Marie is a lover of everything about and inside of aquariums. Among other friendly creatures, she has a turtle that she adores.
How to Care for a Sick Turtle
Your turtle is acting strange. Bubbles keep foaming around his nose. His eyes are at a squint all the time. He’s lethargic; he just stays in that one spot. Or maybe it's the opposite, he’s swimming erratically in the water. He’s not eating.
There are different symptoms of a sick turtle, some of which can be solved by adjusting his habitat. If the water is too cold, that could be the reason he is not eating; he’s preparing himself for hibernation. If his eyes are at a squint, the water needs to be cleaned or perhaps he is currently living in tap water and the toxic chlorine is irritating his eyes. Perhaps he’s not moving much because he is overfed or he’s swimming around insanely because he desperately needs to get out of the water. The foaming around his nose is the only symptom that can not be so easily treated. In fact, all of these symptoms can be indicators that your turtle has a bacterial infection, and simply cleaning the water will not solve the problem.
One day, my turtle (a baby softshell) started swimming erratically in his aquarium. I thought he was going to stop soon, but minutes went by and I could hear the splashes like someone was swatting their hand into the water. When I picked him up, he became limp, his head rearing and his eyes glancing all around like he was disoriented. I was devastated.
I don’t know how my turtle got sick. I fretted knowing he was probably going to die by the look of it, but that assumption did not stop me from trying to save him. I went on the internet, but I could not find anything that I had described. There was one site that said a turtle that swims with an unbalance means one of his lungs is filled with fluid, a sign of a bacterial infection.
I believe this is what my turtle had. He refused to eat. Every time I placed him in his aquarium, he would ignore the land and shallow area, and swim frantically in deep water. Every time I took him out, he was lethargic. He started yawning a lot (another indicator of lung infection) and bubbles would appear around his nose.
When you suspect your turtle or any other exotic pet is sick, time is essential. An owner has to act fast or it will already be too late to do anything. Sometimes it is already too late before the symptoms surface.
This is what I did to save my turtle and I recommend it to anyone who thinks their aquatic turtle has an internal infection.
Six Items You Need to Help Your Sick Turtle
- Small, empty aquarium or a large container
- A UVB bulb (something you should already have)
- A heating pad or any controlled source of heat
- A calcium sulfa block (for turtles)
- A thermometer of some kind
- Dechlorinating formula
If you do not have all of these items, go out and buy them immediately.
- First, take the small empty aquarium or large container (a bucket perhaps) and fill it with two or three inches of water. Depending on what type of turtle and the size of the animal, accommodate to whatever height of water level you think is appropriate.
- Second, place the container on top of the heating pad (again, accommodate if you have a different source of heat; the heat should come from outside of the container, not from the inside).
- Third, give one drop of Dechlorinating formula into the shallow water (or however much you think is needed--look at the back for instructions).
- Then place the sulfa block into the water.
- Check the temperature with the thermometer. Keep the water no higher than 86 degrees Fahrenheit and no less than 82 degrees.
- Then place the UVB bulb overhead.
- Once the temperature is at the desirable level, place the turtle in the container.
- Regularly check the temperature (every few hours if possible). Twice a day change the water completely (once in the morning and once at night). Again, the temperature should be between 82 and 86 degrees, so try to keep it at 84.
My turtle would go crazy every time he saw me walk by, so in addition to all I have said, I also draped towels over all the walls of the aquarium so he could not see me and panic.
Why Does This Help?
The shallow water kept him from swimming frantically, but it also raised the temperature due to the heating pad. Think about it. When we’re sick, we wrap ourselves in blankets because sickness lowers our temperature. This goes the same for animals; they need warmth when they are sick.
Also, sunlight in addition to heat provides Vitamin D3, an essential vitamin for one’s health.
Read More From Pethelpful
If your turtle is not eating, a turtle sulfa block still provides him with important vitamins and minerals without consumption.
By changing the water twice a day, any bacteria that is seeping from his nose and mouth will be washed away. Remember, this is shallow water and it needs to be washed out and cleaned regularly (during this, I suggest placing the turtle in a large bowl; changing the water should only take a few minutes).
I also suggest washing the aquarium or bucket with steaming hot water to kill any germs that are within. Using soap is very risky, especially if in a hurry. Just remember when using steaming hot water to clean an aquarium, do this quickly. You do not want to melt the glue that holds the aquarium glass together (always wash cold water afterward). Refill the water with average temperature and be sure to add dechlorinated water and sufla block (remember, too much dechlorinating formula can hurt the turtle too). Make sure to check the temperature before ever putting your turtle in it; you do not want the temperature too high.
