Turtle First Aid – Drowned Turtle (Steps to take)

Drowned Turtle
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Do you think your turtle has drowned? Don’t panic, they may still be alive but just unconscious. Remember, turtles can be without oxygen for a relatively long period of time.

One important thing to remember is to never turn turtle on its back, because if you do this, you may eliminate it’s only airspace left.

Drowned Turtle – Steps to take

  1. Grasp the turtle’s head behind the ears at the base of the skull and extend the neck completely.
  2. Turn it head-down / tail-up and open its mouth. Some water will drip out.
  3. After the dripping stops, place the turtle on a flat surface (belly-down) keeping its neck extended.
  4. Straighten his front legs and pull them straight towards you as far as they can go.
  5. Keeping the legs straight, push them in as far as they will go.
  6. Continue pulling and pushing until the water stops coming out.
  7. Take the turtle to the vet so they can administer oxygen.

If this happens to your turtle, they usually develop pneumonia which will require antibiotics from a vet.

Drowned Turtle Resuscitated (Video Documentary)

Discussed in the video is how this turtle was discovered unconscious and how it was brought back to life. The turtle is still relatively out of it at this stage and one of the key concerns is if it has any brain damage.


A drowning turtle is no light issue, so if you came here for help we hope the steps above have made a difference. Now, over to you. Do you have any additional advice on this topic, if so please leave a comment below.

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