Other Turtle Discussion :: We have a house turtle.

Non-care related topics here.

Post Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:56 pm   We have a house turtle.

Her name is Nyrtle / Nerdle / Sweetpea.

She's actually been claimed by my husband. I'll post pictures when I charge my phone later today.

Since she's roaming freely around my house at the moment, I'll try to make this short.

My sister set up the rescue effort because someone found her info on a turtle rescue site (she was helping me save turtles last summer) and said there was a turtle who needed a home.
The gal (I'll call her Angel) was helping someone move out of a rental house and saw the turtle in a small kid pool out in the backyard. She asked what the story was about the turtle and was told "it's the kids' turtle." The "owners" couldn't tell her the last time the turtle had been fed, how old she was, when she was allowed out of the pool for basking, or pretty much anything. There was a freeze that "encased her in ice" according to the renters, and apparently she'd been "stored" in a pressure cooker without a lid in a closet for a while. The only food she'd had was feeder fish, from what she was told, and so Angel just picked her up and took her away from that house. They didn't seem to want her anyway. They had said they had her for a year "from a baby" but she's about seven inches. I don't know what they counted as "a baby" but I don't think she'd get to seven inches in a year. Could she, being fed only feeder fish?

Poor Nyrtle had massive shell rot, but Angel took the time to research and has been treating it so now it's down to just a few spots on the top of her shell. She's been treating it with twice-weekly scrubs of Listerine and has basically been keeping her out of the water for long periods of time. Angel said Nyrtle wandered around her house all day and was great with her kid, but that she just didn't have the resources to make a really good place for her to live and her kid was starting to "play" more with her so she thought it was time for Nyrtle to move on. Before giving her to us, Angel wanted pictures of the setup we had, and she made a visit to make sure we had a proper setup. I applaud her responsibility and her caring for this poor thing after the previous treatment she'd had with the renters.

Nyrtle's shell is deformed and lumpy, and she is really skinny. Where my other girl turtles are meaty on the legs, Nyrtle looks like skin and bones. She is so, so friendly though. She's rested on my husband's chest, she loves head skritches, she doesn't hiss or snap, and she is really mellow. This is why my husband has claimed her - he said he wanted a turtle who loved him as much as he loved it / her. She's so curious - she's been following my kids around and stopping when they stop, and she'll (ok, it removed the word I used here) turn her head at them when they're playing on the floor. We've only had her for one day but we love her.

I plan to keep the dry dock and shell rot treatment going the same way Angel had it, so this morning I put food into a tub of water and let Nyrtle eat what she wanted for 30 minutes (it wasn't much; she ate the three pellets and two small carrot bits but not the lettuce or the cucumber), took her out and let her dry off, and then let her go to roam my house. I have two boxes I'm going to set up with blankets so she can rest / nap / hide, but I had a few questions I wanted to throw out while she was exploring.


I have HIBICLENS; is that too strong to treat the shell rot with? Should I just stick to Listerine? (I'm about to re-browse the care pages here on that too.) Diluted 1:1 hibiclens it is. I like that a lot better than Listerine.
I plan to do twice-daily feedings for her, in the morning and at night, with a large assortment of veggies. Since she's had so little good food (until Angel got ahold of her, anyway), are the veggie gelatin snacks too much? I don't want to overload her and make her sick. She does need to put on some weight, though, in my opinion, because of her skinny little legs.
Is it ok if she stays inside the house out of water so long as she gets in water to eat and poop? We've got a light set up for basking in a box with an open side so she can get in, but it seems like she's just roaming around to all the windows, checking everything out. The cats are already used to her. My kids have shown her all the turtle toys they have, and we're all just admiring her as she chugs her little turtle self around the house.

Failed at making it short. Oh well. I was watching her the whole time from the couch. :)
Last edited by apondfortimmy on Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Outside Pond Boys: :mrgreen:Timmy & Chewy & Ike
Outside Pond Girls: :msgreen:Betty & Frick & Frack & Tina & Nyrtle-Sweetpea
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apondfortimmy
 
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Post Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:23 pm   Re: We have a house turtle.

Measured; she's 8 inches.
I also just heard a "Nyrtle knocked over my tower!" so I guess she's playing with the kids now.
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apondfortimmy
 
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Post Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:01 pm   Re: We have a house turtle.

