RT swollen shut eyes

Jon c

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Hi I'm experiencing a new problem. I've had my wc Russian for 2 months now. He instantly had gotten treated for high amount of pin worm. The first month he spent in a temporary hospital enclosure with all the attention he needed as far as temps, Gerber soaks, paper towels down for substrate so as to properly dispose poo and so on. I had finally gotten him to come around and eat indoors (calendula is the only thing he will eat besides grass and weeds when he goes outside for sun) and he was going crazy trying to get out of the 2x4 rabbit cage so I figured he was ready to return to his nice big table. It took me like 3 days to get his table ready with this pandemic bs as I had to tighten up a couple details. In that time I noticed he had begun to "shut down" again becoming very lethargic and sleepy. I hoped he just really hated the 2x4 cage so I finally just last week moved him back to his table. He was really happy and walking and eating for whole day but somehow in the last couple days he has completely shut down again and his eyes are really bothering him. I'm almost 100% sure I see little clear worms in his poo still. I'm waiting to hear back from his vet as I just gave them a new poo sample to test. He was originally just supposed to get the second de-worm treatment no matter what after 2 weeks but because this corona got real bad in my county(Erie NY) I spoke to his vet on the phone and at that time he was doing great so she said just to bring in a sample. Well literally that day is when he started showing symptoms again, sleeping all day .

Is it possible he was starting to come around because of the first worm treatment and now it's worn off and he's sick again?
 

Jon c

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Cocoa coir and cypress mulch, basking spot of 100 fades to room temp of 75. I ditched the UV tube for now to give his eyes a rest. 1586543467455152527373662284172.jpg
 

maggie3fan

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Sure sounds like eye damage from a bulb...That bulb looks too far away to do any good tho...You don't have a spiral bulb do ya?
 
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My guess is humidity is too low, but with everything else you have going on with him, I can't be completely certain. I had the same issue with swollen eyes on my hatchling. I increased the humidity, kept the bedding slightly damp to cut down on the dust and did regular soakings, every day or every couple days.

Took a few days, but it fixed the issue and his eyes were fine after that. I also used Zoo Med Turtle Eye Drops twice a day on him, found at most pet stores or Amazon. It's essentially just vitamin A.

A lot will depend on the age of your tortoise, too. If it's a hatchling or still quite young, then my bet would be humidity and increasing that to around 70% should solve the issue.

If we're talking about an adult Russian, then possibly not humidity as the adults will generally want it fairly dry. Even adults should have humidity in the 40-50% range, though, and tortoise tables are notorious for low humidity levels as they don't have lids. If you test the humidity and find it's below 40%, then that's too dry, even for an adult.
 
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Lol...sorry. I didn't see the little guy in your picture at first. He doesn't appear to be a hatchling, but he still looks pretty small. My guess is humidity.

Can you take a picture as close as possible of what his eyes look like? I'm guessing white and puffy and look to be swollen shut?
 

Jon c

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I'll try bumping humidity a little. it is dry in my house with baseboard heat and my wife likes to crank it. 20% is my reading on the hot side,about 25%on the cold but I am due for my weekly substrate wet down so it will bump up. I'll do it now, thanks
 

Jon c

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Sure sounds like eye damage from a bulb...That bulb looks too far away to do any good tho...You don't have a spiral bulb do ya?
Maggie, What would be the difference of using a 150 watt at that height or a lower watt bulb at a lower height, as long as you're temps are correct?
 
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LasTortugasNinja

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I have several reptiles that have various humidity needs. Almost all reptiles need at least 35 to 40% humidity. Even desert reptiles. They achieve this in the wild by digging under rocks or into tree roots. In homes, it's harder to maintain. During the local rainy season, I just open windows and let the outdoor humidity in. During the winter, I have a humidifier in each room. I try never to let my home's humidity dip below 30%. There's a benefit for reptiles and humans.... respiratory diseases thrive in dry conditions. In the 4 years I've done this, I've never had a cold.
I'd recommend a deeper water bowl with rocks in the bottom for traction. That way the water can evaporate more slowly and boost the humidity that is breathed in.
 

Jon c

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I have several reptiles that have various humidity needs. Almost all reptiles need at least 35 to 40% humidity. Even desert reptiles. They achieve this in the wild by digging under rocks or into tree roots. In homes, it's harder to maintain. During the local rainy season, I just open windows and let the outdoor humidity in. During the winter, I have a humidifier in each room. I try never to let my home's humidity dip below 30%. There's a benefit for reptiles and humans.... respiratory diseases thrive in dry conditions. In the 4 years I've done this, I've never had a cold.
I'd recommend a deeper water bowl with rocks in the bottom for traction. That way the water can evaporate more slowly and boost the humidity that is breathed in.
I want to get a home humidifier it's brutal my whole family wakes up with dry throats. I will keep it above 40% on his table for now. Hopefully between that, zoo med eye drops and Gerber soaks I can nurse him back quick.
 
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I would agree with everything everyone else is saying. I think increasing the humidity is your best option...since we've established it's an adult, you don't need to get the humidity as high as I have for my hatchlings, but maybe shoot for somewhere in the 40's.

With the bedding being that dry, I'm sure it's probably quite dusty for him at shell heighth, even if it doesn't look like it from your own viewpoint. Spraying it down will get that dust out of the air.

