Hello from St Pete,FL

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PS Wilt
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Hi, just registered. Reading so much info on here, thank you so much! I’ve had Kevin for a year. He’s a red ear slider, about 2 years old. His last home they got him a turtle friend and I guess when they mature they fight, so he was rehoused here!! I am going through the topics on forum. I’m very new to turtles. Thank you all so much!! PS Wilt
TurtlesBunniesPlants
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Hi, welcome to wonderful world of turtles!
There are many people here with lots of experience so please go ahead and ask many questions and absorb as much as possible.
This forum needs more active members. I hope you stick around for long time :)
PS Wilt
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To SKIP to question *****QQ****Long post sorry, you can just skip to the question at the bottom. So, almost everything I’ve learned about Kevin has been from this forum so your patience in my ignorance is very very appreciated. I have dogs cats and a saltwater aquarium in addition to Kevin. We have had him for exactly a year. He was rehomed to us because prior owner had gotten him a friend, they started fighting. In the separation, I got the aggressor and the other turtle had wounds on his neck from him. He had these white spots on shell since we obtained him so I thought all was good. I went to aquarium store to check out some new decorations for both tanks and guy tells me shell is vitamin deficient (not enough UVB).

So, Kevin is two, he has grown a little in the past year. Personality is very outgoing and friendly. Tank is 40 gallons I think? Have the twin bulbs and Whisper filter. I asked our saltwater aquarium guy to clean it ONCE.

He just like moved the river rock around, it was awful. I’m very very OCD about his tank. I have this whole process of completely siphon all the water.

Take dock, filter housing and all the rock out. While cleaning solution is on tank I wash dock and filter in sink.

I clean the river rock with hose and colanders (like the ones for spaghetti only these are for Kevin’s tank only). I toss the porous rock if the algae can’t get sprayed off. Whole process takes 1 hour and 45 minutes. I don’t use bleach on the rock.

The rock soaks in a bucket with a pool tablet. Then the colander process. I use the repti safe drops to take the chlorine and other stuff out of tap water. Because his behavior is so sparkly and he’s eating good did NOT know the shell was unhealthy?.... ugh..., Now I’m trying to fix.

So, even though my lights from last year were still working- they were over 6 months old so bought 2 new lights and dated them. I have set up an “outdoor habitat “ for him to get direct sunlight outside (we are in Florida). From reading forum I learned that since bulbs were changed my water level was too high (he wasn’t basking).

Outdoor tank is only 10 gallons with a dock and I keep changing his decor because i want him to like use it as vacay condo or something. Yesterday, 2 hours peak sun, carried him and tank back in. Lowered water on main tank ((thanks to ALL OF YOU and your knowledge on here )))). Started basking fully under new lights.

Today, 3 hours in outdoor tank, not sure if he basked or not today. Yesterday, I was waiting and waiting for him to use the dock. Nope he was adjusting to surroundings. Today, I didn’t have time to wait and wait, so I added miniature ice cubes and a jumbo ice cube before I left. Thought if he cools off he will bask on dock.

*****QQ:: How soon should I expect to see improvement? I’m used to dogs and their skin seems to heal faster. I DID take before pictures. The discoloring doesn’t seem to bother him, and I didn’t know could be fatal. How can I speed up his healing? Thank you so much in advance- PS, St Pete, FL
PS Wilt
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PS Wilt wrote:
> To SKIP to question *****QQ****Long post sorry, you can just skip to the
> question at the bottom. So, almost everything I’ve learned about Kevin has
> been from this forum so your patience in my ignorance is very very
> appreciated. I have dogs cats and a saltwater aquarium in addition to
> Kevin. We have had him for exactly a year. He was rehomed to us because
> prior owner had gotten him a friend, they started fighting. In the
> separation, I got the aggressor and the other turtle had wounds on his neck
> from him. He had these white spots on shell since we obtained him so I
> thought all was good. I went to aquarium store to check out some new
> decorations for both tanks and guy tells me shell is vitamin deficient (not
> enough UVB).
>
> So, Kevin is two, he has grown a little in the past year. Personality is
> very outgoing and friendly. Tank is 40 gallons I think? Have the twin bulbs
> and Whisper filter. I asked our saltwater aquarium guy to clean it ONCE.
>
> He just like moved the river rock around, it was awful. I’m very very OCD
> about his tank. I have this whole process of completely siphon all the
> water.
>
> Take dock, filter housing and all the rock out. While cleaning solution is
> on tank I wash dock and filter in sink.
>
> I clean the river rock with hose and colanders (like the ones for spaghetti
> only these are for Kevin’s tank only). I toss the porous rock if the algae
> can’t get sprayed off. Whole process takes 1 hour and 45 minutes. I don’t
> use bleach on the rock.
>
> The rock soaks in a bucket with a pool tablet. Then the colander process. I
> use the repti safe drops to take the chlorine and other stuff out of tap
> water. Because his behavior is so sparkly and he’s eating good did NOT know
> the shell was unhealthy?.... ugh..., Now I’m trying to fix.
>
> So, even though my lights from last year were still working- they were over
> 6 months old so bought 2 new lights and dated them. I have set up an
> “outdoor habitat “ for him to get direct sunlight outside (we are in
> Florida). From reading forum I learned that since bulbs were changed my
> water level was too high (he wasn’t basking).
>
> Outdoor tank is only 10 gallons with a dock and I keep changing his decor
> because i want him to like use it as vacay condo or something. Yesterday, 2
> hours peak sun, carried him and tank back in. Lowered water on main tank
> ((thanks to ALL OF YOU and your knowledge on here )))). Started basking
> fully under new lights.
>
> Today, 3 hours in outdoor tank, not sure if he basked or not today.
> Yesterday, I was waiting and waiting for him to use the dock. Nope he was
> adjusting to surroundings. Today, I didn’t have time to wait and wait, so I
> added miniature ice cubes and a jumbo ice cube before I left. Thought if he
> cools off he will bask on dock.
>
> *****QQ:: How soon should I expect to see improvement? I’m used to dogs and
> their skin seems to heal faster. I DID take before pictures. The
> discoloring doesn’t seem to bother him, and I didn’t know could be fatal.
> How can I speed up his healing? Thank you so much in advance- PS, St Pete,
> FL
TurtlesBunniesPlants
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Usually injury can heal up but leaves some discolored skin for a while.
If the discolored part doesn’t get smaller over time, or spread, it might be fungal infection instead of just an injury.
Either way, probably the best idea is to have a herp vet to take a look at him.

