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Old April 19th, 2004, 04:45 PM
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numberoneaggie numberoneaggie is offline
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Question Sick Turtle??

First off, I know next to nothing about turtles, so ANY advice would be greatly appreciated.

A friend of mine's daughter got two small turtles for hristmas. She thinks they are called red-eared turtles. One has always been outgoing and the other shy. Recently, the outgoing one quit eating and stays out of the water a lot. When we fed them last night, the shy one took the food immediately, but this one just ignored it. I know he knew the food was there, it was floating right into his face, but he wouldn't open his mouth. Also, the back half of him floats. The other turtle can sink and stay on the bottom of the tank, but it doesn't look like this one can make itself sink. The thing that I was most concerned about was the way that he would stretch his head up in the air as far as he could get it out of his shell and open his mouth wide for a few seconds. At first I thought he was yawning, but my friend said that she thought he was gasping for air. He does this at least once every minute. Besides these things, he seems fine for a turtle. He was swimming around the tank pretty fast and he would respond if your hand approached him.

If anyone has any advice, I'm open to suggestions. We've called every vet in the book and no one around here sees turtles, so I don't know what to do for him/her. I don't think its the environment they're living in since the other turtle is fine. I'm just afraid he's in distress and that time is running out.
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Old April 19th, 2004, 05:30 PM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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I had 4 red eared sliders for over 16 years. They are sold in huge numbers and at tiny sizes in pet stores, and most of them will die from improper care.

You might find this article interesting!

Red Eared sliders
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Old April 19th, 2004, 05:42 PM
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numberoneaggie numberoneaggie is offline
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Thanks LR, I'll pass this on. They didn't buy the turtles, someone gave them to her daughter and all the were told was to change the water every other day and feed it so much of this certain food. Needless to say, she wasn't thrilled that someone gave her daughter turtles for Christmas. But she has been taking as good of care of them as she knew how. She's some books and articles on their care, but hasn't found any info that would help her figure out this problem. From the article you gave me, it seems vet care is needed. I don't know what to tell her to do since none of the vets here will treat turtles. I'm just shocked that these turtles can be sold at malls to people who don't know (or don't care) how to care for them.
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Old April 19th, 2004, 05:59 PM
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Dee_petlover Dee_petlover is offline
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From a turtle owner, research care!

Hi, I own a red-eared slider and the advice that I want to give you is first to have your friend research proper turtle care. Environment, as with all reptiles, is EVERYTHING. A proper turtle set-up includes:

A water area-deep enough so that your turtle can turn over if it should land on its back so it won't drown.

A land area where the turtle can completely haul itself out and dry off.

Proper lighting which includes 2 lights-one for heat (regular light bulb) and one for UV requirements which is a special reptile bulb.

Proper filtration with a good filter, (or very frequent changes-everyday!)

Also, diet is very important. Just plain old turtle pellets is not enough they need fruit, vegetables and even live food.

A turtles appetite can be affected by the lack of the very important UV rays that are meant to replace natural sunlight. Also if the tank is too cold the turtle will be less active as well.

Gaping (opening the mouth as you've described) can be a sign of respiratory infection, although they do occassionally do this even when healthy.

Many times adjusting the environment and diet can change things dramatically. It is unfortunate that pet stores do not supply the proper information.

Here are a couple of links to 2 turtle sites that have a lot of great information and also message boards for posting like this one, that have a lot of experienced turtle owners. Please visit them and they will describe dietary and environmental requirements in much greater detail than here.

http://www.turtletimes.com/

http://www.allturtles.com/index.php
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Old April 19th, 2004, 06:08 PM
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Dee_petlover Dee_petlover is offline
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My previous post

Just a note, the information I gave you applied to aquatic turtles, red-eared sliders are aquatic. You do need to identify the type of turtle of course, so you know the proper care, it differs with different types of turtles.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE make sure that your friend researches this, improper care has led many turtles to die. for example Those little plastic containers with the bridge in them sold in pet stores are completely inadequate environment, also known as "death bowls". I wouldn't even accept the care instructions from 90% of the pet stores out there as far as turtles are concerned.
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Old April 19th, 2004, 06:38 PM
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Turtle Water

We have several aquatic setups and I have been a turtle rescuer for years. If you see traffic backed up in Michigan and a very tall, old man picking something up it is likely me rescuing another turtle.
I would warn of one problem many people make and that is in changing the water every day. THAT IS GOOD ADVICE HOWEVER the source of the water is often the death of many turtles. Chemically treated drinking water is not safe for tutles. Albeit many survive this abuse it is not natural for them or good.
It is best to use local sand filtered water or distilled water if nothing else is available.
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Old April 19th, 2004, 07:36 PM
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Dee_petlover Dee_petlover is offline
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Water

I was taught that if you are concerned about the chlorine in the water let it sit in the sun all day prior to using it in your tank.

And woodbyter, I will have to keep in mind there is a fellow turtle person around here, because I don't have any friends around with turtles and sometimes you just need an opinion on something, and these days they are not around as pets much due to bans on selling them as a result of salmonella.
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Old April 19th, 2004, 08:13 PM
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Turtle Haven

My property has acres of woodlands and a spring fed pond over an acre in size and 20 feet deep. Needless to say there are tons of turtles in there. They sun on logs from April thru September. Down the road is a 7,000 acre pond and that is were we put the snappers. I caught one 50 pounder coming out of my pond two years ago and wrassled him / her? into a truck and took it down the road to the bigger pond. Most of the ones in my pond now are a foot in diameter or less.
I did get in a bind last year when I was about 50 miles from home and while driving thru a shopping center found a box turtle in the middle of the hot asphalt parking lot. No woods anywhere in sight. So I took him with me (illegal) and brought him to a wild life refuge for release. Wildlife officer wanted to know where I got it. After explaining the circumstances and the for sure demise of an overheated squashed turtle in traffic. He took it. The turtle is now living in the woods at the preserve.
We are all happy.
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Old April 19th, 2004, 08:17 PM
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Feeding turtles

Forgot to mention I go out in the boat on the pond and feedthe fish and turtles once a week. They love floating fish food and will follow the boat around trying to beat the fish to it. It's neat to see their little heads pop up out of the water like little periscopes to see where we are then make like 60 for where we are tossing the food.
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