We have a male Mississippi map turtle and I've recently noticed gaps between his three scutes on his shell. Really just

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Customer: We have a male Mississippi map turtle and I've recently noticed gaps between his three scutes on his shell
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Can you tell me a little more about the Mississippi Map's situation? How long has this been a concern?
Customer: Really just noticed it within the last few days
JA: What type of food does he normally eat?
Customer: Aquatic turtle pellets and he gets a little pinch of lobster on Sundays and holidays
JA: And what's the Mississippi Map's name and age?
Customer: Shelldon 3 years old
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I don't think so
Answered by PitRottMommy in 3 days 1 year ago
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PitRottMommy
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Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hi, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and I'm happy to help. Please stand by while I have a chance to type.

Do you have any photos or video to share of what you’re seeing?

Customer
It's hard to see in camera but the spaces between his scutes are deteriorating. Have an appt sat morning

Are you seeing any lifting or flaking of the shell?

Customer
No lifting. Seems a little flakey though. Virtual vet thought that part was normal shedding

How long has it been since the scutes were last shed?

Customer
Last spring maybe? Haven't really noticed it this much

The scutes typically shed at least once yearly, so it may be time for this to happen again. When it's time for shed, the scutes should take on a different appearance as though they're translucent. They will typically lift up and away with time, but it may take a few weeks. Generally all of the scutes are affected and will lift and shed on their own schedule, but it's common for one area to start before others start. So, you very well could be seeing normal lifting of the scutes before a shed begins, starting in one area of the shell.

I do think it's wise to have him examined. It's always best to rule out shell rot when the shell appears to be changing in appearance. This is a bigger concern if the shell shows any density problems (appearing soft). Until he's examined, you can clean the area 2x daily with saline, pat dry and then apply regular Neosporin or Polysporin to the area. Rub this in well and towel off any excess. Betadine in a tea-strength solution diluted with water can also be used instead of saline if you like.

Customer
Ok thank you for the advise!

It has been my pleasure :)

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