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Posted by KellBell on April 17, 2003 at 18:12:25:
My husband has four captive-bred yearling box turtles. Dad is an ornate, mom a three-toe. Anyway, the smallest of the group was apparently attacked one day by the other yearlings....they nipped off a couple of his scutes by the tail and mangled his tail pretty badly. This happened about two weeks ago. I have him seperated from the others now, and treated the wounds by keeping the area clean and using some antibiotic ointment on it. He seemed to be doing well all things considered. But the past week he has eaten little, sleeps a lot, not very alert. Well, he does perk up and seem okay when he gets his nightly soak. But he won't eat afterward, like the others do. Tried mealworms last night, and he just let it crawl right past him. I tried commercial food that I moistened, no luck there either. I tried hardboiled egg, which the others go nuts for, still no luck. The injury looks good, like it's healing, so I don't know why he is acting this way now. I did tell my husband that his shell seemed a little softer on the plastron than the other turtle tots. Could it be a calcium deficiency??? We do use the powder. But he is markedly softer. I am thinking that maybe he was singled out as the runt (as animals can do in the wild), and was being picked on because he was weaker. If that is the case, then perhaps he wasn't getting to eat as well as the others, and that caused a deficiency?? I don't know, but I am really afraid we will lose him if we don't get something in him soon. I have made sure he is warmer, had lots of UV light, and plenty of moisture. It is helping, but he is still not eating. I read that I could force-feed him some chicken babyfood with Pedialyte, cod liver oil, and calcium powder. I may have to do that. Any thoughts as to why the other yearlings did this to him, and what is going on with him right now would be much appreciated. TIA!!