Urgent Care :: Thrashing (choking?) box turtle

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Post Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 2:02 am   Thrashing (choking?) box turtle

Hi all,
Yes, I know you're all slider folks, but hoping someone might be able to help....

We have an eastern box turtle who is suddenly 'thrashing' around... it looks like she's choking on something. she'll open her mouth wide, stick her head out, then in, back and forth, and 'wipes' her face with her front feet. It's not manic or anything, but she's definitely distressed. Nothing coming out of her nose, no sounds, and she seems to be able to breathe ok.

She has a pool to swim in. We put her in it, in case a drink helped, and her behaviour didn't change too much. She'd lay still occasionally, under water, but continued to look like she's choking.

Any ideas of what we can do?

We've given her an exam, nothing we can see seems wrong except her behaviour and distressed looking movements.

I've looked at other discussions on the site, but hope someone might share some ideas.

Thanks,
Roger (on Flash's behalf)
Flash
 
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Post Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 10:13 am   Re: Thrashing (choking?) box turtle

Does it happen constantly? Or only during eating? What substrate does Flash have and how's the humidity in the enclosure?
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steve
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Post Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 12:28 pm   Re: Thrashing (choking?) box turtle

It's the first time we've ever seen it. This morning she seems better, or may just be exhausted - she's not moving much. We're hoping she'll eat something this morning.

Her substrate is a mix of playsand, coconut fibre and 'sea soil'.

She still isn't acting 'normal'... she's never been a great eater, and isn't flailing as much as last night, but she still doesn't seem content. We are taking her to the vet this morning, but any advice would be great!

I'm attempting to add a video to this post of her... this is her, just now.

Another weird thing, she's digging her face in the dirt... can't tell if her eyes are dirty or bloodshot! :(
Flash
 
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Post Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 1:23 pm   Re: Thrashing (choking?) box turtle

Here's a couple of videos to show her behaviour...

https://youtu.be/I2oA0-Czhlg
and
https://youtu.be/SQXwhbw8Pyg (under a red heat lamp)

Also, I noticed there are some tiny bugs walking over her food dish and on the rocks - obviously I'm overdue for changing her substrate out... but I'm wondering if this has something to do with it... perhaps they are biting her?? We gave her a good bath and wash, and didn't see anything moving on her, which is why we thought maybe it was something inside her throat...? I'm researching to see if I can identify them, but they may just be innocent critters. I'll clean the tank today too.

Thanks again!
Flash
 
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Post Posted: Thu May 17, 2018 11:04 pm   Re: Thrashing (choking?) box turtle

I'm stumped. I agree that it seems that something is bothering her... how did the vet visit go? If put in a different setup, does she act the same way?
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steve
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