Distilled Water? Year old Eastern Boxie Not very Active

BentoNeko

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I have a year old female Eastern Box turtle!
Here lately she seems to be very lethargic. I went away for about a month and left her in the care of my relatives who started giving her distilled water. I've heard distilled water is very, very bad for them! Could that be why shes been so immobile? She also seems very weak and her eyes also seem slightly swollen! And yes, she receives Zoo med calcium supplements 3 times a week with D3 and she does get fed live worms along with many leafy greens and the occasional fruit. Here enclosure is indoors and yes,she does have a UVB light!

I feed her every single day,should i just switch to every other day?
 

Chubbs the tegu

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Im not a vet or a box turtle expert but possibly vitamin A deficiency. Im sure others will chime in soon. Good luck
 

BentoNeko

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Im not a vet or a box turtle expert but possibly vitamin A deficiency. Im sure others will chime in soon. Good luck
You think so? I'm just not sure how she could get that ! I sprinkle her food with Zoo Meds calcium powder with D3 in it three times a week, if she does have a vitamen A deficiency, what do i do?
 

Chubbs the tegu

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Calcium powder does not prevent vitamin a deficiency. Like i said im not a vet so i cant give you a treatment or diagnosis, im just giving my opinion of what it sounds like to me with the symptoms you've told me. Might wanna see a reputable reptile vet if possible. Wish i could be more help sorry
 

Tom

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Distilled water is a problem because it lacks minerals. Over the long term, it might become a problem, but not in a month. In some cases, I've read that the distillation process can leave behind heavy metals too, but no idea if that is true or not.

Look up foods high in vitamin A and add some to the diet. That will confirm or deny the vitamin A deficiency theory.

I would feed every day.

Your turtle does not need calcium that often. A tiny pinch once or twice a week is plenty. Too much is bad for them as it interferes with the absorption of other important nutrients and trace elements. And as Chubbs said, calcium supplementation has nothing to do with vitamin A deficiency, if that is your issue.

What type of UV bulb are you using? What size and what wattage? How high over the turtle is it mounted? Is there a screen top on the enclosure?
 

BentoNeko

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Oh my gosh, i thought my calcium powder was alsosu
Calcium powder does not prevent vitamin a deficiency. Like i said im not a vet so i cant give you a treatment or diagnosis, im just giving my opinion of what it sounds like to me with the symptoms you've told me. Might wanna see a reputable reptile vet if possible. Wish i could be more help sorry
the description on mine read that it had vitamin to have vitamin supplements, and it does. But it doesn't have vitamin A in it! I'm such an idiot!! Thanks so much for bringing this to light! Do you have any tips on getting a boxie to eat more veggies and such?She absolutely hates them and just wants to munch on her protein :( The only veggies she'll really eat is cucumber and yellow squash. I'm going to try to get her to hand feed some carrot and dandelion greens!
 

BentoNeko

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Distilled water is a problem because it lacks minerals. Over the long term, it might become a problem, but not in a month. In some cases, I've read that the distillation process can leave behind heavy metals too, but no idea if that is true or not.

Look up foods high in vitamin A and add some to the diet. That will confirm or deny the vitamin A deficiency theory.

I would feed every day.

Your turtle does not need calcium that often. A tiny pinch once or twice a week is plenty. Too much is bad for them as it interferes with the absorption of other important nutrients and trace elements. And as Chubbs said, calcium supplementation has nothing to do with vitamin A deficiency, if that is your issue.

What type of UV bulb are you using? What size and what wattage? How high over the turtle is it mounted? Is there a screen top on the enclosure?
I dont believe the UVB itself is the problem, I was using a small but strong UVB and UVAbulb before but it broke in about 2 months so i had to buy a cheap $6 replacement one from walmart that supposedly has UVB but its not very strong as a heat source! I can't remember what the sizing and stuff is on it.. I'm awaiting her 10 watt UVB compact zoo med bulb right now! It's mounted about a good foot above her substrate? Maybe a foot and a half? It's close enough that it still reaches the substrate. And no, there is no screen top over the enclosure, its just an open 2 and a half foot tub thats about 2 feet in width. My box turtle is barely an inch yet so i worry about her so much<3
 

Chubbs the tegu

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Its all good.. at least your looking for advice to make everything better. Do you use the coil bulb for uvb? If so you should change to the tube type. The coil bulbs are thought to cause eye problems in the turtles.
 

