(Not a tortoise) I have new wood turtles and concerned about shells

Stoneman

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Hey everybody, I got some wood turtles and I am concerned about these white spots on their shell. I was told that they are from moss or algae or something, but I have seen images of fungal growths that look similar, so I thought I would check with you guys.

What do you think caused it? Should I just let them shed it off or should I treat it? Thank you for your help.

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G-stars

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That looks like some type of fungal infection to me. I personally would treat for it. I have never had to treat for a fungal infection before so I won’t even attempt to tell you what or how it should be done. Hope it all goes away though, good luck.

-Gus
 

Stoneman

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Thank you. That is what I thought. I think there are a few very affordable and effective topical fungicides that are designed for humans but safe for torts I will have to check my reptile surgery book to see dosage requirements
 

Yvonne G

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Just buy some athlete's foot cream at the dollar store. Same ingredient as the more expensive stuff from the pharmacy. Clean and dry the spots then dab on the cream. Do it daily.
 

Lrodmyre

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They definitely have shell rot. Go get Hibiclens at the store. You can get it at Target, Walmart, any drug store. You need to dry dock them for about 12 hours a day. Take a toothbrush and clean their shells with the Hibiclens. Then dry them. Then put the Hibiclens on again and let it dry. Keep them warm while dry docking. If you can order Silver Sulfadiazine cream from Mountainside Medical. Once the Hibiclens is dry. Put on the Silver Sulfadiazine Cream for the rest of the day. Both are high antibacterial agents.

I treat a lot of turtles with shell rot, and this really works. It's going to take months to get rid of it. Dry docking is important. Wet is the enemy.

I noticed you have Mazuri tortoise food in the dish. These guys are not tortoises. When small, they need protein for growth. After a year, you can start adding veggies and fruits.

The athletes foot cream is to treat skin, not shells.

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Yvonne G

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The athletes foot cream is to treat skin, not shells.

View attachment 284242

Maybe so, but it clears up shell fungus and shell rot a lot quicker than the 'months' you're talking about. Also, if you read the label on your bottle of Chlorhexidine, it says it's a "skin cleanser." I've been treating shell rot and fungus on rescued turtles and tortoises for years, and the athlete foot cream works.
 

Lrodmyre

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Sorry. Didn't mean to offend. Just going by vet info. They can be wrong also. By months, I meant for the shell to grow back in. The pits on the bottom of the shells look a little deep. The bottom is the hardest to treat because they rub it off when they move.

Again, I apologize.
 

TammyJ

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Good luck with their treatment. I guess you should feed them first in the water, as turtles can only eat when in water (and yet I see their food is not in the water, I guess they grab it up and dive into the water with it???), and then put them in a dry place and apply the treatment, whatever you use, until their next feeding time.

Wow, they have the longest tails! What is the scientific name for these?
 

William Lee Kohler

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Good luck with their treatment. I guess you should feed them first in the water, as turtles can only eat when in water (and yet I see their food is not in the water, I guess they grab it up and dive into the water with it???), and then put them in a dry place and apply the treatment, whatever you use, until their next feeding time.

Wow, they have the longest tails! What is the scientific name for these?

Clemmys insculpta For anyone that thinks the idiots that separated the Clemmys family into 2 different groups too bad!
 

Calaveras

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I agree with Lrodmyre,

I have kept water turtles for decades and wood turtles included which act like kind of half water half box turtles.

this is bacterial not fungal.

the water for this species must be pristine to succeed. With no filter, you would need to change the water a couple times a day. The bacteria that is causing the pits and scars can Spread to the others and a moist substrate makes your job harder.
 

Stoneman

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They definitely have shell rot. Go get Hibiclens at the store. You can get it at Target, Walmart, any drug store. You need to dry dock them for about 12 hours a day. Take a toothbrush and clean their shells with the Hibiclens. Then dry them.

View attachment 284242
Thank you everyone for all of the help. Sorry I have been absent from the forum. I work an exhausting 9 to 5 and then come home to take care of my shelled friends and a lot of the time I am pretty dead afterward. However, for the last few weeks I have been taking care of them consistently. Here has been my routine.

Dig them out of the wood chips. Put them in a container they can't climb out of. Scrub them with a toothbrush and dish soap. Debride the white material with a more effective instrument. Put them back in water in container and cycle through the rest of them. Once all have been debrided, use toothbrush to scrub topical miconazole (vagisil) on their shells. Leave to sit for half hour. Remove miconazole from shells and rinse them. Wash water pan. Rinse water pan. Fill with water. Add turtle food to water. Add turtles to water. Repeat each day.

Yesterday I think I got it all off. I am going to continue cycle with just toothbrush, and dish soap, and then miconazole as to prevent non-visible growth of any bacterial or fungal parasite on their shells. It was easiest to take a picture of the group as a whole, although the bottom of their shells are clean too. Their is still pitting but I think they will recover fine.
 

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Stoneman

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I wasn't getting the progress I hoped for with the toothbrush, so I used hair tweezers to ever so gently and meticulously scrape the growths off. The first week I was using a spray of a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide to disinfect before the application of the antifungal.

I stopped using the spray because I did not want the solution to irritate their eyes. I checked their eyes and they looked clear but I did not want to risk it so I stopped. Here are some before pics I took of them so that I could track them as individuals. Their transformation is pretty stunning.
 

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Stoneman

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this is bacterial not fungal.

the water for this species must be pristine to succeed. With no filter, you would need to change the water a couple times a day. The bacteria that is causing the pits and scars can Spread to the others and a moist substrate makes your job harder.

@Calaveras how can I tell the difference between bacterial and fungal shell rot?

I have been changing their water daily and adding a couple drops of non-activated oxine as a microbistat to their water to prevent damage to their shell while they are recuperating.
 

Calaveras

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@Calaveras how can I tell the difference between bacterial and fungal shell rot?
.
Because fungus is a slimy and smelly wispy white or grey growth mostly on the skin of the legs and tail. It can affect the neck on the whole turtle if ignored.
Shell rot is mostly bacterial.
You can have a test done by a vet if you need to be certain. Either way the water is dirty and it will get worse.
 

Stoneman

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Because fungus is a slimy and smelly wispy white or grey growth mostly on the skin of the legs and tail. It can affect the neck on the whole turtle if ignored.
Shell rot is mostly bacterial.
You can have a test done by a vet if you need to be certain. Either way the water is dirty and it will get worse.
Thank you, that is great to know. I am brand new to semi aquatic turtles so this condition is brand new to me. The dish soap is antibiotic so hopefully that and keeping the water changed daily will clear up the issue. I will repost here if I come across more issues with the shell.
 

William Lee Kohler

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Has it occurred to you that dish soap is also very irritating to their eyes? I think you're being overzealous.
 

Stoneman

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Has it occurred to you that dish soap is also very irritating to their eyes? I think you're being overzealous.
Do you think the hibicleans and silvadene would be less of an irritant? Or is there another antimicrobial that would be effective and less irritating? I've kind of stuck to using dish soap in the past because I have read somewhere that it is effective yet minor as an irritant.

I use this a diluter though. I use about 19 parts water to one part dish soap, and it converts the liquid into a foam, the I put that onto a wet toothbrush.
 

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