How To Open The Mouth Of A Little Turtle

In good conditions, turtles can live for decades, but it also happens that pets get sick. Diseases can result from injuries, malnutrition, colds, and contact with sick animals. The most common diseases of turtles will be discussed in our article.

Rickets in turtles. It is found not only in people, but also in our smaller brothers. The tortoise softens the shell and bones. The reason is a lack of vitamin D and calcium, it can develop as a result of malnutrition and insufficient lighting. First, soft patches appear on the shell, then the disease progresses: the shell is deformed, the bones soften, spontaneous fractures are possible. A curved shell is an incorrigible pathology. As early as possible, you need to adjust the diet, increase daylight hours under an ultraviolet lamp or walk under the sun, inject calcium borgluconate under the skin (4-10 injections).

How To Open The Mouth Of A Little Turtle

Fungus, saprolegniosis. The tortoiseshell dots begin to appear on the shell, it peels off. Affected plates should be taken for analysis, after confirmation they need to be cleaned to prevent pathogenic bacteria from penetrating deeper. The affected areas are lubricated with antifungal and antibacterial ointments (they will be prescribed by a veterinarian). Saprolegniosis is more common in aquatic turtles: it seems that translucent filaments stretch behind the animal’s paws. It is necessary to disinfect water, make baths with special preparations, undergo a course of antibiotics.

Turtle Pneumonia. Often found in turtles: a small draft or a walk on the cold floor is enough. Often animals catch a cold during transportation or a violation of the temperature regime. The breathing is hoarse, mucus appears in the oral cavity, bubbling fluid is released from the nose. The turtle increasingly opens its mouth, breathing intermittently. A course of antibiotics is mandatory for 5-7 days (amikacin 5 mg, baytril 5 mg per kilogram of weight and other drugs), also give ReptoCal and ReptoLife, vitamin complexes. The tortoise needs to provide warmth and peace.

How To Open The Mouth Of A Little Turtle

Rhinitis and sinusitis. They can be single-sided or double-sided. First, mucous secretions appear from the nose, the turtle behaves sluggishly, apathetically. If left untreated, rhinitis can affect the eyes and ears of the turtle. The animal needs to be kept warm away from drafts, maintain the temperature regime, rinse the nasal passages with antiseptics using a syringe with a catheter (chlorhexidine, sea salt), give vitamin complexes. If necessary, the veterinarian can prescribe a course of antibiotics.

Prolapse of the rectum or cesspool. The cause may be trauma to the intestinal mucosa (for example, if the turtle ate the ground or hard food). The males also show prolapse of the penis, it will be better if the veterinarian corrects it. Also, cesspool can occur due to constipation and enteritis. After the cesspool is adjusted, the tail is fixed with adhesive tape, paraffin oil is orally administered. For several days you need to observe the pet, whether there will be a relapse, if there are any problems with bowel movements.

How To Open The Mouth Of A Little Turtle

Conjunctivitis in cherapahs. There is redness and inflammation of the eyelids and conjunctival sacs, the tortoise behaves uneasily, rubs its eyes with its paws. The disease can be caused by streptococcal or staphylococcal infection. The course of treatment includes antiseptic ointments (chloramphenicol, tetracycline), antibiotics, immunomodulators.

Maladaptation syndrome. If the turtle was improperly transported or the living conditions changed, the digestive system may be disrupted. The animal refuses food, dehydration, an apathetic state, drowsiness are observed. It is necessary to give the turtle an anthelmintic, regularly bathe in warm water, and establish feeding. If serious weight loss is observed, the veterinarian may prescribe droppers. Antibiotics may also be prescribed.

Necrosis, osteomyelitis. Cracks often appear in the shell, through which the infection can penetrate. If necrosis begins, damaged shields must be removed, then apply antifungal and antibacterial ointments daily. Osteomyelitis manifests itself in the form of reddish rough spots, in the advanced stage, it leads to the death of the shell and damage to internal organs. Turtle is prescribed injections of chloramphenicol or aminoglycoside, baths with antiseptic drugs, give vitamin complexes, calcium.

