My turtle no longer eats: turtle not eating

My turtle no longer eats: turtle not eating

Your turtle no longer feeds and you are helpless in the face of this anorexia. The turtle has not eaten for several days? She doesn’t want to drink any more water. Are you afraid she’s sick?

Like many other animals, the appetite of turtles reflects their general health. Be careful, however, not to worry for no reason.

My turtle doesn’t want to eat anymore

If your turtle refuses to feed outside of hibernation periods, is listless, and seems to be in bad shape, then it is better to contact the vet so that he can examine him urgently. An animal that no longer eats is a potentially endangered animal.

Why is my turtle not eating anymore? Youth problem?

Turtles, whether terrestrial or aquatic freshwater, can go several days without eating or drinking . Indeed these shelled animals frequently practice, apart from their hibernation, fasts of a few days.

If your Hermann tortoise does not come out of a hibernation phase and its diet has been balanced recently, then it has the necessary reserves to fast for a few days without consequences for its health.

A veterinarian will tell you that fasting on food is quite normal for an animal like a turtle.

If this young purifier doesn’t last more than a few days then you don’t have to worry about the health of your turtle.

Diet of the turtle in the face of stress

Like many animals, if the turtle no longer eats or drinks water it is probably because it is sick or under intense stress .

Turtles are sensitive to changes and the following can interfere with their diet:

  • New pet
  • If you change their diet suddenly
  • Habitat change
  • Changing your enclosure or terrarium
  • Temperature change (cold or hot)

Likewise, if you have just acquired your little land turtle, it is normal for it to take a few days to adapt to its new environment. So don’t panic if you don’t see her eating. She will resume a normal eating rhythm within a few days.

Stress cases apply to all breeds of turtles, including water turtles.

Turtle hydration

Also be aware that it is very rare to see a turtle drink water. In fact, turtles find their water supply mainly in food. They can therefore spend a lot of time, even a few days, without drinking without this being a problem for them.

Is your turtle healthy

A turtle that no longer eats is not necessarily in poor health. But how do you check the health of your male and female turtles?

You need to monitor the behavior of your land turtles to verify that they are healthy. Your turtle is likely to be well if:

  • She has no signs of dehydration.
  • That her eyes are wide open
  • That she stays active

If not, be sure to see an emergency vet , as your turtle may be in danger.

What are the risks

My turtle refuses to eat. The turtle is no longer feeding.

If, despite all the care taken in its diet, your turtle refuses to eat, it risks developing many deficiencies, or even dying.

Dehydration can lead to serious kidney disease, stones or even the risk of gout .

Turtles need to eat enough and in a balanced way to meet their energy expenditure. Thus, during reproduction, and particularly during mating periods, male turtles will need a varied and sufficiently abundant diet . Shortly before the laying, the female will have to eat well to compensate for the fatigue.

If the diet of your turtles is bad or unsuitable, both males and females could suffer from these deficiencies and you would not have the joy of discovering baby turtles one morning .

What diseases can be the cause of an anorexic turtle

It can also happen that your domestic land turtle loses its appetite due to a disease, virus or infection.

The lack of appetite and dehydration will then telltale symptoms of poor general health.

The animal’s poor diet, reduced access to water or unsuitable food, such as dog or cat food, can affect the health of its shell .

The main diseases that can affect your turtle’s appetite are:

  • Respiratory infection
  • Oral cavity infection
  • Eye infection
  • Parasites

Respiratory infection

One of the most common ailments in the land turtle is rhinitis . This disease is usually caught by turtles which do not live in a place warm enough in terms of temperature, nor sufficiently protected from drafts. Your turtle will then have discharge from the nostrils which can prevent it from breathing properly and therefore from eating normally.

Oral cavity infection

If your turtle hasn’t eaten for a few days, it’s also possible that she has stomatitis . This condition is characterized by a buildup of pus in the mouth.

Eye infection

Does your turtle have swollen eyes and a significant loss of appetite? She certainly suffers from an eye infection. This condition is common in turtles with vitamin A deficiency, or in an aquarium with dirty water.


Your turtle’s loss of appetite may be due to the presence of parasites ( protozoan worms ) in your turtle’s digestive tract . The presence in large numbers of these unwanted can cause your turtle to vomit. In this case, he must be taken to a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles urgently.

The shell of turtles is also an indicator of their health . A too soft shell can be a sign of nutritional and dietary deficiencies, for example.

How do you feed a sick turtle

Feeding a turtle that refuses to eat:

Trying to force your turtle to feed is not a good idea. Indeed, forcing her to swallow food could be fatal. The food could go through “the wrong way”, which would block his airways.

If your turtle has anorexia, it is advisable to have him take lukewarm water baths to ensure that he remains well hydrated.

Sometimes the use of a probe will be necessary to feed your reptile. This handling is very delicate and it is strongly recommended to call a veterinarian specializing in NAC (new pets).

Be careful about where your turtle is coming from

We cannot say it enough, but there are a large number of protected species which must in no way end up on the market in order to participate in the respect of global biodiversity.

Thus the star tortoise of Madagascar is protected but that does not prevent the rascals from seeking to market them. Fortunately, the French customs service ensures compliance with the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora, commonly known as the “Washington Convention”.

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