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Health Care

health care of box turtlesBox turtles are susceptible to a variety of diseases and conditions, but many health problems can be avoided by taking preventative measures. First of all, your turtle’s living quarters should be cleaned on a regular basis. Many bacteria will thrive in an unclean enclosure, leaving your turtle susceptible to a variety of health issues.

Salmonellosis
An intestinal infection, salmonellosis affects most animals, including turtles. They generally contract it from infected food sources or from contact with other infected turtles. It is passed on to humans via bacteria in unclean surroundings, such as dirty water and feces, or by direct contact with an infected turtle.

Salmonellosis can usually be avoided by taking proper precautions. Your box turtle's water must be changed frequently, whether is appears to be dirty or not. It is also very important to keep the tank clean, sticking to a regular cleaning schedule, if at all possible. In addition, be vigilant about scrubbing your hands and arms after touching your turtle.

Soft Shell
This condition is encountered by many captive turtles and can be a very serious problem. It is caused by a calcium deficiency along with a lack of vitamin D3 and sunlight. Its obvious symptom is a softness and flexibility of the edges of the turtle’s shell. It is more difficult to diagnose in young turtles because their shells tend to be soft already, but there may also be some discoloration of the shell, turning it a bleached white color.

To avoid soft shell or to cure it in its early stages, make sure your turtle is getting the amount of full-spectrum lighting he needs. In addition, alter his diet to include more calcium. You can also purchase calcium powder to mix in with your box turtle’s food once a week.


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