Sick turtle

Nikimcb

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My son talked me into buying a Central America wood turtle at which time we set up an elaborate out door enclosure next to our pond with fencing and heat lights. It was in the darn thing for one day and escaped. We looked everywhere for this turtle but three days later we went on vacation. Upon our return there was still no sign of it. But incredibly a week and a half after the origin escape our dog found her right next the fence. We. brought it inside and the first day it seemed ok but now I am pretty sure it has a respiratory infection. What should I do? We have already been through quite the ordeal here and I not sure I am up for an extensive vet bill Should I treat with some of the products I am seeing online?
 

KarenSoCal

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Hello, and welcome to the forum! I'm sorry your turtle is sick. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about turtles, so I'll tag a couple members who have turtles.

For a sick tortoise, we increase the enclosure temps by about 5°. If that sounds appropriate for a turtle, you could start there.

@Moozillion
@Markw84
 

mark1

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the easiest , surest thing to do , is run him through a round of injectable antibiotics ........ the best choices of antibiotics will be prescription , not really a good one that's not , that i know of ................. is he still eating ? if so , keeping him warm and humid may be sufficient ......
 

Markw84

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@Nikimcb Your turtle is a tropical species and cannot take the cold temperatures outdoors where you live. They need temperatures that stay in the 75°-90° range. Even in the summer where you live, the ground temperatures are colder than that and an outdoor enclosure is simply not a good option for a tropical turtle. Even here in central California, I will not keep tropical turtles as even now, the very end of summer, my pond temperature is already below 70° by most mornings and that is too cold for them.

Set your turtle up indoors and keep it at 80° with a basking area warmer. that is the first most immediate need. Do you see gaping mouth, seemingly a gasping for air? Swollen eyes? An mucus or watery discharge for mouth or nose? Warm temperatures are the best treatment. If lethargic, not eating and any of the other signs, you will need antibiotics as Mark mentions from a vet.

Keep in mind the daylight period in your area is already too short for a tropical turtle. You need a good 14 hour photoperiod of nice lighting to make your turtle healthy.
 

Nikimcb

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Thank you for your information. I have him inside and always intended to have him inside most of the time. It was almost 100 degrees here when he escaped. He has not been eating since he returned and has a little bit of clear discharge from his nose. His eyes look bright and he is not gaping or wheezing. He seems more scared than before but he has also been through quite an ordeal. I will most likely contact a vet today if he does not improve.
 

Nikimcb

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Update: I took the little guy to the vet and confirmed my suspicions of a respiratory infection. I am now equipped with antibiotics. Let’s hope for a speedy recovery.
How long should I expect to wait before I begging to see improvements. Also any tricks on giving oral antibiotics to a turtle? I have had to take him back to the vet two days in a row for them to give him the medication 🤦🏽‍♀️
 

Markw84

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How long should I expect to wait before I begging to see improvements. Also any tricks on giving oral antibiotics to a turtle? I have had to take him back to the vet two days in a row for them to give him the medication 🤦🏽‍♀️
You have to hold the turtle in one hand and turn it sideways-to almost upside down. That will force them to extend their neck to try to right themselves. When you turtle does that, grab the neck just behind the jaw an hold firmly to keep the head out. Some turtles will try to bite the syringe holding the medication - so if that happens stick it in the mouth far enough to just be at the throat and release the medication - but not too fast to simply squirt out the sides of the mouth. If your turtle refuses to open it's mouth, you can gently pry it open by applying pressure to the underside of the top beak with the syringe. (For those reading who might wonder - this is a syringe without the needle attached. So just the blunt open end where the needle would go.)
 

Nikimcb

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You have to hold the turtle in one hand and turn it sideways-to almost upside down. That will force them to extend their neck to try to right themselves. When you turtle does that, grab the neck just behind the jaw an hold firmly to keep the head out. Some turtles will try to bite the syringe holding the medication - so if that happens stick it in the mouth far enough to just be at the throat and release the medication - but not too fast to simply squirt out the sides of the mouth. If your turtle refuses to open it's mouth, you can gently pry it open by applying pressure to the underside of the top beak with the syringe. (For those reading who might wonder - this is a syringe without the needle attached. So just the blunt open end where the needle would go.)
Thank you Mark I was able to get him to put his head out using this technique but I guess I am too squeamish to hold the head without feeling like the little thing is going to pop right off. So back to vet we go but not before having some fun with it. F5F9B0D1-4D49-457A-851B-FD67F479F765.jpeg
 

Hutsie B

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good luck with your turtle, you have gotten good advice here.
 

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