How to Tell if Your Aquatic Turtle is Sick

Save

It can often be difficult to identify illnesses and disease in turtles. Unlike mammals, reptiles do not show outward expressions of pain or discomfort, and cannot alert their owners to the fact that they are sick. Luckily, signs of illness in turtles do exist. Paying proper attention to your aquatic turtle, as well as knowing what signs of disease to look for, can mean the difference between life and death for many turtles.

  • Be aware of what a healthy aquatic turtle looks like, so that you have a basis for comparison. Healthy aquatic turtles have bright eyes, intact and proportional shells, a glossy finish and scales free of bumps or tears.

  • Observe the actions of your aquatic turtle. Turtles that appear to be sneezing often, coughing, gasping or wheezing when they take a breath may have a respiratory infection. Note any changes in behavior. Lethargy, more time spent basking, lopsided swimming or the favoring of one or more limbs are often signs of illness.

  • Check they eyes, nose, mouth and ears of your aquatic turtle regularly. If the eyes are dull, cloudy or swollen, or if there is a discharge around the eyes, this can be a sign of several different diseases. Likewise, a swollen or runny nose, swollen lumps near the ears, or redness and excessive salivation and discharge around the mouth are all symptoms of illness in aquatic turtles.

  • Monitor the condition of the aquatic turtle's skin. Redness, rashes, lesions and bleeding are all symptoms of turtle illness. Feel the skin to see if there are any swollen areas or lumps.

  • Observe the aquatic turtle's cloaca, located at the base of the tail. If the cloaca is swollen or there is a foul-smelling discharge, this may be a sign of a bacterial infection.

  • Observe any changes in the turtle's shell. These changes may be in the shell's size, shape, color or condition. There are numerous illnesses which can affect the shell, and any changes should be taken seriously. Pay particular attention to shells that appear to be more conical than normal, as well as any damage to individual scutes.

  • Monitor the eating habits and fecal matter of your pet turtle. Loss of appetite, weight loss, diarrhea or undigested food that remains in the stool are all signs of illness.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never attempt to treat or diagnose an unknown illness yourself. If in doubt, take your turtle to see a veterinarian who specializes in reptile care.

References

Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • How to Identify a Sick Turtle

    One reason pet owners enjoy turtles is because they are easy to care for. In fact, a healthy pet turtle can easily...

  • How to Care for a Sick Turtle

    Turtles are beautiful creatures to have as pets, but when they get sick, it can be simply mind-boggling about how to treat...

  • Common Diseases of Aquatic Turtles

    Aquatic turtles are prone to several common diseases, especially if their diet or habitat is not kept as similar to what would...

  • Painted Turtle Diseases

    Painted turtles are a common species of turtle in North America. They inhabit freshwater ponds and are often seen basking on logs...

  • Identifying a Healthy Turtle

    Learn how to identify the signs of a healthy turtle when purchasing or adopting a pet turtle in this free animal care...

  • How to Identify a Sick Turtle

    Learn to recognize and identify the signs and symptoms of a sick turtle in this free how to video clip.

  • Turtle Disease Symptoms

    Vitamin deficiencies cause many common turtle diseases. Identify symptoms of turtle diseases by looking at their shell with these tips from the...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make an Elevated Dog Feeder

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!