Adopting and owning a maimed turtle and metabolic bone disea

Discussions about turtles.
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Limpy Owner
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This past weekend I adopted a red ear slider from a friend. Her siblings abandoned the slider after they left for university leaving my friend with the responsibility of taking care of it. When I told her I\'d be willing to adopt it, she was ecstatic (she didn\'t want to care for it and admitted to neglecting it).

However, this slider is special... it has a maimed hind leg. Despite this the turtle is very attentive and alert. When on the ground or in the terrarium, it would actively move around and observe us as we (my wife and I) move about.

I suspect because of his injury, the turtle has a bit of metabolic bone disease. The shell is hard, but shows some irregularities in his \"spine\" and has what looks like wrinkles in his shell. I am going to buy some cuttle fish bone and a full-spectrum lamp (UV-A and B)for him today. I wish I can take him outside to get sunlight, but I live in a condominium and it\'s getting colder in Toronto. Since adopting him 3 days ago, he has shed two large scales from his shell. I can only hope it\'s a good sign.

I\'m in the process of setting up a special habitat for him. I\'ve added a 65W spotlight for basking and rubberized any slippery surfaces to make his climbing easier (since he doesn\'t have a 2nd hind leg to use).

Has anyone else owned a maimed turtle or a turtle who has suffered from MBD? I\'d love to hear what you did.

- Limpy Owner.

PS. The turtle\'s name is \"Limpy\" because he has beaten all odds and remains a happy turtle.
sbturtlegrlz6
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wow,what a great thing for you to do!Although i have never heard of diesease it sounds serious and you need to get you tutlr as helthy as possible do your part by getting that uvb/a light and putting him in a proper set up
mariza
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How old/big is your turtle? And when you say it has a maimed leg, do you mean it`s missing part of it or has it but is unable to move it?

His injury per se would not be the cause of metabolic bone disease, because MBD is caused by a lack of calcium and Vit D3 as well as an improper diet. It`s unclear from what you say that your turtle has MBD, although since you said he`s been neglected, he may indeed need extra calcium as well as other vitamins and minerals. In addition to the cuttlebone, you may want to give him a powdered calcium supplement like RepCal (has no phosphorus). Moisten his pellets sprinkle it on them and let them dry, then feed them to him. The calcium sticks to the pellets and is absorbed to some extent so he gets added calcium. My turtle (who had also been neglected) also had some \"wrinkles\" in his shell, but they quickly disappeared as he grew and was given a proper environment. You said your turtle is active and alert and has a hard shell, which are good signs. He shed the top layer of two of his scutes? Do any of the others look like they`re going to shed? If the shell underneath looks healthy, he may be shedding, which is a sign of growth.

Turtles can live quite nicely without the use of one limb. He can swim, climb and right himself if he tips over? You have the right idea in making things as easy for him as possible. The basking area should be really easily accessible, with the incline leading to it (if there is one) gradual so he can climb it easily. make sure he has no places he could get trapped behind or under.

What is your set-up like? How big is your tank? Basking area should be 85-90 degrees F, water temp. 78-80 degrees F.

What are you feeding him?
Limpy Owner
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Thanks for the response mariza and sbturtlegrlz6.

The leg is still there, but doesn\'t use it as well as his others. The turtle uses his knee joint to help support himself instead, but it\'s not as effective. The injury has been there for 2 years apparently, so I guess there\'s little hope for re-hab.

As for shedding... in addition to the two scutes, he appears to be \"flaking\". After spending much of the day under the basking lamp, his entire shell was bone-dry with portions flaking. Once back in the water, these dark flakes would fall off. I\'m not sure if that\'s normal. Also I suspect my water may be too cold which may explain why the turtle sat under the lamp for the whole business day. Should I be worried that the turtle spent so much time under the lamp or am I correct in my thinking and should invest in a water heater?

I haven\'t taken a close look at his belly. I\'ll do that tonight when I get home.

This is what I have for his habitat:

- Rubbermaid rough-neck bin (20 gallon?). This is what the owners had him in and I may keep using it as it makes my cleaning a lot easier.

- Fluval 1 pump with a filter though I use it mostly to help circulate the water.

- 65W spotlight for basking.

- Hagen Repti Glo 2.0 UVA/UVB light (http://www.hagen.com/canada/english/rep ... 1500010101_

- Feeding is predominantly Tetra ReptoMin floating sticks, but I am supplementing with some vegetables (carrots).

I\'m not sure what the temperatures are like in the habitat. I will have to measure them when I get home (and get some pictures posted as well).
mariza
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A Rubbermaid is fine, and you can just get a bigger one as he grows. How big is he now?

Since it`s getting colder, he needs that water heater. If the water`s too cool, he will become inactive and won`t eat.

I think the Reptisun 2.0 emits 2% UVB, which is a little low. You might want to get a stronger UVB light, especially since winter is coming and you can`t take him outside for natural sunlight. Make sure the basking area temp. is in the range previously mentioned.

Reptomin is good, you could give other veggies besides carrots (romaine and red-leaf lettuce, dandelion, squash, etc. Stay away from iceberg, spinach and cabbage. Try also anachris, an aquarium plant.

It sounds like he`s shedding--the flakes are translucent and look like a peeled fingernail? (Don`t know how else to describe it.) What`s the shell look like underneath?
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