RT Grandma worried

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lynnedit

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No sounds like your lighting is fine.
To keep substrate moist underneath I pour water in gradually and hand mix about weekly.
Are his eyes and nose clear or runny? Eating is a good sign.
It hasn't been that long since you changed substrate, etc, so it may take more time
Have you tried dropping artificial tears on his eyes?
(Whatever you do, don't let a vet give a vitamin injection, those can cause skin damage)
 

Yvonne G

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How close to the top of the tortoise is the light? I believe the package says it should be no closer than 12"

Same thing I suggested for a coil bulb will work to figure out if your MVB is causing eye problems. Take the bulb out of the socket and replace it with a plain old 100 watt incandescent bulb. If the eye rubbing stops you'll know there's something wrong about the MVB. If it continues, then put the bulb back in and remove all the substrate, keeping him on towells or newspaper for a couple days to test if the substrate is what's causing the eye rubbing.

You need to figure this out quickly, because now you're telling us the eyes are looking swollen. It's progressing and needs to be taken care of.
 

anagy007

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lynnedit said:
No sounds like your lighting is fine.
To keep substrate moist underneath I pour water in gradually and hand mix about weekly.
Are his eyes and nose clear or runny? Eating is a good sign.
It hasn't been that long since you changed substrate, etc, so it may take more time
Have you tried dropping artificial tears on his eyes?
(Whatever you do, don't let a vet give a vitamin injection, those can cause skin damage)

He is undergoing deworming right now so I change it every day.
His Eyes and nose are not runny, it's just his puffy eyes and it's not all of the time.

I don't have any artificial tears. Is contact solution OK.


Yvonne G said:
How close to the top of the tortoise is the light? I believe the package says it should be no closer than 12"

Same thing I suggested for a coil bulb will work to figure out if your MVB is causing eye problems. Take the bulb out of the socket and replace it with a plain old 100 watt incandescent bulb. If the eye rubbing stops you'll know there's something wrong about the MVB. If it continues, then put the bulb back in and remove all the substrate, keeping him on towells or newspaper for a couple days to test if the substrate is what's causing the eye rubbing.

You need to figure this out quickly, because now you're telling us the eyes are looking swollen. It's progressing and needs to be taken care of.

Yes, I'm worried. The Bulb is about 16 inches away. I will replace it with the incandescant.
 

lynnedit

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Anything you can use in your eyes is fine, and won't hurt while you make the other changes.
Good idea to swap out the bulb and if that's not it, the coir.
That would be an unusual allergy but not unheard of.
What brand MVB do you have?
 

GeoTerraTestudo

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Puffy eyes, eh? Well, the advice on the harmful effects of compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) is definitely worth following.

If it's due to dryness, then coco coir is a great substrate, but misting is not enough. Misting is good for maintaining humidity in a closed space, because moisture is trapped and can't go anywhere. But in an open enclosure (which is good for Russians), misting is not going to do much, because it's not much water, and it will just evaporate away rather quickly. As Lynne said, the best thing to do is pour water directly into the coco coir and mix it around. You don't want to add so much that it's damp, only enough to get it moist to the touch. The top few millimeters will dry out, but the subsurface layers will stay moist for weeks, and that's what your tortoise needs.

If you tortoise has been fasting, then it could be a vitamin A deficiency. Provide plants that are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene (which turns into vitamin A in the body), such as dandelion and turnip greens, as well as some grated carrots, if he'll accept them. You can also give your tortoise a warm daily soak in dilute carrot baby food, so he can drink it to get some vitamin A and beta-carotene into his system. Also, get some ZooMed Turtle Drops, which are safe to use both in emergencies, and on a regular basis for prevention. Just drop a few drops into each eye everyday as directed. You can also sprinkle it directly onto the food as a dietary supplement. Very helpful product!

Finally, puffy eyes often go along with a viral or bacterial infection. A runny nose is a giveaway. If it's viral, just provide care (warm temperatures, warm soaks, adequate moisture abd humidity, and good food), because you can't medicate that. However, if it's bacterial, then the tortoise will need antibiotics to help fight it.
 

anagy007

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lynnedit said:
Anything you can use in your eyes is fine, and won't hurt while you make the other changes.
Good idea to swap out the bulb and if that's not it, the coir.
That would be an unusual allergy but not unheard of.
What brand MVB do you have?