If the container is big enough, provide one shading area. You want to add a feeling of security for the turtle, so place a cave or sand in the container in case he wants to bury himself or get out of the sunlight. The key to a healthy turtle is providing him options. If he’s a softshell turtle, provide him an area where he can dry his shell if he wishes to.
For four days, I treated my turtle this way. Twice a day I would throw in a pellet, but he refused to eat. I kept the UVB light on him all day until it was time for bed. In the morning I would turn it back on. Every time I woke up, I changed the water. Every time I went to bed, I did the same thing. And whenever it crossed my mind, I checked the temperature (the kind that sticks on the glass meant for aquariums).
After the fourth day, I threw in a pellet and he ate it. Despite the fact he was coming out of it and was acting normal, I kept him in there for an additional two days before placing him back into his original aquarium. There was no erratic behavior on his part. To say the least, I was thrilled.
I must have done everything just right, though every sickness and every turtle is different. You might try this and your turtle dies anyway, either because you noticed the signs too late or it was much more than an infection. Sometimes you can do everything right and still, death is inevitable.
If the outcome is the worst-case scenario, at least you gave your turtle a fighting chance.
Again, the keys to helping a sick water turtle are heat, vitamins, and cleanliness (dechlorinated water).
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
mariekbloch (author) on October 05, 2020:
Sounds like you are doing all that you can. I would recommend taking the turtle to a special vet or reptile sanctuary, but I'm guessing that is where you gave him the shot. So sorry to hear. Good luck.
da turtle peep on May 03, 2020:
I thought it was great because I am getting a turtle and i think what you did for your turtle was BRILLIANT!!!! I must say i am impressed by this and will turn to your article when my turtle is sick. THANK YOU!!!!
Richa on November 03, 2019:
My red eared slider turtle had swelling around eyes and limbs,it refused to eat for 2 days. I was able to treat him successfully by giving him a pinpoint dose of antibiotic powder for 5 days.He started eating after 2 days of medicine.I also put him in sunlight for basking and covered the tank with a warm cloth at night.Try it,this worked!
mariekbloch (author) on July 28, 2019:
brannanjennifer, I'm sorry my tank setup makes you mad. I don't think you understood the point of this article. By no means is this a permanent setup for any turtle. This is a hospital tank. I used a heating pad because the water was so shallow and I didn't want to risk having my turtle burn itself against it. And the water is too shallow for a filter, hence changing out the water twice a day is crucial. My particular turtle, the softshell turtle, lives in sand, so I know that sand wouldn't hurt it. It depends on the type of turtle. Perhaps I should put a disclaimer on that. UVB bulbs also have UVA, but not all UVA bulbs have UVB. That's why I stress about UVB. In the picture you can see there is only one towel that I clipped on the outer rim of the lamp, but it is no where near the bulb. It's no different than surrounding a bulb with a lampshade. If you read my other articles on turtle care, you'll see I know a thing or two (granted, more so on softshell turtles), and that I care about animals greatly. I am not a vet. I am not an expert. I just have experience, and I wanted to share this particular experience because I want to help other people and their turtles. If this method even saves one turtle out there, I am content with it.
brannanjennifer on July 26, 2019:
First of all you have no business giving anyone advice of raising turtles when you dont have a clue. You need 10 gallons for every inch of your turtle a small cage is not acceptable. You need an actual tank heater and filter . Do not put sand or anything small enough for them to eat it can cause a blockage. Thats just common sense. I have been raising turtles successfully for 9 years. Your tank makes me mad! You have no business owning one if you are not going to do the proper care. You need uvb AND uva for lighting and do NOT put towels around the light are you trying to start a fire?
Kkmberly on July 23, 2019:
I have a yellow Belly male turtle and I just happen to get a female that has never been in a pond the person that had her got her from somebody and then I so happen to her yesturday .I think she might be sick because she will not come out of the water nor will she move around to much I did try to put her in with my boy but she is a little smaller then him and I didn't want to make him sick..
Cam on April 04, 2019:
My baby RES won't move whenever I clean his tank or stick my hand or put anything in his tank. He moves whenever I am not cleaning my tank. I'm really worried about him. Is he sick?
