Turtle Shell Peeling : Do Turtles Shed Their Shells? 3 Best Shell Rot Vs Shell Shedding Differences

Turtles are amazing creatures, as anyone who has ever had one in your home or around the house can attest. One of the uniqueness of the turtle is the turtle shells. They are primarily bone with up to 60 bones. Plates, called turtle scutes, cover the shells. When the turtle grows, the scutes will fall off. This is why turtle owners will ask about do turtles shed their shells?

Is there a turtle shell peeling process? Yes, turtle shed their shells. Turtle shell peeling in the old scutes when turtle’s shell grows larger. Turtle shedding scutes makes it grow larger scutes.

But that’s not all the causes for turtle shell shedding. We need to know about different kinds of Turtle shedding, so we can tell if this is natural in your turtle as it develops or if their shell has infection and sickness.

Turtle shell peeling
Turtle shell peeling – do turtles shed their shells


Do Turtles Shed Their Shells?

Yes, turtle shed their shells. This is a natural condition of a Turtle shell shedding scutes to keep a turtle’s shell clean of any infection or blockage.

Aquatic turtles do the turtle shell peeling more frequently than terrestrial types. However, this is because turtle shell peeling and disease are both highly prone to take place in the water.

Why Is My Turtle’s Shell Peeling?

If you have aquatic turtles, you’ll often see turtle shedding scutes to ensure their shell is free of algae and infections. You may have seen tiny green specks in your turtles’ shells. These are parasitic organisms, which feast off of the dead skin that has recently shed.

Unhealthy turtle shell can do shedding more frequently, which will be bad for your turtle. Other causes of turtle shell peeling are high ammonia levels in the water, fungal infections, and overfeeding.


Should I Scrub My Turtle’s Shell?

Scrubbing the turtle’s shell is recommended for petting your turtle. Although turtles don’t need to have their shell cleaned, they also enjoy feeling the bristle in their shell.

Especially for aquatic turtles, which require shells to be cleaned up more frequently than other types of turtles. Turtle shell peeling is more frequent because algae build up in the water faster and can cause infection.

It is better to scrub your turtle’s shells than turtle skin because it helps them prevent infection and smooth the turtle shell peeling process. Also, clean the water from where your turtle lives to keep the turtle’s environment clean.


What To Do If Your Turtle’s Shell Is Peeling?

You might not realize when turtle shell shedding, and you don’t need to do anything when turtle sheds their scutes. Turtle shell peeling is a natural thing for your turtle to do if there is no blockage or resistance, so their scutes come off quickly.

Do turtles molt? Yes, they do. But you need to do something if you have a blockage, algae, or something in your turtle shell peeling process by scrubbing their shells clean. It’s essential to remove all objects that could be dangerous to your turtles, such as rocks, sticks, and twigs.


Is It Bad If My Turtle Shell Is Peeling?

Young turtles, and for the most part healthy, do not have to worry about being bothered by turtle shell shedding. You need to know the causes of why do turtles shed and when turtle shell lifting to realize it happens naturally, and every turtle needs turtle shell shedding as they grow.

For example, one type of semi-aquatic turtles, such as red eared slider shell shedding more often than others. This is normal when they grow and develop their larger scutes.

But you still need to pay attention to your turtle’s shell appearance to ensure nothing serious will interfere with the turtle shell peeling process.


Turtle Shell Peeling Red Eared Slider

Like all turtles, these animals must go through burying their shell for protection, then waiting for it to harden by molting. Red eared slider turtle shedding skin with a tissue-like shape and hanging and trailing behind them while swimming.

The turtle shell peeling from the red eared slider will look hazy several days before peeling happens. When turtle shell shedding happens, the old skin starts to disconnect from the body until it falls off.

You need to check the condition of their shell to distinguish the red eared slider unhealthy turtle shell.

You can see the unhealthy shells sign of the defects on the shells for cuts, abrasions, or sores. The cracked shell or broken shell can become infected, which makes the shell’s texture soft. An infected shell or deep wound can cause metabolic bone disease for the turtle.

The red eared slider shedding scutes will start from the bottom or edges of the shells, and some of the scutes are like lift-off from the shell. Don’t physically force the scutes off until the turtle shell peeling runs naturally.


