One of my Tortoises eyes won't open!

LeeAnn Carpenter

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I got my Russian Tortoise yesterday, when i got him one of his eyes opened less. Now one of his eyes can barely stay open for a second at most when it opens. He was out of his habitat all day, we took him to the pet store and they said to get his eye wet. It is starting to look a little better but I can't totally tell. He hasn't been eating much. We accidentally left his uvb light on all night. The humidity in the tank is at like 48 and the temp is 70 degrees Fahrenheit. I'm really scared and I don't know what to do. We soaked him 4 times today and his eye is a little swollen. He is very tired too. I will try anything, I am so scared for him!
 

Tom

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Pet stores are the worst place to get a tortoise and they are notorious for giving bad care info and selling bad products. But lets get past that and see if we can help your tortoise.

What type of UV bulb are you using? Coil type? Those can burn there eyes and shouldn't be used.

Where is it 70 in his enclosure? There are 4 temps to know and adjust. Warm side, cool side, basking area and over night low.

Give these a read:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
 

LeeAnn Carpenter

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Pet stores are the worst place to get a tortoise and they are notorious for giving bad care info and selling bad products. But lets get past that and see if we can help your tortoise.

What type of UV bulb are you using? Coil type? Those can burn there eyes and shouldn't be used.

Where is it 70 in his enclosure? There are 4 temps to know and adjust. Warm side, cool side, basking area and over night low.

Give these a read:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
It is a coil bulb, the guy at the pet store suggested it. It is 70 at the highest temperature during the day in the center of the tank. What do I do about the uvb bulb
 

sibi

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Oh my, you need to get rid of that coil bulb. It has been known to cause swelling and temporary blindness in many torts. See if you can return it and get either a uvb tubular bulb or a mercury vapor bulb 100w. The thing with the tube type is that it won't provide heat and you'll need to get another type of bulb to provide that. Also, the tube bulb will need a lamp to put it in. The Mercury Vapor bulb provides both heat and UV, but it's pricey. That's what I think is your baby's problem. It's that bulb! Stop using it and replace it immediately. Also, follow Tom's threads that he provided. It will help you raise your baby healthy and happy.
 
M

Maggie Cummings

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He's too cold and the coil bulb causes blindness. Just put in an ordinary incandescent bulb until you can get a Powersun. One of those coil bulbs made a yearling Sulcata that I had blind. Get rid of that bulb and up the temps
 

KevinGG

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Please read those care sheets. Your tortoise will be much healthier and will likely prevent future health problems. Regarding the eye problems, get rid of the coil bulb. The other thing I'd recommend is to make sure you have substrate that isn't dry and/or dusty. If it is, just add water until it's no longer dusty. Seen a lot of eyes open with just this one change. Daily soaks wouldn't hurt either.
 

LeeAnn Carpenter

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Alright, I am getting another heater tomorrow to fix temperature problem. I am going to place a small humidifier near enclosure to get humidity levels up. Ian getting a new bulb tomorrow. I will soak him 2-4 times a day with carrot baby food mixed in the water. I will try to get him to drink more, and I will add water to the substrate to make it more moist. Thank you for all of your guys' help! if you have any other things let me know and i will do it!
 

Tom

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It is a coil bulb, the guy at the pet store suggested it. It is 70 at the highest temperature during the day in the center of the tank. What do I do about the uvb bulb

Read those links for how to set him up properly and what the temperatures should be.

Return that bulb and any other useless or dangerous stuff the pet store sold you and don't be shy about telling them why you are returning it. They need to learn from their mistakes and stop doing this.
 

LeeAnn Carpenter

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Read those links for how to set him up properly and what the temperatures should be.

