Illustrated Articles

Reptiles

  • The Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) is probably the most popular pet aquatic turtle. They are semi-aquatic turtles (they like to leave the water to bask in the sun), native to the warmer southern United States.

  • Common conditions of pet turtles include Vitamin A deficiency, respiratory diseases, abscesses, shell infections and fractures, and parasites.

  • Turtles have several unique problems. Understanding these problems will allow you to better care for your pet and minimize future health care issues.

  • Box turtles are omnivorous, which means that they eat both plant and animal based foods. Some box turtles, like the ornate box turtle, eat insects. They have a sharp eye and keen sense of smell. Young, growing box turtles, up to 4-6 years of age, tend to be primarily carnivores and adults tend to be herbivorous.

  • By far the most common species of pet turtle is the popular box turtle, which will be the subject of this discussion. Box turtles may be housed indoors or outside, depending upon environmental conditions and owner preference, in an escape-proof enclosure that ensures the safety of the animal (providing protection from predators or other animals).

  • Several species of turtles are available for purchase as pets. By far the most common species is the popular box turtle, which will be the subject of this discussion. If you own another species, most of this information will apply, but you should check with your veterinarian about any specific requirements for your pet turtle.

  • Many reptile owners are surprised to learn that all pets need at least an annual checkup. A number of reptile veterinarians actually recommend checkups at least twice a year.

  • Many reptile owners are surprised to learn that all pets, including their reptiles, need an initial visit by a reptile veterinarian and at least an annual checkup. A number of reptile veterinarians actually recommend checkups at least twice a year, to allow for early detection and treatment of potentially life-threatening diseases.

  • The underlying philosophy of all alternative medical therapies is the 'holistic' approach, in which the patient is treated as a whole being rather than as a collection of organs and parts. The patient is treated as an individual rather than as a diagnosis, and the treatment is determined by the way that he or she is responding to illness.