Advice from veterinarians of Lachine before buying a turtle

Turtles are still popular with fans of exotic animals and a anyone wanting to adopt a turtle should ask these questions to a qualified specialist like your local veterinarian. Here are some recommendations from veterinarians of Lachine .

Dr Beauchamp and Dinnia with a Sulcata tortoise.

Dr Beauchamp and Dinnia with a Sulcata tortoise.

The first thing to know is that a turtle can not be tamed like a dog. It can get used to our presence and manipulation , but will always be more independent than a mammal or birds,for example . With patience , you can sometimes change its character and make it a little more sociable and fun to keep .

In regard to size, most pet stores offer their customers hatchlings , which can lead to unpleasant surprises . When it is sold , the famous little red-eared turtle measures only 4 cm in diameter and weighs only a few grams..but when fully grown , this aquatic turtle can measure more than 30 cm and can weigh nearly two pounds! Veterinarians of Lachine reminds you that aquatic turtle of that size requires a fairly large tank and expensive equipment …just to keep it clean and liveable for the turtle. It is therefore very important to be well informed about the adult size of the coveted turtle . This is true for all reptiles.

Feeding turtles vary greatly from one species to another. Some tortoises are herbivores and only require a daily intake of vegetables. Aquatic turtles are primarily carnivores and must be fed into the water. When fed into the basin where they live, major water pollution can occur and therefore requires even more maintenance. Veterinarians of Lachine recommend you feed your turtles outside of the ” terrarium ” where they live. In a separate tank.

Turtles are generally not aggressive and timid. Bites attributed to the tortoises are very rare. Aquatic turtles , meanwhile, do not hesitate to show their disagreement by biting unwary manipulators.

Some believe that turtles require no maintenance . This is totally false. It is true that many of them require less care than a dog , a cat or a bird, but a minimum of attention is crucial. Regular cleaning of the aquarium , filter and weekly water changes are essential. Otherwise, the aquarium may turn into a stinking swamp. Similarly, terrariums should be cleaned regularly to avoid unhealthy microbial growth.

Some desert species require a hot and dry environment. By cons , most tropical species need a warm environment ( 25-35 C) with about 60% humidity.

Warning! Veterinarians of Lachine remind you that in most regions of Canada , custody of wildlife , including turtles is prohibited , unless a special permit is issued. In addition, you should never keep turtles that were not born in captivity , even if the laws of your province or city allows you to do so. Since several species of turtles are endangered, always make sure that the turtles you purchase come from farms and can be legally owned as pets in the area where you live.

Finally, veterinarians of Lachine would like to talk to future and present turtle owners about salmonella, a disease that can cause severe gastroenteritis to them and their families. Human salmonella is mainly transmitted by contaminated food. But it can also be transmitted by direct or indirect contact with feces of dogs, cats , rodents , rabbits, birds and reptiles. Remain vigilant with all reptiles, including turtles and consider them as potential carriers of salmonella. Therefore it is essential to wash your hands after cleaning the terrarium or after handling a turtle. In fact the same could be said after handling any kind of animals . Recently the United States , following the publication of the Disney cartoon “The Princess and the Frog “, the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta issued an alert to salmonella. Indeed , several children ,wanting to imitate the princess who kissed the frog, caught salmonella…. while kissing an actual frog.

Make sure to be present when children handle your pet reptiles. So you can ensure that all involved have washed their hands like they should .

Besides, that’s what everyone should do after having touched any animal …

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