Return that bulb and any other useless or dangerous stuff the pet store sold you and don't be shy about telling them why you are returning it. They need to learn from their mistakes and stop doing this.
Thank you, I'm going to get an additional heater tomorrow. I hope that it is just temporary. It has only affected the eye that faces the bulb the most where he sleeps. I will be sure to post some pictures for you guys when he gets healthy! His name is FlashMyrtle the Turtle
 

sibi

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Thank you, I'm going to get an additional heater tomorrow. I hope that it is just temporary. It has only affected the eye that faces the bulb the most where he sleeps. I will be sure to post some pictures for you guys when he gets healthy! His name is FlashMyrtle the Turtle
There shouldn't be a bulb on at night. Also, I would not use the humidifier until you have a heat source. Cold humid air can cause respiratory problems. For nights, you can buy a ceramic heat emitter (CHE) that provides heat without the light. So, if you're getting another bulb tomorrow, then wait on the humidifier til then. What you could do is soak him 2-3 times daily especially the last one being before putting him to sleep.
 

LeeAnn Carpenter

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There shouldn't be a bulb on at night. Also, I would not use the humidifier until you have a heat source. Cold humid air can cause respiratory problems. For nights, you can buy a ceramic heat emitter (CHE) that provides heat without the light. So, if you're getting another bulb tomorrow, then wait on the humidifier til then. What you could do is soak him 2-3 times daily especially the last one being before putting him to sleep.
Thank you so much! Flashmyrtle the turtle is my Christmas gift. I'm 13 and my mom made me an account. I appreciate your advice so much. I wet the substrate with warm water and it brought the humidity up to a better level. The heat also went up. I will get a bulb for heat that gives off no light and I am getting a new uvb light asap. It has a heater on the bottom that is one of those heat pads. If a anybody has any other advice for me it is greatly appreciated
 

sibi

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Thank you so much! Flashmyrtle the turtle is my Christmas gift. I'm 13 and my mom made me an account. I appreciate your advice so much. I wet the substrate with warm water and it brought the humidity up to a better level. The heat also went up. I will get a bulb for heat that gives off no light and I am getting a new uvb light asap. It has a heater on the bottom that is one of those heat pads. If a anybody has any other advice for me it is greatly appreciated
I hope the heat pad is not inside the tank or enclosure. If it were to get wet, it can pose a hazard to your baby. Heat pads should be mounted under a tank so it doesn't get wet. When the enclosure is much better, then a safe heat blanket can be purchased if necessary. Those heat blankets are designed to be inside the enclosure and are suppose to be hazardous free.
 

LeeAnn Carpenter

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I hope the heat pad is not inside the tank or enclosure. If it were to get wet, it can pose a hazard to your baby. Heat pads should be mounted under a tank so it doesn't get wet. When the enclosure is much better, then a safe heat blanket can be purchased if necessary. Those heat blankets are designed to be inside the enclosure and are suppose to be hazardous free.
It is not in the enclosure, the instructions say to put it under the tank and I did that but it doesn't heat well, I'm getting a small lamp just to help
 

sibi

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It is not in the enclosure, the instructions say to put it under the tank and I did that but it doesn't heat well, I'm getting a small lamp just to help
That's because the adhesive is not good. The pad needs to be glued to the glass , no gaps. That's why I really don't like them. But when he outgrows that enclosure, perhaps you'll have one made. This forum has great ideas on all kinds of enclosures and how to build one.
 

JoesMum

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LeeAnn, I can't help feeling that photos of your enclosure and lighting would help us to help you.

The following is a pre-prepared post about heat/light then might help you to better understand what your tort needs.

Your tort needs:

1. A basking lamp
This must hang vertically, not at an angle. Basking is essential to raise your tortoise's core temperature so it can digest food. This must be on continuously for 12-14 hours and must not be used with a thermostat. It needs to be 95-100F/35C directly under this lamp at floor level.

2. UVB light
Read the instructions for the source to see how close to the substrate it must be. UVB is essential so your tort can process dietary calcium and have healthy bones and shell. This must also be on for 12-14 hours.

Both 1 and 2 are available from the sun for those able to live outside.

