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Turtles/Skin infection


I think my 20 year old red ear slider Dudley has a skin infection? Does this look like he could have septicemia? Or could it just be on the outside of the skin like a fungus? Also before he was red there was a bloated or swollen part to the same back leg in the picture. Do you think he is in pain? We never use filters cause he attacks them but in the past 15 years this hasn't been a problem. It started out light pink or like a flush but it's getting darker.

Hi julia,

Not sure it's septicemia, but looks like something systemic is going on and he definitely needs to see a vet ASAP.  It sounds like it may have originally been localized, but I can see redness around his foreleg as well.  Please see if you can get him in to the vet today if at all possible.  


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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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