Yarima on February 04, 2019:
My yellow belly slider is scratching his neck and biting his arms a lot and now I notice he has bubbles around his mouth what is going help !!!!
mariekbloch (author) on January 13, 2019:
Glad to hear.
ChristinaMaria1 on January 12, 2019:
Thanks so much for this article. Helped my 24 year old female folling these instructions. Only difference is i was only able to bring heat to 78 or 80 with heating pad . Was afraid to turn uo heat more . Shes eating again at least. Bought her a heater for her tank so when i put her back she wont be going into colder water. When she started eating again she only wanted mealworms so i tricked her but soaking her reptomin sticks in the water from tuna
Maryann and Gene on January 01, 2019:
Our turtle stopped eating and is always on his rock above water because if he falls into water he seems to forgot how to swim to the top to get air. We are treating him but I worry he will die because he's not eating or opening his mouth at all and it's sad he's at least 14 years old he's our everything.
Patricia Sadri on December 28, 2018:
Hi, mine is a Singaporean red eared turtle. He won't eat much... And now I am afraid he is not eating .. at all. He is very agile and loves walking so he is still walking and running when he has to but he does not eat. I have to buy. Uvb light and add sand in the aquarium. Thing is I have two turtles.. the girl eats and is growing. But my male turtle has stopped eating. Please help
mariekbloch (author) on December 18, 2018:
My advice is to follow this article's instructions at the meantime. Maybe look into an exotic vet or wildlife santuary if he doesnt improve.
Alyssa on December 17, 2018:
My turtle stays in one place and wonk eat i don't know what to do i can't find anything on the Internet! HELP!
mariekbloch (author) on November 07, 2018:
If it's a wild turtle, maybe you can take him to a wildlife santuary. That would mean losing your turtle, but it has a chance with experts.
Marquita on November 03, 2018:
My turtle has a few white patches on his bottom shell his scutes are coming off as it should, but he hasn't eaten in about a month. I can't afford to take him to vet plus he is a wild turtle. I looked on line about what to do but there is so much info its overwhelming. I had Samson for a few years now don't want to lose him. Please write back thanks.
mariekbloch (author) on July 23, 2018:
Squinting may have something to do with water quality. Chlorine will make their eyes squint. Or an infection. Do what i did in this article.
Lori on July 20, 2018:
Please help..... My red eared turtle is sick..... not eating, squinting. Eyes and looks like his gasping for air.....
mariekbloch (author) on July 14, 2018:
Doesn't sound like a typical illness. If you have an exotic pet like a turtle, you need to be able to properly care for it, which includes taking it to a specialist when required. The only other thing I can think of is to take it to a wildlife sanctuary, but that would mean giving up your turtle at a chance of it getting proper treatment. Please take it to someone. Good luck.
Michelle G. on July 14, 2018:
Please help!! Neji (my turtle) is a cross breed (painted/snapping turtle) he hasn't eaten in a week now,his back legs are limp and his but is blue. He seems more comfortable out of the water, he also seems like he wants to eat but cant. What could be wrong? I dont have the kind of money required to see a special vet, how can I prevent Neji from dying???
mariekbloch (author) on May 17, 2018:
Laura on May 16, 2018:
I’m thankful that I came across this post. Thought my map turtle was going to die but after two days of this set up he’s doing significantly better. Thanks!! Wish I read this post and tried this before waiting my time at the vet!
mariekbloch (author) on April 21, 2018:
The only thing I can suggest is to do what I said in the article. Find a vet that specializes in exotic pets.
Divyanshu on April 20, 2018:
My turtle got sick he do not move and feel very weak and do not eat from last 9-10 days what can i do to make it better his head is out all tje time lying on the table he do not react. Please helpe
Turtle Fan on March 27, 2018:
I’m taking your advice and am praying this works
Marie on March 16, 2018:
Could be there was too much chlorine. Or something is wrong with your tap water.
Pepper on March 14, 2018:
Need advice. I have an aquatic turtle about 17-18 years old. He’s been a great turtle. Clean tank always eats regularly and so forth. Clean his tank Sunday let him outside in the yard as I always do to stretch his legs. I put him back into his tank as normal after cleaning and now he won’t eat and is swimming erratically and won’t stop. What do I do. Water temp is perfect. Water cleaned. Filter working. And heater working. What’s going on.?
Ninja Turtles on February 07, 2018:
My turtle has been given an antibiotic shot and still not eating. He has had a soft shell since I got him on 1st Jan 2018. He has not eaten since we got him, he is 1 of 4 that we bought the same day. Last night his shell was even softer than before, eyes sunken in, skin sagging and just plain weak / fragile.
