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FAQs About Soft/Shell Rot, Conditions In Turtles 13

Related Articles: Shell Rot in Turtles, Treating Common Illnesses of the Red Ear Slider (& other Emydid Turtles) by Darrel Barton, The Care and Keeping of the Red Eared Slider, Trachemys scripta elegans by Darrel Barton, Red Ear Sliders, Turtles, AmphibiansRed Eared Slider Care


Related FAQs:  Shell Rot and Conditions 1, Shell Rot 2, Shell Rot 3, Shell Rot 4, Shell Conditions 5, Shell Conditions 6, Shell Conditions 7, Shell Conditions 8, Shell Conditions 9, Shell Conditions 11,  Shell Conditions 12, Shell Conditions 14, Shell Conditions 15, Shell Conditions 16, Shell Conditions 17, &   Turtles, Turtles 2, Turtle Identification, Turtle Behavior, Turtle Compatibility, Turtle Selection, Turtle Systems, Turtle Feeding, Turtle Disease, Turtle Disease 2, Turtle Disease 3, Turtle Reproduction, AmphibiansOther Reptiles


turtle took a fall, can't get to vet immediately    2/26/12
Help! 1 of my red eared sliders knocked off the top off her tank and fell down 4 feet landing on top of that grate. I found her right where she fell.
There was blood.
<I see.>
The closest vet that deals with turtles is an hour and a half away and I can't get there for two or three days.
<Will need a visit, soon.>
the only injury seems to be a crack on the outer ring of scutes by her tail which is where she bled from. she wasn't still bleeding when I found her, and once I put her in a dry tank she started crawling around like nothing happened.
<As is their wont.>
I called the vet and they recommended cleaning the area with betadine diluted down so its almost clear.
<Sounds fair.>
I need to know if I can put her in water to feed her before I can get to the vet.
<Would keep her dry for at least a day so the bleeding can stop. This will help to prevent bacteria getting in. Water will simply wash away any antiseptic used, and the warm water in the vivarium will be loaded with bacteria. It's also important to keep injured turtles away from the other turtles. Do ensure the turtle has access to a shallow bowl of water for drinking though, as they can dehydrate when kept out of the water, despite being reptiles.>
<Good luck, Neale.>

Sick Western Painted Baby Turtle      2/22/12
<Hi Tish, I’m Sue.>
I bought 3 baby western painted turtles two and a half months ago. They were all between 1" and 1 1/8" when I got them. The one I'm worried about has been staying mostly in the basking area for the past 4 days. When I put him in the water to try to encourage him to eat he just floats around the tank and blindly finds his way back to the basking area as soon as he can. Not eating means that, of course, I haven't seen him poop either. I don't know if his eyes are swollen but he doesn't seem to open them and bumps into the side of the tank when he's floating and when the current from the filter gets hold of him he swims like a madman but still doesn't have his eyes open. On the rare occasion I have seen his eyes open over the past few days, they're only open a slit. His eyes are sort of a whitish gray color (shut).
<Swollen or closed eyes are a sign of Vitamin A deficiency, fairly common with captive turtles.  What have you been feeding them?>
He has also developed dents (pits maybe) on the tail end of his top shell and has two dented spots on the underbelly.
<Are these spots hard or soft to the touch?  Soft shell spots in particular need to be addressed.  Shell deformities, whether hard or soft, are also a sign of dietary deficiency, and also potentially incorrect lighting and basking temperatures.>
One on each side about  midway between his head and tail. They live in a 40 gallon turtle tank. Temperature is kept at about 76 to 78 degrees.
<Too warm, should only be 68-70 degrees.  Turtles need an environment that allows them to choose between cool water and warm dry land.  See more about this below. >
They have a reptile day light for 12 hours and a reptile night light for 12 hours a day.
<Is it specifically a UVB light?  If the package said simply “Reptile light”, it may or may not be UVB.  Many are only UVA.  However, turtles specifically need UVB to properly digest food.  Lack of UVB can lead to vitamin deficiencies that besides affecting their eyes and appetite, can also lead to serious shell and bone diseases.>
<Also, what is the temperature under the basking lights?  Besides a UVB light, make sure their basking temperature is warm enough.  They need the right amount of heat along with UVB to process the nutrients from their food.  It should be in the range of 88-90 degrees.>
<It’s also important that all 3 of your turtles are out basking for several hours a day under the heat and UVB.  Keeping the water cool and the basking area at the right temperature will help encourage them to get out during the day.>
They are all three growing at different rates and he is the medium size one at this time but the other two are still eating and active whereas he is not.
<It’s fairly common for turtles to grow at different rates.  As long as they’re all thriving (alert, active, eating, basking, and growing) there’s no need to worry.  It’s good you wrote us now about your one turtle looking and acting noticeably different, because making the necessary corrections now in their diet and/or habitat conditions will also hopefully prevent the other two from becoming ill.>
Not only am I worried about my sick pal but I am worried about if having him in with the other two will make them sick as well.
<Tish, the problem isn’t whether he will make the other two sick, but rather something about the diet or habitat you’re providing them which, if left uncorrected, could eventually also make your other two turtles sick. >
<The first thing you need to do is remove your sick turtle from the tank and place him in a warm, dry enclosure (with UVB) until he’s better.  Read the linked article below under the section called *Isolation* for how to do this correctly.  Also read two other sections in this article:  *Swollen or closed Eyes* and *Soft shell* -
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm >  
<Next, I’d highly suggest taking him to a vet for a Vitamin A shot (preferably a vet who’s experienced and knowledgeable about turtles or at least exotics).  An injection will provide him with the best and most immediate relief of his vitamin deficiency, and will also help to bridge the gap over the next few days before he gets his appetite back and opens his eyes again.>
<Also -- if the dents in his shell do feel soft, the vet should also give him injectable forms of Calcium and Vitamin D.  Soft shell is indicative of metabolic bone disease and left untreated can be fatal. >
<Once he gets his appetite back and depending on what the vet finds/recommends, you may also want to consider adding a phosphorus-free Calcium with Vitamin D3 powder supplement to his food (especially if the light you’ve been providing up to this point hasn’t been a UVB light). Rep-Cal makes a good one.>
<I’m also going to give you 2 other articles written by our crew members.  The first one describes Vitamin A deficiency in more detail including symptoms and what to do to prevent it:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turteyedisart.htm >
<This last article is our general care guide.  Read it over carefully and make whatever changes are necessary in either their diet and/or habitat or general care so they stay healthy:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
<Please write us back after you read these if you have any other questions or with an update on him. I hope this will help! ~Sue >