For its sluggishness and sluggishness, as well as the interested turn of the head and the inspiring look of cute animal turtles, you can call it royal. They are unpretentious, and require a little free space to accommodate the aquarium / terrarium.

The reasons why the tortoise (most often the problem concerns the red-eared tortoise) makes a squeak may be as follows:

  1. The most common cause of turtle squeak is maturity. When the reptile reaches puberty and prepares for reproduction, it squeaks attracts the attention of individuals of the opposite sex. If you have only one turtle in your apartment, it is unlikely that this is the reason for the squeak.
  2. With a squeak, the tortoise may try to convey its displeasure. Carefully study the conditions in which your pet is kept – perhaps some external factor simply causes inconvenience to him.
  3. If your turtle squeals, carefully inspect it. By squeaking, a pet can express pain. Often it is with a squeak that a reptile notifies about an injury. Inspect her skin and shell.
  4. The most unpleasant reason a turtle can make a squeak is a disease. Many diseases of the lungs and respiratory system in general have just such a symptom. It is not recommended to prescribe treatment yourself, without special knowledge – this can only do harm.
Read more:  How To Care For A Water Turtle

In any case, if your pet has been eating for more than 7 days, a visit to the veterinarian is recommended. If your animal has lived with you for a long time (several months or more) and you begin to notice some sound reaction to certain of your actions, such as pulling out of the aquarium, the pet’s lack of desire to crawl out onto a dry islet, some changes in the skin, then you should immediately contact qualified personnel.

Signs of tortoise disease?

First of all, examine the appearance of your pets for possible symptoms of illness. Dangerous signals include swollen eyes, nasal mucus, prolonged saliva in the mouth, yellow plaque, or ulcers. In this case, you can be afraid if your turtle has caught pneumonia, and qualified intervention is necessary. However, in any case, first observe the pet. Perhaps the "squeak" occurs when the turtle eats juicy food. In addition, a similar sound is made by red-eared turtles during the breeding season.

Together with other symptoms (refusal to land, eat, hibernation), squeaking can be a stressful reaction as a result of improper conditions of detention.

How To Open The Mouth Of A Little Turtle

What problems can a vet identify?

To make a diagnosis (and this may be hypovitaminosis, rickets, for example), the animal should be brought to the doctor, and the conditions for keeping the pet should be recorded in detail. This will help to eliminate irritating factors (it can be an ordinary lamp or a household water filter, as well as the wrong temperature for keeping) from the animal’s life and prevent the development of the disease and deterioration.

Pneumonia and other respiratory diseases

Speaking about serious diseases during which turtles squeak, one cannot but mention pneumonia. If your turtle has pneumonia – it must be urgently treated with a medication. To identify pneumonia in a turtle will help ulcers, saliva stretching from the mouth, mucous secretions, swollen eyes and yellow plaque. If any of the signs is present in your turtle – immediately show it to the veterinarian.

A squeak when a turtle breathes means only that there is an obstruction in the larynx region that causes sound vibration. This may be pulmonary sputum, but most often saliva, a food fragment or mucus from the stomach, accidentally falling into the trachea. If these episodes are repeated, then a drop of 24% aminophylline can be inserted into the trachea during inspiration.

  1. Open your mouth, push down on the throat from below to raise the root of the tongue.
  2. There is the entrance to the laryngeal fissure.
  3. During inspiration, it opens (two petals diverge to the sides).
  4. At this moment, drip there the aminophylline, through the thick needle of the syringe, cutting off the sharp tip from it.

How To Open The Mouth Of A Little Turtle

Other sounds of turtles

It is believed that turtles are the most silent animals in the world and do not know how to make sounds. Most often, one can hear the “cries” of male land turtles when, during mating, they climb onto a female or what they consider to be a female. It is believed that each species has its “own” voice by which this species can be recognized. Females usually do not make any sounds when mating.

Some turtles, having fallen into captivity, make different sounds, but then, when they get used to it, they become “numb”. But besides the screams of the turtles, occasionally they can make various sounds that can frighten the owner or mistress.