Box Turtle Shell Peeling

The box turtle shell peeling is the same as any other turtle. You have to pay attention that the turtle shedding shell is odorless, not soft, and has no wound on the shell.

Do turtles shed their shells with no odor? If it occurs naturally and has a healthy shell, then absolutely no odor will appear from the shell or its scutes.

The box turtle molting is natural if there are no scars, fungal infections, or shell rot. If any of your turtle box shells have a problem, you can clean them with warm water and inspect every part of the shell.


Turtle Shell Peeling White Spots – What To Do?

There are two possible white spots in your turtle shell. First, there is hard water which makes your turtle shell turn white. You can remove it by using distilled water and cleaning all parts of the shell. Second, your turtle shell may have fungus or fungal infections.

Do turtles shed having white spots? Naturally, there are no white spots on shedding scutes, and it looks more like a lift-off skin with transparent looks.

You need to take it to a veterinarian if your turtle shell has more than one white spot and starts to have other symptoms such as smelly and soft scutes. It will be hard to detect a painted turtle shell because you cannot check it usually. After all, the color of the shell is no longer natural. Make sure the diet of painted turtle is of high quality to have healthy painted turtle shell.


Turtle Shell Rot vs Shedding

Because there are still many turtle owners who don’t know about turtle shell shedding, many don’t know the difference between turtle shell rot and turtle shedding.

When not even knowing about shedding, there some people asked about do turtles change shells? Of course no. Turtle has only one shell, and the shedding part is its scutes.

The way to distinguish it from a hazard point of view is that shell rot is dangerous for the turtle and requires immediate action, whereas shell shedding is natural and has nothing to do. Let’s take a look at what makes shell rot vs shedding different.

Turtle Shell RotTurtle Shell Shedding
Bad odor from the wounds or the shell rotten areaThere’s no bad odor or sharp smells on the shedding scutes
The plates may fall off and exposing the bones and cavitiesThe scutes will come off as a whole
Parts of pits will be present and may fall offNew scutes will replace the old scutes
Have reddish color with white slurry fluid under scutesHave white and thin fluid under all the scutes


How Do You Know If A Turtle Has Shell Rot?

We need to know that they do turtle shell peeling when they’re growing. Do turtle shells grow? Yes, shells grow with the turtle. That’s why we have to be careful in distinguishing turtle shedding or fungus that causes shell rot in the turtle.

You can notice shell rot of some symptoms in terrapin shell such as soft spots on the shell or swallow areas, cracks on the shell will be more visible, the shell looks uneven, foul-smelling odor on the shell, in severe cases the whole shell plates will be fall off, and the bones will be visible.

Do turtles shed their shells like shell rot conditions? No. The shell rot has a soft shell spot, but normal turtle shedding scutes will still have hard shells.


Can A Turtle Shell Repair Itself?

After a turtle is hit by shell rot or after shedding, just the pet owners ask about do turtles shells grow back? Yes. Turtle shells are organic and natural materials that can heal on their own.

How does a turtle shell grow to adapt to the development of the turtle? Likewise, the shell grows new and larger scutes to match the size of the turtle as it grows. Do turtles shed their shells for growing purposes? Yes, because when it grows, turtle needs a bigger scute to keep their shells clean.

Turtle shell peeling
Turtle shell peeling – do turtles shed their shells


Can Shell Rot Kill Turtles?

If left untreated, shell rot can kill your turtle. The infection of the shell can enter the bloodstream through the soft tissue underneath, causing blood infection or septicemia.

These turtle shell problems must be eliminated immediately by bringing your turtle to the vet. If it is too late to handle it, your turtle becomes shell less turtle because the soft shell or cracked shell caused by shell rot must heal first before returning to its original shape.

Do turtles shed their shells when they have shell rot? Of course, shell rot will interfere with the natural shell shedding process because it cannot be separated and can cause infection in the area affected by shell rot.


What Happens If A Turtle Loses Its Shell?

If the turtle shell removed from the body, it will rip the turtle’s body parts apart. The turtle will lose its protection, and its body parts will be exposed. Turtles become defenseless and can be preyed on by predators.

Because turtles can not completely hide their shell, they will eventually be eaten or contaminated by their prey. Ensuring a healthy turtle shell and natural turtle shell peeling is very important for protecting the shell from diseases.


How To Identify Unhealthy Turtle Shell Peeling?

