Turtles in general are slow
But as a turtle owner, I’m sure you’d notice if they are moving extra slow
Or if your turtle is barely moving at all
It can be worrying and a cause of concern
In this article you’re going to discover the following
Why your turtle is barely moving (possible reasons)
Why your turtle is being lazy
Symptoms of sickness
Let’s get started!
Why is my turtle barely moving?
There are many reasons why turtles move slowly – some may be due to disease while others are simply caused by age.
For example, old turtles lose muscle strength over time which causes them to become more sedentary.
Also, when turtles get older, they often stop eating as much since they don’t need nearly as many calories anymore.
As a result, slower metabolism means less energy for movement.
However, sometimes there are underlying health issues making turtles act poorly.
For instance, one common problem affecting turtles is internal parasites called “hard shelled worms.”
These little critters live inside the body cavity where they feed off blood and tissue fluids.
When these worm populations get too large, they disrupt normal functioning throughout the body including slowing down digestion, weakening muscles and impairing vision.
The best way to prevent these types of infections from occurring is through regular de-worming treatments.
If you notice any change in behavior such as poor appetite, difficulty swallowing, constipation, diarrhea, rashes, loss of skin coloration or swelling then make sure to consult a veterinarian immediately.
Another reason why turtles move slowly is due to injury.
Turtles get injured both externally and internally.
Some injuries happen during fights with each other especially if you have more than one turtle
(Check out my article – Can a baby turtle live with a big turtle?)
A vet should always be consulted if an external wound looks infected or deep enough to puncture the shell.
Internal wounds require immediate medical attention and treatment for infection control and recovery.
Finally, another possible reason why your turtle isn’t moving well is something called metabolic bone disease.
This condition occurs mostly in captive aquatic turtles.
Metabolic bone disease affects calcium levels within the bones resulting in brittle bones and reduced mobility.
To avoid this type of issue, check all aquarium equipment for leaks and repair any damaged areas.
Make sure everything is secure properly, especially pumps and heaters.
You’ll want to reduce excessive vibration in tanks whenever possible.
And remember to maintain proper filtration systems and remove excess debris regularly.
Sometimes a turtle is not just moving slow
But they’re just being lazy
Let’s find out why turtles can become lazy
Why is my turtle being lazy?
It can definitely feel like your turtle is growing tired of life and wants out.
Sometimes turtles even attempt to escape their enclosures or try to break free from their shells.
While these actions can indicate an impending breakout, it doesn’t necessarily mean your animal is ill.
Instead, it could be a sign of boredom or frustration.
However, if your turtle seems disinterested in its surroundings or just generally unresponsive, then there could be a number of different illnesses responsible.
You should keep an eye out and see if your turtle is behaving not as usual as they do
Lethargy is a sign they’re either too cold or they’re not feeling too good
If your turtle is not feeling too good, what you could do is, boost the water temperature to 80 or 82 degrees Fahrenheit which should hopefully boost the immune system if your turtle is coming down with something
What are the symptoms of a sick turtle?
The most obvious symptom of illness in turtles is obviously failing to thrive.
Other indicators of trouble can include significant weight loss, slowed growth rates, erratic behavior, and overall deterioration in quality of life.
Signs of distress or pain can show up in various ways.
An unhappy turtle is likely to display a variety of grimacing facial expressions along with twisting motions, kicking feet, head tilting, arching backs, and tail curling movements.
Sickly turtles may refuse to eat, preferring instead to lie motionless in their dens or shallow burrows.
Sometimes turtles may experience neurological complications.
Symptoms can vary greatly based on where the parasite invades the nervous system.
Infection near the spinal cord can lead to paralysis; infection in the brain can cause personality changes, dementia, blindness, deafness, seizure activity, memory impairment, disorientation, coma, and ultimately death. Brain tumors can also present similar symptoms although far less commonly.
Other symptoms associated with illness include increased shedding, crusty scales, thickened plastron margins, open wounds, sunken eyes, cloudy cornea, pale mucus membranes, labored breathing, splintered nails, loose teeth, bad odors, expelling intestinal contents, and urinating frequently.
If you notice your turtle showing any of these symptoms or you feel your turtle is not too well, it’s best to take him straight to the vets to get him checked up and get some expert advice
Related article – Turtle sleeping at bottom of tank