Injury and infection treatment for a mud turtle

cdmay

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10 Year Member!
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
1,919
Location (City and/or State)
Somewhere in Florida
I recently received a trio of Mexican white-lip mud turtles (Kinosternon leucostomum) from a good friend in Germany.
The trip for these turtles took a week, which for a mud turtle really isn't a problem. After all, these little animals endure very harsh conditions where they live and 'being down' for a week is nothing...as they can remain inactive for months on end in the wild.
However, as I unpacked them from their individual shipping containers it became aware to me that they had been roughly treated and possibly chilled during the trip, despite the labeling on their shipping box insisting that they be kept warm. And that they were fragile.
All three were a bit inactive but after an hour in warm water they seemed fine---except for this, the smallest female.
Oh no! Her nose had been badly bashed and was very swollen. In addition she was blowing bubbles from her nares.
DSCN5988_zpsbft3li0q.jpg

DSCN5987_zps1oty8n5k.jpg


To be honest, I've never seen a turtle in this condition before---she had to open her mouth to breathe.
What to do?
First, she needed to be in a warm environment to help her get her own internal defense system going.
That done I added aquarium grade tetracycline that I picked up from a local salt-water aquarium store around the corner from my home. But instead of treating at the usual dosage of a packet of tetracycline to 10 gallons of water, I first placed all three of the mud turtles in a shallow Rubbermaid tub with a spotlight for heat with maybe two gallons of water. To this I added some Kosher salt and then a full 10 gallon dosage of the tetracycline.
Then I left them in peace for several hours.
Later that night I checked in on them and they were clearly enjoying the warmth of the spotlight. All three appeared alert and much better. On a whim I tossed a few pellets of food in with them and to my relief all three at least picked at the food.
The next day (and every day for the next week) I completely replaced all of the water in the tub and repeated the treatment with the tetracycline, although I no longer used any of the salt. The turtles continued to feed and each day appeared more alert and 'normal'.
Here is the little female with the bashed nose after one week...
DSCN6015_zpsksrwvgzc.jpg

DSCN6014_zpszttmr6st.jpg


Wow! A lot better, right?
During the week a scab of sorts formed over her nose and then the day I took these photos it had sloughed off. Her nares are almost completely normal now.
The other two white lip mud turtles were placed in their next enclosure, a 40 gallon breeder tank with filtration.
DSCN6006_zpsqipwty44.jpg


But as a precaution I continued to treat the one little female. Each day she would consume food more and more aggressively.
Here she is after a full two weeks of pampering...
You can see that her nares are now completely clear and healed up.
IMG_0012_zpsycvkdhq1.jpg


All three are now in the 40 gallon tank and they are eating like maniacs.

I'm not a veterinarian by any stretch, but I do feel that the use of aquarium pharmaceuticals can be practical for aquatic turtle keepers when necessary. The addition of the salt is something I have always heard from other keepers (as well as fish keepers) that it works as an anti-fungal agent. Whether or not this is true I don't know. But it doesn't hurt.
The nose of the female white lip mud turtle in this thread looked really bad for about 4 days. Then it appeared to scab over and quickly get better after the scab fell away. Now there is zero evidence that anything was ever wrong.
 

Eric Phillips

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Jul 19, 2014
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Ohio
I recently received a trio of Mexican white-lip mud turtles (Kinosternon leucostomum) from a good friend in Germany.
The trip for these turtles took a week, which for a mud turtle really isn't a problem. After all, these little animals endure very harsh conditions where they live and 'being down' for a week is nothing...as they can remain inactive for months on end in the wild.
However, as I unpacked them from their individual shipping containers it became aware to me that they had been roughly treated and possibly chilled during the trip, despite the labeling on their shipping box insisting that they be kept warm. And that they were fragile.
All three were a bit inactive but after an hour in warm water they seemed fine---except for this, the smallest female.
Oh no! Her nose had been badly bashed and was very swollen. In addition she was blowing bubbles from her nares.
DSCN5988_zpsbft3li0q.jpg

DSCN5987_zps1oty8n5k.jpg


To be honest, I've never seen a turtle in this condition before---she had to open her mouth to breathe.
What to do?
First, she needed to be in a warm environment to help her get her own internal defense system going.
That done I added aquarium grade tetracycline that I picked up from a local salt-water aquarium store around the corner from my home. But instead of treating at the usual dosage of a packet of tetracycline to 10 gallons of water, I first placed all three of the mud turtles in a shallow Rubbermaid tub with a spotlight for heat with maybe two gallons of water. To this I added some Kosher salt and then a full 10 gallon dosage of the tetracycline.
Then I left them in peace for several hours.
Later that night I checked in on them and they were clearly enjoying the warmth of the spotlight. All three appeared alert and much better. On a whim I tossed a few pellets of food in with them and to my relief all three at least picked at the food.
The next day (and every day for the next week) I completely replaced all of the water in the tub and repeated the treatment with the tetracycline, although I no longer used any of the salt. The turtles continued to feed and each day appeared more alert and 'normal'.
Here is the little female with the bashed nose after one week...
DSCN6015_zpsksrwvgzc.jpg

