Many red eared slider problems arise when an unskilled hobbyist first tries their hand at breeding their turtles. Breeding wild animals in captivity can be very tough because they are in an alien environment that is not necessarily conducive to breeding. Sure, the turtles want to breed, but have you given them the proper conditions to do so?
One common health problem that may arise when breeding red eared sliders is stress. Just like with people, stress can have detrimental effects on a slider’s body. Male sliders, like males in every species, tend to get very overzealous when it comes to breeding and in captivity the female has nowhere to flee to get away from him when she’s had enough. If you are breeding your sliders, you have to monitor them closely—they won’t mind. If you leave your male and female together to breed without monitoring them, eventually the female will get tired and push the male away. Needless to say, he won’t give up and they will begin to fight. The male, being the aggressor, will continue to push while the female gets upset and stressed. A stressed turtle can go downhill very quickly. In fact, over-breeding can kill a female slider.
Another common red eared slider problem when breeding is that the female can become egg-bound. Being egg-bound essentially means that the female is gravid with eggs, but cannot lay them. Females usually become egg-bound because of a calcium deficiency or because they have not been given a suitable place to lay their eggs. Red ear sliders in general should always receive ample amounts of calcium, but breeding females especially need it. Access to a cuttlebone plus a calcium supplement in their food will do the trick. When it comes to a suitable egg laying place, females need soft sand to deposit their eggs in. If she cannot find a suitable place, she will hold onto the eggs too long and they will die within her. Needless to say, rotting eggs in your slider is not a good thing. If you have given her a good sand bank and see her digging with her rear legs over and over again but failing to lay eggs, you can palpate her to get the eggs out or take her to a veterinarian and let them do it.
The red eared slider problems that arise during breeding can easily be solved by learning about them and being diligent. Pay attention when your sliders are breeding and keep a watchful eye on your female—she needs all the help she can get!