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  1. #1
    Pacu Rays of Sunshine's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
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    04-27-2013 5:48 AM

    Leeches on aquatic fresh water turtle

    I have a freshwater aquatic turtles that have leeches. I saw a tiny worm on the turtle's back and mashed it. This turtle was in the bucket with my wild fish. I found an adult leech attached above the thigh. I finally was able to remove it and baby leeches start moving in the area where the adult was. I removed them. I found information advising salt bath for the turtle. I put the two new turtles and the older one in the salt bath. The younger one and the older turtle were fine but the leech turtle was in distress. The turtles were in water about 4 minutes. I removed all turtles and saw more leeches in the water(not moving) The distressed turtle started foaming at mouth after being put in the unsalted water. The turtles are sitting on the rocks, head above water. All of them keep holding their heads stretched as far as possible even when in the water. I have never seen a leech, I have never had a turtle with parasites. I thought the turtles would be fine, since they are from the same lake also. I can only assume that the fish now have leeches and have been put in tank already. I only have a rock and a small piece of driftwood in the turtle tank currently, to keep leech hiding spots to a minimum. Do I have to salt bath again? The number one question, will the turtles be safe? I have been extremely lucky to have no turtles with parasites including the wild ones. I have now payed the price for lack of quarantine. No telling how many of leeches are swimming with my fish and how many may crawl on me trying to fix this. What makes this worse is these leeches with the exception of salt, are hard to kill. I stabbed the adult leech 4 times and it still wouldn't come off. I had to stab in the center again and hold the cutter and drag this thing off. It was like the leech was holding on with super glue. Even after all of this, leech started crawling non stop!!! I let a massive 3 inch grub worm bite it repeatedly. Yeah I know it, was crazy, but the leech stopped moving after 6 BITES!!! Then I cut the leech with a razor, it started moving again. People that were suggesting the salt bath, were debating the leech regenerating. I kept slicing this leech so hard the razor cuting through the plastic cup. After this battle with the adult, I then see the babies and other leeches. I was beyond frustrated. Some of these things were so small , you wouldn't be able to see them on your skin. A lady that had leeches too, said they were on her arms and it stung while the leeches were on her. My hands start stinging, and I was looking for the leeches. I had to remind myself, it's the salt. If you ever have problem leeches, you will understand. Sorry, rank is over.
    Last edited by Rays of Sunshine; 05-27-2010 at 3:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Here fishy fishy fishy... Vicious_Fish's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
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    Yesterday 8:34 PM
    There's nothing to really worry about. Leeches are pretty common on wild turtles from ponds. Just keep repeating the salt baths when you see the leeches. They won't hide for long in your tank and will seek out the turtles. After a few salt baths you should be rid of all of them. I've never heard of a turtle foaming at the mouth but after they are in the salt bath for a few minutes you can dip them in a bucket of normal water to rinse them off.
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