Eyes shut

Rhiannon11

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Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
10
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Manchester
Hi my name is Rhiannon and I have a 4year old horsefield named Clyde and have been having some issues with his health for the past few months now. A few months ago I began to notice that he was not as active as he would usually be and as the weeks went on I noticed he wasn’t eating a great deal either. I tried giving him his favourite foods like blueberries and watermelon but all he wanted to do was to dig and sleep in his corner (his eyes were closed most of the time but I thought this was just due to him sleeping a lot). It had been maybe a month his eyes were very puffy and I’d not seen him open them once so I began getting more worried as this ment he was not eating either; I assume because he could not see the food. I took him to the vets and they said that it was most likely an infection as they tend to close there eyes when they have one and gave me antibiotic injections to give to him every 2 days, they also give me food supplement to tube feed him every day with (well we’re also bathing him once everyday and cleaning his eyes with cotton buds). After finishing the course of injection he was noticeably stronger and had more energy but still preferred to just dig in his corner and his eyes were still closed but slightly less swollen. When we took him back to the vets they said that they notice his nose was a little bit runny so it was A respiratory infection and gave me another corse of antibiotics to give him once every 3 days as well as telling me to continue with his tube feeding and bathing. We have almost finished with this course and I have not seen anymore improvement from him. He’s still peeing and pooping every 2/3days, his pee is usually clear with white in which I have read is healthy and comes from the calcium. We have been monitoring his enclosure closely keeping the temperature at 30C and keeping the soil damp. I have Tried hand feeding him solid food a few times but he never takes, so I have been told to carry on the tube feeding until he is able to eat on his own but I think he doesn’t want to as he can’t see what he’s eating.
I’m begin to become warry of the situation now as I do not feel like it is an infection, or perhaps it was but after the first corse he seemed much better it was just his closed eyes that worried me the most. I feel like they have been fused shut for a while now as we have been trying to gently open them
With the cotten bud with no success - I fee that what I take him back to the vets they will just give me more injections? Any suggestion or advise would be great.
Thank you, Rhiannon.
 

Mystic_Queen (Rosa)

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Eeeek. Injections. Welp.
can I ask where you or the vet has been injecting the tort? It’s not the back legs it is?
@Tom will explain the reasons why it’s not a good idea to have injections in a tort.
a lot of folk on here will tell you soaking is the key.
 

Rhiannon11

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Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
Manchester
We have been using soil or coconut coir as well as some AstroTurf on his cool side. We have a variorum for now but we know this is not the best for him and are getting a table soon but we have been keeping the glass open for better air circulation and the temperature we try to keep it at 30/35C on the heated side and the cooler side being 25C or lower.
 

Pistachio's Pamperer

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What type of light/heat? Those coil light things can cause eye problems.

sorry trying to flush out all the questions that might be asked.

-Meg
 

Rhiannon11

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Manchester
we use a 25w basking bulb and keep it 6/8 inches above the ground as the box suggest for the right temperature, we have a digital thermometer below it to ensure it’s at a constant temperature. Clyde tends to come out in the morning and sit directly under the light for about an hour and then will return back to his corner or have a walk around. We are swapping the bulbs out every 6months also.
 

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Rhiannon11

New Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Manchester
Great thanks do you have any suggestions on where I can get a better bulb or what kind to get?
I have been using these kinds of bulbs since I got him 4 years ago but hes only been showing these problems in the the past couple of months.
 

Pistachio's Pamperer

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393
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CHE-ceramic heat emitter:: http://www.lllreptile.com/products/34-zoo-med-60-watt-ceramic-heater

There is debate about basking lamps.. But I use something similar to these links.. you can also use heat lamps like are used for baby chicks and they are cheaper.. http://www.lllreptile.com/products/47-zoo-med-50-watt-basking-bulb and http://www.lllreptile.com/products/35430-zoo-med-80-watt-powersun-uvb-heat-bulb

my strip lights:: http://www.lllreptile.com/products/27662-zoo-med-14-t5-high-output-terrarium-hood

-Meg
 

Pistachio's Pamperer

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That's the thing that is weird too.. those lights affect some tortoises and others seem to not be bothered.. and some the time frames are different.. I don't have an answer for you unfortunately. I just know I have read a lot on the forum about them and was warned to stay away from them.

