Nicole has a Mississippi Map turtle. It was a birthday present for her last year and we took her to get it the weekend following her birthday.
She had told me several times in the last couple of weeks that he hasn’t been eating and she thought something was wrong with him/her. I basically kept telling her he would eat when he was hungry. She kept showing more anxiety so on Wednesday, she found a reptile vet and emailed me the information. I went to the their website and filled out their contact form. I filled it out except for the information about the turtle, how she heard of the office and also the reason for the visit.
She wrote the reason for the visit and then asked me if it sounded okay. Of course, it sounded fine and it is so typical Nicole. Here is what she said:
“He hasn’t been eating for about two weeks. I’ve read that he might be going into hibernation but I don’t know if it’s too early for that or not. He also didn’t go into hibernation last year, but we had just gotten him around hibernation time and he was adjusting. I have suspected a respiratory infection because he has some bubbles coming out of his nostrils sometimes (not very often though) and I have seen him yawn while he’s basking. These happened a bit before he started to not eat, though. He also has some discoloration on his shell, but I don’t think it’s shell rot (doesn’t look like it). I put him in some real sunlight (through a window) throughout the day and those patches seem to be getting better. I just want to get him checked out to find out what, if anything, is wrong. Also, this would be his first vet visit since I got him almost a year ago (which I realize I should have gotten in sooner), so I guess a checkup would be nice too. ”
Nicole and Rick went to the vet this morning with Ridgely in tow. I was in the driveway talking to my mother-in-law when they got home and I could tell that something was wrong from Nicole’s eyes. I asked her what happened and she said that he either has a respiratory infection or heart/kidney failure. The vet said he could have done an x-ray but wasn’t sure if this would show anything. He gave her some medicine that she has to give by injection every other day in his back flipper. His shell is discolored because of lack of UV light even though we have that light for his tank. The vet says they don’t work and they need to be changed every three to six months. She has to take him outside every day for 30 minutes and keep him in a dry tank and only put him in water for about 30 minutes three times a day. His water has been very cloudy and the glass has calcium deposits which turns out Ridgely has been causing.
Nicole woke me up this morning about 3:00 a.m. crying because she couldn’t sleep and also because nobody listens to her and I am included in this group. It is true I didn’t listen to her about Ridgely and I certainly didn’t listen to her about her shortness of breath before diagnosis. She was very angry and upset with me especially when she got home which made me feel horrible. I ended up getting mad at her because she barely wore her O2 when she was out and I was just as mad at Rick because he didn’t make her.
Nicole paid for the vet visit which was $125 plus her trip to Pet Smart for turtle food, tank filters and a rock as the rock we had was turning green from algae. She is responsible for Ridgely’s care and up keep except for changing the water weekly and cleaning the filter as this is to much exertion for her.
I asked her if she had a plan to make sure she gave him his medicine and took him outside every day and put him in water three times a day and she said “yes.” I asked what her plan was and she said “you’ll see.”
I am very proud of her for showing so much responsibility for Ridgely and I hope he feels better soon so Nicole won’t be so upset. He seems to be a little more active and such with trying to climb up the walls of his tank.