About animals

Diseases of the Red-eared Turtles


With proper care and optimal conditions of detention, turtles can live, without getting sick, for quite some time. Various diseases are most susceptible to recently caught animals, weakened as a result of long moving and climate change. Diseases can be caused by malnutrition, injuries, temperature disorders, contacts with sick animals.

Viral infections

Turtles are often infected with viral diseases. The main signs of viral diseases are lack of appetite, decreased activity, runny nose and conjunctivitis. With severe damage, necrotic changes in the lung tissue and trachea appear.

It is worth noting that all viral diseases are very dangerous and often end up fatal for turtles, therefore, at the first sign of malaise in a pet, it should be shown to a veterinarian who, having made a diagnosis, will prescribe a course of treatment and the necessary feeding regimen for the turtle.

Sores in turtles

Fungi in red-eared, and in other aquatic turtles, is not such a rare occurrence.
Most often, it manifests itself in them in the spring, when the body of turtles is weakened after hibernation, and if the turtle did not hibernate in winter, then immunity in aquatic turtles weakens during the winter period.

Causative agent and cause

In the vast majority of cases, fungal lesions in aquatic turtles appear on the skin - the so-called dermatomycosis, or skin mycosis.
The causative agents of skin mycosis in turtles can be a variety of pathogenic fungi, including those that affect humans. Often the fungus in turtles is caused by fungi of the genus Candida, Aspergillus and a number of other fungi.
The causes of dermatomycosis in turtles can be a variety of factors that reduce immunity: cold water, the inability to go out on land and bask under a lamp, prolonged antibacterial treatment of more serious diseases, such as pneumonia, for example. Also, the absence of a UV lamp can lead to fungus.

Suspecting fungal skin lesions in turtles is quite simple. Whitish deposits appear on the skin and on the shell, which are easily removed with a cotton swab. Often on the scalp, where many aquatic turtles have a fold, this plaque builds up.
If the turtle touches the glass of the aquarium, there are whitish traces on the glass, as if the glass was smeared with white cream.
With the progression of the disease and in the absence of treatment, sores and necrosis appear on the skin, which can bleed.

It is quite simple to cure fungal skin lesions in aquatic, and in particular red-eared, turtles, and at the same time, treatment should not be underestimated.
The main home remedy against fungus is "methylene blue." It is sold in all pet stores and is used to treat and prevent fungal diseases in aquarium fish and turtles.

The scheme is as follows.
Pour warm water into the aquarium with a temperature of about 30 degrees, add methylene blue so that the water is light blue, and run the turtle there all day.

There must be a lamp on top, and there must be a platform so that the turtle can go out and bask in it.

At night, take the turtle out of the water so that it dries. By the way, in nature, water turtles in the case of dermatomycosis go ashore and dry themselves.
If the skin has ulcers and necrosis, lubricate such areas with antifungal ointments Nizoral or Clotrimazole.

The duration of such treatment is about a month.

Disease provocateurs

First you need to find out why the tortoise is sick.

The cause of the disease can be:

  • weakening of immunity, provoked by a change in environmental conditions or a long journey,
  • unbalanced diet
  • non-compliance with the temperature regime,
  • contact with infectious animals.

The following symptoms indicate the development of the disease in the rubella tortoise:

  • the reptile swims for a long time and does not dive,
  • the eyelids are swollen, the eyes are red and discharge is observed,
  • lethargy,
  • traces of blood in the feces,
  • lack of appetite,
  • white spots and ulcers on the shell of a red-eared turtle,
  • softening, peeling and compaction of the shell, changes in its shape,
  • long lies at the bottom and does not pop up.

Often, the same symptoms are observed in various diseases, and only a herpetologist can make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the right treatment.

Skin diseases

Although skin diseases in rubella are infrequent, they are the most dangerous for reptiles.

In case of violation of the integrity of the skin, pathogenic microorganisms may be introduced; as a result, ulcers and pustules may appear on the animal's body. In addition, skin diseases of eared turtles are often accompanied by more dangerous pathologies.

The following skin diseases can occur in reptiles:

  1. Peeling of the skin can be caused by a deficiency or excess of vitamins in the animal's body, injuries and infections. Only the doctor can determine the cause of the pathology after a full examination of the pet.
  2. An abscess that occurs as a result of injuries or vital activity of ectoparasites (for example, ticks), it looks like a swelling. If left untreated, it will provoke tissue necrosis. Remove the abscess surgically.
  3. Dermatomycosis of all skin diseases, it occurs most often. In a sick reptile, you can find a grayish-white coating on the shell and skin, deformation and peeling of the shell. White plaque from the skin can be easily removed with a cotton swab. If the infection is launched, bleeding sores appear on the body of the animal. Very often, dermatomycosis provokes the development of other diseases that will end in the death of the animal. The infection is easy to cure even at home. Therefore, if the owners noticed that the shell is white, you need to take action in time. When the disease is not started, the reptile is bathed in a weak solution of permanganate or malachite greens, after the bath, an antifungal ointment is applied to the foci of infection, for example, based on clotrimazole. If the fungus infects deep tissues, then veterinarians recommend removing them and applying BetaisodonaR to the wounds. When the infection provoked bone destruction, the therapy will be long and most likely it will not give a positive result. Therefore, if the owners noticed that the pet's skin and shell were whitened, then urgent need to take action. Although the carapace may have turned pale, and it is peeling off due to molting, but it only occurs in young individuals.

