer
Sorry

She will likely need antibiotics. Is that her normal enclosure? If so, it's too small and doesn't allow her to bask on her own. She needs a large enough enclosure to be able to fully get out of the water to dry off.

Is she able to get out on the basking spot on her own? If not, then I would put here there at least a few times a day for at least 30-60 minutes. But allow her to go into and out of the water.

These veterinarians are active members of the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians, which means they have interest and experience in treating reptile patients.

Dr. Molly A Willett

Fur Feathers and Friends Veterinary Hospital
361 Columbia Memorial Pkwy
Kemah, Texas 77565-3187  United States
(###) ###-####nbsp;(Phone)

https://furfeathersandfriends.com

Dr. Hannah Elizabeth Gordon

Galveston Veterinary Clinic
*****nbsp;# 2108
Galveston, Texas 77551-1403  United States
(###) ###-####nbsp;(Phone)

https://www.galvestonvets.com

She will need a veterinary exam first, you can't get antibiotics, if that's what she needs OTC or from a pet store. But in the meantime you can work on her enclosure to provide what she needs, warmth and a dry basking spot. Here is a good online article with information about keeping cooter turtles:

https://reptilesmagazine.com/cooter-turtles/

Customer
Maybe it is not cooter no red

She kinda looks like a yellow bellied slider....

Customer
Ok thanks
Customer
Do i should keep her away in different tank or bowl for fish
High humidity
Lamp hrs ???
How much water???
Is this ok wear i have her.

She needs a larger enclosure with both an area to swim in and a completely dry area for her to climb out upon. Water may need to be heated so it's at 75F, use a submersible aquarium heater. And she'll need a basking lamp over the dry area so she can get to warm temperatures of 85F.

Turtles are also very dirty, they poop a lot so you can either set up an aquarium filter in the water area or do frequent water changes (every few days). Even if you have a filter you'll need to do partial water changes at least weekly. Plus if it's being kept indoors you should set up a UVB bulb in addition to the basking bulb for heat. They need this for proper health and calcium metabolism.

Customer
Thanks going to pet store
I use boiling water ti clean rocks and pepples very day or 2.

You shouldn't boil the rocks. The rocks form a natural layer of good bacteria that help clean the water. Changing the water is important and if there is accumulated poop, that can be siphoned, but I don't recommend boiling the rocks. And when you do water changes, you should treat the water with a water conditioner that you can get at the pet store that removes both chlorine and chloramines. These are water additives in tap water that are not good for turtles.

So I think a combination of improving her tank, larger, deeper water, larger basking spot, plus warmer basking spot, plus UV will all really help her. And I do recommend having her seen by a local vet, especially if she is weak, she probably needs antibiotics.

It would be a good idea to double check what type of turtle she is. If she's a yellow bellied slider, then they need an even warmer basking spot, 90-100F. Good info about basic husbandry of a yellow bellied slider can be found at:

https://www.reptiledirect.com/yellow-bellied-slider/

https://www.thesprucepets.com/yellow-bellied-sliders-1238384

Both articles review how to set up a tank for these semi-aquatic species as well as other information about lighting, diet, etc.

Thanks again for using JustAnswer.com. My sincere best to you both. Sincerely, ***** *****

Customer
Thanks i use my water
Customer
Customer attachment 10/24/2021 5:14:52 PM
Customer
Temperature water should be 85?

Water temperature should be around 75F. Air temperature at the basking spot should be at least 90F for a yellow bellied slider and 85F for a cooter turtle. If you are not sure, I would keep it at at least 90F, though if she's a yellow bellied slider that is the low end of the basking temperature (which is usually a range of 90-100F).

And I do strongly recommend getting a larger tank, rather than a fishbowl, a larger rectangular fish tank would allow you to set up a water heater, and both a basking light for warmth and UVB light to provide necessary UVB lighting.

Customer
What about live plant for her. If so what kind
Customer
Sorry they are my babies

Live plants are fine, but FYI as these turtles are omnivorous they will often eat them, so the plants need to be turtle safe. The best plants for turtle tanks are Java Fern, Waterweed, and Anubias Barteri.

Great that you have a water conditioning system, this should remove chlorine and chloramines if your source water is municipal.

Customer
Temperature
Water 75 to 90f
Lamp time do you suggest
And what kind of lamp. I know have told me this but please againThank you so much for your help.
Stay healthy and Happy.
Go Astros

No worries, happy to be of help. Yes, water 75F. Air 90F though since she's sick, probably 90-95F. You should buy a basking lamp also called a heating lamp, there are many different types, but typically they are an incandescent bulb that produces UVA (visible) light or a ceramic heat emitter, but these will not produce light (so they are good if you need to keep the enclosure warm at night). So for daytime heating a basking or heating lamp is the best choice. Note that these do not produce UVB light, which is not visible but required for turtle health. The wattage of the bulb will determine the heat level. The amount of heat depends upon how close or far you position the bulb from the basking spot, so it's very important to measure the temperature where the turtle sits in the basking spot.

If you have a large enclosure you can use a mercury vapor bulb, which produces both UVB and heat, but for your small tank, this is not a good option, it will be too hot and produce too much UVB light.

I recommend you get a thermometer both to measure the air and one to measure the water temperature.

You are most welcome. My best to you both. Great that your team won the pennant. Good luck in the World Series!

Sincerely, ***** *****

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