Congrats on the new addition! Glad Sweetpea made it into the right hands!
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devilduck
 
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Post Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:24 pm   Re: We have a house turtle.

I agree, it's always nice to hear the good stories :)
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RosesNKeeks
 
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:21 am   Re: We have a house turtle.

She just pooped undigested hot dog. (I'm not picking it apart to see if it's carrot or hot dog at this point, but it looks like a little of both.)

At least she pooped. (she's eaten well tonight and even had some of her cuttlebone)
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:01 am   Re: We have a house turtle.

Wow, what a way to have a new addition. Hibiclens gets soapy, so you'll need to rinse her after the treatment. You can also use Betadine (diluted to weak tea color), and just let that dry. Some think Betadine is a harsher medicine on fleshy injuries.

You can probably do once a day feedings, but don't over do them. Correct it, but don't overfeed her. How often and how long are you putting her in water?
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:04 am   Re: We have a house turtle.

Hi Steve! :D

So far she's gotten in the water twice, for about a half an hour each time. That's when she starts to look bored and scrabbles at the sides. She'll eat a bite or two at first, but this morning she made more of an effort than tonight. She ran around the house for more than an hour and then snuggled into some blankets by the wall and slept. I was hoping to get her on a schedule so she'll eat and poop in the morning and night when we all have breakfast and dinner; could I split the feeding up to half at each feeding, maybe? I was mainly testing to see how much she would eat and so far we have:
(this morning)
three pellets (medium sized, like bigger than a pea but smaller than a nickel)
two baby carrot pieces (about the size of the pellets)

(this evening)
one cucumber triangle (1/4 of a slice)
and a snag of lettuce that she bit and let go of several times so I'm not sure if she got much of anything out of that
three large chunks out of her cuttlebone

She slept a lot today. I'm not really worried because she did run around the house a lot before that, and I'm keeping her warm in her box (I got boxes from Costco and they're perfect).
Is there anything else I should be doing or watching for? I'm trying to offer a variety of veggies just to see what she'll eat. Apparently she loves hot dogs, as per Angel's daughter.


... no I'm never going to give her hot dogs.
Outside Pond Boys: :mrgreen:Timmy & Chewy & Ike
Outside Pond Girls: :msgreen:Betty & Frick & Frack & Tina & Nyrtle-Sweetpea
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:50 am   Re: We have a house turtle.

Yes, you can split it up. How long did Angel have her?
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:23 pm   Re: We have a house turtle.

I'm checking on that. From what I gathered during our conversation, it was more than a month but less than six months, probably less than three months. I've sent her a text but she has yet to reply. I hope she replies soon because I have some pictures for her.

And pictures for here too!

The Husband loves this turtle so much.
Image

She has two really big lumps on the back, like super-retained-scute-mountains or something.
Image

Her shell looks pretty thick. She needs a good shed, I think.
Image
ImageImage

Kitty, that box is not for you.
Image

This is my oldest telling her how much he loves her and "Good job!" when she eats her cuttlebone.
Image

Her naughty bits:
Image Image
I was a little concerned because she was a bit redder down there than the rest of her, but she's not swollen and I felt for eggs but could feel nothing behind her legs.

Her front legs there look a little skinny to me. If that's normal, my others are probably fat because they at least have a little padding.
Image
The kids wanted to play trains with her when she was done with her "bath" (hibiclens scrub).

They played fire trucks instead.
Image

And then she went for pets from The Husband. In this shot, she is totally relaxed and not moving at all. He does have her in one hand but she is over his lap and he is safe with her; they were eye to eye but hers were closing because of the pets and skritches and as soon as she was more alert he put her right back down.
Image

And then she went roaming and came to rest right by me. I had a buddy for a while.
Image
Outside Pond Boys: :mrgreen:Timmy & Chewy & Ike
Outside Pond Girls: :msgreen:Betty & Frick & Frack & Tina & Nyrtle-Sweetpea
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:29 pm   Re: We have a house turtle.