Shell problems

It happens that shell diseases have similar symptoms with dermatomycosis.

The reptile may have:

  1. Rickets often occurs in young individuals and is associated with a deficiency of vitamin D, a lack of UV rays, impaired calcium and phosphorus metabolism. With this pathology, the carapace becomes soft and deformed, due to the fact that the lower jaw does not develop correctly, the reptile refuses to eat. In this case, it is recommended to give foods and dietary supplements containing calcium, keep the pet under a UV lamp, and take the animal out when it is warm.
  2. Necrosis occurs when microorganisms enter the wounds on the shell. At the same time, shields are separated from the carapace, then the pathological process spreads to the bones, as a result, the tissue dies. This disease is curable only at an early stage. When the clinical picture of the pathology appears, the damaged areas should be removed and applied to BetaisodonaR wounds. Treat the animal with antimycotic and antibacterial agents every day until the disease resolves. Also, the turtle needs to be kept on land for some time.
  3. Osteomyelitis develops as a result of injuries of the carapace and seeding of bones with pathogenic bacteria. With the development of the disease, rough pink spots can be replaced with animal shells. Then the upper layer of the shell dies, and pathological foci of yellow color appear. In advanced cases, the disease affects the internal organs and often ends in death. With the development of infection, antibiotics are prescribed.
  4. Fractures can be not only a shell; when handled carelessly, the jaw and legs of the reptile can break. Depending on their type, therapy can be different: some fractures grow together, others require splinting, prescribing antibacterial drugs. Since the paws of the animal after the operation will be immobilized, the reptile may hibernate, you need to ensure that it does not.

Eye infections

Diseases of the organs of vision in rubella are diagnosed most often:

  1. Conjunctivitis can be caused by dirty water in the aquaterrarium, staphylococci and streptococci. It can also be observed on the background of rickets, pneumonia, vitamin deficiency. The fact that conjunctivitis in reptiles is indicated by a number of symptoms: the eyes are red, pus is secreted from them and the eyelids are swollen. The general well-being of the pet also suffers: it becomes lethargic, eats nothing, is indifferent to what is happening. The reptile constantly rubs the sore eyes with the front paws, in the advanced case, the eyes completely close. In case of illness, antibiotics are indicated.
  2. Panophthalmitis develops when microbes penetrate the cornea of ​​the eye. With this disease, blurred eyes and damage to the lower eyelid are observed. Prescribe antibiotic therapy, sometimes eye removal is required. What to do with the development of this pathology should be decided only by the doctor.

Respiratory system diseases

Trachemies often suffer from pneumonia. Usually, the disease develops due to a sharp change in environmental conditions, hypothermia of the animal.

The reptile appears wheezing, runny nose, white mucus in the mouth, which becomes cloudy and turns yellow over time, the reptile begins to breathe through the mouth. The turtle swims on the surface, falls to the right side. Antibiotics are prescribed for therapy, inhalations and baths with chamomile are also recommended.

You also need to remember that the pet itself is a carrier of infections, and you need to know which ones. Salmonellosis, mycosis and ascariasis can be infected from an animal. Children under 7 years of age are especially infected from turtles. To reduce the risk of infection, you can not kiss the pet and you need to wash your hands thoroughly after contact with it. It is forbidden to wash the reptile, terrarium and other objects associated with the turtle in the sink in the kitchen. She should also limit her access to foods that people will eat.

Are turtles susceptible to fungal diseases?

Despite the fact that red-eared turtles are unpretentious and undemanding in care methods, owners should keep in mind that this species of animals, like all living things, including reptiles, can be susceptible to fungal infection. Fungus in turtles most often manifested during off-season periods, and especially in spring, when protective barriers in animals are weakened after winter.

The fungus can appear in turtles, regardless of whether they hibernated or were awake. Fungal disease can cause great inconvenience to the animal, and in the absence of the required treatment and care can lead to the death of the pet.

Reasons for the appearance of fungus in red-eared turtles

Usually, mycosis in a turtle eared is a secondary disease that occurs against the background of pneumonia, stressful situations and a lack of vitamins in the pet's diet. In addition, mycosis can develop if some rules for the care of the turtle are not observed:

  • Low water temperature
  • insufficient size or complete absence of a land island in the aquarium for relaxation,
  • lack of an ultraviolet lamp for heating the animal,
  • prolonged use of drugs to cure other diseases,
  • wrong diet.

Favorable conditions for the propagation of the fungus is considered a humid environment. During molt periods, turtles are most susceptible to fungal infection. To prevent possible infection, the animal needs to get out to land more often under artificial lighting.

There are two varieties of fungus in the Red-eared Turtle, the main of which is superficial mycosis affecting the shell and skin integument. The second type of fungal infection is deep mycosis affecting the internal organs. This type of disease is much less common and difficult to diagnose due to symptoms similar to similar diseases caused by bacteria.

