Why Is My Turtles Head Shaking? (2 Reasons Why + What To Do)

The health of any pet you’re raising, whether this be a dog, a cat, or a turtle, is a top priority for you as an owner, good health is a big factor in whether the animal lives a good life.

If your turtle’s head starts shaking then you may think that there is something wrong with the animal’s health, this article looks into why this happens

Why is my turtle’s head shaking?

The movements of turtles are known to be quite slow and deliberate, these animals are seen as the opposite of hares because they are very slow. If your pet starts making fast shaking movements with its head they’d understandably be worried. 

Here is why this may be happening with your turtle:

Respiratory infection:

One reason why you may be seeing a sudden shaking of your pet’s head is that the animal has a respiratory infection, or, even worse, pneumonia. 

Other signs of respiratory infection in your turtle include shaking, bubble blowing, nasal discharge, sneezing, open mouth breathing, abnormal body posture, lethargy, exaggerated movements when breathing, gurgling or wheezing sounds coming from the animal, and crusty nostrils/nares 

What to do:

It isn’t recommended that you try to diagnose the turtle yourself, this is because the illness can not only turn into pneumonia quite quickly, and your pet can die quite quickly if not treated, but because other disorders present with these symptoms, so it’s easy to misdiagnose. 

For this reason, it is advised that you take your pet to the vet, or better yet, take your pet to a herp vet for diagnosis and treatment. 

Your vet will take an X-ray of the animal’s lungs to determine if the animal shows signs of pneumonia.

If your pet does have pneumonia then your pet will be given antibiotics and may be given a nebulization treatment, this is when medication is administered via a cool mist device called a nebulizer.  

High basking temperature:

Another cause of the shaking of your pet’s head is high basking temperatures. If you put your pet under its basking lamp, and the temperature is too hot, then the shock of the heat will make the animal uncomfortable and make it shake or twitch its head.

These animals are cold blooded so a sudden change in their environment temperature will affect them greatly as can be seen with the head shaking 

What to do:

While head shaking in this case is common it isn’t something that should happen regularly.

Take a look at the temperature of your pet’s basking area and figure out if this is the correct basking temperature for your species of turtles. If not then change the temperature accordingly.

Make sure that this temperature is kept constant by using a good thermometer and checking it regularly. Your pet’s head shaking should subside soon after you correct the temperature of the basking area 

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 Sunken In?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? (2 Reasons Why + What To Do)
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