My Eastern Box Turtle is sick

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Crystalw

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I recently found an Eastern Box turtle in my driveway during a bad storm. I didn't plan on keeping him but he is in such bad shape that I felt that he wouldn't survive very long alone in the wild. I have had him for about 4 days now and he will not eat or drink. He has a water dish that I change daily and I supplied fresh tomatoes, lettuce and superworms for him but he hasn't even tried to eat. I have noticed that he has some respiratory problems as well as his eyes are swollen shut and there is pus coming out of the top of his eye lids. I read a couple different articles online that suggested "soaking" him in the bathtub with 90 degrees water to help the swelling in the eyes and to have a heat lamp set at 85 degrees during the day. I have been soaking him and his eyes with warm water and it seemed to help for the first two days but now he has mucus coming out of his nose and mouth, he makes gasping noises when he breathes and he still hasn't eaten or drank any water. Im really concerned for his health but I cant afford to take him to a vet. What should I do?
 

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Skyler Nell

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Hmm, you can put him in the warm soak and add bird vitamins or carrot baby food. He probably needs sunlight (UVA/UVB) along with the warmth. It seems like he may have an infection that might only be fought off with medicine (you'd have to go to the vet). best of luck! i hope he pulls through :tort:
 

Crystalw

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Thank you so much for the advice! I will continue to soak him and keep the heat lamp on him. I plan on going to the pet store sometime today to try and get some meds and vitamins to help the little guy until I can get him to a vet. What would you suggest about feeding? He sleeps all day and night and never touches food.
 

dmmj

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I talked on your other post but a sick turtle usually won't eat,
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Crystal:

I gave you some soaking advice on your other thread.

You won't be able to get him to eat until his eyes open, so do the Baby food soaks.

Keep him really warm, and get the antibiotics for the respiratory infection.

I don't know the laws in SC, but if the eastern box turtle is native to your state, it might be illegal for you to mess with him. He might need to go to a turtle rehab/rescue.
 

Zeely

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You may have to take him to a licensed wildlife rehab center. I know that here in PA vets are not allowed to treat wild animals unless they have a license to do so. The Fish and Game Commission may know of one, or may be able to take it in themselves. It is also illegal to have a native species in your possession here, but the laws may be different in SC. Best of luck to you.
 

Kristina

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I suggest turning him over to a licensed rehabber. He needs veterinary treatment NOW, there is nothing that you can get at a pet store that will help him.

Here is a list of reptile specialists licensed by the South Carolina DNR. Please contact the closest person to you immediately for help.

http://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/docs/reptiles.pdf
 

Crystalw

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Thank you for all your help! I am contacting a rehab specialist that is close to my area and hopefully they will take him in. Until then I will keep his heat lamp on and start doing the baby food soaks. I will keep you informed on his progress!
 
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