Urgent Care :: Rescued turtle hasn’t eaten since i’ve gotten him

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:01 am   Rescued turtle hasn’t eaten since i’ve gotten him

Hi! I recently acquired a new RES turtle from a friend who took very, very poor care of it. This turtle has spent the past couple years in about 3 inches of dirty water, in a dark tub with no light or basking area. Often not fed for days, and weeks/months between any water changes, if at all.
Basically he’s very malnourished, but is about 6 years old and 5 inches big. He looks relatively healthy, but he hasn’t eaten a single bit since i’ve took him in. He’s discovered he loves to bask and swim like crazy, and seems to be acting fine but i don’t know what else to try next.
I have a 40 gallon tank a little over half full, a 55 gallon filter, with a sizable basking area. I have a preset water heater and have been using water conditioner. I know my setup isn’t the best, but it’s a million times better than what he had. I get paid in 4 days and will buy him some more vegetation, better basking rock, and a uvb bulb.
I’ve read about carrot soaks, but have found solid advice on how or when to do them. I’m going to get him looked at by a vet soon, but like i said he seems relatively healthy and i truly can’t afford that for another week or two.

big is your turtle? 5-6 inches
How long have you had it? since tuesday (less than a week)

What is the water temperature? 79 degrees F
Did you use a thermometer? no
Are you using a water heater? yes
How much water is in there? 20-25 gallons
Are you using a water conditioner? yes
Are you using any filtration? yes, a 55 gallon filter

What is the basking temperature? unknown
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? large floating dock
Is there a UVB light? no, but will be on wednsday

What have you been trying to feed it? lettuce, strawberry leaves, 2 types of dried pellets, worms, dried shrimp and another type of moist, refridgerated shrimp.
When was the last time your turtle ate? unknown, but it’s been at least 4.5 days

How big is the tank/pond/enclosure? 40 gallon tank
Is the tank near a window? yes
Is the tank in a room with a lot of activity? no

Have you read the Basic Care section? yes
Have you searched the forums for similar situations? yes and have been searching google/forums/facebook groups for days

Is there any other unusual activity/symptoms? no

Thank you in advance for any help, it will all be greatly appreciated.
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Joined: Dec 29, 2018
Gender: Female

Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:56 pm   Re: Rescued turtle hasn’t eaten since i’ve gotten him

What part of the world you are in? Winter time areas some do not keep consistent water temp or basking temps for a "captive" turtle. Sounds like a hard life for him , now you have him may have a chance at a better life. Get a good accurate thermometer , you need to know temps for sure ! Those pre set water heater's don't put out even what they state , very inaccurate !

Malnourished // the carrot soaks are more for a vitamin "A" deficiency.

It would be better to use // 50/50 mixture of unflavored Pedialyte and some warm "vitamin water". Both can be found at any drug store OTC. Let him soak in it for an hour 2 or 3x's a day until he gets strong enough to take real food. See nutrition page on forum to help . Also keep the water at a consistent 80* and basking area at 90* in his regular home , better consistent temps helps a turtles digestion too.

If you can't find the vitamin water use some tank water or treated tap water but warm. The vitamin water has lots of vitamin's that will help faster than tap water. Must get nutrition in him so he can eat regular food. It's been proven a turtle can absorb a "little" through the skin , more likely he will drink some in helping better. Do this in a separate small container and the 50/50 mix about 2" deep is all you need. Try live food's in a few days will like them better. Small minnows , ghost shrimp , worms …. Take some extra time to read more than just the basic's will help you understand what's needed in a habitate. Top header has very good info . You will be a good parent , all will get better.

Photo's will help of him and setup.
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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:19 pm   Re: Rescued turtle hasn’t eaten since i’ve gotten him

I would try the minnows (hold them by the tail so they wiggle in front of him and are easy for him to snatch). Pedialyte should also be very good for him. You can also try small amounts of boiled white chicken meat/ Pick up a decent brand of pellets... Omega One, Reptomin for starters and do not overfeed if he regains his appetite. You should still be a bit conservative with his protein.
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