sick baby turtle?

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goldenhorse
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I think my baby red ear turtle is sick. He has been basking a lot and I have noticed him gasping for air and coughing. I haven't seen him eat in a while either. I really can't afford to take him to the vet and I live about 45 min. for a large city. I do have a local vet but she is new to her practice. What should I do?
LuciasAmen-ra
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take it to any kind of pet vet after a week or so... she will seek advice from other vets. My turtles 'sneeze' ocassionally and they do open their mouths in the water quite often. But i havent seen any symptons of a cold... Have you noticed Foggy Eyes? Nasal Dischage? Decreasing Feces deposits? if you have noticed any of these, i would def. call that vet.
Korni
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I know this is old post but I will answer for others to read

Gaping and Yawning

Gaping can be either totally harmless--turtles do yawn, or a sign of a serious respiratory problem, including pneumonia. You have to watch the turtle carefully and put all the different signs together. If the animal gapes and yawns frequently, and if there are any other symptoms, like swollen eyes, a runny nose, rasping while breathing, or loss of appetite, have a veterinarian evaluate the turtle immediately.

Often a veterinarian will do an X-Ray to determine whether a gaping turtle has pneumonia and water in its lungs. If a water turtle swims lop-sided, mention it to your veterinarian. This is a pretty sure sign, that the turtle does have water in its lungs

But, your turtle is caughing so is it is probably Respiratory Disease.

Respiratory Disese

Here are some symptoms I have run into: Clogged and runny nostrils, gasping with the mouth open and wheezing, excessive mucus in the nose and mouth and bubbling at the nose and mouth. These problems indicate serious respiratory issues. Antibiotic treatment is mandatory but may differ on which problem it has. Sick turtles will also show signs of decreased appetite and inactivity. In water turtles, a frequent symptom is the inability to maintain normal equilibrium when swimming. The turtles appear to swim lopsided. Because lungs play a key role in maintaining buoyancy, when one side is congested or infected, the normal balance is lost. When both sides are affected, a turtle will be seen to constantly struggle to remain at the surface of the water or to dive.

Treatment
Go to the vet and get medication. Make sure your water temperature in the tank is between 88 and 94 degrees F. Also check for drafts in the tank. The most effective course of treatment is to administer injectable aminoglycosides such as Gentamicin or Amikacin. Except in the earliest stages when the heat treatment may be effective, a veterinarian should be consulted for safe and effective administering of antibiotics. If caught early, the prognosis is generally good.

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