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Tortoise Shell Injury (Shell Fracture)

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Turtles, like any other reptile, are prone to various injuries.

Very serious injuries of the turtle are received during mating, when the male bites the female, forcing her to stop.

The treatment of injuries in turtles depends on their size, nature and possibilities of using certain means. For example, in the recent past, turtles that received massive shell injuries had to be euthanized. Recently, a lot of materials based on polymers with a quick effect of action have appeared, allowing not only to carry out successful treatment, but also to receive later offspring from injured turtles.

Some simple injuries in reptiles can be treated independently; more serious injuries require the intervention of a veterinarian. At home, treatment of injuries begins with surgical treatment with any antiseptic, such as Septonone aerosol. After that, the wound surface is covered with surgical glue BF-6.

With poor insulation of heating devices, electrical wiring malfunctions in the home terrarium of turtles, burns are possible. In terms of severity, burns are divided into four groups.

I degree. There is redness and peeling of the epithelium.

II degree. Bubbles appear and fluid accumulates under the stratum corneum.

III degree. In turn, it is divided into:

1) IIIa - necrosis of the skin without damage to the basal layer,

2) IIIb - necrosis of the skin with damage to the basal layer.

IV degree. There is a necrosis of all layers of the skin and underlying tissues. After healing, scars remain on the skin surface, some parts of the body are deformed.

Burns of I degree practically do not require treatment. In case of second-degree burns and a more burned surface, they are treated with a napkin dipped in a 70% solution of ethyl alcohol, removing dead tissue.

Bubbles are opened, their upper part is carefully cut. Then, the wounds are sequentially covered with a 5% aqueous solution of tannin and a 10% solution of silver nitrate. As a result of these manipulations, a crust forms on the surface of the wound, which with time departs independently.

Suppuration of the burn surface is treated in the same way as an ordinary abscess.

Nonspecific bacterial pneumonia

Symptoms of bacterial pneumonia in turtles are breathing noises. Animals infected with pneumonia behave unusually, take an unnatural position. If nonspecific bacterial pneumonia is detected in the animal, the temperature in the terrarium should be increased to 30–35 ° C, to protect the sick animal from drafts.

Treatment is with broad-spectrum antibiotics. If an animal refuses food for a long time during treatment, it must be artificially fed.

Swollen eyes

The eyes of the turtles swell most often due to a lack of vitamin A in food, in addition, in water turtles, the swelling may be dirty water in a terrarium or aquarium.

If a disease is detected, the tortoise should be washed 2 times a day with 3% boric acid in distilled water. To prevent this disease, the water in the aquarium should be changed regularly, and foods containing vitamin A should be added to the turtle’s feed.

Shell osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is most often found in aquatic turtles and occurs due to bacterial damage to the bony areas of the carapace. The disease often manifests itself as a result of shell injuries.

The first symptoms of osteomyelitis are pinkish spots with a rough surface that appear on the shell. Then, if the disease is not treated, the surface layer of the carapace dies away, while areas of yellowish color appear on it.

With the further development of osteomyelitis, bone necrosis can spread throughout the shell and even affect the internal organs.

This disease is treated with chloramphenicol or aminoglycoside. Dosage must be calculated depending on the weight of the animal. The medicine should be administered subcutaneously.

To protect the turtle from osteomyelitis, it is necessary to remove from the terrarium all solid or sharp objects that could injure the shell, and isolate the pet from crustaceans susceptible to this disease.

Panophthalmitis

Panophthalmitis, a bacterial inflammation of the membranes of the eye, is primarily affected by aquatic turtles, most often red-ear. The disease appears due to the penetration of pathogenic bacteria from the oral cavity under the cornea of ​​the eye through the lacrimal canal. At the initial stage, only the lower eyelid is affected, a slight opacification of the pupil appears.

If left untreated, the turtle may become blind. For the treatment of panophthalmitis, ointments containing antibiotics are widely used.

Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is caused by salmonella, an intestinal rod-shaped bacteria that is dangerous not only for animals, but also for people, especially for children, because they release toxins that can cause typhoid fever or paratyphoid.

