Why Did My Red-Eared Slider Die Suddenly?

Red-eared slider turtles are fun pets.

They are relatively low maintenance, and it is awesome to watch them swim around the tank.

Unfortunately, just like other pets, the do eventually die

This is life

The hardest part?

When they die suddenly

It is heartbreaking no doubt!

In this article we’re going to talk about and answer the question – Why Did My Red-Eared Slider Die Suddenly? 

Pet turtles typically live for around 20 years, however, this lifespan varies depending on how they are treated and cared for.

If they are not given the proper care and nutrition, they can die much sooner than expected.

Red-eared slider turtles can die suddenly, especially if they are older than 15 years old.

Here are some of the main causes of death.

Why did your red-eared slider die suddenly?

Red-eared slider turtles usually live between 5–10 years.

The main reason why they die unexpectedly is due to respiratory disease, overfeeding, unbalanced diets, and lack of adequate environmental conditions.

Allergies/respiratory illness

Respiratory diseases in turtles are usually bacterial infections.

These diseases attack the lungs and cause many of the normal body processes (such as breathing) to be very difficult.

Turtles have unique needs when they come down with a cold, so if you suspect your pet has been exposed to something nasty, give him/her these supplements.

Respiratory illnesses can also affect turtles’ kidneys, which regulate many important bodily functions.

Older turtles can die from respiratory illnesses within just a few days if not treated.

Turtles often get sick because they breathe through their mouths, not their noses.

The most common symptom is bubbles coming from the turtles’ mouths.

You can also see some discharge coming from the turtles’ nostrils.

Turtles with respiratory illnesses often struggle to breathe.

They may cough or choke for air.


Turtles are naturally carnivorous animals, meaning they prefer meaty diets.

Unfortunately, this means they often overeat, causing obesity and other health issues.

Feed your turtle once per day.

Alternate between pellets and leafy greens.

Turtles that are fed too much might begin piling up.

This occurs when their shells start to curve downward.

Overfeeding turtles can cause their blood vessels to get blocked, causing them to become sluggish.

Dietary imbalance

A balanced diet is essential for a healthy lifestyle.

If you feed your pet turtles a balanced diet, then they will live longer than those fed only leaves and pellets.

Turtles require vitamin A and vitamin D.

These should be present in the pellets and leafy greens you provide them.

However, this isn’t always the case.

Turtle Vitamins offer high quality supplements made by Turtle Island Foods.

They contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

The company has been making these supplements for years and they have become very popular among consumers who prefer healthy alternatives to traditional vitamin pills.

These supplements come in four different varieties including Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplement, Multivitamin/Mineral Supplement, Energy Booster Supplement and Sports Performance Supplement.

All of them provide 100% vegetarian capsules without any animal ingredients.

Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision, bone development, reproduction, immune function, and cell division.

Some of the best sources of this nutrient include carrots, squash, and dark green leafy vegetables.

Calcium is another vital element for your pet’s health and growth.

You can supplement your turtle with both vitamins A and D3 through feeding him fortified diets.

Basking helps your turtle absorb nutrients from the sun.

Apart from the vitamins mentioned above, Vitamin E is also beneficial for turtles.

If you feed them too little food they won’t grow properly.

Poor environmental conditions

Sadly, many owners fail to provide adequate basking environments for their turtles.

This leads to overheating, stress, and death.

They also often buy turtles that are too small for their tank size.

It is vital that your red-eared slider has a basking spot that is completely dry and near a UVA UVB light.

The basking platform should also be very accessible for your turtle.

If it is hard for them to climb up to it, they might ignore it which will certainly lead to health issues.

Turtles require large tanks to live comfortably.

Turtles typically need tanks that hold at least 10 gallons per inch of its shell length.

A seven-inch red-eared slider therefore requires a tank that holds at least 70 gallons.

Turtles living in tanks smaller than 50 gallons are at risk of becoming overweight due to lack of swimming room.

Turtles living in tanks smaller than 50 gallons also run the risk of drowning because they cannot move around freely.

How to prevent your turtle from becoming ill suddenly?

The key to keeping your turtle alive is to provide a healthy environment.

Your tank should be large enough, have an adequate basking platform, and the water temperature should be around 76 degrees Fahrenheit if you have a red-eared slider.

It is also important to have a filter in order to keep the water clean and prevent the growth of bacteria.

A key to keeping turtles happy and healthy is checking up on them regularly.

If you notice anything unusual, get them checked out immediately.

You can do this at any vet clinic or animal hospital near you.

How to tell if my turtle is dying? Signs to look out for

Turtles die if they stop eating, swim sideways, have discharge coming from their mouths, have unhealthy skin, become sluggish, show difficulty breathing, produce abnormal feces, and have a rotten shell.

What should you do when your turtle dies?

It’s a very sad topic to talk about but it’s important to know what to do

When an animal suddenly dies, the owner is usually going to be devastated.

Many questions will come rushing through your head, including what you should do with your and its habitat.

Start off by taking good care of your turtle’s body.

You’ll want to provide him with a safe environment and ensure he gets plenty of water.

He may also appreciate some decorations around his enclosure.

After you’ve identified what you plan to do with your turtle, you need to carefully clean its home.

Be sure to thoroughly clean any surfaces that may have been contaminated by your turtle’s feces.

If your turtle was ill or died because of something else, be sure to inspect its environment to see what caused it to get sick.

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