From the looks of it his chances of survival are close to impossible but i want to do all I can to give him the best.
I have given him calcium in the water that he may drink, mixed in some chicken liver for protein that he didn't eat, but I am hopeful he drank some. I have soaked him in some pedialyte water, but no change.
Has sufficient UVB light but still deteriorating.
What can I do, I am hoping for a miracle.
Martina on December 20, 2017:
What happehappens when your turtles head is hard and the rest is not?!? She is my female map turtle baby I don't understand!!
Hi my names jack on November 10, 2017:
My red eared slider turtle barley moves and he barley opens his eyes and doesn't eat. I don't know what to do. I need help.
Waterfish22 on November 10, 2017:
I have a sick turtle too i found this advice to be helpfull. I would aslo recomoned that you use an anit bacteria medication. I'm lucky enough to have a uv flirter. I'm using it to kill any living bacteria in the water. When it starts eating im giving my turtle vitiam A. I got my turtle at one of the pet stores it got sick right away and it's been longer then 14 days but heck i have learned alot already.
maria on September 20, 2017:
please i need help..my turtle is sick since last night..a week ago his not eating i thought it just hibernating but last night his listless..so i move him out and put in 1 container with warm water after 1 hr he vomit then this morning his worser than last night.
what will i do?
Vishal on August 29, 2017:
My turtle is not walking and not eating what to do reply....
Tejas on August 29, 2017:
My turtle is not eating since 3 days what to do,he is sick and having cold.
Mia on August 29, 2017:
My friend is giving me a turtle and it might be sick because she said they dont have time for it so should i still put it with my baby turtle or put it in a different tank.
Bhupesh on May 16, 2017:
I hv red eared slider.It is sick.It is not responding from today morning.it just sat quietly at one place and do not swam or move.l dont know what happened to it.which antibiotic should be given to turtle and how?
Ken on May 09, 2017:
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR POST. I just got back from the vet yesterday and i found out my red ear slider does have a respiratory infection vet gave me shots to give him every 48 hours and food supplements to feed him to make him. i put his food into a syringe and try to almost force feed him but i find it impossible to make a turtle eat he is barley 3 months any suggestions to help him start eating? any help would be fantastic.
thank you thank you
nikita paul on April 20, 2017:
my turtle is of species red crowned roof turtle.He is sick for two days,eyes wont open; doesnt walk.I gave him antibiotic for 2 days , no improvement
Anonymous on March 23, 2017:
My turtle is kinda foaming at the mouth but it's not rabies
simon on March 18, 2017:
help my turtle floats and his eye is closed i thing i fed him too much bread
Reshmi Rajan on February 22, 2017:
Thank you so much thank you thank you.. I see the positive response from.my turtle while changing the water .. I used the filter water now he was playing in water before he always sat on the rock never like to swim in water and always close his eyelied.. I was just about to die while seeing all these
Cchloe on February 20, 2017:
Hi! I have a baby yellow belly slider I think I noticed everything to late what can I do?
mariekbloch (author) on January 25, 2017:
Sorry I haven't checked my comments in a long time. Hope your turtle made it.
sav on January 21, 2017:
my turtle is acting like tired and don't even want to eat or swim please i need help
Swati Priyadarshani on October 28, 2016:
My turtle's neck is bent and its not moving. I think the other turtle has beaten him and he is injured. His neck is outside and he is inactive. Anyone can help here?
mariekbloch (author) on April 27, 2016:
You're welcome, Roni. No, don't worry, my turtle did that all the time.
Roni on April 27, 2016:
Thanks so much! I followed everything you said except the putting of towels because she's not afraid whenever i come near. She's ok now.. Only, i noticed that instead of basking into the dry basking area, she always put halfway up with half of her body still in the water.
I hope its not a sign of sickness.
mariekbloch (author) on November 13, 2015:
Linda, this is my last response. Turtles are expensive pets. I know you care about your turtle greatly, but if you dont have enough to pay $100 at the vet, perhaps you are better off giving the turtle to a wildlife santuary near you, or to someome experienced with turtles who can afford it. Sorry, I cant give anymore advice. Keep his water warm, and do regular water changes. He needs antibiotics. Good luck.
