Tortoise Dry Skin On Head

Tortoises can get sick just like any other animal, and some tortoises can even die if they aren’t getting enough nutrition or care.

Tortoises have very sensitive heads so if they begin to feel hot or uncomfortable then you would probably be correct in thinking that their skin needs attention.

In this article we’re going to talk about the possible reasons why your Tortoise has dry skin on his head

Let’s get started!

Tortoise Dry Skin On Head

A change in your tortoise’s behavior or physical appearance is a sign that there is something wrong with your pet.

This change can be a good or bad thing.

Here is why your tortoise might have dry skin on his/her head:


Reptiles shed their skin periodically throughout their lives. This allows them to grow out of their elastic skin as they age.

Tortoises shed their shells in small pieces over a period of weeks.

They begin shedding their shells shortly after hatching and continue until they reach adulthood.

If the skin on your tortoise’s head becomes dry, the skin will start shedding soon after, this is normal and is not something to worry about.

Here’s what you should do

If you see that your tortoise is getting ready to shed its shell, or is already shedding, the best thing you can do is to leave the shell alone.

Don’t attempt to peel the tortoise’s shell yourself; this will hurt the tortoise.

Let nature take its course.

One thing you can do is bath the turtle in warm water to rehydrate his/her skin, but using cool water would work better than hot because turtles’ bodies tend to heat up when they come into contact with cold water.

When bathing your tortoise, fill the tub half way up its shell.

Bathing it regularly helps prevent infections and keeps the tortoise healthy.

Metabolic Bone Disease:

Metabolic bone disease is quite common in tortoises.

Dry skin, especially on the head, is often a sign of metabolic bone disease.

Providing the correct living conditions for your pet can be tricky, especially when you first start caring for your pet.

Inadequate housing, or a lack of nutrition, can lead to this condition.

Metabolic bone disease can develop in tortoises because of a lack of calcium in the tortoise’s body, or it could even be a lack of exposure to ultraviolet light.

If your tortoise suffers from any of these ailments, you may notice other symptoms besides the dry skin, which can be muscle tremors, a softening of the jaw, partial paralysis, a rubbery shell, lethargy, and seizures.

Here’s what to do 

Your best bet would be to visit a veterinarian or even a reptile specialist if you have any questions about reptiles.

Your veterinarian will test for metabolic bone disease and may inject supplements into your pet after determining the severity of the disease.

Your veterinarian will also discuss any dietary changes needed to reverse the effects of metabolic bone disease.

This change will usually mean changing the lighting in your tortoise’s enclosure or changing its diet.

If this condition isn’t treated, your tortoise can suffer a painful death.

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Why does my tortoise shell looks dry?

Dry skin is a common problem among both humans and animals.

If you’ve noticed that your turtle has been looking dry lately, there’s likely no cause for concern, and there are a variety of ways to relieve the condition.

Tortoises often lose water through their shells, which can lead to dry skin.

If this happens, check the shell for cracks.

Dry skin can also indicate metabolic bone disease, which can be fatal.

How can you tell if a tortoise is dehydrated?

Here’s what you need to look out for to see if your tortoise is dehydrated

  • Reduced, thickened, or whitish urine
  • Dry feaces
  • dry, flaky or loose skin
  • Sunken or watery eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Depressed, lethargic
  • Thick, ropey mouth mucus

Do tortoises like to soak in water?

Turtles need to soak twice a week or so to help them stay hydrated and clean.

This helps them stay strong and healthy, avoiding getting sick from dehydration or bacteria that can build up on their bodies.

Turtles also need to soak so that the shell and the skin do not crack from dryness.

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