General Care Discussion :: Uncertain if gravid?

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:21 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

I had scheduled a vet appointment for today after she's made numerous attempts to get out on Wednesday. She was successful yesterday as I found underneath a chair when I got home from work.
X-ray confirms that she has four eggs visible.
The vet suggested a nest box and give a few times a day to handle it naturally. If after a week, she hasn't laid them, then bring her back.
Additionally, they tested my UVB bulb and determined the type really is insufficient for aquatic turtles, so I'll need to use a different one going forward.
Madness will reign.
User avatar
Insanity
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Dec 23, 2013
Location: Kalamazoo-ish, Michigan, USA
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:03 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

Wow, I wasn't expecting that. If she "acts out" at certain times of the day, you might be able to anticipate when she might want to try the nest box.
User avatar
steve
Site Admin
 
Posts: 30164
Joined: Apr 11, 2005
Location: New York, NY
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:49 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

I wasn't expecting it either, but it's also good news in that she doesn't have some severe illness and that I took her to the vet when I did as she's not egg bound.
None of the eggs appeared deformed either.

I got topsoil and sand for the nest box, I did a layer of topsoil, then a mix of topsoil and sand, and then the top layer is half sand and half topsoil. Each layer a couple of inches. The total depth is about 8 inches. The vet suggested a different substrate on each half of the top layer. As all the substrate was cold due to being outside out the stores, it's sitting in a separate room with a space heater to warm up over night. I have a digital thermometer with a probe that's several inches long, so I can measure the temp of the soil a few inches down. Hopefully all goes well sooner than later. Assuming that the soil is warm enough in the morning, I will place her in the box in the morning when I got take the new bulb to the vet for them to test, as they will test the UV output of bulbs for free.

She's continued to eat mealworms, so at least she is eating during this.
Madness will reign.
User avatar
Insanity
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Dec 23, 2013
Location: Kalamazoo-ish, Michigan, USA
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:29 am   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

I'd make sure you pack it down so it's not loose. They also like it when it's a little damp (IMO).
User avatar
steve
Site Admin
 
Posts: 30164
Joined: Apr 11, 2005
Location: New York, NY
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:08 am   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

The substrate was fairly saturated when I got it, and I have a triple measure houseplant probe (moisture, pH, light) and this morning the top sand portion was in the dry range, but went to moist after an inch or so. The top topsoil portion was moist, and remains so after an inch. I think there's a good variation in substrate type and moisture.
Madness will reign.
User avatar
Insanity
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Dec 23, 2013
Location: Kalamazoo-ish, Michigan, USA
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:08 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

Alright, best of luck! I'm not sure if adding some cover will help... they go into a trance once they start digging and then it won't matter.
User avatar
steve
Site Admin
 
Posts: 30164
Joined: Apr 11, 2005
Location: New York, NY
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:49 am   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

An update and good news. After the week wait and no eggs laid, we went to the vet this past Monday for another x-ray to confirm if she was still carrying eggs, which she was. The vet gave her an injection of oxytocin. She spent several hours in the nest box with no results, and as she was trying to get out of the box, I decided to put her back in the tank. Within an hour, she expelled an egg into the tank. No other eggs that day.
I was traveling for work yesterday, so she was in the tank for day except for a couple of hours when I got home, no eggs either in the tank or in the box. I scheduled another vet appointment for this morning, the vet gave her another injection of oxytocin, slightly more (20 units per kilogram) and I brought her home. I don't think we were back for an hour and she expelled an egg in the tank and within another 20 minutes or so, expelled the rest. All eggs seen on the x-ray are accounted for so we should be good.

**Edit: So far, two additional eggs not seen on the X-ray.

I have plans to finish our basement this summer/fall and due to this situation, think I will add in a larger indoor turtle pond enclosure that has an area for substrate at all times. I was wondering if the nest box is unfamiliar to her and simply not appealing. If something was always available, it would be considered "safe".
Madness will reign.
User avatar
Insanity
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Dec 23, 2013
Location: Kalamazoo-ish, Michigan, USA
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:41 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

Thanks for the update, great to hear she expelled the eggs. After the oxytocin shot, did she try to create a nest (dig one with her rear feet) or acted normal? I don't think a nest being "unfamiliar" matters, but there needs to be certain factors that I think they will judge it on.
User avatar
steve
Site Admin
 
Posts: 30164
Joined: Apr 11, 2005
Location: New York, NY
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:55 am   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

Hey man, if you're still having this problem, try carrots.