Linda on November 11, 2015:
Where would I get antibiotics besides a vet? I cannot afford a $50 office fee and then the antibiotics on top of that. I've called several around and they all want me to bring him in, I have fish penicillin that I'm putting in his water, not sure if it's helping. I even tried injecting blood worms (one of his favorites) with the penicillin, hoping he'd eat them, but no luck.
mariekbloch (author) on November 11, 2015:
Linda, keep the temp at 82 for now. Again, i would take him to a vet or order turtle antibiotics. Glad to hear he's doing better.
Linda on November 07, 2015:
He is better, I'm a bit confused about his eye tho, some days it looks normal and some days he keeps it closed. But he's acting much better and is eating, he really likes the warm water, but I'm a bit confused about that too. Right now I have the heating pad on under his tank, I keep it on low, the tank is a 20 gallon, I keep it half full, and it's keeping the water temp at a consistent 82 degrees. I ordered a turtle tank heater, it arrived yesterday, but it says it keeps the water a consistent 78 degrees (preset), I'm a little worried about what may happen if/when I put the heater into his tank and the temp reduces so much.
mariekbloch (author) on November 06, 2015:
LMFergy, if your turtle isn't better by now, I'd recommend a vet for antibiotics.
LMFergy on October 30, 2015:
Thank you for the reply, a heating pad will heat his water to the desired temperature if the tank is 3/4 full???? It's a 20 gallon.
I tried giving him fresh kill flies, which he has always loved, no interest.....mealworms, another favorite, no interest....freeze dried shrimp, yet another favorite, again, no interest.
His one eye is still swollen shut, he'll open it a little on occasion, but he'll usually just keep it shut.
I went to Petco the other day, got some supplies, they didn't have the sulfa blocks so I just ordered them from Pet Mountain. Also ordered a biological habitat cleaner, and a heater (which I can return if I need to)....is there anything else I should be doing? Putting any antibiotics in his water?
Thank you for your patience, I've solicited help elsewhere, even at Petco, they didn't know what to tell me, and you're the only one that has responded to my inquiries.
Linda and Tyler (my 5 year old son, it's "his" turtle)
mariekbloch (author) on October 29, 2015:
LM, no, the heating pad will be sufficient. Just be sure the water isnt too hot. I'd try different food. I wouldnt try to force feed him thw pellets. Good luck.
LMFergy on October 28, 2015:
I just found your article tonight, our young RES has been acting ill the past 2 days, he's just been floating around, not doing much of anything, he's usually always basking, but he's staying in the water now. Today is Wednesday, on Monday I thought there was something stuck over his eye because he kept rubbing it, so I picked him up to take a good look, it appeared swelled shut, I very softly tried running my finger over his eye to see if something would fall or slide off, nothing did, and it looked swollen shut. I gave him another day. Yesterday he was less active, just floating around but still eating. Tonight he was still floating, it seemed like when he tried to eat he didn't have the energy to swim up to his food......? no basking, got him out to look at his eyes and the looked fine. I'm assuming his water was too cold. His tank is a 20 gallon tank, he's a young RES, he still fits in my hand, there's a filter in there, he has a basking light and basking dock and a uvb light, but no heater. So I'm following the steps tonight that you used to save your turtle, he's only been in the small tank for a couple hours, with the heating pad underneath, and seems to be enjoying it after freaking out for about an hour, he's calmed down now and seems to be accepting the warm water. I threw a mealworm in there and he didn't eat it, I wasn't surprised. Do I need to make a great effort to get him to eat pellets? He never has liked them. I'm going tomorrow to get a thermometer strip and a calcium sulfa block.....do I need to get a heater for his tank if the heating pad that I have will fit under his 20 gallon tank? Right now it's on low for the small "hospital unit" that I put him in, I'm assuimg if I'm able to move him back home I would turn the heat up to....medium??
mariekbloch (author) on April 25, 2015:
You need to provide this animal with UVB lighting, a bulb you can get from petsmart, petco, or even walmart. They need 12 hours of UVB lighting a day. Is the fish bowl your treatment for him, or is that where you intend to keep him, healthy or not? They need to be in 20 gallons minimum with filtration (when they are acting healthy). As for what you should do, that's what my entire article is about.
rupakalpa on April 19, 2015:
My turtle is small...he has a soft shell...i bought him yesterday..and i give him the turtle food two times a day..but he seems to be so weak, he doesn't go in the water , and stays in one spot,he hasn't eaten anything today...i don't use any light or UV bulb for him..i have a normal fish bowl for him...when he was in the water i saw a bubble coming out from his mouth...i think he is sick..what should i do now ?
mariekbloch (author) on August 14, 2014:
You're welcome, and lucky, as I usually don't check these things for days/weeks at a time. Soft shells are supposed to be soft, like leather. Not sure what else you could mean. Just be sure he has calcium in his diet and is exposed to UVB rays 12 hours a day. Good luck.
