Urgent Care :: My Sick Turtle - Puffy Sides (Swelling) Dying/Suffering?

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Post Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:47 pm   My Sick Turtle - Puffy Sides (Swelling) Dying/Suffering?

Hello,

I posted the symptoms of my turtle in another turtle forum and found out that my turtle may be seriously sick.
Please look here to see photos of my turtle and what I observed with him/her... (I was told my turtle is a female)
http://www.turtleforum.com/forum/upload/index.php?showtopic=128708&view=findpost&p=1079941

Overall, my turtle's sides are bloated/puffy/swollen... and s/he keeps going on the basking platform repeatedly.
Also, I haven't seen him/her poop in over a week now. Am I obligated to go to the veterinarian to get him/her treated?

I called a local vet and they said it's $65 just for a check-up and I will have to pay additional costs for the treatment.

This is my turtle's puffy side...
Image

I really don't want him/her to suffer like this. Will I have to do all I can to get him treated? :cry:
Last edited by AnnaTurtle on Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:23 pm   Re: My Sick Turtle - Septicemia?

Older turtles may have a little baggage around the limbs and I think a blood test can be used to determine septicemia.

Has she been eating? Have you tried treats? What's the basking temps like? Have you recently changed the lighting setup?
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:11 pm   Re: My Sick Turtle - Septicemia?

Hi there -
Well, I've only noticed the skin around the limbs and neck coming out all bloated lately.
A weird thing he did lately was try to get into the water, but then he kept going back on the platform.
He's still on it up to now... Why is he trying to avoid the water and staying as dry as possible? :?

And yes he's been eating and still likes food, sometimes begging from me from time to time when I pass by.
I feed him Reptomin Plus with some "shrimp bites"...

I was just hoping he's constipated or has water retention - not something fatal :(

- I also noticed that his eyes have been tearing... and they seem to be sunk in.

I don't know the basking temps since I don't have a thermometer for that. The lighting set up was only added recently - I only have a heat lamp for him but no UVB light yet.

Is this something crucial as me having to take him to the veterinarian? I don't mind getting him getting treated but I really don't like the prices of $65 of having someone look at my turtle then tell me they will give him a shot and to come back 5 more times only to pay hundreds more. If that is the case, the best choice is to give him up to someone who can provide better care for him.

I've never experienced going to the veterinarian. I live in NY and only have public transportation - this will certainly cause him stress.
Can I get reasonable help - who would adopt a sick turtle? Would a turtle rescue center take care of him?

I feel like it's best to let him go after years of "neglecting" his needs. I just didn't know for years that it was mandatory to get him the proper set up and not confine him into something that's within my limited budget. (29 gallon tank)

What would be the best given choice for him? Should I spend on a new tank + filter + UVB light and who knows what the veterinarian will do for him and charge me... or can I possibly find him a new owner to get him better? (heartbroken) Or am I supposed to make him better first then find him a new owner? I'm really confused!

If I could spend on new and improved living conditions for him and take him to the vet, what are the chances of him being in good health?

How much is the possible charges a vet could make? I'm really desperate to get him better but I don't know what I should do.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:30 pm   Re: My Sick Turtle - Septicemia?

You said in one of your posts that the skin around the limbs and neck were puffy...if you gently lift your RES so that the limbs hang down, or if you tilt your RES so that the head is down, does the puffiness seem to "move" a little toward the lowest point? If so, this is water retention and could be a sign of renal (kidney) problems. The sunken eyes sound like dehydration...

I don't know if your RES has septicemia, but with the puffiness and lethargy, it would really be good if a herp vet took a look at him. Don't get overwhelmed or worry about his getting stressed about being taken to the vet---the alternative could be far worse.

If you've neglected his needs for years, this is not the time to give up on him and "let him go." At least find out what's wrong with him so you know what you're dealing with.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:46 pm   Re: My Sick Turtle - Septicemia?

Hi marisa - I have decided I will take him to the vet. I've had him for years and he seemed healthy until now.
I think he should stay with me since he is like a friend to me. I can't let him go... and I should deal with him.

I'm afraid to lift him right now, but yes, the puffy part does enlarge now and again and it seems to hang down his sides.
If he keeps his hind legs tucked in, the puffy part moves to his neck. If all his legs are stretched out, you just see minimal swelling on all sides. He's not been visibly normal for the past 3-4 days and I've been really worrying myself a lot about him.