We have a Powersun 100W MVB Bulb. Could it actually be bad?
It's actually the cypress mulch I think may be the problem. I am going to switch it out for the eco-earth. I actually had a mix of both when we first got him, but since I'm deworming, I only put the mulch on newspaper. It is way too dry I think.
 

GeoTerraTestudo

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anagy007 said:
It's actually the cypress mulch I think may be the problem. I am going to switch it out for the eco-earth. I actually had a mix of both when we first got him, but since I'm deworming, I only put the mulch on newspaper. It is way too dry I think.

Sounds like a plan. Eco-Earth is coco fiber, and I think it's better at retaining moisture than cypress mulch, but also cleaner than soil. You could also use coco coir, which is the same as coco fiber, only with even smaller particles (which is even better, because it has more surface area). It comes in a compressed brick that expands with water (directions on packaging). You can get it at pet stores, or you can get more of it for cheaper at gardening stores! :)

anagy007 said:
We have a Powersun 100W MVB Bulb. Could it actually be bad?

Those are supposed to be good. They are a mercury vapor bulb that provides heat, light, UVA, and UVB without harming the eyes.
 

anagy007

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GeoTerraTestudo said:
anagy007 said:
It's actually the cypress mulch I think may be the problem. I am going to switch it out for the eco-earth. I actually had a mix of both when we first got him, but since I'm deworming, I only put the mulch on newspaper. It is way too dry I think.

Sounds like a plan. Eco-Earth is coco fiber, and I think it's better at retaining moisture than cypress mulch, but also cleaner than soil. You could also use coco coir, which is the same as coco fiber, only with even smaller particles (which is even better, because it has more surface area). It comes in a compressed brick that expands with water (directions on packaging). You can get it at pet stores, or you can get more of it for cheaper at gardening stores! :)

anagy007 said:
We have a Powersun 100W MVB Bulb. Could it actually be bad?

Those are supposed to be good. They are a mercury vapor bulb that provides heat, light, UVA, and UVB without harming the eyes.
 

lynnedit

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anagy007 said:
We have a Powersun 100W MVB Bulb. Could it actually be bad?
It's actually the cypress mulch I think may be the problem. I am going to switch it out for the eco-earth. I actually had a mix of both when we first got him, but since I'm deworming, I only put the mulch on newspaper. It is way too dry I think.

Powersun is a fine brand. (I tried a Sunforce MVB once and all of my torts shied away from it). Still not a bad idea to sub a regular bulb to be sure.
Cypress mulch is OK, but I don't like it much as a single substrate. Geo is right, coir or organic topsoil(get mine at ACE) hold moisture better in an indoor enclosure with the drying effects of the MVB bulbs.
I will sometimes mix cypress mulch in, or in one small area, etc. Tortoise can get substrate in their eyes. I had one tortoise who got a small stringy piece of cypress mulch stuck under her lower lid and we could NOT wash it out. Finally a vet who specialized in eye care had to use a slit lamp to see it and extract it. :O I still use it as above, but in a limited way. Getting coir or soil in the eye doesn't seem so problematic.
Since you are in the process of deworming, stick with newspaper that you can change daily, until the worming process is done and really until you get a clear follow up fecal check.
Just keep soaking daily.

By the way, the fact that your tortoise has an appetite while worming is very encouraging. A lot go off of their food during this process.
Also, the fact that the eyes are only intermittently swollen (comes and goes, you said?) indicates it is more of an irritation (dryness?) than an infection (not 100% proof either way, but likely).
 

anagy007

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RE: RT Grandma worried more questions

Thank You All. I wouldn't know what to do without all of you.

I have changed his substrate to pure eco-earth. As I really suspect that the cypress mulch is the problem. I am going to change it every day. And I have changed the MVB for an incandescent. As the puffiness is intermittent, I have swiped his eyes with a q-tip with contact solution to help if it's an irritation. He didn't seem to mind.

He still has an appetite when I feed him, but isn't much more active. He may just be feeling crummy from the worms. 8 days after the Panacur and so many more worms in his poo than I have seen before. Alive and Dead. His "tootsie roll" was riddled them. I swapped him out into 3 different containers. WHY are there still so many!

So, here's the few questions I have.