Turtles can not only suffer salmonellosis, but also be carriers of salmonella, which usually does not manifest itself. Therefore, it is necessary to observe the rules of hygiene in contact with turtles and in no case do not allow children to press turtles to their faces or kiss them. Symptoms of salmonellosis in turtles are manifested as follows: first there is liquid foamy diarrhea of ​​a greenish color, characterized by an extremely unpleasant odor, then the animal refuses food, becomes apathetic.

Salmonellosis in freshwater turtles can be transmitted through eggs: calves hatched from eggs laid by a sick female are carriers of salmonella immediately after birth.

In the early stages of the disease, treatment with chloramphenicol in the form of a suspension (50–75 mg per 1 kg) is possible, which is administered through a probe 2-3 times a day with an interval of two days. If no improvement is observed, the animal is best euthanized.

Rhinitis and rhinopathy

A disease of the mucous membrane without inflammation is called rhinopathy, with inflammation - rhinitis. The causes of rhinopathy are:

- mechanical injuries of the mucous membrane of the nasal passages if expanded clay or other materials were used as soil,

- lack of vitamin A in the diet of the animal,

- subcooling. Signs of the disease are similar to signs of pneumonia.

If it is not possible to accurately diagnose, treatment is carried out as follows: a single injection of vitamin A is not more than 100 thousand IU, washing the nasal passages with a catheter or syringe with a diameter less than the diameter of the animal’s nostrils. A syringe or catheter is inserted into the nostril shallowly, then it is tightly closed with a finger to prevent leakage of fluid. After that, by sharp pressing on the piston of the syringe, the nasal passage is washed with any antiseptic solution, which should then pour out of the animal’s mouth. The second nasal passage is washed in exactly the same way. These measures that help get rid of the signs of rhinopathy with bacterial rhinitis can only give a short-term improvement, and with bacterial pneumonia they will not help at all.

Bacterial rhinitis also treats bacterial pneumonia in the same way.

Abscesses - limited foci of purulent inflammation - occur as a result of injuries of the skin on soil particles with sharp edges, cracks in the glass, etc. Most often, abscesses are located subcutaneously, sometimes in the internal organs. In this case, it is impossible to independently detect them.

The main symptom of subcutaneous abscesses is a swelling, first dense, then softened.

Surgical treatment: at the location of the abscess, an incision is made to drain the pus, then the area of ​​the abscess is washed with an antiseptic solution, for example, hydrogen peroxide. At first, the wound is treated daily, introducing narrow loose strips of bandage into it, moistened with an antiseptic.

After the cessation of pus from the wound, chymopsin or trypsin is poured into it, which contributes to the resorption of dead tissue. In severe cases, treatment is accompanied by antibiotics in the same doses as with pneumonia.

Abscess in turtles

A fairly common disease in turtles is prolapse of cloaca, or cloacite. It can manifest itself as an independent disease or be part of any other infectious disease, for example, salmonellosis. The clinical picture of the banal cloacite is divided into two stages.

At the first stage, dried feces adhering to the near-canal scutes are noted, in the feces a small amount of pus or blood. At this stage of the disease, the animal continues to eat well.

The second stage is accompanied by a delay in feces. The animal stops eating, but still looks healthy.

The treatment is carried out in the same way as with stomatitis, but periodically the tortoise is given an enema until the restoration of normal bowel movements.

Septic ulcer disease

Septic ulcer disease is caused by bacteria of the genus Venesquea chitinovora, which penetrate the body of a turtle through minor skin lesions. Bacteria invade red blood cells, penetrate all organs and form ulcers on the surface of the skin. Clinical signs of the disease:

- decreased activity and muscle tone,

- erasing the gingival margin and claws,

- ulceration of the skin against the background of hemorrhages and dilated blood vessels.

If no action is taken, the animal will inevitably die. The treatment is carried out using chloramphenicol succinate or chloramphenicol administered intramuscularly to the turtle.

Ulcers are treated with the aerosol preparation levovinisole, which includes chloramphenicol and vinylinum.

Algae diseases caused by turtles

The shell of many turtles is covered with algae on top, which in natural conditions is an excellent camouflage, but when kept in captivity, this symbiosis sometimes leads to the development of the disease.

