Turtles/RES sick



i have had 2 RES since 8 years. my younger one passed away a week ago.. my other one doesn't eat .. he acts crazy always climbs on the tank and wants to escape.. he whistles , he has pinkish spots on the legs , and now i see that the eyes are a little swollen and one eye has a layer on the half of it to protect it. here in tirana where i live we have no VETS. what can i do ??
here are some photos :

https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 1677_n.jpg
https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 1122_n.jpg
https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 5345_n.jpg
https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 7326_n.jpg
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 8808_n.jpg

this is when he begins to act mad..and wants to escape :

https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 1794_n.jpg
https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 1112_n.jpg
https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 5017_n.jpg
https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 1794_n.jpg
https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 1837_n.jpg
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 9658_n.jpg
https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 4457_n.jpg

i don't know what to do...at night i cover the aquarium with a piece of cloth ..he makes a lot of noise i cant sleep. here i live in a apartment and i don't have a lot of space....he doesn't eat...i'm beginning to think maybe he crashed the other one...:( I am really sad..

thank you very much

Hi Oriola,

I'm sorry, but I can't see your pictures.  I can help, but I need more information.  Can you tell me how you have him set up?  I need to know the tank size, the type of filter, what UVB/basking bulb you're using, basking and water temperatures, and exact diet.  I can give you better advice once I have this information.

I suspect that your turtle is in too small of a tank, although there may be other issues going on as well (lack of UVB, diet, etc.).  RES require a lot of room, and if you had your turtles for eight years, they were adults.  Two adult RES need a VERY large tank with a filter that can accommodate a tank of that size.  If the tank isn't big enough, with adequate filtration, the water quality will be very poor and the turtles will develop skin and shell infections.  The pink spots on his legs might be an indication of this.

The whistling might also be due to respiratory infection, and the eye problem due to diet or lack of UVB, but once I have the additional information I'll know more.  Please post back and I'll try to get back to you as soon as I can.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.


I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.