Red color on turtle shell only 2/13/12
Dear Crew,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have two turtles living in an aquarium with lots of water and room to bask. One of the turtles has a large, dark red area on its shell. I have since moved the heating lamp further from the basking area in hopes that is the reason for the redness.
<That wouldn't cause redness. When their shells get too much sun they get bleached (white or gray)>
His underside is normal in color, he is active, eating and his shell is firm to the touch. Is there any information you could give me in the case that the symptoms are not related to excessive heat during basking?
<Not really. There are a few possibilities, none serious>
<Could be a red algae of some sort growing in the microscopic pores of the shell>
<Or an odd, pigmentation mutation>
<Even if it was blood from a hemorrhage, the fact that it's not on-going means it's not to worry>
My stupid camera literally broke yesterday.. I have no pic at this time.
<I hate when that happens but >
<Isn't it truly AMAZING that we get upset when a technology that barely existed 10 years ago isn't perfect? I mean - it wasn't all THAT long ago that you'd run down to the drug store for 110 film and flash cubes, take four photos, drop them off to developing, wait 4 weeks and then MAIL the prints to someone â'¬Â¦.>
Thank you,
<Leslie - as long as he is active and alert, eating, basking and the eyes are clear and the shell is firm don't worry about it for now.>

Red Belly Turtle, hlth. 2/3/12
<Hi Mark, Sue here with you.>
my turtle is a baby Red Belly Turtle. I found it by the shore with one of its leg bent. This was around the summer of 2011 and I took care of it until it's leg was healed. But it doesn't really use the healed leg to swim around. At the same time it's shell color is black turning a little white, but the outline around the shell still have its color on it. I gave space to swim around
<What else are you providing him for a habitat? He needs more than this!>
and dried shrimp from the pet store for it to eat. It likes the dried shrimp a lot,
<Dried shrimp is the equivalent of junk food for humans. That's why he likes it! However, you should not be feeding him this. Instead feed him a good quality turtle pellet like ReptoMin or even a Koi pellet. This should be the main staple of his diet. He may initially balk at this but you do need to change him over.>
but some days it won't eat and then it will again. Does this have to do anything about the shell color?
<Well both these things together actually point more to an improper diet and environment. >
<Besides changing his diet, it's possible you might be over-feeding him. You should also only be feeding him every other day and only as much as he can eat in 5 minutes.>
<As far as his environment, you didn't mention anything about providing him with a dry basking area, heat lamp, separate UVB light, his basking or water temperatures (should be 88-90 and 68-70 degrees respectively), or how long he's out of the water basking each day (should be for several hours). These are the absolute *bare minimum* necessities he needs to stay healthy. Read over this entire care guide and make the necessary corrections or he'll become ill, if he's not already:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
Thanks Mark
<You're welcome, Mark. One other suggestion: If you haven't been giving him the basics for his environment, that plus an improper diet may have caused him to become debilitated. You didn't mention whether the white color is more of a fuzzy substance or hard like the actual shell itself turning white. A whitish appearance is often a sign of a fungal or other infection. Whether it is or it isn't though, based on what you've said so far and not knowing the rest, I'd err on the side of caution, take him out of his wet environment (a magnet for microbes) and follow the instructions in the article below under the section called *ISOLATION*.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm >
<It won't hurt him in any way to do this, and in fact if he IS feeling under the weather, this will help give his immune system a little boost until you make the necessary changes to his environment (which if you aren't providing now, you do need to get for him right away as you've already had him for over a year).>


aquatic turtle, child, gen., shell 1/30/12
<Hi Heidi, Sue here.>
I've had some aquatic turtles for about 4 years now. not really sure what kind they are.
<It's helpful to know as some species have certain unique care requirements, but most common species of semi-aquatic turtles have the same care needs.>
i think 2 are a red ear but not sure about the other one, it doesn't have and distinctive markings. just recently they are getting spots on their shell. its looks like bumps and its the color of algae. the shell also looks like its peeling. please help if you can. thanks.
<Difficult to say from where we are without seeing the turtle. Turtles do periodically shed their shells as they grow. Normal shell shedding, though, is just a thin layer with a translucent sort of caramel color to it. The underlying new shell should look normal -- but do not try to help them by peeling off shell that's starting to become loose, just let it shed naturally. >
<If the shell shedding appears to more excessive than what you've seen in the past and the discolored spots are on the newer shell underneath, than this could be a sign of some sort of fungal infection. If it's this or if you're in doubt, the best thing you can do is to treat it as though it IS a fungal infection. Remove them from their wet environment (that fungus thrive in), and follow the specific instructions listed in this link below in the section called 'ISOLATION'. I'd also read the entire article including the section on fungal infections:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm >
<If after reading this you feel your turtles DO have some sort of fungal infection beyond the normal shedding and growth process, then besides treating the most immediate issue with their shells, you also need to correct what caused it in the first place. Shell and health issues in general almost always come down to something either missing or amiss in their environment. Unfortunately you didn't describe their habitat, how you're caring for them, or their typical daily activities and behavior. No matter what you do to treat any immediate health concern, it will only come back unless you correct the underlying cause. Turtles don't need much, but they must have what they need (such as certain water and basking temperatures, a totally dry basking spot with UVB lighting in addition to heat, etc.) or they will eventually show signs of illness -- which often don't show for a long time. You didn't mention the size of your turtles or your enclosure, but keeping too many turtles in an enclosure that's too small can also have an effect on water quality especially as they continue to grow.>
<So in addition to following the Isolation instructions, please carefully read over the following care guide to make sure you're giving them everything they need:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
<Hope this helps. Feel free to write us again after reading these two articles over if you have any more questions or concerns.>