This morning she ate very little - she only wanted the pellets and I only put those in after ten minutes of watching her not really eat anything else. She went right for the cuttlebone though. I brought her a few small dandelion greens to see if that could tempt her to eat since my others like them so much, but no. She got four ZooMed Aquatic Turtle Food maintenance formula pellets (25% protein, 5/16" pellet) but she almost didn't eat the last one.

I'm going to the store today anyway so I'm going to grab some gelatin and see what kind of tasty snack I can make her to get her some veggies. She didn't poop this morning and last night I think was a forgotten pellet because it wasn't really poop-ish.

She's sleeping a lot. When I put her in someplace with the light / lamp, she scrabbles to escape until I give her a blanket or towel to hide in. Then she goes back to sleep.
Outside Pond Boys: :mrgreen:Timmy & Chewy & Ike
Outside Pond Girls: :msgreen:Betty & Frick & Frack & Tina & Nyrtle-Sweetpea
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:01 pm   Re: We have a house turtle.

I cut up my cuttle bone into tiny bite size pieces. Makes it easier for mine to eat. I only give him a small amount (about the size of his head) every two to three days.

Sounds like your on the right track with her and I wish you all the best.
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Post Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:32 am   Re: We have a house turtle.

Thanks. :) I love this turtle a lot.

Can they get TOO MUCH cuttlebone? She only ate that tonight. She bit at the red lettuce but spit it right back out. I even left her in there a little longer this time. I should cut mine up too but I just haven't gotten to it. She digs into it so well that I haven't felt like I needed to, but that would be easier and cleaner than having a wet cuttlebone to deal with twice a day.

Oh, confirmed poop! Yay! At least I know she's getting something through.
Outside Pond Boys: :mrgreen:Timmy & Chewy & Ike
Outside Pond Girls: :msgreen:Betty & Frick & Frack & Tina & Nyrtle-Sweetpea
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Post Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:41 am   Re: We have a house turtle.

As far as getting too much cuttlebone... it's possible but most people don't think it's an issue. She does need some UVB so she can metabolize that calcium.
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Post Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:12 am   Re: We have a house turtle.

steve wrote:As far as getting too much cuttlebone... it's possible but most people don't think it's an issue. She does need some UVB so she can metabolize that calcium.


... True. She's on the move so much that I suppose I'll have to corral her into a corner or something and get that light on her. UVB won't really go through windows, will it. She hides a lot underneath things so she might be really unhappy with this light on her, but I suppose unhappy is better than dead.

I'll work on a turtle fence for the corner today. I'll bet I have enough of those closet shelves left that I could zip-tie together for a fence.
Outside Pond Boys: :mrgreen:Timmy & Chewy & Ike
Outside Pond Girls: :msgreen:Betty & Frick & Frack & Tina & Nyrtle-Sweetpea
Inside Tank: :mrgreen:Sheldon :msgreen: Mork :msgreen: Mindy
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Post Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:01 am   Re: We have a house turtle.

Today's update:
I made a corral for her and kept her under the UVB lamp for close to two hours, much to her dismay. I know that's not a lot but it's more than she was getting the last two days. Then she started climbing the pen so I let her out. (I had been sitting next to the pen holding the light, and it was time for me to get up anyway, so it worked out.)

She ate none of her veggies this morning, and she doesn't seem to like blueberries either. She bit the one we put in and spit it back out. Maybe the light bothered her. Once she was out of the corral, she wandered and ended up crashed out under my kid's bed. For the whole day. I fell asleep before I was supposed to put her into the water to feed her, so when I woke up we just put her in the box with her blankets because I have to be up early tomorrow anyway and I'll get her in for feeding and light while there are fewer distractions.

I've been trying to keep her warm but she goes off on her own and shuns my attempts to snuggle her in with the low-power heating pad or under the basking lamp.

Oh, and I'm getting more information from Angel tomorrow - she actually had her for a year before me! I hadn't picked that up from our conversations at all. She's calling the previous owners for more info tomorrow too. Maybe I was too excited to listen properly when she was over.

Anyway, there's the update.
Is it ok that she sleeps so much? My house is about 65-70; she's not going to be too cold walking around, is she?
Outside Pond Boys: :mrgreen:Timmy & Chewy & Ike
Outside Pond Girls: :msgreen:Betty & Frick & Frack & Tina & Nyrtle-Sweetpea
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