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Posted by john p on May 05, 2002 at 14:22:09:
In Reply to: Please help my softshell!! posted by DesertGex on May 04, 2002 at 11:14:04:
: I have had my florida softshell turtle for 8 years and its carapace is only 3.5 inches long. Is this normal or is he a dwarf turtle as he eats like a pig. Also,lately he likes to stick his head out of the sand. close his eyes, and open his mouth really wide for a while, like he is in a trance. Anyone elso seen a fla softshell do this before? Is it normal or does he do this out of pain?
: Thx Forum!!
thats probably not normal size for an 8+ year old softshell, even the males grow larger than that. Are you feeding him a ballanced diet? If you are only feeding him the caned turtle sticks I would say his growth has been stunted. Since youve had him for 8 years Id say what you were describing about his mouth gaping with his eyes closed isn't due to using city water,(turtles will do this if you are using city water that has been treated with chlorine. they are being poisoned by the chemicals in it.) Id take him to the vet. Softshell turtles need clean and highly oxygenated water since they take oxygen from the water into their blood stream through the lining in their throat, so they do move their mouth something like a fish does when they are underwater as they pass water in and out of their throat, but it is not normal to hold their mouth wide open with their eyes closed like that for any extended length of time (unless they are yauning)