Urgent Care :: Swollen skin or bump on back of baby RES turtle's neck?

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Post Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:42 am   Swollen skin or bump on back of baby RES turtle's neck?

How big is your turtle? 1 inch
How long have you had it? 2 weeks

What is the water temperature? 75-79
Did you use a thermometer? Yes
Are you using a water heater? Yes
How much water is in there? 30 gallons
Are you using a water conditioner? No
Are you using any filtration? Yes

What is the basking temperature? 90
Is there a basking light? Yes
Is there a basking platform that is easy to climb on? Yes
What kind is it or what is it made out of? Turtle topper And resin type rock formation in tank.
Is there a UVB light? Yes

I have had two precious little hatchlings for a couple of weeks now. Both seem to be in perfect health as far as they are active, eating, swimming, basking and have normal feces. When they first arrived, I noticed that one had a small raised place on the back of his neck right in front of his shell. It thought it might have been caused by him irritating it by rubbing his neck against his shell during transit. I could see what appeared to be a tiny pinpoint sized spot on the skin of his neck right under the fold that covered it. I soaked him in sulfa dip and put some antibacterial ointment on it for a few days. It seemed to be getting better. I could no longer see the little sore spot. But today I notice that his neck looks swollen once again. I can not tell if there is an actual bump on his neck or just the folded skin where it attaches to his shell. Normally an abscess appears as a hard lump but this looks more like the skin that folds around his neck is puffy or swollen. It doesn't affect his head movements and is only visible when he has his head stretched out. He is a bit more shy and does not bask as much as the other hatchling and I am trying to isolate him under the UVB light in hopes this might help. I really don't have access to a herp vet locally, because I am afraid to take in such a small hatchling for fear of problems with the laws concerning having RES turtles here in TN. I don't want to risk any chance of them taking my baby away from me!!! Is there any advice that you can give me for treatment. Is this a common condition?

Please see the photos that I have included.

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cervoned1
 
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:57 am   

Very cute hatchling with a weird condition. This is the first time I see this
condition. I'm sorry I can't help you much. If this guy is behaving normally,
just treat him like the other. Perhaps it'll go away eventually or it's just its
uniqueness.
RES - Ramen <f> (51/4")
RES - Heine <f> (43/4")
Asian Leaf Turtle - unnamed <m> (53/4")
measured at Nov 24, 2012
< my turtles' pics >
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Kemul
 
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:16 pm   

It looks like some kind of growth under the skin. Since there are very harmless, and very harmful things that can grow under the skin, is it possible you could get in touch with a herp vet outside of your state? Like look one up on the internet, and either call them or email them.

Does it appear to look like a zit/pimple at all? Basically, does it seem like if you squeezed the hard area, that stuff would ooze out? Abscesses are fairly common in turtles, and I am not saying you should necessarily attempt to lance it, but if this is the case, it will need to be taken care of. Abscesses are pretty painful, and I'd be worried of it getting infected.
Spike - Egyptian mau mix, 8 years old
Phryne - Japanese bobtail, 9 months old
Hurricane - RES, 8 yo, 6 1/2 in. long
Typhoon - RES/Map hybrid, 8 yo, 7 in. long
Sadie - RES, 20 yo, 10 in. long
Sophie - Colombian red tail boa, 5 yo, 5 ft. long
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theartbook35
 
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:08 pm   

I wish I had a help full answer for you. is he/she able to pull his head all the way into his shell??

I do have to say that i love your picture of the turt surfing on the cuttlebone.
BMF26
 
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:57 pm   

I had a turtle that had the exact same thing as yours...it ended up looking like an abscess although I didn't have time to take her to a vet. You might want to go to one.
Check out my blog at: http://turtleaffairs.wordpress.com/
Tank #1:
~Charlie - 4 inch male RES
Tank #2:
~Charlotte - 6 inch female RES
worldpeace
 
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:04 pm   

It sounds like the skin closed up with some of the infection/pus left inside (which will continue to fester). I'd take the turtle to a herp vet.
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
marisa
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:46 pm   

theartbook35 wrote:It looks like some kind of growth under the skin. Since there are very harmless, and very harmful things that can grow under the skin, is it possible you could get in touch with a herp vet outside of your state? Like look one up on the internet, and either call them or email them.