It is assumed that the main cause of the disease is water heavily contaminated with food debris, which promotes the growth of algae.

This, in turn, leads to delamination of the carapace shells in turtles, and sometimes to the complete disappearance of the surface layer.

Treatment of the disease: treatment of the affected shell with a solution of Lugol or 1% copper sulfate. As a means of prevention, it is recommended to observe the sanitary and hygienic rules for keeping turtles.

Causes of the disease

Fractures of the shell are often associated with the formation of cracks in the stratum corneum, after turtles fall from the balconies, if the turtle was bitten by a dog, a car or a motor boat has moved, trauma also occurs during the operation of lawnmowers and streamers when the turtle remains unnoticed or because of any other injuries.

Metabolism Disorders Due to Unhealthy Nutrition

Inexperienced owners of turtles often make mistakes when caring for pets. Ignorance of the rules for keeping turtles at home and non-compliance with nutritional standards lead to the development of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and metabolic disorders.

Usually it is hypovitaminosis - a deficiency in the body of one or another vitamin, vitamin deficiency is less common - the complete absence of any vitamin in the body. In this case, the animal may die as a result of a complication of a disease against the background of hypovitaminosis.

Hypervitaminosis, which develops due to excess dosages of vitamin preparations, is quite rare.

Of hypovitaminosis, hypovitaminosis of vitamins A, C, D and group B are usually found.

In addition, non-compliance with dietary norms and rules leads to the emergence of diseases against the background of an imbalance or lack of certain minerals, most often calcium, iodine and phosphorus.

Symptoms of the disease

We often worry about the shock that occurs after such injuries in turtles. It is known that shock in animals, including turtles, is manifested by vascular disorders, namely, jumps in blood pressure. It must be several days before the turtle returns to physiological norm and starts eating again.

Disease treatment

If the edge piece has broken off from the shell, or a crack has appeared due to an injury, it is necessary to check whether the blood is flowing. If blood flows, then the wound must first be treated with hydrogen peroxide. It is necessary to place the turtle in a clean quarantine jail on white paper and to prevent the ingress of dirt. Then try to take the turtle to the veterinarian, while it is better not to smear the wound with anything so that the veterinarian can determine the size of the damage. The veterinarian should examine the shell injury and decide whether it is possible to leave it to heal on its own or whether it is necessary to glue it with epoxy. It’s better not to glue the turtle yourself. Epoxy is removed from the turtle no earlier than a year later, it all depends on how much the shell has healed and overgrown. After the operation, you will need to pierce the course of antibiotics to prevent infection of the turtle (Baytril for 5-7 days), and also if the turtle does not eat, then inject Ringra-Locka solution with glucose and ascorbicum daily or every other day. Injuries and wounds must be treated with Teramycin, Aluminum spray. If it is not possible to show the turtle to a veterinarian, then open wounds are washed with dioxidine (terramycin, furatsilin r-r, chlorhexidine r-r), with bleeding - hydrogen peroxide. Then dried with chlorophyllipt (or "silverfish", Nikovet - aluminum spray, covered with a layer of aerosols such as Kubatol, septonex, brilliant green, Terramycin spray). Then the treatment is repeated. After the formation of scabs, the wound is lubricated with healing ointments such as Boro-plus, solcoseryl, Actovegin, Lifeguard, Eplan, etc. You can give the turtle drink water from a saucer, but so as not to get wet, as well as try to feed, but not the fact that the turtle will eat.

HYPOVITAMINOSIS A.

A lack of vitamin A in the animal’s body occurs when there is a shortage of carotene in the diet, the main source of which is eggs, carrots, liver and milk.

Upper jaw deformation with hypovitaminosis D

Lack of vitamin A in the body leads to dryness, clouding and softening of the cornea, sharp eye swelling, and dysfunction of the retina.

Treatment of the disease involves the introduction into the diet of turtles rich in vitamin A and carotene feed, as well as retinol acetate (60-100 thousand IU, depending on the weight of the animal).

HYPOVITAMINOSIS D.

Hypovitaminosis D occurs with a lack of vitamin D in nutrition and a violation of its natural synthesis in the body under the influence of ultraviolet rays, which leads to rickets. With rickets, disorders of phosphorus-calcium metabolism, disturbances in protein and carbohydrate metabolism develop.