Symptoms of the disease

If a fungus is suspected of rubella, the owners should initially pay attention to the behavior of the pet. With careful observation, you can notice changes in activity when the turtles for a long time are on the surface or in the bottom of the aquarium in a sedentary state. Lack of body condition and lack of appetite.

You should pay attention to the appearance of the animal. The first signs of mycosis in turtles are: a whitish coating on the surface of the shell and skin folds of a creamy consistency, a change in the pigmentation of the skin, structural changes in the shell expressed in the delamination or softening of the shell tissue, eye discharge in the form of pus, as well as a change in the consistency and smell of feces.

Owner action upon detection of symptoms in the animal

If the first signs of the disease are detected in the red-eared turtles, it is necessary to take the animal to the veterinarian to conduct diagnostics and establish an accurate diagnosis. It is recommended to carry out the following actions to change the conditions of stay for a sick animal:

  • For a sick turtle, raise the temperature in the aquarium to improve the immunity of the animal,
  • maintaining fluid balance, avoid dehydration of the turtle’s body,
  • it is advisable to reduce the amount of water in the aquarium so that the diseased animal cannot drown.

When keeping at home several individuals of red-eared turtles, it is necessary to immediately, when identifying the symptoms of a fungal infection, plant a healthy animal in a separate aquarium to prevent infection.

When a fungal infection appears in the house, it is necessary to carry out a disinfecting treatment of the places where the turtle is kept:

  • Ultraviolet irradiation of the aquarium for 2 hours from a distance of not more than 1 meter,
  • washing the aquarium with soap and water,
  • obligatory treatment of the aquarium with a 1% solution of chloramine with the addition of a 10% solution of bleach, followed by rinsing of the aquarium 2 hours after treatment,
  • replacing aquarium soil with fresh,
  • get rid of animal secretions and food debris by disinfecting it with a solution of bleach and subsequent elimination.

In case of disease of the animal, disinfection of the place of its stay must be carried out regularly at least 1 time per week.


The owners themselves can determine the occurrence of the fungus in the red-eared turtles by the symptoms that have appeared, but in order to make an accurate diagnosis, the animal needs to conduct a number of studies with a specialist:

  • Taking a blood test for infection in the animal’s body,
  • Sowing, followed by microscopy of the biomaterial obtained from the shell and skin, allows you to determine the type of fungus and understand its resistance to various types of drugs.

Only upon receipt of reliable research data can the correct treatment of the pet be prescribed.

Treatment of fungus in a turtle at home

The treatment of fungus in the Red-eared Turtle takes about a month.An integrated approach using various drugs is used for treatment. In addition, it is necessary to keep the UV lamp turned on around the clock, the rays of which adversely affect pathogenic microorganisms, including yeast.

Aquarium water

During the treatment of fungal infection, aquarium water should be heated to a temperature of 22 to 26 degrees, due to the fact that warmer water contributes to the accelerated reproduction of the fungus. It is necessary to add methylene blue crystals to the water for a month to disinfect. Change the water in the aquarium weekly, followed by disinfection of the aquarium itself.

Pharmacy preparations

Type of drugNameApplication
InjectionsBaytril, Marfloxina course of injections daily for 10 days
OintmentsTriderm, Terbinofin, Acriderm, Nizorala course of treatment of 14 days with the use of at night. The animal must be kept in a dry place.
BathtubsBetadinedaily 30 minute baths for 14 days

Alternative methods of treatment

In addition to the main complex of medical procedures, traditional medicine methods can be used to treat fungus in turtles to speed up the healing process.

For treatment, an infusion of oak bark similar in color to brewed tea can be used. With this infusion, daily baths are made lasting about an hour. Such baths have an antiseptic and healing effect.

The whitish coating on the shell in the initial stage of the disease can be eliminated by a 30-minute bathing of the turtle in a solution of 2 teaspoons of salt in a liter of warm water for 15 days. During the procedure, you need to monitor the behavior of the pet.

Treat affected areas with 1% potassium permanganate solution for 3 days.


A sick pet needs to be strengthened by adding a large amount of vitamins and mineral supplements, as well as protein foods.

The following foods should be included in the diet of the turtle:

  • raw low-fat fish and unpeeled seafood,
  • dandelion leaves, various algae and vegetables,
  • live food from earthworms, small fish and insects,
  • you can use a gelatin-based feed mixture with vegetables, milk and raw eggs.

It is not recommended to use for food:

  • fatty types of meat and fish,
  • cereals, cheese, bread, cottage cheese, boiled or fried foods,
  • parts of poisonous and alkaloid-containing plants.

The consequences of untreated fungus

In the absence of treatment of a fungal infection in a turtle, disease progression is possible with penetration into the skin with the formation of ulcerations, and into the internal organs of the animal, which may result in death of the pet. In addition, there is a chance of infection with the fungus to the owners of the animal.


In order to prevent the development of fungal diseases in eared turtles, the following measures must be observed:

  • keep turtles clean and regularly change the water in the aquarium,
  • maintain a proper and balanced diet,
  • give the turtles enough heat and light
  • observe the favorable temperature of the water in the aquarium,
  • carry out regular cleaning and disinfection of the habitat of turtles.

Providing satisfactory living conditions for your pet, including the appropriate diet, temperature and cleanliness, you can easily grow a completely healthy animal. In addition to fungal diseases, turtles can be susceptible to other serious diseases related to conditions of detention.

