"We went for holidays for 3 days," the Singapore school holiday week started in September for the 8-year-old and 4-year-old daughters. They put the nameless terrapin in the little tank which now has no space for swimming since she has grown much bigger at 450 g. She is as big as the palm size of a big man and the tank was meant for a terrapin of a few weeks old.
"When we came back, the turtle is not eating the shrimps. She would snap and eat the shrimps hungrily every day. She also has swollen eyes!"
"The eyelids are swollen," I said. "The eyes could be infected as she was in the water for 3 days when you were away."
"It could be that she had no sunlight," the father said. "I will upgrade to a bigger tank and buy the lighting system."
"The shell quality is poor, with cracks and unevenness on the surface," I said. "If she eats shrimps only, she will not get good nutrition. It is fortunate that she has not lung infection as she does not gasp for air, like the other terrapins I treated. That is because you come early for treatment."
Medication, eye drops and multivitamins were prescribed. New bigger tank, a basking platform and sufficient amount of water to swim. Changing of water used to be once in 2 days. Variety of food like live guppies, egg yolk. She dislikes vegetables.
Follow up the next day. Terrapin's eyelids much less swollen. Still not eating. New tank bought. I advised feeding shrimps and medication in the water.
Video shows terrapin snapping at shrimps.
FOLLOW UP ON SEP 15, 2014
"We bought a bigger tank and she would be swimming," the wife answered the phone. "There is also lighting. But she does not eat the shrimps."
"Are the eyelids swollen?"
"Much less than yesterday," she said.
Still too early to recover.
The 8-year-old daughter in Primary 2 can be trained to change water or take more care of the terrapin but most Singaporean parents just do it. The 4-year-old is too young.
FOLLOW UP ON SEP 17, 2014 when I sms to ask whether the turtle is eating shrimps.
"Yes, the turtle is eating dry shrimps in the water. We are trying to get her to feed on vegetables and turtle food (pellets). The swollen eye is better and we plan to consult you again when the eye drops are used up. Thank you."