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Olive/Vegetable Oil on Turtle's shell


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#1 SnowCone

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 11:36 PM

I got an email from someone (who visits my web site) about something I'm not actually sure how to answer...

He asked if olive oil/vegetable oil would be ok to rub on the shells of his turtle's (he has Russians and Box Turtles) to make the shells shiny again, and not so "dried out" looking.

I told him I'd come to this forum and ask about it and not to try it until I'm certain. I also said I would ASSUME it would cause bacteria, or at least have dirt and dust stick to the shell... Seems like the turtle would adsorb it through the shell, and maybe even get into the water supply while the turtle soaks.

I guess he got the idea from my Hermit Crab web site where I commented on using Olive Oil to give a healthy buff to natural shells, but I never considered using it on turtle shells before. Unlike hermit crabs, the shells are PART of the turtle so I'm not sure how it would effect it.


What's your opinion?

#2 samsmom

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 12:11 AM

That does sound rather messy! I have one three-toed with a really dry-looking shell, and my vet recommended using vitamin E (breaking the capsule and using the contents). I did that once, as I am reluctant to put things on the shells after reading much advice against it, and it did improve the appearance.

#3 TurtleMel

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 05:37 AM

He should do that with diet, not quick fixes. Just my two cents.

#4 animal kingdom

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 08:30 PM

Oil may make a shell look shinier, but that's about it. Put oil on your dry chapped hands, and they'll look great too! I don't know that vegetable oil is specifically bad for a turtle's shell, but I wouldn't use it (could attract bugs etc.). There are several shell conditioners on the market that would be better than cooking oil.

#5 Pie-rate

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 12:41 AM

Oil may make a shell look shinier, but that's about it. Put oil on your dry chapped hands, and they'll look great too! I don't know that vegetable oil is specifically bad for a turtle's shell, but I wouldn't use it (could attract bugs etc.). There are several shell conditioners on the market that would be better than cooking oil.

And you shouldn't use any of them.

#6 camaro777tom

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 09:33 AM

During the winter and around shedding time I will apply A&D Salve to moisturize help reduce cracking. This is probably twice over a four month span during winter months. It seems to work well, but there is a distinctive smell that you have to be aware of before you put it on. I got this idea after a vet put it on after a quick check & trim visit.

#7 JsX

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 11:58 AM

There is this stuff called "vitashell". Less expensive than Olive oil, lol.



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#8 Thorn Apple

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 09:11 AM

It seems to me that its way too easy to over-do on the olive oil and since its oil it coats and sticks and doesnt allow for breathing so I would worry about that when considering using it. Personally, I wouldn't do that. Why does he need it to be "shiney again"? anyway? If he's shedding then leave him alone, otherwise do this with vitamins and diet and not coat his poor shell with oil.




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