General Care Discussion :: California Turtle Girl is going to be an East Coast Babe

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:43 pm   California Turtle Girl is going to be an East Coast Babe

It's true. We are moving from sunny California to a place that has four seasons. I have scoured this site and think I have everything figured out. Am I missing anything?

How do I Find a New Vet?
As I probably mentioned in a post millions of years ago, I learned that vets aren't trained in exotic animal and reptile care during vet school. They learn from like-minded peers. I was a bit surprised when my vet said that she would likely have better luck finding me a referral for Penelope than my dog. Why? My vet is an awesome RES vet because she goes to symposiums, conferences and self study. She has memberships and networks to rely upon. She will give me some names and provide a "meet Penelope" letter (health history with a personalized touch). I am going to miss my vet soooooooooooooooo much!

Where to Set Up Penelope's Tank at the New Home?

This sounds silly, but is the one I worry about the most. Right now Penelope is in the hub of the house. She sees everyone who walks in the front door and sees everyone moving from one end of the house to another (more coffee, bathroom, wake up, go to bed, etc.). She can see me in my office area when she is basking and if she swims to the other side of the tank she can see what is going on in the kitchen. She also sees us as we move about during the evening. This isn't the case at the new house. We don't have a main entry - we will be using the mud room
If I put her in my office she will see me all day, but will in essence be alone in the evening and on weekends
If I put her in the living room she will only see us pass by in the morning, see us when we are in the kitchen and when we pass by to go to bed at night
If she is in the family room (basement) she will only see us in the evening
I just don't know what to do.
Ideas??

How to Get Her Across Country in a Car?
Thanks to the search function of this oh so powerful site, I did some research and decided I would transport Penelope by car with us. Now, the dog can't stand Penelope and Penelope could care less about the dog. Penelope was here first, so the dog will just have to live with it.

I bought a kitty carrier and will put towels on the bottom. It is just big enough for Penelope to turn around. That way she can hide because I am sure it will be stressful. Walmart has a portable "Car Cozy" that I can put under the towel (a heating pad that plugs in to the car lighter socket). Hey! It's summer and I will need A/C. This will keep Penelope warm while I remain cool. To be safe, I also bought a digital thermometer - the kind that has a lead on it, so I can put it in the carrier and check the temp while up front. That ought to help me avoid temp fluctuations and/or prevent things from getting too hot or too cold.

I am not a marathon driver so we will be stopping at a hotel every night. I am sure future hotel guests won't want to bathe in turtle poop so I have a Rubbermaid tote for swimming / eating. A cheap heater will keep it warm overnight. As for filtration...well...ummm...one night in poop won't kill her. I will scoop the poop if she doesn't get to it first, but won't sit up all night waiting for it.

No Fences
I am going to a place where good neighbors don't have fences. No more allowing her stroll under a watchful eye. Now it requires a hawk eye. Plus, it is riverfront on the Shenandoah River - that is an accident waiting to happen. I found some no-dig fencing at Lowe's. I can put it up on sunny days or when she is gravid, and take it down at other times ( https://www.lowes.com/pd/No-Dig-Grand-E ... el/3028522) It is vertical so she can't climb up it (as she is prone to do otherwise).

Gravid in February

In California, I can take her outside regardless of the time of year. I hear that February is snow season so not sure what I will do. Maybe build her an indoor play yard on the back forty...not sure. I am deferring that for now

So...as mentioned up front, is there something I haven't thought of yet?
"I know up on the top you are seeing great sights, but down at the bottom we, too, should have rights"
~ "Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories" by Dr. Seuss ~
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penelope
 
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:26 am   Re: California Turtle Girl is going to be an East Coast Babe

I would lean towards putting the tank in the living room, but whichever is the quietest area will probably be best. The other thing to consider is how you will handle the water changes and what happens if there is a potential leak.

How does she like interaction during trips? My RES like some interaction during drives, maybe the Car Cozy will make her more comfortable.

A Rubbermaid tote will be great for a temp setup. She doesn't need to sleep in water overnight, so maybe she can have an evening meal and soak, then sleep under a towel.

For temporary enclosures, some have suggested portable dog fences just don't forget how good RES are at digging. If you have the room, you could also consider a round stock pool, add some grass and use netting for some cover.

My RES was once gravid late December, and eventually just expelled the egg into the water despite having a nesting box. Perhaps the change in seasons will also affect her gravid habits.
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steve
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:42 am   Re: California Turtle Girl is going to be an East Coast Babe

Wow. I wish I could add something to this but it seems that Steve has it covered. Sheldon absolutely hates car rides and it's only 15 minutes to the vet! I wish you the best of luck on your journey.