A clinical sign of the disease with rickets is a change in the shape of the carapace and jaws. In the early stage, the carapace is soft, easy to press with fingers, and over time acquires an irregular, so-called tower shape. The lower jaw softens, the jaw edges are erased, the nails are bent. The upper jaw takes the form of a beak.

Shell deformity in hypovitaminosis D

Claw deformity in hypovitaminosis D

Treatment of the disease consists of the following measures:

- irradiation with ultraviolet rays.

To irradiate animals, quartz lamps of the OKN-11 or Medicor type are used. Irradiation is carried out year-round with a frequency of 1 time per week, at a distance of 1 m, or daily in courses of 5-10 sessions, at the same distance, with intervals between courses of 20 days.

As dietary measures, products containing vitamin D and minerals are introduced into the diet of turtles: fish oil, yeast, eggshell, bone meal, etc.

If vitamin D in the form of “Urzovit” is added to water, it must be changed every 3-4 days. For injections, use "Tetravit" or "Laptovet" in normal doses.These drugs are administered weekly until the symptoms of progression of the disease completely disappear, after which they go on to maintenance doses. To reduce the risk of developing hypervitaminosis D, vitamin A is administered together with vitamin D3 preparations in a ratio of 1: 5.

HYPOVITAMINOSIS B.

With hypovitaminosis B, several vitamins of this group are usually not enough at once in the body of turtles. The most common causes of vitamin B deficiency include:

- lack of green and live food,

- the use of fresh fish without preliminary heat treatment as the main feed,

- dysbiosis against the background of taking antibiotics.

Signs of vitamin B deficiency in the animal:

- spasm of chewing muscles,

- cramps and increased tone of the extensor muscles of the hind limbs.

When treating hypovitaminosis B, live and green foods, cottage cheese, liver, etc., as well as vitamins themselves are introduced into the diet of turtles: B1 in the form of a solution in a dose of 2 to 10 mg per kilogram of the animal’s weight (every other day), B12 in micro doses through day for two weeks.

During a spasm of chewing muscle, the turtles are artificially fed.

HYPOVITAMINOSIS E.

This disease, caused by a lack of vitamin E in the body of turtles, is considered one of the most common among other forms of hypovitaminosis.

Clinical signs of hypovitaminosis E:

1. Focal change in subcutaneous tissue and muscles.

2. Lack of coordination of movements.

3. Paralysis of the limbs.

4. Refusal of feed. The treatment consists of administering vitamin E to the animal in any acceptable form 3 times in 1 week in the amount of 50-800 IU, depending on the weight of the turtle. In this case, tocopherol acetate is considered toxic to all reptiles in general, and an overdose can lead to severe liver damage.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a protein deficiency syndrome that develops due to many causes, for example, a beak that is too long. With this disease, deformation of the vertebral body quite often occurs. As a treatment for osteoporosis, it is recommended to introduce a sufficient amount of proteins into the diet, as well as give vitamins and calcium orally.

Maladaptive syndrome

In most turtles, due to lack of adaptability to new living conditions, dysfunctions of the gastrointestinal tract are noted. Some reasons for this are known, others remain unclear to this day. It is noticed that such violations appear:

- after hibernation,

- after a long transportation,

- in case of non-compliance with the necessary conditions of detention in captivity.

When the body is dehydrated and refuses to feed for a long time, glucose and electrolyte solutions are given orally or subcutaneously.

If all of the above factors are present, it is recommended to carry out basic therapy: the introduction of an oral anthelmintic with simultaneous infusion using a cattle blood serum probe (2 ml per 100 g of animal weight).

Pay special attention to the content of the pet: in the room they raise the temperature to 29 ° C, regulate the humidity depending on the type of turtle. They carry out daily warm rinses of cesspools, which helps to stabilize the digestive tract.

Those animals who, despite the measures taken, continue to refuse food, are prescribed furosemide (10 mg per kilogram of animal weight), allopurinol (25 mg per kilogram of animal weight) is orally given to break down uric acid in the body until complete recovery.

