Rescue Advice

peanuts_mama

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Apr 7, 2022
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Clarksville, MO
Hi, I hope I am not judged too harshly.. I’m really trying to help this little lady… so I’ve had what I assume to be an Eastern Box Turtle for about 3 years now. Long story short I was babysitting her for a druggie and then once I learned how poorly they kept her I did not return her (or their cat..). She eats fine, doesn’t drink often enough for my liking, but I put her by/in the clean water bowl like daily. Can lead a turtle to water, but can’t make it drink, right?

Anyway.. it’s been a learning process. I’d never been interested in reptile pets before, cause I didn’t know much about them and the vets around don’t treat them.

I renamed her Peanut, and keep upgrading and improving her habitats and diet as I learn and go along. I hope to learn some things here.
She definitely physically and visually has been affected by her 9-11 years of not eating correctly. Apparently they just fed her raw hamburger and iceberg lettuce (which she will not touch a plain leafy green AT ALL, so I know she didn’t eat the lettuce). I doubt I can correct much of that, but I can at least give her a better quality of life.

According to a pet sales person, she’s the wrong color and size for her age, breed, etc. and her shell isn’t quite the right shape either.
Her color has changed, but not darkened. She has gotten a bit bigger too, but idk if that’s good or not.. but I have a variety of actual turtle food, use the calcium powder, have a light (might need a different one.. as I said I’m learning and constantly upgrading her stuff).

Any advice would be welcome and appreciated. I live very rural so I don’t even know where the closest vet would be. And I order her needs mostly from Amazon.

I do have calcium powder I put on her food. She gets the canned crickets and mealworms and grasshoppers. Warmer seasons I give her worms. I have bags of dehydrated veggies/greens/fruits/bugs for box turtles. She also gets a piece of banana, apple, or strawberry when we have them. And I have some dried flower things for box turtles to sprinkle on top.

I have a temp gage (around 80 during the day) and a humidity gage. I spray her habitat before I go to work and when I get home and before bed to keep it moist. Got her a stone to walk/eat on for her nails and beak. Keep the s moss in there for her. A bowl she can easily climb in and out of. Some smooth bigger pebbles for her to walk on/get exercise from. A cave (but she prefers to bury in the moss). I do have a lamp for heat, but I’m questioning if it’s got the UV bulbs. I need to double check. She does soak 2-3 times a week in warmish water to prevent constipation and stay hydrated.

Anything I’m missing, please lemme know!

Thanks ☺️
(The first picture is when I got her. Second brighter one was last week. So much more energy, life in her eyes too. Just not ideal physically, I know. Idk if any of the damage is reversible or not).
 

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jeff kushner

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Welcome to the club!

What a cool little turtle! I'm still a newbie so I don't judge anyone so you drew the golden response!

Not sure why you were worried, most here will be happy that you rescued her from a bad situation!

It sounds like you are doing a great job of caring for Peanut.

jeff
 

peanuts_mama

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Apr 7, 2022
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10
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Clarksville, MO
Welcome to the club!

What a cool little turtle! I'm still a newbie so I don't judge anyone so you drew the golden response!

Not sure why you were worried, most here will be happy that you rescued her from a bad situation!

It sounds like you are doing a great job of caring for Peanut.

jeff
Thank you! I do hope to learn some more tips. Who knew a reptile could be so finicky 🤣
 

peanuts_mama

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Clarksville, MO
Are you sure it’s not a three-toed box turtle? They have a tan colored shell. Count the number of toes on the rear foot. Easterns typically have four toes
So! I did count and she DOES have 3 back toes per foot! 😲 yay! Ok, see I wasn’t sure before. Ok now to go check to see if there’s any care differences. 😁 thank you! So I guess her color is fine? *warm bath day ☺️*
 

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zolasmum

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So! I did count and she DOES have 3 back toes per foot! 😲 yay! Ok, see I wasn’t sure before. Ok now to go check to see if there’s any care differences. 😁 thank you! So I guess her color is fine? *warm bath day ☺️*
She looks a sweet little thing, and thank goodness you were able to rescue her. What happened to the cat you mentioned?
Angie
 

TeamZissou

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Excellent. She does look like a three-toed to me as well. They are also widely found in MO, so that would make sense if the people you got her from found her in the wild. The coloring is totally normal for a three-toed.

They need UV exposure just like any reptile. You can either buy a linear tube UV light to mount in the enclosure and have it on for a few hours per day, or you can take your turtle outside for a few hours each week to get natural sun.

Building a large outdoor enclosure would be ideal for your turtle. You could keep her outside from probably April-September without the need for lighting or anything. She should do well since you are located in her natural range. She would love a large densely planted enclosure. Something on the order of 6 x 12 feet in area. You should also read up and decide whether or not to brumate her during the winter.

