External Parasites


Turtles which are kept outside are especially vulnerable to external parasites. Turtles which are housed indoors are not at as great of a risk of contracting external parasites although under certain conditions it is certainly possible. Poor water quality and sanitation conditions inside the turtles enclosure are usually to blame for parasitic growth.

If your turtle does have parasites on the outside of its body take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Parasites survive by feeding on its hosts which means that the longer the parasites are on your turtle the more damage they can cause. A trained veterinarian can properly remove the parasites from the body of the turtle and prescribe antibiotics if necessary. Most external parasites take a firm grip into the skin of their host which makes them difficult to remove. Resist the temptation to remove the parasites yourself. If you simply pull them off you run the risk of leaving the mouth or claws in the skin of your turtle which is likely to cause infection.

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