Today, Dec 6, 2013, the mother came to take the terrapin home. The daughter who is a pre-school teacher had a list of questions.
"Just ask her to phone me if she has questions," I said. "Sometimes, the written questions get the wrong answers as she may be thinking of some situations and I have to write a detailed report like a Professor!"
"She researched the internet and thinks that the terrapin closed his eyes as he is hibernating."
"In Singapore, the climate is tropical. No terrapin can hibernate," I said as the mother laughed.
"The shell is cracked at one place," I said.
"The terrapin jumps when I change water, leading to cracks," she said.
"How to feed medication to the tertrapin?" she asked.
My assistant Niang showed her by pressing the nostrils of the hand-held terrapin. He opens his mouth.
"Repeat again," I said to Niang.
"Can't do it," he replied. "The head has withdrawn into the shell."
"Basically the causes are many. Dirty water, lack of Vitamin A, infections and management. The following is to be done for the next 7 days as the eyes have had opened according to my first video," I said to the mother.
"No sunshine from 9 am to 6 pm daily. It is too much. Surely, you will not want to be sunburnt for so many hours every day."
"How many hours? 4 hours?"
"That is good enough."
"The other tips are not to submerge this terrapin in water 24 hours. Just sufficient below mouth level for this period of time. Also, give a variety of brands of terrapin pellets, not just from one brand. Put eye drops once a day and take medication for 7 days. "
The terrapin went home with eye drops.
The terrapin opened his eyes on Day 2 of hospitalisation and on Day 5 (yesterday) and Dr Daniel phoned the owner to take the terrapin home. However, today, the eyes are closed when the owner came, as you can see in this video! It takes many days to get the eyes back to normal.
It takes as long as 2 weeks to get the eyes back to normal and some cases don't recover. As to the cause in this case, it is hard to say. Feeding one brand of commercial pellets which may be poorly processed may have led to Vit A deficiency. Best is to feed at least 2 reputable brands and provide good management.