What's new
TerraForums Venus Flytrap, Nepenthes, Drosera and more talk

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Turtle help please!

Ok so to make it short my house mate brought in a turtle of hers and well sadly now the shell does not look healthy and is actually cracking and lifting up. She does not have money for a vet to see him so im posting photos here to see if any of you guys might have an idea as to what might be going on. I can take better photos if needed (or i can at least try to)

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/95369313@N06/14743023305" title="IMG_1022[1] by Anna Schiffer, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3862/14743023305_4b45716351_s.jpg" width="75" height="75" alt="IMG_1022[1]"></a>

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/95369313@N06/14556371808" title="IMG_1020[1] by Anna Schiffer, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3924/14556371808_628f96ea9e_s.jpg" width="75" height="75" alt="IMG_1020[1]"></a>

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/95369313@N06/14556372508" title="IMG_1021[1] by Anna Schiffer, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3877/14556372508_1983a6f957_s.jpg" width="75" height="75" alt="IMG_1021[1]"></a>

any ideas? ???
Last edited:
Ooh, that looks bad. There are others out there more experienced than I am in situations like this. This looks like shell rot to me though.
Last edited:
There are two main causes of shell problems in turtles. Lack of UV light and lack of an ability to dry off completely. Most heat lamps do not provide UV, so a fluorescent or HID light should be used to provide UV. If possible arranging for the turtle to spend some time outside in the sun would likely prove very beneficial.
Those cracks are sutures of the bones that makes up the shell. It's what holds them together. It means the shell was badly damaged enough to lose the outer scales (called the 'Lamina') Completely, either from shell rot, or injury.

A vet might be able to save it, but the immune system is compromised without that outer layer of scales, and the bone will deteriorate without the protection, exposing the internal organs to bacteria. Very likely needs systemic antibiotics, and a sterile environment for some time, until a vet can be reached to patch the shell. Surgery may be necessary. Do not poke or pry at the bone fragments, as you could loosen them up further, and cause damage or infection. Those scales will not grow back.

In short, without a vet, that turtle is a goner.

yes that leads me to my next question if anyone local to MD would be willing to take him in pretty much as a rescue? i know its a lot to ask but neither myself nor my roomie want to see this turtle go down and if theres still a chance then he needs to have this chance to get help
i have not picked at the bone just lifted him up for a better photo and to get a better look at it
yes that leads me to my next question if anyone local to MD would be willing to take him in pretty much as a rescue? i know its a lot to ask but neither myself nor my roomie want to see this turtle go down and if theres still a chance then he needs to have this chance to get help

If your roommate (the owner) still wants to care for it (perhaps better), I'm sure a vet would be willing to work something out as far as payment if it was an emergency. You'd hope, anyway.
Also, try posting this on turtleforum.com Lots of experts there, its a nice and helpful group.
Good Luck!
Many vets do care credit. Worth asking. What the turtle needs shouldn't be too expensive. A few antibiotic shots to prevent/revers infection, and a compound applied to seal the shell. I know there are different epoxies and resins that vets use for it.
  • #10
thats the issue she doesn't have the money to spend on a vet at current, she wants to keep him and care for him but its not possible at this time and she wants whats best for him
  • #11
Care credit is a payment arrangement with your vet, in which you pay back what is owed later, according to the terms agreed upon.
  • #12
pretty much care credit will pay for all of it if you qualify and you can pay back in installments up to a set date, the thing about care credit is that my dad used it once for dental work and he got charged more then what the dental procedure was worth
  • #13
They will hit you on interest, as will any place. It's essentially a loan.
  • #14
im looking into some rescue groups if we cant find a way for her to keep him

yes pretty much i would get the vet care myself but im tied up and cant handle another animals vet needs at this point
Last edited:
  • #15
Subrosa is 100% correct about the lighting. Basking reptiles have evolved to use the sun to properly process vitamins and calcium. Without proper UV lighting, the animals can not properly process vitamin D which they need in order to properly metabolize and absorb calcium. The issue we're seeing here though is likely due to a fungus. The fungus probably got a foothold through an injury in the shell. In improper conditions, (no where to dry completely out, dirty water, improper lighting and diet....etc) a fungus like this will prosper and cause the damage you're seeing on the carapace.

The effects can often be reversed through proper care, clean conditions and proper lighting. Treat the shell with a fungicide, Methylene Blue usually works very well to stop fungal infections of this kind. Appropriate doses of Tetracycline will also help to clear up any possible secondary bacterial infections that may have settled in.
  • #16
She finally gave him up and I hope to a shelter or rescue that can take care of his needs, sadly it got worse before she did that so I'm hoping for the best possible outcome that being said I told her to read everything that was said on here and I do not believe she did. I let her know about care credit which she refused to use, oh well what's done is done and I hope for the best for the little guy, as much as I wish I could have cared for him I could not personally take on the responsibility of another life when I in no condition to money wise, let's just hope he got to a safe place

As for his previous living conditions while this guy was with her ex, said ex bf did not clean the tank or filters so he was sitting around in murky grungy water and possibly had cracked his shell at some point so yes there was defiantly bad living conditions before he came into the house. My friend no longer lives with me so this is a good and also sad thing but I can not take on other peoples baggage so here's to hoping the best outcome
  • #17
does look like a bad shell problem. hope it gets better :(