Red Eared Slider Shell Rot? 1/25/12
<Hi Emily, Sue here with you.>
I have a pet red eared slider and I'm worried about her health; she has recently developed white patches on her shell. I have read extensively on shell rot-- I'm dubious about her condition being shell rot, however, as the white spots aren't "soft" or "cheesy" and they don't seem to smell bad. They have been spreading steadily over the past few weeks, though, which is why I've been worried. I have also read about scute shedding, and how when red eared sliders prepare to shed their scutes pockets of air may develop underneath, creating golden/white patches which may be mistaken for shell rot. I have attached photos of her shell, both under and out of the water, and I hope that one of your experts can help me out. I care very much about her health, and I will do anything possible to keep her healthy and happy!! I'm
sorry about the quality of some of the images-- it's very difficult to keep her still!
<Well that fact alone is a good sign! Unfortunately, though, Emily, I've been having some computer issues and am not able to view your photos so am passing this part of your query along to one of other crew members to address your specific questions about her shell. However, since most turtles' shell issues aside from normal shedding ultimately link back to something amiss in their environment, I can still offer you some advice here and also respond to your other questions and concerns. >
*Other notes*: she currently lives in a 10-gallon tank (I am buying a much bigger, much longer one this weekend, probably either 20 gallons long or a40 gallon long-- I am well aware that a 10-gallon tank for a turtle of her size is much too small). She has a heating lamp and a UVB lamp, which I leave on all day and turn off at night.
<So far sounds good -- I assume her basking spot is large enough for her to be able to haul herself completely out of the water and dry off?>
I have been giving her 5 ReptoMin pellets each morning and each night, although recently I switched to giving her 10 each morning in light of reading that red eared sliders should be fed once a day,
<Actually even that's too often. Feed her just one time every OTHER day.>
with the number of pellets approximately equivalent to their head size.
<I've seen this guideline on other sites. What we've found works best and easiest is simply feeding them as much as they can eat in 5 minutes or so.>
I clean the tank every 2 to 3 weeks, and change the filter each time I clean it.
<I'd add to this doing 50% water changes once a week and netting up any poop or uneaten food you see right away before it breaks down. No matter how good a filter, it can never keep up with turtle waste!>
I am not sure how old she is-- I adopted her from another student who was unable to care for her-- but I've had her for about 5 months. She is approximately 4-5 inches in length; for a female RES, I assume this is on the smaller/younger side?
<I'd classify her more as a 'younger adult'! The best we can do with turtles when we don't know their exact age is to estimate their stage of development based on their size.>
She is a very excitable, frantic turtle, and always eats, swims, and basks. There has been no change in her level of activity or eating.
<All very good signs!>
According to a stick-on thermometer in the tank, the basking area is about 80 degrees and the water is probably similar, if not a little bit colder (I do live in New England, after all).
<Well as it happens I live in New England, too! And believe it or not, her water is actually too warm! It should only be around 68-70 degrees or so. I'd get a separate thermometer for the water so you can monitor it. >
<Are you using a water heater? If so, remove it. If not, it's possible that because you have a smaller tank and less water volume, your water temperature may be more susceptible to rising as a result of the heat from the basking lamp. In this case I'd suggest either directing the lamp to one side of the basking area away from the water as best you can and/or place one or two frozen water bottles in the tank. The bottles of course won't stay frozen but it may at least make her temporarily feel cold enough to the point where she's motivated to get out of the water and bask!>
<Also, your basking temperature is too cool -- it should be in the 88-90 degree range. Either increase the bulb wattage or move the bulb closer to the basking area -- but directed away from the water!>
There are no other animals living in her tank.
<Turtles actually prefer it this way!>
She has also recently been shedding her skin in unusual quantities--it doesn't seem fungus- or infection-related, perhaps she is just growing? The areas which have shed-- her head and her front legs-- have been rid of the dead skin and seem to be showing brighter, healthier skin. Now her back legs are shedding the same way the front did. Is this a normal part of a turtle's growth? Is this indicative of an infection?
<Skin shedding does occur but should be hardly noticeable. If you're seeing it to this extent, then yes that's excessive and she could possibly be developing some sort of infection, though not entirely clear. Whichever the case may be though, it comes down to the same thing -- something not right with her environment. Excessive skin shedding can often be traced back to a water quality issue or water that's too warm. This may be what's happening in your case so I'd try to address these first.>
<It can also happen when a turtle grows too fast '¦ which they do when they're too hungry and eat too much '¦ which they typically do when their metabolism is too high '¦ which happens when their water is too warm, or when they're fed too much or too often -- sort of like what set off that chain of events in the Dr. Seuss book, 'Because a little bug went Ka-Choo!' >
She hasn't been acting sick, but I'm certainly not an expert...
<Well, you're doing one of the most important things which is closely observing her for any unusual changes in her appearance or behavior! That's really the key.>
I would really appreciate any advice/diagnosis you can provide. Is it possible that this is shell rot underneath her scutes, potentially going deep into her body cavity?
<I haven't seen the photos, but I doubt it. If this was the case her shell would have soft spots and you'd be seeing other signs of illness. If anything, it's more likely to be a fungal infection which is easily treatable.>
Or is it possible that these are simply her scutes preparing to shed? I very much hope it is the latter.
Her shell looks sort of like this imagine I found online: http://www.turtletimes.com/forums/topic/74381-whats-wrong-with-my-turtles-shell/ On that website they said it didn't appear to be shell rot, but I wanted to double check with images of my own in case she is suffering!
Thank you so much!
<You're welcome, Emily. As I said I'll pass the photos of your turtle and your question along to Darrel, another one of our crew members. In the meantime though, because her skin is shedding excessively and we haven't ruled out a fungal infection, I'm going to give you this link that gives instructions for treating fungus and also instructions on how to isolate her (temporarily remove her from her moist tank and keeping her warm and dry (but still under UVB) for a few days. Neither will hurt her; in fact they'll only help!
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm >
<Also, here's another link to our care guide. Read this over completely just to make sure you've got everything else covered:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >


Yellow bellied slider with green marks -- 12/29/11
Dear Crew,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have been reading your website all morning and have not found my answer yet.
<Thanks for trying>
(But I have found lots of other useful information!) I have a Yellow Bellied Slider (Tank) about 3 years old. He seems to be in good health and is very active, but my son noticed this morning that he has green in the creases of his underbelly. Is this anything we should be concerned about?
<Your son should not have green creases on his underbelly. He clearly has some hygiene issues.>
<Oh '¦ wait '¦ you mean The Turtle Named Tank, right? Now this question makes WAY more sense!>
<A certain amount of that is natural. Take a tooth brush or a Q-Tip (Q-Tip Brand Cotton Swab on a Stick! Accept no substitutes!) dipped in some hydrogen peroxide and scrub the creases. If the stuff turns white and comes off, it was just a little algae and nothing to worry about.>
<But then - if it doesn't turn white and doesn't come off, it's natural pigmentation and still nothing to worry about>


