Sunday, June 7, 2015

2457. Two 8-year-old terrapins fought when transferred to bigger tank

Sunday, Jun 7, 2015

One of the 2 terrapins, 8 years old, was lethargic at home and was breathing fast. When he came to the clinic, he was most active while the other was quiet and had closed eyes. So what was wrong?

Both was housed separated by a barrier in a bigger tank as they bit each other when recently transferred to a bigger tank. "They are male terrapins and want their own territory," I said. "They pooped a lot and the water in a small tank needs to be changed at least once in 2 days. They need a bigger drying area to dry instead of being submerged 90% in water."

The filter was clogged and so was not functioning. The best is to change water daily as the tank is not very big, around 6 feet x 6 feet. A variety of diet, rather than just pellets from one brand from Taiwan had been fed for the past 8 years. "They don't eat vegetables," the mum said. 

I advised smearing the pellets with medicine, put them into a small amount of water and let them eat 25% first. Same with dried shrimps and meat. It will be difficult for the boy to open the terrapin's mouth to feed medicine as he was not even able to pull the tail to examine the terrapin. Both terrapins curled their tails inside the shell strongly. They were kept together in the blue basin and must have had been biting each other's tail although the mother said "they never bite" when house in the smaller blue basin.  Normally, terrapins don't curl their tails tightly. 

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