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Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 505
Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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we have a red ear slider turtle that is about 3in in length

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we have a red ear slider turtle that is about 3in in length of his shell. we know he has shell rot and a respitory infection. he lives in a 29gal tank 3/4 full of water. has floating rock, uvb light, heat lamp, heater, and water filter. we took him to our vet today but he does not know very much about turtles. we have him some Baytril antibiotic shots and neomycin/polymyxin b eye drops as well. did the peroxide treatment gently scrubbing with tooth brush and applied triple antibiotic cream to his shell. what else do we need to do? or should we use the povidone iodine 10% cream or sylvadine cream? also we have read that he should stay out of the water unless its to swim or eat for roughly 1 to 1 1/2 hours a day
Hi there,

I'm sorry to hear about your turtle`s shell rot. The Baytril is a good start, because shell rot is a bacterial infection. Topical treatments are also important, and severe cases sometimes require surgical removal of dead tissue and shell repair for successful treatment.

I do recommend soaking the area in dilute betadine (it should be diluted to the consistency of iced tea), allowing it to dry, and covering the area in silvadine ointment daily. Your turtle should be kept in "dry dock" for at least 4 hours following treatments to let them work. Keep the enclosure meticulously clean.

It is great that you are providing UVB light. Be sure, too, that he is getting a balanced diet, about 25% turtle pellets, 10-25% insects, and the remainder being green, leafy veggies.

I hope this is helpful. If so, please rate me positively, and don't hesitate to let me know how i can help further.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thats one of his problems. he will not eat the pellets nor will he eat any romaine lettuce or carrots. the only thing he will eat now is the freeze dried shrimp. he use to eat the mealworms (dried and live) and freeze dried crickets. now he wont eat those either and when he eats he will only eat the shrimp. he does have a cuttle bone in his water but he doesnt eat on it either.


and also what do you mean by ice tea consistency?

If you buy betadine, it's probably too strong or concentrated to put right on your turtle. Take the thick, dark brown liquid and dilute it with water until it resembles iced tea in its color and is very "watery" when poured.

Being sick is probably a big part of him not wanting to eat. Getting his illness under control is the first step to getting him to eat better. Turtles can go up to several weeks without eating and still be ok (if not totally normal), so don't panic. Since he won't eat a balanced diet at this point, a vitamin A injection from the vet may be helpful to encourage a strong immune system and help him heal.

Right now, keep offering a varied diet, and be sure to remove what he isn't eating. You can also mix things up with some wriggly earthworms to try to entice him and gradually add other items. Wriggling food in front of his nose may be helpful. You do also need to make sure that he is warm enough. Turtle digestion is dependent on the external temperature being warm enough. You mentioned you have a heat lamp-- check the actual water temp. It should be around 80-85 degrees. There should also be a hot spot on a dry area (like his floating rock) that reaches 90-95 degrees. If he's too cold, just getting him warmed up might help. His appetite should improve as his respiratory infection improves, too-- animals, in general, that are having difficulty breathing don't eat well.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok so doing the betadine solution, do we let him soak in a bowl of it or do we use something to put it on his shell? also how long should we continue to use his prescription neomycin/polymyxin b sulfate eye drops? the vet said to use them for a few days but that was before we knew he had a respitory infection. they have however helped him to open his eyes alot more. we dont have a reptile vet here so he was just going off of what he did know. one other thing we have noticed is that when we take him out to give him the eye drops he will keep his eyes open while we let him sit outside in the sun and if he is "dry docked" out of his tank. but when he goes back in his tank he closes his eyes again and doesnt open them very much. they are not near as swollen as what they were when we started him on eye drops

Use a cotton ball or similar to swab it onto his shell, all over any areas that look abnormal. Shell rot takes a long time to heal, and he may always have some scarring on the shell if it's a bad case.

Continue with the eye drops as they do appear to be working-- I'd expect to use them 10 to 14 days. Eye swelling is another sign of vitamin A deficiency in turtles, too, so I'd really consider asking your vet to get him a vitamin A injection to help address that.

It's great that he's keeping his eyes open more! That's a good sign that you're starting to make progress.
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