Egg-laying delay

This disease is often fatal. It is interesting that even old females, kept alone for several years, are exposed to him. Causes of the disease: - the need for calcium, necessary for the formation of an egg shell, not replenished by the food received,

- the development of vitamin D3 deficiency,

- poor gliding of eggs in the oviduct,

- too low air temperature,

- unsuitable soil. Signs of the disease:

anxiety, refusal to feed, lethargy, swelling in the neck of the limbs, impaired respiratory function (12 breaths per minute at a rate of 4 breaths, mouth wide open). The eggs in the oviduct remain viable for four weeks.

To confirm the diagnosis, the turtle should be held upright with its head up to displace the internal organs: it is often possible to finger-test the eggs in the cutouts of the carapace in front of the hind limbs.

If egg laying is delayed, oxytocin is administered once at the same time as calcium at a dose of 50 mg / kg. The female is placed in a terrarium familiar to her, turning off the light and heating the water in the pool to 30 ° C. A large egg, located in front of the entrance to the small pelvis, is pierced with a long needle, the contents of the egg are aspirated.

Shell-ulcer disease

An exfoliating peptic ulcer disease is a contagious disease that can take a chronic course. The disease begins with the primary lesion of the plastron by a fungus of the genus Candida albicans, after which the bacteria Aperomonas hydropholya invade the body of the animal. An important role is played by all kinds of small wounds or cracks in the shell. As a result, ulcers covered with whitish films appear on plastron and carapace.

With the progression of the disease, the number of ulcers and their size increase.

Treatment is carried out using chloramphenical or chloramphenicol succinate administered intramuscularly.

To prevent disease, all newly acquired turtles are quarantined for at least 2 weeks. You can not keep in the same aquarium with turtles freshwater crustaceans, also susceptible to this disease.

Mycobacterial infection

In this disease, the turtles most often affect the lungs, while the defeat of the internal organs does not have characteristic clinical manifestations. Treatment of reptiles in this case is not possible, therefore it is more advisable to pay attention to prevention, that is, the creation of optimal conditions of detention. Experience is known when cubs from one masonry were divided into two groups, the first of which was kept in good conditions. The young of both groups were fed with the breakdown products of animals suffering from tuberculosis. Under normal conditions, reptiles remained healthy.

Non-Infectious Gastroenteritis

Among all other diseases, non-infectious gastroenteritis occupy one of the leading places, second only to hypovitaminosis.

Gastroenteritis - inflammatory diseases of the stomach and small intestine - are divided into acute and chronic. Acute gastroenteritis occurs in stressful situations, with poisoning and a temperature below the level necessary for the digestion of food. Causes of chronic gastroenteritis:

If the turtle became lethargic and does not have a reaction to external stimuli, the animal must be shown to a veterinarian.

But any other long-lasting diseases can provoke gastroenteritis. The side effect of some drugs leads to the same result: for example, after one course of antibiotics, during the first feeding, belching can occur as one of the manifestations of the disease. This symptom is considered characteristic of gastroenteritis.

Chronic gastroenteritis is divided into two forms - with increased and decreased secretory activity. In gastroenteritis with increased secretory activity, belching appears 1-3 days after a meal, with a lower - in a later date.

Treatment of gastroenteritis begins with the normalization of the conditions of detention, the introduction of drugs and diet. During treatment, turtles are transferred to plant foods as the most digestible and rich in vitamins.

In chronic gastroenteritis with increased secretory function of drugs, Vicair, Vicalin, Almagel are used, with reduced secretory activity - Abomin, Pancreatinum, Festal.

A B-complex is also used with a dosage of 0.8 ml / kg 1-2 times a week. To improve the regeneration of the gastric epithelium, animals are given rosehip or sea buckthorn oil.

Before giving any sick medication to a sick turtle, it is necessary to consult a veterinarian, since only he can make the correct diagnosis and prescribe the necessary course of medical treatment for your pet.

Sepsis is one of the most serious reptile diseases that occurs due to the spread of infection with blood flow throughout the body. Sepsis appears as a result of another disease - stomatitis, pneumonia, infected wounds. A characteristic sign of sepsis in reptiles is spot hemorrhage on the skin and mucous membranes.

If, in addition to turtles, the terrarium contains other reptiles, there is a likelihood of turtles becoming infected with viral infections.