Her upper beak is slightly overgrown, but it may decrease with time given the right food and supplements. In addition to the calcium 1-2 times per week, get some Rep-cal Herptivite and use it 1-2 time per week as well.



index.jpg
 

Ink

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Welcome to the forum. I use to have a three toed turtle. They are so cute
 

peanuts_mama

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Apr 7, 2022
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Clarksville, MO
She looks a sweet little thing, and thank goodness you were able to rescue her. What happened to the cat you mentioned?
Angie
Well, I already had a kitty, and they did not get along so I gave the rescue kitty to a lady I’m friends with who was thinking about adopting another cat (she had one). For about a year she sent me updates of Miss Kitty gaining weight and being happy and sassy.
 

peanuts_mama

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Clarksville, MO
Excellent. She does look like a three-toed to me as well. They are also widely found in MO, so that would make sense if the people you got her from found her in the wild. The coloring is totally normal for a three-toed.

They need UV exposure just like any reptile. You can either buy a linear tube UV light to mount in the enclosure and have it on for a few hours per day, or you can take your turtle outside for a few hours each week to get natural sun.

Building a large outdoor enclosure would be ideal for your turtle. You could keep her outside from probably April-September without the need for lighting or anything. She should do well since you are located in her natural range. She would love a large densely planted enclosure. Something on the order of 6 x 12 feet in area. You should also read up and decide whether or not to brumate her during the winter.

Her upper beak is slightly overgrown, but it may decrease with time given the right food and supplements. In addition to the calcium 1-2 times per week, get some Rep-cal Herptivite and use it 1-2 time per week as well.



View attachment 342951
Thank you! They said they got her in a southern state (Alabama or something), but if she’s a native species here I may look into that. My biggest concern is the raccoons and opossums, groundhogs and skunks we get here. Idk if anything would eat her 😕. The reason they took her was because she has a chip/break in the edge of her shell. It doesn’t seem to bother her.

I just double checked the bulbs I got for her lamp. 3% UVB and the rest UVA. Not sure if those levels are ok.

I have been contemplating the outdoor habitat. She was in a small 5 gallon aquarium when I got her. I did get a bigger 30 gallon aquarium (I know, not the best, but better than the tiny one).

She gets the calcium on every meal, just cause I am sure she’s pretty deficient still. I’ve only been giving her that for about 2 years cause I didn’t know she needed extra. She prefers a more protein diet, but I still offer her the rehydrated veggies n stuff.
She doesn’t soak herself as much as she used to, but I made the habitat more humid so she may not need to.

I’ll definitely get some of that supplement you shared. I took a screenshot lol.

Thank you again.
 

peanuts_mama

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Clarksville, MO
Welcome to the forum. I use to have a three toed turtle. They are so cute
She is adorable! I love how she looks at new things or her food all suspicious like 😂
 

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TeamZissou

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Setting a UV light at the right height is impossible to do without a UV meter (Solarmeter 6.5). It's like trying to measure temperature without a thermometer. While they are made in with different UV output (like 3-14% UVB), it's possible to mount a low power light too close to the turtle which would create an excessively high UV level, and by the same token it's possible to mount a higher power light too high so that there is negligible UVB. Without a meter, it's easier to get the turtle outside for a few hours per week to get natural sunlight. They can also go several months without UVB during the winter, as long as you get them outside starting in the spring. If you go the Solarmeter/indoor route, a linear tube style Zoomed T5 10.0 bulb would work well.

For basking bulbs, you can just use incandescent flood bulbs from hardware stores or Home Depot, anywhere from 35-65W should work for dialing in the basking spot.

For an outdoor enclosure, you have a couple of routes you can take to protect your turtle from predators. One option is to build a wire mesh lid for the enclosure, or you can build a secure night box and put her away each night. There are examples of both here in the enclosures section of the forum.

She looks good!
 

peanuts_mama

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Clarksville, MO
Than
Setting a UV light at the right height is impossible to do without a UV meter (Solarmeter 6.5). It's like trying to measure temperature without a thermometer. While they are made in with different UV output (like 3-14% UVB), it's possible to mount a low power light too close to the turtle which would create an excessively high UV level, and by the same token it's possible to mount a higher power light too high so that there is negligible UVB. Without a meter, it's easier to get the turtle outside for a few hours per week to get natural sunlight. They can also go several months without UVB during the winter, as long as you get them outside starting in the spring. If you go the Solarmeter/indoor route, a linear tube style Zoomed T5 10.0 bulb would work well.

For basking bulbs, you can just use incandescent flood bulbs from hardware stores or Home Depot, anywhere from 35-65W should work for dialing in the basking spot.

For an outdoor enclosure, you have a couple of routes you can take to protect your turtle from predators. One option is to build a wire mesh lid for the enclosure, or you can build a secure night box and put her away each night. There are examples of both here in the enclosures section of the forum.

She looks good!
Thank you! I’ll look into all of this. It’s still been chilly here.. it was snowing when I left for work yesterday 🙄.. so I have time to build a habitat ☺️
 

Maggie3fan

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I made an outside pond area for my box turtles...we have all those predators in Corvallis...switch groundhog to mole...anyway...I have 8 or so now,or 5...lol they spend all day in that area and I don't worry because those predators are nocturnal and I take the turtles in about 6 now...you can do that as well and ot worry about raccoons and such.
 

