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Courtney Carroll, DVM
Courtney Carroll, DVM, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 642
Experience:  5 years experience as small animal and exotics veterinarian
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How do I clean the my red eared sliders shell, wiping him ...

Resolved Question:

How do I clean the my red eared sliders shell, wiping him with a warm cloth gets most of the slime off but can I hurt him by rubbing too hard or trying to clean all the crevices. His shell almost seems soft in spots, is that normal
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Courtney Carroll, DVM replied 10 years ago.
NO--this is not normal, the soft shell part. That is shell rot and will need medical attention. It is an infection and can become very serious if not treated (it can puncture through the shell and spread to the internal organs). You will need to find a vet in your area that treats turtles and get him checked out so that you can get medications for him.
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Courtney Carroll, DVM's Post: I don't think his shell is soft like an infection, it is just not rock hard like I thought a turtle shell would be. Are you saying that it should be? My main question was cleaning the algae, is there something I should do to clean this?
Expert:  Courtney Carroll, DVM replied 10 years ago.
The shell should be very hard. If you press on firmly with thumbs, and it moves or gives way at all, that is NOT normal. There also should not be any areas of flaking or peeling, or lifting scutes. A normal shell you could use a soft toothbrush to clean, but I would be very gentle scrubbing a diseased shell.

Can you give me some information about your setup/enclosure?
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX I need to take my friend to a vet. There are area's that are peeling,. He is in a 20 gallon tank in about 5 inches of water, with a area to climb out under a heat lamp with a reptolite that is on most the time. I use a dechlorinator but not other supplemants. He is still eating, mainly brine shrimp or turkey. Once in a while he will eat the prepared reptile food that I put in the tank because I have a painted turtle as well. Thanks for your help. I will not hit a repy next time cause I know that keeps you from being paid. I will adjust the payment cause I have gotton more than $9.worth. Thanks
Expert:  Courtney Carroll, DVM replied 10 years ago.
OK, starting to see the major problems here. You have TWO turtle in a 20 gallon tank. That is just not big enough no matter how often you change the water or what kind of filter you have. Aquatic turtles are messy , they produce tons of ammonia and other wastes into the water. Standard fish tank filters just cannot keep up. This is why you have algae in the first place. You are going to have to get at least a 50 gallon container to house these two turtles. It doesn't have to be a glass tank--plastic tupperware type containers are fine as well. Go to a pet store and get strong filter for a very large aquarium or especially for a turtle tank. The water will need to be changed TWICE A WEEK. no less.

Also, these turtles have to have some greens added their diet--mustartd greens, kale, spinach, not iceburg lettuce.

You will still have to get the slider to a vet to get meds to get his shell treated, but these changes in the environment should help to keep it from coming back and your other turtle from getting sick.

Good luck
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