I called a different veterinarian office and they said it's $65-75 for a look then maybe another hundred for medical treatment.

Hopefully, whatever my RES has... can be treated easily without harm. On Friday, I will make the trip to the vet.

What should I expect from my trip to the vet? I have never been to one and I want to make sure I know all that I can.

Thanks for the advice. I hope it won't be too bad. I'm going to take a cab instead of a bus for a safer and quicker trip.

I am very frantic about getting him better right away. I hope he and I will be okay for Friday. It's worth the shot. :(

I hope everything will turn out okay. I'll do the best I can to do what's right for him. I hope money can do wonders.
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:54 pm   Re: My Sick Turtle - Puffy Sides

What happened at the vets?
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:04 pm   Re: My Sick Turtle - Puffy Sides

Hello,

Nothing I couldn't find online. The vet seemed to only know a general amount of information about my turtle. I was told an x-ray could be performed for it for $90 and a vitamin shot for $20. The vet did not tell me anything that has to do with my turtle's sickness besides that an x-ray might be needed to see if my turtle is a female and has eggs or anything else that can provide information with it. I'm not sure because the vet wasn't specialized in turtles or there really isn't anything serious with my turtle.
The vet couldn't even tell me if my turtle is a female or male - they said they would have to take out its genitals? to check that.
I paid $75 for a 5-10 minute talk about my turtle and about $30 in transportation.

I went back home with my stressed out turtle who kept trying to get out of his container and I fed him lettuce, berries, and carrots. I put him in warm water, and after a few minutes, he pooped. I was very happy to see that, but then again, I'm still worried because the puffy part is still visibly shown out. I'm afraid if I've overfed him over the years. The vet couldn't tell me if my turtle seemed overfed, still - an x-ray was needed. I can't afford hundreds of more dollars and more stress.

Hopefully he will get back to normal with continuous healthy feeding habits and after encouraging regular bowel movements.

I was happy to see that he finally pooped in what seemed like over a week, ... they were really hard stools that seemed to block his intestines. The puffy parts seem to shrink a little, but still show - that's why I still need to see him do more rounds.

I just hope it really is constipation that was bothering him and I can fix that with giving him fiber enriched foods.

What should I do next? I can't do x-ray... I won't have enough money to do anything more after that.

Should I just continue nursing my turtle back to health and see what happens? I hope I've been doing the right thing.

Thanks.
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:55 am   Re: My Sick Turtle - Puffy Sides

Hi, how is he doing today? Sorry, but it seems like that vet wasn't very good. I know how stressful it can be dealing with a sick animal and options are limited when you don't know what you're up against.
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:16 am   Re: My Sick Turtle - Puffy Sides

Hello - My turtle seems to be acting fine for the past 2 days. I'm happy that he is acting back to normal like he usually is.
The only thing that bothers me is that ... he seems to be "growing out of his shell" like he's too big for it - noting the 'puffy' sides. Also, his sunken eyes are still noticeable... I'm switching his diet into something more healthier, and less food even if he begs.

I'm concerned if my over-feeding may have caused him any problems. And, I'm not 100% what gender my turtle is, but I always thought he was a male. (The fluttering claws, the aggressiveness - His tail isn't that short to appear to be of a female tail and his front claws don't seem to be that short, either. I read that male RES have front claws 3x longer than their hind claws but an exception is that if they weren't provided enough nutrition, this may have stunted their growth.) Then again, what should it matter if my turtle is a male or female. I just don't want to find out I have to deal with him/her egg-laying! That would be crazy.

Maybe I've been wrong all these years and my turtle really is a female - a really active and aggressive one who doesn't stop.

I wish the vet had informed me better about my turtle, as I could find more information online than what I was told.

Here is something else I found that might have to do with my turtle's puffiness:

Swollen or Puffy body or face. An overnight thing ?

In cases where the swelling is sudden and severe, it's called EDEMA (which just means swelling of the tissues) and is normally considered a symptom of something else as opposed to an illness itself. Edema can be caused by liver, cardiac or kidney problems as well as fungal, bacterial or viral infections -- none of which can be treated or diagnosed without a proper veterinary examination.


Swollen neck?