I have two female sliders and one of them acts a lot like yours. She always has trouble laying eggs and no matter what I try, she always lays them in the water. I've counted up to twenty a year between November and July. She usually lays four or five at a time. Luckily the process only seems to be getting easier for her with time.

She'll often start refusing food shortly before she goes full on egg crazy. Sometimes she'll act aloof, pretty much exactly how you're describing. The only things I've found that she will eat have been orange coloured food. Weird, I know, but she'll suspend her hunger strike for some carrot peel.
TheMVB
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Apr 24, 2017
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:16 am   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

steve wrote:Thanks for the update, great to hear she expelled the eggs. After the oxytocin shot, did she try to create a nest (dig one with her rear feet) or acted normal? I don't think a nest being "unfamiliar" matters, but there needs to be certain factors that I think they will judge it on.


While in the nest box after the oxytocin shot on Monday, I did not see any evidence that she attempted to dig. Granted, I did not watch her the entire time and tried to not disturb her. Yesterday, I think she expelled them while swimming and without much if any digging motion.

I'm just wondering if as a nesting area is never available to her if all of a sudden being placed outside the tank in a strange place might be part of the reason for not using it.
Madness will reign.
User avatar
Insanity
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Dec 23, 2013
Location: Kalamazoo-ish, Michigan, USA
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:23 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

@TheMVB - I think food colors definitely factor in their choices.

@Insanity - When they want to lay eggs and are trying hard to get out of the tank, they are sort of a trance. Same deal when outside looking to nest... they are driven on instinct. When my RES was gravid for the first time and I took her out to the backyard, where she had never been before, she went to work in a couple of minutes. I do think an in-tank nest would help, mostly because they have access to it instantly but that's just my theory.
User avatar
steve
Site Admin
 
Posts: 30164
Joined: Apr 11, 2005
Location: New York, NY
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:13 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

Another egg today.
Madness will reign.
User avatar
Insanity
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Dec 23, 2013
Location: Kalamazoo-ish, Michigan, USA
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 2:40 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

Update.
I had taken Morla back to the vet on April 22 as her behavior suggested she might still be gravid.
X-ray showed no eggs, but showed some "pitting" along the edge of her shell, due to calcium deficiency. The vet prescribed calcium gluconate to be given orally. As she was ignoring pellets but eating live food readily, I injected the calcium gluconate into mealworms, which she ate. Her more typical behavior returned in about a week. However, since last Saturday, she started to act up again.
Today I caught her in the process of escaping. She actually got stuck halfway out of the tank, wedged between the cover.

As it's decent weather now, I took her out to the garden and let her be. Within 20 minutes, she started to dig a hole and laid 10 eggs, only one broken. Took a few pictures.
Attachments
IMG_20190517_143957.jpg
Madness will reign.
User avatar
Insanity
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Dec 23, 2013
Location: Kalamazoo-ish, Michigan, USA
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 3:29 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

Personally I would see another vet. Not knowing how to set up an x-ray to see eggs.... He/she said no eggs ? Ten eggs can't hide I could see one maybe two not seen due to its placement but not all ten. A good Herp Vet can tell.

You can check for eggs yourself , it's easy see here : https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=ho ... ORM=VRDGAR

Vet said pitting the x ray showed... pitting is external can see with the naked eye and normally caused by bacteria ...…
The calcium gluconate is ok especially when producing eggs , can also be achieved in diet adjustments.

Your call on vet.


PS: the shell edges " marginal's " do show a little issue. Didn't shed completely and most marginals don't shed at the same time as the scutes on some turtles . But no problem there.
Last edited by litefoot on Fri May 17, 2019 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
litefoot
 
Posts: 1566
Joined: Nov 7, 2016
Location: New Orleans
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 3:44 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

I saw the x-rays that showed eggs and the one that did not show eggs. No eggs were visible during the last visit. Unless the eggshell is well formed, it's just more soft tissue. It's been a month since then, which is enough time for eggs to form. The pitting is not external on the scutes, it was visible along the edges of the ribs in the X-ray.
Madness will reign.
User avatar
Insanity
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Dec 23, 2013
Location: Kalamazoo-ish, Michigan, USA
Gender: Male

PreviousNext

Return to General Care Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests