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Turtle With Soft Shell

My turtle has a soft shell, Why? And what can I do to fix this?

If your turtle has developed a soft shell it is probably caused by one of two things.

It could be Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) which is caused by a lack of calcium in the diet. If the condition is not too advanced it can be corrected by increasing the Calcium and Vitamin D in the turtles diet. This can be done by adding a supplement to their diet.

The other cause of a soft shell is shell rot which is usually caused by an infection, most commonly a bacterial infection. The infection then damages and weakens the shell. A vet would be able to advise you a treatment plan to hopefully correct the problem.

I highly recommend visiting a veterinarian to determine the cause of the problem. They will then be able to best advise the correct treatment approach.

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  1. So I have a mini red eared slider and his shell has become soft top and bottom

    1. Hi Zach,
      As discussed in this post, it could be from a calcium deficiency or it could be caused by a bacteria infection. Yu should probably take them to a vet that is good with turtles to correctly diagnose the condition and advise a course of treatment.
      Good luck

  2. Hello, my young yellow bellied slider has little soft spots near it’s tail ( on it’s shell )
    I really think it is the “soft shell” disease, it is not serious at all ( not too soft , and only a little) , can you recommend any home medications for my turtle? Thanks

    1. Hi Clarette,

      Thank you for your question. If it is the start of soft-shell disease I would definitely be getting on top of it asap. A would try and get your turtle to a vet that is use to treating turtles for a professional opinion and the correct course. As mentioned, the most common causes of soft shell is Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) from a lack of calcium in the diet. There aren’t really any home remedies I would advise except assess their diet and ensure that it is well balanced and contains enough calcium, a calcium supplement may be needed. It could also be due to an infection which should be treated by a vet. I do believe the best course of action would be a vet visit to correctly diagnosis and get on top of it before it becomes more severe.

      I hope this helps.

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