Please HELP!! (lethargy, inhibited growth, counter clockwise circular movement )

robertt255

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Joined
Nov 25, 2022
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5
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new jersey
I watched everything I could to prepare for having a baby eastern box turtle. The male, Henry, arrived in late September and is thriving in all aspects. He is doing so well I decided to get a second baby box turtle, Shelbell, in early October. Right away I noticed issues so she has never been housed with Henry. She constantly moves in a counter-clockwise pattern (respiratory problem?) RARELY eats or has bowel movements (and it only seems to be an apple or Omega One Turtle sticks that she will eat). She does not touch worms, other insects or leafy greens. On the advice of Chris (who said she was probably too young to be sent because she still had the egg breaking tip) from GST, I moved her into an aquatic environment (1 1/2inches of water) with fake ivy. Today I had Henry next to her and realized just how much he has grown while she seems the same- 2 inches. I found a local vet who cares for reptiles but can he treat one so small? Please, I don't want to lose her; Any and all advice is welcome. Again the issues are: lethargy, inhibited growth, counter clockwise circular movement and all most no appetite or bowel movements.
For complete clarity, neither of these animals were purchased from GST.
 

DoubleD1996!

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Feb 27, 2021
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I watched everything I could to prepare for having a baby eastern box turtle. The male, Henry, arrived in late September and is thriving in all aspects. He is doing so well I decided to get a second baby box turtle, Shelbell, in early October. Right away I noticed issues so she has never been housed with Henry. She constantly moves in a counter-clockwise pattern (respiratory problem?) RARELY eats or has bowel movements (and it only seems to be an apple or Omega One Turtle sticks that she will eat). She does not touch worms, other insects or leafy greens. On the advice of Chris (who said she was probably too young to be sent because she still had the egg breaking tip) from GST, I moved her into an aquatic environment (1 1/2inches of water) with fake ivy. Today I had Henry next to her and realized just how much he has grown while she seems the same- 2 inches. I found a local vet who cares for reptiles but can he treat one so small? Please, I don't want to lose her; Any and all advice is welcome. Again the issues are: lethargy, inhibited growth, counter clockwise circular movement and all most no appetite or bowel movements.
For complete clarity, neither of these animals were purchased from GST.
I think moving more to an aquatic set up was a good call. Like a closed chamber. Recently, i had a hatchling with an egg tooth that toom a while to get going. This is normal, because they're usually still fulk of yolk. I have two hatchlings that are drastically different in size and it actually encouraged the smaller one to eat. Being in water seems to help. Just keep offering food. Like little worms. Babies usually respond to movement and have a ravenous appetite. If it's eating at all that's a good sign. Here's my set up. Excuse the dust, but they're I'm an inch of water on a heat mat, with a thermostat and uvb.
 

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robertt255

New Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2022
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
new jersey
I think moving more to an aquatic set up was a good call. Like a closed chamber. Recently, i had a hatchling with an egg tooth that toom a while to get going. This is normal, because they're usually still fulk of yolk. I have two hatchlings that are drastically different in size and it actually encouraged the smaller one to eat. Being in water seems to help. Just keep offering food. Like little worms. Babies usually respond to movement and have a ravenous appetite. If it's eating at all that's a good sign. Here's my set up. Excuse the dust, but they're I'm an inch of water on a heat mat, with a thermostat and uvb.
Thank you so much! The only thing I lack is a heat mat. I have all the advised lighting.
 

DoubleD1996!

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Feb 27, 2021
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Thank you so much! The only thing I lack is a heat mat. I have all the advised lighting.
A heat mat isn't necessary, just heat in general in an enclosed chamber. You could simply have a ten gallon in a steralite bin with holes in it.
 

jeff kushner

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I'm not nearly as talented as a lot of the real talent here....full disclosure!

When you have a baby box turtle...think "Bog", not "desert". DoubleD1996! has raised a bunch of broods successfully in the couple years I've been here so there's that. LOL

Temps are really important to box turtles, especially baby's...... they will not thrive at OUR room temps. They need +82-83F to digest food.....and they won't usually eat much if temps are too low.

Don't let it get bad before you come back though, if they don't get better......the talented folks here helped my Matilda when she was 39grams and I though I was going to lose her.

FWIW; I kept water turtles for decades....and nearly every single case of respiratory issues was caused by low temps.

You came to a good place and welcome!

jeff
 

Yvonne G

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To add to and affirm what Jeff has told you. . .

Set the baby up in its own enclosure. For one that small a 10 gallon aquarium would be ok. Figure out a way to cover the whole thing, lights and all. For baby box turtles I made a wooden stand out of 2x4's that I hang the lights from then I cover the whole thing with a sheet of plastic. I use a black light for night heat, but you can also use a Ceramic Heat Emitter. You MUST keep that baby at 80F to 85F degrees day and night, and it MUST be housed in a moist environment.

To get it back healthy and eating soak it in human baby food strained carrots for at least 45 minutes daily. Use a small bowl with tall sides that it can't climb out of, and set the bowl back in the aquarium to keep it warm.
 
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