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Turtles/injured turtle


I had my turtle for over a year now. I had him since he was born I don't really know the sex just going off of what I have researched off books and internet. Recently I changed the log that he baskets on and 2 days ago I found him upside down stuck. I quickly picked him up and laid him down on the log. My family thought he had died. I started talking to him, hw started to move a little. I called the vet too see what I should do. She said he might be tired let him rest and watch him. See if he starts to be more active by the morning. I cleaned his tank out bought him this product called "fixed turtle" bought him some worms and shrimp. Came home later on he started to move more. The next morning he was swimming, but now he's not eating. I called the vet again asking how long could he go without eating and what I should do. She said give him 2 days. I'm very worried he can't get on his log with out help from me. I been putting him on their everytime I see him trying to get up there. But overall he is doing way better than Friday.

You didn't follow the instructions though. I need the background I request in my instructions. I need to know about the enclosure and the specifics on the lighting. And you didn't state what species this was either. Also, include a photo of the turtle with your response.

The vet is a nitwit if you had one that actually agreed to speak with you on the phone and then say such things. I've never seen a vet that would give advice over the phone if you'd never been in before with that animal and/or weren't paying them for it. Every day the turtle went by after drowning, is a day it was likely incurring brain damage from if not the initial hypoxia, then the cerebral edema that drowning causes. Any vet should have known such a basic thing as that. "Tired" is the stupidest answer I've ever heard. Now, on top of possible motor dysfunction being a lasting possibility, the even more ridiculously overlooked expectation is the likelihood of aspiration pneumonia that the turtle will suffer.

I need answers to the above, and the turtle needs dry docking, basking, and it may need lasix and antibiotic treatment from the vet. I wouldn't use that vet if they gave you those kinds of answers though...Whatever your product is that you bought will not be helpful. This turtle is suffering brain damage right now and that needs to be dealt with properly. Having it swimming around aspirating more water while it's already compromised and seeing if it will eat is not helping anything.  


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YOU WILL GET A REJECTION OF YOUR QUESTION IF YOU FAIL TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO QUESTIONER IN FULL!!. I am primarily here to assist with health concerns. I am here for the more difficult questions. Not for questions that you could research and easily find the answer yourself. I have stringent standards that you provide DETAILED and RELEVANT background history on your pet before you ask me ANY question about it other than GENDER or ID. The requested information is in the instructions to questioner. Failure to answer EACH of those questions to provide that background will result in your question being REJECTED. I can answer questions related reptile husbandry, identification (esp. in Texas and the SW), legal aspects, and intermediate-advanced level medical care. I am the director of Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue (TX), a wildlife rehabilitator specializing in reptiles, a founding member of The Society for Horned Lizard Preservation, a subscriber to the International Veterinary Information Service,,, and a Dept of State Health Services certified animal control instructor (CE) for reptile handling. I do most of my own veterinary care in-house. I am most experienced in Chelonia (turtles&torts) with box turtles and common smaller tortoises; and in Squamata (lizards & snakes) with everything from Anoles, Geckos, Beardies, and Monitors, to venomous snakes. I am most known for my expertise with horned lizards (Phrynosoma). With snakes, my primary expertise is in Crotalids (rattlesnakes), but I can answer a broad range of questions about various species. I am not aware of any reptile related question, in general, that I would not be able to provide some reasonable answer for. I have a direct style and may tell you something you did not want to hear; but the welfare of the animal comes first with me, and I will always reflect that position in my answer.


I am an amateur herpetologist, with 20+ years experience in reptiles. I am a reptile rescuer and subscriber to the International Veterinary Information Service. I have medical and scientific resources available, and have had to learn herp medical care over the years. I am not a vet, but I read from the same materials and have had to correct a few in the past, as it related to reptiles. My specific area of expertise is in Chelonians ( primary- Box Turtles ), Phrynosoma ( Horned Lizards ), and Crotalids ( primary- Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes ); though I have some knowledge and/or experience also with aquatic turtles ( primary- Red Eared Sliders ), tortoises ( primary-Sulcata and Horsfieldii ), monitors ( primary- Savannah ), many other smaller lizards, and with some colubrid snakes.

I am currently the caretaker of 5 Horned Lizards, 22 Box Turtles, 18 aquatic turtles, 7 fire Bellied Toads, 3 Green Iguanas, 1 Spiny Lizard, 1 Bullsnake, 5 Eastern Ratsnakes, 4 Great Plains x Eastern Ratsnakes, 1 Albino Great Plains Ratsnake, 1 Massasauga Rattlesnake, 1 Leopard Gecko, 7 Fox Squirrels, 2 Deer Mice, 2 Hispid Cotton Rats, 3 Merriam's Pocket Mice, 1 Cotton-Tail, 1 Former racing pigeon, and 1 Budgie. Previously: Leopard Geckos, Golden Gecko, African White-Spotted Wall Gecko, Mediterranean Geckos, Bahama Anoles, Ca. Kingsnake, Brazilian Rainbow Boa, Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes, Russian Tortoise, Savannah Monitor, and Eastern Cotton-tail rabbits.


Co-Founder & Director: Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue

Founder: The Society for Horned Lizard Preservation

Publications contributor. The Horned Lizard Husbandry Manual - self published 75 pages of care information on genus Phrynosoma.

Wikipedia entry "Horned Lizards" - contributed to a majority of the content., and various reptile related forums and email lists under the handles "fireside3" and PhrynosomaTexas".

My 20+ yrs of hands-on field, rehabilitation, and captive husbandry experience beats a PhD any day of the week. I am also a state accredited animal control instructor for reptile handling.

Past/Present Clients

I was requested to provide my care manual on the Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos), for the Montreal zoo. My manual is also used by several other zoological institutions in N. America. I also teach reptile education to summer camps, and instruct wildlife rehabilitators on live saving and rehab techniques with reptiles.

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