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Diamondback Terrapin Rescue

Discussion in 'Water turtles' started by Lrodmyre, Sep 13, 2019.

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  1. Lrodmyre

    Lrodmyre Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Hi All,

    I have had turtles for many, many years, and have rescued quite a few also over the years. My son brought me a Diamondback Terrapin last Friday from a kid that was just going to through it in the lake because he was tired of it. He has had it for 3-4 years since it was a hatchling. We live in MN so the turtle would not survive. He only fed it Zoo Med pellets. It is a female. Her name is Gumball. When I received her I used Hibiclens and a soft toothbrush to get all of the algae off of her shell, and I'm guessing about 3 layers of scutes came of over the last week. Her bottom was totally black, and now it is yellow at least. Her beak was a MESS! Crooked, couldn't close it, very overgrown. I put oyster shells in the bottom of her tank and started feeding her half shell clams, snails, shrimp and a variety of pellets. Her beak has made an amazing recovery, but still has a ways to go.

    I'm worried about her shell. Wondering if the white stuff in her rings around her scutes is shell rot? I've dealt with shell rot numerous times, but this looks different. It's hard. Not soft anywhere. Could it be calcium deposits from the water? Is that a normal look for a DBT shell? I don't think the edges are supposed to curl up.

    The other problem is I can't get her to bask. I have the basking spot at 90 degrees. She was living in 72 degree water and I've slowly moved it up, right now to 76 degrees with a final of 78 degrees. Am I just being a little to nervous, but I've never had even a rescue not bask by now.

    Thanks for any ideas, or opinions. In all of my rescues, I've never had one of these. She is beautiful, even with her problems. 20190913_190828.jpg 20190913_194122.jpg

    PJay and Moozillion like this.
  2. Moozillion

    Moozillion Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Oh, WOW!!!
    I've never kept a DBT or had a rescue, so I'm not much help, but others here have plenty of DBT experience, and will hopefully be along soon!

    The only thing I know about keeping DBT healthiest is their need to be in brackish water, with access to fresh water. I almost hate to mention that, since you are clearly VERY knowledgeable, and probably know that already.

    I wonder if this should be moved to the "Health" section? I'll tap Yvonne- she knows almost everything...
    @YvonneG
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  3. Lrodmyre

    Lrodmyre Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Thanks @Moozillion for the reply! I do know about the brackish water debate. She has been in fresh water since she was a hatchling so I'm trying to keep her that way for now. With rescues, I generally move them on to a good home when I feel they are recovered fully so for now I would like to keep her in fresh water for ease of care for the potential new owner. My son has taken a liking to her, so that may be where she ends up. If so, I will slowly convert her to brackish water as he can handle that. He's 37, not a kid, so I know he will take care of her, and I'm just a phone call away.
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  4. Moozillion

    Moozillion Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Oops- I'll try Yvonne again, and will use the correct member name this time: @Yvonne G
  5. Moozillion

    Moozillion Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I think DBT are absolutely stunning- one of my dream turtles! :):<3:
    This one is very lucky to finally be in good hands...:)
  6. Turtle girl 98

    Turtle girl 98 Well-Known Member

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    Oh my she or he is gorgeous. Glad you rescued her. I'm in MN as well. What part are you from if you don't mind me asking? I hope all goes great for you and gumball. Good luck and prayers your way just to help [emoji4]
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  7. Lrodmyre

    Lrodmyre Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Thanks @Turtle girl 98! I live in Lindstrom, MN. I am also a Quilter, so I stop in Sandstone at the quilt store you have on my way to Quilt Camp in February every year! Gumball is a she.
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  8. Turtle girl 98

    Turtle girl 98 Well-Known Member

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    Oh wow, what a small world! That is so cool that you are a quilter. I wonder if we have ever crossed paths ? [emoji3] Lol. Oh a girl [emoji3526] how cool she is definitely a beauty. I have always wanted a DBT.
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  9. Lrodmyre

    Lrodmyre Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    It's nice to know there are other females with turtles and tortoises! Most of the time I seem to communicate with guys (absolutely no offense to guys!) It just seems that with reptiles, more guys own them, or at least talk about them. I've mostly learned everything I know from guys, so that's great! I just get funny looks from people when they hear I have turtles and tortoises, and then that I am a quilter, I really get weird looks! It's like they think the 2 things don't go together!
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  10. Turtle girl 98

    Turtle girl 98 Well-Known Member

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    Oh yes I know exactly what you mean! It seems there are more men who have reptiles that women. They all have been a great help that's for sure! I think it is awesome that you are a quilter and have turtles and such [emoji3526] I think it goes together great!
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  11. Moozillion

    Moozillion Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Gosh, lrodmyre- I'm not sure how to get more DBT people participating in this thread...I KNOW we've got plenty of people...I'm going to pm someone to get a few names to tag onto here...
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  12. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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  13. Moozillion

    Moozillion Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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  14. Kapidolo Farms

    Kapidolo Farms Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    It looks to me like there might still be more shedding to happen. I have worked alot with wild DBT, but never had them as pets much. They do need to drink freshwater, but live in slightly brackish/alkali water. They are an odd animal habitat-wise.
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  15. Lrodmyre

    Lrodmyre Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I came down this morning and she was basking!

    I had my son ask the kid who gave up the turtle what kind of basking spot did he have and did she bask for him. He had a mini floating dock. So I redid her basking spot with an extra large floating dock. The suction cups 20190917_111843.jpg don't stick to the black material that the trough is made of so I still had to put it on PVC legs, but she basks now! Whoopee!
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  16. Lrodmyre

    Lrodmyre Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    She's been raised since a hatchling in fresh water so I still have her in fresh water. If I decide to keep her, I will move her slowly over to brackish water. I usually find new homes for my rescues once they are well so I thought for now keeping her in fresh water would be best for ease of care for the new owner. A few more scutes came off this morning after she basked.

    She would get fresh water to drink anyway because I feed all of my turtles in rubbermaid dish pans, not in their tanks.
  17. Turtle girl 98

    Turtle girl 98 Well-Known Member

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    If you ever do decide to re-home her (you're not to terribly far away from me) [emoji3526] lol if it ever comes up as an option I will message you lol. So glad she started basking for you! She looks great!
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  18. Lrodmyre

    Lrodmyre Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Thanks for the offer @Turtle girl 98! I am definitely going to keep her over the winter to make sure she is healthy. One thing I have learned over the years is turtles get sick slow, and they also get well slow. I can contact you more towards spring and see if you are still interested then?

    I've only had her coming up on 2 weeks on Friday. There probably are more health surprises lurking. Hopefully not, but I don't want to give anyone a sick turtle. I'll keep you posted on her progress.
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  19. Turtle girl 98

    Turtle girl 98 Well-Known Member

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    Okay I totally understand, if the opportunity arises I would greatfully take her [emoji3526] I hope she continues to do well for you [emoji3526]
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  20. Pastel Tortie

    Pastel Tortie Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    @HermanniChris Am I right in thinking someone in your household has experience specifically relating to diamondback terrapins? ;)
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