Does it appear to look like a zit/pimple at all? Basically, does it seem like if you squeezed the hard area, that stuff would ooze out? Abscesses are fairly common in turtles, and I am not saying you should necessarily attempt to lance it, but if this is the case, it will need to be taken care of. Abscesses are pretty painful, and I'd be worried of it getting infected.

*****************************************
When I looked at it today outside in the light, I could see that there is still a small area that looks like a sore on his neck under the folded skin. And yes, it did appear to look more like a pimple now then what I saw the first time. When I first got him, the place on his neck looked like a tiny prick in the skin, like a sore spot rubbed from the edge of his shell or maybe caused by the little claw of the other turtle who was shipped with him, while they were being bounced around during transit. Anyway, I think I saw what looks to be pus when I could get him to stretch his neck all the way out. I took some antiseptic on a cotton swab and tried to press it gently. It seemed like a little bit may have come out. I am going to try some vigorous treatment on him for about a week to 10 days and see what happens.

I cleaned it out with the antiseptic and then applied some antibacterial ointment to it. I kept him in a separate small habitat that I have for basking and left him under the UVB and basking lights for awhile. Then I put him in Zoo Med sulfa dip for 3 hours. When I took him out I put a drop of the Zoo Med reptile wound healing aid on his neck and returned him to the dry habitat under the lights. Maybe if I keep him dry except for feeding time and a few times to rehydrate him each day, it will start to heal up. He likes to stay in and under the water, so that may be why it stopped healing and possibly got some infection in it. The other hatchling that I got at the same time, spends most of his time basking! This little guy loves to swim and be in the water! He doesn't seem to be in pain and it definitely hasn't slowed him down at all. He is eating just fine and very active. Meanwhile, maybe I can get my regular vet to help me out with finding a herp vet that won't take my baby away from me.

When I rescued my first two turtles as tiny hatchlings caught in our swimming pool skimmer basket, I asked a local herp vet if I should bring them in to have them checked out to be sure they had not been injured. The receptionist told me that if I brought in red eared sliders, they would have to keep them and turn them over to a wildlife organization. In other words, they would probably be killed rather than released into the wild. I was devastated as I had not taken them from the "wild" in the first place. They were in my swimming pool, inside a fenced area on my private property. I simply provided a safe habitat and care for them so they would not be killed by some predator if I just dumped them out on the road somewhere.

Now that I have these two babies who were purchased online and I am aware of the 4" law that makes me a "hardened criminal" for getting them, I feel like I am afraid to make a mistake with where I take them. It seems such a shame that we live in a country that makes up such insane laws. I love my turtles and they are considered members of the family just like my cats are. I am providing them with excellent care and there is no reason that they should be anyone else's concern. I should be able to seek medical care for them without all of these complications! :(
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cervoned1
 
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:51 pm   

worldpeace wrote:I had a turtle that had the exact same thing as yours...it ended up looking like an abscess although I didn't have time to take her to a vet. You might want to go to one.


My problem isn't not having time to take him, but fear that the local herp vet may take him away from me, because of the stupid state laws in TN. What happened to your turtle who had this problem? Did it ever get better? What did you end up doing for her?
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cervoned1
 
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:54 pm   

BMF26 wrote:I wish I had a help full answer for you. is he/she able to pull his head all the way into his shell??

I do have to say that i love your picture of the turt surfing on the cuttlebone.


Yes, he can pull his head all the way in with no problem. Can you tell that I am a Teenage Ninja Turtle fan?
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cervoned1
 
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:52 am   

You have a case of an abscess without much doubt. Although not very fatal, overtime, this little growth will enter your terrapins organs, destroying them in wiping out your terrapin's existence. This case is caused by mere bacteria entering your terrapin. It is hard to prevent and is mostly caused by improper water conditions and over ammonia or nitrates. I had a young terrapin once with the same condition you have and he didn't die until 3 years later, his body lumped and he died. Taking your terrapin to a vet is the only way to cure the abscess. However they need to surgically remove it and this doesn't work to well for baby hatchlings. Antibiotics may work though.
Red eared sliders are for life, not just the weekends.

