Help. (doesn't eat, eyes are closed)

Nurstradamus

New Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Oakland CA
My 1 yr old tortoise is not eating nor hasn’t done in about a month & his eyes are constantly closed.
First, my introduction.... I have 4 tortoises: 2 adult red foots (male and female - male loves to chase female around the house), one star tortoise hatchling, and one leopard hatchling. I have had tortoises for 30 years. I had the same problem with my male red foot tortoise who is now 15 years old and quite large! He was lethargic and not eating for about 4 months. four months is a very long time. IMHO, your little guy is at risk and it will take too much time to turn this around yourself. I took mine to the vet. He was given vitamin injections and antibiotics. This cleared everything up and then I was able to take the measures people are suggesting to keep him healthy. I would like to hear updates on your situation.

My 1 yr old tortoise is not eating nor hasn’t done in about a month & his eyes are constantly closed.
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
34
Location (City and/or State)
Omaha, Nebraska
First, my introduction.... I have 4 tortoises: 2 adult red foots (male and female - male loves to chase female around the house), one star tortoise hatchling, and one leopard hatchling. I have had tortoises for 30 years. I had the same problem with my male red foot tortoise who is now 15 years old and quite large! He was lethargic and not eating for about 4 months. four months is a very long time. IMHO, your little guy is at risk and it will take too much time to turn this around yourself. I took mine to the vet. He was given vitamin injections and antibiotics. This cleared everything up and then I was able to take the measures people are suggesting to keep him healthy. I would like to hear updates on your situation.
Erinsher,

I would most definitely agree that a vet visit MAY be in order for your little guy, but I feel that making the adjustments that have been discussed first, and as quickly as possible, makes more "financial sense" at this point.

It's not always about money, and the health of your tortoise would certainly trump a vet bill, but based on your pictures (especially with his recent improvements), I don't believe you are at the point of a vet visit just yet. This is just my honest opinion.

Since we have identified several clear items that need to be adjusted immediately, I think it's completely reasonable to make those adjustments first, then watch for improvements.

If the little guy improves, perks right up, eyes are open, and he's eating regularly, then I feel a vet visit would be unwarranted. Additionally, since we're all stuck at home anyway, you can keep a very close eye on him to also know if what is going in is coming out and that there are no signs of diarrhea or intestinal blockage.

Lastly, check the hardness of his shell. Give him a VERY gentle squeeze between your thumb and forefinger from side-to-side and top-to-bottom. If his shell is still firm, then I believe you have time to simply monitor him closely at this point.

Again, I'll stress that it should be a gentle squeeze. You aren't actually "trying" to squish him, you're really just testing for hardness and whether the shell "gives" too easily.

Now, if you do feel it's a bit soft or maybe it flexes a bit too easily, then absolutely...that 's a vet visit immediately.

My tortoise had the EXACT symptoms as yours, white swollen eyes, wouldn't eat for roughly a month, stayed hidden nearly 100% of the time; however, shell was still hard.

I fixed the humidity, did daily soaks for a week, used the Turtle Eye Drops every day, and within only a few days he had his eyes open, stopped hiding/burrowing, began eating regularly and was overall vastly improved.

Then, I took him to the vet anyway because I was inexperienced and still worried. The vet said I'm doing everything right, he looks great, recommended a treat that he may like, and charged me 80 bucks.

I think you still have time to turn it around, give it a week, and if it's still bad, then most definitely take him to a vet that specializes in and treats reptiles.
 
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