Chubbs the tegu

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Im a newbie to tortoises also and im learning everyday from this forum :)
 

Tom

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I dont believe the UVB itself is the problem, I was using a small but strong UVB and UVAbulb before but it broke in about 2 months so i had to buy a cheap $6 replacement one from walmart that supposedly has UVB but its not very strong as a heat source! I can't remember what the sizing and stuff is on it.. I'm awaiting her 10 watt UVB compact zoo med bulb right now! It's mounted about a good foot above her substrate? Maybe a foot and a half? It's close enough that it still reaches the substrate. And no, there is no screen top over the enclosure, its just an open 2 and a half foot tub thats about 2 feet in width. My box turtle is barely an inch yet so i worry about her so much<3
Nothing sold at Walmart will provide your turtle with UVB. Compact UV bulbs are ineffective and sometimes dangerous. They should not be used.

Your turtle needs adequate warmth to digest its food. Be sure the basking temperature directly under the bulb is around 95 degrees. It should be cooler away from the basking area, but warm is good.

Baby box turtles tend to prefer much more protein. They need a variety of different protein sources and different foods. I'm no expert, but I've raised a few of them over the years. If anyone comes along with more box turtle experience than me, listen to their advice too.

What kind of worms are you offering and where from? Earthworms from your yard are good, but also offer crickets and roaches from safe sources. I squash the insects head and drop it in front of the turtle. The wiggling tends to attract their attention. Many people find a candid dog or cat food that the turtle likes and then mix in other good stuff with it. If you mince up some good greens, finely grate some yam, squash or carrot, and then mix it with a little ball of canned dog food, you can make a good mix that they will eat. I will also mix up roaches or crickets into these mixes.

@terryo is a master at this.
@Yvonne G also raises lots of baby box turtles every year, so I'll be she'll have some great tips too. She is the first person I'd ask for box turtle tips.
 

mark1

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if she's eating , she's got a decent chance of getting better , how's the humidity/moisture in her enclosure ? box turtles like water/wet , rain , humidity and soaking in puddles ……. soften a sweet potato in a microwave and offer it to her once in awhile , I doubt she'll eat carrots , maybe Yvonnes carrot soak might help ……. a bit of calves liver once in awhile, i'd think she'll eat that , most everything will…. a softened commercial pellet , fish or turtle , is a good thing to get them eating … canned dog food , I feed frozen bil-jac , thawed , they all eat it ……..too hot isn't good , a hot spot of 90 and a gradient to 70 works pretty well indoors …..

i'd cover one side with the light with foil …….. sphagnum moss soaking wet with an inch of standing water has always worked well for me ………. you can clean the sphagnum moss like a sponge and replace what breaks down ………… lots of warm water is a big deal …...


there are 7 little box turtles in this pic , no water dish , just the red one for food



hikari cichlid gold , might not be the best food , but just about every turtle I have like it best ...

 

BentoNeko

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Nothing sold at Walmart will provide your turtle with UVB. Compact UV bulbs are ineffective and sometimes dangerous. They should not be used.

Your turtle needs adequate warmth to digest its food. Be sure the basking temperature directly under the bulb is around 95 degrees. It should be cooler away from the basking area, but warm is good.

Baby box turtles tend to prefer much more protein. They need a variety of different protein sources and different foods. I'm no expert, but I've raised a few of them over the years. If anyone comes along with more box turtle experience than me, listen to their advice too.

What kind of worms are you offering and where from? Earthworms from your yard are good, but also offer crickets and roaches from safe sources. I squash the insects head and drop it in front of the turtle. The wiggling tends to attract their attention. Many people find a candid dog or cat food that the turtle likes and then mix in other good stuff with it. If you mince up some good greens, finely grate some yam, squash or carrot, and then mix it with a little ball of canned dog food, you can make a good mix that they will eat. I will also mix up roaches or crickets into these mixes.

@terryo is a master at this.
@Yvonne G also raises lots of baby box turtles every year, so I'll be she'll have some great tips too. She is the first person I'd ask for box turtle tips.

What UVB bulb do you recommend? :) Thanks so much for the advice!
 

BentoNeko

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if she's eating , she's got a decent chance of getting better , how's the humidity/moisture in her enclosure ? box turtles like water/wet , rain , humidity and soaking in puddles ……. soften a sweet potato in a microwave and offer it to her once in awhile , I doubt she'll eat carrots , maybe Yvonnes carrot soak might help ……. a bit of calves liver once in awhile, i'd think she'll eat that , most everything will…. a softened commercial pellet , fish or turtle , is a good thing to get them eating … canned dog food , I feed frozen bil-jac , thawed , they all eat it ……..too hot isn't good , a hot spot of 90 and a gradient to 70 works pretty well indoors …..

i'd cover one side with the light with foil …….. sphagnum moss soaking wet with an inch of standing water has always worked well for me ………. you can clean the sphagnum moss like a sponge and replace what breaks down ………… lots of warm water is a big deal …...


there are 7 little box turtles in this pic , no water dish , just the red one for food



hikari cichlid gold , might not be the best food , but just about every turtle I have like it best ...

