Are you a turtle owner who needs help caring for your pet’s shell?
If you are a new owner of turtles or tortoises, you will likely have questions about proper care and make a few mistakes along the way.
A common misconception associated with owning turtles and tortoises is thinking you do not need to do anything to care for their shells.
Shell care is vital for a healthy reptile and should be taken seriously at all stages of your pet’s life.
Turtle shell creams are used to help heal injuries and diseases and prevent possible issues from arising.
Table of Contents
Our Favorite Turtle Shell Cream
- Turtle shell saver moisturizer and conditioner
- It is for reptile and small animals
- Keeps shell strong and healthy
Our favorite turtle shell cream is the Turtle and Tortoise Shell Saver by Nature Zone found on Amazon.
This product is a moisturizer and conditioner for turtle shells. It will keep your pet’s shell healthy and strong.
According to Nature Zone, this turtle shell saver will keep your pets’ shells flexible and healthy, promote healing, improve their shell’s strength, and provide a shiny protective layer to prevent dust and debris from sticking to your pets.
This product will nourish your turtle’s shell with natural oils, vitamins, and proteins.
Two ounces may seem like a small amount, but this bottle will provide plenty of products to care for your turtle’s shell.
Depending on the size of turtles and tortoises you own and their shells’ condition, this bottle will last multiple applications.
For instance, if you own an adult sulcata tortoise, you will likely finish this bottle in less than one month due to its shell size.
If you own smaller turtles such as musk turtles or red-eared sliders, you will likely only need to replenish your bottle every other month.
These estimations are based on turtle size, frequency of use, and proper application.
The frequency of use depends on your turtle’s health and your dedication to caring for your pet.
If your turtle is susceptible to the damaged shell or has recently suffered from shell rot, you will need to use this shell cream on a more regular basis.
A turtle’s shell is a vital part of its anatomy and will be its home for the entirety of its life.
It is important to clean and moisturize your pet turtle’s shell regularly to ensure its built-in home stays healthy.
The main ingredients in this product are natural oils and extracts, including coconut oil and avocado oil.
- Top Rated Product
- Respected Brand
- Easily Accessible
- User Friendly
- Natural Ingredients
What Makes a Good Turtle Shell Cream?
There are several aspects of a turtle shell cream to look for when searching for the product to best suit your needs.
The most important of these aspects is the quality of the product you are purchasing.
You want your turtles and tortoises to receive the best care possible, including the creams and ointments you purchase to apply to their skin and shells.
Other than the quality of the product, you want to stick to creams with natural ingredients.
A turtle’s shell is its exoskeleton and is a permanent part of its body.
Similar to a human’s skin, a turtle’s shell will absorb the products applied to it.
Using creams with unnatural ingredients is potentially harmful to your pet.
You also want to be sure the products you buy are made for reptiles.
Using lotions and creams produced for humans may not be safe for your pet.
Deciding to use a lotion meant for humans simply because it is sold at a lower price is not a justifiable reason to use it on your pet.
Finally, you should be sure the moisturizer you decide on is reasonably priced.
Although we would like to believe companies and vendors have the best interest of the animals and their owners at heart, this is not always the case.
Some vendors may sell products at a marked-up price in hopes their customers will not price check or look elsewhere for the same or similar products.
Amazon is an excellent vendor for products such as these because of the useful customer reviews, Prime shipping, and the company’s trusted distribution.
Reasons to Use Shell Creams
Using a turtle shell cream such as the Turtle and Tortoise Shell Saver is beneficial for your pet tortoise and turtle for various reasons.
Other than the obvious reasoning of keeping the shell hydrated, this product will help alleviate shell rot and speed up the healing process.
Shell rot is a term used to refer to a dangerous infection occurring anywhere on your pet reptile’s shell, including the carapace and the plastron.
A medical professional such as a tortoise vet will use the term ulcerative shell disease when referring to shell rot.
This condition is harmful to these animals and is a fatal disease if left untreated.
As long as you are an attentive owner of your turtles and tortoises, you will be able to initiate a full recovery from shell rot in your pet.
Causes of Shell Rot
There are several common causes of shell rot, and all of them are preventable.
One cause of a shell injury is from sharp objects in a turtle’s enclosure or an altercation with another animal.
If you notice your turtles or tortoises are fighting within their habitat, be sure to immediately house them in separate enclosures.
Hostile living situations may cause bodily injury and unnecessary stress for these animals.
Another cause of shell rot is the suboptimal environment you are providing for your turtles or tortoises.
When becoming the owner of any reptile, it is important to thoroughly understand their specific needs and provide them with appropriate living conditions.
More often than not, new owners do not fully understand the importance of proper temperature, lighting, and humidity control within their enclosures.
If you are the owner of a turtle species such as the greek tortoise, you will need to provide it with a humidity level between 40% and 60%.
If you own a Russian tortoise, you will need to keep the enclosure humidity levels slightly lower, ranging between 30% and 50%.
Lack of UV rays and low vitamin D and calcium levels lead to poor overall health, cracks in the shell, and bone dry skin and scutes. It is vital to provide your pets with proper lighting if they live indoors and feed them a varied diet to ensure their overall health.
An unclean enclosure and poor water quality are also main factors leading to shell rot.
When keeping an aquatic turtle, you must change their water every week.
It is also recommended to keep a water conditioner in the tank, actively purifying the water while the turtle lives in it.
Dirty water may lead to an overgrowth of bacteria in the enclosure and the turtles and tortoises themselves.
This bad bacteria will eat away at their shells and pose a risk to the owners.
Many turtles carry salmonella bacteria, which is dangerous and may cause severe illness in humans if ingested in any way.
This devastating disease can damage entire scutes. In more mild cases of shell rot, at-home remedies will likely heal and reverse the damage.
Using shell creams such as the shell saver from Nature Zone are recommended remedies.
If your pet’s health does not improve, you need to seek professional assistance from your veterinarian.
They may be able to provide you with a stronger antibiotic cream to help the shell heal.
What are the warning signs of shell rot?
Symptoms of shell rot in domesticated turtles and tortoises include:
- Redness under shell plates.
- Flaking and softening of the shell and scutes.
- A layer of slime over the shell.
These warning signs are sometimes more subtle than others and should not be confused with other natural shedding processes.
How do you tell the difference between shedding and shell rot?
Shedding and shell rot sometimes present in similar ways.
Shedding is a natural process where a thin layer will begin to separate and fall off the turtle’s scutes.
A flakey shell sometimes represents shell rot.
The shell’s flakey areas are often soft to the touch and have an unpleasant smell associated with them.
What should I do if my turtle is suffering from shell rot?
The first step to healing shell rot is recognizing what is causing the condition.
Once the cause of the problem is recognized, it is time to address and amend the issue.
If the condition is not getting better with a shell cream, it is advised to contact a medical professional.
If you are unsure of the severity of your pet’s condition, it is best to consult with your veterinarian.