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Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.


YOU WILL GET A REJECTION OF YOUR QUESTION IF YOU FAIL TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO QUESTIONER IN FULL!!. I am primarily here to assist with health concerns. I am here for the more difficult questions. Not for questions that you could research and easily find the answer yourself. I have stringent standards that you provide DETAILED and RELEVANT background history on your pet before you ask me ANY question about it other than GENDER or ID. The requested information is in the instructions to questioner. Failure to answer EACH of those questions to provide that background will result in your question being REJECTED. I can answer questions related reptile husbandry, identification (esp. in Texas and the SW), legal aspects, and intermediate-advanced level medical care. I am the director of Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue (TX), a wildlife rehabilitator specializing in reptiles, a founding member of The Society for Horned Lizard Preservation, a subscriber to the International Veterinary Information Service,,, and a Dept of State Health Services certified animal control instructor (CE) for reptile handling. I do most of my own veterinary care in-house. I am most experienced in Chelonia (turtles&torts) with box turtles and common smaller .....

Recent Answers

2016-10-21 African sideneck turtles:

Hi Alex,    Sorry for the delay.  Good, I was worried there!  40 gallons is still a bit small for a 5" turtle, but not really cramped.  Figure roughly 10 gallons of tank for each 1" of turtle, and the

2016-10-21 African sideneck turtles:

Hi Alex,    Could you please clarify what you wrote, because I think there's a mistake.  How big is your tank?  You said a gallon, but that can't be right.  I can't imagine how you could fit any turtle

2016-10-20 Found turtle:

Hi Janet,    It would help if I knew what species the turtle is, or could see a picture. If it's not a box turtle, it can be released near the closest body of water. If it's a box turtle, it should be

2016-10-13 Turtle Dying:

Using a basking/heat bulb is fine, BUT you need to know the temperature (on the surface, under the bulb).  Too hot is just as bad as too cool, and if he's too lethargic to move, he could overheat and die

2016-10-12 Razorback Musk Turtle Tilting Head:

Hi Kevin,    I'm not quite sure what you mean by "backwards," but they do often hold their heads at least perpendicular to the bottom, so I wouldn't say it's abnormal.  If your turtle is acting normally

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