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Re: [waterturtles] warming light

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  • Mary Hopson
    I don t remember what species you have and where you got them, but you should remember that most turtles from pet stores are sick. And it takes turtles a long
    Message 1 of 57 , Oct 2, 2003
      I don't remember what species you have and where you got them, but you should remember that most turtles from pet stores are sick. And it takes turtles a long time to get better.

      Box turtles can be very difficult, especially if they are not housed outdoors. They need lots of room to walk around or they can become depressed, often refusing to eat. The most likely food to get box turtles eating will be live foods. Try waxworms first. Very few box turtles will refuse them. They are high in fat, which might be useful for a turtle that has not been eating. Canned cat food is another high fat, highly palatable food that might help you build up your box turtle's weight and interest in eating. Mix calcium powder and grated carrots into the cat food. Also try crickets, earthworms, mealworms, sowbugs, and slugs. Cantaloupe is one of the most palatable fruits, and relatively nutritious too. Make sure the box turtle has bright, warm light for more than 12 hours a day, but is cool and dark at night. Make sure that there is a place for her to make a moist burrow. Soak her everyday. With careful attention to correct conditions, and a variety of enticing foods, you should be able to get your box turtle past this difficult phase. If the 42X21 tub is larger than what she's in, I'd suggest that you set it up with suitable substrates (soil/sand, sphagnum moss, flat rocks), a hide log, a pool, correct lighting, etc., and put her in it. It might convince her that life is getting better, and worth living.

      If you have found soft spots on Tank, you absolutely should continue betadine washes and dry tanking. Remember to let him swim and drink and eat for at least a couple hours every day. The easiest, least stressful way I have found for dry tanking is at night, in a warm, dark, safe location. If the turtle is covered with a towel, it will usually just sleep. Do not stop treating this turtle until all infected areas are healed.

      You did the right thing, taking a turtle with evidence of respiratory infection to a vet. Antibiotics are necessary for that. But you can probably handle the shell rot at home, if you are consistent, treating every day, and dry tanking overnight. It takes turtles a very long time to completely heal.

      Using a very good filtration system will prevent most problems with shell rot. I prefer an undergravel filter attached to a Magnum 350. This is very easy to maintain, and keeps the water perfect. The aquatics also need a warm basking area to help them prevent shell rot.

      Good luck!

      Mary at The Turtle Puddle


      My map sheds skin from time to time.  The zoo guy that I confer with occaisionally said it is nothing to worry about.  By the way, the vet said she had/hsas some sort of mild systemic infection.  I had brought her in for gasping and labored breathing.  Vet could not see anything in her upper respiratory, but gave her antibiotics Amiglide).  Taken every 72 hours for three doses.  Boxie is not eating.  Just enough to barely stay alive.  She did not finish her worm meds, and might have stopped eating for that reason.  I am concerned; might give her to my ex supe if suope is willing.  I did get a 42 x 21 tub foir her.  Have not put her in it yet.  Tank seemed to be fairing well; but for the heck of it I decided to scrape his shell once in awhile.  Found a couple of soft spots.  One site bled.  I am glad I continued to quarantine him though vet said he is well enough for the community (tank with map).  When he is well, I will put him in a large tank with the two little res's; he gets along with them.  I am exhausted of funds for the vet.  Can someone tell me if at this point I should go with the dry docking and betodine, etc for Tank?  I continue to offer Boxie food.  She will not eat her favorites; bananas, berrries.  Only turtle food, and only a couple of pieces.  She seems as though she will nibble when I am not looking, but sees me and retreats.  She was getting Baytril, once a day for one week.  Now, if I take all of them to the vet, it will cost a fortune.  I am wondering if I am being bated here.  It is a perpetual round to the vet.  Every week.  One turtle or more at least once a week or so.  I need to stop this cycle, or perish from malnutrition and exhaustion.  As it stands now, I am home only enough to feed and change tanks and worry about ailing turtles.  I spend every non bill paying dollar on the turts vet bills.  This is not a good quality of lifew for me or thim.  I would like to enjoy them and they live well.  I know it can be expensive, but this seems never ending and I cannot keep up.  This seems unusually strange.  If they all had the same illness, I could determine that I might be spreading it, but they all have something different, with different meds.  Please give me some advice about these animals and how to avoid tenatious vets.
      I don't generally worry too much about turtles that shed skin, as long as they are eating and active. But skin shedding does have a cause of some sort, and isn't just a normal part of growing for turtles. Turtles can live and grow for decades without ever shedding skin in a noticeable way. They shed more like we do, than like snakes or lizards. Overly warm water might be one of the possible causes. Really, anything that damages the skin will lead to shedding. So poor water quality, excessively fast growth, dry conditions, excess heat, etc. can all have that effect.
      Phisohex sounds like a sudsy disinfectant that was around some time ago. They changed the name to phisoderm then I did not see it around after that. I will
      Message 57 of 57 , Oct 20, 2003
        Phisohex sounds like a sudsy disinfectant that was around some time ago.  They changed the name to phisoderm then I did not see it around after that.  I will investigate.  Thanks again.
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: PAKO
        Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2003 11:56 PM
        Subject: Re: [waterturtles] warming light

        At 10:23 PM 10/19/2003, PATRICE WHITTAKER wrote:


        I don't know whether ProExotics simply repackages Nolvasan (a brand name
        for chlorhexidine) or uses a generic source but yes, according to their
        write-up (see below), it is the same thing.  You may be able to buy it from
        your local drugstore under one of these names:  Chlorhexidine disinfectants
        include Nolvasan, Chlorhex, Chlorasan, Virosan, Hibistat Phisohex.


        Yes, for some shell conditions but it may not be as effective as Betadine,
        depends on the microorganism involved.
        For a bit more detailed look at its actions compared to other disinfectants,

        ProExotics (remember they're **selling** the product):
        >Virosan (Nolvasan) is a terrific disinfectant (bactericide and virucide)
        >all purpose cleaner that we have used at PE for years. This magic blue
        >fluid can be sprayed liberally over animals, cages, bowls, husbandry
        >tools, and even your own hands. Vets use Virosan as a mouthwash during
        >surgery, and we use it as a wound wash, or mouth rinse for those stray
        >infected python teeth that we occasionally run into. We use Virosan to
        >clean every cage, spraying moderately and wiping dry with a paper towel,
        >and we clean the water bowls with Virosan before refilling with fresh
        >water as well. Much safer and longer lasting than watered down Bleach
        >solutions, and certainly safer than a commercial disinfectant, Virosan
        >will tackle everything from the cage glass, to the cage floor, to the
        >animal, to your grimy hands after. Also safe enough to treat mild frog and
        >toad wounds, scratched heads, sore lips, etc. A single bottle will last
        >through hundreds of cage cleanings.
        >Size: Spray Bottle $8.00  Refill $5.00   Gallon $50.00

        As you can see, BeanFarm has the better price ($30) for the gallon-size but
        don't offer smaller volumes.

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