Does my tortoise have a problem with his eye?

travisTDS

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I recently got this tortoise, little over a week ago, I straight away noticed that his eye seemed to be slightly more shut than the other side, I wasnt sure if maybe there was something wrong with it or that’s just how he is, he seems to be happy, eats regularly and goes to the toilet regularly, has a good consistent sleeping pattern and is pretty active, he has responded well to movements at the side the eye is, which is good, just wondering if it’s anything I should worry about

He is only 8 months old, so still pretty young and small
 

Sarah2020

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Hi and welcome. Please share environment set up and pics paricularly eys and light in use and temperatures. Some bulbs can cause irritation.
 

travisTDS

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Can you include some pics?
Yeah, it’s hard to tell becuase he is so small, it doesn’t look like much difference in the pictures

sorry if they aren’t great quality
 

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Yvonne G

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No, you're right. In fact, both eyes seem a bit squinty, but one more than the other.

A couple things - if you're using a compact fluorescent bulb (spiral-shaped bulb), discard it immediately. They are very harsh on young tortoise eyes; soak your baby daily for about 15 minutes; dip a Q-tip in sterile saline solution and gently rub both eyes, back and forth along the slit.
 

TeamZissou

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What supplements have you been giving? Include the actual brand and product, as well as the amount and feeding frequency. I suppose if you only got it a week ago, you might not know the full history of supplements.

Along with the eye problems, there seems to be quite a bit of skin sloughing in the pics. Vitamin A overdose can cause both skin and eye problems. Unfortunately with small tortoises, it's easy to overdose when using the wrong products.

As Yvonne said, if you are using a compact fluorescent (curly/coiled) bulb for UV, they can cause eye problems as well. If you are using one, just shut it off and don't use it.
 

travisTDS

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No, you're right. In fact, both eyes seem a bit squinty, but one more than the other.

A couple things - if you're using a compact fluorescent bulb (spiral-shaped bulb), discard it immediately. They are very harsh on young tortoise eyes; soak your baby daily for about 15 minutes; dip a Q-tip in sterile saline solution and gently rub both eyes, back and forth along the slit.
Thank you, the UVB bulb I’m using is 10% 30watt UVB bulb, the guy I got to tortoise from said I needed to get a T8 bulb I believe he said it was called so I’m planning on replacing it with that as some point, the heat bulb is just a 100watt basking bulb from pets at home

the temp in the cool side is around 21-22 degrees and the basking side is around 32-34 degrees
 

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travisTDS

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What supplements have you been giving? Include the actual brand and product, as well as the amount and feeding frequency. I suppose if you only got it a week ago, you might not know the full history of supplements.

Along with the eye problems, there seems to be quite a bit of skin sloughing in the pics. Vitamin A overdose can cause both skin and eye problems. Unfortunately with small tortoises, it's easy to overdose when using the wrong products.

As Yvonne said, if you are using a compact fluorescent (curly/coiled) bulb for UV, they can cause eye problems as well. If you are using one, just shut it off and don't use it.
Hi and thanks for the reply, when I went to pick him up I saw he was being feed just lettuce (not sure what type) and carrots, which I know aren’t meant to be fed to them regularly, so not sure on its other food supplements he was eating, he is currently eating dandelion weeds and flowers, as well as kale occasionally, I’ve also got juvenile dandelion pellets that I feed him occasionally.

im trying to mix his food up when I can and still looking for new things to give him so he doesn’t get bored

I wasn’t able to see what lighting on anything they were using with him before I got him, but I’m using a strip light type of UVB bulb at the moment
 

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travisTDS

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Hi and welcome. Please share environment set up and pics paricularly eys and light in use and temperatures. Some bulbs can cause irritation.
Thanks, the cool side is about 21-21 degrees and the hot side is about 32-34 degrees
 

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TeamZissou

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Hi and thanks for the reply, when I went to pick him up I saw he was being feed just lettuce (not sure what type) and carrots, which I know aren’t meant to be fed to them regularly, so not sure on its other food supplements he was eating, he is currently eating dandelion weeds and flowers, as well as kale occasionally, I’ve also got juvenile dandelion pellets that I feed him occasionally.

im trying to mix his food up when I can and still looking for new things to give him so he doesn’t get bored

I wasn’t able to see what lighting on anything they were using with him before I got him, but I’m using a strip light type of UVB bulb at the moment

Well that's good that you're not using the curly style bulb.

