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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11466
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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My red eared slider turtle's shell is raising and some

Customer Question

My red eared slider turtle's shell is raising and some peeling is going on. She is 4 years old, hates turtle food, treats, and pellets. She lives on live ghost shrimp, chicken, and occasional minnows. She is always basking as well. Is there something wrong?
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. I'm sorry to hear of this problem. Something is definitely wrong. Some additional information will be useful.

Does Squirt receive a calcium supplement?

What brand and size of UVB light do you have? How old is the bulb?

What temperatures do you maintain under the basking light and in the water?

Thank you.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Basking is about 86 and the water is 75F. She won't eat calcium. I put the cuttlebone in the water and she hates it. I took her to the vet last month and she got shots for Vitamin A and a calcium shot. This occurs once a year since last year. She has a zoo meds heater and a uvb 10 bulb as well.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for getting back to me. How old is your UVB bulb?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
90 days old.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She eats about 4 to 6 ghost shrimp in a sitting 4 to 5 times a week.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Thanks. I can tell you that Squirt has symptoms of Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) and malnutrition. However, I don't think I can help you since your turtle hates everything she needs to get better. A calcium injection once a year is not adequate. The foods she is eating are too high in protein. Minnows can carry diseases that make turtles ill, and a diet of so much seas food often leads to a vitamin B deficiency. Most turtles will eat cuttlebone as they need it; I'm not sure how yours came to hate it. What this really boils down to is that your turtle needs a more varied diet and more calcium. But since you have stated that isn't possible, I'm afraid I don't know anything else to tell you. Because if that, I will opt out of your question, opening it to other experts. Perhaps someone else will have other ideas.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your help. 😊
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

You're welcome. I hope you can figure out a way to get squirt to eat some more food items. You could try not feeding her for about four days (she will be fine). Then offer her some turtle pellets and see what happens. A turtle can become spoiled like a child, and teh foods she is used to taste very good.