 

BentoNeko

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Messages
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if she's eating , she's got a decent chance of getting better , how's the humidity/moisture in her enclosure ? box turtles like water/wet , rain , humidity and soaking in puddles ……. soften a sweet potato in a microwave and offer it to her once in awhile , I doubt she'll eat carrots , maybe Yvonnes carrot soak might help ……. a bit of calves liver once in awhile, i'd think she'll eat that , most everything will…. a softened commercial pellet , fish or turtle , is a good thing to get them eating … canned dog food , I feed frozen bil-jac , thawed , they all eat it ……..too hot isn't good , a hot spot of 90 and a gradient to 70 works pretty well indoors …..

i'd cover one side with the light with foil …….. sphagnum moss soaking wet with an inch of standing water has always worked well for me ………. you can clean the sphagnum moss like a sponge and replace what breaks down ………… lots of warm water is a big deal …...


there are 7 little box turtles in this pic , no water dish , just the red one for food




hikari cichlid gold , might not be the best food , but just about every turtle I have like it best ...

So in their enclosure what is the best and cheapest substrate? I have a mix of top soil and play sand for her, since she loves to burrow, but ive noticed nomatter how much i mist it and such it just completely dries out. The humidity probably isnt much either... I feel like a fool now!! There's so much i had no idea of! What thermometer do you recommend? And what UVB light do you recommend? I've mostly been feeding her Boiled egg, tuna, & regular earth worms from Walmart as a protein source. I thought for a substrate, top soil and playsand at the bottom with a layer of sphagnum moss!
 

ColleenT

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For a vitamin A deficiency- go to the pet store and buy BIRD vitamins called Vita-sol. It is a liquid. Prepare a smallish rubbermaid tub with warm water and add 1-2 drops of the Vita-Sol. Soak turtle for 20 minutes and then put turtle back into enclosure. Do this every other day for about a week. should see improvement.

For feeding advice, go to my signature.
 

Deborah S

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I have had my three rescued box turtles for 15 years. They came to me after spending their lives as “school pets.” Each was extremely malnourished and had serious shell malformations, due to the lack of proper diets and light. They love Rep-Cal Tortoise Food. I highly recommend it. 224DF852-F2F4-4634-A119-2BA4B1747D41.jpeg I moisten it with water and offer it to them every day and routinely include earthworms, strawberries, blueberries, cooked sweet potato, minced greens and other foods. Their vet says that they are now healthy and thriving.
 

C. Nelson

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Nothing sold at Walmart will provide your turtle with UVB. Compact UV bulbs are ineffective and sometimes dangerous. They should not be used.

Your turtle needs adequate warmth to digest its food. Be sure the basking temperature directly under the bulb is around 95 degrees. It should be cooler away from the basking area, but warm is good.

Baby box turtles tend to prefer much more protein. They need a variety of different protein sources and different foods. I'm no expert, but I've raised a few of them over the years. If anyone comes along with more box turtle experience than me, listen to their advice too.

What kind of worms are you offering and where from? Earthworms from your yard are good, but also offer crickets and roaches from safe sources. I squash the insects head and drop it in front of the turtle. The wiggling tends to attract their attention. Many people find a candid dog or cat food that the turtle likes and then mix in other good stuff with it. If you mince up some good greens, finely grate some yam, squash or carrot, and then mix it with a little ball of canned dog food, you can make a good mix that they will eat. I will also mix up roaches or crickets into these mixes.

@terryo is a master at this.
@Yvonne G also raises lots of baby box turtles every year, so I'll be she'll have some great tips too. She is the first person I'd ask for box turtle tips.

When I had box turtles, I gut-loaded mealworms with oatmeal. It makes them super nutritious. The box turtles love them. I fed occasional crickets. A side salad of edible greens and flowers goes with each meal.
 

BentoNeko

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I have had my three rescued box turtles for 15 years. They came to me after spending their lives as “school pets.” Each was extremely malnourished and had serious shell malformations, due to the lack of proper diets and light. They love Rep-Cal Tortoise Food. I highly recommend it. View attachment 277128 I moisten it with water and offer it to them every day and routinely include earthworms, strawberries, blueberries, cooked sweet potato, minced greens and other foods. Their vet says that they are now healthy and thriving.
Ill give it a go! :D
 
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