General Care Discussion :: Bad start for our spotties

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:27 pm   Bad start for our spotties

This topic could turn into a lengthy one. I'll try to keep it brief. If we need to spin-off topics, I'm good with that.

We prepared a home for turtles: It's a 40 gallon tank. The water depth is about 3 1/2". The dry land to water is 50/50. We monitored temps for a while 95 in the basking area, 80's in other areas, and the water ranges from 74 to 76. That done for a few weeks, we ordered two spotted turtles from a well-known source.

When they arrived, one was zippy and active, the other was very sluggish. It turned out that the slow one couldn't use its back legs and one eye seemed always closed. After a few days, they ate after my wife used a tupperware container as a turtle cafe. The slow one never used its legs and eventually died.

Now the active one is sluggish. It may be eating when we can't see- we leave it in the feeding tray for a while at a time. I really expected it to be gone by now.

I suspect that they were injured during shipping. They were shipped in a foam box, each in its own one pint tupperware "Chinese Soup" container. There was a single paper towel in the bottom of each container but nothing to prevent them from being tossed about inside the containers. Contacting the breeder was an exercise in reciting tank temperatures, but the subject of "paralyzed rear legs" yielded silence. I was never able to speak to anyone on the phone- all email.

I'm on my own here. We chose these guys for their size and their reputed simple care requirements. I really want to succeed at this.

Any advice or questions are well-received.
Morania
 
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:03 pm   Re: Bad start for our spotties

Sorry to hear you lost one. I would probably limit handling to make sure you don't add extra stress. When you used the feeding tray, what did you feed him?
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steve
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:40 pm   Re: Bad start for our spotties

We use small pieces of salmon. My wife thinks that they may have nibbled the little pellets once or twice but no one witnessed it.
The salmon is cut into strips as small as a paper match and cut further into pieces. I counted them this time and will check when I return home.
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:31 pm   Re: Bad start for our spotties

Have you tried worms (red wigglers) or crickets? Pellets break up easily in the water, so it's not a reliable way to make sure he's eating.
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:59 pm   Re: Bad start for our spotties

Hello Morania,
I'm sorry to hear about the bad luck you experienced with your new turtles. I hope things run smoothly now. It would be useful to know where you purchased your turtles from so members will not face the same issues and poor customer service you did.
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Post Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:04 am   New idea here

I might be dealing with a vitamin deficiency. This guy has all the symptoms and the late turtle had puffy eyes which I chalked up to getting banged around in the container.

I'll try to find live food but this guy is so sluggish that I think we don't have time, or that he'll be able to locate the food.
Morania
 
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Post Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:53 pm   Re: Bad start for our spotties

You might have to hold it front of his face for him to grab it. Maybe slightly bump up the temperatures as well. We're pulling for you both!
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Post Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:16 pm   Re: Bad start for our spotties

UPDATE:

Our regular vet recommended a herp vet. We took the little guy over last night in a heated container and the doc said that the condition was definitely indefinite. The turtle was probably "hand selected" (breeder's words from an e-mail) from a kiddie pool full of hatchlings. He set us up with little injections of antibiotic/vitamins for my wife to give him every other day. The bill was reasonable and I felt optimistic when I left.

This story doesn't end well. The little guy didn't make it- probably stressed out but he wasn't gonna make it if I hadn't gone to the vet either.

The story will end well in weeks to come. The vet visit was an awesome education. As far as the enclosure, I was happy to hear that we're doing that part right. He encouraged us to continue pursuing spotties as a reptile pet. He suggested, though, that I find a reputable dealer and shop for juvenile or adult turtles.

On a side note- my other daughter loves frogs and the doc gave me sound advice there so we're switching breeds there to set her up for success.

So....I'll be starting threads soon in search of Spotty breeders to work with.

Thanks for the responses. I love these forums for any projects I do in life. The whole community is here at my desk.
Morania
 
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:39 pm   Re: Bad start for our spotties

Sorry to hear you lost him. You just never know what will happen sometimes. I don't know much about frogs, though there used to be a handful of keepers here. Good luck!
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