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Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 9081
Experience:  13 years with dogs, cats, exotic, wildlife and zoo animals, PLEASE rate my service when satisfied.
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I have a 5 years old yellow belly slider terrapin. He has been

Customer Question

I have a 5 years old yellow belly slider terrapin. He has been absolutely fine until now but has not been eating for 3 weeks. He is quite active, moves around but no matter how much we try to give him his favorite food (dry food and frozen prawns) he would not eat. I just watched him pick up a prawn and while before he would swallow it all in one go, now he had to break it in 3 pieces until eventually ate it. I can't see any lumps in his neck or any other change in him but I am quite worried as nothing like this happened before.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Dan replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for your question, I'm Dr. Dan and I'll try to help you.

Has he been wanting to bask in his basking spot more than normal?
Except for your example with the prawn.... does he completely ignore the food or swim up to it like he wants it and then changes his mind?

Dr. Dan
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Hi Dr Dan,

Thank you for your email. He hasn't been basking more than usual, but he continues to do so. At times he can move in his tank a lot more and splashing the water, but not always.

Regarding the food, unfortunately it's a bit of both, he can go to it and then ignore it or completely ignore it from the beginning compared to before when I could hold the prawn and he would have it from my hand, now he wouldn't come to my hand and more so, he would move away from it.

Thank you

Expert:  Dr. Dan replied 6 years ago.
In areas of the world like the UK and US it is not unusual for turtles, tortoises, and other reptiles to go on a slight hunger strike in the winter or late spring. My own skink lizard does this from Feb-May. The key is that he remains active and normal in every other way. If he is not swimming sideways or sinking (pneumonia) he's not lethargic and not increasing his basking then we can be patient. In order to tell if he's ok as he goes through this period is to weigh him weekly. If he drops 10% of his body weight or starts up with any of the symptoms I just mentioned then he needs to see the vet. Otherwise he'll likely start eating normally in a few days/weeks with no harm.

I hope this helps, best wishes.
Dr. Dan