Have A Turtle Throwing Up? Here Are The Issues & What To Do

There’s nothing worse than seeing your pet suffering or struggling, especially when it seems like they might be getting sick. If you’ve noticed your yellow-bellied slider having vomiting issues, you will want to know what to do.

Yellow-bellied sliders may vomit because they have eaten too much, they are stressed, or their tank conditions are not ideal. In some cases, it can be because of an infection or illness. You should make sure that all of your turtle’s needs are being met and contact a vet if the vomiting continues.

This article will tell you everything that you need to know about yellow-bellied slider vomiting issues, including what you should do if you notice this occurring with your turtle.

Why Are They Throwing Up?

The first thing that you want to figure out is why your turtle is throwing up in the first place. There can be several different causes of yellow-bellied slider vomiting issues and some are more serious than others.

Your yellow-bellied slider may be throwing up because:

  • They are overfed
  • They are stressed
  • The water in their tank is dirty or too cold
  • They have eaten spoiled food
  • There is an obstruction in their digestive system
  • They have an infection, parasite, or illness

At the end of the day, your turtle is most likely trying to rid its body of something that it doesn’t want in its system. This can be a simple one-off occasion, or it can be a symptom of an ongoing problem that you need to address.

Is It Normal for Them to Throw Up?

Like any other creature, turtles will throw up every now and then and it is not necessarily cause for alarm. You should, however, try to identify why it has happened and keep an eye on your yellow belly to see if it happens again.

It is not normal for your turtle to be vomiting regularly.

What If They Are Throwing Up Too Much?

If your slider throws up multiple times, it is a sign that something is not right. If they vomit once or twice, it may just be a case of them expelling something that didn’t agree with them, such as spoiled food or food that they are not used to.

Regular vomiting, however, is an issue that you should look to address.

Should I Do Something About It?

If your turtle throws up once, you should keep an eye on them. If you notice it happening more often, then you need to do something about it. There are a few main areas that you should address to make sure your slider is okay.


First, make sure that you are feeding your turtle properly. Too much food can lead to overeating and vomiting, and spoiled foods can cause them to be sick as well. Be cautious when changing your slider’s diet as new foods can be a shock to their system.

It is also possible that your turtle is trying to eat things that are too large for them to swallow comfortably, leading to gastrointestinal obstruction. Make sure that they are not swallowing large pieces of food.


The next thing to do is ensure that their environment is suitable and safe. Low water temperatures are a common cause of lethargy and sickness in turtles – sliders need a water temperature of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The water in their tank also needs to be kept clean to avoid contamination.


Make sure that your turtle is not becoming stressed. They should be able to rest, relax and bask throughout the day, but also feel comfortable enough to be active.

Turtles can throw up from the stress of feeling threatened by other pets or being handled too often, particularly if they are picked up too soon after eating.

Infection, Parasite, or Illness

There are all kinds of parasites, infections, and illnesses that may cause your turtle to throw up. If they are vomiting regularly, then you definitely need to have your slider examined by a vet. This is particularly important if they are throwing up even when they are not eating.

Other signs that your slider may be ill in some way include swelling around the eyes, excess discharge, and general lethargy.

Will They Be Okay?

While vomiting from eating too much food is not likely to cause any real damage to your turtle, continuous vomiting can be a sign of something more serious. If your turtle is vomiting on a regular basis, there is a good chance that they are not well and need to see a vet.

Most of the causes of vomiting can be treated relatively easily and your turtle will be happy and healthy again in no time.

What Should I Do to Prevent It from Happening?

Though you can’t avoid the possibility entirely, you can certainly do a lot to reduce the likelihood of your turtle being sick. Maintaining the right water temperature and tank conditions, ensuring a healthy and suitable diet, and removing any possible causes of stress are great ways to prevent vomiting.

At the end of the day, though, illness can happen. Even if conditions seem perfect, you should be keeping a close eye on the well-being of your turtle.

Conclusion: Yellow-Bellied Slider Vomiting Issues

Vomiting is not uncommon among yellow-bellied sliders, but it is something that you should be cautious about if you notice it happening. It may simply be that they have eaten too much or are unused to the food that they are consuming, or it may be a sign of a more serious problem.

Ensuring a healthy and safe diet and environment will help to reduce the likelihood of vomiting. If your turtle does throw up on multiple occasions, though, you should get in touch with a veterinarian to determine the exact cause.


Chris is a reptile enthusiast, breeder, and blogger from the Milwaukee, WI area. After breeding hundreds of bearded dragons to supply local pet stores and owning many other types of reptiles, he is now focused on sharing knowledge to help owners properly care for their little reptiles friends.

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