External parasites

On the body of freshwater turtles, leeches are quite often parasitic, which can be removed by cauterization. After this procedure, the place where the leech was attached must be treated with an antiseptic.

If after some time foci of inflammation appear on those parts of the body of the turtle where leeches parasitized, the pet should be shown to the veterinarian. In the folds of the skin of land turtles, various parasites often settle. To check if there are any parasitic insects on the animal’s body, you need to turn it upside down and shake it lightly over a piece of white paper or oilcloth. If parasites are found, it is urgent to show the pet to the veterinarian.

Rectal prolapse

The cause of rectal prolapse may be sand swallowed by the turtle, which damages the intestinal mucosa. The males can also have a penis: it can be easily corrected if the turtle did not have serious injuries that led to it. Causes of rectal prolapse can be constipation or enteritis.

To set in the cesspool, you first need to use a pipette to inject a little SupronalR, then with a finger or some kind of blunt object, return the organ to its place, put a cotton swab and cover the top with the tail of a turtle. After that, the tail is fixed by sticking tape to the shell, and a little petroleum jelly is orally administered to the turtle. After a few days, the adhesive tape is removed. For some time, you need to monitor whether the turtle has problems with bowel movements.

Prolapse of the rectum occurs in turtles that have long lived in domestic conditions, the diet of which consists of a vitamin-poor feed.


Most wild-caught turtles are infected with worms. For humans, they are not very dangerous, and the animal can cause various diseases, including constipation.

In order to determine whether the turtle has worms, you need to put it in a warm bath, which stimulates the intestines, and check the animal's excrement for the presence of worms and their eggs.

If worms are found during the check, you need to carry out the treatment prescribed by your doctor.

You can independently rid your pet of certain types of worms using chopped raw carrots, which should be fed to the turtle for several days. Other food should not be given during this period. If carrot treatment does not help, you need to use special medicines.


This is one of the most common diseases in turtles. With conjunctivitis, the eyelids and conjunctival sacs become inflamed. The cause of the disease are streptococci and staphylococci.

Conjunctivitis is treated with ointments containing tetracycline and chloramphenicol. If the disease is started, it is treated with antibiotic ointments and oral antibiotics.

Shell Necrosis

With mechanical damage to the carapace, pathogens of various infectious diseases can penetrate into the resulting cracks and wounds, which cause the carapace of the carapace to separate, and then spread to the bones under the carapace. You can save the turtle only by removing damaged shields. Wounds should be treated with BetaisodonaR solution, and then applied antibacterial and antifungal ointments on them daily.

Water turtles during treatment should be kept on land. Only necrosis in the initial stage can be treated.


Occasionally, turtles experience fractures during the period of greatest activity. For open fractures, treatment is carried out as follows: apply tires and screw clamps. When closed, they rely on the internal resources of the body.

It should be remembered that the healing process of a reptile will take much longer than, say, a person. Antibiotics are administered subcutaneously to the turtles within 10 days after osteosurgical measures.

Shell fractures are associated with the formation of cracks in the stratum corneum. Treatment begins with cleansing the gap, after which the stratum corneum and bone layers are drilled on both sides of it and pulled together with wire. Remove the wire after 3-4 months.

A tire is placed on the injured limb and left for 2-3 months.

In the treatment of a bilateral mandibular fracture, plates are used in each branch of the jaw, since fixation with pins is insufficient.


Turtles, like any other reptile, are prone to various injuries.

Very serious injuries of the turtle are received during mating, when the male bites the female, forcing her to stop.

The treatment of injuries in turtles depends on their size, nature and possibilities of using certain means. For example, in the recent past, turtles that received massive shell injuries had to be euthanized. Recently, a lot of materials based on polymers with a quick effect have appeared, allowing not only to conduct successful treatment, but also to receive later offspring from injured turtles.

Some simple injuries in reptiles can be treated independently; more serious injuries require the intervention of a veterinarian. At home, treatment of injuries begins with surgical treatment with any antiseptic, such as Septonone aerosol. After that, the wound surface is covered with surgical glue BF-6.


With poor insulation of heating devices, electrical wiring malfunctions in the home terrarium of turtles, burns are possible. In terms of severity, burns are divided into four groups.

I degree. There is redness and peeling of the epithelium.

II degree. Bubbles appear and fluid accumulates under the stratum corneum.

III degree. In turn, it is divided into:

1) IIIa - necrosis of the skin without damage to the basal layer,

2) IIIb - necrosis of the skin with damage to the basal layer.

IV degree. There is a necrosis of all layers of the skin and underlying tissues. After healing, scars remain on the skin surface, some parts of the body are deformed.

Burns of I degree practically do not require treatment. In case of second-degree burns and more, the burned surface is treated with a napkin dipped in a 70% solution of ethyl alcohol, removing dead tissue.

Bubbles are opened, their upper part is carefully cut. Then, the wounds are sequentially covered with a 5% aqueous solution of tannin and a 10% solution of silver nitrate. As a result of these manipulations, a crust forms on the surface of the wound, which with time departs independently.

Suppuration of the burn surface is treated in the same way as an ordinary abscess.

