Sick Eastern Boxie?

Sky202

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This may be a stupid question, but my Eastern is about two years old. I got her about a year ago, and I kept seeing that when she would burry herself and resurface shed always have eye caps after sleeping. Is this normal?

I also have reason to believe she may have a respiratory infection or vitamin A deficiency. She yawns occasionally when waking up, and her eyes might be slightly swollen? about a year ago, shed blow snot bubbles and have huge watery droplets out of her eyes occasionally when i first got her. But after several soaks and proper housing and feeding she anymore for about a year.

Shes now just very lethargic, will only eat every three days or so, and im not sure whats going on....
 

Yvonne G

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Is the turtle outside or in the house? Maybe it's just not warm enough yet for it. What is the enclosure like?
 

Sky202

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Is the turtle outside or in the house? Maybe it's just not warm enough yet for it. What is the enclosure like?

She is inside, i have her in a plastic tub that is a few inches bigger than a shoe box. She has a heat basking bulb, and the tempature stays around 70-80 degrees for her when its on. She always seems to buryand perfer the deeper cooler side.
 

Sky202

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This may be a stupid question, but my Eastern is about two years old. I got her about a year ago, and I kept seeing that when she would burry herself and resurface shed always have eye caps after sleeping. Is this normal?

I also have reason to believe she may have a respiratory infection or vitamin A deficiency. She yawns occasionally when waking up, and her eyes might be slightly swollen? about a year ago, shed blow snot bubbles and have huge watery droplets out of her eyes occasionally when i first got her. But after several soaks and proper housing and feeding she anymore for about a year.

Shes now just very lethargic, will only eat every three days or so, and im not sure whats going on....

Here is a picture of her inclosure, Yes it has a heat bulb, it just isnt turned on in this photo.

Snapchat-2063158339.jpg
 

ZenHerper

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Un-shed eye caps are a symptom of being kept too dry, and possibly of having an on-going infection. Eco Earth is a shredded coconut bedding which is very reptile-safe, but it dries out quickly. This quick-dry quality helps to prevent mold, but the bedding must be hydrated to each particular species' needs. An animal that 100% prefers a cool burrow is also an indicator of dehydration.

On the cool side of the enclosure (and a double shoe box is Much Too Small for a juvenile or adult turtle), the bedding should be wet enough for some to stick to your fingers when you rub them across the surface (like packed mud sticking to your fingers beside a stream bed).

Optimal temperatures should range from 75-90F during the day. When showing signs of illness, the overnight temps should not fall below 75F so that the immune system functions at Optimal levels. Bright light is not needed beyond a tube style uvb lamp. Heat should be supplemented with a ceramic heat emitting (CHE) bulb. Forest species often burrow over-much when they are trying to avoid light-producing heat bulbs. The enclosure size must be able to smoothly accomplish the heat gradient in order for each individual animal to be able to manage its body temp and health properly. It cannot be blaringly hot at one spot and suddenly cold a few steps away.

EBTs like water, and should have access to a shallow 'pond' in their enclosure 24/7. A large saucer from a terra cotta pot works really well. A 10-inch size at minimum (boxies have been known to swim if they have safe access to larger shallow pans).

Symptoms of infection can wax-and-wane depending on time of year. That is, when temps are optimal, the immune system controls bacterial and fungal organisms and symptoms disappear. But infective buggies can overgrow and cause trouble when the seasons are cool. Bacterial and fungal spores can also linger in bedding and on cage 'furniture'. In cases where you might suspect cyclical re-infection, it is important to clean cage decor regularly, including complete bedding change out and disinfection of the enclosure itself on a regular schedule.

Feed a varied diet of meats (including fish for the healthful fatty acids), fruit, vegetation.
 

Sky202

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Un-shed eye caps are a symptom of being kept too dry, and possibly of having an on-going infection. Eco Earth is a shredded coconut bedding which is very reptile-safe, but it dries out quickly. This quick-dry quality helps to prevent mold, but the bedding must be hydrated to each particular species' needs. An animal that 100% prefers a cool burrow is also an indicator of dehydration.

