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Skin Shedding in Turtles

Home > Turtles > Diseases


Skin shedding on a healthy turtle is nothing to be concerned with, as long as the skin that is shedding does not appear to be thick or dark in color there is probably not a problem. Another area to look at on your turtle is the color of its skin. If it appears to be red or irritated your turtle may have a problem.

Most reptiles shed their skin all at once and then do not shed for some time. Turtles are constantly shedding their skin but do so in small bits at a time. If your turtle or tortoise does not have any water in its enclosure you may not even notice it shedding at all. If you have an aquatic turtle you will most likely see small bits of dead skin floating on the surface of the water.

The most common cause for prolonged or excessive shedding is a fungus infection. Although there are some treatment options available that you can perform (such as soaking the turtle in an iodine solution twice daily) it is highly advisable to take your turtle to a veterinarian. In the mean time you should remove the turtle from the water as much as possible and keep it dry, especially at night when you cannot monitor its activities. You can do this by moving the turtle to a second habitat during the night.


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