Sick Slider Turtle


Old Timer
Jul 29, 2007
A friend of mine has a red-eared slider that an ex girlfriend got for him from a pet store about eight months ago. The poor little guy isn't acting like himself and my friend isn't sure what to do.

He hasn't been eating all that much, was rubbing his eyes a lot, and has been sleeping with all of his limbs hanging out of the shell on his basking rock.

He perked up a little and starting eating better after a full water change and rinse off in the sink. Which makes me think whatever is was some kind of chemical exposure. He's still not acting like himself though. So if anyone has any thoughts about what can be done for him, please feel free to throw them out there.

Like I said, the little guy was bought by a third party and no research was really done beforehand. As with everything out there, there is a lot of conflicting information. So any knowledge you want to pass on about this critter is more than welcome!

Jaymz Bedell

Old Timer
Dec 19, 2009
the only real medical advice anyone can give you online is to have your friend take the turtle to a good vet. the symptoms you're describing come along with several different illnesses. a vet is really your only way of accurately diagnosing what could be wrong.

as for husbandry...big tanks, large volumes of water, lots of filtration and regular water changes...depending on the size of the tank atleast once a week, preferably more. without clean water the turtle is basically living in bacterial soup. filters help, water changes help more. larger tanks hold more water, more water dilutes toxins more. this does not negate the need for proper husbandry, including regular water changes.

as to conflicting information...research, research, research. ideally research before hand, in this case that wasn't possible. 8 months is a long time to do research on a commonly kept animal. there are many turtle forums, breeders, and hobbyists out there. that can mean a lot of conflicting advice. and these days a lot of the people that have been in the hobby for long periods of time are laying low. a lot of them aren't on the internet regularly, or at all. but there is still a ton of easily accessed information out there. googling turtle forums would be a good place to start, then brew a pot or 3 of coffee and sit tight for some heavy reading. good luck, get that turtle to a vet asap, keep us posted.


Old Timer
May 8, 2010
More info on the setup would help.

What size is the turtle?
What size is the tank?
What type of filtration?
Water temp.
Does it have a basking area? What temp is that?
What type of lighting is used?
What is the turtles diet?
How often are water changes done?
Photos would help too.

I agree this turtle should see a vet. Most turtles I see are setup poorly because of bad petshop advise. Please do some more research as mentioned above.


Old Timer
May 7, 2006

The BEST site for turtle care, perhaps if you take your question there along with the details that BQC123 listed will help in getting you a good reply.