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Joan, Internet Researcher
Category: Vet
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Hi I have got 2x marginated tortoises and was wondering why

Customer Question

Hi I have got 2x marginated tortoises and was wondering why ones of there shells looks really shiny and one looks quite dull is there a reason for it Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 3 years ago.

I'm Shantal and I'm a moderator for this topic.

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Expert:  Joan replied 3 years ago.


My name is Joan and I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years with special interst in Reptiles and Reptile rescue.

Can you tell me where they are housed inside or outside?

If inside do you have a UVB light? how old,tube or coil, strength and age of bulb?

Do you feed any supplements?

is the problem with the shell or is it the slin also?


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
There are housed inside and it's just with his she'll yes I have a UVB thsts about 5 months old. Also I feed nuturbal on there food thank you
Expert:  Joan replied 3 years ago.


The UVB is getting old at 5 months. We replace them every 6 months. What I suspect you are seeing is the shell getting ready to shed. The translucent or shiny parts of the shell would be the the shedding starting. all reptiles shed and a tortoise is no different, they shed their scutes, which are the large areas on the shell. You can read about the shedding here:

The other reason the dull shell could be a bit of dehydration. I would give each tortoise a good soak at least a copule of times a week to be sure they stay well hydrated. I like to use Dioralyte electrolyte replacer 50/50 in the water. Always keep a low pan of water for the to soak themsleves. The pet supplies do carry a shell conditioner that may be good for both the tortoises. I would also leave a cuttole bone available for a calcium supplement which is also good for their beaks. Joan