HELP! Possible RI

Any questions regarding the health of your terrapin.
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InnocentAvenger
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HELP! Possible RI

Post by InnocentAvenger » Sun Apr 10, 2016 11:14 am

Okay so my (around) 2 year old yellow belly hasn't been eating a lot recently. Upon watching him today I've found a lot of things wrong. He repeatedly gasps for air while above water, he has discharg coming out of his mouth and he floats unevenly when I place him in water. I've done some quick research and think he has RI. Please can someone tell me if it is RI and if so, what should I do.

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Neil
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Re: HELP! Possible RI

Post by Neil » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:20 pm

Sounds almost certainly like RI, and potentially quite advanced. There is a technique to help get the fluid off the lungs, but as this involves holding them head down and banging on the back of the shell (lungs are on top) it can not only be quite daunting for novice keepers, it can also be fairly stressful for the terrapin. Before getting too far though you need to figure out what went wrong in the first place as unless the causes are solved it won't get better. Does your house get particularly cold at night? Have you tested water quality lately? Does the tank have adequate ventilation?
0.1.0 - Chelydra serpentina
*.*.* - Graptemys ouachitensis
*.*.* - Pseudemys concinna
*.*.* - Pseudemys nelsoni
*.*.* - Trachemys scripta elegans
*.*.* - Trachemys scripta scripta

InnocentAvenger
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Re: HELP! Possible RI

Post by InnocentAvenger » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:50 pm

Neil wrote:Sounds almost certainly like RI, and potentially quite advanced. There is a technique to help get the fluid off the lungs, but as this involves holding them head down and banging on the back of the shell (lungs are on top) it can not only be quite daunting for novice keepers, it can also be fairly stressful for the terrapin. Before getting too far though you need to figure out what went wrong in the first place as unless the causes are solved it won't get better. Does your house get particularly cold at night? Have you tested water quality lately? Does the tank have adequate ventilation?
It can get quite cold at night yeah, and I keep their tank by a window so it gets ventilation and I regularly change the water.

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Zekee
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Re: HELP! Possible RI

Post by Zekee » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:59 pm

For RI, you will need to visit a vet, one who specialises in exotics. You will be given antibiotics for the infection.

InnocentAvenger
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Re: HELP! Possible RI

Post by InnocentAvenger » Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:06 pm

Zekee wrote:For RI, you will need to visit a vet, one who specialises in exotics. You will be given antibiotics for the infection.
I've looked it up but there aren't any vets who treat Terrapins in my area. I'm starting to look up turtle rescues, I don't want him to die and I know staying with me isn't going to do him any favours.

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Zekee
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Re: HELP! Possible RI

Post by Zekee » Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:30 pm

Where are you located?

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Neil
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Re: HELP! Possible RI

Post by Neil » Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:34 pm

There are, unfortunately, very few reptile vets who know much if anything about terrapins, I have found one or two, but last time I had to visit a vet the specialist was away and another vet had to work off his notes so I went in with the medication I wanted and dosage. If you have weight and size (and a pic would be great) then I can estimate body weight (as opposed to total weight with shell) and advise dosage if you are unable to find a local specialist.

As they breath air, very cold air at night (especially if the tank is warm) is a common cause for RI, especially with a draught. General air temp (as opposed to basking temp) is often overlooked, but should be be around 70F (21C) minimum. For the moment, warm air (75F) and water (80F) temps will help, and may even sure the problem if it's not too serious, keeping the basking temp the same (85-90F) though to avoid overheating when they bask.

Regularly changing the water isn't a substitue for a decent size tank and filter as it will get very dirty (chemically, rather than visibly) very quickly especially as tap water contains chemicals that kill off he bacteria from the filter that break down the waste in the tank.
0.1.0 - Chelydra serpentina
*.*.* - Graptemys ouachitensis
*.*.* - Pseudemys concinna
*.*.* - Pseudemys nelsoni
*.*.* - Trachemys scripta elegans
*.*.* - Trachemys scripta scripta

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