Nibble on the turtles' feet

Tortoise Diseases

An overview of the most common posture errors and diseases in Testudo hermanni, T. marginata, T. horsfieldii and T. graeca.

Many diseases lead to certain behavioral changes in their early stages, which an attentive observer can recognize - if he knows what to look out for.

  • Typical side effects of an illness are poor appetite or complete refusal to eat.
  • Many diseases are accompanied by a general weakening. This manifests itself in reluctance to move and decreased body tension. In severe cases, the legs can be so weak that the tank will drag across the ground when you run.
  • Noticeable movements or changes in movement sequences can be a sign of pain.
  • Sick turtles tend to retreat or dig in.
  • The longer the withdrawal lasts, the more severe the disease is usually.
  • In acute infections, they also feel an increased need for warmth. So they look for a warm place and bury themselves there. Sometimes they let the upper part of the shell protrude so far from the earth that it continues to be heated by the sun.
  • Always pay attention to your pet's excrement. Noticeable changes are often the first and most noticeable indication of an illness.

Upon closer inspection, you may be able to see other changes. These show you the way to certain diseases and are therefore the first step towards successful therapy.

Our SYMPTOM-FINDER supports you here.

More than 90% of all reptile diseases are caused by suboptimal housing conditions - this shows how important species-appropriate housing is for the health of our reptiles.

If your turtle is already sick, usually only the vet can help. In addition, however, a consistent improvement of the housing conditions is essential - otherwise the disease can break out again.

The effort will be rewarded with certainty, because great effects can be achieved with even minor improvements in posture.

Here you can find the RECOMMENDED POSITIONS

Typical posture errors:

  • Food with too high a fat and protein content
  • Food with an unsuitable calcium-phosphorus ratio
  • Keeping in the terrarium - instead of in the open-air enclosure
  • Housing conditions that are too dry (especially with young animals!)
  • Refrain from wintering



Rickets, dehydration, gout, urinary tract infection, urinary stones, kidney disease, liver disease, intestinal parasites, diarrhea, constipation, laying difficulty, respiratory disease, runny nose, skin parasites, refusal to eat, malnutrition, obesity (stature)


Conjunctivitis, eye disease, ear abscess, stomatitis, parrot's bill, cardiovascular weakness, gastroenteritis, emaciation, biliary tract disease, pancreatitis, penile and hemipenis disease, cloaca disease, intestinal obstruction, bowel prolapse, joint disease, injury to the musculoskeletal system, injury to skin and connective tissue, injury of the nerves, wound infection, abscess, bacterial skin infection, skin mycosis, tank infection, injury to the tank, hypoglycemia, diabetes, hypothyroidism, anemia, neoplasm, vitamin A overdose, vitamin D overdose, shock, sepsis, burns, overheating, Poisoning, frostbite, posthibernal anorexia, posthibernal sepsis, acute stress, fatigue syndrome


Polyneuropathy, vitamin C deficiency, vitamin E deficiency, vitamin B1 deficiency, chronic stress

Infectious Diseases:  

Herpes virus, URTD, irido virus, oxyurs, hexamites, roundworms, tapeworms