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Turtles/Yellow belly turtle-leg


I've been noticing in the rear legs of my turtle some swelling. It is a yellow belly turtle, about 2.5 years old, and the shell is around three inches.  The swelling will retract briefly but for the majority of the time it is swollen. My other turtle does not have this at all so I'm assuming this isn't right. Is it a sign for anything?

Hi Dev,

Swelling can be significant, because it can be due to kidney issues, infection, etc.  If you can provide me with more information on how you have your turtles set up (tank size, type of filter, water and basking temperatures, type of UVB bulb, and diet), I can give you better advise.  If your turtles are in too small of tank or have an incomplete diet, for instance, that could negatively affect their health.  Post back with additional information, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.


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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.

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