A "turtle" question for anyone with experience.....

Mmathis

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@Marshall and anyone else, I have a question about turtles, but this question is specific to BOX TURTLES! And for those who don't know, box turtles are the ones that draw their head, legs, and tail into the shell and close themselves up tight inside.

How do you administer oral medications to box turtles?

I tried to Google this, but all my searches came up regarding NON-box turtle types such as sliders, tortoises, etc. There were lots of good suggestions on how to get their mouths open so you could squirt something in their mouths.... But that won't work on a box turtle 'cause unless you have to really, really, REALLY cooperative one, he's gonna pull that head back into the shell where you can't get to it. And trying to pry the head out would harm the turtle.

When mine were babies, they had voracious appetites, so it was a safe bet that if I mixed anything with a small amt. of food, it was going to be eaten. But now that they're older, getting them to eat is sort of hit & miss, so I don't think the food idea is viable for them.
 

mrsclem

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If you are talking about a turtle that may be sick that you can isolate, would it work to put the turtle in a container (not too small) and give treated favorite food in a darkened location? Just guessing but did have box turtles when I was a lot younger.
 

Mmathis

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If you are talking about a turtle that may be sick that you can isolate, would it work to put the turtle in a container (not too small) and give treated favorite food in a darkened location? Just guessing but did have box turtles when I was a lot younger.
Well, it could be any circumstance, but I'm thinking they haven't been wormed in a few years. I'm taking a stool in next week for a fecal, and if it's positive, they'll have to be treated before they go down for the winter.
 

Marshall

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@Marshall and anyone else, I have a question about turtles, but this question is specific to BOX TURTLES! And for those who don't know, box turtles are the ones that draw their head, legs, and tail into the shell and close themselves up tight inside.

How do you administer oral medications to box turtles?

I tried to Google this, but all my searches came up regarding NON-box turtle types such as sliders, tortoises, etc. There were lots of good suggestions on how to get their mouths open so you could squirt something in their mouths.... But that won't work on a box turtle 'cause unless you have to really, really, REALLY cooperative one, he's gonna pull that head back into the shell where you can't get to it. And trying to pry the head out would harm the turtle.

When mine were babies, they had voracious appetites, so it was a safe bet that if I mixed anything with a small amt. of food, it was going to be eaten. But now that they're older, getting them to eat is sort of hit & miss, so I don't think the food idea is viable for them.
The only way I could think would work for a liquid medication is to provoke the turtle to "strike" and when it opens its mouth squirt the medication in. As far as provoking them I would try just using the syringe and see if that will make it try to bite. Otherwise you would have to try diluting it in their water supply and let them drink it that way as long as taking the meds over a period of time is okay.
 

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