Nonspecific bacterial pneumonia

Symptoms of bacterial pneumonia in turtles are breathing noises. Animals infected with pneumonia behave unusually, take an unnatural position. If nonspecific bacterial pneumonia is detected in the animal, the temperature in the terrarium should be increased to 30–35 ° C, to protect the sick animal from drafts.

Treatment is with broad-spectrum antibiotics. If an animal refuses food for a long time during treatment, it must be artificially fed.

Swollen eyes

The eyes of the turtles swell most often due to a lack of vitamin A in food, in addition, in water turtles, the swelling may be dirty water in a terrarium or aquarium.

If a disease is detected, the tortoise should be washed 2 times a day with 3% boric acid in distilled water. To prevent this disease, the water in the aquarium should be changed regularly, and foods containing vitamin A should be added to the turtle’s feed.

Shell osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is most often found in aquatic turtles and occurs due to bacterial damage to the bony areas of the carapace. The disease often manifests itself as a result of shell injuries.

The first symptoms of osteomyelitis are pinkish spots with a rough surface that appear on the shell. Then, if the disease is not treated, the surface layer of the carapace dies away, while areas of yellowish color appear on it.

With the further development of osteomyelitis, bone necrosis can spread throughout the shell and even affect the internal organs.

This disease is treated with chloramphenicol or aminoglycoside. Dosage must be calculated depending on the weight of the animal. The medicine should be administered subcutaneously.

To protect the turtle from osteomyelitis, it is necessary to remove from the terrarium all solid or sharp objects that could injure the shell, and isolate the pet from crustaceans susceptible to this disease.


Panophthalmitis, a bacterial inflammation of the membranes of the eye, is primarily affected by aquatic turtles, most often red-ears. The disease appears due to the penetration of pathogenic bacteria from the oral cavity under the cornea of ​​the eye through the lacrimal canal. At the initial stage, only the lower eyelid is affected, a slight opacification of the pupil appears.

If left untreated, the turtle may become blind. For the treatment of panophthalmitis, ointments containing antibiotics are widely used.


Salmonellosis is caused by salmonella, an intestinal rod-shaped bacteria that is dangerous not only for animals, but also for people, especially for children, because they release toxins that can cause typhoid fever or paratyphoid.

Turtles can not only suffer salmonellosis, but also be carriers of salmonella, which usually does not manifest itself. Therefore, it is necessary to observe the rules of hygiene in contact with turtles and in no case do not allow children to press turtles to their faces or kiss them. Symptoms of salmonellosis in turtles are manifested as follows: first there is liquid foamy diarrhea of ​​a greenish color, characterized by an extremely unpleasant odor, then the animal refuses food, becomes apathetic.

Salmonellosis in freshwater turtles can be transmitted through eggs: calves hatched from eggs laid by a sick female are carriers of salmonella immediately after birth.

In the early stages of the disease, treatment with chloramphenicol in the form of a suspension (50–75 mg per 1 kg) is possible, which is administered through a probe 2-3 times a day with an interval of two days. If no improvement is observed, the animal is best euthanized.

Rhinitis and rhinopathy

A disease of the mucous membrane without inflammation is called rhinopathy, with inflammation - rhinitis. The causes of rhinopathy are:

- mechanical injuries of the mucous membrane of the nasal passages if expanded clay or other materials were used as soil,

- lack of vitamin A in the diet of the animal,

- subcooling. Signs of the disease are similar to signs of pneumonia.

If it is not possible to accurately diagnose, treatment is carried out as follows: a single injection of vitamin A is not more than 100 thousand IU, washing the nasal passages with a catheter or syringe with a diameter less than the diameter of the animal’s nostrils. A syringe or catheter is inserted into the nostril shallowly, then it is tightly closed with a finger to prevent leakage of fluid. After that, by sharp pressing on the piston of the syringe, the nasal passage is washed with any antiseptic solution, which should then pour out of the animal’s mouth. The second nasal passage is washed in exactly the same way. These measures that help get rid of the signs of rhinopathy with bacterial rhinitis can only give a short-term improvement, and with bacterial pneumonia they will not help at all.

Bacterial rhinitis also treats bacterial pneumonia in the same way.


Abscesses - limited foci of purulent inflammation - occur as a result of injuries of the skin on soil particles with sharp edges, cracks in the glass, etc. Most often, abscesses are located subcutaneously, sometimes in the internal organs. In this case, it is impossible to independently detect them.

The main symptom of subcutaneous abscesses is a swelling, first dense, then softened.

Surgical treatment: at the location of the abscess, an incision is made to drain the pus, then the area of ​​the abscess is washed with an antiseptic solution, for example, hydrogen peroxide. At first, the wound is treated daily, introducing narrow loose strips of bandage into it, moistened with an antiseptic.

After the cessation of pus from the wound, chymopsin or trypsin is poured into it, which contributes to the resorption of dead tissue.In severe cases, treatment is accompanied by antibiotics in the same doses as with pneumonia.

Abscess in turtles


A fairly common disease in turtles is prolapse of cloaca, or cloacite. It can manifest itself as an independent disease or be part of any other infectious disease, for example, salmonellosis. The clinical picture of the banal cloacite is divided into two stages.

