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Thread: Sick turtle advice

  1. #1
    Jake
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    Default Sick turtle advice

    I was given a juvenile yellow belly slider turtle yesterday and it appears to have some type of infection in it's eye. The eye has been closed most of the day and it is leaking white. I've seen others like this at animal expos, but this one was given to me and the guy didn't really know how to treat it. I'll get some photos as soon as I can. Anyone have experience treating eye infections? For now I'm keeping the animal in shallow, fresh water with a small area to haul out. The tub is outside so it can get natural sunlight.

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  3. #2
    Founder John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sick turtle advice

    You need to get a multi-spectrum antibiotic eye cream. It will require a prescription so you may as well take him to a vet. Sorry for your bad luck Jake.
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  4. #3
    Kurt
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    Default Re: Sick turtle advice

    I will second that. Its a trip to the vet for your little guy.

  5. #4
    Jake
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    Default Re: Sick turtle advice

    Thanks for the advice guys. There aren't any herp vets in my area. Can either of you give me the name of the specific cream I'll need? I can ask the vet in town if he can get some for it.

    Sorry for my ignorance. I've kept turtles in the past and never had problems. I'm more of an amphibian guy, but when I saw two sickly looking turtles in the bucket under the table I asked what was wrong and the guy told me I could take them. The other is a small Mississippi map turtle that he says is malnourished.

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    Founder John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sick turtle advice

    You want something like Vetropolycin (Neomycin, Polymyxin B, Bacitracin), though for a very bad eye infection you might want something stronger. Maybe Bruce can chime in on this? Try dropping him a PM, Jake. His username is herpvet.
    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

  7. #6

    Default Re: Sick turtle advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake View Post
    I was given a juvenile yellow belly slider turtle yesterday and it appears to have some type of infection in it's eye. The eye has been closed most of the day and it is leaking white. I've seen others like this at animal expos, but this one was given to me and the guy didn't really know how to treat it. I'll get some photos as soon as I can. Anyone have experience treating eye infections? For now I'm keeping the animal in shallow, fresh water with a small area to haul out. The tub is outside so it can get natural sunlight.
    Hello Jake,

    Is the other eye normal? With eye problems in freshwater terrapins, vitamin A deficiency is a very common contributing factor, causing changes in the mucous membranes and leading to debris build-up, which looks whitish. Pictures could help.

    For treating that, correcting the diet will help slowly, but a vitamin-A precursor-containing supplement (such as AviX booster) would probably help. Dropping cod liver oil from a capsule (as long as there's nothing else in it) on the eyes can also help a lot (1 drop, 1 - 2 times daily) - whether just through lubrication or some local nutrient effect is unclear.

    Having said that, affected eyes are more prone to infection, and it sounds like covering antibiotic ointment would be advisable. The preferred antibiotic will depend on the bacteria (or other organisms) involved, which could be determined with a culture and sensitivity test - but failing that, a broad spectrum (mainly gram negative-aimed) antibiotic should be suitable - I'm not sure what would be available over there.

    Best bet may be to get it to a vet who should be willing and able to consult a more experienced colleague locally (ish) who would have a better idea of the available drug preparations and the preferred one(s).

    Hope this helps,

    Bruce.

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