For example, look at the red eared slider skin shedding process. If the shell under the turtle shedding scutes looks normal, then it’s natural shedding and healthy.

If the shell looks deformed, bloody under the scute, spongy shell, has exposed bone, it’s the sign of unhealthy shell peeling.

This will be difficult to see in a painted turtle shell peeling because a painted turtle shell is more challenging to detect if there are white spots or redness due to the unnatural color of the shell.


How To Identify Healthy Turtle Shell Peeling?

Look at the red eared slider shell peeling leaving no odor, no soft spots in the shell, the turtle shedding scutes lift-off as a whole, and no redness or blood in the shell.

Red eared slider shedding is more frequent because it includes an aquatic turtle. Paying attention to healthy shell peels is necessary because marine turtles are more at risk of getting algae and infections.


What To Watch Out For In Turtle Shell Peeling?

Several things need to be watched out for from red eared slider molting, such as the shell’s integrity, the presence of white spots or algae stuck to the shell, the typical hard texture of the shell, and odorless.

Do red eared sliders shed more often? Yes. Aquatic turtles often shedding their scutes because, in the water, there are more things that can cause shell rot, such as algae, hard water, bacteria, and parasites.

Some turtle owners also asked if there was a possibility that the turtle had a shell that was bigger than its body. The turtles only outgrow and shed their old skin in stages, but not exceeding their exoskeleton.

Do turtles outgrow their shells? No. The shell develops along with the turtle’s body shape so that there are no outgrow shells.


How To Treat White Spots On Turtle Shell?

First, remove your turtle from the tank, and clean the body parts until it is scorched. Apply the anti-fungal infection that you get from veterinarians, such as silver sulfadiazine cream or iodine on the part that has the white spot.

After the white spots are gone, the turtle scutes shedding process runs back to normal without any white spots or other infections.

You can remove fungi or virus from the turtle shell regularly. If fungal infections are severe, you need to bring turtles to the vet to be given systemic treatment and injection.

A turtle injured in the shell and infected with an infection will find it difficult to eat and slow down the shell healing process.



Do Turtles Shed?

Yes, Turtles shed their scutes to make larger scutes as they grow. This will answer some questions with turtle types such as “do snapping turtles shed” or “do red eared slider turtles shed.” All kinds of turtles have a turtle shell peeling.


Do Turtle Shells Grow Back?

The turtle’s shell can regenerate. Do turtle shells grow back? Yes. If it is damaged, it is cracked, it leaves the body exposed, the shells will regrow into shape.


Do Turtles Outgrow Their Shells?

The turtle shell is part of the exoskeleton, and it grows at the same pace as the turtle’s body. That’s why turtles will not outgrow their shells. Turtle scute shedding also matches the size of the shell, not outgrowing the shells. The new larger scutes will also be adjusted to the size of the shell.


Do Tortoises Shed Their Shells?

Yes, tortoise shed their shells as tortoises grow older. Do tortoises shed their shells the same as turtles? Yes, it’s the same. The outer layer of shell or scutes will be firmer and fall of the body bit by bit.


Do Turtles Shed Their Shells Regularly?

Turtle shell peeling (the outermost layer of their exoskeleton) about once every year. Generally speaking, aquatic turtles tend to shed their shells more frequently than terrestrial types.

Turtle shell peeling
Turtle shell peeling – do turtles shed their shells


Final Verdict On Turtle Shell Peeling

Do turtles shed their shells? Every turtle sheds their scutes (outer layer of shells) as its body grows to keep its shell clean and avoid fungi, bacteria, or parasites.

You don’t need to do anything about the turtle shell shedding because it runs naturally without human help to physically remove the scutes.

The thing to note about turtle shedding scutes is the shell behind the scute. If the shedding process runs naturally, there will be no symptoms such as redness, smells terrible, or there are soft spots in the shells.

If there are any of the symptoms above, or there are more severe things like exposed bones or exposed internal body, then you need to take your turtle to a veterinarian because your turtle may have shell rot or fungal infections.

You can avoid shell rot and other infections by cleaning the turtle shell regularly and making sure the turtle has no wounds in all parts of the shell.

If a part of the shell is injured and has been taken to the vet for treatment, the turtle shell will grow back because the turtle shell has the ability to regenerate.

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The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, food recommendation, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or for pet food related questions.

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