Urgent Care :: I Think My Turtle Needs a Vet?

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Post Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:14 pm   I Think My Turtle Needs a Vet?

Hi There,
I have a Northern Diamondback Terrapin turtle that has been acting just fine up until our water change today. We did a half water change on his tank and he seems sluggish and he is continuously opening his mouth under water. I took him out and he let me hold him (this is rare as he usually wants to run around) and was sitting on my lap with his mouth gapped open. I moved him into a half filled 10 gallon tank for the night because I was unsure if he was swimming well enough to be in a 40 gallon. My husband thinks that he is fine but I am unsure about the mouth being open. His breathing seems fine but I have to admit that I have never watched him breathe before. I think that he is just acting weird and sluggish. I am probably going to make him a vet appointment for tomorrow. Thanks for your help and advice.

See Picture Of Weird Behavior: https://ibb.co/dJB6n5
Size of Turtle: https://ibb.co/gDV7S5

How big is your turtle? Roughly 8"
How long have you had it? Our turtle has a dad that is in the army so we took him in when he was deployed. We have had him for about 2 years with no trouble. I think his dad had him for about a year.

What is the water temperature? 82 degrees currently (when his heat lamp just went off for the night)
Did you use a thermometer? Yes
Are you using a water heater? Yes
How much water is in there? He has 40 gallon tank.
Are you using a water conditioner? Yes
Are you using any filtration? He has two filters

What is the basking temperature? I am not sure. He has a 100 watt basking lamp
Is there a basking light? Yes
Is there a basking platform that is easy to climb on? Yes he has a log in the water that floats with the water height.
What kind is it or what is it made out of? I am not sure I think it is hardened foam
Is there a UVB light? yes there is

What have you been trying to feed it? Dried shrimp and pellets
When was the last time your turtle ate? yesterday

How big is the tank/pond/enclosure? He has a 40 gallon tank
Is the tank near a window? No
Is the tank in a room with a lot of activity? Yes he has a lot of space to swim

Have you read the Basic Care section? Yes
Have you searched the forums for similar situations? Yes

Is there any other unusual activity/symptoms? My turtle usually can swim with no trouble and rarely leaves the water by choice. He seems to be not swimming as quickly or with as much ease as usual.
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:45 pm   Re: I Think My Turtle Needs a Vet?

Was the water dechlorinated before you put him back into the water? Was it a complete water change? Anything out of the ordinary during the change? Filters cleaned as well? Does he usually have brackish water?
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:16 pm   Re: I Think My Turtle Needs a Vet?

If concerned yes go to a vet , will make you feel better . He does not look in stress , the eye I see is clear , nose is good ( no discharge) and good color to his mouth. I would keep observing but I feel it has just taken this time for him to truly come around and be comfortable with you. He showing you his Pilates move. Most turtles open there mouth for more air to smell better and some pump there throat scaring owner they pump so hard to smell something . Looks normal to me. He looks great !

Being that you are long term babysitting for his dad , it would never hurt to have an office visit if a Herp Vet.
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:42 pm   Re: I Think My Turtle Needs a Vet?

I can't see anything wrong either with this boy. With his size I would say he would swim well in a 150 gallon tank. I don't see any swelling around the "ear" area indicating an ear infection. Is he floating lopsided in the tank or making any raspy noises when he breathes? He has Wonderful looking skin! Only thing I see is some uneven shedding of scutes going on. Which may mean his UVB bulb is getting weak or maybe a need for more calcium and less protein--I am not sure on Terrapin dietary needs though. Maybe his freshwater was too warm or too cold when you refilled the tank-- either or will throw them off their game. If he doesn't come around or if you notice lopsided swimming/floating, raspy noises when breathing, bubbly fluid from the nose, swelling around the "ear" area (will look like a pea under the skin if swollen) of course go to a vet. It won't hurt if nothing is wrong.
Scooter (10") & B.C.(11") both female.
150 gal with 2 Pondmaster 1500s
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