Turtle Talk with Mr. T.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Wow. This has been quite a week thus far with the turtles. I thought it was quite a week with packing up the house and moving (I have been a stress case), but the turtles were the icing on the cake. I feel like I can somewhat understand how a parent feels. Well, Monday evening, Jake and I were getting ready to go to dinner. I heard lots of noise coming from the turtle tank so I ran to the tank. Then I saw the saddest thing in my life....

So, Its mating season right now. Mr. T is a boy. He got "worked up" and boy turtles dont have room for their "stuff" inside them, so they stick it outside of their body. Sadly this is something they cant help, or fix really quick. It takes time for the blood flow to go down and the big ball that looks like poop to go back in the males body. Well...normally out in the wild the male can run away till this ball goes back in them. In a tank...they are limited. Well, one of the girls in the tank Alfredo, bit Mr. T on this ball (they eat poop all the time). Right when I walked in the room, I saw Mr. T trying to get away, and Alfredo chasing him and bit the ball. Wow.....lets talk about blood everywhere (turtle blood is red), I was screaming...yes this was really scary.
I have never felt so horrible in my life. My cute helpless turtle literally got bitten on his "privates" and blood was everywhere. I cant imagine the pain. Poor little guy. I was so grateful Jake was home. I was also so grateful we were home when this all happened so we could get Mr. T out of the tank from everyone. Jake called the pet hospital right away. They told us what to do to get him through the night, and made an appointment with the doctor for the morning. This was my first experience with a pet doctor so I was nervous. This was new to us all. I mean..what do you do for a hurt turtle?

Well, the Vet said to keep Mr. T out of the tank with his tank mates (for sure!). They also said to help stop the bleeding, make a bath of 1/2 hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 water and keep the turtle in it for 30 minutes. Poor Mt. T did NOT like this at all! Jake was so sweet and held Mr. T the entire 30 minutes and just held his bum in the water so it wasn't to horrible for him. Then we were supposed to keep him dry all night, but have a wet warm rag for his bum to sit on during the night. Mr. T I think was in shock, and hurt so he was running around all over the big tub we put him in. We wrapped him in blankets and turned the lights off and he calmed down. That was good. He was peaceful the rest of the night. We checked on him all night, and he did just fine.
Bright and early, we went to the pet hospital. It was kinda funny filling out paper work for my turtle :) I was shocked at how brave Mr. T was. Normally he only lets Jake and I hold him, and he tries to bite anyone else, but he was so good for the doctor. He also was walking around his tub and hanging out, and the doctor said that was so good.  She also said it was good bleeding stopped pretty quick. She said there is nothing you can do for a hurt pee pee unless he sticks it out again. If it happens again where he gets bit, it would be surgery time. Wow, now thats a lot to think about. I loved the pet doctor! She was a specialist for turtles and wow she was a hoot! She was so fun to be around to. I would like to be friends with her in real life :) She gave some great advice about the turtles and helped me feel better that Mr. T would be ok.

So for now, Mr T. is super vulnerable  He is in a tank by himself. I also took out Max our other boy and put him in his own tub. I dont like them to be separated  from everyone because I think they feel like they have been bad if they are alone, but its good for them. The boys finally are not hiding their tales for the vicious girls. I know its just a defense mechanism but its hard when the turtles are in a tank and not in the wild.

The turtles and their environment was weighing heavy on my mind before, and now even more so. Jake and I are just so concerned and what do we do? I mean, this whole incident can happen again, and I dont want it to. I never realized turtles could be mean pets. Not intentionally, but they just are feisty little guys. Some times is hard for me to watch. So, Jake and I were already planning on getting a bigger tank, but we are thinking thats not going to cut it. We either need to separate the turtles, or get 4 tanks, or something till we can build a pond in our back yard.

With moving it will be great because now we can build a big pond in the back yard. I talked to the vet about it, and turtles can surprisingly live in the snow just fine! If there is running water, the water will not freeze. So, we just need to heat the water and have a serious filter and the turtles will be totally great outside. But that means a huge money chuck again. I dont think people realize how expensive turtles can be. (I never did....I feel I am going broke to turtles) They are quite the task and commitment.

I thought about giving them away, but the same thing would happen again. Or the turtles would be split up. And I would feel horrible giving them away. I have had them for 3 years, and would feel bad giving them away to someone else that might not care for them super well.

I have been monitoring Mr. T to see if he is eating. If he doesn't, then I will need to call the doctor and get some medication for him for pain and healing. Poor little guy. I hope he starts to eat. Hes only eating a little and I hope he gets his appetite back.

For now the turtles are all in separate tanks, the house is a mess and I cant wait to move :) What a week! PS. Lifes great! We are all happy and well. Its just been intense!


  1. I am so sorry to hear about your little guy.
    What a tropper though.
    I'll say a prayer for him!

  2. Oh my goodness! I'm glad he's ok and you're ok!

  3. I was the same way with our fish! Fish die so easily and I got so attached to some that I would cry when they died :( And when we moved we couldn't bring them with us so we gave them to some friends and I never called to check on them because I am afraid they wont be as good as I hope they are. Poor turtle :(

  4. My brother had two turtles in a rather large fish tank and would just put clear dividers between the turtles when needs be. That way they could still be in the same tank, but seperated for a while.