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Limp lifeless turtle

Discussion in 'Urgent Help Required' started by natalie serafini, May 19, 2017.

  1. natalie serafini

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    Hi.
    My turtle became inactive on 7/5/17, just floated in the tank then went off food for 2 days. We went to the breeder who said she had a fungal infection which we treated with turtle fix. She improved after 2 days and started eating for 3 days but then declined. She became very lifeless. I put her in a 'hospital box' in 1-2ml water at temp of 25-27 degrees, adding turtle fix, salt and human fungal cream on limbs. Yesterday started adding diluted Betadine to her limbs. She's still hasn't eaten since Monday 15/5 and is very limp. Every so often it will raise its head like in a fit. Today we have purchased turtle antibiotics.

    Please help.
     
  2. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    Hi Natalie and :aftwelcome:

    Can you please tell us what species of turtle you have, approximately how old it is and upload clear, up close, in-focus photos of it OUT of its aquarium. Please upload some photos of the aquarium too, including its filtration, etc.

    What have you been feeding the turtle?
     
  3. natalie serafini

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    Hi, it's an Eastern long-neck turtle, 6 months old. I've been feeding her bloodworms and whitebait (ground up). She hasn't been in her tank since Monday - had her in this hospital box. Prior to this was fixing up her environment i.e. ensuring correct pH, no nitrates, no ammonia, & turtle fix- as per instruction from the breeder.

    As mentioned, she improved after doing this but then declined again. I will send photos shortly.
     
  4. natalie serafini

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    Here are some photos of her tonight.
     
    #4 natalie serafini, May 19, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2017
  5. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    Where are the photos??
     
  6. natalie serafini

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    Sorry, here they are.
    20170519_193300.jpg

    20170519_193309.jpg
     
    #6 natalie serafini, May 19, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2017
  7. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    Please upload some photos of the tank it's kept in. Was the tank cycled for 6-8 weeks prior to getting the turtle?
     
  8. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Hi Natalie, sorry to say this but it looks like your turtle has a serious calcium deficiency. This could be caused by lack of calcium in the diet. The shell is literally collapsing. This would also explain why your turtle has trouble lifting its head. Muscles also require calcium to function normally.
    Unfortunately bloodworms have very little nutrition except for protein. For a growing baby turtle, there wouldn't be enough calcium for bone and shell growth or muscle function. UVB lighting and natural sunshine are also required for turtles to metabolise calcium into the body.
     
  9. natalie serafini

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    No I didn't cycle the tank- I'm a complete novice and am only now finding out all the things I did wrong. The breeder has now helped me correct the water quality. See attached photos of the tank.
    I'm aware of my errors and am trying to fix them but right now I am focused on saving the life of this turtle if that is possible. I've started antibiotics and aquarium cycling.

    tank.jpg filter.jpg
     
  10. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    I agree with this, metabolic bone disease from a lack of calcium and exposure to UVB light. The shell looks to be as soft as butter. The area I've circled in red on the first vertebral scute looks to have sunken in.
    20170519_193300.jpg
     
  11. natalie serafini

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    Thank you. Is it too late to save this turtle? What do I do?
     
  12. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    Sorry but this tank is totally inadequate for a turtle. Nothing about this setup is right unfortunately. It's a fish tank and a very basic one at that. The water chemistry would never stabilise is such a small setup.
    @Craig will have to determine whether this turtle can be saved or not at this point in time. I believe the odds are stacked against it, being so young and small.
     
  13. natalie serafini

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    I have UVB lighting but the breeder suspects it may not be strong enough. She also mentioned natural light so we've been taking her outside daily since she got ill. How can I supplement calcium? Is it too late to save her?
     
  14. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    You're using a compact type fluoro which is essentially completely useless. If you've never taken it outside up until recently, I highly doubt that MBD this advanced in such a young, now weak turtle can be reversed.
     
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  15. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Do you have Calgrit in the small fish tank?

    I notice that you have aquatic turtle pellets there that you are trying to feed it. ELN's are insectivorous and carnivorous. They don't like pellets and baby turtles rarely eat them unless they are starving.
    Is there a lid on the tank? Is there anything between the lights and the water as in glass lids or a Perspex insert in the light housing under the lights??
    There are so many questions that need answering and so many things that need to be rectified. That is why it is always best do do as much research as possible before buying a pet, especially a reptile because their needs are very specific.
     
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  16. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    I agree, not many turtles this far gone can be brought back unfortunately.

    Compact fluoro lights are totally useless!
     
  17. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Hey Natalie, please have a read of these threads and arm yourself with the right information.

    The Care Guide and Everything You Need To Know About Looking After Turtles quick reference guide are really important.

    Below are some of the standard posts and threads we ask new members to have a look at:

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

    An extremely helpful summary on Everything you need to know about starting out with turtles,
    setting up turtle tanks and diet etc.
    :arrowright: Everything you need to know about looking after turtles

    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.
     
  18. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    Baby ELN's get sufficient calcium in their diet from eating whole live prey items like small fish, worms and insects and their larvae, (both aquatic and terrestrial.) I'm a little astonished that a breeder of turtles would advise you to feed an ELN pellets, as Craig said, they simply don't eat them.
     
  19. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    I'm really sorry if you feel overwhelmed Natalie! For your sake and your turtle's, I wish you both the best of luck at this time.
    You really should read the guides to help your turtle or any turtle that you get in the future.

    We're sorry about being so brutally honest with you and telling you what you didn't want to hear. It was you who asked us for our opinions and we told you the truth.
    I guess that's why you're no longer on here.
     
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  20. Jay84

    Jay84 Juvenile Turtle
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    Just jumping in here to say it's pretty common place here in NSW anyways from what I've seen for breeders to recommend pellets for ELN hatchies. Spose it's easier than sourcing live food for the breeding business :confused:.