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Shell rot or shedding? (More pictures)


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#1 TitusvilleSurfer

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 11:14 AM

My DBT is loosing the dark color in his shell. Only affecting some costal pleurals, I am hoping the turtle is in the final stages of shedding but fear the worst. The shell hasn't softened up and is still solid to the touch. You can see in the picture, the two black dots covering every scute on the carapace are completely faded on the piece in question.
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Edited by LisaD, 01 November 2007 - 05:01 PM.


#2 cinderella

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 11:27 AM

Can you get a picture with the shell dry--the reflection of the water and the camera make it hard to tell what is going on.

Leslie

#3 TitusvilleSurfer

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 11:32 AM

Okay, when I see him basking later I'll try to take some less blurry dry pictures. Basically the rich dark color of the shell is giving way to milky white patches. You can clearly see them in the 2nd picture near the neck, tail, and the lower mid ridge. I have been monitoring this for a couple of days and am very confident something is wrong. I need to know what I'm dealing with (I've never actually seen shell rot) and I need to know how to fix it fast before it gets out of hand.
EDIT: The top picture showing the underside doesn't seem to have any symptoms. I just put it in there for good measure.

Edited by TitusvilleSurfer, 30 October 2007 - 11:35 AM.


#4 TitusvilleSurfer

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 12:00 PM

Could this be calcium deficiency? It is too early to say but my RES seems to be developing a similar problem. The dark green shell is giving way to white. It is so small I doubt I could get it to show in a picture...maybe a patch >1mm diameter of white on some scutes.
EDIT: Just to highlight what I am trying to show you.
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Edited by TitusvilleSurfer, 30 October 2007 - 12:06 PM.


#5 cinderella

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 12:14 PM

It isn't calcium deficieny. It appears to me to be shedding--which might explain why both turtles have it. If it were shell rot the area would be soft and stinky. Are you keeping them in brackish water--at least the diamondback?

Leslie

#6 TitusvilleSurfer

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 12:16 PM

No they share a 55 gallon freshwater tank. I tried to find out how much salinity my RES could handle well but ultimately decided to leave it alone. I could raise it at any time, so if anyone knows the optimum salinity they could comfortably share, I would appreciate it.

#7 cinderella

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 12:18 PM

I'm going to assume that the RES probably cannot handle much long term. Do the spots on the shell that worry you, look any different when the turtles are basking?

Leslie

#8 crstaley

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 01:31 PM

Looks like to me like hes shedding bro!! :D

#9 crstaley

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 01:33 PM

Since the Picture is hard to see....does it look anything like this turts shell??

http://www.turtletim...mp;#entry470802

#10 TitusvilleSurfer

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 02:33 PM

That is very close to what the RES is looking like (on a much smaller scale). The DBT is hard to say but similar. I hope to god that is the problem (in that case not a problem at all). I sure am worried though! By tomorrow or maybe even tonight I'll try to get some better pictures. Is there some reason they would both shed at the same time even though I have not observed either doing it before? Not to get gross but I know women who are around each other constantly (i.e. the ones I work with) have their *special time* together. Could this be true for turtles as well? I feared it was a bacteria, which in my opinion would explain why both might encounter the same problem at the same time.

Edited by TitusvilleSurfer, 30 October 2007 - 02:37 PM.


#11 egyptiandan

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 03:07 PM

Hi,
It looks like shell rot to me on the carapace. The quicker you start treating the better. The plastron looks fine to me.

Danny

#12 TitusvilleSurfer

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 10:40 PM

Those were my original thoughts. If it ends up being the case, I would appreciate everyone reaching into their favorites folder and giving me good shell rot links. I will probably see a local vet if deemed necessary, but just the same.

#13 LisaD

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 08:30 AM

I'm sorry it took so long to reply I have been away from the forum and not online. I agree with Danny it does look like shell rot development on the carapace but not the plastron even from grainier photos. Of course you can take the turtle in always a wise idea if you aren't certain of what the issue is, for safety sake and/or if you aren't sure how best to act and so long as there are no other ills going on and it is case of rot the likely route will be soaking, dry docking periods and ointment applications to treat that matter. Since we live close I can recommend two to see in the area by PM although one west of us is tops.

Without seeing images of the RES that would be hard to guess since I think it looks differently on both. Here is why I say that sometimes in terrapins speaking of DBTs not any others, and in my opinion it starts to look like calcium buildup or mineral scum such as seen more often on Map turtles or like they may be about to shed their scutes (yours is too young) such as on RES turtle when thin scute material begins to lift off in thin layers over time in tiny sections or small pieces, but often when it starts to spread in that manner on a terps carapace and in that color and the way it appears above sadly it does tend to indicate shell rot in many cases in my experience having kept these turtles and dealt with one who came to me with it...unfortunately. <_<

I know this DBT is said to be wild but came to you by gift. I thought by my very aging memory that you had them setup in brackish setup from previous posts due to the wild nature? Is it strictly freshwater then? I would separate them immediately. You can convert a 55g rubbermaid to budget turtle housing (let me know if you need a photo of one converted) in the meantime for one if you don't have funds or another tank laying around on short notice. Be sure you are filtering both very well and the water quality is pristine. Do you use sand or crushed coral in their tank? Do you know the ph?

