Urgent Care :: help, turtle has not eaten for a week

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Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:23 pm   help, turtle has not eaten for a week

hello im new and was referred here for questions. i've tried doing search for the help topic but still not exactly sure of my problem or solution

basically one of my two turtles has not eaten since last sunday, they're both very ferocious eaters, as the one that is sick would follow my finger normally just for food before it got sick

now i've tried everything, from waiting out, to taking to vet, to adjusting temperatures higher, feeding them mysis shrimp and bok choy rather than just pellets, and giving them lots of sun light! but the one is still sick

which is worrying me. the sick turtle seems fine too an extent, where it will bask, but won't stick out its arms or legs like normally, it will jump back in water but not swim deep, rather at times just floats around "in between spaces" and water basks there. and is basically lethargic at times. i've tried to put the food right in front of the nose, coat the pellets with tuna fish water, and still won't eat. it won't even open it's mouth anymore.

can anyone help? because the longer it doesnt eat, the more worried i am. i have a feeling some may say its gut is blocked by gravel, in which i do have in my tank, which i didn't know when i first got them they may eat (which i've never observed them doing btw). but regardless if it is the problem and i will remove it if you guys may verify. but if its gut is blocked, what course of action can i do to stimulate it to poop it out? as i heard if it doesn't poop out its feces, it will not eat....

very frustrating, and thank you for reading
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:30 pm   

If you took him to the vet, he must have given you medicines to cure his sickness
By the way, what did the vet say he had?

Doing all the things you have done, like raising the temp and stuff, doesnt cure the sickness, it just boosts your turtles immune system, but without proper medicine your turtle cant get better.

On the not eating part, its due to the sickness, im thinking he has RI, being lethargic, floating around, not eating, and exxcesive basking.

Do take out the gravel, if your turtle has already eaten gravel and it has been a long time and you didnt see the piiece of gravel that came out.
I suggest you need to take him to the vet, it can cause impaction which is serious and only a vet can take care of that
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:34 pm   

sorry to ask, what's RI?

the vet... really did nothing (cost me $90 canadian too not that i care that much) :(, but she told me after explaining all my conditions and factors, to just improve them. such as increase their spacing from 10 to 20 gallons, temperature of water and air must be the optimal (78F to 83F?), feed them more carniverous diet (fed them pellets up to this point) as they're baby's and not adults yet, and give better basking area, and clean water often

but no i did not officially get medicine because vet said they cannot identify anything exterior. whether it is an interior thing, they offered feces lab test for another $50 if i could get the feces and water (test for worms?), but to wait around for it to poop... is almost impossible to know at this point. i dunno if x rays would identify blockage in the intestines?
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:39 pm   

Its called a Respiratory Infection
Here
http://www.redearslider.com/respiratory_behavior.html
Read up on that to get you more familiar with it

Does your turtle exhibit any more of these symtoms
"breathing difficulties, coughing, sneezing, open mouth, yawning, wheezing, lethargy, loss of appetite, mucus from the nose (runny) or mouth and bubbling at the nose and mouth."


You should get another vet, this one doesnt seem like she knows what shes doing.

The X-ray would indentify the blockage and only the vet can do the procedure to remove it
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:43 pm   

oh sorry i realized before you wrote your next message what RI was..

unfortunately no, because this turtle doesn't have the breathing difficulty part, nor the mucous. i've read plenty before on RI to know it is seriously fatal enough that my turtle would have died at this point.

but yea, i was disappointed with the vet, but what can you do eh? if you say vet can only do something about possible blocked gut... ugh but i guess i've tried everything, even stimulating its appetite with 10% gatorate electrolyte solution one of my herp distributor associates suggest... -_-
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:49 pm   

If he is acting really letharic, floating more on one side, and not much of an appetite, You said hes basking alot, thats a sign too

Im thinking its RI man
You should really check out another vet, and tell him/her all the symtoms and issues.
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:03 pm   

well again, it's not entirely lethargic where if i put it on my hand it still won't move, but the way it basks (not overly excessive), it has its arms curled into its shell, rather than sticking them out along with its legs like it normally does when it basks.

floating, but having its head up yes, hmm what else to say. dangling food in front of it, and hasn't opened its mouth since last week?

you absolutely sure it is 100% RI? cuz i will be really frustrated if it is and i have to go to another vet just for its possible diagnosis...
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:22 pm   

