Why is my turtle not moving?- Causes and what to do

My turtle is not moving
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My turtle is not moving. If your turtle does not move and its eyes are closed, it may be suffering from some pathological process, it has poor environmental conditions or an inadequate diet. However, it may simply be sleeping or going through a natural physiological process such as hibernation or brumation. If your turtle is in this situation, it is important to determine what the cause is in order to act accordingly.

If you want to know more about the possible reasons why your turtle is not moving and its eyes are closed , and what to do in each case, keep reading this AnimalWised article.

Why is my turtle is not moving and its eyes are closed?

If your turtle is not moving and its eyes are closed, it may be hibernating . Actually, the term hibernation should be reserved for mammals, so from now on we’ll talk about brumation When turtles brumate, their metabolism slows down and they enter a state of deep sleep during which they do not move. Some aspects that you can take into account to know if your turtle is bruming are the following:

  • Tortoises enter this state when the temperature is low, so one of the ways to check if your tortoise is brumate is to check the temperature of the environment or the water in the tank . If it is below 10ºC , it is very likely that it is in brumation. When tortoises are kept indoors, they normally do not experience a drop in temperature such as to mist. However, it should not be ruled out that the tortoise enters this state when room temperatures are very low.

My turtle does not move and its eyes are closed

  • Tortoises, when they brumate, keep their limbs retracted into their shell , since they preserve muscle tone. So if your tortoise isn’t moving but its limbs are out of its shell, or if you pick it up and its limbs come out of its shell, it’s probably not brumating.
  • An important aspect to consider is that not all species of bruman tortoise , but this will depend on the climate of their natural habitat. If you want to know what species of bruman tortoise consult the article Do turtles hibernate? of AnimalWised.

Another option is that your turtle is simply sleeping or basking (bathing in the sun). You will know your tortoise is basking when it is in direct sunlight or from the terrarium light source. When tortoises are exposed to the sun, they normally sleep relaxed with their limbs out of the shell.

If you are wondering why my turtle is not moving and its eyes are open and you have ruled out the above causes, you should consider the possibility that it is suffering from a pathological process . When a tortoise becomes ill, its energy and movement levels are greatly reduced. Therefore, in the event that your turtle does not move, it is important that you pay attention to the presence of other signs that may be

Indicators of illness. Some of these signs are:

  • Stains or lesions on the shell or skin.
  • Shell discoloration.
  • Secretions from the oral cavity, nose, eyes or ears.
  • Respiratory signs such as cough or breath sounds.
  • Digestive signs such as diarrhea.

Likewise, it is important that you check if you are offering your turtle food and environmental conditions 
appropriate to its species, age and physiological state, given that a large part of the clinical problems
in turtles usually derive from poor conditions in their environment or of inadequate diets. The main factors you should take care of are:

  • Temperature and humidity: turtles are ectothermic and poikilothermic animals, which means that to maintain
    their body temperature they require exposure to the sun or other sources of heat, such as the substrate or
    warm water currents. In turtles, maintaining body temperature in an adequate range determines the proper functioning
    of their immune system and multiple vital functions. Therefore, it is essential that you adapt the environmental temperature to the needs of your turtle. Likewise, it is important to maintain the humidity in the correct range to avoid the appearance of
    dermatological, renal and digestive problems.
  • Substrate and environment : whether you keep your turtle outside or in a terrarium, you need to adapt the environment to
    its natural environment and keep it in good hygienic conditions.
  • Photoperiod : it is important to respect the photoperiod of the turtle’s place of origin, since prolonging it can be a source of stress for it.
  • Food : Turtles can be herbivorous, omnivorous or carnivorous, depending on their species. An adequate diet will be one that is similar to what the animal would have in its natural habitat.

Why is my baby turtle is not moving?

If your new companion has recently arrived at home, it is normal that her behavior is somewhat abnormal and
she does not move much. Turtles are animals that are easily stressed and frightened , so a change of habitat can be truly stressful for them. In this case, you should give it the necessary time to get used to its new home and
avoid any source of stress that could make the situation worse. To do this, keep the terrarium away from sound sources 
(speakers, television, etc.), prevent other pets from approaching the tank and try to handle it as little as possible.

As we have mentioned before, when a turtle remains motionless, it may be hibernating or brumanting. Brumation is a natural process that affects tortoises when temperatures drop. However, in young specimens (under 3 years old) brumation should not be allowed ,
since they lack the necessary energy reserves to survive this process. 
If you have a baby turtle and you suspect that it may be brumating,
go to your veterinarian to find out how to proceed.

As with adult turtles, if your baby turtle is not moving it may be due to a disease process . Pay attention to the presence of other clinical signs that may indicate the presence of disease in your turtle and go to your veterinarian so that you can find the cause of the problem.

What to do if my turtle is not moving?

If your turtle is bruming, you should know that it is a physiological and natural process that doues not have
to be harmful to it if you keep it in the right conditions. Therefore, brumation should not be discontinued in healthy animals.. However, if your tortoise has undergone surgery or has suffered from an illness in the previous season or during the winter period, brumation should not be allowed since it would imply a decrease in its immune response and could have serious consequences for its health. Similarly, it is not recommended that young turtles brumen, since they do not have enough energy resources to survive this process. Therefore, when you think that your turtle is going to go into brumation, it is important that you consult your veterinarian to analyze whether or not it is appropriate for it to go into this state.

If your turtle does not move, its eyes are closed and you have ruled out that it is misting 

it is also important that you go to your trusted veterinarian to determine what may be the
cause of its condition. First, it will analyze the environmental conditions and your turtle’s diet to assess
whether its condition may be due to poor sanitary management. In addition, he will carry out a complete examination of the turtle in search of signs that can guide the diagnosis. If the physical examination is not sufficient, complementary tests (imaging tests,
laboratory tests, etc.) will be carried out to reach a definitive diagnosis and establish the appropriate treatment.

In short, the reasons why a turtle can remain motionless and with its eyes closed can be
both physiological and pathological. Therefore, discerning what the specific cause is will be essential to know
whether we should act or not, and if necessary, how to proceed.

we recommend you visit our pet section .