About outside basking tank, please be careful with overheating.
10gallon of water will be warmed up very quickly under direct sun, especially in Florida, isn’t it summer already?
PS Wilt
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Yes will definitely look for a Herp vet. I am giving him natural sun and have half the tank covered for shade. The other day he got three hours, I added a bunch a miniature ice cubes to it. I watch his behavior out there too. I still don’t know how they communicate stress. The lights on inside tank are hot, I lowered water and he began basking again.
Since it is getting hot here only minimum time outside.
Another weird thing I noticed- like someone had picked him up with one hand, indents on the sides. Always been there. I found this group while searching for safe way to pick him up. Should be both hands. So far I have only used a flat wide scoop. I’m scared of being bit and salmonella.
It’s good to know that healing is possible. Kinda sad that I didn’t even know something was wrong because he’s always had those spots. He’s very active. I put a second dock in main tank for a rest area without the lights, he hasn’t used it. Because it’s so different than a dog a herp vet could at least let me know what I’m dealing with. Thank you so very much for your response, will post update after appointment.
TurtlesBunniesPlants
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I hope you have good luck with finding a herp vet!

About the indentation, I believe it is not from how he was picked up when he was younger.
Turtle’s shell is covered with keratinous outer layer but underneath it is made of vertebrae and rib bones.
Sometimes hatchlings are born with anomalies or deformities in those bones congenitally.
Other times bone growth can be impacted postnatally by poor diet, improper environment etc. leading to metabolic bone disease or improper growth.
While it might not become completely straight, since he is still growing and you are taking good care of him, it should smooth out gradually over time to some degree.

Salmonella shouldn’t be an issue especially nowadays as every conscious person on this planet knows importance of washing hands with soap :lol:
PS Wilt
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Oh this is great news!! Yes I got appointment with Herp Vet, the soonest available time is next Thursday at 8:00am. I bought him a travel carrier yesterday. I took pictures of his habitat and food. More photos of shell too. (To see if there’s ANY improvement). He got about an hour and half today outside. I have a second floor sunning deck coming this week. I was hoping maybe the vet could give him medicine to speed up recovery? I read they don’t intervene much with turtles. At least I’ll know what we’re dealing with. Since I’ve had him though he’s looked like this. So I hope I didn’t let it go too long because of my ignorance. !!! Thank you so much!!! Will update what second floor and vet does!!
PS Wilt
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Great news ! Kevin did awesome at the Herp Vet. It was my first time putting him into carrier with flat scoop. In the carrier no problem, out onto the scoop his claws got stuck in the wire of the flat scoop. Took me awhile to place him back in main tank. We got a shot of medication and this liquid to place on paper towel on outer shell. Second shot is scheduled for Monday morning. Shots are every 3 days, topical medication 2xs a week. They were so nice too!! This vet hospital has mostly dogs and cats and one dr that looks at reptiles. Partial water changes more frequently too. Yes, we are trying to get healing fast, even though turtles are slow healers. Kevin discovered his new second floor basking area! I have him dry out in 10 gallon tank with his medication on for natural sunlight. So we are on the road to recovery. The BEST news the reason why I’m so happy******* I FINALLY PICKED HIM UP with my hands !!!!!!!!!!! After he got stuck I found a pair of Zoo Med gloves that came with one of my tanks. Yes, the first time he wiggled and I dropped him!!! Not far or anything. I told him to trust me. He didn’t claw or bite me or anything. I’m a germ o phobe too so always always washing my hands before it was cool.
What this means for Kevin is that I can EXPAND and ENRICH his life more comfortably!! I use two hands to pick him up and put him in next tank. I don’t carry him anywhere (yet). This means he can “explore” the yard when the dogs aren’t out. He can wander around and walk. I love enriching my doggies and my cats lives so this will probably be as fun. What turtle wouldn’t want change of scenery play time ? Especially now that I know how to pick him up (without the flat scoop). He seems to be loving his second floor basking area too. Thank you so much turtlesbunniesplants for your encouragement!!!
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