-Meg
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Hi my name is Rhiannon and I have a 4year old horsefield named Clyde and have been having some issues with his health for the past few months now. A few months ago I began to notice that he was not as active as he would usually be and as the weeks went on I noticed he wasn’t eating a great deal either. I tried giving him his favourite foods like blueberries and watermelon but all he wanted to do was to dig and sleep in his corner (his eyes were closed most of the time but I thought this was just due to him sleeping a lot). It had been maybe a month his eyes were very puffy and I’d not seen him open them once so I began getting more worried as this ment he was not eating either; I assume because he could not see the food. I took him to the vets and they said that it was most likely an infection as they tend to close there eyes when they have one and gave me antibiotic injections to give to him every 2 days, they also give me food supplement to tube feed him every day with (well we’re also bathing him once everyday and cleaning his eyes with cotton buds). After finishing the course of injection he was noticeably stronger and had more energy but still preferred to just dig in his corner and his eyes were still closed but slightly less swollen. When we took him back to the vets they said that they notice his nose was a little bit runny so it was A respiratory infection and gave me another corse of antibiotics to give him once every 3 days as well as telling me to continue with his tube feeding and bathing. We have almost finished with this course and I have not seen anymore improvement from him. He’s still peeing and pooping every 2/3days, his pee is usually clear with white in which I have read is healthy and comes from the calcium. We have been monitoring his enclosure closely keeping the temperature at 30C and keeping the soil damp. I have Tried hand feeding him solid food a few times but he never takes, so I have been told to carry on the tube feeding until he is able to eat on his own but I think he doesn’t want to as he can’t see what he’s eating.
I’m begin to become warry of the situation now as I do not feel like it is an infection, or perhaps it was but after the first corse he seemed much better it was just his closed eyes that worried me the most. I feel like they have been fused shut for a while now as we have been trying to gently open them
With the cotten bud with no success - I fee that what I take him back to the vets they will just give me more injections? Any suggestion or advise would be great.
Thank you, Rhiannon.
Ugh... This illustrates my problem with vets...

Did they even ask you or try to determine WHY the tortoise was having eye issues? Undomesticated animals, like tortoises, don't just get sick for no reason. Something is wrong, and that something CAUSED the eye issue. Instead of treating the symptoms with harsh drugs that often do more harm than good, they should have tried to determine what the PROBLEM was. Fix the problem and the symptoms go away without the harsh meds.

Now, you and the vets have created a horrid mess that this tortoise will probably not recover from. Those antibiotics wreak havoc on the intestinal flora and fauna of a tortoise. Now you've done two courses. And you are also feeding the tortoise fruit, which also upsets their intestinal flora and fauna. On top of those problems, you are forcing food into the tortoise against its will and this is extremely stressful to them. When they don't willingly eat, there is a problem. Shoving food down their throat is not the solution, and usually makes things worse. They aren't eating because their body can't process the food for one reason or another.

Are few other points: The white stuff in the poo is urates. It is concentrated waste products left over from protein digestion. It has nothing to do with calcium.

You said the temp is 30C. Where is it 30C? There are four temperatures to be concerned with: Warm side, cool side, basking area, and over night low.

What heating and lighting equipment are you using? UV bulb? What type and at what distance over the tortoise?

What needs to happen now, and what should have happened in the first place, is to figure out what is wrong in this tortoises environment, correct that problem, and give the tortoise some peace and quiet to recover if it still can. Continue the daily soaks, but stop force feeding. Put out the right foods and the tortoise will eat or it won't. Enticing it to eat with foods that are bad for it will help nothing. Correcting the problem that is making it not want to eat is what will make it eat.

Forgive my frustration. No one is born knowing this stuff, but I wish there was a way to teach more people this stuff. I (we) see this sort of thing ALL the time here, and it is unbearably frustrating. That vet charged you a whole bunch of money, did nothing to address or correct the problem, made things worse, and eventually might have caused the death of this tortoise. Its infuriating. I know that you meant well and were trying to do the best you can by taking the tortoise to the vet, but that fact doesn't help the tortoise, and neither did the vet.

Here is the correct care info for you to review. In reading this, you might discover one or more problems that could be the sole cause of the issue, or contributing factors. Common mistakes are small enclosures, wrong bulbs, wrong temperatures, wrong substrate, wrong foods... Let's see if we can figure out what went wrong before the vets compounded the problem and made things worse.
 

Pistachio's Pamperer

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Joined
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Messages
393
Location (City and/or State)
New Mexico
Hang in there.. I asked for help from some folks that are in your part of world. Because I don't know where to suggest you look/buy. Here I can tell ppl to use chewy/LLC REPTILE and some others, but for you I don't know unfortunately.

-Meg
 

Rhiannon11

New Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
Manchester
Thankyou Meg.

Tom Thank you for the advise, I do now feel that the light is the issue and I will try to fix this immediately. What bulb would you recommend we use? a two in one basking/uv bulb?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
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Joined
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Messages
54,428
Location (City and/or State)
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Thankyou Meg.

Tom Thank you for the advise, I do now feel that the light is the issue and I will try to fix this immediately. What bulb would you recommend we use? a two in one basking/uv bulb?
No. Those aren't good over tortoises and will also tend to over heat a viv. And there is nothing wrong with a viv, as long as it is large enough. Vivs are a better way to start tortoises.

Lighting, heating, UV, and all of this other stuff is explained in more detail in the care sheet I linked.

I don't mean to be short or terse with you, I'm just sad that you are having to go through this, and also sad for your tortoise. This happens all the time and despite my efforts, I feel powerless to stop it.
 

Rhiannon11

New Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
Manchester
Warm side 30C
Cool side 20/25C
Basking 35/40C directly under bulb
And around 20C of a night but has been varying lately due to the warm temperature we have been having lately so we have been bathing him regularly.
 
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