Sometimes when closing the mouth in aquatic turtles you can hear the “clicking” of the tips of the horn jaws against each other. If a large tortoise sharply pulls its head into the shell, then the air displaced from the lungs can emit a hiss, and the turtle itself can hiss if it is very frightened (and again sharply draws its head in).

Trachemys can whistle when they put their nose or face out of the water. Often this happens when they are unhappy with something, or just like that. If there are no alarming symptoms, then such a whistle is normal, and there is nothing to be done about it. For example, red-eared turtles make a sound similar to “croaking” for no particular reason.

Read more:  How To Choose A Filter For A Turtle Aquarium

But if your turtle regularly opens its mouth, cranes its neck and squeaks, start to sound the alarm and at the same time listless and refuses to eat. This is likely a sign of pneumonia, with which turtles do not live long. So start looking for herpetologist veterinarians in your city.

The opinion of scientists

According to researchers, adult turtles communicate with each other and with hatched offspring using at least six types of different sounds. The results of the work published in the journal Herpetologica suggest that turtles live a more complex social life than previously thought.

The study was conducted from 2009 to 2011 on the Trombetas River, located in the Brazilian state of Para in the north of the country. Using microphones and hydrophones, scientists were able to record over 250 sounds made by river turtles. Then they analyzed them, dividing them into six types, which correlated with a certain turtle behavior.

“The exact meaning of these sounds is unclear. However, we believe that turtles share information, ”said Dr. Camila Ferrara, who participated in the study, in an interview with the BBC. “We believe that sounds help animals coordinate their actions during the egg laying season,” Ferrara added. The sounds made by the turtles were slightly different from each other depending on what the animals were busy at the moment.

For example, the turtle made a specific sound when adults crossed the river. When the rest of the turtles gathered on the shore, where the masonry was made, she made a different sound. According to Dr. Ferrara, females of turtles with the help of sounds direct the newly hatched offspring into the water and back to the shore. Since many turtles live for decades, scientists suggest that in the process of life, young individuals learn to communicate using sounds from more experienced relatives.


If your turtle has reached the age of 7-10 years and began to squeak, then, most likely, its squeak is associated with achieving puberty. If suddenly your turtle began to squeak – examine its body. Often such sounds can be accompanied by pain – make sure that there are no injuries on the body of the turtle. If there are no injuries and puberty is not reached, but the turtle makes a squeak and refuses to eat or go to land – make sure that this is not a reaction to improper maintenance of the pet, because turtles are demanding on the living conditions.

