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November 13, 2007

Morning Boxies

This morning, I treated the box turtles to some running around time in the living room and a treat of corn. Since it was warm, I took them to the front patio for the treat so they could sit in the sun, too. Big Turtle and Mama Turtle adore corn and enjoyed their treat thoroughly. Brown Eyes, on the other hand, doesn't like vegetables and I have to trick her into eating them - mix a bit of corn with cat food. While eating the cat food, a corn will get in.

Cat food is not a good food at all for turtles so I consider it a rare treat. I would say that Brown Eyes and sometimes the other box turtles, get some four or five times yearly. Since I am hoping to hibernate them, I thought the cat food with its high fat content would be okay.

I also gave each of them a drop of vitamin A complex. Again, mostly to prepare for hibernation.

Big Turtle is extremely difficult to dose with anything. When I first got her (a rehab case), she was sick with pneumonia. She was on anti-biotic shots for weeks. She was sick with upper respirator illness several times after that and had to have shots. So, she has learned that being picked up by me is a potential for pain. She has not had any shots in probably four years, but she doesn't forget easy.

Big Turtle will clamp both ends up (usually peeing as well). I will wait for her to open the front end just a little and then I put a small wooden stick between the top and bottom carapace to keep her from clamming up entirely. For these vitamin A drops, I simply drop them into the front of her beak and wait for them to seep into her mouth. Once the most of the drops are in the mouth I put her down and she will relax, releasing the wood stick. This is the most humane method I have been able to devise to accomplish what needs to be done.

Frankie doesn't hibernate at all.

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