How to Care for a Sick Turtle

Red-eared slider turtle
Red-eared slider turtle (Image: Got Pets Online)

Turtles are beautiful creatures to have as pets, but when they get sick, it can be simply mind-boggling about how to treat them. They are harder to treat than cats and dogs because most of the time, you aren't sure what exactly is wrong with your turtle or how to treat it. After reading these steps, you will know how to treat the common health problems in turtles and how you can help your turtle on the fast track to recovery!

Swollen eyes: Place Gentocin drops (provided by your veterinarian) into the turtle's eyes. Do not use standard eyedrops. After doing this, you should give your turtle a supplemented diet. To find the best diet for your turtle and its conditions, speak with your veterinarian or a knowledgeable sales associate at your local pet store.

Skin wounds: Treat the area with Betadine solution. Keep the turtle dry and warm. Soak it two times a day for about 1/2 hour in warm water. If the condition does not clear up in a few weeks, contact your veterinarian.

Shell sores: Remove the turtle and place it in a very dry place. Soak the turtle two times a day for about 1/2 hour in warm water. Apply Betadine solution several times a day. If you can, take your turtle to your veterinarian since shell sores can take months or even years to clear up.

Sneezing and coughing (often): Take your turtle to the veterinarian immediately. It will most likely need X-rays and antibiotics. However, if your turtle is sneezing occasionally, this is perfectly normal.

Not eating: If your turtle is not eating, try a different type of food. A sales associate at your local pet store can help you determine what you should give your turtle based on its type and environment. If you have tried a different food and your turtle has not eaten for over 2 weeks, take it to the veterinarian.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are worried about treating your turtle by yourself or have any questions, it is best to contact your veterinarian.

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