Health Problems to Be Aware Of

It is important to address turtle health problems fast. If you suspect your turtle having health issues, get a turtle vet immediately. Schedule a health visit, upon bringing your new turtle home. Turtles are subjected to many health issues and it will help to be aware of them.

Most of these problems occur from a cage or tank that is not kept clean enough. Turtles are messy creatures. Make sure you have the right supplies for your pet turtle.

turtle sick


Parasites are common among reptiles. However, while conformed in a space, this level can become lethal. When turtles are in the wild, their space is not conformed – therefore, this doesn’t lead to serious turtle health problems. When confined to small spaces, turtles become vulnerable to this disease. Parasites can come in the form of external tick, mites, internal worms and protozoa.

Some of the symptoms that your turtle maybe suffering from this indicate lethargy, lack of appetite, weight loss and diarrhea. Some of the common parasites found in turtles are roundworms, pin worms and hookworms. This leads to owners making certain that good hygiene methods are practiced when caring for turtles. The enclosure must be kept clean at all times and food dishes must be cleansed thoroughly.

Respiratory Infection

Turtles often suffer from respiratory infections. Symptoms of these turtle health problems are swollen eyes, runny nose, lethargy and loss of appetite. When turtles are confined into small spaces, dry dusty conditions in your environment contribute to respiratory infection. These symptoms need to be treated early on – otherwise it can worsen where there will be open mouthed breathing and mucous coming out of the turtle’s mouth. Respiratory infections can be treated with antibiotics – and if good husbandry is maintained, it wont return easily.

Skin & Shell Problems

If optimal conditions are maintained, skin and shell problems rarely occur. But, since turtles are kept in confined spaced, it is essential that these areas are kept clean to avoid major turtle health problems. Fungus is common among water turtles. This results in poor water quality. You may think that your water looks lean and clear, but this is not always the case. When caring for turtles water needs to be changed regularly and the turtle cage needs to be cleaned out.

Replace with as much fresh water as possible. Use filters to clean out the tank and maintain a well balanced water temperature most suitable for your turtle. Otherwise, this can also lead to various skin problems for your turtle. Skin fungus can be treated with salt baths, if identified at the beginning. Shell problems can take a long time to heal. If it becomes continuous, then it turns into a systematic infection. Therefore, it is imperative that this condition and causes are treated immediately.

Metabolic Bone Disease

This also results in poor husbandry. The causes are poor diet, lack of Vitamin D, no UVB and poor calcium. Turtles on the onset of this disease will display certain deformities. Symptoms such as difficulty walking, oddly curved nails, overgrown beak and curved shells. This condition can be avoided when caring for turtles by making certain that your turtle has a proper nutritional diet with vitamins and calcium, natural sun, proper exercise and humidity.

Ear Abscesses

This is very common among box turtles. Ear abscesses appear on the side of the turtle’s head as large bulges. A cyst will develop under the Tympanic membrane. The cyst gets larger as the infection worsens. When caring for turtles, it is essential that your vet examines your turtle to avoid these turtle health problems. Generally, turtles will be given antibiotics to kill the germs, while others will remove the cyst surgically. An abscess is quite painful and must be treated under veterinary supervision.

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