Signs of a Healthy Terrapin
It is important to check the health of a terrapin quite often to detect any external sign of ailment.
A pair of bright and clean eyes, which can close or open easily and do not produce any sticky secretion, is one of the signs of good health.
The color and the shell should also be appearing bright. A healthy terrapin’s skin is clean, shiny and without any crack.
The creature should be looking lively with freely moving limbs and head and be able to pushing its extended feet against one’s hand when pressed.
On touching, they may naturally withdraw their feet or try to hide themselves within the shell.
A healthy terrapin should have a clean oral-cavity without any lesion and the jaws should open and close perfectly. Occurrence of the soft shell or any other deformity generally indicates a deficiency of Calcium or other nutrients.
Being a cold-blooded reptile, a terrapins energy level can also alter according to the temperature around it. A wintry ambience can cause respiratory diseases with liquid or foamy oral and nasal discharges.
They may try to hibernate, do not move and remain without food, which in captivity can make it fatally sick. Hence temperature control in the terrapinarium is very important to keep it healthy.
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Weight is also another indicator for a healthy terrapin which should be checked at a regular interval. It is said that ‘a heavier terrapin means a healthier terrapin’; but for one in captivity, overfeeding causes overweight and obesity which can be dangerous.
A healthy terrapin should be free of various infections caused by algae, bacteria or fungus. Various ailments commonly caused by these microorganisms are skin blisters or growth of slimy and brownish membrane, shell rot or shedding shell plates, raw ulcers, loss of digits or claws, hemorrhage, paralytic limbs etc., which are visible externally.
Seeing any sign of loose and saggy skin one can detect the occurrence of dehydration.
Loss of appetite, puffy eyes, swollen and stiff joints, difficulty in swimming and internal hemorrhage etc are the various symptoms which denote any internal disease of a pet terrapin and need immediate treatment by an experienced veterinarian.
Once detected, a sick or injured terrapin should be isolated from the rest to avoid fast spreading of infection, which can be worse with delay. A healthy terrapin is lively and hardy. With timely detection of any problem and proper care it can survive for a long time.
For more hints and tips about keeping terrapins healthy please check out my review of the complete terrapin care guide.