At the first stage, dried feces adhering to the near-canal scutes are noted, in the feces a small amount of pus or blood. At this stage of the disease, the animal continues to eat well.

The second stage is accompanied by a delay in feces. The animal stops eating, but still looks healthy.

The treatment is carried out in the same way as with stomatitis, but periodically the tortoise is given an enema until the restoration of normal bowel movements.

Septic ulcer disease

Septic-ulcer disease is caused by bacteria of the genus Venckea chitinovora, penetrating the body of a turtle through the smallest damage to the skin. Bacteria invade red blood cells, penetrate all organs and form ulcers on the surface of the skin. Clinical signs of the disease:

- decreased activity and muscle tone,

- erasing the gingival margin and claws,

- ulceration of the skin against the background of hemorrhages and dilated blood vessels.

If no action is taken, the animal will inevitably die. The treatment is carried out using chloramphenicol succinate or chloramphenicol administered intramuscularly to the turtle.

Ulcers are treated with the aerosol preparation levovinisole, which includes chloramphenicol and vinylinum.

Algae diseases caused by turtles

The shell of many turtles is covered with algae from above, which in natural conditions is an excellent camouflage, but when kept in captivity, this symbiosis sometimes leads to the development of the disease.

It is assumed that the main cause of the disease is water heavily contaminated with food debris, which promotes the growth of algae.

This, in turn, leads to delamination of the carapace shells in turtles, and sometimes to the complete disappearance of the surface layer.

Treatment of the disease: treatment of the affected shell with a solution of Lugol or 1% copper sulfate. As a means of prevention, it is recommended to observe the sanitary and hygienic rules for keeping turtles.

Metabolism Disorders Due to Unhealthy Nutrition

Inexperienced owners of turtles often make mistakes when caring for pets. Ignorance of the rules for keeping turtles at home and non-compliance with nutritional standards lead to the development of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and metabolic disorders.

Usually it is hypovitaminosis - a deficiency in the body of one or another vitamin, vitamin deficiency is less common - the complete absence of any vitamin in the body. In this case, the animal may die as a result of a complication of a disease against the background of hypovitaminosis.

Hypervitaminosis, which develops due to excess dosages of vitamin preparations, is quite rare.

Of hypovitaminosis, hypovitaminosis of vitamins A, C, D and group B are usually found.

In addition, non-compliance with the norms and rules of nutrition leads to the emergence of diseases against the background of an imbalance or lack of certain minerals, most often calcium, iodine and phosphorus.

A lack of vitamin A in the animal’s body occurs when there is a shortage of carotene in the diet, the main source of which is eggs, carrots, liver and milk.

Upper jaw deformation with hypovitaminosis D

Lack of vitamin A in the body leads to dryness, clouding and softening of the cornea, sharp eye swelling, and dysfunction of the retina.

Treatment of the disease involves the introduction into the diet of turtles rich in vitamin A and carotene feed, as well as retinol acetate (60-100 thousand IU, depending on the weight of the animal).

Hypovitaminosis D occurs with a lack of vitamin D in nutrition and a violation of its natural synthesis in the body under the influence of ultraviolet rays, which leads to rickets. With rickets, disorders of phosphorus-calcium metabolism, disturbances in protein and carbohydrate metabolism develop.

A clinical sign of the disease with rickets is a change in the shape of the carapace and jaws. In the early stage, the carapace is soft, easy to pressure with fingers, and over time acquires an irregular, so-called tower shape. The lower jaw softens, the jaw edges are erased, the nails are bent. The upper jaw takes the form of a beak.

Shell deformity in hypovitaminosis D

Claw deformity in hypovitaminosis D

Treatment of the disease consists of the following measures:

- irradiation with ultraviolet rays.

To irradiate animals, quartz lamps of the OKN-11 or Medicor type are used. Irradiation is carried out year-round with a frequency of 1 time per week, at a distance of 1 m, or daily in courses of 5-10 sessions, at the same distance, with intervals between courses of 20 days.

As dietary measures, products containing vitamin D and minerals are introduced into the diet of turtles: fish oil, yeast, eggshell, bone meal, etc.

If vitamin D in the form of “Urzovit” is added to water, it must be changed every 3-4 days. For injections, use "Tetravit" or "Laptovet" in normal doses. These drugs are administered weekly until the symptoms of progression of the disease completely disappear, after which they go on to maintenance doses. To reduce the risk of developing hypervitaminosis D, vitamin A is administered together with vitamin D3 preparations in a ratio of 1: 5.

With hypovitaminosis B, several vitamins of this group are usually not enough at once in the body of turtles. The most common causes of vitamin B deficiency include:

- lack of green and live food,

- the use of fresh fish without preliminary heat treatment as the main feed,

- dysbiosis against the background of taking antibiotics.

Signs of vitamin B deficiency in the animal:

- spasm of chewing muscles,

- cramps and increased tone of the extensor muscles of the hind limbs.

When treating hypovitaminosis B, live and green foods, cottage cheese, liver, etc., as well as vitamins themselves are introduced into the diet of turtles: B1 in the form of a solution in a dose of 2 to 10 mg per kilogram of the animal’s weight (every other day), B12 in microdoses through day for two weeks.

