Terrapins are small, delicate, and prone to injuries easily due to various reasons like mishandling, aggression, etc.
Handling and watching them properly can reduce the chances of such injuries.
Injuries can also take place because of fights and encounters over their own territory. Sometimes even they fight among their own species.
The soft tissues or shells of the pet terrapins may get seriously injured, or they may even be eaten up by other pets or birds while basking outdoor in the sun.
Female terrapins may get some injuries from its mating partners while copulating due to bites from aggressive males or premature withdrawal of male reproductive organ from the cloaca.
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Terrapins need gentle handling. To secure while holding, firm support should be given to their legs and the body with both the hands from the sides of the shell. Large terrapins have hard beaks and sharp claws and are capable of painful scratching and biting.
Moreover, an alarmed terrapin may struggle hard which may cause accidental scratch on the fingers or hand of the owner, who in turn may open the grip and the terrapin may fall. Their shells are generally hard but it, along with the neck, head, and limbs can get serious fracture, damage and/or life threatening injury because of the sudden drop.
Other than the above dangers, terrapins may suffer from some common ailments causing severe wounds on their body. Due to lacking of certain nutrients like Calcium, Phosphorus, and Vitamin D, soft and lumpy shells may develop.
Infection of eyes due to injuries, unhealthy environment or deficiency of vitamin A can cause closed or swollen eyes or even blindness. This creates difficulty in feeding which in the long run can lead to several other problems. Lack of proper diet can also be responsible for certain deformities.
How to avoid the injuries
- Hold them firmly
- Be alert while handling
- Don’t keep different sizes of terrapins together. The small ones may end up in the stomach of the bigger and stronger ones. Keeping similar sized terrapins may reduce the chances of injuries due to fighting
- Consult a good veterinarian surgeon as soon as possible for any injury or other health problems of your terrapin
- Never allow a child below 5 years to handle a terrapin. It is for the safety of both of them
- Take utmost care while putting the terrapin down
- Educate yourself about terrapins