map turtle: sore on neck - does she need a vet?

vladimir

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My female map turtle (I believe it's a false map turtle) has had some dead skin on the top of her head for several weeks now that wouldn't come off, and this afternoon while she was basking I took her out to get a closer look. There appeared to be a large flap of dead skin attached on one side.

As I lifted up gently on the dead skin, she retracted her head abruptly causing the skin to be detached completely. When the "scab" came off it looks like it tore at some of the new flesh, also.

Any suggestions on what I need to do now? It doesn't appear to be bleeding, but the skin looks raw and tender with faint hint of blood. Does this warrant a trip to the vet?

I didn't get a before shot, but here's the current state of the wound:
upload_2018-6-5_18-12-54.png

upload_2018-6-5_18-13-56.png


This is what came off:
upload_2018-6-5_18-14-50.png

Any advice would be appreciated. I feel horrible for trying to help her :(
 

Jay Bagley

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I don't have any advice to offer, I wish I did. Just wanted to say I hope your turtle heels quickly and he is a cute turtle.
 

vladimir

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Thanks Jay. It looks a little better now. I'm gonna check on things in the morning. Hopefully it's not too major
 

Jay Bagley

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No problem, I wish I could have been more help. I hope it looks better for you tomorrow, keep us posted.
 

vladimir

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I know it's only been a little bit, but does anyone have any advice? It looked a bit better this morning, but there is still some skin peeling off on top of her neck. I'll take a closer look after work.
 

Markw84

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As long as your conditions are correct - good water quality and diet, it should heal without problem. The issue is how it was injured. Trachemys will often have injuries like that as it is a mating ritual for the male to grab the back of the neck of the female. That is not the case with Graptemys though. Do you have other turtles in with the map turtle? How is it housed? Sometimes in a smaller tank, they can incessantly try to climb out and their head will get pushed back against the front marginals and could possibly do that?? Map turtles are very active, extremely great swimmers that need plenty of room.
 

vladimir

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As long as your conditions are correct - good water quality and diet, it should heal without problem. The issue is how it was injured. Trachemys will often have injuries like that as it is a mating ritual for the male to grab the back of the neck of the female. That is not the case with Graptemys though. Do you have other turtles in with the map turtle? How is it housed? Sometimes in a smaller tank, they can incessantly try to climb out and their head will get pushed back against the front marginals and could possibly do that?? Map turtles are very active, extremely great swimmers that need plenty of room.

Hi Mark,

Thanks for taking the time to reply. She's currently in a 55 gallon aquarium by herself running a Fluval 406. Water temp is about 77F, and I have a MegaRay 100W MVB for basking / UVB. A bigger upgrade for her is planned in the near future. We've had her since she was a baby back in 2008. She was housed with a male RES for a time before we knew their sexes, but we've since separated them when size started to become an issue. She's been along for probably 5 years now.

I realize that I'm not sure when I installed the MVB bulb, so it's probably due for a replacement. Would a reduction in UV cause dead skin to have a hard time shedding off, or anything like that? I'll take a closer look tonight to see if there is something she might be hurting herself on.

Thanks!
 

Markw84

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The UV should not have an impact on healing, except that there is a germicidal benefit to UV exposure. Health-wise, aquatics do get quite a bit of their D3 from Diet, and most good aquatic turtle pellets do provide good calcium and D3. I don't feel the UV is your concern, although I do like to ensure proper UV is available. The biggest issue I see with aquatics kept indoors ( aside from having enough space) is that people focus on keeping min temps up but do not do a good job of providing a place where the turtle can get its body temp up above 86°. A 100 watt MVB should do that easily, but also creates a very desiccating basking area - so is then sometimes avoided more by the turtle. Maps are baskers and will avidly bask in good, warm sunlight. They are also one of the more shy of turtles, and will often not bask as needed if they do not feel secure.

IT sounds like the injury is a common one seen with turtles in a tank. They will wedge themselves against the side, especially if trying to get out, and as they slide back down the side, their head is trapped upward and the front marginals of the shell pinch the back of the head/neck. The injury should heal just fine without any effort from you in good water quality conditions. The concern would be to be sure the cause is not repeating and not allowing healing as it re-injures itself.
 

Toddrickfl1

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I've had something similar with one of my sliders, it took a few weeks but it healed. Is it possible there's something in the enclosure your turtle might be rubbing up against that might have caused it?
 

Markw84

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I've had something similar with one of my sliders, it took a few weeks but it healed. Is it possible there's something in the enclosure your turtle might be rubbing up against that might have caused it?
Keep in mind that sliders - Trachemys - are notorious neck biters. Grabbing onto and holding on to the back of the neck of the other turtle. It can, and normally does, create quite a wound. In a breeding situation, females will invariably have some sort of neck wound. Painted turtles and cooters simply tickle the cheeks of the other with their long front nails. Map turtle males simply swarm around the much larger female being "pests". Spotted turtles and Westen pond turtles latch onto the female from above with all four feet and ride her till she's tired! But sliders cause damage!
 

TammyJ

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Male Jamaican Pond Turtles (Jamaican Sliders) do the front claw-waving thing too, but if that does not impress the female - watch out!!!:eek:
 

Yvonne G

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That's a hard place to get to heal. You might think about putting a tiny strip of duct tape around the front edge of the shell, so the injury isn't re-injured every time she pulls in her head.
 

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