Why Are My Turtles Eyes Sunken In? (2 Reasons Why + What To Do)

Sunken eyes make turtles look quite ill and sickly, seeing this in your pet will be quite problematic, you as a pet owner will want to get to the bottom of this if this is happening with your pet. 

This article looks into why your turtle’s eyes are sunken in 

Why are my turtle’s eyes sunken in?

We all want our turtles to live happy and healthy lives but this doesn’t always happen 100% of the time, sometimes hiccups happen when it comes to your pet’s health and you’d need to figure out what’s going on 

Here is why your turtle’s eyes may be sunken in:


While turtles do live on land in dry areas they do need some moisture to survive and thrive in their environment.

If the environment that the animal lives in is too dry, then the turtle will become dehydrated. One of the symptoms of dehydration in turtles is sunken eyes 

Other signs of dehydration in turtles are muscle fatigue, dimpled corneas, wrinkled dry skin, the animal will be listless and the animal will be lighter than usual when picked up 

What to do:

If your pet’s dehydration is to a point when its eyes are sunken in or even closed then seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.

Seeing a professional will go a long way in preventing long-term health problems in your pet 

If you want to immediately get your pet to the vet then soak the reptile in a solution of 50 percent warm water and 50 percent Pedialyte. Support the animal’s head when soaking as the turtle likely can’t keep its head up much and will aspirate the solution into its lungs if not held up.

Once you’ve soaked your pet leave it under its UV light for an hour and give it some pellets soaked in tuna juice.

Avoid dehydration in your turtle in the future by making sure that the animal always has access to fresh, clean drinking water.

You can also get the animal to take in more water by spraying its vegetables with water before serving your pet.

You’d also need to maintain an appropriate level of humidity in the enclosure. Figure out how much humidity the turtle that you’re taking care of needs then maintain this. Do the same for the temperature settings of the animal’s enclosure.

Soaking your pet in about 1 or 2 inches of water, for an hour once or more times a week, should also help to keep dehydration at bay 


If your pet isn’t dehydrated, and its eyes are sunken in, the reptile may be dead. Sunken eyes start to develop in dead turtles once decomposition sets in. 

A dead turtle will not only have sunken eyes but it will also not react to stimulus, it will smell foul, it will be cold to the touch, and maggots and flies will start to find their way to the turtle. 

What to do:

Check that your pet doesn’t respond to stimuli and wait to see if it moves or reacts, you may need to take your pet to the vet to confirm that it is dead but if it is dead then dispose of the animal 

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other turtle/tortoise  related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Why Are My Turtle’s Eye Blue?Why Is My Turtle’s Mouth Orange?Why Is My Turtle Nose Red?Why Is My Turtle’s Nose Bleeding?Why Is My Turtles Nose White?Why Are My Turtles Eyes Watery?Why Is My Turtles Head Swollen?Why Is My Turtle’s Head Twitching?Why Is My Turtles Head Shaking?

Why Are My Turtles Eyes Sunken In? (2 Reasons Why + What To Do)
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