Kara on August 14, 2014:
P.S. Thanks for responding so quickly!
Kara on August 14, 2014:
And also his shell is getting really soft and I don't know if that is normal?
mariekbloch (author) on August 14, 2014:
My water level was too low for a filter, which is why you should change out the water twice a day (to also get rid of mucus) in the water. This is just a temporary setup until he's no longer sick. Hope that helps.
Kara on August 14, 2014:
I see in your picture of the tank setup there is no filter. I have a newborn soft shell. My concern is the water level needs to be high for the filter, but now he won't bury himself in the sand, because the water is so deep. Any suggestions? Great blog, btw.
mariekbloch (author) on July 04, 2013:
alberson on July 01, 2013:
thanks i did everything you said and he is eating and hes a happy turtle aging
mariekbloch (author) on December 02, 2012:
Glad to hear that.
Rithika on December 02, 2012:
Thank you so much, I have applied all the suggestions. My Turtle is responding better now. I have used antibiotics as well as light so its working. And the turtle is safe :) Thank you so much.
Tsad on November 29, 2012:
Rithika, do you have the proper habitat for your soft shell? UVB is important for a healthy immune system. In indoor aquaria water depth should be maintained at a level that will allow the animal to reach the surface by stretching out its neck while buried in the sand in on the bottom. This is especially important for hatchlings. If an aquarium is used it should also have a dry basking area with a hardware store reflector clip light lamp positioned to provide artificial basking facilities. This should be positioned to provide a basking spot of 90 degrees F or so (32 degrees C) in that section of the habitat. The habitat should also be equipped with a full spectrum fluorescent light to provide for UVB. A UVB source is necessary for Vitamin D3 syntheses (needed in calcium metabolism). If preferred to this lighting arrangement an “Active UV Heat” bulb may be used that fulfills both requirements.
mariekbloch (author) on November 29, 2012:
Along with what I wrote here, buy antibiotics for water turtles. You'll probably have to order it online, but first call and see if any local petstores carry it. Sounds like his lung is filled up due to a bacterial infection.
Rithika on November 27, 2012:
Hi.. I have a small soft shell turtle which is just 1 yr old,suddenly one day it started swimming one sided and later after that it has stopped eating, its been 2 weeks it is not eating anything, it has become so dull and weak. I took it to a veterinary hospital near by but here none of them don't know how to treat it. Please help me I am worried what happened to it so suddenly, and please reply me if there is any way to treat it or cure its problem.
mariahbooet on June 30, 2012:
thank u so much i was sarching the internet all day and my turtle had all of thoos symptoms since its nite right now im going right away in the morning to get the suplies.
The Logician from then to now on on June 28, 2011:
You are so right!
mariekbloch (author) on June 28, 2011:
I've never fed my turtle goldfish (of course, he would be too little to do so) but you bring up a good point. B-vitamins are important and I would think the sulfa calcium block would have that, with all the other necessary vitamins and minerals in a turtle's diet. My turtle loves ghost shrimp and guppies.
I never trust the pet store for advice on anything, no matter how reputable they claim to be. Always research and cross reference on the web to find the answers to your questions. I would trust opinions of those who are either vets, zoologists, or those with experience with the animal. Never listen to a clerk at a pet store. Bad experiences.
The Logician from then to now on on June 28, 2011:
Good advice, I've used the same methods myself...one thing I wonder about is people who feed aquatic turtles feeder goldfish - goldfish are one of the most common food items recommended by pet stores for garter snakes, yet they CONTAIN the thiaminase enzyme. A diet primarily composed of goldfish results in severe thiamin deficiency in 6-9 months. Without B1 supplements, a varied diet, or removal of additional thiaminase from the diet, death preceded by convulsions, will occur.
Wide-spectrum antibiotics can also destroy gastrointestinal bacteria that produce B-vitamins, so supplementing the diet may be useful
goldfish fed to garter snakes will eventually kill them. I wonder if they have the same effect on turtles, I suspect they would. http://www.thamnophis.com/caresheets/index.php?tit...