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Turtle Shell Flaking - Unhealthy?

Discussion in 'Turtles and Tortoises' started by Reefshark212, May 11, 2010.


  1. Reefshark212

    Reefshark212 PetForums Newbie

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    I'm really worried about my 2 year old yellow-belly slider turtle's shell, it looks ok at a glance, but it keeps flaking to reveal duller shell underneath. She is fine otherwise, alert and eating well. But not sure if her shell is healthy? Has she got an infection?
     
  2. suewhite

    suewhite PetForums VIP

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    My turtle who is 25 years old has the same happen to her shell and always has I give it a gentle scrub as I think they just shed layers of shell dont think it"s a health problem;)
     
  3. Paul Dunham

    Paul Dunham PetForums Senior

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    It's hard to say unless I know how it is kept.

    Often the pet trade sell these sliders giving completely the wrong advice on how they are supposed to be kept. Being hardy little buggers they tend to survive even when kept inappropriately.
    I've seen these living in the wild and the difference between the adult wild sliders and the many of one's kept in captivity here in the UK is quite staggering. In the wild they spend many hours basking in the sunshine which synthesises vitamin D for a healthy growing shell and skeleton. An adult wild slider has quite a chucky carapace compared with the adults you see in captivity. I've seen many captive specimens with deformed flaking shells because of bad advice from the pet trade when sold to an unsuspecting owner.

    I'm not trying to worry you. Your sliders not on the verge of death, but your problem is very likely to be a vitamin D deficiency. Like many day time reptiles your slider needs a UV light which will aid the development of its shell and a vitamin supplement to sprinkle on his food. Heating and decent water filtration system will provide a better quality of life.

    Wikipedia do a good advice sheet on keeping this family of terrapins in captivity.

    Red-eared slider - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  4. suewhite

    suewhite PetForums VIP

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    Good advise as mine lives outside in a large pond and basks most of the day in winter she is in an indoor pond (in greenhouse)with uv light for 10 hours a day:)
     
  5. Echo

    Echo PetForums Newbie

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    Sounds like they're just shedding scutes, mine do this as when I'm cleaning the tanks I find little clear diamonds along the bottom...... The important thing is not to pull them off or 'scrub' them off as this will cause them to grow abnormally...... If it was an illness like above poster said then you'd most likely see white stuff between the scales.....
     
  6. Doodlejack

    Doodlejack PetForums Newbie

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    My terrapin gets this too. Not all the time. Sometimes happens more when he's been out in the sun and his shell has dried out.

    If you're really worried and this happens constantly, get it checked out at the vets.
     
  7. chicotah

    chicotah PetForums Junior

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    my gary used to shed shutes too... alot he shed them for years untill he was fully grown.... FOR GODS SAKE DONT PICK i know how tempting it can be but if it hasnt fallen off then the shell underneath isnt ready yet!!! if you pick it can lead to shell rott!!!! not very nice for the poor little things... thou i do recomend a exo terra sun glo for basking and a moon uv for bed.... gary is huge and very happy and healty but still on the odd occasion sheds shutes... its just his growth.. but keep an eye on it for a white fluffy texture if this appears then its straight to the vet..:thumbsup: he'll be just fine thou im sure
     
  8. Pelusios

    Pelusios PetForums Junior

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    Turtles naturally shed their scutes as they grow - perfectly normal and nothing to worry about - if it didn't shed, then you would need to do something about it. They also shed their skin too, but this is less noticeable.
     
  9. Dougie the slider

    Dougie the slider PetForums Newbie

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    great link.. very usefull !
     
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