During a spasm of chewing muscle, the turtles are artificially fed.

This disease, caused by a lack of vitamin E in the body of turtles, is considered one of the most common forms of hypovitaminosis among other forms.

Clinical signs of hypovitaminosis E:

1. Focal change in subcutaneous tissue and muscles.

2. Lack of coordination of movements.

3. Paralysis of the limbs.

4. Refusal of feed. Treatment consists of administering vitamin E in any acceptable form to the animal 3 times in 1 week in the amount of 50-800 IU, depending on the weight of the turtle. At the same time, tocopherol acetate is considered toxic to all reptiles in general, and an overdose can lead to severe liver damage.


Osteoporosis is a protein deficiency syndrome that develops due to many causes, for example, a beak that is too long. With this disease, deformation of the vertebral body quite often occurs. As a treatment for osteoporosis, it is recommended to introduce a sufficient amount of proteins into the diet, as well as give vitamins and calcium orally.

Maladaptive syndrome

In most turtles, due to lack of adaptability to new living conditions, dysfunctions of the gastrointestinal tract are noted. Some reasons for this are known, others remain unclear to this day. It is noticed that such violations appear:

- after hibernation,

- after a long transportation,

- in case of non-compliance with the necessary conditions of detention in captivity.

When the body is dehydrated and refuses to feed for a long time, glucose and electrolyte solutions are given orally or subcutaneously.

If all of the above factors are present, it is recommended to carry out basic therapy: the introduction of an oral anthelmintic with simultaneous infusion using a blood serum probe of cattle (2 ml per 100 g of animal weight).

Pay special attention to the content of the pet: in the room they raise the temperature to 29 ° C, regulate the humidity depending on the type of turtle. They carry out daily warm rinses of cesspools, which helps to stabilize the digestive tract.

Those animals who, despite the measures taken, continue to refuse food, are prescribed furosemide (10 mg per kilogram of the animal’s weight), allopurinol (25 mg per kilogram of the animal’s weight) is orally given to break down uric acid in the body until complete recovery.

Egg-laying delay

This disease is often fatal. It is interesting that even old females, kept alone for several years, are exposed to him. Causes of the disease: - the need for calcium, necessary for the formation of an egg shell, not replenished by the food received,

- the development of vitamin D3 deficiency,

- poor gliding of eggs in the oviduct,

- too low air temperature,

- unsuitable soil. Signs of the disease:

anxiety, refusal to feed, lethargy, swelling in the neck of the limbs, impaired respiratory function (12 breaths per minute at a rate of 4 breaths, mouth wide open). The eggs in the oviduct remain viable for four weeks.

To confirm the diagnosis, the turtle should be held upright with its head up to displace the internal organs: it is often possible to finger-test the eggs in the cutouts of the carapace in front of the hind limbs.

If egg laying is delayed, oxytocin is administered once at the same time as calcium at a dose of 50 mg / kg. The female is placed in the habitual terrarium for her, turning off the light and heating the pool water to 30 ° C. A large egg, located in front of the entrance to the small pelvis, is pierced with a long needle, the contents of the egg are aspirated.

Shell-ulcer disease

An exfoliating peptic ulcer disease is a contagious disease that can take a chronic course. The disease begins with the primary lesion of the plastron by a fungus of the genus Sandida albicans, after which the bacteria Aeromonas hydropholya invade the body of the animal. An important role is played by all kinds of small wounds or cracks in the shell. As a result, ulcers covered with whitish films appear on plastron and carapace.

With the progression of the disease, the number of ulcers and their size increase.

Treatment is carried out using chloramphenical or chloramphenicol succinate administered intramuscularly.

To prevent disease, all newly acquired turtles are quarantined for at least 2 weeks. You can not keep in the same aquarium with turtles freshwater crustaceans, also susceptible to this disease.

Mycobacterial infection

In this disease, the turtles most often affect the lungs, while the defeat of the internal organs does not have characteristic clinical manifestations. Treatment of reptiles in this case is not possible, therefore it is more advisable to pay attention to prevention, that is, the creation of optimal conditions of detention. Experience is known when cubs from one masonry were divided into two groups, the first of which was kept in good conditions. The young of both groups were fed with the breakdown products of animals suffering from tuberculosis. Under normal conditions, reptiles remained healthy.

Non-Infectious Gastroenteritis

Among all other diseases, non-infectious gastroenteritis occupy one of the leading places, second only to hypovitaminosis.

Gastroenteritis - inflammatory diseases of the stomach and small intestine - are divided into acute and chronic. Acute gastroenteritis occurs in stressful situations, with poisoning and a temperature below the level necessary for the digestion of food. Causes of chronic gastroenteritis:

If the turtle became lethargic and does not have a reaction to external stimuli, the animal must be shown to a veterinarian.

But any other long-lasting diseases can provoke gastroenteritis. The side effect of some drugs leads to the same result: for example, after one course of antibiotics, during the first feeding, belching can occur as one of the manifestations of the disease. This symptom is considered characteristic of gastroenteritis.

Chronic gastroenteritis is divided into two forms - with increased and decreased secretory activity. With gastroenteritis with increased secretory activity, belching appears 1-3 days after a meal, with a lower - in a later date.

