Our house had a fire on 12/28. While all pets and people are safe, it took 10 days for me to be able to move our

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Customer: Hi.
Our house had a fire on 12/28. While all pets and people are safe, it took 10 days for me to be able to move our Mississippi Map turtle tank out of the smoke damaged environment. Since then, he has developed some white spots on his sheel, and one scute is peeling. He is young and stays in the water all the time. He doesn't like to bask. What can I do to help him? He has remained very active since moving him out of the house. While he was there, he really slowed down and didn't seem very happy. Is there a way to send you a photo?
Thank you!
Jaymie
Answered by Anna in 32 mins 6 years ago
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Anna
30+ years of experience
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17,022 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Customer
I sent a photo below
Customer
Now that he is dry, I can see additional peeling. The white spots do not seem to be "soft."

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. Thank you for including a photo. I'll give you something to try. Take a clean toothbrush, and with the turtle in shallow water, brush the white spots. Let me know if they stay the same or if some of it comes off. Thank you.

Customer
It's a little hard to tell because now he is wet again. One thing though, the toothbrush is now VERY gray, and looks like it may have removed some soot from his shell. I will let him dry and then send you another photo.
Customer
Thinking it pretty much stayed the same. He definitely has some peeling going on, but I also think that's normal anyway, right? We had a Reeves turtle for over 10 years, and that didn't really happen much. This is a Mississippi Map little guy.

The white stuff is most likely hard water deposits. It's possible the water in the tank was contaminated from the smoke, and the deposits formed as a result of the particles. As for the peeling, that may be normal. It's the turtle's way of shedding. However, if it becomes excessive, it can be the result of a fungal infection. In the photo you sent, it didn't look like that was the case.

Just saw your newest post and pictures. If the white were fungus, it would have come off with the toothbrush. Something did come off on the toothbrush, most likely as a result of the smoke, as you suspect. Since your turtle is active and happy again, I would just keep an eye on the shell. The deposits may eventually come off on their own, or you can continue to brush them. If the shedding gets worse, there could be fungus. At this point, though, he looks healthy.

Customer
Thank you! Is there anything I could or should do to prevent fungus? Again, many thanks!

You're welcome. I had gone offline for the night when you posted this. The most important way to prevent fungus is to provide proper conditions. Mud turtles are very sensitive to water quality, so good filtration is important. Correct lighting and temperatures are equally important.

Mud turtles are known for not basking very much, but it's still important to have a basking area at about 85*F. If teh basking platform is just a little bit below the water surface, he may be more likely to use it. UVB light is very important. I recommend the Reptisun 10.0 in the straight tube style. Also, provide a cuttlebone as a calcium source. Cuttlebones are sold in the bird department of pet stores. Just put one in the tank without the accompanying holder - your turtle will eat what he needs.

If you need anything else, don't hesitate to ask.

Anna

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!

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