I think it's possible that your tort was fed excessive vitamin A before you got it. The skin peeling around the head and armpit in post #4 does not look like normal shedding for an 8 month old. I would keep doing what you're doing with regard to feeding, introducing new stuff etc. to see if the eyes improve over the next couple of weeks. If you are going to supplement, use Rep-cal Herptivite as it does not contain excessive amounts of added pre-formed vitamin A (retinyl acetate) that can cause overdose; rather, it contains beta carotene, which can't cause vitamin A overdose. Nearly all of the supplements on the market contain the wrong kind and too much vitamin A.

Also, here's the care info for your tortoise, in case you haven't seen it:

 

travisTDS

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Thank you for your help! I’m currently using W calcium-dust for him, should I continue to use that?
Sorry it’s hard to read in the picture
 

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queen koopa

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Well that's good that you're not using the curly style bulb.

I think it's possible that your tort was fed excessive vitamin A before you got it. The skin peeling around the head and armpit in post #4 does not look like normal shedding for an 8 month old. I would keep doing what you're doing with regard to feeding, introducing new stuff etc. to see if the eyes improve over the next couple of weeks. If you are going to supplement, use Rep-cal Herptivite as it does not contain excessive amounts of added pre-formed vitamin A (retinyl acetate) that can cause overdose; rather, it contains beta carotene, which can't cause vitamin A overdose. Nearly all of the supplements on the market contain the wrong kind and too much vitamin A.

Also, here's the care info for your tortoise, in case you haven't seen it:

Probably the carrot diet
 

TeamZissou

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Probably the carrot diet

This is unlikely since carrots only contain carotenoids such as beta carotene. From what I have read, humans (and most likely tortoises) cannot overdose on vitamin A via carotenoids because it takes an extra step to convert carotenoids to a usable form vitamin A (retinal) which happens in the liver. Any extra carotenoids don't get converted and are excreted by the body. The problem comes when supplemental vitamin A, as retinyl acetate is given. This does not get converted in the liver and is ready to use. Since tortoises get all they need from their food (greens are loaded with carotenoids), their vitamin A liver stores are overwhelmed and the supplemental vitamin A goes to other places in the body to try to get used, and ends up manifesting as skin and eye problems over time. Single, very high doses of vitamin A can kill a tortoise with one administration, which is why it's a good idea to avoid them at a vet's office. This is why it's better to give supplements that utilize beta carotene as the source of vitamin A, since the risk of overdose is nearly impossible.
 

travisTDS

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This is unlikely since carrots only contain carotenoids such as beta carotene. From what I have read, humans (and most likely tortoises) cannot overdose on vitamin A via carotenoids because it takes an extra step to convert carotenoids to a usable form vitamin A (retinal) which happens in the liver. Any extra carotenoids don't get converted and are excreted by the body. The problem comes when supplemental vitamin A, as retinyl acetate is given. This does not get converted in the liver and is ready to use. Since tortoises get all they need from their food (greens are loaded with carotenoids), their vitamin A liver stores are overwhelmed and the supplemental vitamin A goes to other places in the body to try to get used, and ends up manifesting as skin and eye problems over time. Single, very high doses of vitamin A can kill a tortoise with one administration, which is why it's a good idea to avoid them at a vet's office. This is why it's better to give supplements that utilize beta carotene as the source of vitamin A, since the risk of overdose is nearly impossible.
What would you think would be the cause of my torts eye and skin problems? It seems to be getting better over time though
 

TeamZissou

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That's great! My theory is that before you got it, the tortoise was fed the wrong kind of supplements that were too high in vitamin A. Now that the supplements are no longer being fed, it's processing all the extra vitamin A, and should eventually return to normal.
 

travisTDS

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That's great! My theory is that before you got it, the tortoise was fed the wrong kind of supplements that were too high in vitamin A. Now that the supplements are no longer being fed, it's processing all the extra vitamin A, and should eventually return to normal.
Thank you mate I appreciate it
 
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