Terrapin Illnesses

Common Terrapin Illnesses
>Common Terrapin IllnessesLongevity of terrapins is much more than other aquatic creatures which demands extra care.

In captivity, terrapins may suffer from a number of diseases which, if not treated by an experienced veterinary surgeon immediately, deteriorate soon and can even be fatal.

Any injury should also be taken care as early as possible to avoid severe complications.

Turtle Guide Book


The Complete Turtle & Terrapin Guide Book

Download your FREE copy when you subscribe to our email newsletter with regular tips not published anywhere else.

You can unsubscribe at any time.
See our Privacy Policy.

Terrapin health is largely related to its surrounding and the feed. The size of the terrapinarium, clean water with regular change and filtration, controlled water temperature, natural sunlight or artificially provided UV light and balanced food with additional supplement of vitamins and minerals (especially calcium) are the essential things to take care of for their well-being.

TetraFauna ReptoGuard Turtle Health Conditioner 3 Count, Slow-Release (19514)
7,900 Reviews
TetraFauna ReptoGuard Turtle Health Conditioner 3 Count, Slow-Release (19514)
  • TURTLE HEALTH CONDITIONER Slow-release dissolving blocks help create a healthier environment for aquatic turtles amphibians and other reptiles
  • CONTROLS DISEASES Controls a variety of common diseases and disease-causing organisms including salmonella for the safety of aquatic turtles and their owners
  • SLOW RELEASE Each sulfa-medicated block dissolves slowly and lasts up to 60 days

They may suffer from various infections caused by the foul water and most severe of them is the sore of oral-cavity due to which they may stop taking foods. It can be detected by watching them carefully. They may keep their mouth half open and emit a terribly foul smell.

Zoo Med WC-4 Repti Safe, 125 ml
1,015 Reviews
Zoo Med WC-4 Repti Safe, 125 ml
  • water treatment
  • reptiles, turtle, lizard, arachnids
  • Water conditioner

Ear infection with pus formation also can occur. Too cold water can cause severe respiratory infections causing runny nose, pneumonia, cough, over production of mucus, unbalanced and improper swimming etc.

HITOP Adjustable Aquarium Heater with Protective Cover, 25W 30W 50W 100W 120W Fish and Turtle Tank Heater for 5L to 120L Fresh Water and Seawater water Thermostat (50W)
1,140 Reviews
HITOP Adjustable Aquarium Heater with Protective Cover, 25W 30W 50W 100W 120W Fish and Turtle Tank Heater for 5L to 120L Fresh Water and Seawater water Thermostat (50W)
  • Safe: We adopt 2mm thickened explosion-proof glass, 33% thicker than normal aquarium heaters, more durable, much safer for both human and animals.
  • Double Protection: Protective cover wrapping the heater tube, triangle streamlined design, full of modernity, not only double safety, but also space-saving and beautiful in your aquarium.
  • Easy to Set Temperature: After set the temp you want, due to the automatic switch device and temperature detection system, aquarium heater will turn off automatically when its temp reaches your pre-set, also will turn on when lower than it, safe and easy adjustment.

Blindness is another common ailment caused by the lack of vitamin D, which they absorb from the sunlight, and vitamin A. Minerals like Calcium in the diet play an important role. Soft, rubbery, deformed shell or white patches on the carapace can occur due to calcium deficiency or calcium-phosphorus imbalance.

Zoo Med MD-11E Dr Turtle Calcium Block
966 Reviews
Zoo Med MD-11E Dr Turtle Calcium Block
  • A slow release calcium block that conditions water
  • Providing a calcium supplement to promote healthy shell growth for aquatic turtles
  • For using it, simply place in your turtles water supply

Cracked shells, signs of worms or blood in the droppings, swellings or cuts are other ailments which bother terrapins quite often. By proper monitoring these can be detected and treated.

Following are the few possible ways to keep a terrapin healthy:

  1. Proper treatment by an experienced veterinary doctor before it is too late.
  2. Administration of antibiotics or antifungal medicines whenever necessary.
  3. Water should be cleaned and replaced regularly.
  4. Provision of an easy to climb island inside the terrapinarium to help them in drying up occasionally.
  5. Natural sunlight or artificial UV light can supply them necessary Vitamin D to strengthen their shells. Vitamin A, in the form of cod-liver oil can be given daily as drops with every feed to keep their eyes healthy. Powdered mineral supplements are also essential for the terrapins in captivity.
  6. Maintain the water temperature between 75°F to 80°F.
  7. Isolate the sick terrapin from the healthy ones.

Always remember – prevention is better than cure. For more information about preventing and curing terrapin diseases please see my Turtle Guide Book review.