There are three forms of sepsis:

1. The acute form is most common in young animals. It manifests itself in a decrease in activity, convulsions due to damage to the central nervous system, leading to death 24 hours after the onset of the disease.

2. Septic pneumonia has all the symptoms of common pneumonia. Without treatment, turtles die already on the 5-6th day after the onset of the disease.

3. Chroniosepsis is most often found in adult reptiles and manifests itself in the form of sluggish stomatitis in combination with respiratory disorders. The absence of treatment leads to the death of the animal at the 5-6th week of the disease. Treatment is carried out with the use of antibiotics, and a repeated change of drugs is required.

The main methods of sepsis prevention:

- optimal conditions of detention,

- timely treatment of other diseases.

Invasive diseases of turtles

In the blood of freshwater turtles, the protozoa of the genera Schellackia, Lankesterella, Haemogregarina, Hepatozoon, Karyolysus, Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, Babesiosoma and Dactylosoma parasitize. As intermediate hosts, they require ticks and leeches. Most species also have amoebiasis caused by parasites of the genus Entamoeba invadens.

To prevent diseases in turtles in the terrarium, it is necessary to periodically disinfect. In addition, pet food can only be bought in specialized stores.

They differ in a direct cycle of development and parasitize in the intestines and liver.

As a result of laboratory studies, other protozoa were identified:

- larvae of Dioctophyma renale,

- fuscovenosa and Rhabdias spp,

- trematodes parasitizing in the oral cavity, esophagus, lungs, intestines and kidneys.

On the skin of some land tortoises, ticks of the species Ophionyssus natricis parasitize, which are also intermediate hosts of other protozoa.

Skin peeling

Peeling of the skin in turtles can be a clinical sign of various diseases, for example, due to mechanical damage or one of the signs of an infectious skin lesion. Most often, peeling of the skin provokes a deficiency of vitamin A and B vitamins (B2, B6, B12).

Sometimes peeling is observed with hypervitaminosis resulting from an overdose of vitamin preparations. A specialist consultation is required to determine the exact diagnosis and treatment.

The reason for the majority of diseases of water turtles is the non-compliance with the conditions of detention: untreated water, lack of heat and light, poor diet.

Ticks can be found in the folds of the skin at the base of the tail, around the neck, at the eyes and mouth.

- Lubricate the affected area of ​​the reptile body with olive oil. A layer of oil will block the access of air to the tick, and it will disappear on its own,

- To remove invisible mites, use a solution of stomazan or neostomazan. Before use, the drug is diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 200, then the soft parts of the body of the turtle are lubricated with it. After a few hours, the reptile must be gently wiped with a soft cloth,

- it is recommended to place the pet for 10-12 hours in warm water (30 ° C), the water level in the aquarium should be such that the animal can breathe by sticking its head out of the water. The edges of the aquarium should be greased with a layer of oil or petroleum jelly to prevent the spread of parasites.

After treatment, the turtle must be washed with warm water.

With this disease, a severe runny nose is observed in animals. Due to impaired lung function, air accumulates in them, and the turtle cannot dive. Without timely treatment, reptiles die in about two weeks. Treatment: intramuscular injection of ampicillin for 7-10 days (50 mg of the drug per kilogram of animal weight) or chloramphenicol in the same dose.

In case of deterioration, injections of gentamicin sulfate (10 mg / kg) are usually recommended for 10 days.

Softening the shell of water turtles

In most water turtles, if the conditions of detention are not observed, the carapace becomes soft. The cause of this disease is often a lack of vitamin D. Treatment: the introduction into the diet of turtles foods with a high content of vitamin D and calcium (chalk, eggshell, bone meal, etc.). Also, to restore the calcium-phosphorus balance, kalphos is recommended.

Lack of coordination of movement

The cause of this disease is vitamin deficiency E, which is often found when feeding turtles with oily sea fish. In animals, there is a violation of coordination of movements, refusal of food, paralysis of the limbs.

Treatment: introduction of vitamin E into the diet of a turtle 1-3 times in 7-9 days at a dose of 80-100 IU, depending on the size of the animal.

In this disease, the limbs, head and neck are covered with a white cotton-like coating.