Treatment of gastroenteritis begins with the normalization of the conditions of detention, the introduction of drugs and diet. During treatment, turtles are transferred to plant foods as the most digestible and rich in vitamins.

In chronic gastroenteritis with increased secretory function of drugs, Vicair, Vicalin, Almagel are used, with reduced secretory activity - Abomin, Pancreatinum, Festal.

A B-complex is also used with a dosage of 0.8 ml / kg 1-2 times a week. To improve the regeneration of the gastric epithelium, animals are given rosehip or sea buckthorn oil.

Before giving the sick tortoise any medications, it is necessary to consult a veterinarian, since only he can make the correct diagnosis and prescribe the necessary course of medical treatment for your pet.


Sepsis is one of the most serious reptile diseases that occurs due to the spread of infection with blood flow throughout the body. Sepsis appears as a result of another disease - stomatitis, pneumonia, infected wounds. A characteristic sign of sepsis in reptiles is spot hemorrhage on the skin and mucous membranes.

If, in addition to turtles, the terrarium contains other reptiles, there is a likelihood of turtles becoming infected with viral infections.

There are three forms of sepsis:

1. The acute form is most common in young animals. It manifests itself in a decrease in activity, convulsions due to damage to the central nervous system, leading to death 24 hours after the onset of the disease.

2. Septic pneumonia has all the symptoms of common pneumonia. Without treatment, turtles die already on the 5-6th day after the onset of the disease.

3. Chroniosepsis is most often found in adult reptiles and manifests itself in the form of sluggish stomatitis in combination with respiratory disorders. The absence of treatment leads to the death of the animal at the 5-6th week of the disease. Treatment is carried out with the use of antibiotics, and a repeated change of drugs is required.

The main methods of sepsis prevention:

- optimal conditions of detention,

- timely treatment of other diseases.

Invasive diseases of turtles

In the blood of freshwater turtles, the protozoa of the genera Schellackia, Lankesterella, Haemogregarina, Hepatozoon, Karyolysus, Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, Babesiosoma and Dactylosoma parasitize. As intermediate hosts, they require ticks and leeches. Most species also have amoebiasis caused by parasites of the genus Entamoeba invadens.

To prevent diseases in turtles in the terrarium, it is necessary to periodically disinfect. In addition, pet food can only be bought in specialized stores.

They differ in a direct cycle of development and parasitize in the intestines and liver.

As a result of laboratory studies, other protozoa were identified:

- larvae of Dioctophyma renale,

- fuscovenosa and Rhabdias spp,

- trematodes parasitizing in the oral cavity, esophagus, lungs, intestines and kidneys.

On the skin of some land tortoises, ticks of the species Ophionyssus natricis parasitize, which are also intermediate hosts of other protozoa.

Skin peeling

Peeling of the skin in turtles can be a clinical sign of various diseases, for example, due to mechanical damage or one of the signs of an infectious skin lesion. Most often, peeling of the skin provokes a deficiency of vitamin A and B vitamins (B2, B6, B12).

Sometimes peeling is observed with hypervitaminosis resulting from an overdose of vitamin preparations. A specialist consultation is required to determine the exact diagnosis and treatment.


The reason for the majority of diseases of water turtles is non-compliance with the conditions of detention: untreated water, lack of heat and light, poor diet.

Ticks can be found in the folds of the skin at the base of the tail, around the neck, at the eyes and mouth.

- Lubricate the affected area of ​​the reptile body with olive oil. A layer of oil will block the access of air to the tick, and it will disappear on its own,

- To remove invisible mites, use a solution of stomazan or neostomazan. Before use, the drug is diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 200, then the soft parts of the body of the turtle are lubricated with it. After a few hours, the reptile must be gently wiped with a soft cloth,

- it is recommended to place the pet for 10-12 hours in warm water (30 ° C), the water level in the aquarium should be such that the animal can breathe by sticking its head out of the water. The edges of the aquarium should be greased with a layer of oil or petroleum jelly to prevent the spread of parasites.

After treatment, the turtle must be washed with warm water.


With this disease, a severe runny nose is observed in animals. Due to impaired lung function, air accumulates in them, and the turtle cannot dive. Without timely treatment, reptiles die in about two weeks. Treatment: intramuscular injection of ampicillin for 7-10 days (50 mg of the drug per kilogram of animal weight) or chloramphenicol in the same dose.

In case of worsening, injections of gentamicin sulfate (10 mg / kg) are usually recommended for 10 days.

Softening the shell of water turtles

In most water turtles, if the conditions of detention are not observed, the carapace becomes soft. The cause of this disease is often a lack of vitamin D. Treatment: the introduction into the diet of turtles foods with a high content of vitamin D and calcium (chalk, eggshell, bone meal, etc.). Also, to restore the calcium-phosphorus balance, kalphos is recommended.

Lack of coordination of movement

The cause of this disease is vitamin deficiency E, which is often found when feeding turtles with oily sea fish. In animals, there is a violation of coordination of movements, refusal of food, paralysis of the limbs.

Treatment: introduction of vitamin E into the diet of a turtle 1-3 times in 7-9 days at a dose of 80-100 IU, depending on the size of the animal.