Test Turtle Page -- Soft-shell turtle diseaseThis page has is only a test page. If you found yourself here... well there you are.
This document contains no real information about:
Diseases affecting the soft-shell turtle population.
I told you this is just a test page! Why are you still reading this?The following was copied from http://www.turtlecare.net/softill.htm
Copyright by Valerie Haecky. This document may be freely distributed for non-profit use, provided this notice is included.
Unless your turtle is a softshell turtle, turtle's shell should be nice and hard and solid. This is true for box turtles, tortoises, and water turtles, equally. Knocking on the shell should feel solid, pushing on the shell should not create any dents, and no soft patches should be found on the shell.
The most common cause of a soft shell is insufficient Calcium and/or insufficient Vitamin D3. It is beyond the scope of this article to explain the whole Calcium/Vitamin D3 metabolism, but here is a short overview:
If your turtle has a soft shell and is otherwise healthy, you must provide him with enough calcium and a way to synthesize Vitamin D3. (Refer to the care sheet on feeding turtles for more information.)
If your turtle has other problems, consult a veterinarian who knows and cares about turtles. If the soft shell is extensive, consider taking the turtle to a veterinarian for x-rays and evaulation to assess the amount of damage.
To give extra calcium, buy "cuttle fish bone" at the pet store. The turtles like to chew on it, and that will take care of the calcium.
For vitamin D3, you can either let your turtle bask in unfiltered sunlight every day for at least an hour, or you can install a fluorescent UVB bulb on the basking area, or you can supplement vitamin D3.
It will take many months for the turtle to heal. However, if he stops getting worse, you are probably winning the battle. He will not die of this, if he gets help now. However, if the disease is far enough advanced, your turtle may be crippled for life. If he doesn't get help, all his bones will get soft, and that is not very healthy...
For extensive information on the topic of fluorescent reptile lights, vitamin D3, metabolic bone disease, and a discussion of types of lights, please, read the following information:
Comprehensive Discussion of Vitamin D3 Issues
Why UVB is Essential
Discussion of Several Reptile Lights
For my Geckos, I use ZooMed's Reptile light and calcium supplementation. All my box turtles get cuttle fish bones, a healthy diet, and natural sunlight year round. All my water turtles get cuttle fish bones, a healthy diet, and natural sunlight year round. For indoor box turtle setups, I double up with an outdoor pen for spring-fall. In winter I supplement D3. For indoor water turtle setups, I recommend a reptile light.
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