The Best Red Eared Slider to Buy

Red-eared slider turtle

In the pet trade, reptiles are prone to extreme stress and occasionally illness. To assist guarantee your turtle is healthy before you even get it home, there are several specific characteristics to look out for when selecting a pet red-eared slider. You can determine a possible pet red-eared slider's degree of stress and health by using the following advice.

Assess Turtle Demeanor and Movements

Analyze the behavior of the red-eared slider. Red-eared sliders ought to be active, awake, and receptive. A turtle will very certainly withdraw its legs into its shell when picked up. A sick or weak turtle may likely look sluggish and unresponsive (turtles kept in cool conditions will be slow and lethargic as a result but be careful since these reptiles may also be stressed or ill due to improper environmental conditions).

Keep an eye on the red-eared sliders. Movements should be powerful and fluid, whether on land or in the water. Twitches or tremors may be a marker of metabolic bone disease whereas weakness or shakiness may be an indication of sickness.

Look at the Shell and Skin

Look at the turtle's general physical condition. Red-eared sliders need to feel full-bodied and not like a hollow shell when you pick them up. They shouldn't, however, have skin or fat folds around their legs either. Their smooth, unbroken shells should be present.

Take a closer look at the shell and skin. The skin need to be smooth and unblemished by bites and scrapes (these could form abscesses later on). While some loose skin may fall off during shedding, the area where it sheds should appear normal and not inflamed. Turtles should have flawless, firm, and smooth shells. Soft shells are an indication of whereas sores, wounds, or abrasions on the shell may get infected. A turtle with a cracked or shattered shell should also be avoided since these wounds are quite severe.

Inspect the Head: Eyes, Nostrils, and Mouth

Examine the eyes. They must to be clear, open, clean, and devoid of debris or crust. Red-eared sliders and other turtles show symptoms of disease by having swollen eyelids or by holding their eyes shut all the time. If you see a turtle breathing through its mouth or making clicking, wheezing, or bubbling noises as it breaths, this may be an indication of respiratory problems. Red-eared sliders who swim lopsidedly often get respiratory illnesses.

Verify the mouth. The majority of reptiles have smooth, healthy pink mouth interiors. Small yellow, white, or green spots on the turtle's tongue or inside of its mouth are indicators of mouth rot or disease, as are pale pink or grey coloring in the mouth. Also, if the saliva is stringy or thick, be cautious.

Swelling or asymmetry should be looked for on the rest of the head (both sides of the head and jaw should look the same). Jaw swelling or asymmetry may be a sign of a metabolic bone disorder. Other lumps or swellings might be abscesses or show signs of a general disease or infection.

Check Sanitation of Tank

When planning to buy a turtle, inspect the red-eared slider tank for general cleanliness. Stress and an increased risk of sickness may be present in turtles housed in crowded or unhygienic circumstances.

Be cautious even if a red-eared slider seems to be in fine shape but is being maintained in unsanitary circumstances (inadequate temperatures or lighting, crowding, unclean tank, etc.). When given inappropriate care, the reptile may get stressed and be more prone to ailments that might not show up right away while you have the turtle at home.

Additional Selection Tips

Always look for red-eared sliders that have been captive-bred. Reptiles taken from the wild are likely to be quite anxious and may even become unwell as a result (they tend to be carrying a high parasite load at the very least). A red-eared slider at a rescue or shelter would be ideal.

Avoid Ill Rescue Turtles

Refrain from the urge to "rescue" a red-eared slider that is obviously sick or being cared for inappropriately in a store. Even while it's a nice gesture, keep in mind that the one you buy will likely just be replaced by another that will be under the same stress and/or neglect. That is in addition to the expense of you caring for the reptile you saved and the possible heartbreak if it passes away. Consider reporting the vendor to a neighborhood animal protection organization, though.

Have a Set-Up Prepared

Before purchasing a red-eared slider, make sure your home is fully equipped with everything you need. You don't want to be fussing with setting up a tank and getting temps correct after bringing your turtle home because moving to a new environment is stressful enough. Prepare everything to be "perfect" and ready for the newborn. This implies that you should do extensive study about your pet's requirements before purchasing them and stay away from impulse buys.

Research Proper Turtle Care

Knowing about the proper care of red-eared sliders before you go shopping makes it possible to evaluate how well the reptile is being cared for by the seller.

Edited by Adrienne Kruzer, RVT