Articles, Blog

Pet Turtle Care : Turtle Disease Symptoms

August 17, 2019


Hi. My name is Tim Cole. I’m with the Austin
Reptile Service and I’ve been keeping reptiles and amphibians for over forty years. And we’re
going to talk about turtle diseases. One of the more common diseases is vitamin deficiencies
which comes about because the animals have not been given the necessary vitamins or ultraviolet
light that they require to process their food. One of the first signs of this is they’ll
get eyes that are gummed up or swollen. They can’t open their eyes. And when they can’t
open their eyes, they don’t feed. Calcium deficiencies are fairly common. Once again,
if UV light or calcium powder is not supplemented with their food, their shell becomes soft,
their legs can become brittle. Some turtles are susceptible to skin diseases, depending
on the PH of the water. Alligator snappers are a good example. They come from water that
has a low PH. If you put them in an aquarium with high PH and don’t treat the water, they
will eventually die to a skin disease. Several turtles require brackish water, or partial
salt water. Diamondback terrapins is a good example of that. So, there’s variety of diseases
that come about from not getting the right husbandry. Misshaped shell is from a lack
of calcium. And, quite often, turtles can get these conditions.

66 Comments

  • Reply redandbluebeater February 11, 2009 at 4:10 am

    it prob. has mouth rot. see a vet or research for cures.

  • Reply trickmybrick April 25, 2009 at 4:22 am

    thank you so much! i was wondering to!

  • Reply trickmybrick April 25, 2009 at 4:23 am

    i knw right! i was like uh oh this looks exspensive JK ill spend as much money as possibly on somthing as awesome as a turtle i love my turtle

  • Reply trickmybrick April 25, 2009 at 4:24 am

    well i would say they might be scales from a fish if you feed them to your turtle. or they might be shedding .__.

  • Reply William Nguyen April 25, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    my turtle is like sick the shell is soft it doesnt open its eye how do i cure it?comment on my channel

  • Reply symbiote35 May 8, 2009 at 12:18 am

    The "pimple" is probably gone now, but that "Pimple" is an egg tooth, used to break from their egg shells, common for young ones.

  • Reply BIGGESTxxEMINEMxxFAN May 25, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    ye my turtle (yellow belly slider) has blown up up like a ballon at the front and rear (not legs or tail) and he wants to bask all the time ?? dunno whats up with him – i will probally take him to the vets in a day or 2 if he not getting better

  • Reply AkatsukiRocks1995 July 6, 2009 at 2:40 am

    if she has white spots on her skin…it might be skin fungus…if on her shell, it may be the starting of….shell rot. losing skin? is that shedding skin?

  • Reply animo gucci September 14, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    i have a painted turle a just got it . he doesnt want to poke his head out ant doesnt want to eat i need help im scared he might die help pleae

  • Reply mdanx3 November 15, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    best thing to do in most situations with vitamin defficiency is to first isolate them in a small terrarium and put a heat lamp on them, it boosts their immune system so they recover faster

  • Reply Elisabeth Werre January 24, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    @techdeckaction baby turtles are to small to grasshoppers and meal worms! Try commercia baby turtle pellets.

  • Reply Crystal Freeman March 17, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    I have a alligator snapping turtle probably about 3 inches in length. I knew nothing about the ph levels and i have not been checking them. What should the level be?

    Also, I am noticing some spots around his mouth that almost look like blisters thought they are hard. Is that due to the ph levels being incorrect?

  • Reply mcs895 July 1, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    @fclerie16 no put it in brackish water (add salt)

  • Reply mcs895 July 1, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    @luutai no, turtles shed

  • Reply Crzynoob March 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    @DeYFTW Post in forums instead, most of us don't know much.

  • Reply dksharktooth June 13, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    How in the world did you upload 138k videos to youtube……

  • Reply titanic98810 July 22, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    someone plz help! my red eared slider turtle has a weird "thing" that looks like moss but its brown…HELP!

  • Reply Spyguy1019 August 1, 2011 at 2:06 am

    @DeYFTW it needs sun mine lives outsidr in a tiny pool so SUN it needs calcum and it probably needs ultra vilet eyes

  • Reply meltingsnowman717 August 15, 2011 at 1:06 am

    i have a hatchling mississippi map and its bottom shell is kind of soft, is that normal because it is a hatchling???

