General Care Discussion :: Scute shedding

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:28 pm   Scute shedding

Hi everyone, this is my first post here!
To make a long story short, earlier in the week I rescued a 1-2 year old RES from a family friend who no longer wanted her. They didn't take very good care of her, unfortunately. She was kept in a one gallon fish bowl with maybe one inch of water and no lighting or basking dock or anything. So, when I got her, I noticed she had some retained scutes.


I don't have any pictures of her dry, but this is what they looked like the night I got her.

Fast forward a few days with a UVB and heat lamp, and she's been basking the full time I leave the lamps on--about 12 hours per day. Yay!

Now her retained scutes look like this.


With each day, the scutes dry out more and more and somewhat quickly the black spots in the middle are shrinking. I'm happy with how quickly she's making progress, so I'm hoping that means I was able to help her before it got too severe.

I just want to make sure all is okay, though, since most pictures of retained scutes on turtles I've found online didn't look like my turtles'. Hers are really thin, but maybe that is just due to her young age and it not actually being a super hard, old shell yet? I'm not 100% educated just yet.

Also, because of her poor care for the first few years of her life, I am kind of paranoid about shell rot or any other health problems, even though nothing has indicted such issues yet. But if you notice anything else "off" about her shell in these pictures, please let me know!

One last thing: right now she's in a 10g tank with maybe 6 inches of water. I know I'll need a lot bigger of a tank, but I want to gradually hep her out. She struggled to swim at first when I brought her home, since she was never able to actually swim with her previous owners. I didn't want to jump right into putting her in a 50g tank and risk her drowning.
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Post Posted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:13 pm   Re: Scute shesding

When the scutes look like that, it usually means there has been a huge growth spurt, and the turtle was likely overfed. The pictures are not large enough for me to pick out issues, but as long as the shell is firm and no breaches, you're off to a good start. Obviously the diet needs to be looked into and corrected. You'd want the shell to be smoother and for regular shedding to occur and that'll happen if you make some improvements.
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