That's what's called edema -- a swelling of the tissues with excess fluids. It could because the kidneys are not eliminating, a bladder problem or any number of other issues, all serious and all requiring veterinary care. Best case it's a vitamin deficiency, Vitamin A&D most likely .. but at this stage you'll need a vet to give injections. Oral application wouldn't get enough into the tissues fast enough.> <I'm sure that's not the help you were hoping for, but that is, as they say, they way it is.>


I guess if the vet can't help me get my turtle back to health without me having to spill out hundreds of dollars, I'll have to do it myself with the knowledge I found from my research and the foods that can provide vitamins to prompt better body regulation.

Thanks for asking... I really hope I can fix this! :)
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:38 pm   Re: My Sick Turtle - Puffy Sides

Aside from an improved set-up, if you're feeding a high protein diet, lower the protein content.
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:51 pm   Re: My Sick Turtle - Puffy Sides

Okay - will do. Current status: Turtle is very active, but still flabby at sides.
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:50 pm   Re: My Sick Turtle - Puffy Sides (Swelling) Dying/Suffering?

November 30th Update:

My turtle still has the same symptoms. I have tried everything to treat constipation.

Symptoms:
- Swelling sides (soft parts) Puffed and enlarged in size, like they're coming out
- Sunken eyes, look of dehydration and vitamin deficiency
- Scutes falling off due to enlargement or being overfed

I am worried that it may be an internal problem (kidney/renal) failure that had to do with a bacterial infection in his/her system.

I have not found any reliable turtle expert in my area. I am located in Queens, NY and the closest "recommended" herp vets are in 40 minute drive from me, and I have no transportation of my own. I was fooled into seeing a regular vet who knew much less about turtles than I did. I've lost trust in seeing anyone unless I throw out everything I've got that will cost me hundreds.

I can't afford wasting more money on a vet who will see my turtle for $100 along with $80 transportation and who knows how much medication or treatment will cost me? My turtle had enough stress with a 20 minute ride and being handled roughly by the vet. I am afraid I am stuck with seeing my turtle suffer like this. I've lost trust in finding any trustful help at all.

I don't know what to do. :? I feel like it's just the end for my turtle. I've resorted to stop feeding him/her until I see stool pass.

The only upside is he/she is still actively looking for food which give me some bit of hope.

:cry: This makes me sad that I can't find a way to save my turtle because of money.

Even the local zoo website says they do not accept animals. The ASPCA website says it's better to take them to the vet.
"Remember that exotic animals almost never make good pets." "The ASPCA does not provide medical emergency advice over the phone or email. We urge you to take your pet to a local vet immediately."

I've not given up researching, but it seems like in order to get my turtle better again, I have to weed out multiple vets who claim they take care of exotics but only to realize they only know a general amount of information about them, then I have to pay costly transportation to go to the far away "recommended" herp vets, have my turtle looked at for $100 in under 2 minutes, then pay additional $$$ hundreds costing fees of ruling out what's wrong with my turtle and repeat visitations.


I called 2 Animal Hospitals today. Both of which are listed in Vet/Herp doctor listings.

The first one told me I cannot speak to the animal doctor unless I paid $100 for my turtle to be looked at.
The second one was the animal hospital I went to before that finally told me that they do not specialize in reptiles and recommended me to 2 other animal hospitals that I know I can't possibly manage to go to.

I don't mean to sound hopeless. But if my turtle can't be treated, I guess I will have to say goodbye. :cry:
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:09 pm   Re: My Sick Turtle - Puffy Sides (Swelling) Dying/Suffering?

Rather than just throwing up your hands and doing nothing, I'd contact the Turtle Rescue of Long Island http://www.turtlerescues.org or the NY Turtle and Tortoise Society www.nytts.org and tell them what's wrong with your turtle and ask them to refer you to a good herp vet.

Your turtle won't produce any stools if your turtle is not being fed...
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:12 am   Re: My Sick Turtle - Puffy Sides (Swelling) Dying/Suffering?

Hi Anna, it have read all your posts regarding of your turtle. It's 2017, and I would really like to know the condition of your turtle because I am having exactly the same problem with my turtle. It's limbs are swelling and it's appetite is getting worse. There is absolutely no herb vets or whatsoever in my country which leaves me no choice but to do research on my own. For my turtle, this problem has already occured for months and I am really confused and nervous whether my turtle is suffering. It doesn't have any major symptoms other than the ones I have mentioned. I would really like to know how your turtle is doing so that I can have a rough idea what my turtle is going through. Thank you very much.
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