soft shell

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what do i do for a turtle that has soft shell? this turtle is approx. four months old and is still very tiny - about the size of a quarter! the back edges of the shell are in the process of turning up because they are so soft and the underneath of the turtle is soft as well! FYI - not my turtle - just looking after it so i do not know what the actual owner\'s setup is! i have been alternating uvb light during the day with a red heat light at night - plus rolling his food in calicum powder - however he hardly eats as it is. (i have had him for two weeks and he has eaten maybe two times - so i bought an appetite vitamin supplement) i want to help the soft shell as well as the non eating issue so any suggestions would help! thanx!
bonnie_lynn2001
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i got some health info from another site check it out
mariza
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Good luck.
Last edited by mariza on Mon Dec 29, 2003 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
tiffany326
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thanx mariza - i was using the ESU super uv coil lamp along with a red heat light - the powder i bought was flunkers repta-calcium and the only ingredients are limestone flour, flavor, d-activated animal sterol (source of vitamin d-3) - it says nothing else on the bottle - thanx for the websites - i have to empty out a lot of the tank water but hopefully he will survive - he had to not have had the right lighting cause my turtle had everything from the beginning and he is getting big and his shell is hard - i know that his shell is really soft and thats not good - but do u know if the chances are good that they survive this disease? thanx!
mariza
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Well, if you have your own turtle (which was unclear from your post) and he\'s doing well, the baby sounds like he\'s in good hands. If you read the info from those websites, you know that the disease is easily preventable, but hard to reverse, especially when they\'re babies. But don\'t let that stop you from trying; I wouldn\'t give up. With a little care, wonderful things can happen (and if it were me, my conscience wouldn\'t let me not do my very best to help him). He didn\'t become that way overnight, and it will take time to show improvement. Keep doing what you\'re doing and make sure he\'s basking under the proper lighting. Good luck. Let us know how he\'s doing. (And I would think twice about returning him to whoever had him.)
tiffany326
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so i think he has gotten worse - he is soft all over and i really do not know what to do - i have been putting the UVB light on him all day and then using a red heat bulb on him at night - very little water in the tank - coating his food with calcium powder (he hardly eats) and it just seems worse! is it safe to keep the uvb light on him all night - i know it could mess up his cycle but since that is what he is lacking should i just leave it on?
shelngav
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It takes time to reverse this. You wont see an improvement for a while. Just continue what you were doing with the calcium and the lighting. I would keep it on atleast 12 hours, but dont keep it on all night. That wouldnt be good for the turtle. Good luck!
mariza
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I wouldn\'t keep the UVB light on all night, probably no more than 14 hours (is it about 6-8 inches away from him?). I\'m a little unclear on this, but can he get out of the water to fully dry off when he basks (you said it was shallow)? How active is he (this disease is painful, so it must be hurting him to move)? As was said, it will take time, but if you really see no improvement after a reasonable length of time, it would be good to consider a vet.

If he doesn\'t seem to want to eat the pellets, try some smellier food--sardines packed in water, smelts packed in water, boiled white chicken meat, hard-boiled egg yolks--to whet his appetite. Just be sure to add the calcium powder. Will he eat from your hand? If so, try mashing up some of the powder into a little sardine and holding it for him to take.
tiffany326
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he can get out of the water - i have very little water and i have gravel leading up to a tiny rock that is buried into the gravel - so its very accessible. he doesnt move much at all - he either basks/sleeps all the time or sits in the water. the light is about 6 inches away from him. i have not tried to hand feed him - i do not want to hurt him since his bones are brittle so how would i go about it - especially opening his mouth? thanx everyone - i really appreciate it!
mariza
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As for feeding, can he open his mouth at all? Try the smellier foods that were suggested, tiny bits on your finger to see if he tries to take them. Maybe mashing them up really well with the powder--almost liquifying them--and trying to get just a tiny bit in his mouth using an eyedropper would be possible? (Make sure he can put his head in water to swallow.) If you can lift him without damaging/hurting him (don\'t lift from the sides, try to gently scoop him from underneath), you might want to also consider putting a little liquid vitamins (such as Poly-vi-Sol, a children\'s vitamin you can get at places like Walmart, or an equivalent) in a separate container of comfortably warm water and feeding him in that. At least he\'ll get some nourishment from the water.
Last edited by mariza on Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
tiffany326
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thanx for everyone\'s help but to my extreme sadness the little guy died last night! :( I guess he couldn\'t fight it anymore! :(
mariza
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I\'m so sorry to hear that. When I clicked on to the message board and saw your post, I feared the worst. At least he\'s no longer suffering. Thank you for your efforts to try to help him.
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