Eye Infection

ASOBlueRose

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Hello everyone, I haven't posted here often in the past which I know is a bad habit, but since my last post my little Hermann's Tortoise Dante sadly died of a parasite that we think came with him from the breeder, needless to say I shan't be getting another pet from any online store ever again.

Now, I did buy a Russian Tortoise, her name is Zarya, she has been with us for a few months now but sadly has developed an eye infection in one eye after some dirt got stuck in there. I have been using Zoo Med's eye drops to treat the infection and have been bathing her in a multivitamin to try and help with the infection, but so far I haven't seen any notable improvement.

It doesn't help either that my mother is getting increasingly more and more worried about her too, I'm trying everything I possibly can to make Zarya's life easier, she's going to the vets next week, but I was wondering if there was anything more I could do? Or if there was any way I could prove to my mother that she has indeed been eating food, she doesn't believe me that she has (despite me having seen her in her food bowl). She keeps worrying that she's dying every time she goes under her heat lamp to sunbathe since that was where we found Dante, our previous tortoise, dead even though it was confirmed that he had succumbed to a parasite. She also says that she shouldn't be under the light with her eye as it makes the infection worse, I am not sure if that is true or not but I was just under the impression tortoises like to sunbathe, if she shouldn't be doing that please let me know otherwise...

Either way this has all grown into one giant headache, and I was wondering if anybody had any advice at all?
 

Kasia

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What is your setup, temperatures and lightning? If you can post a picture :)
 

ASOBlueRose

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Tropical 25 UVB with Zoo Med bulb (not coiled), Halogen minibulb 25 watts, temperature is around mid 70's.

You'll have to forgive the mess in the picture, she does seem to attack her food a lot lol
 

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Eduardo Hernandez

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While I'm not sure what's wrong with her eyes, I can point out some other things you could change. Fruits of any kind should not be fed, as it can create a parasite bloom as Russians are not able to handle the sugars in fruit. Those ramped water bowls are a tipping hazard, a terra cotta saucer is a much better alternative. You might also want to think about getting a bigger enclosure, generally 8 feet by 4 feet is what is recommended. What are you using to check your temps and humidity? The plastic dials sold at pet stores are very inaccurate.
 

ASOBlueRose

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Please don't judge - fruits weren't my idea, they were my mothers just to try and get her interested in her food (even though again, I have seen her eating her dandelion leaves/weeds) I got her the ramped bowl since it just contains the water better in my opinion, as for the temperatures the plastic dial was the only thing available but I have noticed it is generally accurate in accordance with our thermostat. I don't have anything to check the humidity but I do mist daily every morning.

Also just as a side note, I don't give her tap water as our water quality here is garbage, I give her bottled spring water. Not sure if that detail is important or not but I'm sure nobody on this website would give their tortie swimming pool water to drink, but that is basically what comes out of our taps, hence bottled water.
 

Taylor T.

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I agree with everything @Eduardo Hernandez pointed out, however, I will add that the substrate looks very dry and dusty, and, if it got into his eyes it could further irritate them. Misting the substrate is not going to make it moist enough to not be dusty. Instead, try pouring water into it and packing it down with your hand.

As for the water dish, it may contain the water better, but in addition to being a tipping hazard, it is also very difficult for a tortoise to climb in and out of. Terra Cotta dishes are both easier for him to access, and he can see the water inside it, which I believe makes them more likely to drink from it. If you are completely adverse to using a different water dish, at least sink it into the substrate to make it easier for him.

Soaking is always beneficial, and the water may be soothing on his eyes.

Try to tell you mother that fruit will only make the situation worse.

Yes, tortoises do bask, but if he is under is lamp constantly, then it most likely means that his enclosure is too cold.
 

ASOBlueRose

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Would soaking the substrate with warm water bring up both the temperature and humidity at the same time?
 

Eduardo Hernandez

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I apologize, I did not mean to sound rude. Just wanted to point out some things that could eventually lead to problems :) Adding warm water to the substrate will raise humidity, but I'm not sure it would make much of a difference in terms of temperature. Another reason why the dial thermometers aren't useful is because they are placed so high up. You want the temps at tort level, because even an inch or two higher could be hotter/colder.
 

ASOBlueRose

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My mother has been banging on at me to buy a heatpad to put underneath the enclosure, but as you can see the enclosure is wooden and I'm not 100% sure thats a good idea. Thoughts on that?

Also, I do have rocks in the enclosure, if I heated those up would that help?
 

Bee62

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Hello,

your temp in the whole enclosure of your tort of mid 70 F is too cold. Tortoises need a basking spot with 100 F.
The "colder" side could be at 75 F.
Heatpads are not good for tortoises. They need warmth from above. Buy a bulb with more watt for a good basking spot for your tort.
When your substrate is wet without increasing the temps, your tort will get sick ! A RI might be the result.
 

ASOBlueRose

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I've closed the vents in my room and turned on a few electronics, fingers crossed the temperature should come up soon...
 

ASOBlueRose

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Quick update, and another couple of questions if anybody can answer them.

Over the past couple of days Zarya hasn't been as active as she used to be, my mother thinks she is dying but I found dirt in her water bowl this morning and normally that would never be there unless she went into it due to the ramp and how its got the walls on it as you can see in my pictures, I have closed off the air conditioning vents in the room so there's no more cool air coming into the room and making things chilly, I put her food down not too long ago but she didn't go over there and eat it so I put her in it. I'm not sure if she ate or not but when I returned she was stretched out underneath her light. My mother says I should take her outside but I realize that recently she has been being handled quite bit, with having to put the eye drops on and having a bath too, I see a lot of people saying on different threads here that their tortoises like to come up to them and stuff... Yeah Zarya doesn't do that at all with me.

Is she scared of us? Am I handling her too much? Should I take her outside?

I took her outside yesterday and she was fairly active but like I said before, I fear I'm handling her too much and as a result she may be scared of us...

EDIT: Also, upon the advice of people in the thread I took a glass of warm water and spread it around the substrate yesterday too
 
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Kasia

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Honestly I would take her out for a bit. Tortoise usually perk up a bit when out. Maybe she will graze on something...if the temperature is high enough I would go for it and see how she likes it.
 

ASOBlueRose

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Its 74 outside right now, when I took her outside yesterday she wandered around and pooped twice, didn't eat anything though when she was out there.
 

Kasia

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74 f and sunny is ok for a walk. It's a good singh that she is active outside:)
 

ASOBlueRose

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UPDATE: I took Zarya outside for two hours in the garden, she didn't eat anything as far as I could see but she did do a lot of exploring, it was very sunny out there too and I think it woke her up a bit because that is the most active I have seen her ever since her poor eye got infected, still I'm glad she did get to explore and was so active because it is rather encouraging. Perhaps I will just try to take her out more often from now on, since it seemed to do her a world of good.
 
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