Virginia is lovely though it can be hot like CA in the summer so there will be plenty of opportunity for outside fun. Though the insects are different so you might want to think about a baby bug net if she's going to be outside for awhile.

Have fun and keep us posted!
1 RES - A girl named Sheldon
1 feeder fish - affectionately named Fishy - RIP 5/27/12
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:57 am   Re: California Turtle Girl is going to be an East Coast Babe

Good luck with the move , hope all goes smooth.

That fence at lowes looks good , won't be able to climb. My Mickey was a great digger and climber , is Penelope a digger , think she may go under it ?
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:16 am   Re: California Turtle Girl is going to be an East Coast Babe

I use netting over the top to keep birds, squirrels and cats away. It's not a permanent solution, but's great for a temporary one thats used for a few hours.
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:29 am   Re: California Turtle Girl is going to be an East Coast Babe

I should have clarified - Steve is right, the netting is just temporary. I'm going to use it for when Sheldon is basking on my porch - where stinging insects are more of a concern than the larger critters.
1 RES - A girl named Sheldon
1 feeder fish - affectionately named Fishy - RIP 5/27/12
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cutepanda86
 
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:49 am   Re: California Turtle Girl is going to be an East Coast Babe

I didn't mean to take away anything from your suggestion :) I think most flying insects don't bother RES due to them having thicker skin. If anything, I would want to cover up myself from the tiger mosquitoes.
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:48 pm   Re: California Turtle Girl is going to be an East Coast Babe

Man! Sounds like I have a learning curve. Bugs. Snakes. Like full-time camping in my own yard.
My friend has offered up the netting she used to use to keep the critters out of her pond. There are also bears (have to yank out the berry patch do Yogi Bear doesn't come snooping around).

@litefoot - While I am sure that Penelope can dig, she has always tended to be a climber. She will climb up and over anything. I don't leave her alone, except when she is trying to nest. In that case, I use binoculars through the window. Crazy - but, she is a picky, picky gal.

@Steve - Road trips. Penelope does pretty good when we go on trips to the vet. I hope she handles a longer trip OK. She used to like hiding under towels when she was dry docked for ions, so hopefully it will help.

I was going to get the tank resealed on this end, but after reading your thoughts I think I will wait and have it done on the far end. That way they can check the integrity of the tank so I don't wind up with a mess on my hands.

I also decided to ditch her existing dock and take the opportunity to build an ATBA. I am going put cut outs in the canopy, but I will save that for the habitat thread.

Thanks for the thoughts!
"I know up on the top you are seeing great sights, but down at the bottom we, too, should have rights"
~ "Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories" by Dr. Seuss ~
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penelope
 
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:28 pm   Re: California Turtle Girl is going to be an East Coast Babe

steve wrote:I didn't mean to take away anything from your suggestion :) I think most flying insects don't bother RES due to them having thicker skin. If anything, I would want to cover up myself from the tiger mosquitoes.

You absolutely did not. My fingers aren't as fast as my brain sometimes. lol. We have wasps and bees that continually investigate our wood siding and concrete porches for spots to make nests. The landlord sprayed so they don't build but that doesn't mean poor Sheldon might not get curious visitors and with her attitude, I don't take any chances. :D

penelope wrote:There are also bears (have to yank out the berry patch do Yogi Bear doesn't come snooping around).

Removing the berry patch won't stop bears unfortunately. They are also attracted to garbage, bird feeders, pet food containers left outside, and grills. Just as a heads up. Also, they tend to be more scared of you than you of them but it is always a good call to keep your distance and call animal control.
1 RES - A girl named Sheldon
1 feeder fish - affectionately named Fishy - RIP 5/27/12
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cutepanda86
 
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:32 pm   Re: California Turtle Girl is going to be an East Coast Babe

Then I am telling the person who told me to take out my berry patch to keep it where it is! I love berries!
No problem letting the birds go feeder-less :)
"I know up on the top you are seeing great sights, but down at the bottom we, too, should have rights"
~ "Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories" by Dr. Seuss ~
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penelope
 
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:42 pm   Re: California Turtle Girl is going to be an East Coast Babe

Berries are yummy! The birds have probably been fending for themselves for awhile depending on the previous owner. ;)
1 RES - A girl named Sheldon
1 feeder fish - affectionately named Fishy - RIP 5/27/12
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