Turtle Trouble

Red Eared Terrapins (or Red Eared Sliders in the USA) aren’t necessarily the best pets as they need quite a lot of TLC…..although theyare very cute and do have their own subtle personalities – ok, they don’t wag their tails, bring you the paper or go for long walks in the forest. The mean green eating machines do beg pretty good though!

We bought a couple of them back in September 2005, Bob and Homer. A third, Baby, arrived a month later followed by Angus and Mr Patel before Christmas. As a strange Valentine’s Day present, my girlfriend got Angelita, the Turtle of Love in February. This post is getting really sad, isn’t it….

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Anyway, the best turtle was always Bob. Doesn’t run away, comes up to see you, likes being petted, happily eats from your hand and to top it all off, on a sunny day in the outside Turtle Pool he practices ballett…see photo below!

But there have been dramas. Homer is a bit of an escape artist, capable of climbing 90 degree slopes, and he did a 24 hour disappearing act shortly after we first got him. A few weeks ago a much bigger scare…Baby got herself stuck somehow in the outside pool and apparantly drowned. As dead as she looked, we laid her out to try and get the water to drain out and after about 10 minutes she showed signs of life. An hour later she was walking about and next day eating tuna like nothing had happened.

But now the biggest worry of them all. Bob has a respiratory infection, and has become quite ill. This is a common illness in turtles but a serious one. Lethargy, no appetite and painful looking yawning and wheezing are the give away symptoms. We have him isolated so he doesn’t spread it, and lots of nice clean warm water to help his cold blooded immune system fight the infection.

Tomorrow he is off to the vet, and hopefully some anti biotics will bring him back to full health……fingers crossed. The other turtles miss the ‘Daddy of the Tank’.

Want a turtle? Read up first! Readearslider.com is an excellent resource. They are hard work, and any lack of care will end up with a sick turtle very quickly. I clean my turts very regularly and Bob has still managed to get ill.

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