Yesterday evening Jan 17, 2013, Dr Daniel had to go to a concert and so I was on duty from 7 pm to 8 pm.
I was surprised to see two young terrapins coming for consultation as they were of around the same age and the probabilility of two terrapin patients in sequence is very rare at Toa Payoh Vets. I have taken a video of them for readers.
CASE 1. "Puffing" terrapin
"She avoids water," the father said. "She seldom moves. She will raise her head, burp and a swelling appears below her neck."
Sure enough, the terrapin displayed this behaviour. As if this terrapin had difficulty breathing. She did not move at all.
As a monitor lizard would puff up to increase his size to frighten predators.
"Did you feed something causing throat obstruction?" I asked as another "balloon" below the neck swells up.
"I did feed shrimps," the father said. Most likely dyspnea. Inhalation pneumonia from swallowing too large a piece of shrimp?
I hospitalised her and gave her multivitamins in water. The next day, she was more active. Her head is still raised upwards and I have not seen her head on level horizontal. What is the solution? In cats and dogs, X-rays and sedation to check out the throat would be done. But this is a baby terrapin. I would observe. In any case, she was moving this morning when I took her out to sun and video at 10 am.
"Right eye closed, so he is not eating," the father said. "Is it infection?"
I noticed a white plug covering the eyelids of the right eye. I hospitalised it and give multivitamins in the water. Changed water and bathed it. The next morning, the right eye was opened and the terrapin was overactive. See video. I put him in a shallow bowl and monitor. Once I turned my back, I saw him upside down as he had attempted to climb up the shallow bowl. I put him back on his side. He could go home and the young lady owner was most pleased.