1) How long can I leave him in only the incandescent.
2) How long after the Panacur should I stop seeing the worms.
3) ODD QUESTION: Someone told me that I could microwave the eco-earth to sterilize it and kill any pinworm eggs. Has anyone done this? This would save me some money, but I will do what I need to.

Again, Thank You ALL for so much help and good advice.
 

lynnedit

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1)You can leave him under the incandescent as long as you need to. Especially if there are plans to get him outside for a few hours per day this summer for REAL UV. If the switch doesn't make any difference with his intermittent eye swelling, just put the Powersun back in.
2)You treat twice for pinworms, about 10-14 days apart. Even if you can't see them (you only see them visually with heavy infestations), they may still be there. So you can't rely on a visual check.
About 3-4 weeks after the second treatment, take in a fecal sample to see if it is clear, or at least to make sure the parasite load or 'count' is very low. (some wild caught tortoises never fully clear, but as long as there is a really low count, and they are healthy, it's fine).
3) With the above in mind, you need to save your pocketbook and make things a bit easier for you. Just use newspaper. Cheap, and easy to change daily. Don't worry about a moist substrate right now, just soak daily, moistening his eyes won't hurt at other times.
You want to make sure the tort isn't reinfested after all of your hard work. While microwaving or baking soil on low may help minimize gnats, etc., I would not rely on it to eliminate pinworms. The eggs are too hardy. ;)

Keep asking questions!
 

anagy007

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Back to PetCo

We love Raphael "The Tank". I am still very concerned today as he is still not moving around. I am bringing him back because today is the 15th Day and their vet will treat him until he's healthy. I will not be getting a new one. We want our little guy back and healthy.

I am suspecting a respiratory infection. His eyes are puffy (still not always) enough to make me worry and he rubs them. He has been yawning every so often and I see his legs moving (pumping) more than I think is normal in my limited knowledge.

Can this be even if he had no discharge from his nose or eyes?

Also, Does anyone know how long it takes for them to show signs of an RI? I'm wondering if he was ill when we got him or if it is something I did?
 

anagy007

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RE: Back to PetCo

anagy007 said:
We love Raphael "The Tank". I am still very concerned today as he is still not moving around. I am bringing him back because today is the 15th Day and their vet will treat him until he's healthy. I will not be getting a new one. We want our little guy back and healthy.

I am suspecting a respiratory infection. His eyes are puffy (still not always) enough to make me worry and he rubs them. He has been yawning every so often and I see his legs moving (pumping) more than I think is normal in my limited knowledge.

Can this be even if he had no discharge from his nose or eyes?

Also, Does anyone know how long it takes for them to show signs of an RI? I'm wondering if he was ill when we got him or if it is something I did?

So I feel like the worst tort Grandma ever! I just left him at PetCo. I just know something is wrong and I'd rather be safe than sorry. Their vet will look at him and keep him for a few days. I hope it's not longer. I just feel so bad for him leaving him there.


I actually feel a little better. I just called the vet and Raphael is already there. At least he's not sitting in a box at PetCo. I also looked up the animal hospital and there is a very competent reptile specialist.
 

lynnedit

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I think that was a very wise move. Very reassuring that the vet specializes in reptiles.
Keep us posted!
 

anagy007

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lynnedit said:
I think that was a very wise move. Very reassuring that the vet specializes in reptiles.
Keep us posted!

Thanks. Hopefully, I'll find out more today. The vet office was very nice and talking to me even though Raphael was coming in through Petco.

I will keep everybody updated.
 

anagy007

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Raphael Update

I finally got word from Petco. They just got Raphael back this morning. That said the very did a fecal and found no evidence of worms. As a precaution they are giving him another dose which they said takes 6 days to work it's way through and we should be amble to pick him up by next Friday.

Is out possible to have a clean test so soon even though I saw dozens of worms in his pop on Monday?

They also made no mention of his eyes.
 

AZtortMom

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Sending prayers and healing vibes for your little baby tort


Life is good
 

anagy007

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Chainsawkitten said:
Sending prayers and healing vibes for your little baby tort


Life is good

Thank You. We can't wait to get him home.


lynnedit said:
What happened?
Hi! Sorry I didn't see that you had asked what happened. Nothing really serious. Just the same symptoms inactivity, rubbing his eyes and worms in his stool. I just thought it best to have their vet look at him. They will have him until next Friday and expect to be happy and healthy. :)
 
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