UVB does not pass through glass or perspex(plexiglass) - light must be direct to be effective not through a window. Mesh screening can also interfere with UVB.

3. A minimum overnight temperature (65F for your species) and complete darkness at night to sleep.


Notes

(a) A Mercury Vapor Bulb (MVB) provides combined UVB and Basking. Alternatively you can use 2 bulbs: a tube UVB and a reflector bulb for basking (a household reflector - not low energy or halogen - from a hardware store will do the job; it's the wattage that counts) It must not be used with a thermostat, rheostat or dimmer.

(b) Ignore any references to UVA you may read - it's misleading marketing speak.

(c) Compact coil UVB harms tortoise eyes and must not be used.

(d) Basking and UVB should be on a timer so the light(s) are on for 12 hours a day. Temperature under the basking is regulated by its height above the substrate.

(e) Overnight, depending on your home, you may need additional heat. You get this from a CHE (Ceramic Heat Emitter) which must be on a thermostat.

(f) Torts have outstanding colour vision and love red and purple food. Coloured heat lamps colour tank decor and torts don't always apply intelligence to what they eat, resulting them in eating tank decor. Coloured bulbs should not be used.


Measurements

There are 4 important temperatures that you must know for an indoor enclosure.
- Directly under the basking lamp
- Warm side
- Cool side
- Overnight Minimum

You will need digital thermometers for accuracy.

A temperature gun thermometer (inexpensive from Amazon) measures temperature accurately in specific places like directly under the basking lamp.

A min/max thermometer so you know the min/max temperatures in your home by day and night.

You should also get a good digital probe hygrometer to measure humidity.

Thermometers and hygrometer that stick to the side of the enclosure tend to be less accurate.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Please don't take this added word of caution as even more doom and gloom. But it's been my experience that heat pads and glass tanks aren't a good match for a tortoise. I once had a heat pad explode the glass in a set up like yours when my tortoise flipped over his water bowl and the water seeped into the substrate and touched that hot area.
I have since used heat "ropes because they are just warm to the touch and not hot and when taped to the underside of a glass tank they can help a damp substrate get and stay warm. Damp substrate is heat conductive. Dry is not.
 

LeeAnn Carpenter

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That's because the adhesive is not good. The pad needs to be glued to the glass , no gaps. That's why I really don't like them. But when he outgrows that enclosure, perhaps you'll have one made. This forum has great ideas on all kinds of enclosures and how to build one.
Thank you so much, his eye is already opening. The uvb bulb is out. I am going to get a heat lamp for up above. We are also going to turn the heat in our house up so that it is a little warmer. He will be fine without a uvb bulb for now because his enclosure gets direct sunlight when the blinds are open, we are going to close them so he gets indirect sunlight. Once again thank you for all of you help and advice
 

sibi

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Thank you so much, his eye is already opening. The uvb bulb is out. I am going to get a heat lamp for up above. We are also going to turn the heat in our house up so that it is a little warmer. He will be fine without a uvb bulb for now because his enclosure gets direct sunlight when the blinds are open, we are going to close them so he gets indirect sunlight. Once again thank you for all of you help and advice
Sunlight UVB cannot pass through glass. The only way uvb can be get to your tort is in the open outside. It's probably way too cold to have an open window, and you still have to deal with the glass tank. Please keep that in mind.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Thank you so much, his eye is already opening. The uvb bulb is out. I am going to get a heat lamp for up above. We are also going to turn the heat in our house up so that it is a little warmer. He will be fine without a uvb bulb for now because his enclosure gets direct sunlight when the blinds are open, we are going to close them so he gets indirect sunlight. Once again thank you for all of you help and advice
LeeAnn something else to keep in mind: Sunlight on a glass aquarium can create lots of heat in the wrong situation. Turning your aquarium into a solar cooker.
Be mindful of that. For real sun exposure, I would use a wooden or plastic container and outdoors with areas of shade for the tortoise.
 
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