On the cool side of the enclosure (and a double shoe box is Much Too Small for a juvenile or adult turtle), the bedding should be wet enough for some to stick to your fingers when you rub them across the surface (like packed mud sticking to your fingers beside a stream bed).

Optimal temperatures should range from 75-90F during the day. When showing signs of illness, the overnight temps should not fall below 75F so that the immune system functions at Optimal levels. Bright light is not needed beyond a tube style uvb lamp. Heat should be supplemented with a ceramic heat emitting (CHE) bulb. Forest species often burrow over-much when they are trying to avoid light-producing heat bulbs. The enclosure size must be able to smoothly accomplish the heat gradient in order for each individual animal to be able to manage its body temp and health properly. It cannot be blaringly hot at one spot and suddenly cold a few steps away.

EBTs like water, and should have access to a shallow 'pond' in their enclosure 24/7. A large saucer from a terra cotta pot works really well. A 10-inch size at minimum (boxies have been known to swim if they have safe access to larger shallow pans).

Symptoms of infection can wax-and-wane depending on time of year. That is, when temps are optimal, the immune system controls bacterial and fungal organisms and symptoms disappear. But infective buggies can overgrow and cause trouble when the seasons are cool. Bacterial and fungal spores can also linger in bedding and on cage 'furniture'. In cases where you might suspect cyclical re-infection, it is important to clean cage decor regularly, including complete bedding change out and disinfection of the enclosure itself on a regular schedule.

Feed a varied diet of meats (including fish for the healthful fatty acids), fruit, vegetation.


Thank you so, so much for this information!It's been very helpful. My EBT is about 2-3 inches, what size of an enclosure would you reccomend
 

ZenHerper

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Thank you so, so much for this information!It's been very helpful. My EBT is about 2-3 inches, what size of an enclosure would you reccomend

I would definitely upgrade to 4-foot square (or 4-foot by 3-foot, minimum) so that this little one can get more physically active inside of an environment that is varied in terms of heat range and natural terrain.

Remember, EBTs live mostly under cover of forests or thick meadow. Plants like pothos and boston fern (that have been replanted in coco bedding-filled pots) help provide natural cover, break up the overhead light beams, and are easy to take care of. Pansies, grown in plain dirt from a wild forest floor (so it does not have weird or toxic chemicals in it) are safe, pretty, and even edible!

A larger soaking pan placed centrally near a plant may attract her use more often. Make sure to have a textured ramp for easy-exiting. Terra cotta pots themselves make nice hides, and can be put through the dishwasher to clean/sterilize (use a tablespoon of bleach in the soap cup instead of detergent).

Any new set up should be evaluated and tweaked over the course of a few days before switching in the critter, just so you know your temps and other parameters are optimized. Turtles are territorial, so the changeover can be bothersome in itself. If you have confidence that the set up is Just Right, then you can focus on your pet's adjustment.
 

ColleenT

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you can soak in a tubberware for 15-20 minutes in lukewarm water with one drop of Vita-sol bird vitamins. this helps the Vitamin A deficiency. ( if there is one)
 

Madame Terrapene

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If you can post a picture here of the eye caps that you mentioned, that might help us determine what's going on. It may be as suggested above and her habitat humidity is too low. You can add a layer of playsand below her coco coir substrate and pour water in until the sand is damp (not soaking). The sand will help keep the moisture stable as it will release water slower than coco coir or reptibark.

The lethargy may be illness or a normal seasonal reduction in metabolism (lots of turtles brumate in the winter aka get sleepy and not hungry).

When in doubt, you can always take her to an experienced reptile vet. I emphasize reptile vet because non-reptile vets have been known to do more well-intentioned harm than good.
 

Yvonne G

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I don't think it's "eye caps". I think what the poster is seeing is the white eyelids of swollen shut eyes.
 
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