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Turtle Shell Problem

Discussion in 'Turtles' started by bman7842, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. bman7842

    bman7842 New Member

    I have had this Mississippi map turtle for a while now but for some odd reason her shell is beginning to turn white in some ares (look at the pictures). It's not squishy so I don't think it's shell rot but then again I can't prove that. Either way, I have no clue what it is and I'm concerned about it being a health concern. Thanks!

    If you have any questions just ask!

    Look towards the edges of the shell to find the white stuff
  2. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, I think it might be a bacterial or fungal infection, best to see a vet.
  3. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Turtles shed their shell scales (called scutes) periodically. If a scute does not come all the way off, it can trap air under it, or dry up (looks kind of flaky when this happens). The other thing to look into would be the hardness of your water.

    A high mineral content in your water can result in some of drying and hardening on your turtle's shell when s/he basks, whihc will be periodically removed with the normal shedding of scutes.

    Are the white spots soft, smelly, or fuzzy in any ways? If so, I would see a vet about it.

    If they seem like flakes of shell, I wouldn't worry too much. You can gently rub with a towel, and some of it comes off, chances are it's just pieces of scale stuck on, or a little mineral deposits.

    If it is minerals, you can use filtered water in the aquarium to minimize it. (will also make keeping your glass clean a bit easier.) I would not however, use distilled.
  4. bman7842

    bman7842 New Member

    Thanks for this info. Her shell is not fuzzy, smelly or squishy in any parts so it must not be a big deal. I'll try scrubbing her later. As for water, I use Tetra Aqua Safe plus to treat it so maybe you could research that and see if it could be a problem.
  5. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Most water conditioners will remove chlorine and chloramine, but many will not remove calcium, lime, iron, etc from the water (which is what causes a lot of the buildup)
  6. bman7842

    bman7842 New Member

    Any suggestions on how to prevent that then?
  7. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    The deposits are harmless to your turtle, just unsightly (though they will build up on the glass of your tank.).

    You can use filtered (but not distilled) water to reduce mineral content in your aquarium. I do not do this myself, as I am a cheapskate, and don't want to be always buying filtered water.

    If you have a filter for your tap, or a water softener, that may help.

    There is also a product called Vita Shell (I believe Tetra makes it.).

    For my turtle (who is also a Mississippi Map, and is 19 years old this year) I do it about 2-3 times a year. I scrub his shell down gently with an old, soft toothbrush, to remove algae, and unshed scutes, then dry it thoroughly. Use a paper towel to rub in the cream, making sure not to leave a greasy mess. Get it all over his shell, and wipe it off afterwards.

    I don't buy that it helps heal stuff, but in my experience, if I do it every few months, I have less algae and water deposits on his shell. Not that he minds, but it does help him look his best. I don't know if algae and water deposits in any way hinder UVB absorption.

    I'm WAAAAAAAY overdue for this, and I have tomorrow off. I should take some before/after pics. Right now he is an algae covered mess, lol.
  8. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    You can check your local fish store and see if they have a reverse osmosis system. Usually they do, and usually they sell the filtered water.
  9. LizardLady406

    LizardLady406 New Member

    My baby red eared slider had this same problem. Hard, white spots that did not go away with dry docking or any of the usual home remedies. The vet recommended silversulphasalazine. It is used for horses that get fungus under their shoes. It should help clear up the issue. Apply a thin layer once a day to affected areas, do not place back into the water until dry.

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