Reptiles/RES turtle HELP


Hi Thea!  

I really need you help!

I have an aprox 15-20yr old RES turtle that I've had for 13 years.  I just noticed she has some sorts of lumps on the top of her head.  It's been there for a few days, and it looks more like lumps than swellings (it's 3 individual lumps, all clustered together).  I live in a country where I can't go to the vet with my turtle because vets don't treat reptiles here.  If you have any advice or thought about what it is, I would be forever grateful!


Hi Sibba,

I don't know how much help I can be because aquatic turtles are not my strong area of knowledge. You might try re-posting this question in the turtle category under exotic pets.

I have looked through my veterinary literature for case histories that were similar to yours but found nothing. They all discussed either fungal or bacterial skin infections that would appear as white or brown raised areas. That doesn't really sound like what you are describing with your turtle.

The treatment for both these conditions is the same and certainly would not hurt to try until you are able to determine for certain what is causing the bumps.

The method requires painting the affected area with povidone iodine (Betadine is the brand name in North America) and then  "dry docking" your turtle. Dry docking is simply placing your turtle in a warm, dry container for several hours a day after the treatment to allow the medication to be absorbed. Put him back in the water for a couple hours daily to eat and drink. They are usually not very happy about being out of the water but it does not harm them.  


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I can answer questions on the proper husbandry and diet of Iguanas, bearded dragons, geckoes, skinks, chameleons, tortoises, box turtles, treefrogs, non-venomous snakes and tarantulas. Also the breeding of some species of feeder insects. I have no experience with venonmous snakes and only limited experience with aquatic turtles.


I have been keeping and breeding reptiles for over 30 years. In addition to my regular job in the medical field I also worked for several years in a pet store that specialized only in exotics. The job entailed both caring for and answering questions on innumerable species. It required constant, extensive research into a wide range of reptiles. I have been called to appear on televised national media (CBC, CTV and Life Channel) as well as CBC radio to discuss the proper care of reptiles and other exotics in captivity. I currently own one or more species of those listed under my expertise with the exception of chameleons. I owned chameleons for years but keep none currently. I keep over 20 snakes comprising 5 species, both Colubridae and Boidae. I bred corn snakes for several years. I have a particular interest in treefrogs and currently have 5 different species. I've raised redfoot tortoises for 10 years and have two iguanas, one for 12 years.

A small and now defunct local magazine called "Pet Vue"

Diagnostic medical microbiology with some parasitology experience.

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