Friday, April 19, 2013

1374. How to medicate your gasping turtle?

Apr 18 (2 days ago)

to judy
Dear Dr Sing,
I brought my pet turtle Toe to you for treatment of pneumonia last Monday (TP Ref. No. 44319; Invoice No. 21954) and I've followed your instructions of quarantining it from swimming, basking for 30 min every day, and feeding it with medicine by dripping near its food while it eats.

I noticed that its appetite has improved significantly, but it still seems to gasp occasionally.

It still shows the swelling action in its throat area. It has not been easy feeding Toe with the antibiotics as it gets suspicious of its food and will avoid the water and food once it tastes the medicine. Hence I am not sure if it has been taking the medicine effectively.

I have yet to place it in a tank of water to see if it would be listing while swimming. Can you advise me on an effective way of feeding with with the medicine please? May I also know if it is necessary to get a basking lamp for the turtle in addition to the daily routine of basking in sunlight for 30 minutes every day? Thank you for your kind attention to this email.

Yours sincerely,


April 20, 2013.

I just got your email today Apr 20, 2013. Pl phone if you have queries instead of email or sms as I have numerous spam emails and have had missed out yours.

In reply, your turtle has a respiratory tract infection and is gasping for oxygen (gasping and throat swelling of dyspnoea). This infection is hard to treat because turtles dislike medication via the feed or water but yours seem to have taken some antibiotics.

Many young and old turtles die of respiratory infections owing to the owner's difficulty in compliance with medication at home. Yours appear to be a success story.

1, Injections are an alternative if they are bigger in size. In some cases,
2. I advised covering the nostrils with your finger and when the turtle opens its mouth to breathe, squirt the antibiotics into the front of the mouth, via an eye dropper or syringe. This method works sometimes.
3. A basking lamp will be good.
4. No swimming till the turtle has recovered fully. This may take a few weeks. 
5. Ensure that the turtle is fed and given water daily. 

Pl phone the Surgery if you have more queries rather than email.  Best wishes.

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