Maggie3fan

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Thank you! They said they got her in a southern state (Alabama or something), but if she’s a native species here I may look into that. My biggest concern is the raccoons and opossums, groundhogs and skunks we get here. Idk if anything would eat her 😕. The reason they took her was because she has a chip/break in the edge of her shell. It doesn’t seem to bother her.

I just double checked the bulbs I got for her lamp. 3% UVB and the rest UVA. Not sure if those levels are ok.

I have been contemplating the outdoor habitat. She was in a small 5 gallon aquarium when I got her. I did get a bigger 30 gallon aquarium (I know, not the best, but better than the tiny one).

She gets the calcium on every meal, just cause I am sure she’s pretty deficient still. I’ve only been giving her that for about 2 years cause I didn’t know she needed extra. She prefers a more protein diet, but I still offer her the rehydrated veggies n stuff.
She doesn’t soak herself as much as she used to, but I made the habitat more humid so she may not need to.

I’ll definitely get some of that supplement you shared. I took a screenshot lol.

Thank you again.
she doesn't need calcium at every meal. 2 slight pinches a week is all...
 

peanuts_mama

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Clarksville, MO
I made an outside pond area for my box turtles...we have all those predators in Corvallis...switch groundhog to mole...anyway...I have 8 or so now,or 5...lol they spend all day in that area and I don't worry because those predators are nocturnal and I take the turtles in about 6 now...you can do that as well and ot worry about raccoons and such.
That would prolly be ok. I’ll have to take a look at some outdoor habitats and see what I can build. Mom is wanting to plan some gardens.. I bed Peanut wouldn’t mind a bug or two from there now and then.
 

peanuts_mama

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Clarksville, MO
I made an outside pond area for my box turtles...we have all those predators in Corvallis...switch groundhog to mole...anyway...I have 8 or so now,or 5...lol they spend all day in that area and I don't worry because those predators are nocturnal and I take the turtles in about 6 now...you can do that as well and ot worry about raccoons and such.
That would prolly be ok. I’ll have to take a look at some outdoor habitats and see what I can build. Mom is wanting to plan some gardens.. I bet Peanut wouldn’t mind a bug or two from there now and then.
she doesn't need calcium at every meal. 2 slight pinches a week is all...
She will only eat 2-3 times a week
 

peanuts_mama

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Joined
Apr 7, 2022
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Clarksville, MO
Setting a UV light at the right height is impossible to do without a UV meter (Solarmeter 6.5). It's like trying to measure temperature without a thermometer. While they are made in with different UV output (like 3-14% UVB), it's possible to mount a low power light too close to the turtle which would create an excessively high UV level, and by the same token it's possible to mount a higher power light too high so that there is negligible UVB. Without a meter, it's easier to get the turtle outside for a few hours per week to get natural sunlight. They can also go several months without UVB during the winter, as long as you get them outside starting in the spring. If you go the Solarmeter/indoor route, a linear tube style Zoomed T5 10.0 bulb would work well.

For basking bulbs, you can just use incandescent flood bulbs from hardware stores or Home Depot, anywhere from 35-65W should work for dialing in the basking spot.

For an outdoor enclosure, you have a couple of routes you can take to protect your turtle from predators. One option is to build a wire mesh lid for the enclosure, or you can build a secure night box and put her away each night. There are examples of both here in the enclosures section of the forum.

She looks good!
Thank you. Noted to look into
 

Rachels

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What a beauty..My Red Toe likes Mazuri Tortoise Food. I mix with fruit or veggies and he loves it. Im comfortable hes getting alot of vitamins too. I bring mine in at night..I sleep better and when its cold I have a heating pad on low..In Idaho it gets really cold at night..I have humidifier for air..and uva/uvb lights..When its 70 degrees or warmer hes outside...Im building an enclosure..two outdoor wood planters attached with wire on top..will be 6 by 8 ft. keep the group posted how that goes..Been walking him in t he yard when its warm..at least hes getting sunshine which is the best and exercise. He will be 3 yrs I think.
 

Yvonne G

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What a beauty..My Red Toe likes Mazuri Tortoise Food. I mix with fruit or veggies and he loves it. Im comfortable hes getting alot of vitamins too. I bring mine in at night..I sleep better and when its cold I have a heating pad on low..In Idaho it gets really cold at night..I have humidifier for air..and uva/uvb lights..When its 70 degrees or warmer hes outside...Im building an enclosure..two outdoor wood planters attached with wire on top..will be 6 by 8 ft. keep the group posted how that goes..Been walking him in t he yard when its warm..at least hes getting sunshine which is the best and exercise. He will be 3 yrs I think.
Hm-m-m. . . in all my over 30 or 40 years with turtles and tortoises I've never heard of a 'red toe.'
Please start your own thread and show us some pictures of this red toe.
 

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