Is my Red Eared Slider sick? 12/17/11
Dear Crew,
<Hiya, Darrel here>
I've had this turtle for maybe six months, it was given to me by my aunt and was about the same size when I got him. I didn't know much about caring for him when I got him but I have been trying to improve as I go.
<Read this: It's all you need to know: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
About a month ago I got him a 20 gal tank and recently I just got him a new basking light (I got a 75 watt bulb because my house is very very cold) and a new UVA light.
<Well, UV-A is basically visible light. What you need is UV-B which is a different light>
I noticed that he quickly took to the basking light and would bask for long periods of time.
<Yep! That's a good thing!(tm)>
Initially I thought this was good until I notice the color his shell turned as it dried and the fact that it was peeling.
<That's normal, too>
I read that turtles shed a bit but I don't know if the way his shell is looking is normal and I never noticed him shedding before. I don't usually rinse off peter (my RES) when I clean his tank so I don't know if the color is from dried on scum or a fungus. I added some pics of him under the basking light. The dark spot is where I picked off a piece that was peeling (it came off easily, I didn't pull it or anything).
Please help, I love my turtle and I want him to be as healthy and happy as possible.
<Tiffany, the first thing to tell you is that Peter is an adult female. No need to change her name or anything - turtles don't have Gender Identity issues or ears - so she can't hear you calling her name anyway.>
<As these turtles age, their shells retain history of their growth and care. My guess is that Peter has had good years and bad years, good food and bad, high fat food - and her shell shows the wrinkles from this uneven growth. Come to think of it, that applies to me, too!>
<The black "chip" is a piece of the shell that died and fell off. It's not terribly common, but by itself it's not a big issue - it happens. Regarding the color change, there are two things to remember: (1) As they age, their shells turn from bright green to dark green - almost brown or black. (2) As the years go by their shells get discolored and worn-looking. Just like anything else that gets old and discolored, it WILL look better under water. This is also normal.>
<For right now, see that Peter has a heat lamp and a UV-B lamp for around 10 hours a day (read that link!!) then see that she gets proper nutrition.>
<Now look for the basic signs. Does Peter appear bright and alert? Occasionally active (as they age they slow down - just like me!) and ABLE to be active? Does he regularly eat and poop?>
<If Peter seems to be happy and active, eating, basking and pooping, skin looks clean (not gray patches of fungus) and his water is clean and clear '¦. Just enjoy her.>

RES inquiries 12/11/11
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I'm worried about my Red Eared Slider turtle, I don't remember how long I've had it for, or what gender it is, but when I bought it, it was a baby, and its growth seems to be stunted. It lives alone, in a semi spacious tank, 16 x 10 1/4 x 8 3/4 with 3 small, fist sized rocks, with no filter or a floater.
<Well, right here we have a problem>
We change its water once/twice a month, but I'm not sure if it's normal or not,
<That's not TOO bad - but not enough>
I've attached a few pictures, it seems to be flaky shell. Also, at the top of its shell where there are ridges along its "spine" (sort-of), there are what looks to be drilled holes at the top. I'm scared if it is rotting or is extremely sick because my turtle's shell seems and feels weak and unhealthy.
<Well, you're keeping in him in TERRIBLE conditions!>
It eats a little, and sometimes it smells the food and doesn't eat it. We mostly feed it freeze dried white shrimp and freeze dried shrimp.
<Well, that's not part of a healthy diet>
Also, we sometimes put this white little turtle, which is suppose to be calcium, but it often gets scared to go near it.
<Turtles get calcium from what they eat, not from the water they swim in, so you're wasting your money on that>
Please get back soon!
<Jenny - you're keeping that poor turtle in TERRIBLE conditions and it's not surprising that it's sick - it's surprising that it's still alive.>
<Turtles need to haul COMPLETELY out of the water and dry off under a warm source of both heat and UV-B light - neither is available here.>
<Read this article about basic care.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm Please read about diet, basking and UV lights and correct these problems right away.>
<In the mean time, get him out of the water and put him someplace warm and dry. Make sure he gets UV-B lighting or direct sunlight (not filtered through glass or window screen) for at least 3 hours a day. Place him in a shallow bowl of water once daily for 15 minutes so he can drink, poop and maybe eat. Offer him small pieces of chicken on beef liver (high in vitamins and protein) - and by small pieces I mean smaller than your smallest fingernail. He may not eat it - he may be too weak or he may not even recognize it as food. Alternate this with either Tetra Repto-Min food sticks or a few Koi pellets.>
<After a few weeks of a dry environment and under proper lighting, with some decent nutrition, he may start to feel and act better.>
- Jenny

hey sue, quick question. 12/6/11
<Hi Jasmine. Sure, no problem.>
my turtle is getting green spots on his shell that I'm able to scratch off....what is that?
<It's most likely algae ... though one of our crew members saw your question and suggested checking to see if he's holding a winning lottery ticket!! LOL Seriously though, sunlight (or artificial UVB indoor lighting), warm water, and organic material in the water are all conducive to algae growth. This coupled with a turtle not basking enough and/or not under the right conditions can cause some build up on their shells.>
<I'd start by checking your water temperature. It should be on the cool side, 68-70 degrees F. If it's warmer than this, then I would try as best you can to direct the heat lamp away from the water while not compromising the temperature above his basking area. I think you mentioned at one point it was around 85-90; aim for the higher part of this range.>
<Also I believe you mentioned you currently have him in a small size enclosure. If that's still the case and your water tends to run on the warm side, you may want to consider a larger enclosure that can hold more water. The more water, the less susceptible it will be to absorbing the heat from the lights.>
<Next thing I'd suggest if you're not doing this is to promptly remove any uneaten food right after he's done eating so you're not feeding the algae as well as your turtle! Or feed him in a separate container and give him some extra time to also poop there before putting him back.>
<Another thing to look at is his basking behavior and patterns. How long does he typically bask for each day? (Should be for several hours each day). Are the UVB and heat lights directly above him when he basks? And when he does bask, is he able to get fully out of the water and completely dry off? Increased basking time under the lights will help prevent (and get rid of) any algae growth that may be on his shell. >
<Fixing one or all of these things will hopefully do the trick. If not, or if the spots gets worse, write us back. Good luck Jasmine -- and if it turns out your turtle really IS holding the winning lottery ticket, please ask him to consider allocating some of his prize winnings to the "Donate" button on our website so he can help out other fellow turtles who are down on their luck! ~ Sue>
Re: heyy. RES shell 12/15/11

