How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Anna Your Own Question
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11545
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
Type Your Reptile Question Here...
Anna is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a question about my turtle's shell.

Customer Question

I have a question about my turtle's shell.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. Will you tell me what is going on with Athena's shell? Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
her shell seems to be shedding scutes more frequently. I change her water regularly, provide UVB and heat for 12 hour periods, but there are black spots under the scutes she is losing and it doesn't seem to be filling back in with color.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for getting back to me. This sounds like an infection of the shell. There are several different ypes, but treatment is the same for all of them.

The most effective involves what is called 'dry-docking.' You'll need to prepare a 'hospital' for Athena. A large plastic tote works well. It should be equipped with a basking area at 90*F and a UVB light. The turtle will be kept warm and dry, except for a 30 minute bath twice a day. The two baths are very important to prevent dehydration. Feed her during the bath. After each soak, scrub the shell with a clean toothbrush with Betadine (available in drug stores) on it, but try not to get it on the skin, and especially avoid the eyes. Do this twice a day. Follow that with a coating of anti-fungal cream (the kind sold for women to use to treat yeast infections). These measures may be enough, but sometimes more is needed. If the problem doesn't clear up within two weeks, you'll need to have Athena examined by a reptile vet. These links will take you to directories of vets:

Make sure your UVB light is under 6 months old. An older one that no longer emits enough UVB can contribute to shell problems.

If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I hope Athena will be fine.


My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service only after you have all the information you need. Thank you!

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

How is your turtle doing? Have you had a chance to try the treatment?