Is it bad that my turtle is missing some claws? Do I need to take him to the vet?
He's a young (~5 inches) red-eared slider. He's missing 3 claws on one foot, 2 on the other and 1 on his front foot. The other front foot is fine. We've had him for two weeks. My gf got him from Petco where she works. He was dropped off by someone who didn't want him anymore. At Petco, he was put into a tank with 8 large turtles. That may have been when he lost those claws. We keep him in a 5 gal. tank by himself now. We just noticed this tonite. He doesn't seem to be in any pain, but I'm no turtle expert. He's eating (goldfish and pellets) and swimming fine. He's pretty active and feisty when we handle him. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
Animals lose toes all the time in the wild. As long as it is eating OK, not bleeding, or showing any signs of infection- don't worry about it!
Now- it would help it to be in a low-stress, high-success setting. You see, turtles love big, warm, sunlit spaces and a 5 gallon tank is awfully small for it.
We usually try to provide a habitat that...:
- offers 10 gallons of water per inch of turtle
- has water heated to 75-80
- offers good basking spaces heated to about 90
- is filtered well (about 2-3 times more than a fish tank)
- is lit with a bulb that simulates the sun in colors, duration, etc. The bulb needs to offer UV-B rays (UV-A is easy to find, but not helpful. Try bulbs made for reptiles.)
The diet sounds OK, but you can supplement it with blood worms, other kinds of worms, shrimp, bugs, beef heart, etc. Variety is good for turtles!