The symptoms you describe definitely point to an illness, but they are pretty general for a few things, so don't jump to thinking it's an RI just yet.
Have you removed the gravel from the tank, that would be a good first move. Even if the turtles have not eaten it yet, there's a good chance one day one of them will think it's an appetizing snack... so better safe than sorry.
About the vet, was he/she a herp vet? If not, your best bet is to find a vet that has more experience with reptiles because most dog/cat vets just don't see enough turtles to be proficient at diagnosing and treating them.
To me, it sounds like the turtle has eaten some gravel. The best thing to do would be to get an xray at the vets. How large is the gravel in your tank? If it's standard aquarium "fish gravel" I would imagine it wouldn't be pleasant for your turtle but it could easily be passed. If you have larger round river rocks, they may actually be too large to pass and may require surgery. The best way to find out what the problem is is to get to a good vet and have some xrays done. Also, keep your eye out to see if the turtle is passing anything at all.
Also, how large is your tank? And how large are your turtles?
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:27 pm   

How are you giving him lots of "sun"? From your information, I'd stop using the bok choy and shrimp and concentrate on pellets and getting some green leaf or red leaf lettuce. Some bits of carrot are good too.

I'd also separate the 2, make sure the sick one has water of about 80F and a basking area of 90F.

Have you noticed any poop at all?
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:29 pm   

ok as far as my gravel, when i got my turtles i had to move them from my goldfish tank, so by default i left the gravel in there (cleaning it afterwards!), it's the standard green coloured stuff which at this point are too large to swallow, although i would not doubt the fact it may swallow the small bits that could be there (thats a big if)

my tank is standard 10 gallon, and my turtles are about 1-1.5 inches, yes i know i need bigger tank already, i will worry about that after i solve this problem, because i have a 20 gallon with 3 fish left in it which i will clean out soon...

i can take pics and upload, dunno if it may help?

when i bask them, i put them in a standard round white dish thats about 1.5 inches deep, and fill water a quarter to the size, and supervise them out there during days (weekends mostly because i work during days)

the vet told me i have to give them more carniverous stuff like worms, slugs, since thats what they would normaly eat in the wild, as pellets are insufficient enough, i will consider the separating thing, but again the other turtle is behaving really fine (though im getting to what you mean)

and no i havent noticed poop (not from sick turtle) i see poop bottom of aquarium, but im gonna guess it's most likely from the healthy turtle. i doubt i can sit around and wait for it to poop even in a separate dish because theres no certainty it may and it doesn't seem comfortable when in the dishes
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:46 pm   

can i also quickly say, i dunno about you guys who own RES, but normally up to last week they would swim right to me, whether on dock, or under water just for food (cuz i hear they really love to eat)

now the sick one either just floats around in water, or is sitting basking (arms curled in) even when i walk by, no incentive for food begging whatsoever, while the other one acts just as normal..

ugh really really need help, almost been losing sleep the last week over this

ok i managed to take photos (yay technology) and upload them, 2 of them may be blurry, please tell me if you think it seems abnormal for the turtle from what i described. the picture of the aquarium showing the turtle is the healthy turtle, im just showing setup

Image
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:32 pm   

Have you improved their habitat as was suggested by the vet?

What's the temp of the water and basking area? When you take them outside, keep them away from any drafts or strong breezes.
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:49 pm   

to a certain extent, except the size of aquarium. the temp of water is now around 80-83 F, and if you see the previous pic, i moved my old desk light which is more power and put it to where they bask, but that was a week ago... still nothing

heres another pic of both of them, as you see the one on top with its neck stretched out is the healthy one. can you seriously say the one on the bottom is not healthy?

Image
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:58 pm   

Just from the pic, I can't tell the state of his health, I can only go by what you write as well. Do they have a UVB light in addition to the heat light? The one on the bottom looks like his shell has been injured previously (that's him in the pics above, right?).
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:03 pm   

i have full UVA/UVB reptile light i purchased from a herp distributor associate of mine, i use it every other day. i've already asked him about the shell thing, and he says that isn't the problem and would repair itself, as i sorta screwed it up when i tore a piece off a month ago while it was shedding :( the one on left is the sick one

ok im sorry to above responder who told me about RI... but as i just observed him basking, i noticed a small, and I MEAN SMALL minut thing about of its nose, like a miniature bubble, then it disappeared... and this is when the turtle is dry. but again the turtle doesn't open its mouth gasping for air... so what am i to believe?

i picked up turtle, put it close to my ear as possible to see if i hear anything abnormal. at times a small bubbly sound?

ok i just talked to my herp expert associate just now and described the turtle, he suggested 2 things. either to raise the temperature of the water and air (where is basks) to let the turtle kill whatever may be inside him (pretty sure it may be infected), or to somehow find something called "Baytril" (enrofloxacin) which is an antibiotic, and find a way to administer it whether through a vet or through him as he's done injections before.

anyone familiar with this Baytril and is it only obtainable through vets?
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