Why Is My Turtle Not Moving? (5 Clear Reasons)

Many people ask the question: why is my turtle not moving? You should know the complete information about your vet before keeping them. When you have all information about your pet, you feel not to worry about any issue associated with your pet.

Why is my turtle not moving? There are many reasons behind the turtle not moving, such as respiratory issues, infections, laziness, appetite loss, other breathing problems, etc. It would be best if you diagnosed the cause of this issue then gave the treatment accordingly.

In this article, we will discuss why is my turtle not moving, what do I do if my turtle is not moving, what are the signs of a dying turtle, and many other things related to these. Let’s dive into the details of why is my turtle not moving.

Why is my turtle not moving
Why is my turtle not moving?


Why Is My Turtle Staying Still?

If your turtle is still, you should know the cause that is causing him not to move. Why is my turtle not moving? When there is very low temperature, then they may not move. The aquatic turtles may do this type of behavior when they are sick or when water is not balanced.


Why Is My Baby Turtle Not Moving?

One of the most important reasons behind this is too low temperature and low water. You should make sure that air and water temperature should be at optimum level. You should place UV lighting in a tank of the enclosure; it can be helpful for you if they are not moving.


Why Is My Turtle Not Swimming?

Why is my turtle not moving? Many aquatic turtles are there like red-eared sliders. They can swim freely in the water. But when there are unfavorable conditions in water, they may not swim freely, and you see that they are not moving in the tank. This may also happen when there is very much high and low temperature.


Why Is My Snapping Turtle Not Moving?

Why is my baby snapping turtle not moving? They may not move when they are in the hibernation stage. In this stage, they don’t move because of the extreme climatic condition. When the favorable conditions return, then they may start moving and eating. This period may vary from weeks to a few months.


Why Is My Musk Turtle Not Moving?

There may be some internal health problem that is behind these issues. It can also be due to the low energy level in the body. When there is not sufficient energy level in the body, then it leads to lethargy. Why is my land turtle not moving? It can be because of respiratory illness, parasites, and other diet deficiencies.


What Happens When A Turtle Is Dying?

When a turtle is dying or sick, there may be watery fluid and discharge coming from the eyes and nose of turtles. You may notice many other signs like refusal to eat, skin problems, abnormal feces, and difficulty in breathing.


Is My Turtle Dead Or Hibernating?

You should know whether they are in hibernation or they are dead. When they are in hibernation, they may respond to their surroundings. But this is possible only when you deliberately stimulate them. If you stimulate and they don’t respond to the stimulation, then it means that they are dead.


Why Is My Turtle Not Moving Or Eating?

Why is my turtle not moving? If the turtle is not eating or moving, it can be due to hibernation, or there are also chances of being dead. Many other reasons can be there, like environmental changes, internal health issues, infections, etc.


Why Is My Turtle Not Moving?

Many reasons are causing them not to move. Like laziness, loss of appetite, skin problems, and other respiratory illnesses. Following are the reasons that cause turtles not to move.


Loss of Appetite

They may not move when there is less appetite. In this condition, the turtle remains in a basking place, and they don’t want to swim in this condition. They may lose appetite because of illness, and that is why they don’t move. When they are pregnant, then it results in less appetite.



Why is my box turtle not moving? Although it is not a very common cause, laziness can be the reason for not moving. This can be due to stress and boredom. It can be seen in them they are alone. They may get stress from separation anxiety.

It would help if you gave them a proper place that has spacious space to move.  It is the best thing to maintain physical and mental health. If there is only one turtle in the tank, you should keep more than one to make them calm and happy. It is helpful to remove stress and boredom.



Why is my turtle not moving? If there is a health issue in turtles, then they may stay in one place. When there is any swelling in the ears or an infection in the eyes, they may stay in one corner of the enclosure and not move freely. It is because of infections.

You should diagnose the cause of the infection and treat them accordingly. You should consult with your vet for the diagnosis and treatment of the turtle.


Bubbling And Discharge

When they are ill, then you see that there is discharge from the nasal cavity and eyes. Why is my turtle not moving? Discharge from the eyes may lead to pain because of swelling. One of the common reasons for discharge is a deficiency of vitamin A in turtles.

You can also observe that there is bubbling from the mouth of turtles. When there is a respiratory infection, then there is expelling of mucus from the oral cavity. That is why this is also a reason if the turtle is not moving or eating.



