EMERGENCY!!! (ear abscess)

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yagyujubei

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It's not uncommon among box turtles in particular.
IBeenEasy said:
is this a common thing for turtles and torts? ive never heard of this before


I have heard dirty water can be a cause, but I have seen it many times develop after hibernation, It's a bacterial infection.
Team Gomberg said:
How does an abscess develop?

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kimber_lee_314

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Team Gomberg said:
How does an abscess develop?

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There's so much controversy on what actually causes them. Some say it's from filthy conditions. There's no way this can be completely true because I keep mine in extremely clean conditions with water changes twice a day - sometimes three! - and one or two still occasionally get them.

Some say it's a lack of vitamin A. Again, I feed mine vegetables high in vitamin A three times a week plus use cod liver oil to supplement, so this can't be the only cause.

It's interesting to note that wild box turtles can get ear abscesses too. No one seems to really know the answer to this question. I have noticed that when I dried out the substrate in their sleeping boxes (which I used to keep quite moist and then decided to keep them mostly dry - the ear abscess incidents dropped quite a bit.)

I'd be interested in hearing others share their personal experiences with ear abscess.
 

Millerlite

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I have had a few boxies that has had them of they arnt to far into development they will go away of kept warm and soaked. Others you have to get drained.

As far as what causes it, I have no idea. Could just be a scrape or cut that got infected. I read it can be from dirty enclosures, stress and low humidity. It's common tho
 

terryo

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I've never had any with an ear abscess, but I've a few friends whose box turtles had them. I have to agree with Kimber, as I've noticed that they were kept in a very wet environment, but with not much heat. Maybe cold, wet humidity might contribute to this condition.
 

laney

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This is out of one of my reptile mags, hopefully you can zoom in enough to read it, I found it quite interesting.
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5209814209d85f96dfec006dc6e6a3c3_zpsc9368123.jpg
 

EricIvins

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Abscesses don't need to be lanced right away. A culture should have been done, then the proper anti-biotic can be administered without having to cut the animal open. If the proper anti-biotic is adminsitered, results can be seen within a few hours of treatment.

Lancing the animal may or may not make the situation worse. It is going to depend on ambient conditions, husbandry, and the Bacteria involved. There is no cut and dry this will work remedy like some think. I've had abscesses come back worse than ever when cut and drained. Either way, their are a lot of variables involved, and no black and white answer on how to treat it...
 

luvpetz27

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laney....Thanks for sharing that!! It was very interesting! Jasper had a big one!!!! OUCH :(
 

johnsonnboswell

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I believe that less than ideal environments contribute to the formation of ear abscesses. These occur in nature too. Too cold, too wet, too dry. Something off. My old turtle had one when I was a newbie decades ago, but never again, and none of the others ever had one - and I know the habitat wasn't ideal in those days.

Lancing the abscess & removing the crud takes the pressure off & removes the infected matter. Then regular soaks in diluted betadine helps heal. I lost a guitar callous pilling that turtle to get antibiotics into him.
 

thea lester

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The draining isn't bad if it goes that way. It's a tiny incision, some pus extraction, flushing with antibacterial solution and the hole heals in a week or so. Ear infections often follow respiratory infections and I'm sure the vet told you to keep an eye on your other turtle to make sure there's nothing respiratory going on.
Glad you got to a vet! She'll be just fine :)
 
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