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DrRalston
DrRalston, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 2207
Experience:  Over twelve years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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My daughter has a yellow belly turtle for 9 years and he is

Customer Question

My daughter has a yellow belly turtle for 9 years and he is the love of her life. Just one hour ago she found him unresponsive in the water of his tank and is heartbroken. Do you think he is sick or dead? She will not allow me to check. what should I do? Please please help and advise me.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  DrRalston replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr Ralston.

Turtles can go into a form of hibernation called estivation. It's possible that is the case if the temperature has suddenly dropped in the turtle's enclosure. However, if the situation has remained relatively the same, then that is not likely the case.

The turtle if dead is probably limp, with it's head out of it's shell.

If you can not get to the turtle, the best way to tell will be in the next 24 hours. The eyes will start to sink into the skull. You should be able to see that outside of the enclosure.

If the turtle has not moved, and is dead, it will become VERY firm within 24 hours of death as well. If it is rigid, it is dead.

These guys typically live up to 25 years or more in captivity, so depending on how old you think the turtle is...
Expert:  DrRalston replied 4 years ago.
Hey there,
Just following up on our conversation on Just Answer from yesterday.

Any news on your turtle?

Did you have any questions for me? You should feel free to ask as many questions as you want. I don't mind. I'm here to help.

If I have helped don't forget to leave a positive review! :)


I might not be online when you return. That's ok. Just leave your question and a message will be sent to me and I will get back to you when I am online again.

Thanks,
DrRalston