Gravid Yellow Belly Slider - Age 5 - Turtles and Turtle Care
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Gravid Yellow Belly Slider - Age 5


It has been quite some time since I've posted. My young YBS, Charlotte, is now 5 years old. She is a healthy, happy turtle that lives with her 3 year old husband Wilbur in a tank with a large land mass in my living room. They will be moved to an outdoor habitat within the next two years as I migrate back to their home territory of the South East. I currently reside in Northern California where it is almost always 60 degrees or cooler.

So, to get down to business - Charlotte has been gravid before and laid eggs, twice. Once last June and also around June 2017.

This time, she became gravid at the end of March, beginning of April. It rains a lot in the spring here and is quite nasty outside with terrible winds and storms. Needless to say, I built her a nesting box which she refuses to use. On nice days, I take her outside for around an hour at a time and she is specifically determined to go down the street (I live on a dirt lane with other houses very close by) to the neighbor's house. I can NOT let her go down there.

I keep trying to give her about a 30 x 30 spot in one area of the barely yard that I have and she just fights with me to get out of that area and go down the street instead.

I took her to the vet on Thursday (May 23) because I became nervous that she could be egg bound. The vet said to give her a few more weeks but I am going absolutely batty trying to care for her and she just doesn't want to lay anywhere where I'm giving her.

As I discussed with the vet and after her thorough examination, she has had plenty of calcium and her lamps are more than sufficient. The vet gave her a clean bill of health. I should mention here that I had her in for what I thought was a skin condition about two and a half months ago so he saw her then, too. She also received a clean bill of health then! (it turned out I had bad water from the faucet).

As for the nesting box... it is a 55 gallon rubbermaid tub, black. I have almost three full bags of soil and about a half a bag of sand mixed in. I have misted the dirt, left it dry, covered the box partially, left it open, provided a light and took it away... more recently I have left the light there when she's in the box.

I feel like I am doing everything possible and I'm so nervous that if she doesn't lay soon that she WILL become egg bound. Everything I read online says the vet should be able to x-ray her and see eggs and perhaps give her a shot of oxytocin or calcium to induce labor but my vet said it's difficult to x-ray turtles because of their plastron.

I do apologize for the length here. I hope I have provided sufficient details for someone to reach out with advice. I will appreciate anything you can offer!

Many thanks in advance.
Myrtle35 is offline  
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 11:53 AM
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First you can not allow the nesting to dry out. Over my decades I found in real test on my 625 sq foot land area next to my pond that a turtle does not or will not lay in dry soil. Try adding some vermiculite to your soil / sand mixture to hold some moisture , not wet but moist. Can be found in any garden center and a moisture meter helps. Read some documented facts on soil setup may help. Most turtles are very picky on were.
Best time you can go by for an indoor turtle is when she in trying to dig on her basking area with her hind feet and she is also going nuts to escape. Some within reach of a garden area will lay within 20-30 minutes. Do not wait too much longer , a shot of oxytocin being so much time has pasted is what I would do. Some turtles are known to drop an egg or two on the way home. Too many complications on holding eggs. Did you check her for eggs yourself , very easy.

Sound’s like your vet has a an old conventional thermionic X-ray machine which with them his statement is true. Most Herp Vets have gone to a much small and newer machine that’s actually much cheaper but better. Technology has changed from those older machines many years ago. Year’s before I retired I got the newer prototype and shows clear view’s of soft tissue. Newer type machines have imagery by a factor of 100 over those thermionic type with cost magnitude less !
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egg bound, gravid, nesting box

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