Turtles/sick RES


My two Red eared sliders recently came out of hybernation. And when they opened their eyes they could not open them fully. They're puffy and there's a film over half of it.

They had some white stuff on their shells prior to the hybernation however it seems to have gotten worse in one of them. (the smallest one) It looks like mild shell rot? But I'm not sure. One of them (the smallest) also seems to have some mucus and the same turtle also has a red patch in his mouth.

The smallest seems worst off than the biggest.

I really wasn't sure what to do when the turtles went into hybernation, they slept for three months. I basically refilled the tank whenever the water evaporate.

One of them began to squeek as well. Both of them are about 2 1/2 in age now.

Because my house is very old and has very poor insulation, hell I was extremely cold in the night, I know the temperatures in the tank were somewhere in the 60's at best during the night with a blanket on top of the tank.

Hi Amy,

You need to take both your turtles to a good reptile vet as soon as possible.  Turtles cannot hibernate at household temperatures.  60s is certainly too warm for hibernation, but cold enough for them to stay inactive and not eating.  What happens at medium temperatures is that the turtles are too cold to eat, but not cold enough for hibernation (where their metabolism slows to almost nothing), so they use body reserves and are in danger of starving to death.  In addition, a turtle that's not in 100% health shouldn't be hibernated anyway, so their prior health issues have just gotten worse during the time that they've been cooled down.  At this point, they both need a vet evaluation for weight, the possible shell rot, and the mouth infection and possible respiratory infection.  Turtles that have gone through cooling when not in top shape and are ill coming out of it may die very quickly without treatment, so don't delay.  


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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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