Do Turtles Burp? Is it Healthy?

Different turtles species have been known to make some strange noises that pet owners wouldn’t expect out of a turtle’s mouth. However, it is true that turtles, like other living beings, make some sounds due to their life activity. So, do turtles burp? 

Yes, turtles do burp. It is not a serious health condition or a problem that needs to be solved. Turtles just burb like every other living being. However, if you want to find out more about this phenomenon, read the article below to discover everything there is to know about turtles and burping. Enjoy!

Do Turtles Actually Burp?

Yes, turtles do actually burp. It is actually a common thing for some species or even some particular turtles. Turtles burp for various reasons, swallowing air being the most common and less dangerous of them. Also, turtles can cough and breath out large balls of air. All these symptoms are often mistaken for burping. 

Why do They do That?

a close-up photo of a turtle

There are some reasons a turtle is burping. First of all, your turtle got too much air in its digestive tract while eating. It is a common reason for your turtle to burp. While eating, your turtle is practically swallowing little balls of air that need to get out before the digestive tract starts its process of digesting and absorbing food. While the cloaca is too far away for the air to get out there, the mouth is right there. So, your turtle burps. 

Another thing that would make a turtle burp is the inability to submerge. As you may know, large bubbles of air float into the water. So, when a turtle has some air in its system, it is harder to submerge and swim underwater. That is a good reason for your turtle to burp. While there are no studies that prove this theory, many people on different forums have discovered that their turtles are burping right before submerging into the water. 

Last but not least, there is bloating. While it is the rarest thing you need to worry about, it is present out there. Bloating can be caused by a wide variety of things. Most commonly, indigestion is the thing that causes bloating. Now, if the bloating happened in the stomach, it is natural for your turtle to burp out all the gazes that happened to be there. However, bloating is commonly happening in the intestines where all the gazes come out of the cloaca. So, if your turtle is burping, the first two reasons are the most common and encountered ones. 

Also read: How Often Do Turtles Poop?

Why Does my Turtle Keep Burping?

The main reason for a turtle to burp is their eating behavior. If your turtle is eating too fast or doesn’t care about the air it is swallowing, your turtle will be burping constantly. If the burping occurs right after the feeding process, you have nothing to worry about. It is caused by the air that your turtle is swallowing during the time it eats.

If there are no other symptoms that can indicate a problem, you have nothing to worry about. For example, if your turtle is eating fine, swimming, and being generally active, there is nothing wrong with your turtle. However, if your turtle becomes inactive, isn’t eating, and is burping and coughing, there might be some problems. 

Should You Be Worried About Your Turtle Burping?

a tortoise on a rock

No, burping is a normal process that cannot indicate serious problems and is often caused by minor issues like swallowing air or such things. However, if your turtle is doing it constantly and, in addition to burping, is starting to lose its appetite, cough, and become inactive, it can be a more serious problem. 

Possible Health Issues

While burping isn’t a good enough indicator that you should be worried about your turtle’s health, it can, in tandem with other symptoms, mean something. Here are the most serious health issues burping can be a symptom. 

Indigestion is the first thing you should worry about if your turtle is constantly burping. Indigestion is caused by the fact that your turtle’s stomach cannot digest the food there is in it. Therefore, the food remains indigested and is starting to rot. The rotting process is often related to a lot of gas that is coming out of the food. This gas is causing your turtle to burp so much. 

Another thing there is to worry about when you encounter burping is various respiratory infections. Technically, your turtle cannot burp due to respiratory infections. However, they do cause a large bubble to come out of your turtle’s mouth and nose so many pet owners mistake them for burping. Respiratory infections are dangerous and their treatment requires stable medication and a good diet. The most common symptoms of respiratory infections are bubbles coming out of your turtle’s mouth, their inability to submerge, coughing, and a lot of mucus. 

Water in the lungs. Yes, it is also a health issue that can cause burping and coughing. Turtles can often take a little water in their lungs while breathing or eating. While it isn’t particularly normal, you have nothing to worry about if it is a small amount of water. However, if your turtle breathed a large amount of water, you need to make a visit to the nearest veterinarian so he can take a look at your turtle’s lungs. 

Also Read: Do Turtles Fart?

When to Take Your Turtle to a Veterinarian

Burping alone isn’t a good enough reason to take your turtle to the veterinarian. Burping can happen due to the smallest reason. Your turtle can either swallow a little air during the feeding process or breathe some water down its lungs. It is nothing to worry about, your turtle will cough a little bit and that’s it, no more burping or coughing. 

However, if the burping and coughing are accompanied by some serious problems, it is time to consult a veterinarian. For example, if your turtle stopped eating for no reason, changed its behavior, and isn’t swimming as much as before, you should definitely consult a veterinarian. 

Dorothy Razo

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