General Care Discussion :: Turtle Basking all Day and not Eating

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:58 pm   Turtle Basking all Day and not Eating

I have a female turtle (about 12 years old). I have her since she's a baby. For all these years she's been very skittish about basking when I would come into the room. But she always had plenty of energy and a good appetite. This last week I've noticed her basking almost the entire day even when I come into the room and approach the tank. She also seems to have lost a bit of her appetite. She's refusing to eat any lettuce or treats like carrots, grapes, and other things I put in the tank. The only thing that gets her interest is Reptomin and similar pellets. Then she'll eat them, go straight back to basking, and stay there leaving any other food uneaten. I also noticed that I'm finding a lot of more poop in the tank when she relieved herself. Maybe she used to eat some of it. But now I'll find a lot in the tank and scoop it out.

I wouldn't be overly concerned, but this is not her typical behavior.

No other signs of sickness that I can see. She's not sneezing, no runny nose , eyes appear clear etc...

Any ideas?
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:52 pm   Re: Turtle Basking all Day and not Eating

My male RES usually loses interest in lettuce around this time of year, started last week actually. Have you tried using a veggie clip for the lettuce? I also make some of those jello treats for them that are mostly made of veggies. In the meanwhile, I would not offer more pellets to compensate for the lack of eating.
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:33 am   Re: Turtle Basking all Day and not Eating

Thanks.

I tried some carrots yesterday and she ate fine. So I guess it's not appetite, which is a good sign. I'll try jello shots too.
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:30 pm   Re: Turtle Basking all Day and not Eating

Yeah, it's one of those situations where you just keep an eye out for any other symptoms.
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:29 am   Re: Turtle Basking all Day and not Eating

Now I'm getting worried again.

I still don't see any obvious signs of illness other than maybe her poop is a little loose. But this morning she refused carrots and pellets. She's mostly just floating around and hanging around near the dock. She still swims away if I put a stick in the tank just to see if she has strength, but she's kind of lethargic and didn't eat anything this morning.
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:52 pm   Re: Turtle Basking all Day and not Eating

How long has it been since she's eaten?
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:57 pm   Re: Turtle Basking all Day and not Eating

Nothing to eat yesterday or today, but we are talking about a turtle with a huge appetite for as long as I have her. She used to be picky when young, but she'd never turn down pellets.
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:17 am   Re: Turtle Basking all Day and not Eating

I would maybe change up her surroundings (some outside time?) and see how it goes. But you know her best, and if you think she needs to get checked out, then do so. A vet probably wouldn't do much at this point (though many like to overprescribe a vitamin injection).
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:36 pm   Re: Turtle Basking all Day and not Eating

She didn't eat and was very lethargic all day again today. She mostly just basked all day.

Then around 7:00 she started swimming around slowly like she was looking for food. That was the most energy she had shown all week. So I threw some pellets in the tank. She swam towards me slowly opening her mouth slightly like she wanted to eat but wasn't finding the pellets even though they were all around her. I even threw some red ones in because she finds those faster. She's not the brightest turtle in the world and sometimes takes time to find food, but this was ridiculous. Then she just stopped and went back to the dock. It was so strange. I took the pellets out and gave up. I was just having dinner and happened to be having boiled chicken. She goes crazy for chicken. So I threw a little in the tank. She usually attacks chicken and wolfs it down in big chunks like it's the greatest meal she ever had. It took her forever to locate it. When she did, she just stared at it for awhile, then finally took some small nibbles at it. Then she stopped for awhile and took a few nibbles again.

The one thing I had noticed was that her poop was loose this week. So maybe she has some kind of stomach/digestive issue that's impacting her energy and appetite. Something is obviously amiss, but at least she ate and showed a little more energy. So maybe whatever has been bothering her is finally turning. That's what I'm hoping. If she doesn't start acting better tomorrow, I'll try a vet Tuesday or Wednesday if I can find one with office hours near me.
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:12 am   Re: Turtle Basking all Day and not Eating

Yeah, it doesn't seem right if she's never behaved like this before. Do you know how she acts when out of the tank? Would she act the same way now?
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:15 pm   Re: Turtle Basking all Day and not Eating

She didn't eat this morning. She doesn't look any worse, but I have a vet appointment later this afternoon. I'll keep you up to date. Thanks for listening. When you are unsure what to do, talking to someone else helps.
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:39 pm   Re: Turtle Basking all Day and not Eating

I'm hoping to hear good news soon. I'm also glad to be of any help, I know first hand how helpless it can feel sometimes when dealing with these issues.
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:30 pm   Re: Turtle Basking all Day and not Eating

Well, the vet said she looks perfect. Her mouth and throat are clear, no swelling, the shell was fine, her weight and strength were fine, and no sign of respiratory issues. He's not sure what could be going on. He gave her a vitamin shot and antibiotic in case she has the beginnings of something that just hasn't presented itself yet. He said to give it 3-4 more days and if she does't start eating and looking like like herself he may have to take an x-ray and culture to see if there's an internal issue. It sounds like this could get expensive given today cost me a pretty penny. I'm hoping for the best. She's been a little more active since we returned from the vet, but she didn't eat. I'm going to try some fish or live worms tomorrow to change it up.
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:03 am   Re: Turtle Basking all Day and not Eating

She refused veggies this morning, but she sure enjoyed that earthworm! :D
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:36 pm   Re: Turtle Basking all Day and not Eating

That's disgusting but good news too :)
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