First and foremost, the veterinarian
is your best friend and advisor when it comes to sick
turtles. While with experience, you will be able to
diagnose and maybe even treat some minor problems,
the veterinarian knows the bigpicture, and can perform
necessary tests, prescribes medications. They can
warn you of complications, and make sense of confusing
best way to keep your veterinarian bills manageable,
is to strive for the best possible husbandry practices;
and if your turtle does get sick, do seek advice and
treatment as soon as possible. Not only will your
turtle suffer less, if it gets treatment early, the
treatment is likely to be shorter, simpler, and therefore
course, it is up to you to decide, whether to treat
a sick turtle in the first place, and if so, whether
to treat it yourself, or whether to see an expert.
Since the animals are being kept as captives, away
from their natural environment, we also become fully
responsible for their well-being.
prices for visits to the veterinarian vary greatly,
and while a good veterinarian costs money, the best
veterinarian is not always the most expensive one.
If you can't afford to pay for your turtle to see
a veterinarian, but you would like to help your animal,
here are a few suggestions:
Some veterinarians will treat animals at a lower cost,
if the owner clearly has the desire, but not have
the means to help.
2. Try to find someone in a herp society who has experience
with the condition your turtle experiences. Maybe
they can help you treat the turtle, or they can help
you find affordable help.
3. Use the net, books, and other reptile owners as
a resource. The more you can find out about your turtle's
problem before seeing the veterinarian, the shorter
the visit, and the more likely you can get away with
one visit and a follow-up phone call.
4. Show willingness to administer treatments and medications
yourself. Most veterinarians will be happy to show
you how to give injections or apply medications. That
way, your animal will not have to be borded.
5. Follow all instructions to the dot. This will help
your turtle get well faster, and your bills will be
6. Once you find a veterinarian you like, establish
a good working relationship. See the same person for
all problems. Once a veterinarian knows you and your
animals, it is often possible to get help over the
7. Many veterinarians have payment plans to help distribute
the cost of expensive treatments over several months.
Should Your Turtle See a Veterinarian
The answer to that question
depends a lot on your level of experience. If this
is your first turtle and the first time something
is wrong, you should see a veterinarian and not try
to treat the turtle yourself. If you have experience
with some problems, a veterinarian should be called
or visited if the problem persists or gets worse in
spite of treatment.
general, if your turtle is sick with anything that
you don't know what it is, or that you don't know
how to treat, see a veterinarian immediately. I can't
emphasize often enough that the sooner your turtle
is treated, the faster and cheaper the recovery.
DTS, Dead Turtle Syndrome, is a serious and often
fatal condition of many turtles. Turtles suffer well,
and they can get DTS before you know it. A turtle
is diagnosed with DTS, when its condition has (often
slowly and unnoticeably even to experienced keepers)
worsened to the point where the turtle is dead, it
just doesn't know it yet. Very few turtles have recovered,
but usually they don't.
is it Time to See a Veterinarian?
time you are worried. If I am worried, I go see a
veterinarian for both my and the turtle's sake.
you are using home treatment, and the turtle is getting
worse. I usually give anything a few days to a week
to get better. If things stay the same, I go see a
veterinarian after that time. If things get better,
I don't see a veterinarian. If things get worse in
spite of my attempts at treatment, I see a veterinarian
your turtle is sick or maybe sick, and you don't
know what to do. As with people, it is much cheaper
to treat the beginnings of a problem. The money
you think you are saving by putting off a visit
to the doctor, will be more than used later if you
have an advanced disease to deal with.
is a picture of a turtle with a Shell Rot
is a picture of a turtle after cleaning
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