Why Does My Turtle Wipe His Face?

In this article we’re going to talk about why your turtle wipes his face

And one of the reason is – It’s because the water in the tank is irritating his skin

Let’s get into more detail

Carry on reading

Why Do Turtles Rub Their Heads?

Watching your turtle in his tank, you might have noticed that he is rubbing his head and are wondering what it means?

The simple answer is that there are several different reasons for this and it is best to watch him to try and establish that all is well or whether you need to take him to the Vet.

Why Does My Turtle Keep Wiping His Face?

Your turtle could be wiping his face because it feels uncomfortable as the water in his tank is irritating his skin.

Does the water need some conditioner to remove chlorine or could it be that there is too much conditioner in the water?

Best to act promptly and to test the water so that you can address the issue.

If all seems to be good with the water, have a really good look at your turtle’s eyes.

Can you see any discharge, are the eyes puffy or is there any other indication that he could have an eye infection?

Are the eyes excessively wet, runny or weepy?

These all signs that there could be an infection, so don’t ignore discharge.

If your turtle does have a problem with his eyes, this will need to be promptly treated by the Vet.

Eye infections in turtles are quite common and they do respond well to treatment.

Another reason why your turtle could be rubbing his face is to remove mineral/ salt deposits, or simply, it could be just be that it feels good!, 

Why Does My Turtle Scratch It’s Body?

If your turtle is scratching his body as well as his head, it could be that he is sloughing off his skin.

Turtles do this periodically and the skin usually sheds into pieces and can be seen in the water as a white fuzzy substance.

This process is normal and is usually straightforward, but it is good to keep an eye on your turtle to make sure there are no raw or bleeding areas as these could indicate a fungal infection.

Never be tempted to help remove the old skin as this could cause infection – the skin will fall off when it is ready. 

Turtles also lose the scutes (plates) on their carapace (shell) as they grow so a scratch might help them to shed the old ones.

This should also happen easily, but it is a good idea to carefully check the shell for any signs of disease.

Turtles can feel touch through their shells so it is fun to see if your turtle enjoys stroking his shell with your fingers, or gently rubbing it with a soft toothbrush- he may well appreciate this. 

If you have any doubts about the condition of your pet’s shell, it is always best to get advice from your Vet. 

Turtles can feel their shells and through their shells, so it is understandable that they can get itchy sometimes.

Turtles can feel through their shells because they are full of nerve endings.

Turtle Stressed? Signs To Look Out For 

Turtles do get stressed quite easily for a variety of reasons.

A turtle placed in a new environment will feel very stressed until he gets to know his new surroundings.

He does this by sight, smell and sound.

He will taste the tank water to ensure it tastes clean and full of oxygen – and that it is at the correct temperature.

He will get to recognize what you look like and will use sight to see food in his tank.

Turtles have a very keen sense of hearing and he will start to recognize familiar sounds including your footsteps.

When your turtle is an established pet in your home, he can still get stressed by excessive noise, other pets and improper handling – among many other things.

The signs to watch out for include your turtle hiding in a corner in his tank or trying to escape from his tank.

Your turtle could seem lethargic and will stop basking and eating. 

It is important to establish what has stressed your turtle and a good place to start is with his tank and to check that the water is clean, the correct temperature and well-balanced.

Once you have pin-pointed what has been causing your turtle’s stress you can put things right and your turtle should soon calm down.

A winning trick is to feed your turtle some dried insects as most find these irresistible!

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