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Eastern Long Neck - Puffy body

Discussion in 'Urgent Help Required' started by Chrisc, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Chrisc

    Chrisc Egg

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    Looking for some assistance with 1 of our Eastern long-necked turtles approximately 2.5 years old. We have two of these bought at the same time, one is perfectly fine the other has been showing signs of puffiness on and off for about a month. Initially it was just the back legs, took the turtle to the local vet, she said eyes are clear, still eating and swimming fine and the puffiness appeared to be trapped air. Vet suggested keeping an eye on this turtle in a separate tank for a while which we did. The turtle seem to be doing OK, we put it back it the main tank, was OK for a while and then started to show signs of puffiness again, this has gradually gotten worse and the puffiness is show front and back. Last two days the turtle has stopped swimming around so much and is not eating as much.

    Main tank is 3ft long, with a Fluval 306 filter, 90cm UVA/B Globe, dock and heat lamp. Water tested today pH levels 7.4, Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm and nitrate approx 30ppm. The other turtle has shown no signs of illness. Pictures attached, I will be taking the turtle back to the vets tomorrow, but any assistance, advice on what this could be would be very much appreciated.

    IMG_20170717_2108.jpg IMG_20170717_52215.jpg IMG_20170717_43539.jpg
     
  2. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Hi Chris,

    You would be better off taking your turtle to a vet who specialises in freshwater turtles. It is definitely not trapped air inside your turtle.

    Unfortunately your poor little turtle has an Oedema (commonly known as fluid retention). Oedema's are quite painful.

    This is caused by one of the major organs like the kidneys or liver etc. ceasing to function properly.
    Treatment usually consists of an injection of a diuretic like Furosemide (also known as a "water pill") by a vet to treat the symptom. The organ that has been affected may slowly heal itself over time.

    Diuretics are used to remove inappropriate water volume in animals with oedema or volume overload, correct specific ion imbalances, and reduce blood pressure and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure.

    The above treats the symptoms but not the cause.

    Your vet will need to work out which organ has failed and why.
     
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  3. Chrisc

    Chrisc Egg

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    Thank you so much for your response, can you please let me know where I might be able to take my turtle.
     
  4. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    What are you feeding your turtle and do you have any salt in the aquarium water?
     
  5. Chrisc

    Chrisc Egg

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    Turtles are fed small fish (neons and tetra) live crickets. Frozen blood worms, turtle mix and brine shrimp. We have a little salt in the water, I have a tester so that I can monitor the salt levels as we did have an issue with that early on in our learning experience.
     
  6. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    AFT recommends the following vet in Victoria.

    Dr Brendan Carmel BVSc MVS MACVSc (Unusual Pets) GDipComp CMAVA

    Warranwood Veterinary centre
    2/1 Colman Road
    Warranwood
    Vic 3134 Australia
    PH: (03) 9879 0900
    FAX: (03) 9876 6938
    After Hours/Public Holiday Emergencies, phone the Animal Emergency Centre: (03) 9803 8122
     
  7. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    If your turtle is able to get over this hurdle and recovers, please let us know and we will help you work out what may be causing the oedema.

    Good luck with your turtle mate, I wish it a speedy recovery.
     
  8. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Okay, you need to remove the turtle mix from the diet and only feed bloodworms once every couple of weeks for the first year of your turtle's life only.

    What are your salt levels at in your turtle aquarium?
     
  9. Chrisc

    Chrisc Egg

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    Thank you, I will call that vet and see how we go, hopefully not too late.
     
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  10. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    G'day Chris and :aftwelcome:

    Below are some of the standard posts and threads we ask new members to have a look at. Please pay close attention to the link about "Keeping two turtles together."

    Please read the 'AFT Turtle Care Guide' :arrowright: AFT Freshwater Turtle Care Guide

    The following is essential reading Quick Reference Guide :arrowright: How To Set Up An Aquarium For Turtles and Feeding Guide

    Why you Shouldn't Keep Two Turtles Together :arrowright: Keeping Two Turtles Together

    To understand why we make the recommendations that we do in the Care Guide
    please read this informative post :arrowright: Why we make the recommendations that we do here on AFT Part 1

    Also, it would be best to familiarise yourself with the skin infections care sheet located here :arrowright: Skin Infections

    After that, you can read the Most Common Mistakes made by novice keepers thread here :arrowright: Common Mistakes

    If your turtle is sick or injured and needs dry-docking :arrowright: Important Tips for Dry-Docking Sick Turtles

    If you have any questions about why we recommend Calgrit/Turtle Grit and River Sand instead of pebbles and small rocks, please read this thread as well :arrowright: Gravel Blockage-Very sick turtle!