To the question, who understands the red-eared turtles? seems ill (((asked by the author Yonya Marmeladkina the best answer is to go to the forum, with a detailed description of the contents of the turtle and with the addition of photos of chepa
here is what I found, similar to your description, from a reliable source (according to Vasiliev)
Pneumonia of the I stage. "wet" or "exudative" pneumonia. arises suddenly and proceeds sharply. It is usually caused by the short-term maintenance of turtles at low temperatures, without food and in crowded conditions. that is, during transportation, overexposure, trade in a cold room, on the street or market, etc. The disease can manifest itself after 3.4 days and in some cases leads to death within a few days, or even hours. In a subclinical form, the disease may go unnoticed, stabilize and go into stage II or in a chronic course.
In the initial stages of exudative pneumonia, the symptoms vary. The turtle can refuse to feed, become lethargic and lethargic. Aquatic turtles spend more time on land, terrestrial. stop returning to the stationary shelter (if any) or do not go to heating at all. If such a turtle is neat "to click" on the nose, then with a sharp cleansing of the head, a vibrating, gurgling sound resembling wet wheezing can be heard. In this case, the air vibrates during exhalation passing over the liquid serous exudate in the upper part of the trachea and in the laryngeal fissure. Transparent, slightly stretching exudate can be found in the oral cavity and in the choanae (see color. Incl. V-7). With auscultation of the lungs, wheezing is not heard. In the future, the accumulation of exudate in the lungs and in the upper respiratory tract can cause choking. Excess exudate can sometimes stand out from the mouth or nostrils and dry out in the form of whitish crusts. The mucous membranes of the oral cavity and tongue become pale, and sometimes cyanotic. Land tortoises can dramatically increase activity: they begin "run" through the terrarium, make imposed movements, sometimes as if not seeing anything around. Attacks of activity are replaced by periods of depression. In water turtles, flotation qualities are violated: with a one-sided process, turtles "tumble down" when swimming to the side of the affected lung (where the density of the spongy tissue increases). In many cases, turtles resort to their own mechanism for removing mucus from the trachea, reminiscent of "cough" or sneezing. At the same time, the turtle makes an exhalation movement, leaving the laryngeal fissure closed and the head. half drawn inward. This allows you to increase the positive pressure in the body cavity. Then the turtle sharply extends its head forward, opens its mouth and makes a coughing or "snapping" sound. In this case, the exudate accumulated in the larynx is ejected into the oral cavity. "Sneezing" carried out by the same mechanism, but the mouth does not open and the nostrils are cleaned. Another characteristic symptom is shortness of breath. throwing back the head. In this case, this position allows the tortoise to partially remove the exudate that has accumulated in the choanas and to facilitate nasal breathing for some time. Turtles can rub their heads with their front paws. this is a pretty hopeless attempt "cope" with obstruction of the nostrils.
In case of stage I pneumonia, timely treatment has a lightning effect. Symptoms may disappear after the first injection of an antibiotic (usually within a few hours). Our drug of choice is Ampioks sodium in doses of 200 mg / kg intramuscularly. Drugs reserve group. oxytetracycline, baytril and chloramphenicol-succinate. If therapy does not cause a clear improvement within 3.4 days, it is better to prescribe aminoglycosides. During treatment, the turtle should be kept at daytime temperatures of at least 30.32 ° C.
there will be questions, write, there is experience in the treatment of turtles, even happened to operate

Read more:  Feeding A Central Asian Turtle

There are several ways to open the mouth of a turtle. The following options are considered most suitable: the lower jaw is lowered due to pressure on special points; the mouth is opened with the help of a special device called a "yawn"; force the turtle to open its mouth with a regular match inserted in the corner of its mouth. Naturally, there are other ways, but these are the simplest and easiest to implement.

How To Open The Mouth Of A Little Turtle

Before embarking on such an action, one should plan everything well and remember that serious efforts should not be made. Everything needs to be done so that later the turtle decides to open its mouth. It is necessary to remember one more moment, if it was not possible to feed the turtle forcibly, then this is not at all scary, since it can be without food for a long time (up to 3 months). Failed today, it will happen tomorrow and so on, but you can always try. Moreover, this leads to the emergence of skills that may be useful in the future.

To install the probe to the turtle, you will have to do the following steps:

  • The turtle is upright, head up.
  • Using a wooden object, they try to open her mouth.
  • The probe is inserted carefully and carefully, without changing the position of the animal.

If the turtle is large, then an assistant should be used.

To simply feed the animal, you can do the following steps:

  • Lock the head of the pet.
  • Do not press hard on the points behind the ears.
  • After that, the lower jaw is lowered down.

Then they begin forced feeding, armed with a syringe without a needle. A nutrient fluid (carrot juice with vitamin supplements) is drawn into the syringe. Food should not be introduced in large portions and, mainly, on the tongue of the turtle.

Strip of paper or match

How To Open The Mouth Of A Little Turtle

There is another, no less effective option, helping to open the mouth of the turtle. Here he is:

  • The head of the turtle is fixed.
  • A wooden stick or piece of thick paper is inserted between the jaws.
  • Light pressure on the lower jaw opens the mouth of the turtle.

In this case, it all depends on the age of the pet. If this is a small turtle, then you need to take a piece of thick paper, and if it is an adult, then a wooden stick will not hurt.

To open the jaws of the animal is real and with the help of an ordinary match. To do this, the tip of the match (without the sulfur head) is inserted into the corner of the mouth. After that, you should try to open her jaw. In this case, you should press on the lower jaw, since it is mobile. The upper jaw is firmly connected to the skull and is motionless. Therefore, all operations need to be performed only with the lower jaw.

How To Open The Mouth Of A Little Turtle

To what sizes does a land tortoise grow?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This