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Home > How to Administer Reptaid > How to Administer to Turtles and Tortoises

How to Administer to Turtles and Tortoises

Administering Reptaid to


 Turtles and tortoises experience health challenges with various parasites and infections.  A healthy turtle can become infected with parasites through the food source or through contamination from another animal.   Common parasites include coccidia, flagellates, pinworms, roundworms, and hookworms.  Sometimes the immune system of the turtle is weakened by stress or an overload of parasites making the animal susceptible to bacteriological infections. Most commonly this is seen as an Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) , mouth  rot, or eye infections.    Sometimes a turtle or tort has an injury to the carapace or plastron. If there is a crack or hole in either shell, infections often develop. These infections call be caused by both virus and bacteria and must be treated.    Reptaid has been very effective in helping chelonians overcome all of these health challenges. 

 Eye dropper vs Syringe:  Your Reptaid bottle may or may not come with an eye dropper attached to the lid.  It is totally unnecessary.  An eye dropper is NOT used to dose or administer the product.  The syringe included in the box is what is used to dose and administer the product.  The eye dropper, which may or may not be present, is a standard pharmaceutical device but is not used with Reptaid.  Our laboratory here in the United States occasionally uses bottle lids that do not have the eye dropper attached.


You can use either Reptaid or Reptaid XL for your turtles and tortoises depending on individual weight.   Reptaid is dosed at .1ml per 100g animal weight. Reptaid XL  is dosed at .05ml per 500g animal weight.    It is usually administered orally either directly into the mouth or injected into a food item before feeding the turtle.  Following is a dosing chart for various weights of turtles and tortoises:


 Reptaid dosing



Dose of Reptaid


1-2 drips















1 GRAM = .035 OUNCES


Reptaid XL dosing





Weight in


Dose of Reptaid XL





  1.1 lbs  



  1.6 lbs  



  2.2 lbs  



  2.75 lbs



  3.2 lbs  



  4.4 lbs  



  5.5 lbs  



 10  lbs

.5 ml

 1 GRAM = .035 OUNCES



1.      BABIES  ( up to 25g)

 Generally baby chelonians have no need for treatment. If given proper food, moisture, lighting, and cleanliness, they will thrive naturally.   But if a young turtle is not thriving like its clutch mates, Reptaid can be used carefully on the youth.  The dose per the chart above is just 1 or 2 tiny tiny drips from the needle attached to the syringe.  One drip off the end of the needle is a very small amount of Reptaid but for a turtle or tort  less than 25g this is sufficient.  The trick is to get the drops into the mouth.    Be careful not to overdose the baby. Only give Reptaid once a day, any time of day, earlier being better.    

2.      JUVENILES OR MIDSIZED  TURTLES (25g to 250g)  

Treatment for medium sized turtles and tortoises is per the chart above.  Until the animal weighs over 250 you should use regular Reptaid for treatment.  Again the idea is to get the Reptaid into the mouth. Some turtles will allow their head to be restrained the mouth pried open with your fingernails or with a rubber spatula or credit card.   Quickly squirt the reptaid into the open mouth.   If the turtle or tortoise is eating, you can simply inject the Reptaid into a food item or even spread it on a piece of lettuce.   To treat all the turtles in a pond or large aquarium, apply the Reptiad to a piece of lettuce.  Fold the lettuce up so the Reptaid  is contained within the folded leaf.  Then place the folded lettuce into the pond. When a turtle eats the lettuce,  them remove that turtle from the pond.  Continue until all the turtles have eaten their piece of treated lettuce.   


Treating larger or adult turtles and tortoises can certainly be a challenge.  In all cases the dosing is per the chart above.  However, the largest dose to give any animal in one day is .5ml of Reptaid XL.  This is the dose for a 10lb animal but it is also the dose for a 50lb or 100 lb tortoise. 

The method of administering the dose to the larger chelonians is open to the imagination.  Everyone will develop their own method.  As long as the animal is eating, you simply have to add the Reptaid XL to the food item. Injecting the Reptaid XL into a bug or dribbling the herbs on greens is very easy.  Injecting the Reptaid XL into a treat, such as a strawberry or other fruit works very well.  Sometimes even  a sick tortoise will not turn away a strawberry. 




Detection of parasites is best performed under laboratory conditions using a microscope.  Symptoms of parasitic problems include loss of appetite, lack of activity, dark coloration, diarrhea, blood in the feces or urates, very smelly feces, visible worms in the feces.  If any or all of these symptoms are present, you can treat with Reptaid being confident that if parasites are present, treatment will help solve the problem.  Treatment for all parasites should be once a day per the dosing chart.  If the animal  is very sick, not eating at all, very dark and very inactive, Reptaid can be administered twice a day.   At this point you are fighting for its life.  You can also mix the Reptaid with some kind of  food so the chelonian gets some nutrition as well as the healing herbs.  

Continue with Reptaid for 10 days.  You should see improvement after 3-5 days but continue for 10 days.  Then wait 2 days and start another 10 day treatment.  In most cases 20 days of Reptaid is sufficient to rid the chameleon of any and all parasites.   A fecal check is needed to be sure the problem is solved. And of course, as with any treatment for parasites, quarantine, disinfection of the habitat, and proper hygiene are essential to prevent reinfection. 



The most common infections from bacteria which afflict chelonians  are eye infections, mouth infections,  and  URI, upper respiratory infections.  For all these  dosing is per the chart above.  Administration is the same as for parasites. For a severe respiratory infection, the chelonian will be showing foam in the mouth, holding his mouth open a lot, making definite breathing noise, and possibly coughing.    Most infections will show signs of improvement in 2-3 days and be completely clear in 5-10 days.  One 10 day treatment is usually sufficient to completely clear up any infection.


Sometimes a turtle or tort has an injury to the carapace or plastron. If there is a crack or hole in either shell, infections often develop. These infections call be caused by both virus and bacteria and must be treated. Sometimes an infection can develop from unsanitary conditions of the water in which a turtle lives quickly turning into a shell rot.   Remove the turtle from the water and dry his shell very well.  Apply the undiluted Reptaid XL directly  to the infected areas with a Q-tip. You should also administer Reptaid XL orally per the dosing chart, to treat the turtle both internally and externally.   Keep the turtle out of the water for an hour or two to give the herbs time to help. 



Reptaid is not a drug. It is an herbal all natural alternative to drugs.   It is not recommended that Reptaid be administered at the same time as any drug.  If a course of drugs is underway, discontinue the drugs and just use the Reptaid. Or finish the course of drugs and then begin the use of Reptaid.  Do not use at the same time. 



When using any antibiotic drug, it is highly recommended that a probiotic such as benebac  be used along with the drugs.  Drugs eliminate the good gut flora in the digestive tract of the reptile.  A probiotic replaces that gut flora.  But Reptaid does not kill the good gut flora with its natural antibiotic properties so a probiotic is not needed with Reptaid. However Benebac can certainly be used with Reptaid as an additional boost to the immune system during treatment. 



You can use Reptaid products to keep your reptiles healthy and vibrant, rather than just as a treatment for sickness or disease. It is suggested to administer Reptaid or Reptaid XL to your reptile, per the dosing chart, for 2 or 3 days at the beginning of each month.  This has shown positive results in keeping  animals healthy and thriving