    How to measure the
    Straight Carapace Length (SCL) of a Turtle's Shell :arrowright: Measuring the Straight Carapace Length of a turtles shell

    If you have any specific questions after that, please go ahead and ask. If you want to search a particular subject, look at the top of the page for the Advanced Search link and type in the word or topic you wish to learn about.

    © www.turtles.net.au (Please note- ATK FB)
     
  11. Chrisc

    Chrisc Egg

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    Hi again Craig, unfortunately our turtle did not make it through the night when I last spoke to you. Now all of sudden the other turtle is showing signs on puffiness, nowhere near as bad as the other one. I checked the water levels again and all seems fine. So my next thought is diet. I am so scared to do the wrong thing with this one. I have discarded the turtle mix and blood worms. Leaving me only a frozen block version of brine shrimp and live crickets. I went to my local pet store who have sold me mealworms and can snails. I then read your article regarding food, which says no to mealworms and suggests crickets can cause issues.... I am going to head down tomorrow to Amazing Amazon where I got the turtles and get some food. I was going to get the earth worms, frozen whole fish, frozen prawns not blocks, can you advise if I am on the right track......also can you advise feeding frequency. Originally we were feeding approx head size daily, then we were told now they should be every second day, which is correct.
     
  12. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Hi Chris, sorry for the loss of your little turtle.

    Can you please tell me what the salt level in your aquarium is?
    I can't help but feel that the oedema problems you are having are more water chemistry related than dietary related.

    At the size your turtles are you should be feeding them every day an amount the size of their head. You should also provide them with 50-100 suitably sized live feeder fish as well that they can chase around the tank. They will benefit from the exercise and also be provided with behavioural enrichment which will reduce boredom.
    Removing the frozen blocks, mealworms and crickets are a good move. I would also stop feeding brine shrimp to them as well as they are too small to be any benefit to them and not very nutritious.
     
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  13. Chrisc

    Chrisc Egg

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    I am using a 'warm one' salinity tester, when the water is filled to the level required the pointer/indicator moves to the O salinity ppt close to 1.000 specific gravity. We have several fish in with them, I buy neons tetras as small as I can usually up to 6 -10 at a time, the turtles chase these around and catch some.
     
  14. smoyle

    smoyle Sub-Adult Turtle
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    Sorry for your loss Chris. :sorry:
     
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  15. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Hi Chris,
    Could you upload a photo or paste a link to a photo and instructions for a " 'Warm One' salinity meter" please?
     
  16. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    Salinity is not the issue. Your salinity indication is less than a quarter of what we recommend for freshwater turtles.

    I agree with Craig that your issues of oedema (water/fluid retention) are water chemistry related. Poor water quality/husbandry with aquatic animals like turtles causes premature major organ failure. Usually it's the liver or kidneys that have failed but it can also be caused by heart disease and infection of the circulatory system. We need to see chemistry results for ammonia, nitrite and nitrates. Ammonia and nitrite must always be 0ppm. Nitrates are acceptable up to 80ppm. At 80ppm a partial water change should be performed.

    Even if your current ammonia and nitrite readings are 0ppm, if your turtles actually went through the cycling period living in the tank whilst ammonia and nitrite spiked, this will have caused permanent organ damage and can be the cause of oedema. Stress will also be a factor here. When turtles are stressed their immunity is compromised and this is when secondary problems present themselves.

    Oedema can be diet related if the turtle has been fed a poor diet for prolonged periods. Maldigestion, malabsorption, parasitism (if fed intermediate host items like snails, slugs, frogs, skinks and tadpoles), Metabolic Bone Disease and toxicoses are all linked to oedema. What brand and model of UVB lighting are you using and how old is the fluoro tube? A turtle's overall diet should have a calcium to phosphorous ratio of 2:1. For ELN this is very easy to manage, feed them whole live fish, earthworms and pieces of prawn.

    As Craig said, the cause needs to be isolated before it can be cured.

    How much water does your aquarium hold and at what rate is it filtered? AFT recommends a filtration rate at LEAST 7X the aquarium's volume every hour.
    How often do your turtle/s get outside for natural sunlight? AFT recommends at least 3-5 times per week for 20 minutes.
    What is the pH, KH and GH of your aquarium water? AFT recommends a pH of 7.4 - 7.8 a KH of 80 and GH of 180.
    Was the tank fully cycled for 6-8 weeks before the turtle/s were introduced?

    I am sorry to read of your loss. Try to stay positive.