My turtle won't eat - Causes and what to do

If we have a turtle as a pet, it is very important that we monitor its diet, providing it with a diet adjusted to its specific nutritional requirements, which vary from one type and one species to another..

If their diet is not adequate, various health problems can occur, including eye problems, lack of energy or lethargy, respiratory problems and serious mineral and vitamin deficiencies, which have consequences of varying severity. Today, in AnimalWised, we will see some of the causes of why my turtle does not eat, as well as what to do about it.

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  1. My turtle does not want to eat
  2. My turtle does not eat anything
  3. My turtle does not eat and has its eyes closed
  4. My turtle does not eat and sleeps a lot
  5. My turtle does not eat and has a soft shell

My turtle does not want to eat

First of all, it should be noted that due to the peculiarities of turtles, it is common for fasts lasting a few days, this being a frequent and completely normal event in them. However, if the fast is extended too long it may indicate that something is happening to our turtle..

¿Why doesn't my turtle eat?

Some of the reasons that turtles may stop eating include:

  • Changes in your environment or routine.
  • Changes in the diet supplied.
  • Sudden changes in temperature or humidity.
  • Changes in the family unit, such as adding new members to the family, including pets.

If you have recently adopted a turtle as a pet, to provide the best care you can consult these other AnimalWised articles on Caring for a tortoise and Caring for water turtles.

My turtle does not eat anything

When a turtle receives a balanced and balanced diet on a regular basis, "short" periods of fasting usually appear, not counting hibernation, which would be much longer, lasting a few days. But, if it is detected that the turtle does not consume food or drink for a longer time, try to find the reasons, as it may be sick and need veterinary attention.

Symptoms of a sick turtle

Some symptoms of illness in turtles are:

  • Lethargy.
  • Signs of dehydration, noticeable in the color, touch and texture of the skin.
  • Closed and / or swollen eyes.
  • Alterations in the state of your shell.

If we observe these signs in our pet, the best will be go to the vet as soon as possible, in order to be able to solve problems quickly. Well, some of the diseases that cause a turtle not to eat anything are quite serious, ranging from eye infections to mouth and respiratory disorders or the presence of parasites, as you can see in this other article about the most common diseases in water and land turtles..

My turtle does not eat and has its eyes closed

It is far more common than it appears for a tortoise to have eye problems due to its diet. Normally, what happens is that they cannot open their eyes because hypovitaminosis has occurred. This is that there is a vitamin deficiency in the body of the turtle, mainly due to the fact that its diet does not contain the essential vitamins for it.

To correct this problem, it is advisable to go to the veterinarian, as this will be the one to verify if it is indeed hypovitaminosis or some fungal or bacterial infection. In the case of hypovitaminosis, the treatment includes both a correction of the diet and the application of eye drops rich in vitamin A, usually observing a relatively fast recovery.

If you do not know what turtles eat, we advise you to consult these two articles on Feeding water turtles and Feeding on land turtles.

My turtle does not eat and sleeps a lot

If we observe that our turtle's lack of appetite is accompanied by a long and deep sleep, it may simply be performing a hibernation. Yes, turtles, like other animals such as bears, tend to hibernate, as you can see in this other article about ¿Turtles hibernate? This is completely normal in them, especially in some species.

Hibernation consists of a period in which the tortoise enters a state of drowsiness, lowering the rate of operation, thus reducing its vital signs. This is a natural mechanism that allows them to preserve their organic reserves, something that is determined by their genetics, because in the wild, hibernation allows them to survive when food is scarce.

We must be attentive to the thermal conditions to which the turtle is subjected, since hibernation is typical of those turtles exposed to low temperatures. To regulate the temperature of your cabin, the usual thing is to use UVA and UVB lamps, which are also important for your shell, as we will see just below.

My turtle does not eat and has a soft shell

When the shell of our turtle begins to lose hardness and color, It is essential to take action as soon as possible, otherwise it can lead to serious health problems.

Normally, a shell softening is due to a poor calcium absorption, as well as a prolonged diet deficient in this mineral. Calcium is vital for the shell to be in good condition, but equally important is that the turtle get enough UVB light. UVB rays are what allow the turtle's body to produce vitamin D3, which is necessary for its body to absorb calcium from food.

Therefore, in these cases a diet rich in calcium must be combined with sufficient exposure to UVB rays, resorting to UVB lamps if the turtle cannot be made to receive direct sunlight for long enough., about 8-10 hours a day it is the ideal.

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