what to do if tortoise flips over

What to do if a Tortoise Flips Over: Tips for Animal Rescue

If you have a tortoise as a pet, it is important to know what to do if it flips over. Tortoises can flip over for many reasons, including being startled, trying to get out of the sun, or becoming ill. In this blog post, we will explain what to do if your tortoise flips over, and how to help get it back on its feet.

What to do if Tortoise Flips Over?

It is important to remember that tortoises can flip over for many reasons, so if your tortoise flips over, don’t panic! While it may look alarming, it’s actually not too difficult to right a flipped tortoise. Take the following steps:

  • First, make sure that the tortoise is on its back and not on its side or stomach.
  • If the tortoise is on its side or stomach, gently roll it onto its back.
  • Once the tortoise is on its back, you can begin the flipping process.
  • Turn the tortoise over very slowly and carefully. Do not try to pick it up by the shell; use both hands to lift it from underneath.
  • If the tortoise is responsive, place it in a cool, dark area and offer it water.
  • If the tortoise is unresponsive, call a veterinarian or animal rescue immediately.

It may take a few tries to get the tortoise flipping correctly, but eventually, you’ll be able to do it! Just be patient and gentle, and your tortoise will be back to normal in no time.

What happens if my tortoise flips over?

If your tortoise flips over, don’t panic! Most likely, they’ll be able to right themselves and carry on as normal. However, if they seem to be having difficulty flipping back over, you can help them by gently pushing them back onto their feet. Be careful not to put too much pressure on their shell, as this could cause injury.

If your tortoise is struggling to stay upright, it’s possible that they’re suffering from a condition known as ‘pyramiding’. This is when the growth of the shell is uneven, causing it to become misshapen. If your tortoise is pyramiding, it may need special care and treatment from a veterinarian. In severe cases, surgery may be required. So, if your tortoise flips over, don’t worry – just take a few minutes to assess their condition and see if they need any help. If they do, don’t hesitate to reach out for help!

How long can a tortoise stay flipped over?

Tortoises are adapted to live on land, and their shell provides them with protection from predators and the elements. However, this same shell can also be a liability if a tortoise is flipped over onto its back. While most tortoises are able to right themselves, some smaller species may become stuck and unable to move.

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In addition, a tortoise that is flipped over for an extended period of time may become dehydrated or overheat. As a result, it is important to check on your tortoise regularly to ensure that it has not been turned over.

As far as time is concerned, an upside-down tortoise can survive around an hour. But, again, it depends on the size and the species of your tortoise. Larger tortoises can get right themselves, but smaller ones may find it difficult to do so. As a result, they can get dehydrated. And, if they are under direct light, they can get dehydrated even sooner.

Can a tortoise survive a fall?

A tortoise is a land-dwelling reptile with a hard, protective shell. Most tortoises are herbivorous, and they can live for many years, with some species reaching an age of 100 years or more. Given their long lifespan and slow metabolism, tortoises are often viewed as low-maintenance pets.

However, they do require special care, and one of the biggest dangers to tortoises is a fall. While a fall from a low height might not cause serious injury, a tortoise that falls from a significant height is at risk of significant internal damage, broken bones, or even death.

As a result, it is important to take care when handling a tortoise and to provide them with a safe environment in which to live. If you are concerned that your tortoise has fallen and may be injured, here are some tips for animal rescue:

  • If the tortoise is not moving, it may be unconscious or have a broken bone. In this case, you should call a veterinarian immediately.
  • If the tortoise is moving, try to gently place it in a box or carrier and take it to a veterinarian.
  • Do not try to move the tortoise if you are not confident that you can do so safely.
  • If possible, keep a record of the fall height and any other information that might be helpful to the veterinarian.

How to spot a tortoise that needs medical attention?

tortoise just chillin

While tortoises are relatively low-maintenance pets, they still require some basic care in order to stay healthy. One important aspect of tortoise care is knowing how to spot signs of illness. Some common symptoms of a sick tortoise include lethargy, decreased appetite, and excessive mucus production. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take your pet to the vet for a checkup.

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In addition, it’s a good idea to perform regular visual inspections of your tortoise. This will help you to catch any potential problems early on. Look for any growths or bumps on the shell, and check that the eyes and nose are clear. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian.


Tortoises are land-dwelling reptiles that require a great deal of care. While they may seem low-maintenance, they are still susceptible to injury and illness. If you have a tortoise, it is important to learn how to spot signs of illness and provide them with a safe environment in which to live. If your tortoise fips over, follow the above steps to ensure it remains safe and responsive. It is important not only for your pet but yourself as well to be educated about these things in order to ensure a long and healthy relationship. Thank you for reading!


Can tortoiseshell break?

No, the tortoiseshell is very sturdy and can’t break easily.

What do I do if the tortoise isn’t moving?

If the tortoise is not moving, it may be unconscious. Try to gently roll it onto its back and hold it in that position until help arrives.

Can I do a routine check-up of my tortoise at home?

Yes, you can do a routine check-up of your tortoise at home. Check to make sure its shell is clean and free of dirt, parasites, and injuries. Look for any signs of illness, such as wheezing or discharge from the nose or eyes. Observe the animal’s eating habits and bowel movements.

Is it compulsory for a tortoise to mate?

No, it is not compulsory for a tortoise to mate. However, if you do not want your tortoise to breed, you will need to remove the male from the female’s enclosure.

What do I do if my tortoise won’t eat?

If your tortoise won’t eat, there may be a problem with its diet or environment. Try offering it a different food or changing the temperature or humidity in its enclosure. If the problem persists, consult a veterinarian.

What should I do if my tortoise starts wheezing?

If your tortoise starts wheezing, there may be a problem with its environment or diet. Try adjusting the temperature or humidity in its enclosure, or offer it a different food. If the problem persists, consult a veterinarian.

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