The excretion problem can be the reason for this problem. You can see the symptoms like diarrhea, bloody stool and parasites in feces, etc. this condition can be fatal for your turtle if left unchecked. When there is organ failure in them, then there may result in no movement or less activity.

Why is my turtle not moving
Why is my turtle not moving?


What Happens When A Turtle Is Dying?

Turtles refuse to take feed when they are about to die. You can see a significant decrease in appetite. The following are the symptoms that are worth considering if you want to know dead turtle signs.


Refuse To Eat

Turtle not moving eyes open can be an alarming sign that your turtle is about to die. In hibernation, they don’t eat food, but if they are not in hibernation and do not eat the food, then it means that the turtle is about to die.

It can also be when gastrointestinal tract infection and other internal infections. In the case of females, when they are pregnant, they may not eat food as they eat on a normal basis.



You see that there is a very low energy level in the body. When there is a low energy level in the body, then turtles cannot move it. You notice that they are lethargic. If you see many other dying symptoms and lethargy, it tells us that the turtle is near the end of a stage of life.


Skin Problems

Swelling in the skin, especially in ears, eyes, and shells, are signs of internal infection and abscess. Holes, lesions and open wounds, and other symptoms like red irritation are the signs of internal infection. Some of them can be treated well, but in many cases, this can lead to life-threatening.

Tumors on the skin of a turtle can lead to death. You should immediately consult with your vet if you diagnose any tumors.


Breathing Problems

Breathing problems can be seen in an aged turtle that is near to dying. If you don’t give treatment to them, then it can result in life-threatening pneumonia. Many other signs that tell us respiratory illness signs are gasping, wheezing and sneezing, etc. if a turtle opens up their mouth and then breathes, then it tells us that he is feeling difficulty in inhaling or exhaling air.


Swimming Problems

They love to swim because they are adaptable to this environment. If they don’t do swimming or feel trouble floating, it means that there is a problem with swimming. Infection or parasites in the brain may result in disorientation.


Unusual Feces

In the end-stage of life, they don’t poop properly. Due to some parasites, there may be internal health issues like bloody stools, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues. Parasitic infection may result in organ failure and damage when you leave this condition untreated.


How To Tell If Your Turtle Is Healthy?

You should know the habits and symptoms of a happy and calm turtle. It is important to make them happy and calm. For this, you should remove stress from them. If there is only one turtle in the tank, then you should buy and keep one more. It is helpful for you because turtles may get separation anxiety. Following are the reasons that are important to know if the turtle is happy.


Hunting Behavior

If the turtle is chasing and hunting the food, then it means that they are happy. You should provide them with live food for physical and mental health maintenance. If you place small amphibians, fish, and insects, it also makes them happy and cool.



Semi-aquatic and aquatic turtles engage in splashing, which can be seen in only that condition when turtles are very excited.


Normal Body Functions

Proper body functioning also tells us that they are fine and healthy. If there is a proper diet schedule, they don’t get any health issues, and everybody’s function works properly.



Happy turtle engages him in basking. They may get heat from the sun in the wild, but when they are in an enclosure or tank, you need to provide UVB and UVA light. It is important for them.


Relaxed With Handling

Many turtles don’t like when you handle them. This may not be seen in some turtles. They are only comfortable with those people that are familiar with him. You can train them by giving training to them. In this way, they like when you handle it.


Playing Toys

If there are toys in the tank, then some of the turtles play and enjoy with them. If you see this type of behavior, then it means that they are happy.



They are foragers by nature, and you can see that they can dig. If you notice that the turtle is digging in tanks, then it means that they are happy. They want to explore new things because of their curious nature, so they explore new things like plants and decorations around the tank.


Breathing And Clear Eyes

Happy and healthy turtles should have no discharge in the eyes and ears. In case of deficiency of vitamin A, there is discharge from eyes and viscous. If you see these symptoms, then you should immediately consult with your vet. There is no breathing difficulty in normal and healthy turtles. If turtles look to breathe properly, then it means that they are healthy.

Why is my turtle not moving
Why is my turtle not moving?


Final Verdict On Why Is My Turtle Not Moving

Many reasons are there if a turtle is not moving, like when they are breathing difficulties, infections, not poop properly, etc. if there is bubbling and discharge from the nose and eyes of turtles, then it also results in no or less movement.

As a pet lover, make sure to learn about pet more and give your pet turtle a good and comfortable life!

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The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, food recommendation, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or for pet food related questions.

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