Please help I think my Russian tortoise is sick

SkygreyJordans

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Joined
Apr 28, 2021
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4
Location (City and/or State)
Fortuna CA
Hello, my russian tortoise I have had for a little over 3 years has been acting strange for a month, He is hissing, then going into his shell, then scratches his eyes.
He has been doin this for a while I called the vet and made an appointment around a month ago but it seemed to get better over a few days I watched him closely and he seemed to be good. Now for the past 3 days he has been acting up a lot. He now has a new appointment on the 8th of june I just dont want it to be anything serious.

There is a pic of the temp and humidity

Also the imgur link is a video of him flinching and then stretching his eye this time he did not hiss.

The only thing i think might be doing it is the feathers from pillows in my room setting off his allergies Please Help Thank You!
 

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ZenHerper

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Please post photos of his entire enclosure, and tell us what specific types of heat and light bulbs you are currently using.

What are the basking and ambient temperatures?

Please tell us all of the kinds of foods you feed.

Please post some close up photos of his eyes.
 

SkygreyJordans

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Apr 28, 2021
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Location (City and/or State)
Fortuna CA
I put the temp gauge under the basking lamp will get temp soon.

I use to only feed them Romaine lettuce but added carrots a few months ago.

Here is a pic of the full enclosure and close up of eyes. Enclosure looks messy but the chips were changed out early this month.


HD PICS
 

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ZenHerper

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Your substrate is very dry, and your tort's scales seem a bit dehydrated. Tortoises live down on the ground where it is a bit damp all the time. To reproduce this effect in captivity, pour a quart of water under the heat bulb every day (grab a handful of substrate to make sure it is damp, not wringing wet each morning before your add new water). If your tort does not drink much, soak s/him in warm water every morning for 15 minutes before feeding.

You don't say what kind of uvb bulb you are using. The compact coiled or MVB types are known to focus uvb radiation in a narrow beam. This is like a laser and over time it will cause corneal burns. The safest and most effective uvb bulbs are still the old-style long florescent tubes.

Russian tortoises need a variety of broad leaf weeds. Romaine lettuce contains virtually no nutrition. Carrots contain a lot of sugar, which Russian tortoise kidneys cannot process (and trying to makes them burn out). Vital nutrients that benefit eye health are missing from your pet's diet.

More details about how to make adjustments to your care at home can be found here:

Welcome to TFO! Let us know what follow-up questions you have. =))
 

KarenSoCal

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Jul 8, 2017
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Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Yeah, those MVB's aren't good for tortoises.

Living in CA, you can't buy the best kind of bulb for basking because the goons in Sacramento have decided to make it illegal to sell them here. You can't order them online either.

Keepers in CA have been able to order 'specialty' bulbs. This would be a great basking bulb if you can order it. If you can, I would suggest you get several of them.


If you can take your tort outside for an hour two or three times a week, you don't need indoor UVB. If you aren't able to do that, this is what you need to get. The first time you have to buy the fixture and bulb. After that, you only need to buy the bulb.

 
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