Shell issue

dmongrut94

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Jan 4, 2021
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Hello

I posted this before when my tortoise shell looked better. My red foot tortoise is 3 years old.
Her shell started to show a lot of white. I have put the humidity up as well. But it seems to look worse now. I just wanted to hear some opinions of what it could be. I been brushing her with distilled water because I thought it might by water stains. But it doesn’t seem to help much. I did noticed some of it can be scratched off but it still looks very dry.
Thank you for your help

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Yvonne G

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You might try heating some cold pressed coconut oil and rubbing it in.
 

Yossarian

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Can you take a photo a little further back, under indirect lighting. no spot light on the tort. It just looks like shell dryness but the pics are hard to make anything out as they are too close and overexposed.

Also what water are you using to bathe your tort? Does your water have a high mineral content?
 
Last edited:

TeamZissou

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In another similar thread, @zovick recommended scrubbing with white vinegar. It's safe as long as you don't get it in the tortoise's eyes.

 

zovick

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Hello

I posted this before when my tortoise shell looked better. My red foot tortoise is 3 years old.
Her shell started to show a lot of white. I have put the humidity up as well. But it seems to look worse now. I just wanted to hear some opinions of what it could be. I been brushing her with distilled water because I thought it might by water stains. But it doesn’t seem to help much. I did noticed some of it can be scratched off but it still looks very dry.
Thank you for your help

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These look like mineral deposits from water evaporating off the shell and leaving the minerals it contained as deposits on the shell. As TeamZissou mentioned, I have been able to remove the minerals using white vinegar applied with a soft rag or a toothbrush. You can also scrape them off using the tip of a pin or a sewing needle, but that would be extremely labor intensive with the amount of deposits on this tortoise.

I would recommend warming up some vinegar (it works better when warm than cool) in a small cup in the microwave or a small pan on the stove, then dipping a toothbrush in it and scrubbing away on the shell. Rinse the tortoise off with some water every so often to see the results.

Note that if you soak or mist the tortoise with the same water you have been using the deposits will re-appear and this treatment will need to be done periodically. You can avoid the deposits by using distilled water or reverse osmosis water. I don't recommend using either of those two types of water as drinking water for your tortoise because they lack minerals which the tortoise can use when they are ingested.
 
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