General Care Discussion :: Plastron Question

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:35 pm   Plastron Question

Hello! Recently Shelldon developed a mild skin irritation on the plastron. She was taken to the exotic-pet vet for a regular checkup when the vet noticed and I learned about it. I had been treating it with a dilute betadine solution according to his instructions and its all better now.

I have been noticing something else about the plastron. Shelldon is shedding her plastron (For the first quarter of the year she had been shedding her carapace and marginal scutes). While underwater, Nothing seems off, but after she is out of the water for a while (When I was applying the betadine solution and letting it dry before rinsing it off) I noticed that the dry plastron scutes that seem like they are gradually becoming loose are very white-dry. Not like soft like a fungus, but just kind of a white-coming off color. You can also notice some very tiny holes in the old scutes. The holes look red when you initially take her out, but unlike a skin irritation, it does not stay when dry, it just turns white like the rest of the dry scute. When the old scute comes off, the area looks normal. Some of the old scutes remain, but she has been gradually shedding them over time.

It was like this when the vet looked at her too, and he did not seem concerned, mainly pointing to the scute shedding and skin irritation.

I guess I just wanted to make sure everything was okay. She had shed her plastron before, but I have been trying to observe these things more ever since the skin irritation.

What is the water temperature? 78 Degrees F
Did you use a thermometer? Yes
Are you using a water heater? Yes
How much water is in there? About 23.3 Gallons
Current Tank: 40 Gallon Tank
Tank Width: 17 In. W


Total Tank Depth: Around 17 In.H

Water Depth: 10 In. (Add 4 In. to Carapace Length)

Length: About 48 In L

Are you using a water conditioner? Yes
Are you using any filtration? Yes

What is the basking temperature? 88.2 Degrees F
Is there a basking light? Yes
Is there a basking platform that is easy to climb on? Yes
What kind is it or what is it made out of? Oasis Turtle Ramp (Large)
Is there a UVB light? Yes

What have you been trying to feed it? Vegetables and Pellets
When was the last time your turtle ate? This afternoon

How big is the tank/pond/enclosure?
Is the tank near a window? No
Is the tank in a room with a lot of activity? No

Have you read the Basic Care section? Yes
Have you searched the forums for similar situations? Yes

Is there any other unusual activity/symptoms? No
Gerstein
 
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:06 pm   Re: Plastron Question

Sometimes they just shed a little at a time ,not all turtles shed everything at once . You are seeing thin layers of keratin that's coming off. Like your fingernails are made of and at time's whitish to a tint color. The wet look hides a lot , always best to inspect when totally dry , shows more. Vet didn't say anything about it because it looked normal to him. The skin problem was the main thing to him. Now after your treatment all better , good. Tiny holes in old scutes were past problems and as you say new ones look good that's great. Turtles shed to grow but also at times shed if any problems exist. Natures way to correct things. Shelldon may retain a few old scutes hopefully they come off next shed. Doing good observing keep it up. Don't try to help her with the shedding by pulling them off that can cause other problems. Nature took care of things long before we came along.
Last edited by litefoot on Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:13 pm   Re: Plastron Question

Thank you. I figured, but did not want to assume.
Gerstein
 
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:21 pm   Re: Plastron Question

Dam you type fast , I was adding the wet look part and you already posted. Remember I'm an old guy , type slow. Haha
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:07 pm   Re: Plastron Question

Did you, by chance, get any pictures of it?
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Post Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:17 pm   Re: Plastron Question

I don't unfortunately. And getting pictures would be difficult since Shelldon is currently living away from home with my parents until she can be moved later this fall. Do you think it might be something to worry about?
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:01 am   Re: Plastron Question

I'm thinking it could be fungus. It sort of changes appearance since it sticks around so long.
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:33 pm   Re: Plastron Question

http://i35.tinypic.com/v30l1w.jpg

It looks similar to this one that kittytheturtle posted.

Shelldon is currently able to bask very comfortably and completely dry her carapace and plastron and has been shedding plastron scutes that look fine underneath. There is nothing like this on the carapace, and the pits are not deep at all.

I contacted the vet to ask about further information, since he saw it himself firsthand.
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:49 pm   Re: Plastron Question

But the scute turned white?
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steve
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:09 pm   Re: Plastron Question

Yes and no...

The best way I can explain it is that it is dry. Honestly the picture kittytheturtle posted does a much better job of explaining it. Just kind of a dry outer layer.
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:33 pm   Re: Plastron Question

I was able to get a picture of Shelldon's Plastron. It should be attached to this post.

According to Shelldon's vet, this isn't abnormal in and of itself... however it should be monitored. I am asking his opinion of the picture, since I could only describe it to him at the time.
Attachments
Shelldon Plastron.png
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:48 pm   Re: Plastron Question

I wouldn't worry about minor pits and they usually go away after a shed.
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Post Posted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:37 pm   Re: Plastron Question

Thank you for all of your help. I talked it over with the vet. He agreed that the pitting itself isn't much to fret about. The redness however, should be monitored. He suggested to start using the dilute betadine solution again, and we have begun the treatment to try and reduce the irritation on the scutes and try to get the redness to go away.
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Post Posted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:05 am   Re: Plastron Question

Update: Shelldon responded very well to the betadine treatment. No redness exists anymore on the plastron. Two additional weeks of cleaning occurred after the spots disappeared, since that is what the vet recommended last time.
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Post Posted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:10 am   Re: Plastron Question

Good job. I really believe basking will greatly help keep the skin and shell healthy.
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