General Care Discussion :: blind turtle

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 2:32 am   blind turtle

i work at a petstore in my city and am constantly explaining to people how much work and money goes into properly caring for those cute baby turtles that they aquired illegally in a small pet shop or other event.

I finally took the plunge and offered to take a baby turtle off the hands of a lady that, despite wanting to provide an interesting pet for her grandaughter, didn't want to put forth the effort to properly take care of it. She agreed and the turtle is now in my possession. He is hardly more than a hatchling and upon further inspection i found that he had no eyes! It appeared that they began to form but for some reason stopped and now he had no more than pinholes on each side of his head where the eyes should be. i don't know if those pinholes actually have eyes behind them or not but i'm guessing that he's blind.

At the moment he's basking under a heat lamp and UV lamp and exploring his new home. I'm worried that he won't be able to find food, and the fact that he already has softshell is even more worrysome.

any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.
kayskah
 
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:10 am   

Blind turtles will be able to get around to find their food. You may want to start off with something with strong odor and just wave it around his nose.
If he does have a soft shell, calcium needs to be a big part of his diet (any turtle really) Crush up some cuttlebone powder and coat on top of wet pellets or any other foods you give him and let it dry.
It's a good thing you did for that turtle :wink:

27 Turtles. 6 Tortoises.
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JessicaTS
 
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 11:32 am   

Good job Kayskah! Where do you work? I'm in HB.

Make sure you keep that calcium and plenty of UVB. Get him out in the CA sunshine as much as possible...and that shell should harden right up.

I've noticed my sliders seem to keep their eyes closed for at least an hour or so after the lights come on, and yet, they run to the Romaine and start nibbling right away. I have a feeling that even though he may be blind, your little turt will do just fine.
Thanks!
Scott
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 12:20 pm   

If he's a hatchling his shell will be a bit pliable/soft... it will harden as it gets older. Just make sure to give him plenty of UVB and calcium :)
Carol
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cam722
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 5:42 pm   

Welcome. :D It's great you took this turtle. With a little planning to make a good habitat, your baby should do OK.

I'd try something smelly. Will he take it from your hand if you hold a bit of food in the water near his nose?
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 5:47 pm   

It's really great that you took this turtle in!
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:58 pm   thank you

thanks for your replies and advise. He's a very active little guy so he seems to be doing ok so far. I've tried holding reptomin baby pellets in front of his face but i don't think it's smelly enough. is it ok if i try some goldfish pellets to get him started? it has more of an odor than the turtle pellets. i'll look around petsmart (where i work) for something that might get his attention better. oh, how about some frozen bloodworms. i've used that with my fish as well as the fish at work and it does have a kinda funky odor to it.

once again, thanks for all the advice. my aim is darkhunterangel so message me if i'm around :D

thanks!

-Kay
kayskah
 
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:13 pm   

Bloodworms would be OK to get him going (even the gold fish food to tempt him to eat if it has a nice strong scent). You could also soak the Reptomin Baby in some tuna juice (they get soggy fast, so don't keep them in it long) or mix/mash it a little with the blood worms to increase the scent, let them dry and then feed it to him. (I like the Reptomin Baby for the balance it has and the fact it has a bit more calcium in it than regular Reptomin.) A bit of boiled white chicken meat might work as well. If you're going to handfeed him to start, I'd get some powered calcium supplement (without phosphorus) and coat the chicken in it before you give it to him; I'd also coat the moistened Reptomin Baby with it, let it dry and hold some in front of his nose in the water. Let us know how he's doing.
Last edited by marisa on Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
marisa
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:17 pm   thanks again

thanks for that idea. i'll try that
kayskah
 
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:13 am   got a little down him

well he didn't eat anything today while i was at work (my mom tried to feed him) so i pried his mouth open and stuck some blood worms in it. he took them but he wouldn't take them from tweezers and he wouldn't take any pellets

i'll try again tomorow.

i put some anacarus (aka elodia) in his tank so maybe he'll nibble on that a little.

oh, and his name is Skippy the Wonder Turtle.
kayskah
 
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:43 am   

Hi kayskah, Welcome to the turtle family :D

I have read that turtles are nearsighted to begin with, so I don't think that being blind would bother him too much, have you had a vet look at his eyes?
I am curious to see what the vet says, if his eyes can be fixed :)
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STRAYKINGFISHER
 
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:54 am   

Do you mean he ate the worms you put in his mouth? If so, that's good, but I'd be careful about trying to force him to eat if that's what you're trying to do. Are you feeding him in a separate container of water? It not, it might be good to try doing it. Have the water shallower (covering his shell) so he can still eat in it comfortably but still touch bottom at the same temp as his tank water. You could also put some liquid vitamins (for babies or even birds) in the feeding water. If he continues to refuse to eat, it would be better to take him to a herp vet, who would make a determination regarding forced feeding.
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
marisa
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:57 am   pictures of skippy

i took a couple pics of my turtle skippy. they can be seen here: http://darkhunterangel.deviantart.com/

they are on the side bar. sorry about the fuzzyness...he was rather wiggly...

anyway, you can see how he has no eyes. he does have TINY little eyelids that he blinks but there are no eyes in there.

he still hasn't eaten that i've seen. i'm started to get frustrated and worried.
kayskah
 
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 7:35 am   

Nice pictures... poor baby. Have you tried marisa's recommendations on feeding? I think you're going to have to handfeed him as he won't be able to see the food. I know they have a good sense of smell but I'm not sure its good enough to find it on his/her own. Thanks for keeping us posted and for the pics :)
Carol
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cam722
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 12:51 pm   

i have been handfeeding him reptomin baby turtle pellets and bloodworms but i'm still afraid that he isn't getting enough nutrients...

i do have some elodia in his tank that he often uses as a basking spot (he also has a turtle dock that he sits on) and i'm wondering if maybe he's nibbling on that...

I'll try again tonight when i get home
kayskah
 
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