As Danny said the sooner you treat the condition better off you and you're turtle are going to be. I would start a round of soaking the turtle (see links for solutions) and dry docking in deep rubbermaid on cotton towel or t-shirt strips under UVB (use care temps don't get to hot and there is warm and cool side of the bin). You can ask your Vet to prescribe some Silvadene ointment also (used for human burns) and once the shell is dry after soaking and the dry docking apply that to the shell. For more pictures and discussions of soaking and applications on shell conditions please see more information here:

http://www.chelonia....es/shellrot.htm
http://www.austinstu...re/medshell.htm

From rehabbers and vets and fellow keepers I have learned this in this case of rot issues and it is worth sharing because I found it matters; always stick with it and be consistent. IMy menaing? Well often it won't work for you skip even one thing, step or treatment or stop doing everything recommended by your vet or advice in thsoe links until the situation is completely under control.

#14 TitusvilleSurfer

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 12:08 PM

Thank you for the involved reply and links Lisa. The vet sounds like a good option right now, I don't want to throw $100+ to try to fix something that isn't broken. If a vet tells me the turtle does indeed have shell rot or something else, I am prepared to take the necessary steps. I Can't get a decant close up because my Kodak CK7300 mandates nearly 4 feet inbetween the turtle and myself to achieve focus. I tried anyway.
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Thanks again, sorry for the shady pictures.

#15 TitusvilleSurfer

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 12:14 PM

Go ahead and PM me some good vets in our area. I was considering calling the Brevard Zoo and asking who treats their reptiles. The RES and DBT are together in a larger aquarium. I have an empty 20 gallon I can convert to brackish water, though to give them both more swimming room I have been keeping them together. The RES and DBT seem to swim and bask together religiously as well. Contrary to scientific opinion and as dumb as it may sound, I feel they enjoy each other's company. I can keep him in the 20 for a while and upgrade to a dedicated larger tank (probably a 75) when he (she?) matures a bit.

Edited by TitusvilleSurfer, 31 October 2007 - 12:36 PM.


#16 TitusvilleSurfer

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 12:29 PM

One thing I have noticed on this forum and others (perhaps I am just noticing them more) is a disproportionate number of threads involving shedding than normal. Do turtles tend to shed at certain times of the year i.e. before they would begin to hibernate in nature? Do turtles of different species shed at the same time?

Edited by TitusvilleSurfer, 31 October 2007 - 12:33 PM.


#17 TexConrad

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 12:36 PM

Its way too little to be shedding! I can tell you for sure that it should not be shedding yet.
DBT's do not shed until they get up to about 5 inches for the very( first ) time. That one doesnt look over 6 months old if that.
They dont shed the way red ears and sliders and others do. If you dont believe me ask Stephen from neo terrapin here on the forum. And you can go to Diamond Back Terrapin World and look up info there. though i dont think there's any info about when they'll shed first but i have spoke with the man and asked him this question. I was about to pick the scutes off and im so glad that i didnt. bottom line, he shouldnt be shedding. So at least you count shedding out now..

I bet its something to do with your water? And thats a beutiful Texan!!!

And about the time of year turtles shed. I would say thats a Summer time thing. Naturally of course. meaning in nature..
When the hot Summer sun beats down on them basking raising the old scutes. Turtles dont grow while hibernating. But they shure do during the Summer months. That why captive turtles get bigger faster than wild. a lot of people dont hibernate them and they constanly grow until they reach the size they are going to get. So if you take turtle that is 5 inches and it took only 1 year and 4 months to get them this size it may take 2.5 years to get one that big in the wild seeing that they slow down for winter and stop growing.

Edited by TexConrad, 31 October 2007 - 12:47 PM.


#18 TitusvilleSurfer

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 12:55 PM

Ah very interesting thank you for clearing that up. It just makes me worried though, I need a vet fast. Can I run a protine skimmer on a brackish water setup? I realize they don't work in freshwater because of density issues. I also realize I am about to set up a brackish water tank, so I suppose I better figure out just how to do that. Because the turtle must drink fresh water (I would assume) and travel back and forth between fresh and brackish in the wild, must I slowly acclimate the terrapin to a higher salinity environment?

#19 TexConrad

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 01:03 PM

Is it a wild cought? Its so beutiful! How much salt are you using rite now? And i have no clue about the protein skimmer.
If you are not using any salt now, you can put 1whole cup of rock salt to every 10 gallons and it will not have to be taken out for fresh water. I was told it takes rite at 3 cups of rock salt to every 10 gallons to make the water brackish. So 1 cup will be just fine.. Thats what i use with my terrapins and i even have a betta fish living in the water. So it should work great. no need to take him out for fresh water. And he should be fine and actually loving it without having to adjust in this water condition.

Edited by TexConrad, 31 October 2007 - 01:05 PM.


#20 TitusvilleSurfer

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 01:12 PM

I have him in a completely fresh water system at the moment because of the RES who shares the enclosure. I really do love them both and unfortunately will have to separate them. It was found on a back porch. There is a brackish water river near her house, but the little guy (or his mother) would of had to cross 4 busy lanes of traffic to get there. After the turtle was found, it was assumed an exotic which shouldn't be released into the wild (wrong). It was given to me and I just couldn't believe it! I'm not a girly man and hate to use the word cute...but he/she sure is! I just want to do my part and take care of it the right way. It would have (assumably) come from the Indian River Lagoon near Kennedy Space Center in Florida.




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