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Signs your slider turtle may have pneumonia

Closeup of a red-eared slider turtle raising its head, basking in warm sunlight.

(Photo: Flickr/Brent Myers)

Signs your slider turtle may have pneumonia

July 22, 2013

Q: How long does it take for a 3-month-old red-eared slider turtle to show signs of pneumonia? How long would it take to show the little signs and how long would it take to show a serious infection?

A: When we see the bubbles from the mouth and nose and the yawning, that is usually the first sign of a respiratory infection. If the respiratory infection progresses, it can go into pneumonia. There is no set time for that to happen.

We usually can recognize pneumonia because the symptoms get worse and the turtle has problems swimming because of fluid in the lungs. The only treatment is to make sure that the turtle is seen by a reptile specialist for an antibiotic. (If you need a herp vet, please let me know and I can locate one by state.)

I would improve the diet a bit for your turtle. They need 50% aquatic plants of dark leafy greens, 25% live prey like meal worms, earth worms or cooked meats, and 25% pellets.

Respiratory infections are very common in water turtles, and if treated early can avoid pneumonia and get the turtle feeling better.

-- Answer from Joan Vokes, a reptile specialist on JustAnswer.

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