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aal
 
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:17 pm   

Some normal vets can and will do the procedure for you, as it's not a very complicated one. Call more vets and see what they say.

Good luck
Check out my blog at: http://turtleaffairs.wordpress.com/
Tank #1:
~Charlie - 4 inch male RES
Tank #2:
~Charlotte - 6 inch female RES
worldpeace
 
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Location: Canada
Gender: Female

Post Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:10 pm   

Antibiotics will definitely help, but that abscess probably needs some draining before it becomes hardened puss in there. Try calling more vets as worldpeace suggested.

My fingers are crossed for you!
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gwennie
 
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:24 am   

I don't want to scare you or anything like that, but my turtle with the abscess died. He had a very serious respiratory infection so it's not likely that the abscess was the cause of his death.

Good luck.
Check out my blog at: http://turtleaffairs.wordpress.com/
Tank #1:
~Charlie - 4 inch male RES
Tank #2:
~Charlotte - 6 inch female RES
worldpeace
 
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:00 am   

I am definitely going to talk to my regular vets and see what direction they can suggest I take. I am just so afraid of having him taken away from me. That is definitely what the first reptile vet's office told me when I asked about pet turtles. They said if I brought in a red eared slider, they would have to keep it and turn it over to a wildlife organization. And then to complicate the situation, this little guy is just a hatchling, which presents another whole set of legal problems!
I am fairly certain that this abscess is the result of an injury during shipping. I received them on November 4th. They were sent over-night air by UPS. There was a label on the package that said "Fragile, Live Baby Turtles" but some stupid idiot along the route at UPS had put another UPS label right on top so that it was covered up. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the driver walking up my yard swinging the small box back and forth! I had never had turtles shipped to me before and I was so worried that they might not survive. It was such a relief to see them alive and active. I looked them both over very carefully and didn't see any injuries or signs of problems right then. It was later that night, maybe the next morning, that I noticed that one of the little guys seemed to have a swollen neck. I found a tiny little sore spot under the folded skin right where his neck would rub against the edge of his shell. My guess was that he probably was extending his neck and got bounced around so that it rubbed a sore spot. It seemed to be looking better after a few days and then I saw that it was swollen again so it must have gotten infected. Other than the skin injury, he seems perfectly healthy. He has no other signs or symptoms of illness. He is eating and active. He wasn't getting up on the basking platform much the first few days. Now I have him isolated and keeping him nice and warm under the basking and UVB lights. I am using sulfa dip and several anti-bacterial cleaners and ointments to try to get the sore to heal. Hopefully my vet will be able to tell if it needs to be lanced and maybe she might even be able to give me some antibiotics for him. I will call her or one of the other vets that I know on Monday. Thanks for all of the help and concern!!
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cervoned1
 
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:26 pm   I think he is healing now!

First, thanks to all for the great information and suggestions. I thought at first that it was only swollen skin but after all of the replies about an abscess, I started to think that might be the problem. I had read plenty about the ear abscess but wasn't expecting to find one in such an odd place.
First, before anyone gets freaky, I have a great deal of medical experience myself learned the hard way from having to deal with emergency situations as caregiver for my elderly parents and doing rescue for cats. So I decided to take a look at it myself, before risking getting into trouble with any local vet or wildlife agencies. Once I was able to get a hold of his little head and get it extended away from his body and hold on to it, that was the hard part! ... Then I was able to find the actual lump way up on his neck. Unbelievable, how strong that tiny little guy is! My biggest fear was that I would choke him or hurt his neck. But I was able to lance it with a sterile needle and sure enough a little hard lump of puss popped out. I soaked the area with antibiotic cleanser and then applied antibiotic ointment. It seems to be healing nicely. I clean it out twice a day and add fresh medication. I have kept him in a sulfa dip daily for about three hours and except for feeding time, he is dry docked under a UVB light. He is eating and active as he has always been, such a sweetie! Once it has healed completely I will post photos! I couldn't hold on to his little head to take a picture of the cavity that the lump left or I would have posted that! Scary, such a big hole in such a tiny neck! I figured he had been through enough already for me to try to start taking pictures after his "surgery." Anyway. I will keep you posted on his recovery. I know he is very anxious to get back to the big tank and swim with his buddies! :mrgreen:
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cervoned1
 
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