what do you mean by winning lottery ticket? Lol
<I WISH I knew that meant!!! LOL>
i alternate with his basking. 2 days of being in water, 2 days of no water.
<If he's not basking every day, this is likely part of the problem you're having with his shell. Basking shouldn't be a 2 day on, 2 day off thing. He should be basking EVERY day -- completely out of the water drying off for several hours under a heat and UVB light -- even the days when you have him *IN* the water.>
i do have a dechlorinator.
<Turtles don't need a dechlorinator. In fact in your case, the little bit of chlorine found in normal tap water can help a little with preventing algae growth.>
is the algae bad for him? and can it get bad???
<Algae is not bad in and of itself. However, the presence of algae on indoor turtles can be an indicator that something is amiss with either the water quality or with the water temperature. And if that's the case and it's not corrected, that can potentially lead to health problems. And yes -- if the conditions causing it are not corrected, algae will continue to worsen and grow.>
i don't know whats up with his shell but it just looks funky, i wish i could take pics right now...I'm at school. It just seems like it's losing its greenness??? lol, i don't know.
<It could be that he's in the process of shedding. As the older top layer starts to separate from the new layer underneath, their shells can appear a little lighter or duller in color. >
<If that's in fact what's happening, it's especially important during this phase that he's basking properly (as above) so that his shell sheds normally. Improper shedding or shell retention can make his shell more susceptible to an infection.>
< Good water quality, while always important, is also particularly important while turtles are in the shedding process for the same reason. You don't want dirty water getting trapped between the old and new scute layers. >
how high the temp in his tank be?
<Do you mean regular air temp, water temp or temperature under the basking lights? The latter two temps I answered in my last email. Air temp in the general enclosure (other than on the basking spot) should be normal room temperature.>
would you like me to take a pic of the entire 'closure'?
<No need if it's the same as what you sent a few months back.>
i don't know when I'll be able to get a new tank for him. he does eat and poop in a separate container.
<That will also help control algae build-up. >
i was also wandering, when will he be shedding?
<As above, it's possible he's starting to now! There is no set *schedule*; it's dependent on a turtle's individual growth rate and on their environmental conditions.>
is it just his shell that sheds or is it his scales also?
<Turtles shed the outer layers of both their skin and their shell. However the skin shedding should be hardly noticeable. If it is, then there are likely environmental issues that need to be corrected. When he finally sheds the scutes of his outer shell layer, they should be thin and translucent. >
and when he doesn't have water in his tank...do he need like a sip of water once a day or something, or will he be fine without water?
<He should absolutely be placed in water for some time each day! The information about how to keep him in dry storage is all covered in a link I sent you back in August. You should completely read through the section called 'Isolation' if you're keeping him this way. Here's the link again in case you no longer have it --
<Once his shell concerns are resolved, though, the ultimate goal for him should be an environment that allows HIM to choose whether to swim or bask. This will insure the best results (assuming, of course, that it's set-up correctly!) >
and last question, exactly how fragile and delicate is his shell as a baby? i just got to make sure that he isn't like a feather. lol.
<His shell should be hard/firm to the touch (no soft spots), same as an adult's. The fact that their shells are hard does offer turtles SOME protection against injury, so I wouldn't go so far as to call them *fragile*!>
<But -- the hardness of their shells sometimes unfortunately lulls people into a false sense of security. Turtles can suffer serious internal injuries if they fall to the floor or are carelessly handled and get dropped. They should always be picked up and held with both hands!>
<Welcome! ~ Sue>

RES help... hlth., shell 11/26/11
I have a red eared slider turtle and I am having trouble figuring out if he is sick or not. I adopted him from a family who did not take care of him very well. When I brought him home he had been living in a dirty 20 gallon tank with a heater, no UVA/UVB lights, and a clogged filter. He is 6 inches long and he had a very bumpy and slightly upturned shell and had a couple of small red blotches on the shell of his underbelly. I have had him for about two months now. I got him a new filter and a UVA and a UVB light right away. I leave the UVA/UVB light on for 12 hours a day and keep his water at 76 degrees and his basking spot in the upper 80s. I recently bought a seventy gallon tank, new heater, gravel, plants, basking platform, etc. I do a 25-50% water change a couple of times a week and a full water change every week and a half or so. I also use turtle water cleaner/dechlorinator to clean the water before putting it in the tank. I feed him in small amounts two or three times every other day. On his feeding days he gets 1 krill block at his first feeding time plus fresh greens, occasional carrot, and turtle pellets at the rest of his feeding times. He has a calcium supplement that floats in his tank all the time and gets a pinch of turtle vitamin pellets one day a week. Since I've had him his scutes have smoothed out a lot more, the red blotches are gone, and the coloring has started returning to his shell.
The reason I'm sending this to you is because I noticed white on Pouru's (turtle! :) ) shell. It is not cotton-like and in my researching of RES diseases I have seen pictures that look somewhat similar but not quite the same as what this looks like. The white is kind of grainy/gritty looking... and you can see it when he's in the water and out of the water.
At first it was just at the back of his shell but it has started spreading across his shell. I've been thinking that it is shell rot because there are also a few small random shiny golden patches on his shell and the gritty white seems to spread after he sheds his scutes. I'm not sure how frequently turtles shed their scutes but he sheds them pretty frequently - another sign of shell rot? On the other hand, the red spots on his under-shell from when I first got him have disappeared and has become uniform with the rest of his shell, plus his shell does not feel soft nor have I noticed a smell. His shell has also become lighter in color but I have been assuming that to be a result of having his lights. Do you think this could be early shell rot or something else?
The picture I've included is the only one I have at the moment but at the very least you can see a bit of the gold and you can just make out the gritty white on the right hand side of his shell.
This is the first time I have owned a turtle and I am worried that he is sick. I have been hesitating to bring him to a vet because I live in a rural area and it is difficult to find a vet nearby that sees animals other than cats and dogs. If it is shell rot, though, I will of course drive wherever I need to go to have him treated if it's not something I can treat at home.
Thank you!

