Why are the scutes falling out of my turtles shell?

As the rot gets bad, the scutes may start to fall out. Shell rot is caused by both fungal and bacterial infections. It is more common among aquatic turtle as they spend more time in a humid environment which is conducive to the growth of bacteria and fungus. Turtle shell rot usually occurs when a scratch, puncture, or crack is left untreated.

How can you tell if a turtle has shell rot?

In both aquatic turtles and terrestrial turtles and tortoises, shell rot eventually causes deep ulcers and soft, rotten depressions in the shell, making it unmistakable. Sometimes, whole scutes fall off, which can be distressing to see. Before this point, smell can be good clue that the disease is present.

How to tell if a turtle is a softshell turtle?

If the shell/carapace is pliable and soft and the snout is elongated, then it is a softshell turtle. If the shell is hard, then it is not a softshell turtle. Move on to the next section. 4. Inspect The Scutes On The Shell Scutes cover the turtle’s shell. They are composed of keratin. If the turtle has 12 scutes, continue to section 6.

What does it mean when a turtle sheds its skin?

As you can imagine, swimming with a heavy shell is not ideal. The shedding of the scutes also allows the turtle to rid its shell of algae. So while not all turtle species shed, all turtles shed the skin on their limbs, neck, and head. As the turtle outgrows its skin, it sheds it.

How can I tell if my turtle’s shell is rotting?

The symptoms of shell rot in pet turtles tend to be more subtle. You might see a reddish fluid under the shell plates, a slimy layer on the shell or softening, lifting, or flaking plates. The shell might be easily damaged and emit a foul-smelling odor as well.

How long does it take for shell rot in turtles to heal?

Turtles tend to get sick slowly and there for heal slowly so remember to be patient when treating a case (or be patient with your vet who is treating your turtle) because it may take weeks to completely heal. If you have any questions please contact me. Like Vet Tails on Facebook or Instagram for regular updates and photos!

Where does shell rot occur in a tortoise?

Shell rot can occur on both the carapace (top ½ of the shell) and plastron (bottom ½ of the shell). The medical term for shell rot is ulcerative shell disease. Unfortunately, helping heal your turtle or tortoise’s shell can be quite a long process…

What happens when a turtle’s shell falls off?

You may also start to see soft spots forming or even have small areas of bloody discharge. If your turtle or tortoise has a very bad shell rot, it may cause entire scutes to fall off. This would expose the bone and nerves that are underneath the hard shell covering.