DSCN6014_zpszttmr6st.jpg


Wow! A lot better, right?
During the week a scab of sorts formed over her nose and then the day I took these photos it had sloughed off. Her nares are almost completely normal now.
The other two white lip mud turtles were placed in their next enclosure, a 40 gallon breeder tank with filtration.
DSCN6006_zpsqipwty44.jpg


But as a precaution I continued to treat the one little female. Each day she would consume food more and more aggressively.
Here she is after a full two weeks of pampering...
You can see that her nares are now completely clear and healed up.
IMG_0012_zpsycvkdhq1.jpg


All three are now in the 40 gallon tank and they are eating like maniacs.

I'm not a veterinarian by any stretch, but I do feel that the use of aquarium pharmaceuticals can be practical for aquatic turtle keepers when necessary. The addition of the salt is something I have always heard from other keepers (as well as fish keepers) that it works as an anti-fungal agent. Whether or not this is true I don't know. But it doesn't hurt.
The nose of the female white lip mud turtle in this thread looked really bad for about 4 days. Then it appeared to scab over and quickly get better after the scab fell away. Now there is zero evidence that anything was ever wrong.

Well done and I completely agree with you!
 

PJay

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Joined
Jul 20, 2016
Messages
1,161
Location (City and/or State)
Virginia
Yes, good job! It's nice to know about the tetracycline. Thanks for sharing.
 

Moozillion

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Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
10,508
Location (City and/or State)
Louisiana, USA
I recently received a trio of Mexican white-lip mud turtles (Kinosternon leucostomum) from a good friend in Germany.
The trip for these turtles took a week, which for a mud turtle really isn't a problem. After all, these little animals endure very harsh conditions where they live and 'being down' for a week is nothing...as they can remain inactive for months on end in the wild.
However, as I unpacked them from their individual shipping containers it became aware to me that they had been roughly treated and possibly chilled during the trip, despite the labeling on their shipping box insisting that they be kept warm. And that they were fragile.
All three were a bit inactive but after an hour in warm water they seemed fine---except for this, the smallest female.
Oh no! Her nose had been badly bashed and was very swollen. In addition she was blowing bubbles from her nares.
DSCN5988_zpsbft3li0q.jpg

DSCN5987_zps1oty8n5k.jpg


To be honest, I've never seen a turtle in this condition before---she had to open her mouth to breathe.
What to do?
First, she needed to be in a warm environment to help her get her own internal defense system going.
That done I added aquarium grade tetracycline that I picked up from a local salt-water aquarium store around the corner from my home. But instead of treating at the usual dosage of a packet of tetracycline to 10 gallons of water, I first placed all three of the mud turtles in a shallow Rubbermaid tub with a spotlight for heat with maybe two gallons of water. To this I added some Kosher salt and then a full 10 gallon dosage of the tetracycline.
Then I left them in peace for several hours.
Later that night I checked in on them and they were clearly enjoying the warmth of the spotlight. All three appeared alert and much better. On a whim I tossed a few pellets of food in with them and to my relief all three at least picked at the food.
The next day (and every day for the next week) I completely replaced all of the water in the tub and repeated the treatment with the tetracycline, although I no longer used any of the salt. The turtles continued to feed and each day appeared more alert and 'normal'.
Here is the little female with the bashed nose after one week...
DSCN6015_zpsksrwvgzc.jpg

DSCN6014_zpszttmr6st.jpg


Wow! A lot better, right?
During the week a scab of sorts formed over her nose and then the day I took these photos it had sloughed off. Her nares are almost completely normal now.
The other two white lip mud turtles were placed in their next enclosure, a 40 gallon breeder tank with filtration.
DSCN6006_zpsqipwty44.jpg


But as a precaution I continued to treat the one little female. Each day she would consume food more and more aggressively.
Here she is after a full two weeks of pampering...
You can see that her nares are now completely clear and healed up.
IMG_0012_zpsycvkdhq1.jpg


All three are now in the 40 gallon tank and they are eating like maniacs.

I'm not a veterinarian by any stretch, but I do feel that the use of aquarium pharmaceuticals can be practical for aquatic turtle keepers when necessary. The addition of the salt is something I have always heard from other keepers (as well as fish keepers) that it works as an anti-fungal agent. Whether or not this is true I don't know. But it doesn't hurt.
The nose of the female white lip mud turtle in this thread looked really bad for about 4 days. Then it appeared to scab over and quickly get better after the scab fell away. Now there is zero evidence that anything was ever wrong.
WOW...just, WOW!!!!!! :) :) :)
What an amazing job you did!!!!!!:)
They are so lucky to have come to you, but that one little gal especially!!!!
YOU TOTALLY ROCK!!!!!!!! :)
 
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