Treatment: treatment of the affected areas with a 1% solution of potassium permanganate for 3-4 days.

12. Principles of diagnosis of diseases

The basic principle for diagnosing turtles' diseases at home is to collect data on the history of the disease.

Sometimes only one symptom is enough for a correct diagnosis. For example, cramps in turtles can be caused by two reasons:

- calcium deficiency after egg laying,

- feeding one type of food, in particular flour Khrushchak.

Knowledge of anamnestic data in this case will allow not only to correctly diagnose, but also to prescribe a treatment that is different in these cases.

Secondly, at home, you must be able to make the most likely diagnosis. For example, a convulsive contraction of the hind limbs in a freshwater turtle can be caused by:

- damage to the central nervous system by helminths,

- lack of vitamins in the diet.

The most likely cause of turtle damage in this case is hypovitaminosis. Therefore, the treatment will primarily be aimed at introducing vitamin preparations into the reptile diet.

The greatest difficulty in making a diagnosis is the differential diagnosis of diseases, expressed in complex digestive disorders and external respiration. Digestive disorders are sometimes expressed in changes in the rate of digestion of food, the nature of feces, frequent belching and exhaustion. Complex digestive disorders (the so-called dyspeptic syndrome) indicate a disease of the gastrointestinal tract due to improper maintenance. Syndrome of disturbance of external respiration, accompanied by difficulty breathing through the nasal passages and wheezing, manifests itself in the form of discharge from the nostrils and mouth. To facilitate diagnosis, the following are schemes with which you can most accurately determine the nature of these diseases.

Often, the correct diagnosis of a sick turtle helps only the effect of the therapeutic procedures.

In most cases, at home, the diagnosis can be made tentatively, without specifying the nature of the disease.For example, treatment of infectious dermatitis, regardless of its nature - mycotic or bacterial, is carried out, starting with methods with fewer complications. If the animal looks satisfactory in appearance, the treatment is carried out using antifungal ointments and the diagnosis is clarified by the result. If the state of the turtle is alarming, treatment is carried out using drugs of a different spectrum of actions, both antifungal and antibacterial.

Treatment begins immediately after a diagnosis, even approximate. Therapy should be aimed at eliminating the main cause of the disease: first of all, it is the normalization of the conditions of detention, since the causes of most diseases lie precisely in violation of these standards.

The use of drugs also has general principles. Currently, the main drugs for the treatment of various antibacterial infections are antibiotics and sulfonamides. The introduction of antibiotics in the diagnosis begins as early as possible. As a rule, the antibiotic to which the causative agent of the disease is most sensitive is first administered. This rule is recommended to observe at home.

For example, if a turtle shows signs of a bacterial infection of the gastrointestinal tract, it can be assumed that the causative agent of the disease is bacteria from the genus Arisona and Salmonella, which respond to the administration of certain antibiotics. However, it should be remembered that a disease with similar symptoms can be caused by staphylococci, but this happens much less often.

The duration of treatment, regardless of the drug, is no more than 10 days. If signs of the disease persist, the antibiotic needs to be changed.

Preparations for the treatment of reptiles are recommended to be purchased in forms containing them in the smallest amount in the package. For example, gentamicin sulfate is produced in ampoules or vials containing 40-200 mg of the drug, so it is more advisable to purchase the first.

Calculation of the dose of the antibiotic is not particularly difficult. For example, a turtle weighing 1 kg is required to be injected with a single dose of 100 mg / kg. The ampoule contains 1 g of the drug. For an animal with a similar body weight, the required 100 g is administered in a volume of 0.5 ml, possibly less. The proportion is compiled: 100 g of the drug - 0.5 ml of the solution, 1000 mg of the drug - x ml, x = (1000 mg x 0.5 ml): 100 mg = 5.0 ml.

Therefore, in order to obtain a solution of carbenicillin of the required concentration, 5 ml of liquid for injection is added to a bottle with 1 g of the drug. Then, having filled with a sterile syringe 0.5 ml of the finished solution, the desired dose of the drug is obtained.

Sulfanilamides (bactrim, tylosin, sulfadimethoxin) have a fairly wide spectrum of action, but they often turn out to be less effective compared to antibiotics.

