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Can Turtles Get Ick? (And What Else It Could Be)

Can Turtles Get Ick? (And What Else It Could Be)

The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.

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If you have a pet turtle, then you probably want to try to take care of it the best that you can. Pet turtles have the potential to be great companions even if you don’t play with them.

They’re fun to observe, and many people wind up falling in love with them. You might wind up keeping your turtle in a habitat where there will be fish in the water, too.

Not everyone does this, but there are many who do. If you notice that some of the fish have white spots on them, then that means that they have ick.

Ick is a problematic condition that can threaten the lives of various fish. It’s painful, and it’s very hard for the fish to get better without being treated.

You might be concerned if your turtle has been in contact with fish that have ick. Can turtles get ick or is there nothing to worry about?

Read on to learn everything that you need to know about turtles and ick. This should help you to have the peace of mind that you need.

Turtles Can’t Get Ick

If you’re worried about whether the turtle is going to get ick, then you should breathe a sigh of relief. Turtles cannot get ick, and you don’t have to be concerned about it.

This means that you shouldn’t be seeing white spots on your turtle. When a fish has contracted ick, it’s going to have white spots on various parts of its body.

Turtles cannot contract ick, and this means that if you see any white spots, there has to be another reason. You’ll learn more about what white spots on turtles could mean later on.

Just because turtles cannot get ick doesn’t mean that you should ignore the problems with the fish. If you have fish in the water that the turtle uses that have ick, then you’re going to want to take care of this issue.

Get Rid of the Fish

Getting rid of the fish is the best course of action to take. Treating the water isn’t a good idea because the treatments can harm your pet turtle.

Under normal circumstances, you would treat the water with a special treatment to get things back to normal. This would help the fish to get through the disease so long as you caught things early enough.

Since you can’t do this, you’re going to need to remove the fish from the water. You could choose to euthanize infected fish, but you could also move the fish to another tank.

In the other tank, you’ll be able to treat the fish. You can treat the water and do whatever else is necessary to get the fish healthy again.

If you need advice, then you can speak to an exotic veterinarian. This will allow you to make the best decisions so that the fish can survive.

As far as the turtle goes, you shouldn’t allow the turtle to keep swimming in the water that has been exposed to ick. After some time has passed, things will clear up naturally.

If possible, get fresh water for the turtle. The ick-exposed water would be unhealthy for the turtle even if the turtle can’t catch ick.

Mineral Deposits Might Cause White Spots

So what if you’re noticing random white spots on the turtle? It could be that mineral deposits are causing white spots to form on the turtle.

Sometimes white spots will start to accumulate on the turtle’s tank. You can find spots like this on the glass where water has dried.

The mineral deposits in the water are the cause of the white spots. You might notice your turtle’s shell will look white in certain spots.

Essentially, this means that you are dealing with hard water. You might need to deal with that problem so that the turtle can swim around in nice water that won’t leave its shell looking white.

It is notable that the white spots that come from mineral deposits don’t look anything like ick. The white spots will be on a large area of the turtle’s shell in most instances.

When a fish gets ick, it’ll have odd spots around the body. That means that you shouldn’t be mistaking ick for white spots that come from mineral deposits.

You can remove the white spots from the turtle’s shell gently scrubbing it with a vinegar and water mixture. Use a soft toothbrush to get the job done.

It’s possible that you might need to do this a few times per week depending on how bad the mineral deposits are. Eventually, the turtle’s shell will look normal again.

Get rid of the mineral deposit problem by using a filter that will soften the water. It shouldn’t be hard to get what you need.

Shedding Issues

There’s a possibility that shedding issues could cause some white spots on the turtle. This generally occurs when there is a problem with shedding.

Turtles shed skin and scutes, and sometimes there might be abnormal shedding occurring. If you suspect that the turtle is experiencing shedding problems, then it’d be best to talk to an exotic veterinarian about it.

A veterinarian can examine the turtle to determine what is going on. It’s always better to ask an expert for advice instead of guessing.

If there is an issue with shedding that is causing the turtle significant problems, then treatment might be necessary. Either way, you’ll be able to determine how to proceed by talking to the veterinarian.

Shell Rot

Shell rot is a type of bacterial or fungal infection that can impact turtles. Sometimes it is referred to as ulcerative shell disease.

Generally, shell rot starts with the appearance of small patches or spots. The patches or spots that you’ll see on the turtle’s shell will be a lot smaller than what you see when turtles are being impacted by mineral deposits.

Over time, the spots will start to grow, and they’ll cause changes in turtles, too. Turtles that have ulcerative shell disease will experience bleeding and they’ll have bright red areas.

Sometimes, turtles with shell rot will have dents, pitting, and mushy areas. It’s a huge problem that must be taken seriously for the sake of the turtle’s health.

Shell rot can spread to the bone. You’ll want to contact the veterinarian right away so that they can start treating your turtle.

They will be able to tell you what to do to treat the shell rot effectively. You should be able to prevent problems with shell rot from occurring by maintaining good water hygiene.

It’s also best to ensure the safety of the turtle enclosure. Often, shell rot happens because turtles get cut on something.

Be sure that your turtle is able to climb and swim around safely without getting cut by anything. This should help to prevent future shell rot issues.

Final Thoughts

Turtles cannot contract ick, and that means that you don’t need to worry about that. It is a good idea to remove any fish from the water, though.

You’ll be able to treat the fish for ick in a separate tank. If you see white spots on the turtle, then it’s likely from something else.

It could be something innocuous such as mineral deposits. You’ll want to make sure that the turtle isn’t experiencing shell rot or shedding issues to be on the safe side.