Urgent Care :: female eastern painted refuses to eat, barely swims

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Post Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:22 pm   female eastern painted refuses to eat, barely swims

I'd appreciate any advice on what might be wrong with my little Philly. I'm willing and able to take her to the vet, but wanted to spare her the stress if possible. Back in mid-November, she stopped eating romaine, which was what I fed her 4-5 days a week. After about a week of this she eventually ate the Tetra sticks and algae wafers and some fish food but still wouldn't touch the romaine, but I was just happy she ate something. Things were fine then until about 2 weeks ago when she quit eating the turtle sticks and spent most of the day basking. At first I could get her to eat some of the more high-protein fish food (brine shrimp, carnivore pellets mostly) but for the last several days she wouldn't even eat that. When she's on the basking platform she spends her time away from the heatlamp, mostly hanging her head over the edge and down at the water.

From searching online, I've only come across three possibilities but none seem to fit:
Respiratory infection - water temperature has stayed above 75, I've not seen her yawning, and she doesn't have any mucus
Egg-bound - She was never extra-restless and I've not seen her scratching with her hind legs; I have a nesting box prepared but waiting to get the temperature of the soil warmer
Parasites from feeder fish - Unfortunately if she's not eating, there's no feces to collect to have the vet examine

The only other thing I can think of is that she's "confused" by the shifting weather we've had around here (SW Ohio). Can anybody give me an idea of what might be wrong with her? There are exotic vets in my area but none that really specialize in herps so I'd rather get initial info from people who know and love their turtles.

How big is your turtle? ~3.5"
How long have you had it? Little over 8 years

What is the water temperature? 75-77F
Did you use a thermometer? Yes
Are you using a water heater? Yes
How much water is in there? ~65-70 gallons; weekly 30% water changes
Are you using a water conditioner? No, I let the water set in an open container for several days before water changes
Are you using any filtration? Yes, AquaClear 110 HOB filter

What is the basking temperature?
Is there a basking light? Yes, heat and UVB
Is there a basking platform that is easy to climb on? Yes, above-tank basking area (18"x36") with cork bark ramp
What kind is it or what is it made out of? Non-PT wood with cork bark and ceramic tiles as "flooring"
Is there a UVB light? Yes

What have you been trying to feed it? Typically feed her romaine, Hikari algae wafers, and Tetra turtle sticks; since this began I've tried frozen blood worms, frozen brine shrimp, cichlid carnivore pellets, dandelion greens, Flukers floating turtle pellets, & ZooMed floating turtle pellets
When was the last time your turtle ate? Saturday (1/28/17)

How big is the tank/pond/enclosure? 75gal
Is the tank near a window? Tank is located on an exterior wall, adjacent to a narrow, insulated window
Is the tank in a room with a lot of activity? No

Have you read the Basic Care section? Yes
Have you searched the forums for similar situations? Yes
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Post Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:14 am   Re: female eastern painted refuses to eat, barely swims

It's not that unusual for some of them to have appetite changes over the winter. I don't think I would worry too much if that were the only symptom, but I would try live prey (minnows) or some different foods (maybe carrots?). If it continues, I would do a soak in warm water with some Pedialyte and crumbled up pellets.

I don't think a vet would do much without other symptoms, perhaps give an overused vitamin shot.
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steve
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Post Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:22 am   Re: female eastern painted refuses to eat, barely swims

Thanks for responding! She has 6 or so minnows in there now but seldom notices them unless they happen to swim close. I'm used to her eating less in the winter but right now she's eating nothing. Do you know if any other foods that might tempt her?
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Post Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:36 pm   Re: female eastern painted refuses to eat, barely swims

If you hold the minnow by the tail, would she eat it then? As for other veggies, I'd try carrots or cucumber. I'd also try some cooked white chicken meat or tuna fish, but in a separate feeding container since that can get messy.
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Post Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:31 pm   Re: female eastern painted refuses to eat, barely swims

Thanks, was thinking about trying to soak some of the pellet food in canned tuna water, may try the cooked chicken breast too.
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Post Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:11 pm   Re: female eastern painted refuses to eat, barely swims

Hope Philly's eating now. Sound like she has a parent that care's! You tried a lot. I would take a turtle out in a bowl where I/you could monitor her for feeding. In the past I never seen a turtle refuse a live worm. I used banana also BUT use rarely (NOT A STAPLE). Turnip greens worked to. Since you tried so much I would ask a veggie manager at your local store for a small leaf of several items even ONE grape , peel it and try. Green bean ,Little Joe years ago liked French style. Turtles in wild can go for weeks not eating but captivity not so good. Hope its just a new phase. Maybe just an upset stomach. Never know what's on store food today...pesticides to humans ok to a point but to small turtle. This is why I grow indoors under plant light greens and breed my own rosy red minnows. LPS don't have healthy feeders , some are already sick. Since 1/28/17 last meal how is Philly now.
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Post Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:49 pm   Re: female eastern painted refuses to eat, barely swims

I soaked a few turtle sticks in the water from canned tuna and offered them to her, she sniffed a bit but didn't go for them. I'm going to wait a bit and try the actual tuna later.

I did notice today that, although it doesn't look like yawning, she sometimes opens and closes her mouth, it almost looks like she's imitating me talking. Could this be RI?
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Post Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:34 pm   Re: female eastern painted refuses to eat, barely swims

I don't think it sounds like RI.
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steve
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Post Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:52 pm   Re: female eastern painted refuses to eat, barely swims

Thanks, I didn't think so either, but thought it was worth asking. Member on another forum said it could be an issue with her UVB bulb so I replaced that, hopefully it will help. Else, a trip to the vet is in her future
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Post Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:52 pm   Re: female eastern painted refuses to eat, barely swims

You can shut it off, but it doesn't really affect their appetites unless it's causing vision problems. That would show up as irritated eyes or swollen eyelids. Lack of appetite around this time of year is common enough that I don't worry too much about it without the presence of other symptoms.
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