Among the other drugs of this group, bactrim is considered the most convenient, which is produced in liquid form for administration directly into the mouth, which, of course, greatly facilitates its use.

In the treatment of various diseases of turtles and the introduction of various preparations for preventive purposes, various manipulations are carried out. You can find them in the section "Treatment of turtles at home."

Disinfection

Preventive disinfection, or a set of measures to destroy the causative agents of infectious diseases, is carried out regardless of the presence of the disease in the animal. With its help, you can avoid the spread of pathogenic bacteria, as well as destroy their carriers. The preventive disinfection course includes:

- irradiation of the terrarium and the premises in which it is located with ultraviolet rays,

- timely cleaning of feces, feed residues, change of water and contaminated soil,

- washing cups for drinking turtles and baths with water.

Disinfection is carried out as follows:

- feces of diseased animals for 1 hour are covered with bleach in a ratio of 1: 5, and then thrown away,

- drinking cups are boiled for 15 minutes in a 1% solution of soda or immersed for 30 minutes in a 0.5% solution of chloramine, a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide, and then washed the container with clean water and dried,

- the terrarium and equipment are treated 2 times a day with a rag soaked in a 30% solution of hydrogen peroxide with detergent,

- after cleaning the garbage is poured with a 10% solution of bleach,

- the walls of the terrarium are irrigated with a 1% solution of chloramine from a spray gun, irradiated with ultraviolet rays and change the soil,

- animal care items are immersed in a 1% solution of chloramine or in a clarified solution of bleach for 1 hour.

At the end of disinfection, hands should be thoroughly washed in a 10% solution of chloramine for 1-2 minutes. If there are several terrariums in the house, there should be a set of equipment for each of them. Only in this case can the risk of infection of other animals be reduced.

After disinfection, the equipment is treated with a 1% solution of chloramine, then washed with clean water and dried.

In addition to weekly preventive disinfection, 1-2 times a year, it is necessary to carry out a general cleaning.

Quarantine for purchased turtles

Before placement of all acquired reptiles in the terrarium, quarantine measures must be carried out in order to identify symptoms of possible diseases, take measures to treat them and prevent the spread of infections.

Quarantine turtles are held in a separate terrarium. The timing of isolation is determined individually with each specific animal. Most diseases of turtles do not always have clearly defined clinical signs; therefore, keeping animals in quarantine is recommended for at least 2-3 months.

Only after that, if the pet looks healthy, eats well, can it be transferred to a regular terrarium.

The purchased turtle should be kept in a separate terrarium for some time.

Inspection of purchased turtles

Before quarantine, the acquired turtles are examined. At the same time, they pay attention to the general appearance of the reptile: exhaustion or obesity, deformation of the spine, limbs or shell, open wounds, ulcers, scuffs, claw changes, corneal opacity, swelling of the eyelids.

Carry out the following activities:

1. Inspection to identify external parasites. To do this, carefully examine the places of the most frequent location of external parasites - skin folds, papillary spaces.

2. Examination of the oral cavity, helping to identify inflammation of the mucous membranes, hemorrhage, diseases of the jaw, discharge from the trachea.

3. Inspection of the nasal passages.

4. Inspection of cesspools to establish its loss, adhesion of soil particles during intestinal infections.

5. Palpation in order to identify tumors, abscesses, fractures, eggs in the oviducts, feces in the intestine and to clarify the condition of the musculoskeletal system. Palpation can also detect softening or premature hardening of the shell in turtles.

After the inspection, the turtle is placed in a separate terrarium and its behavior is monitored throughout the quarantine period.

While the reptile is in quarantine, it is recommended to analyze feces for presence and exclude the possibility of poisonous insects entering the terrarium.

Pest control

To destroy various vectors of infectious diseases in the terrarium, they also conduct another, no less important preventive measure - pest control. If insectivorous reptiles are contained in the terrarium, feed the turtles with healthy fodder helminths and intestinal bacteria in advance. To do this, contact a veterinary clinic.

Some insecticides are able to accumulate in the body of animals, therefore it is recommended to use drugs with a short residual effect - such as chlorophos, trichlorfos and karbofos.

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