  • Reply Eileen Tierney September 22, 2011 at 12:28 am

    how do you fix a vitamin deficiencies?

  • Reply Rin Atkinson November 18, 2011 at 4:47 am

    I'm trying to help my turtle get more calcium because I'm worried about her shell strength. I've provided her with great uv lighting and the best turtle pellets money can buy with occasional crickets and vegetables but I'm not sure it's enough. What calcium supplement would you recommend specifically?

  • Reply ELITExSEAN November 25, 2011 at 3:39 am

    my baby common snapping turtle is about 3 inches but on the back of his neck its two lumps under the skin wat is that do i have to take him to the vet

  • Reply Jon NY March 5, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    i just put my turtle near the window, but i dont have a uv light
    all my turtles do is go under the plants and hide

  • Reply BaconX12 April 6, 2012 at 11:27 am

    My biggest turtle is shedding like nothing is this normal?

  • Reply Kyte102 June 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    The window wont help the turtles. UV rays don't pass through glass

  • Reply charger1970and68 June 22, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    my common snapper has white spots on his shell and one on his neck, he did not have these when i got him. he is housed with 2 red eared sliders, is in tap water (from my sink) i have a heat lamp but no UV light. i had another common that had these spots and died.

  • Reply GiGi M June 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    recently a white spot appeared near my turtle's mouth, why does that happened? πŸ™

  • Reply charger1970and68 June 26, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    probably a fungal infection. go to the pet store and get sulfa dip, fill a small container with enough water to just cover your turtles shell, saok the turtle for 1-3 hours then wsh it and dry it with a paper towel and return it to its tank, do this repeatedly for 7 -10 days and it should be fine.

  • Reply Lynyell Hensley November 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    My turtles nose is bleeding πŸ™

  • Reply Cienna del Rosario November 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    My turtle's eyes were swollen. πŸ™ What would be the problem? πŸ™

  • Reply shinypikachu64 January 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    turtles NEED uvb or the die get him some NOW

  • Reply Taqueria Riverbank January 18, 2013 at 3:37 am

    My turtle has a white fungus on its neck is it because she doesn't have calcium?

  • Reply Liam James January 19, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    mine don't might just be the type though

  • Reply Liam James January 19, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    are you sure I'm pretty sure they can i read in a book that that is just a myth

  • Reply Dylan Young February 18, 2013 at 3:20 am

    PLZ REPLY!! My female baby red ear slider turtle's eyes are closed and open sometimes. Is this a disease??

  • Reply teddie90 February 21, 2013 at 7:52 am

    I own a alligator snapping turtle today hes looking a little weak. I pick him up and his head hangs a little bit along with his feet; instead of regularly hiding as much in the shell. When put down he picks up his neck as if trying t breath or something. Hes still a baby, no bigger than my palm. please help

  • Reply TheJodo2010 April 12, 2013 at 7:37 am

    It could be the temperature and/or diet of the turtle. The smaller the turtle the less heat it can hold so the little guys need a really good heat source not only to stay warm but to metabolize their food into nutrients. If it's not getting enough heat it doesn't matter how ell it's fed b/c it can't absorb the nutrients. Get a thermometer for the tank and make sure it's at the right temperature.

  • Reply Orin Tobias May 7, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    my turtle takes deep breaths what should i do?

  • Reply Orin Tobias May 7, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    your turtle needs more calcium in his tank or uv light it depends does he/she eat?

  • Reply Orin Tobias May 7, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    he needs more vitamins mostly A and D3

  • Reply Abhilash Gopinathan August 13, 2013 at 8:34 am

    my turtle doesn't eat any thing- say sticks, shrimp or even block worms. (I have tried them one after another, as it doesn't at any) This is for the past two weeks. It is weak as well. What shall be the problem? what shall I do? PLEASE HELP…

  • Reply Arth Patel September 16, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    I lost my one turtle due to this disease , he also won't eat and even couldn't open his eyes and finally after a few weeks I lost him
    RIP snappy … πŸ™

  • Reply Martyna Malanowska December 8, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    My turtle also died cuz he seemed to be blind and was not eating rip trisaratop

  • Reply Lillysworld June 2, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    2 of my terrapins have this in their eyes, please help me where I can get some Vitamin A supplement for them I don't want them to get worse I love them so much! Please help me!Β 

  • Reply JUAN Q June 11, 2014 at 1:36 am

    Thank u very much i notice this and my turtle is getting treat meant

  • Reply ibis suau October 23, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    what is the right PH for a yellow bellied… she was eating and active and now wont eat and is letargic… i put calcium in the water every week and they have ultraviolet light and basking area…

  • Reply Animal Guy August 24, 2016 at 4:35 am

    how do you own a turtle and not gt sallmone I want one but that disease

  • Reply Aniruddha Deb May 15, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    which light is more important uva or uvb for turtle?

