Why Is My Turtle Lethargic? (2 Reasons Why + What To Do)

Changes in your pet, like the animal becoming more lethargic, will understandably be quite concerning for you as a turtle owner. These animals aren’t known to run around but they are known for their curious nature, they are not known for lethargy 

This article looks into why your pet turtle may be lethargic.


Why is my turtle lethargic?

If your once lively turtle starts to become quite the sluggish animal then you may start to worry. The animal resting occasionally is normal but persistent signs of lethargy are not good. 

You may think that a change in behavior may be a sign of an underlying health issue with the animal. Addressing the issues requires you to understand why this is happening 

Here is why your turtle may be lethargic:


If the seasons have changed, if it’s getting colder, and you notice that your turtle has started to become lethargic then this may be happening because your pet turtle is going through brumation. 

If it’s turning to winter where you are then the animal will likely be exposed to less and less light and more cold.

Because the reptile is exposed to less light and more cold your pet will start to become lethargic and soon enter into a stage of “deep sleep” known as brumation, which is similar to hibernation.

Brumation is more so seen in outside turtles than inside turtles.

What to do:

Brumation is a normal part of the animal’s life and as long as your pet isn’t showing any signs of being ill then your turtle is likely fine.

If you’re still worried then you can take your pet to a reptile specialist vet for an examination, they will also be able to address any specific questions and concerns 


If your turtle is not going through brumation but starts to act lethargic then this may be a sign that the animal is ill. 

Your pet turtle will act just as a human would act when sick, it will not want to eat and will not want to move around too much. 

Other signs that may show up in your sick turtle include open-mouth breathing, wheezing, a lack of appetite, gurgling sounds when breathing, abnormal body posture, sunken eyes, swollen eyes, a change in skin coloration animal dedication, or depression

What to do:

Try to tempt your pet with its favorite treats to see if this gets it to move around more.

If your pet shows other signs of being sick, if it stays put and doesn’t try to move towards the food, or, if it doesn’t try to move at all, then this is a sign that you’d need to quickly get your pet to the vet, this is a medical emergency 

If your local vet is not experienced in dealing with reptiles then you can request that they contact a reptile specialist vet and have a conference call with them 

These animals will hide their symptoms to the best of their ability so you may only start to see signs of the turtle being ill once the animal’s illness is advanced. This is why taking your pet to the vet as soon as you see signs of illness is a must.

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 Bloated?Red Worms In My Turtle TankMy Turtle Was Upside DownMy Turtles Eyes Are SunkenMy Turtle Keeps Wiping His FaceMy Turtle Egg Has A Dent In ItMy Turtle Keeps Rubbing His EyesMy Turtle Eats A LotMy Turtle Won’t Stop Splashing 

Why Is My Turtle Lethargic? (2 Reasons Why + What To Do)
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