Softshell turtle with fungus 10/13/11
Dear Crew
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have a 6 yr old Asian softshell turtle (I believe she is a Pelodiscus sinensis) recently she developed a whitish spot on her back that was smaller than a penny which I suspected was fungus. Her water is clean with a filter/waterfall that she hauls out onto, but she had broken apart her turtle-safe heater so she was without a heater in the tank for awhile.
<Shouldn't be a problem>
Since it was summer I didn't think it would be necessary, but I'm wondering if this may have contributed to her getting the fungus.
<Probably not. If anything fungi grow in wet WARM places, not cooler places>
I removed her from the tank, and kept her in a plastic bin without water to dry out. I put the bin in the sun (with half in the shade in case she didn't want to bask) and then put Betadine on the fungus. When the Betadine was dry I put Silvadene over it. I would put her back in her tank for a couple of hours to eat, etc. and then do the Betadine Silvadene regimen again.
<That's what I'd do>
On day 2 I read that she shouldn't be completely dry so I put just enough water in the bin to cover her limbs which perked her up a bit, and I also read that Betadine can be toxic to some Softshells so I wiped it off her shell, washed it, and just used straight Silvadene. Do you know if it's safe for her species?
<I've never heard that before and have used plenty of Betadine on soft-shelled turtles. The important thing is to apply it and let it dry>
Anyway, on day 2 when I put her in her tank for exercise/feeding/pooping I noticed she was PALE all over. It's just like all her coloring has faded. I'm worried that being out of the tank really stressed her out.
<Yes, it does, but it's not like we have a choice>
She looked pretty miserable in the plastic bin, and would either sit with her head completely I also noticed a dark spot on her back foot that is where her foot bends (I wonder if when she was dry her foot was bent and that spot stayed wet?) there's a slight dark area almost on the same part of her other foot, but it looks on her left foot that it's almost a callous or scab or something. Also on the leg with the dark spot some of her skin is coming off. It's not a lot - just a little piece, but I'm worried it's because I let her dry out completely.
<In the wild they haul out and sun themselves until they get completely dry, so the act in itself isn't the cause>
I decided it was too stressful for her to be in and out of the tank, so I let her stay in. I have since gotten a turtle sulfa block, and added a little aquarium salt and got a new heater for her. Anyway, I think the fungus got kicked for the most part. There's a "ghost" area on her shell where the fungus was.
<That is likely to never go away completely, but don't worry about it.>
Is the sulfa block enough to fight the remainder of the fungus under the skin?
<I have no faith in the sulfa blocks at all. I've never seen one actually work>
Also, she now refuses to eat her ReptoMin pellets. She loved these for years until the other day. Now she's only eating earthworms and frozen beef heart cubes (very voraciously, I might add). Is she ever going to eat pellet food again?
<in time, probably. But she's not likely to eat the pellets while she's getting the better-tasting treats '¦ and you should continue the treats until she's a bit more back to normal. Once we feel she's well healed, we can go back to tough love and offer the pellets with the "eat these or go hungry" mentality for a week or so. Right now, it's not a battle worth fighting>
I'm so worried that she got so pale.
<It's a combination of physical factors and stress '¦ please don't feel like you broke her.> Do I need to call a vet?
<Not yet. But here's the thing. As you already know, softshell turtles need pristine water conditions and once a skin problem starts, it's very hard to heal. What I suggest is this: Take her out of the water and into the empty tub. Allow her to dry for a half hour, then douse the shell and leg areas with white vinegar. Let that dry just a few minutes and then wipe with Betadine. Let that dry a half hour and then put her back in her tank. Repeat every third day for two weeks until you're sure that the skin is healing.>
<Our goal here is to BALANCE the healing & protective properties of the treatment with the stress factors. User her appetite and general alertness & activity as your first indicator that the stress is getting to her>
My fiance and I love this turtle and we're hoping to have her for the next 20-100 years.
<I understand>
Please advise.
Thanks so much!
<Hope it helps>

Not sure what's wrong with my RES turtle 10/4/11
<Hiya - Darrel here>
This morning when I woke up my turtle had strange white spots on his shell.
I've never seen these before, and they were not there when I went to sleep.
His tank was pretty dirty, but it's cleaned now. They don't come off when brushed with a toothbrush, and they feel hard to the touch.
I have some photos of him from today while I was cleaning the tank:
I know that the three discolored things in the middle of his shell are scutes that are shedding. It's the small white spots all around him that I'm worried about. Is it possible that these are some sort of bacterial infection, and fluid under the surface? Any suggestions as to what I should do about these?
<The small white spots that I see are just the very beginnings of more shedding, but then pictures don't convey a lot of information that detailed.>
<When in doubt, take Shellby (or whatever his name is) out of the tank, let the shell dry off completely -- best of all would be under natural sunlight -- and then brush the areas with white vinegar. Let THAT dry off before putting him back in the tank. It doesn't look like fungus from way over here, Calli - but if it is, the natural sunlight and the vinegar will help clear it up.>
Some information about my turtle: He's almost 2 years old, basks, swims, and eats normally. Habitat is usually well-kept but was dirty yesterday before the clean.
I appreciate any help, as I'm very worried!
<Not to worry, Calli, but take a minute to read this please:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm make SURE you're covering the diet, the basking heat AND the UV-B requirements for him>

Re: Hiya, RES basking and shell concerns 10/3/11
hahaha, I knew it wasn't you! I was checking to see if it was, seriously. :)
<Yes, it's very easy to tell Darrel's responses from mine! He's both smart AND funny. I'm ... well ... I just help him answer the questions! LOL >
also, he is now basking, and doesn't go in the water.
<He should be doing both; hopefully since you've written this you've seen him both in and out of the water. Make sure he has nice cool water and lots of space to swim about freely. This should encourage him to get in the water as well as bask. If you haven't already, you may want to get a larger enclosure for him. Having more water will also help make the water temperature less susceptible to heating up during the day from the lamps.>
he's nice and hard as a shell, but I just still worry about the blackness between his scutes which has hardened.
<The areas between their scutes often do get darker in color as they grow. The rest of his carapace (top shell) will also get darker in color over time. What you saw happening with his shell getting soft in spots was more than likely the result of him remaining in the water for too long a period, since he seemed to respond well to the warm dry environment.>
<Diet also plays an important role in his shell health. If you have any reason to suspect he's not getting enough calcium from his diet or isn't spending enough time under the heat and UVB lights (which helps his body process the calcium), then as an added precaution, you can try supplementing his diet with a little extra calcium powder such as Rep-Cal. Just mix a small amount in with his pellets and allow them to soak in water for a few minutes before feeding to him.>
but yea, he's basking now ^_^
<Yay! As long as he continues to bask for several hours a day, his shell remains hard, and you see no other concerning changes in his behavior or appetite, then I wouldn't worry! ~Sue>
Re: RES Turtle, sys., heat lamp 10/5/11

