Red-eared slider - swollen eyes and no eating " video included"

RedhaRay

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Jun 17, 2021
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11
Location (City and/or State)
Belgium
Hello, I really need your help, I bought 5 Red-eared sliders about 4 months ago,
they're very small, all of a sudden, one of them start showing weird symptoms,
puffy eyes, no appetite, I've searched google to figure out the cause of such symptoms,
all results were pointing at poor water quality or vitamin A decrease,
there were only one vet in my city, and it's not specialized in reptiles and I don't trust them,
he gave my turtle a vitamin injection and antibiotic injection multiple times on the span of 3 weeks,
and he told me to add antibiotic drops on top of the food, the turtle didn't get any better,
eventually, the turtle died.
A few days later, I noticed that 3 of my turtle are showing the same symptoms,
I isolated these turtles, each one in a separate plastic container filled with water with a rock to stand on,
one of them was making a sound when I hold it up in my hand,
a week later 2 of them died, I'm left with only 3 turtles, each of them are in its own container,
2 are sick and 1 is doing fine.

They all are getting +10 hours of sun,
with water being changed every day, I'm even washing the rocks.
But they are going on the same path as the previous turtles, they are not eating,
it has been over a week without any food, I tried to force-feed them, but I couldn't because the turtles are very small.
They are active when I hold them up in my hand,
of course their eyes are swollen, and they won't eat anything at all,
but I believe I still got hope to save them.
About 1 week without eating and the eyes are fully closed.

What can I do? Can I offer them any medication? Injections?
Unfortunately I live very far away, a lot of money but so little products.
Things that are designed especially for reptiles are not available where I live,
Any human medication is available here, of course, if I can use one in such case.
I'll be moving in the next few months to Belgium, where a lot of vets are available.,
but until then, I really don't know what to do.

Conditions:
water type:
previously, from the water tap,
currently, from a water bottle" like the ones you buy from store"
Full water change every day.

Light source:
No bulb, direct sunlight for +10 hours a day.

Food:
Aquatic Turtle pellets

YouTube Video:

Sidenote,
there was something weird with the pigeons in the last few weeks,
their eyes look like half-eaten, they look like zombies, and a lot of them are dying,
I remembered that some pigeon might have drunk from the water,
that might be the core of the infection " I might be wrong" but anyway I've started
to put a cage on top of the turtles' container to prevent the pigeons in the area
from drinking from the water in the container.
 

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Markw84

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Your turtles do have the look of ones who have never had a chance to start metabolising food properly. Now, emaciated and vitamin deficient. Probably too cold as Jeff has surmised.

They need a basking area next to the water with an incadescent bulb just above to give them a chance to heat their core body temperature to above 88° (31°C). Hopefully they are not too far gone and have lost the basking reflex/desire.

Starting baby aquatics on pellets is often not successful. I start mine on live bloodworms or small earthworms I harvest myself. The wiggling stimulated natural feeding. It starts their metabolism working. I always offer a few of the softer reptomin baby turtle pellets. Not sure if you can get them, but they are softer, seem more attractive to babies, and fortified with good calcium, D3 and Vitamin A. The worms stimulate feeding and once the metabolism starts, they start picking at the pellets.

Check the water temperatures. Water just above 26°C is needed.

Give them plants in the tank in which they can hide. This is extremely important in getting baby turtles to feeling comfortable enough to start feeding properly. A baby turtle would never be in the open. they would be hiding in aquatic plants.

Here's a photo just now of a tank I use to start baby spotted turtles that are hatching now...
IMG_2156.jpg

Basking light right over the basking area you see several basking upon. Bottom is bare so easy to find worms to start feeding.

Outside all day is not a good idea. They will hide more than anything else, getting little basking time. Keep them in a controlled environment they can feel safe in to start them properly.
 

Maro2Bear

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Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Getting back to the sick pigeon/eye issue problem drinking at turtles water.

There was a large outbreak of birds with eye issues earlier in the Spring here on the East Coast. Lets not discount that angle.

