Starting Out Right
When selecting your new turtle, be on the lookout for some common red eared slider problems that all slider hobbyists have to deal with. Like all pets, red eared sliders are prone to certain health issues within their species, so you need to be be watching for signs of these problems when selecting your red eared slider.
The first of the red eared slider problems you’ll have to be aware of is lethargy. When you pick up a turtle you may be interested in, the turtle should immediately retract its legs and head. You might think that this is a sign of a shy turtle, but this is very natural and a turtle that is unresponsive is not a healthy turtle. Your red eared slider may begin to relax after you hold him for a few moments, but this initial reaction is key in determining his overall health.
The second issue you’ll have to look out for when selecting your red eared slider is its appearance. Many red eared slider problems will manifest in different ways in the turtle’s overall look, letting you know that something is not right. Check the turtle’s overall condition; he should not be emaciated or have rolls of fat protruding. Look at his skin and shell; he shouldn’t have any nick, scratches, or cracks in his shell that could evolve into a worse problem for you in the future. Look at the turtle’s eyes; eye problems are one of the biggest red eared slider problems and there shouldn’t be any swelling, mucus or discharge around the turtle’s eyes. Check the turtle’s mouth (if he’ll let you); it should be a healthy pink color.
You will also have to be on the lookout for some other red eared slider problems, such as respiratory illness. Checking his nostrils for discharge is a good start; there shouldn’t be any mucus or discharge present. Also take the time to listen to his breathing. While there may be a “hiss” sound when he retracts into his shell, you shouldn’t be able to hear him breathing when he is at rest. Any sort of wheezing or rattling sound is not good.
The last thing to do when looking for red eared slider problems with your potential new pet is to just watch him move in his tank. Make sure he moves smoothly and isn’t lethargic. Always look out for all the above issues when selecting a new red eared slider.
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