Swollen Eye

Nemz

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Hello! I'm here because my shelly friend has a watery swollen eye. I use to let her walk around the balcony whenever it's warm enough (especially when there's a nice amount of sun) and one day, when I went to check her, she had her left eye really swollen up. It almost looked alienish.
From that moment on, I used some eye antibiotic that really helped, but only to a point. She can see with that eye, she can also blink, but it's still visibly bigger than the other one.
I'm not sure about what happened in the balcony, as it's been her second home for a couple of years and there hadn't been a single accident before. I thought about her getting hit into something, but that's not really the case, so I began to think she might had been stung by an insect.

The first picture is with her right eye (the healthy one), the second of both eyes (as they are seens from above) and the third with her left eye.

Also, I'd like to point that she still has some antibiotic on her eye, as I've recently started to give it a try again, therefore the eye might seem a bit more moisturized than it really is.

Does anyone know how should I treat this problem? Can I do anything else for her before I get her to see a vet?

IMG_7841.JPG IMG_7842.JPG IMG_7835.JPG
 
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lismar79

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eye issues can be a few things. Coil bulbs are known to cause eye damage. Do you have one? Too dry of a habitat can cause some issues, an injury, and a vitamine deffeciancy. Any of these sound more likely?
 

Nemz

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Well not really, as she was ok before taking her on the balcony. The environment is not a problem, as I have her for more than 4 years and she has spent a lot of time there. Vitamine defficiency could be one of the reasons, but as I said, before taking her out, there was nothing wrong with that eye. Something happened while she was on the balcony where there aren't nor bulbs nor other artificial light sources.
 

wellington

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Can you see anything at all in the eye? Maybe give a nice warm soak and let some of that water softly run over the eye to hopefully flush anything that might be in it out.
@Yvonne G might have an idea.
 

Nemz

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There seems to be nothing in the eye, but I'll try soaking it a bit, thank you :)
 

Nemz

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There was, indeed, something coming out of her eye, but it could have been just eye discharge. I've managed to take some closer pictures and as you can see, that membrane is covering almost half of the eye, which I find quite worrying.

Also, I'd like to apologise for the quality of these pictures. My camera's batteries ran out sooner than expected and this was all I could do.

IMG_7843.JPG IMG_7844.JPG
 

Gillian M

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I'd take it to a vet.

Hope to hear your tort is better soon, and a warm welcome to the forum.
 

Yvonne G

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Welcome to the Forum!

In my opinion, you should flush the eye with sterile saline solution several times a day, blot it dry then put a dab of your ointment on it. When tortoises have something on their face, or a piece of food too big, they swipe at their face with those rough front legs. I'm thinking he has scratched the eye with a front leg. If this is the case, the ointment will help it heal. If there's something stuck in there, flushing with the saline will help to wash it out.

If it doesn't improve after you've done all this, try to find a vet that knows about tortoises.
 

Gillian M

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Please keep us updated, and hope to hear good news.
 

Nemz

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I will. After the eye got dry, there was some little hair sticking out. Even if it was small, it seemed long enough to have caused some damage. I've moisturized her eye and now my turtle is taking a nap on a clean towel. I'll keep doing this and if nothing changes in a few days, I'll take her to a vet. Thanks a lot, guys! I hope good news will come soon.
 

Gillian M

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I will. After the eye got dry, there was some little hair sticking out. Even if it was small, it seemed long enough to have caused some damage. I've moisturized her eye and now my turtle is taking a nap on a clean towel. I'll keep doing this and if nothing changes in a few days, I'll take her to a vet. Thanks a lot, guys! I hope good news will come soon.
Wishing you and of course your tort the best of luck.
 

Tidgy's Dad

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Hello Nemz and your lovely little tortoise and a very warm welcome to tortoise forum.
Does the eye seem to be bothering her now? Is she scratching at it?
And if you do have a coil bulb replace it,they are known to cause eye damage, though it may take a long time to show.
Hope the little love recovers quickly.
 

Nemz

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Strangely, the eye never seemed to bother her. I haven't seen her blinking too often or trying to scratch it. The truth is yes, I have a coil bulb, but I only use it during cold seasons for vitamin D3. I've replaced it some time ago with a normal one, as sunlight can now offer her what she needs.
 

Tidgy's Dad

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Then keep on with the flushes, it's probably a minor irritation, infection or scratch.
If it gets worse, or doesn't get any better, than a visit to a herp vet in a few days time would be in order, as has already been advised.
Good luck.
 

Yvonne G

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Are you using coco coir for substrate? It has little hairs in it. That's one reason why I don't like to use it.
 

Nemz

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No, I don't. I used it until last year, but my tortoise didn't seem to like it, so I tried with some sort of hay. Since I've made the change, she seems more ok with it, but I'm planning to change it to a mix between topsoil and sand as soon as I find some.
In my case, tough, it's not the substrate's fault, but something she's got in contact with while she was on the balcony.

Also, what would be your opinion on terrarium carpets? I would really prefer something more natural, but in case I won't find anything better, would it be an option or should I avoid it? Thank you very much for your time.
 
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lismar79

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They need something to hold humidity so I would not suggest the carpet. Firbark or reptibark is nice. Sand can also cause eye issues so be careful there.
 
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