Background
On June 9, the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center announced an ongoing, unexplained, “bird mortality event” occurring in Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. Recently, the USGS added Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana to the list of areas affected. So far, there have been no reports of impacts to humans, domestic livestock or poultry, the USGS said.
While no cause has yet been identified, diagnostic laboratories have already ruled out several possibilities, including salmonella and chlamydia (both bacterial pathogens); avian influenza virus, West Nile virus and other flaviviruses, Newcastle disease virus and other viruses and parasites. Additional testing is ongoing.

Bird dos and don’ts​

Until wildlife experts determine what’s causing a mysterious and deadly illness affecting birds in Virginia, Washington, D.C. and at least eight other states, they recommend the following:
Don’t fill bird feeders. Remove them until further notice.
Do clean feeders and bird baths with a 10% bleach solution (one part bleach mixed with nine parts water), rinse with water and allow to air dry.
Don’t handle birds unless necessary. If you must handle them, wear disposable gloves. If picking up a dead bird, place an inverted plastic bag over your hand to avoid direct contact with the bird.
Do keep pets (including pet birds) away from sick or dead wild birds as a precaution.
Both the USGS and state wildlife officials say birds congregating at bird feeders and bird baths can transmit diseases to each other. Until the cause of the mystery illness is determined, they recommend that people keep their bird baths clean and dry and remove feeders.
 

RedhaRay

New Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Belgium
Getting back to the sick pigeon/eye issue problem drinking at turtles water.

There was a large outbreak of birds with eye issues earlier in the Spring here on the East Coast. Lets not discount that angle.

Background
On June 9, the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center announced an ongoing, unexplained, “bird mortality event” occurring in Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. Recently, the USGS added Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana to the list of areas affected. So far, there have been no reports of impacts to humans, domestic livestock or poultry, the USGS said.
While no cause has yet been identified, diagnostic laboratories have already ruled out several possibilities, including salmonella and chlamydia (both bacterial pathogens); avian influenza virus, West Nile virus and other flaviviruses, Newcastle disease virus and other viruses and parasites. Additional testing is ongoing.

Bird dos and don’ts​

Until wildlife experts determine what’s causing a mysterious and deadly illness affecting birds in Virginia, Washington, D.C. and at least eight other states, they recommend the following:
Don’t fill bird feeders. Remove them until further notice.
Do clean feeders and bird baths with a 10% bleach solution (one part bleach mixed with nine parts water), rinse with water and allow to air dry.
Don’t handle birds unless necessary. If you must handle them, wear disposable gloves. If picking up a dead bird, place an inverted plastic bag over your hand to avoid direct contact with the bird.
Do keep pets (including pet birds) away from sick or dead wild birds as a precaution.
Both the USGS and state wildlife officials say birds congregating at bird feeders and bird baths can transmit diseases to each other. Until the cause of the mystery illness is determined, they recommend that people keep their bird baths clean and dry and remove feeders.

Maro Bear, thank you so much for the explanation, your efforts are well appreciated, a lot of birds in my area are dying because of it, I hope this disease stops soon, thank you and stay safe.
 

RedhaRay

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Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Belgium
That is the look of a cold turtle! Your guys need it warm but a place to hide from the heat too....

Get them warmed up to 85F/30C, maybe some carrot soaks and I'll bet they rebound......

Maybe some of the smarter guys can chime in here if they see something I don't?

jeff
jeff kushner, thank you so much for the help, I appreciate your efforts, I'll make sure the temperature won't drop below 30 C during the day, what about night? I bought some carrots and I will get down to it today, I checked YouTube for the details after I saw your comment, 3 times a week for 30 min each time.
 

RedhaRay

New Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Belgium
Your turtles do have the look of ones who have never had a chance to start metabolising food properly. Now, emaciated and vitamin deficient. Probably too cold as Jeff has surmised.

They need a basking area next to the water with an incadescent bulb just above to give them a chance to heat their core body temperature to above 88° (31°C). Hopefully they are not too far gone and have lost the basking reflex/desire.

Starting baby aquatics on pellets is often not successful. I start mine on live bloodworms or small earthworms I harvest myself. The wiggling stimulated natural feeding. It starts their metabolism working. I always offer a few of the softer reptomin baby turtle pellets. Not sure if you can get them, but they are softer, seem more attractive to babies, and fortified with good calcium, D3 and Vitamin A. The worms stimulate feeding and once the metabolism starts, they start picking at the pellets.