The turtle eye drops could help to possible remove any dust he has in his eyes as well. I would maybe go to daily sprays, or just watch the humidity and spray whenever it falls below 40%.
 

Jon c

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I would agree with everything everyone else is saying. I think increasing the humidity is your best option...since we've established it's an adult, you don't need to get the humidity as high as I have for my hatchlings, but maybe shoot for somewhere in the 40's.

With the bedding being that dry, I'm sure it's probably quite dusty for him at shell heighth, even if it doesn't look like it from your own viewpoint. Spraying it down will get that dust out of the air.

The turtle eye drops could help to possible remove any dust he has in his eyes as well. I would maybe go to daily sprays, or just watch the humidity and spray whenever it falls below 40%.
Will do, thank you!
 

Jon c

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He started coming around today!!!!!😍 For now anyways... I'll still keep a close eye on him and I'm still waiting to hear back from the vet about the worms, it will be Monday at this point. after about 15 mins in the Gerber soak this morning (been doing about 30 mins 2 times a day) he finally started to perk up and was even drinking it and sucking up all the little chunks on top and chewing it up! After he was done soaking he darted right to his food and gobbled up calendula for about 10 mins!!
Witch brings me to my next topic...
So far the only thing he will eat is calendula from Kapidolo farms. He does show a little interest in their rose flowers as well but goes right back to the Calendula. Being that said does anyone have any other suggestions for food options I should be offering? Again he is an adult wild captured Russian. Thanks!
 

Yvonne G

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Cocoa coir and cypress mulch, basking spot of 100 fades to room temp of 75. I ditched the UV tube for now to give his eyes a rest. View attachment 290423
Your light is much too high. He's not getting ANY heat benefit from that light. Yes, it may be 100F directly under the light, but with that great big open enclosure, that's the only place in the enclosure that it's warm enough. You should get a couple more light stands and place one on the window side, in the center, and the other at the end closest to the camera. Buy two 100 CHE (ceramic heat emitter) and two ceramic-base light fixtures to hold them. Position all three fixtures so they're 12" from the top of the tortoise's shell. With those additions you should be able to keep the whole enclosure warmer for him. I'm pretty sure he's shutting down because he's not warm enough.

That's a very nice size for him. Lots of room to roam around. Yes, russian tortoises are a bit more cold hardy, however, they still need to get their inner core temperature up to in the 80's in order to digest their food. You can turn the light off for night, but leave the two CHEs on 24/7.
 

Jon c

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Your light is much too high. He's not getting ANY heat benefit from that light. Yes, it may be 100F directly under the light, but with that great big open enclosure, that's the only place in the enclosure that it's warm enough. You should get a couple more light stands and place one on the window side, in the center, and the other at the end closest to the camera. Buy two 100 CHE (ceramic heat emitter) and two ceramic-base light fixtures to hold them. Position all three fixtures so they're 12" from the top of the tortoise's shell. With those additions you should be able to keep the whole enclosure warmer for him. I'm pretty sure he's shutting down because he's not warm enough.

That's a very nice size for him. Lots of room to roam around. Yes, russian tortoises are a bit more cold hardy, however, they still need to get their inner core temperature up to in the 80's in order to digest their food. You can turn the light off for night, but leave the two CHEs on 24/7.
It is high up but it's a 150 watt basking bulb, I am getting a basking temp of 100+ under it. I could use a 100 watt and move it down but is there a difference as long as the temps are correct? So no UV tube? I was going to put it back when his eyes are better. I have been very curious about the CHE, I've never used one. So it's essentially a bulb that screws into any ceramic dome and gives off heat only? And is there a thermostat you can hook up to it, do I inderstand? Where is the best spot to get those che's? Thanks!
 

Yvonne G

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yes they work well when you use them through a thermostat.

With your basking light you're only getting the right temp directly under the bulb. The tortoise needs more heat all over his enclosure.
 

Jon c

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yes they work well when you use them through a thermostat.

With your basking light you're only getting the right temp directly under the bulb. The tortoise needs more heat all over his enclosure.
Understood, thank you. So would I want the probe for the thermostat somewhere around the middle of the cold side and set it to 80? Are the CHE's typically used with a dome lamp like I already have or are they meant for those metal wire fixtures only?
 

engrken

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Hi I'm experiencing a new problem.

Is it possible he was starting to come around because of the first worm treatment and now it's worn off and he's sick again?
The first pinworm treatment may well have been insuffient. I was given a Russian Tortoise purchased from PetSmart with a bad case of pin worm infestation. It took four deworming treatments with Panacur (Fenbendazole) by the vet at two week intervals before a healthy stool sample resulted. Tortie has been fine ever since.
Ken S.
 

Jon c

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The first pinworm treatment may well have been insuffient. I was given a Russian Tortoise purchased from PetSmart with a bad case of pin worm infestation. It took four deworming treatments with Panacur (Fenbendazole) by the vet at two week intervals before a healthy stool sample resulted. Tortie has been fine ever since.
Ken S.
Ughhh, poor guy. Was being very sleepy a side effect of your tortie having the worms? I believe I can see them in his poo. Are they little clear worms? Thank you for you're advice.
 

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