  • Reply asha moni June 2, 2017 at 5:15 am

    my turtle can't swim down… what to do now?

  • Reply Wilo Torres Rivera June 24, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    I have a pair of red ear sliders.
    Like a week ago one of them stop eating and started spending most of the time out of the water and it and constantly extens its neck gasping.And today I noticed that clear liquid comes out of it's cloaca! I'm from Puerto Rico and there are no exotic animals specialist veterinarians that I know of.If if anyone can help me it will be appreciated.

  • Reply Luis Rios August 26, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    My ornate box turtle has white stuff coming out of her eyes

  • Reply Fake Trailers Production October 9, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    My turtle have like small ball on his head I don't know what to do

  • Reply Simran Saini November 24, 2017 at 6:36 am

    My turtle has swelling around eyes. It's eyes are swollen since past one week and it is refusing to eat. What should I do there is no doctor available for turtles in my locality. Please help me as soon as possible.

  • Reply Tsm Turzo December 5, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    I have 2 red eared slider babies like of 1 month and 1 of them stopped eating for 2 days…..what do I do??

  • Reply Samiksha Khurana December 30, 2017 at 6:02 am

    i have indian roofed turtle and she is bleeding from her mouth
    what should i do ????

  • Reply Simran Saini January 10, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    My turtle is not eating since last 2months. I offered my turtle dried blood worms, pellets, dried shrimps but it is refusing to eat. And it has wounds all over the body since I found it pleases help me as soon as possible there is no doctor available in my locality

  • Reply Softlou 10098 April 29, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Hi, My tortoise has a Long pink thread coming out of its mouth, Sheldon(My tortoise) Is A year old and I tried to lightly pull the pink thread out but it wont

  • Reply jin jin June 11, 2018 at 3:55 am

    How do you get your turtle to eat if his eyes are kinda gunked up

  • Reply Lil polack2003 July 3, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    I need help my babey iguana has a infected tail and I used liquid bandage and I don't know if it will work

  • Reply Barbie August 14, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    How do you get it off of turtles

  • Reply team angel November 29, 2018 at 6:45 am

    My turtle is bleeding out of its nose and mouth help

  • Reply Anjana Agrawal December 1, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    My roofed turtle is not eating anything

  • Reply prathyusha a January 6, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    hii,my turtle is not moving his front leg. and also he is not eating the food .please help me and please give me answer as soon as possible .

  • Reply Alexys Linwood May 1, 2019 at 2:11 am

    My turtle hasn't been eating gets sun he isn't opening eyes but doesn't look swollen

  • Reply Edwin Duetao May 9, 2019 at 3:12 am

    My two turtle died just now and has a circle in the eye and the whole body and 2 of them is still alive but the other one is like weak pls help me how to cure that i don't wanna lose her! What i know is they started to spend most in the rock and started to sleep always and not eating! PLEASE HELP ME NOW I DON'T WANT TO SEE THEM DIE NOW PLS!!!!!! Well R.I.P Shelly and Tough thanks for being a great and tough pet always….😭😭😭😭😭😭

  • Reply irishbreakfast June 11, 2019 at 11:50 pm

    reptile MUST HAVE DIRECT SUNLIGHT at least half of the day. vitamin k, a and d and calcium production come from the sunlight. without it fungus and nutritional deficiencies can occur. most turtles have cast iron guts and can eat any old rotten meat thing they find on the pond bottom in the wild and they have cast iron immunue systems and are difficult to get sick. UNLESS they haven't been getting enough sunlight. mouth rot soft shell red lesions are all signs that your turtle has a fungus. usually directly releated to lack of sunlight. artificial lights cant do what the sun does. that's why when you visit a pond you find turtles just sitting out in the hot sun drying out. consult your vet if you find symptoms.

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