Other Turtle Discussion :: Eating scutes?

Non-care related topics here.

Post Posted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:46 am   Eating scutes?

Bowser is finally starting to shed her scutes, and lost the first one today.
How we know this is that when we netted her tank after she pooped we found a scute that was covered in it, so she must have eaten one and passed it.
Is it normal for them to eat their scutes?
She's been known to bite/eat anything she can get in her mouth.
Miss Bowser - 7 inch female RES
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Ashley
 
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:02 pm   Re: Eating scutes?

For captive RES, they'll likely try to eat anything in their tank, even if they deposit it themselves... poop, scutes, eggs...
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steve
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:43 pm   Re: Eating scutes?

Is it harmful to eat scutes though?
Miss Bowser - 7 inch female RES
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Ashley
 
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:55 pm   Re: Eating scutes?

It could be harmful if it were to cause an obstruction.
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:10 pm   Re: Eating scutes?

Mine have never had in interest in them (fortunately). I find their scutes at the bottoms of their tanks. It's hard to see why a turtle would be interested in something that's hard and doesn't have an appetizing smell... And depending on the size of the scute (my RES has some really big scutes) I doubt a turtle could get one down if he tried.
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:49 am   

my 2 res would frequently taste the scuters, and everything new i put in their habitat, but i think that's out of curiosity and nothing else
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:17 am   Re: Eating scutes?

My RES tends to eat or bite everything in his tank but he has never tried to eat anything that has come off his body other then his own poop.
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Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:56 pm   Re: Eating scutes?

I've found mine eating scutes on a few occasions lately. If I catch it, I stop him.

For those who think/know that their turtles do not eat their scutes; How can you be so sure? If they are eaten, there is no evidence unless you smash their poop to look for evidence.

As far as the scutes being too big, mine does not swallow them whole, so I do not think size matters. He bites them and they snap into smaller pieces.
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Post Posted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:26 pm   Re: Eating scutes?

What do I need to watch for regarding scute-eating causing problems? Sedge has been holding on to scutes that look ready to come off for a while. He tries to scratch his shell on hard things in the tank pretty often. Today I figured out that he likes it when I scratch those spots and I scratched a whole bunch of scutes off at once. He gobbled them all up before I realized it could be a problem.
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Post Posted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:19 pm   Re: Eating scutes?

Most turtles can't get the whole scute down , they bite it in small pieces . Passes through there system and mixed in there poop. Best to be on the safe side and remove from tank! Turtles will test anything even there poop , some even eating it. If stopped eating and turtle not pooping only an x-ray will tell if a blockage. Warm soaks sometimes help but do as a vet says on blockages.
I give extra calcium rich foods like dried shrimp to speed up shedding. Some scutes are very loose I help but any resistance I stop , might damage his shell.

How's that biting doing?
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Post Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:54 am   Re: Eating scutes?

Ok, I imagine he would not want to eat within a day or so if he had a blockage? Eating fine this morning. I've been leaving the scutes alone for some time, but they were pretty easy to scratch off, and I'm not sure he is less likely to hurt himself when he bashes his shell on hard objects in the tank...I guess he was itchy hah.

He still wants to bite but he's friendly also (resting paws on my hand, wiggling his shell when I scratch at those itchy scutes) so I'm not sure what the deal is. I just try to play with him but watch him because I can usually tell when he's going to try to bite...
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Post Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:12 am   Re: Eating scutes?

Sledge is what , a year with you now? Decades ago my "Little Joe" took over 2 years to warm up to me ! Me I like my chair 6" away from the stock tank , having my hand at times in the water. I let Piggley just play with my fingers , rub against them trying to get my attention. Yes I do keep an eye open if any aggression but I'm lucky none! He does very well entertaining himself with my fingers. Maybe keep your hand above the water line just so Sledge always see's it and becomes more aware to it. Think he has some cat in him? Want attention but when had enough , Had Enough and bites!
Since you made him that great home , very nice , may get a little territorial with your fingers? Play time good with him but then my tank , my tank play time over my tank ! Also may need more time , accidental , what's his expression when he bites , his posture?
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Post Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:30 am   Re: Eating scutes?

Hah maybe he is part cat...
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Post Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:37 am   Re: Eating scutes?

OH , I also keep it clear where he jumps in the water of anything hard , that's why I changed his creek up , more room. The bricks I use I round off the edges so no sharp edges. You know how turtles love to be turtles!
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Post Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:40 pm   Re: Eating scutes?

If the scutes are very loose, I'd carefully try to remove them. If there is a retaining problem, I would probe around a little too.
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