Check the water temperatures. Water just above 26°C is needed.

Give them plants in the tank in which they can hide. This is extremely important in getting baby turtles to feeling comfortable enough to start feeding properly. A baby turtle would never be in the open. they would be hiding in aquatic plants.

Here's a photo just now of a tank I use to start baby spotted turtles that are hatching now...
View attachment 333198

Basking light right over the basking area you see several basking upon. Bottom is bare so easy to find worms to start feeding.

Outside all day is not a good idea. They will hide more than anything else, getting little basking time. Keep them in a controlled environment they can feel safe in to start them properly.

Markw84, My dear I'm very thankful to you, you already helped me a few months ago regarding the fungus on my turtle leg, and it worked but unfortunately that turtle passed away 1 week ago due to the swollen eyes issue,

What you've said is very informative and true, I should offer them a better food and a better environment,
I'm currently dealing with 2 problems
1-
after isolating the turtles, each in its own container,
because I can't risk it by putting all the turtle back inside 1 container,
the main container with bulb and filter is empty now,
I will put some plants, so the turtle will have some places to hide,
but the sun is my only option for the lighting because I only have 1 bulb

2-
what you've said regarding the food is 100% true,
but the thing is they won't eat anything at all,
I'm ready to do force-feeding, but I couldn't because they are too small. Maybe the warm water would help them to restore their appetite .

What's makes it so hard for me is that the turtles are very active, but their eyes are closed and swollen, I doubt that they even can see the food, each day they're getting weaker and weaker, would it be worth it to give the three of them any sort of vitamin injection? Or antibiotic injection?
Would it help to add some salt to the water? Antibiotic drops? Betadine?
I'm ready to do it all. I just want them to eat again and to be able to open their eyes.
Having you on the post makes me feel safer for my turtle, please keep an eye on this post, thank you and I appreciate your time and effort.
 

RedhaRay

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Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Belgium
Honestly it's very Impressive to see all these good people taking a lot of their precious time to help me, this forum is awesome, I'm really thankful to all of you,

please note that I took the turtles out of the main container which got a lightbulb and filter, and currently my 3 turtles are isolated in 3 different plastic containers, in case it was an infection then it won't spread as much.

What I'm planning to due for now is based on your advices
1- carrot soaks 3 times a week for 30 min each time
2- warmer water around 30 C during the day, what about night?
3- add some plants and hiding places, so they're not under the sun at all times
4- regarding the food, they won't eat, so it's some vegetables and turtle pellets as usual
5- the main light source for now is the sun, because I'm taking care of 3 different containers.
5- full water change every day, using water from a water bottle like the ones you buy from any shop and avoiding water tap.

Any advice will be much appreciated.
 

RedhaRay

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Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Belgium
UPDATE.
After the first carrots soak,
one of the turtles is opening his mouth and doing some noise, I can clearly hear it, what does that mean?

The other one opened his eyes while he was in the carrots soak,
but now he closed his eyes again after I moved him to his container. Is this normal?

All three are not eating yet.
 

maggie3fan

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Location (City and/or State)
PacificNorthWest
UPDATE.
After the first carrots soak,
one of the turtles is opening his mouth and doing some noise, I can clearly hear it, what does that mean?

The other one opened his eyes while he was in the carrots soak,
but now he closed his eyes again after I moved him to his container. Is this normal?

All three are not eating yet
 

maggie3fan

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I am NOT an expert by any means...but it sounds and looks like an upper respartory infection. Raise the water temperature, get another bulb right away...a 65 watt incandescent would do it, offer only live food.
 

RedhaRay

New Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Belgium
I am NOT an expert by any means...but it sounds and looks like an upper respartory infection. Raise the water temperature, get another bulb right away...a 65 watt incandescent would do it, offer only live food.
Thank you so much for the help, I appreciate it,

should the bulb stay at nighttime to? 24hours?

Live food not available, is there any alternative?
Currently, I'm offering turtles pellets, would that be enough for now?
Especially that only 1 turtle is eating, and the rest won't eat anything,
it has been about 10 days without eating,
 
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