First Time Owner (a few quick questions)

Vynindis

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Alright, first off, glad to have finally registered. Awesome information on here, great community. Me and my wife have enjoyed reading and learning ever since our EBT was brought in by our daughter.

Ok, so here it goes. A couple things that concern me.

Her eyes seems very slightly puffy, and her eyelids are like gray. I think that was a humidity problem. I've since found ways to up the humidity and they've improved. Still a concern for me though.

Also, she sleeps REALLY weird from how she did when we got her. She just kind of flops her head on the ground and passes out. She used to go in a bit, and be in her hide box. Now it's 50/50 on the hide box but she's always just laying there.

Do turtles play? I swear when she sees me she has this peekaboo game she does. If I give her my hand, she nibbles (will NOT bite me, ever ever ever and I never put my hand near her til she didn't retract her head) and will use her little hands to grab me. She seems to really enjoy that but I could be projecting my human love on this little reptile I'm madly in love with now.

One last thing, her sleeping schedule over the past week has been weird. I'll go by her at like 2AM and she'll be in her "power stance" (head up, feet spread wide, looking all confident) just chilling there. She'll get up like that at night and sometimes sleep in the day.

I'm just hoping she's healthy and happy. I've followed the care sheets here like crazy and her habitat gets nicer and nicer by the day.

PS: Any substrate I can get outside? I just wanted to use something natural. I live in West Virginia and in a place where they would be NOTHING sprayed on the ground (fertilizer, pesticides, etc...) and I was curious what some good things I can give her from "her world" to make her more comfortable.

Thanks in advance guys. I had no idea that turtles are the single greatest little critters on this Earth.

Thanks again,
Scotty
 

Vynindis

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West Virginia
Oh and since it seems to be the single most important indicator, she's always eaten really well. Had her about a month and she never turns down food. Unless it's KALE! EVIL KALE! :)

Another quick thought I had, her shell (unless I've misted her recently) is sort of dim compared to what I see in the pictures I look at here. Maybe just a little dirty? It seems like it's maybe a bit of dirt but I've cleaned it. Maybe she just messes it up immediately or maybe you guys mist your turtles so they look all awesome and shiny before you take a pic? I don't know. That concerns me. Everything with her concerns me. I obsess over potential problems and do EVERYTHING I can to care for her.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Scotty. welcome.

Can you post a photo of your lighting and maybe turn them off until someone here can determine that you do not have the type that can cause stress and blindness.
Also what are your temps and are you raising your humidity?
 

Vynindis

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Scotty. welcome.

Can you post a photo of your lighting and maybe turn them off until someone here can determine that you do not have the type that can cause stress and blindness.
Also what are your temps and are you raising your humidity?

Absolutely, I'll get a pic here in a bit. I'll shut the lights and give her some sun for the time being.

I'm using a basic overhead lamp with (here comes what is probably the problem but I have read it's ok... not here though and I trust this forum more than all the contradictory info out there) a 60w incandescent bulb. I have it about 2ft above the floor of the enclosure. I couldn't find a definitive answer on that and went with what I perceived as the average distance. That was how I increased humidity as prior to that I used no additional light or heat. She has access to sunlight (with a dark side and hide spots, of course) and the room fluctuates between about the mid-70s to the low 80s. That's room temperature for us. With that, I'm not even sure I need it...
 

ZEROPILOT

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An incandescent wouldn't be harmful. Also maybe not too helpful?
The damaging type are the Compact florescent bulbs.
Two feet is such a distance that I doubt that there is an issue of any type that is bulb related.
 

Vynindis

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Good to know! I am probably going to get a reptibulb but I know there are species of reptiles those aren't good for.

Like I said, I worry about her maybe too much and you just scared the crap outta me. I was like, "OH NO! Are you blind Petra?" haha

My wife has the camera (isn't home) right now. I NEVER use the camera and what do you know? The one time I go for it, the wife has sabotaged me. That's what they're for, right? ;)
 

Vynindis

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Thank you for the welcome Carol. :)

Also to John, yes, this is a wild caught turtle, unfortunately. Our kid draws turtles on everything and just loves them. She saw some friends playing with one (They may have even gotten it for her, just not knowing) and attempted to figure out where they got her. She knew a bit about them at the time, I didn't know anything. She informed me (which I, of course, double checked) that they never venture far from their birthplace and if you don't put them right there (or close) they'll just wander around looking for it until they die. They weren't able to tell her exactly where they got the turtle so I assumed release wasn't an option. I got four VERY different answers from the kids so I thought maybe putting her somewhere random would kill her (and possibly other turtles from what I've read).

We're critter people, so that I couldn't do. I decided to try to rescue her and I've used this forum as my resource for getting the info needed to do so. I've been lucky so far that I haven't ran into really any of the problems people run into with wild caught turtles.
 

Vynindis

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Quick update...

Hey eyes are PERFECT again. Her sleeping schedule is very normal (gets up about 4:30AM). All the things I mentioned before are good.

The thing is, the past day she's just been burrowed up. She seems a bit more skittish around me too, which she's never done. Is this normal for them to change their behavior randomly like that or is it a cause for concern? Thanks in advance guys...
 

Eric Phillips

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Most days I do exactly what I am told especially living with 1 wife, 3 girls, and a Female Shih Tzu . I live by their routine, their rules, their feelings, their expectations, and my wife's honey do list. Then comes a few weeks out of the year of rebellion usually come the start of the NFL season where I shut it down, start grunting, and ignore all of the above. I finally get my man card back! (I'm lying, I haven't found it since I got married) I tend to burrow in my office watching "Married With Children" rerun episodes:) The moral of the story is a change in behavior over a day is completely normal. However if it persists for weeks to months then you can start trouble shooting whether She's sick, or if there is a change in her habitat, or if their is a problem with it being too hot or too dry! Whatever, etc. etc. I know one thing is for sure keep the Humidity HIGH!
 

johnsonnboswell

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Can you set her up outside? You have the perfect climate since she's native. They love sun and rain. Give her a pile of leaves for her to hide on and hunt worms in.
 

Yvonne G

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Welcome to the Forum, Scotty!

Most of us clean up our turtles and tortoises then take the picture while the animal is still wet. Please post a picture of your turtle. It may not be an eastern, but maybe a different, not so colorful species???
 

Vynindis

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Alright, I appreciate all the feedback guys. She's, of course, acting like herself again. Which Eric, that post was HILARIOUS! Thank you for that, I won't worry right off again. I know that'll come to mind immediately.

Here are a couple pics of her. Is that little cut in the center of her carapace anything to worry about? It looks healed to me but I can't tell these things. I keep her nice and clean so if it is a cut, it is cleaned daily. The center scutes seem to just have that.

Also seriously considering building her an outdoor enclosure. I'm doing indoors for right now but within a couple weeks I should have her set up outside. I know that's better for her and that's what I want. Even if I was somehow unable to take care of her, I'd call a reptile rescue before I'd be selfish enough to try to keep her.

Anyway, Petra (or as I call her, Miss Turtle haha)

8dQMNhw.jpg


osXAQeZ.jpg
 

Angel Carrion

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Looks like an eastern box turtle to me. I'm on my phone which may be why I can't see a cut on her carapace, but I can't see one. As long as it's kept clean and allowed to heal (if it isn't already healed) it should be fine. Watch for signs of infection (bad smell, swelling, redness, etc) or shell rot (soft/loose scutes & foul smell, or pitted, flaky, & whitish shell)
 
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