Why Does My Turtle Keep Opening His Mouth? (3 Reasons Why + What To Do)

Keeping an eye on your turtle will help you quickly notice when the animal starts acting strange or out of the ordinary, and the animal constantly opening its mouth is certainly out of the ordinary

If you find that your turtle constantly opens and closes its mouth then you’d understandably be worried, this article looks into why this happens

Why does my turtle keep opening his mouth?

One or a few occasions of your pet turtle opening its mouth doesn’t sound too bad, but if the reptile is constantly doing this then you may start to worry

Here is why your turtle keeps opening its mouth:


If your pet is opening and closing its mouth while under water then the animal may simply be tasting the water.

These animals are forgers, and they are always on the lookout for food, even trying to find food in water

These animals use their mouths to smell food in the water. They can look for food underwater for long periods of time because they have a membrane in their mouth that allows them to extract oxygen from water.

What to do:

This is normal behavior, you don’t have to worry if your pet is doing this. As long as you are feeding your pet correctly, and as long your pet is eating the food being given, then the animal will be fine


Another reason why your pet may be opening and closing its mouth may be because the animal is in pain or is suffering some sort of discomfort

Your pet will only show slight signs of pain and discomfort when it’s unbearable. This is their way of avoiding being targeted by predators who usually target sick or injured animals in the wild

What to do:

If you think that your pet is in pain then you’d need to take your pet to the vet for an examination and treatment

Respiratory infection:

One of the other reasons why your pet may be opening its mouth so much may be that the turtle is suffering from a respiratory infection.

Respiratory infections in tortoises cause a variety of symptoms. The animal opening its mouth and gasping for breath to get more air and oxygen into their body is one sign of this condition

Other signs of this condition include foaming at the nose or mouth, listlessness, loss of appetite, and wheezing.

What to do:

If not addressed then this condition can quickly turn into pneumonia and your turtle can die of this, so, treating the animal as soon as you see symptoms developing, is a must

You’d need to take your pet to the vet, or even better, to a herp vet. A herp vet is a vet who specializes in exotic animals like tortoises.

The vet will run tests on the animal, examine it, do blood work, and then come up with a diagnosis

If your pet does have this condition then your vet will give the animal antibiotics. In addition, your pet may also need breathing therapy to help it recover.

Keep your pet’s water and environment clean and warm if you can’t immediately get your pet to the vet. In addition, keep your pet isolated so it doesn’t affect other turtles.

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 Is My Turtle’s Tail Swollen?, Why Did My Turtle’s Tail Fall Off?Why Is My Turtle’s Tail Curled?Why Does My Tortoise Wag Its Tail?Why Is My Turtle’s Tail Tucked In?, Why Is My Turtle’s Mouth Bleeding?Why Do Turtle’s Eyes Turn White?What’s Wrong With My Turtle’s Eyes?Why Is My Tortoise Blowing Bubbles From His Mouth?

Why Does My Turtle Keep Opening His Mouth? (3 Reasons Why + What To Do)
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