Urgent Care :: My turtle is choking on sludge!

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Post Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:43 am   My turtle is choking on sludge!

I've been ice fishing and trying to get rid of dead minnows by feeding them to Skipper (MISTAKE!) she hasn't been eating and she seems to have trouble breathing and closes her eyes way more often than normal. I took her out of her tank to see what has happened, and I figure she might be choking on a fish, so I opened her mouth to try and pull it out, but I see something arguably worse; a coating of yellow-brown sludge covering the inside of her mouth. It comes close to completely separating the mouth from the throat but there is a tiny gap in the back of her mouth for air to pass through if it needs to. The sludge looks similar to minnow guts, but I don't see any bones, scales, or skin. Only sludge that looks like the intestines of a small animal. She has also exhibited loud open-mouth breathing. It is very hard to photograph the inside of a turtle's mouth. I'm sorry.


How big is your turtle? 7-8 in.
How long have you had it? around 3 years

What is the water temperature? 80 degrees Fahrenheit
Did you use a thermometer? no, it's what I have the heater set to.
Are you using a water heater? yes
How much water is in there? approx. 70 gal.
Are you using a water conditioner? yes
Are you using any filtration? yes, canister.

What is the basking temperature? around 80 degrees.
Is there a basking light? Yes.
Is there a basking platform that is easy to climb on? Yes.
What kind is it or what is it made out of? Plastic, turtle topper.
Is there a UVB light? Yes, recently replaced.

What have you been trying to feed it? Pellets, dead minnows.
When was the last time your turtle ate? 3-4 days ago.

How big is the tank/pond/enclosure? 75 gal.
Is the tank near a window? Yes.
Is the tank in a room with a lot of activity? No.

Have you read the Basic Care section? Yes.
Have you searched the forums for similar situations? No; I didn't know what to search for.

Is there any other unusual activity/symptoms? Bizarre wheezing, sounds like a dog. Eyes closed, sleeping at the surface with nose above water, unusual passiveness (no intentional biting/scratching when handled, won't hold up own weight on front two legs)
1 red eared slider
1 mutt
2 minnows
1 ranchu goldfish
3 sarassa comets
1 dojo loach?
3 zebra danios
1 betta
3 white clouds
3 harlequin rasboras
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Skippah
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Aug 25, 2014
Location: Moose Lake, Minnesota

Post Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:11 am   Re: My turtle is choking on sludge!

It's still there and she's still having issues.
1 red eared slider
1 mutt
2 minnows
1 ranchu goldfish
3 sarassa comets
1 dojo loach?
3 zebra danios
1 betta
3 white clouds
3 harlequin rasboras
User avatar
Skippah
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Aug 25, 2014
Location: Moose Lake, Minnesota

Post Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:34 am   Re: My turtle is choking on sludge!

I'd take her to the vet ASAP. Could be an infection as most RES shouldn't have trouble eating/swallowing even large fish.
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steve
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Post Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:43 pm   Re: My turtle is choking on sludge!

She wasn't choking on any fish; I just thought she was. I took a sample from her mouth to examine under a microscope and I noticed that the substance sloughs off easily. When I examined the substance I noticed that it was made out of many layers of dead animal cells. Some of the material seems to have been swallowed but she is still making strange dog-like noises. I can't take her to the vet at the moment, unfortunately, and I didn't want to remove the rest of the material because I don't know what it is yet.
1 red eared slider
1 mutt
2 minnows
1 ranchu goldfish
3 sarassa comets
1 dojo loach?
3 zebra danios
1 betta
3 white clouds
3 harlequin rasboras
User avatar
Skippah
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Aug 25, 2014
Location: Moose Lake, Minnesota

Post Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:48 pm   Re: My turtle is choking on sludge!

Any idea what kind of animal cells?
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steve
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Post Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:19 pm   Re: My turtle is choking on sludge!

Nope, all I can see is the basic shape.
1 red eared slider
1 mutt
2 minnows
1 ranchu goldfish
3 sarassa comets
1 dojo loach?
3 zebra danios
1 betta
3 white clouds
3 harlequin rasboras
User avatar
Skippah
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Aug 25, 2014
Location: Moose Lake, Minnesota

Post Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:10 pm   Re: My turtle is choking on sludge!

She just coughed it up...

It is a solid brown object with patches of blood and it's flexible and slimy and contoured to her mouth... I gagged so hard when I saw it.
1 red eared slider
1 mutt
2 minnows
1 ranchu goldfish
3 sarassa comets
1 dojo loach?
3 zebra danios
1 betta
3 white clouds
3 harlequin rasboras
User avatar
Skippah
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Aug 25, 2014
Location: Moose Lake, Minnesota

Post Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:22 pm   Re: My turtle is choking on sludge!

Wait-it's still in her mouth.... is it possible that it came from her... throat? (approx. 1 inch long)
Image
1 red eared slider
1 mutt
2 minnows
1 ranchu goldfish
3 sarassa comets
1 dojo loach?
3 zebra danios
1 betta
3 white clouds
3 harlequin rasboras
User avatar
Skippah
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Aug 25, 2014
Location: Moose Lake, Minnesota

Post Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:37 pm   Re: My turtle is choking on sludge!

Yikes, any idea what it is? Can you take a look in her mouth, it should be a healthy pink in there.
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steve
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Location: New York, NY
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:57 pm   Re: My turtle is choking on sludge!

No idea what it is, but it's the same color as her pellets. I heard this really humanlike sneezing sound and I turn to look and tHIS THING FLEW OUT OF HER MOUTH and her mouth is a nice healthy pink with some of the brown sludge on her tongue. The weird sounds seem to have mostly stopped, and I flushed the weird turtle barf mystery object down the toilet because I was gagging so hard and I didn't want it to be anywhere near me. I actually got the nerve to smell it and it didn't smell like anything. She also seems to be sleeping less.
1 red eared slider
1 mutt
2 minnows
1 ranchu goldfish
3 sarassa comets
1 dojo loach?
3 zebra danios
1 betta
3 white clouds
3 harlequin rasboras
User avatar
Skippah
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Aug 25, 2014
Location: Moose Lake, Minnesota

Post Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:00 pm   Re: My turtle is choking on sludge!

*Sleeping less in a good way, as in normal amount
1 red eared slider
1 mutt
2 minnows
1 ranchu goldfish
3 sarassa comets
1 dojo loach?
3 zebra danios
1 betta
3 white clouds
3 harlequin rasboras
User avatar
Skippah
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Aug 25, 2014
Location: Moose Lake, Minnesota

Post Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:28 pm   Re: My turtle is choking on sludge!

*UPDATE*
I'm taking her to the vet on Monday.
1 red eared slider
1 mutt
2 minnows
1 ranchu goldfish
3 sarassa comets
1 dojo loach?
3 zebra danios
1 betta
3 white clouds
3 harlequin rasboras
User avatar
Skippah
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Aug 25, 2014
Location: Moose Lake, Minnesota

Post Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:07 am   Re: My turtle is choking on sludge!

How's she doing today?
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steve
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Posts: 29803
Joined: Apr 11, 2005
Location: New York, NY
Gender: Male


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