I decided to name them Bowser (the Central American wood turtle -right) and Koopa (the Mississippi map turtle -left) because I’m a big Nintendo fan and they’re both turtles!
Yesterday, I snuck up on them and discovered Bowser stuffing his little face with all manner of foodstuffs. I bought them some turtle vitamins, Mazuri chow, and that convenient Zilla omnivore mix – all of which he was happy to indulge in.
I suspect that Koopa is eating too, but I only know this because he likes to poop during his bath. This is typically a problem when housing two animals together: you can never be sure if one is eating/pooping/healthier than the other because you can’t gauge their food bowls, droppings, or other external indicators. It would be a better practice to separate them, but I wasn’t prepared for turtles. Eventually they will be housed individually.
For now, they both seem to be doing well. Bowser’s plastron is peeling readily. I will have to give him a good scrubbing with some gentle soap and then work away all the excess shell that’s ready to come off. This is done for two reasons: to prevent the infected waste from reinfecting healthy tissues and to ensure that the medicine can easily get under the scraps of shell.
Koopa has a lot of peeling on his carapace but we’re still far from the condition of Bowser.
Much to my surprise and delight, they both seem to get on very well. I don’t usually house two separate species together (in fact, I never do), but these guys seem to have taken to the other very well. They never fight or nip or battle for food or warmth (it helps, though, when there is more than enough to go around). Koopa is far more aquatic than Bowser is and will eventually need a large area to swim in. For now, however, I have to keep him dry until the shell rot is gone.
They both get their daily soaks and then they both get a Betadine bath. I am still applying Neosporin to be safe. I will also be refilling my prescription for Baytril soon as well. This will help with the rot as well as their respiratory infections. It’s amazing how similar their health conditions are since they were raised separately. I guess that’s what similar neglect will get you, though.
Oh well. They’re loved and cared for now. And they seem to be thriving with all the extra attention. ❤