How to treat rickets in turtles

What is the rickets in turtles?

Rickets water and steppe turtles – a metabolic disease associated with a lack in the animal body of calcium and vitamin D.Most often, rickets is diagnosed in very young Pets that have not reached their age of two. Quite rare pathology develops in adult and elderly individuals, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

Reptiles living in their natural habitat, pathology is not found. This is due to the power of wild water and land turtles consume huge amounts of calcium-rich food. For proper absorption of calcium the animal needs to develop himself or to obtain externally vitamin D.

Wild turtles for a long time under the UV rays contributing to the formation of cholecalciferol or vitamin D, resulting in complete absorption of calcium and mineralization of the skeleton and carapace.

If this process is the leaching of mineral elements and violation of the absorption of vitamins and minerals. In the end, the deformed skeleton and the shell, the animal weakens and loses its ability to move and dies.


Deadly pathology in small animals is developing because of trivial violations of the rules of the content of turtles at home, an unbalanced diet or the presence of chronic diseases.

Rickets in domestic turtles develops as a result of the following reasons:

  • a lack of calcium and phosphate-based products in the diet of the animal;
  • insufficient production in the body pet vitamin D because of lack of ultraviolet radiation;
  • monotonous unbalanced diet;
  • pathology of the gastrointestinal tract, leading to malabsorption of micronutrients;
  • kidney disease, violates the absorption of calcium by the body.

Pathology of metabolic disorders in severe cases is hard enough to be treated. Future owners of reptiles before buying an exotic pet, it is recommended to learn the specifics of physiology and of undemanding animals to the young turtle did not die at a young age from a stupid human error.

How to identify rickets

The first symptoms often go unnoticed, and the development of a bright clinical picture of rickets degenerative changes remain with the animal for life. Self treat a sick reptile is extremely difficult, therefore, to avoid worsening of the condition in case of detecting any signs of illness should immediately contact a specialist.


The rickets in the red-eared terrapins manifests itself as the classic symptoms of calcium deficiency in the animal body:

  • softening of the shell, the scales crack and peel;
  • deformation of the shell – dome fails or strongly hills, regional flaps are bent;
  • failure of the hind limbs, the pet can't swim and to get out on the land.


The rickets in tortoises is also accompanied by a change in the appearance of the animal:

  • the shell becomes soft and sometimes falls inside or looks lumpy;

  • the scales of the dome located unevenly, overlap each other;
  • the pads feel like soft plastic;
  • armor is much lighter, sometimes almost white;
  • failure of the hind limbs – the turtles moves only with the help of the front paws.

Regardless of the species of reptiles in addition to the changes of shell in Pets the following symptoms of metabolic disorders:

  • swelling of the limbs and neck;
  • swelling of the eye;
  • lethargy, apathy;
  • excessive drowsiness;
  • lack of appetite;
  • the fracture of limbs;
  • deformation of the beak;
  • bleeding;
  • prolapse of the cloaca;
  • shallow breathing.

If the turtle was sick recently, the animal observed, only changes of the carapace, the prognosis is relatively favourable, subject to timely treatment in the clinic and prescribing the right treatment. Self-smear carapace oils or ointments, give her drugs or injections it is not recommended because of the risk of worsening the condition of a pet and the development of complications. In the long process, the occurrence of fractures of extremities, edema and paresis the prognosis is almost always cautious or unfavorable.

Video: rickets in tortoises


At any stage and severity of the pathology to treat a sick pet, it is recommended under the control of the veterinary surgeon. Violation of of dosage of drugs or of injection equipment may cause toxicity or instant death home reptiles. Treatment of rickets in turtles is to fill the lack of calcium and vitamin D in the body of the animal, and also eliminating the associated symptoms.

Treatment of rickets in turtles:

  1. Subcutaneous or intramuscular injection of calcium preparations: Calcium gluconate or Calcium borogluconate.
  2. The oral administration of potassium and magnesium – Panangina.
  3. Daily radiation of any ultraviolet a lamp for reptiles for 10 hours.
  4. Injections of vitamin complexes – Elevita or Tetravit.
  5. The introduction of supplements for reptiles and calcium-rich food: fish, clams, snails, and shrimp in a shell.
  6. Medicated bath warm decoction of chamomile for 30 minutes a day.
  7. With the development of complications intramuscular Antibacterials the course of 7-10 days.

Treatment of rickets is quite long, depending on the severity of the disease can take anywhere from 2-3 weeks to 6-8 months. The main rule in the treatment of metabolic disorders: diet and conditions of pet reptiles. With the development of systemic complications are sometimes better to euthanize.


To prevent the occurrence of rickets in cute animal is possible by following simple preventive measures:

  • to feed the animal a balanced diet with the obligatory use of fish, shellfish, fruits, vegetables, liver, meat and vitamin-mineral complexes for reptiles;
  • to maintain the temperature in the tank is not less than 28C, and on land – not less than 30C;
  • irradiating the UV lamp pet reptile daily 10-12 hours a day;
  • include usual incandescent lighting in an aquarium for 14-15 hours to maintain a long light of day;
  • regularly clean and disinfect the aquarium.

Compliance with the rules of feeding and the maintenance of aquatic or land turtles if you are attentive host are the best prevention of metabolic disorders have extremely positive exotic Pets.

Video: vitamin and calcium feeding

How to treat rickets in turtles
5 (100%) 3 votes

Share with your friends

Be the first to comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.