General Care Discussion :: Uncertain if gravid?

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:05 am   Uncertain if gravid?

Since the weekend, Morla has been spending most of the day swimming about her tank, rarely coming out to bask, and when she does, it's for a few minutes before she slips back into the water.

I've been at home the last two days and can watch her, and for the most part, she is just swimming. I haven't seen her attempt to dig with her hindfeet, but she's shifted the decor quite a bit.

She has been eating, but less than what she was a couple of weeks ago. During the night, she rests along the bottom as usual. She did eat 3 or 4 of the feeder fish that have been tank mates for months (and have grown as I was feeding them too) just prior to all of this, so I've wonder if she's just digesting fish.

I believe she behaved much the same in December when we were out of town for Christmas and I had added several feeder fish, which I think she ate overnight, and then didn't seem interested in pellets when we returned. I did have an auto feeder for her as well then.

If I decide I should get a nest box together, what size should it be? Her SCL is 21.6 cm.
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:23 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

It doesn't sound like she is gravid. A major sign is when they will aggressively try to get out of the tank (showing lack of interest in food when in this mood). I would feel for them to confirm it before making a nesting box. For dimensions, I would make it at least 10" deep but keep in mind nesting boxes usually don't work.
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:54 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

She's not attempting to climb out of the tank, but spending most of her time swimming about and rarely coming out to bask.

I want to say she's done this before, lasted several days, than returned to more normal behavior. I don't have records to support my recollection of when though, probably not a bad idea to keep an record of odd behavior.
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:57 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

Was she gravid when that happened last time?
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:18 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

Not that I was aware of. I may just be paranoid now.
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:32 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

I would confirm it before you do anything else, but I think she's just in a different mood.
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:37 am   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

Witnessed her basking a bit yesterday and came in the room at a later time to see her basking.

Also witnessed her apparently attempting to climb up the filter intake hose, which is near the ramp to her basking area.

I took her out and weighed her and she's lost 39 grams (2.6%) since the end of January. I did try to feel if she's gravid, but her feet were tucked in.
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:02 am   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

If you have space for her outside of the tank, you could follow her and wait until she stops with her leg out then you can go in for a feel. As for the weight loss, I don't have any stats regarding weight loss/gain when being gravid. I would just guess it's from the winter slow down. Do you have records from previous slow downs?
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:14 am   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

Unfortunately no, my log starts last January, though she gained weight each month through December. This is the first weight loss, and I also thought it's from being less active during the winter.

I have space in the house. I live in Michigan, the outdoors is still chilly.
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:13 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

Indoor roaming is fine, just keep a paper towel with you for accidents. And give her a quick rinse before she goes back into the tank :)

How old is she?
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:23 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

I'm uncertain of her age as I adopted her. She's likely a mature adult given her size: SCL 21.6 cm, 1437 grams.
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:45 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

Sounds good, I'm sure she will be fine.
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:09 am   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

Some updates.
I did a scheduled water change, the water chemistry is typical: no hardness, high alkalinity, pH 7.5, nitrite 0.5, nitrate 20, ammonia 0.
Water temp ~74°F, basking area ~ 90°F.

She still seems to be ignoring pellets, so I got some mealworms and she eats those quite readily.

Maybe she's bored with pellets?
Once it's warmer outside, I usually get worms or large insects for her, but not that time of year yet.
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:31 am   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

I forgot to include a photo. I took her out to do a close examination to be certain she didn't have any injuries. She's been shedding a bit.

I wasn't certain if her beak is overgrown a bit. I do offer cuttlebone, but i think her interest in that has dwindled too.
IMG_20190326_075906561.jpg
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:40 pm   Re: Uncertain if gravid?

Beak looks OK, but a little hard to tell. My male RES will only eat tuna, chicken, or my "jell-o" treat. My female RES has lost interest in lettuce, and that's a first in 15 years.
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