Shell health...

Post your turtle first aid questions here.
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herpgirl85
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2002 10:09 pm
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My turtle seems healthy and happy, but his shell still puzzles me... I\'ve had him since he was only a bit bigger than a quarter(he\'s ~6 in. now), and he\'s never shed his scutes, they\'re supposed to aren\'t they? He still has his original scutes from like, 3 years ago on top of the old ones. His shell isn\'t soft, but it looks wierd, especially when he\'s out of water. It looks...dry, kinda scaley, almost like he needs moisturizer or something. Also, now I\'ve been noticing what look like air bubbles under some of his old scutes, and I thought it meant they were going to sluff off, but they haven\'t yet. I know he\'s getting enough calcium, I use doctor turtles, and reptisave if I don\'t have a DT on hand.... Help???
mariza
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Doctor Turtle claims to cure fungus, but as a treatment they\'re dubious at best (and expensive); if your turtle doesn\'t have a fungus, long term use of them will just make your turtle resistant to sulfa (which I believe is in them). They really aren\'t good for giving your turtle added calcium; the form of calcium in it isn\'t readily avaiiable to turtles. Reptisafe is mainly for taking chlorine/chloramines out of the water, not a calcium supplement.

For a calcium supplement, it would be much better to let some small pieces of cuttlebone (the stuff for birds, take off the hard backing first before breaking it into pieces) float in the tank for him to eat.

If your turtle is retaining his scutes, it sounds like he\'s not getting out to bask enough under proper lighting (UVB and a heat source). Does he have an easily accessible b basking area? Proper lighting? Is the temp. warm enough for him to want to bask (85-90F)?

The air bubbles under the scutes sound like he will eventually shed. Make sure he has plently of opportunity to bask; it will aid in the shedding.
herpgirl85
Level 1
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Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2002 10:09 pm
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yeah, he has a light for the day and one for night, both of which are UV... and he has a large rock that he likes to bask on... I\'ll try the cuttlebone though, thanks
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