I bought everything together as a turtle starter kit. It included the heat lamp, filter, 10 gallon tank, big rock (so she can be out of the water), and a sample of ReptoMin food.
<As below, just make sure the heat lamp also provides UVB. Turtles need both types of lights.>
She swims vigorously back and forth throughout the tank is this considered normal turtle behavior?
<Turtles can act this way when they are introduced to a new environment. But below is a link to our basic care guide. Read it over to make sure you have everything covered. ~Sue
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >

Algae IN my turtles shell? 9/2/11
Dear Crew,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
My parents recently got my sister a very small turtle - his shell is 2.5 in or less in diameter - She is currently in college and cannot move him there with her yet
<You have a turtle in college?? That's remarkable. Most drop out after about 8th grade>
<Oh wait .. You meant your SISTER is in college. Got it now>
so I am taking care of it but lately I have noticed some green algae like "goo" sticking around his head and legs, I'm not sure if this is normal or if something is wrong with him.
<It might be a combination of shedding and fungus>
As you can see I really don't know much about turtles and was wondering if you could help me with this, and tell me some other requirements that a young turtle needs.
<Not a problem>
Thank you - Veronica
<Veronica, thanks for taking care of your sister's turtle and thank you for taking the time to learn more. With just a little of our help, you'll do just fine.>
<Here is a complete guide to turtle care. It covers all the things you need to know: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
<Now regarding this turtle and the 'goo' -- before we start really worrying about it, let's make sure that you have two basic conditions met: nice, cool water to swim in and a nice warm basking area to lie in. This is very important for their skin and shell conditions. After so much time in the water, they need to haul out and bask in the warm sun (or a basking light). It's during this basking that the warmth dries out the skin and shell and the bits of algae and fungus die off. A common mistake people make is having the water so warm that the turtle never feels the need to get out to warm up, so the skin never dries completely and fungus and algae begin to grow.>
<Also important is UV-B. If you don't have a UV-b lamp that shines on him while he's basking, then he'll need sunlight - it's all covered in the article>
<For NOW '¦ make sure that he gets plenty of natural sunlight (take him for walks in the sun) and maybe even keep him out of the water for a day or two so that he can thoroughly dry out.>

Re: Hiya, RES shell issues 8/27/11
oookay. I'm sorry to email you again, but now I have a concern. between my turtles scutes is blackish stuff that I'm able to scratch off with my fingers
and I'm worried that he's beginning to rot, which I don't know how since I take care of him well. the only thing he's missing is a filter, which honestly I won't get because of the cost. I'm attaching some pictures, they're the best I can take, so hopefully they can help.
<Thanks for sending photos; that's always the most helpful to us. What a cutie he is! Based on looks only, his shell looks fine to me! The black color between his scutes is normal. But when you say you are scraping off blackish 'stuff', do you mean it's soft and black material, or does the material feel like his shell and like he's shedding? If he feels slimy when you pick him up, that can be a sign of a water quality issue. Whether that's the case or not, you should try to start saving up for a filter now, because water quality will become more and more of an issue the larger he gets, more food he eats, etc. For now, feed him in a separate container and wait for him to poop before putting him back. And without a filter, you'll need to change his water much more often, likely at least once a day, even more as time goes on.>
<Another important thing to avoid any shell problems is to make sure his basking spot is completely dry when he is out basking ... which gives me a great lead-in to something I noticed about your enclosure! It doesn't look like he has much, if any, room to swim around -- which these guys really love to do! Especially since you don't have a filter, what I'd suggest is that you get rid of the gravel (which traps debris and makes it harder for you to keep clean!) and instead fill the entire enclosure half way up (or slightly more) with water (low enough from the top that he can't climb his way out) and put a floating basking dock in. Besides making it easier to keep the water clean, the floating dock will give him much more swimming area than having to sacrifice so much of the tank for a gravel basking area. Zoo Med makes a nice one that comes in a variety of sizes; most pet stores carry them or you can see if you can find it cheaper on line. Check it out in this link:
http://www.petmountain.com/product/reptile-basking-platforms/11442-505183/turtle-dock.html >
<Let us know if you notice things getting any worse with his shell, but try the above things for now and see if they help! ~Sue>

painted turtle 8/21/11
Hey, I have had my turtle for 8 months and the shell has shinny spots all over it and, almost like flacks but they are in the shell. and I have also noticed that the shell looks like it has waves in the shell piece. I don't know if this is bad or indifferent but I would like to know what I need to do? Also how do I know if I the turtle shell is soft or hard. thanks for your help.
<Merritt here today. From your description sounds like your turtle might have metabolic bone disease or be suffering from pyramiding. Both are very hard to cure and eventually lead to the turtles death. What type of habitat do you have for the turtle? What lighting do you have (UVA/UVB)?
What are you feeding the turtle? Answering these questions will make it easier to identify exactly what your turtle is suffering from. Painted turtles are hard shell turtles and should never have a soft flaky shell.
Here is a link for about RES care which is very similar to the care that your painted turtle should be getting, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/redearsliders.htm Look forward to hearing back from you. Merritt>
painted turtle, shell, Darrel's go 8/22/11

<Hiya Vincent, Darrel here. Not sure why this reply ended up in my box, so I guess I'm supposed to chime in>
I have had my turtle for 8 months and the shell has shinny spots all over it and, almost like flacks but they are in the shell. and I have also noticed that the shell looks like it has waves in the shell piece. I don't know if this is bad or indifferent but I would like to know what I need to do? Also how do I know if I the turtle shell is soft or hard. thanks for your help. I have pictures attached of the tank and the turtle. I feed it "ReptoMin" floating food sticks and feeder fish. the light is a UVB. he is in a 15 gallon tank and is 4 inches by 6 inches, and is a male.
<There might be some confusion, here, Vincent. The pictures you sent aren't of a Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) but of a Red Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) who appears to have a fine-looking shell '¦ and I'm not seeing the characteristic long front 'fingernails' of a male. Are you sure these are the right pictures?>
<ReptoMin is a perfectly balanced diet for that turtle (either one, actually) as are Koi Pellets which you can get at a fish store for a lot less money.>
<At the size you have in the picture, it's not at all uncommon for a Red Eared Slider to have a shell that has some 'waves' in it '¦ meaning that it's not perfectly flat to the touch. As they reach middle to old age is when the shell will become VERY flat textured and also dark green (almost-black looking). A Painted turtle, on the other hand, will have a uniformly even-feeling shell that remains darkish brown over their lives.>
<Here's a general care sheet that gives you the ABC's about both '¦ but beyond that we should probably clear up what you actually have http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >

My Turtle's Shell 7/25/11
Dear Crew,
I'm sorry to bother you but I've been reading your articles on turtle shells & I'm still unsure.
<No bother at all, but we DO appreciate you researching before writing>
I don't want to call a vet since it's the weekend & I tried looking online for the closest turtle doc but it's so far away.
<I understand>
I've had my painted for 10 years (I'm not sure how old he was when I got him). I've never had a problem until a few days ago when I was going to clean his tank & noticed it murky. My filter failed and we are in the middle of a serious heat wave. When I took him out of the tank I was shocked. Parts of his shell were gone by his back right leg & some scales seemed 'bleached out'. Then a scale (or it looked like one) fell off his butt area revealing a puffy and soft area, but it still has the basic shell color look) and there are 2 very soft and light pink spots in that puffy area, kind of looks like skin. There's no smell and he's not bleeding. No change in behavior. He's a male painted 5 1/2 inches long.
<That's a pretty good size for a Painted Turtle>
<For the picture I see it appears that he had some necrotic shell tissue that finally died and fell away, exposing the skin underneath. The immediate treatment is to keep him warm and DRY for a few weeks - I'll send you a complete link below>
I have him in a 30 gallon tank. Has a basking spot (I admit his setup didn't allow him to get completely dry)
< That may be the problem, especially if the lower quadrant is what remained wet/damp>
with uvb/uva lights. And I'll feed him night crawlers and TRY to get him to eat veggies. He's so picky!
<They often fixate on certain foods. The proper diet for a Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) is either Repto-min Turtle sticks or Koi Pellets (which are virtually the same thing except less expensive with an occasional (monthly) Night Crawler (earth worm) or two.>
This summer I will openly admit I've been slacking (basking area not proper & night crawlers for food, cleaning tank once a month instead of 2) to personal issues. But I admit it's all my fault & I feel horrible. I read your website and am not sure if it's fungal or shell rot (because there's no smell). So as a safe guard anyway I cleaned his tank (and its dry), gave him a bath & got athletes foot cream plus I'm using otc antibiotic ointment. Had him outside in natural sunlight for about 5 hours, during this time I let him run in the backyard for a while like I usually do and he's still very fast & alert. His eyes are clear and fine along with his nose, there's no wheezing or sneezing. Then had his lights on him in his dry tank. Then 15 minutes to eat and poop & hydrate (even though he didn't eat but that's not un-normal since he ate the night before). And same today except no natural sunlight due to rain, but had lights on in dry tank for 12-13 hours @ 85-90 degrees, and he still did not eat today to my knowledge, but then again that's nothing unusual. A bleached out scale fell off to reveal a crater looking indent (but shell is hard and normal dark/black colored) and the other bleach spot revealed a normal dark shell but kind of rough feeling (maybe its just me I don't know its hard and feels like shell). I don't want to scrape his butt area if its not shell rot, so I'm enclosing a pic (the soft puffy spot on his back end resembles a heart in the pic, that's the area I'm not sure of. he does seemed to react when I'm touching it though to see if its still soft, and it is). I hope this all helps. I do have more pics but this was the best. Please get back to me, I want my best friend healthy again.
<We want that, too.>
<You're doing the immediate things for care. However, if you don't have evidence of an infection, stop the anti-biotic cream just for now. A natural "dry healing" will be best for a few days to allow the area to stabilize. In a few days, after the softer parts have started to harden, any fungi will be easier to spot>
<Read here for housing (under Isolation) http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm >
<He goes into a clean, shallow bowl of water every day for a few minutes so he can drink, poop and maybe eat. Don't be overtly worried if he's off his feed for a few days. If part of your butt was falling off, you might not feel like eating either. As long as he's been active and feeding up until now, he can go weeks without feeding if he doesn't feel hungry.>
<Your main keys are that he is alert and active. He'll get a bit depressed in the "dry-dock" confinement and he'll tend to find a corner and just head-in and shut down, but don't worry too much - the skin is still healing. All the natural sunlight you can give him is great -- just remember two things 1) Too much sun can bake him, so make sure he can get OUT of the sun when he wants 2) letting him have the run of the back yard '¦ just remember how FAST these little guys can travel when no one is looking, how small a crevice they can hide in or get under -- and that they can climb VERY well! In other words, don't lose him!>
<after about 5 days of this, the shell and the skin should take on a decided condition. If it's fungal, you'll see the fungal patches on top of the newly dried & toughened skin, If it's another type of shell disease, the adjacent areas of the shell will soften rather than harden. What I'm saying is that after about a week of being dry and warm, the direction he's heading will be obvious. If the shell continues to soften at the edges it will be unquestionably time to seek veterinary care. If the shell material hardens and the skin firms up, then he'll just have 'character'.>
Thank you for your time.
<Yer welcome. Please keep us posted>

Update: My Turtles Shell 8/4/11
Thank you for getting back to me last Monday.
<Ho Problem!>
My name is Tanya and my turtle has the dead scale that fell off his butt area.
<I remember>
Its been about 8 or 9 days since treatment and his shell is looking great.
The soft puffy area is hardening and flattening looking like a normal shell, and he no longer flinches when I touch it. He did start eating normally again this past Friday, and he's eating the pellets you mentioned. The two pink spots look like they are healing nicely, they are half the size as before and are disappearing as the shell hardens. The picture I am enclosing I took this morning, July 31st. Please let me know when I can keep him in water again. I am buying a new 55 gallon tank and a new filter for him and want to know when I can put him in his new set-up.
<If it was me, Tanya, I'd give him 4 weeks in "dry dock." We want that shell & skin area not only to look better, but firm up & heal all the way to the bone.>
Thank you for your time.
<We enjoy giving it -- Darrel>

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