Concerned for my new tort; please help!

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aamdericco

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Hello,

So my fiancé and I adopted a Greek tortoise from a local Petsmart about 2 weeks ago.

A few days ago, her left eye was sealed shut. I called the vet that we take our cats to, and they said they have a doctor who deals with reptiles in on Fridays. That was two days after the eye problem occurred. The vet looked at her. She was confident that it was due to a Vitamin A deficiency. We bought vitamins to dust her food, but she hadn't been eating since the eye problem started. I told the vet and she didn't seem concerned. She said it's normal for torts to go without eating.

It's been FOUR days since she ate. I even tried giving her just green leaf lettuce today (which is her favorite in the spring mix). Nothing. I made her soak in water that I mixed vitamins and calcium dust in, just trying to get a little bit of nutrients in her...

I feel so concerned and worried. PLEASE help, do you think this is normal? I'm afraid she could have a parasite.

She's our little baby, and we don't want anything bad to happen to her!!

I just don't understand how the vet wouldn't think of this? Especially because I mentioned to her that Ruby (our tort) has been lethargic.

(Attached are some pictures of Ruby before the eye problem and lethargy)
 

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lkwagner

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Have you been soaking her everyday, maybe twice a day? With warm water and maybe a little baby food carrot?
 

aamdericco

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lkwagner said:
Have you been soaking her everyday, maybe twice a day? With warm water and maybe a little baby food carrot?

I soak her about every other day, but I've been doing it every day since the eye problem started.

Today she kept climbing out of the dish though, so I may put her in a container in which she cannot climb out tomorrow.

I've never tried giving her baby food, should I just mix it in her water? And how much would you recommend mixing?
 

Zabbi0

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What kind of heat lamps do you have on her and what are the temps?
My babe had this happen last winter. I was not using the correct lamps and she was not getting adequate UBA/UVB. I switched to a MVB (mercury vapor bulb) and a CHE (ceramic heat emitter) at night. Also, for the possible vitamin A deficiency, I applied fish oil to her eyes by a q-tip after warm soaks. To get get some nutrients in her, I did baby carrot food soaks. (Half food, half water). Within two days, she was back to normal and has been thriving ever since.
I hope these tips help! Keep us updated!


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aamdericco

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Zabbi0 said:
What kind of heat lamps do you have on her and what are the temps?
My babe had this happen last winter. I was not using the correct lamps and she was not getting adequate UBA/UVB. I switched to a MVB (mercury vapor bulb) and a CHE (ceramic heat emitter) at night. Also, for the possible vitamin A deficiency, I applied fish oil to her eyes by a q-tip after warm soaks. To get get some nutrients in her, I did baby carrot food soaks. (Half food, half water). Within two days, she was back to normal and has been thriving ever since.
I hope these tips help! Keep us updated!


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Thanks for the advice! I have a basking bulb and UV bulb. They're what the pet store recommended, although another user on this forum told me that the UV bulb is no good because it's a coil bulb?

I'm definitely going to try the carrot soaks starting tomorrow!
 

pfara

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There are a lot of forum members on here that have experienced or knew people who used coil/compact fluorescent bulbs with very bad results. Watery, puffy, eyes occur. Also noticable scratching happens and eventually the eyes lock shut. From what I've read on this forum, those bulbs have a chance to cause blindness in torts. I personally would switch it out for something more favorable (tube style fluorescent or mvb) and see if the eyes clear up. Also, many pet stores' recommendations are total garbage.. especially if it's a major chain store.
 

johnsonnboswell

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Neither parasites nor a vitamin A deficiency are likely to affect only one eye, are they? It could be a mechanical irritant or an infection. In any case, an eyewash is good. Collireum for Fresh Eyes is available over the counter. I've used it recently for one of my RTs. I've used it for boxies, too, followed by perscription opthalmic ointment . Flood the eye 2-4 times a day. That also avoids too much soaking.

A tortoise that can't see is not inclined to eat. Offer food after the eyewash when the eyes are open.

Hth
 

Zabbi0

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Yes. Those bulbs are no good. Petsmart tends to recommend the worst bulbs. I would definitely purchase a MVB for daytime and CHE for nighttime as soon as you possibly can. They are pricey but last FOREVER.
I suggest ordering through Amazon. I've found them to be cheapest there.

Here you go:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002AQDJK/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001F9CV7K/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20



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The links aren't showing up in the app- if you are using the app, click the button on the top right and click 'view in browser'


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theelectraco

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In the meantime, it won't harm your tortoise to go a few days without a UVB bulb until you get a new one, so turn the coil off.
 

Zabbi0

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The links aren't showing up in the app- if you are using the app, click the button in the top right corner and click 'view in browser'. Again, keep us posted:)


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theelectraco said:
In the meantime, it won't harm your tortoise to go a few days without a UVB bulb until you get a new one, so turn the coil off.

Right! Please do this. Keep off the bulb & just up the soaks to keep her warm:)


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aamdericco

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Thank you to everyone! I really appreciate the advise.

Today we started off with a carrot soak for about 20 minutes, and then I cleaned her off with warm water.

I will definitely be getting a different UV bulb. The good news is Petsmart agreed to refund me for the coil bulb (even though I do not have the original packaging anymore.)

Bad news: the infection spread to the right eye, so she's keeping them both shut. The lids look milky... The vet said to continue applying the medicated ointment to both eyes for 2 weeks.

About how long does it take for an infection like this to start clearing up?

Besides the carrot/water mix, she still hasn't ate. I can only get her to open one eye now (the right one) and it's murky and watery when it's open.

We have another vet appointment on Wednesday. I'm going to have them check for parasites just as a precaution. I read that she could have been caught from the wild and then sold... I'm so disgusted with Petsmart. I will never trust them again!!
 

Zabbi0

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The only thing about Petsmart that I like is yes- they always refund me for things & completely own up to their mistakes. But you will learn to be very precautious about pet stores. I'll tell you- people on this forum have saved my babes life many times. Be careful with reptile vets too. They are good about having some general knowledge but sometimes treat different species like the one general species of tort if that makes sense.

Definitely try the Zoomed Powersun mercury vapor bulb and a CHE at night.

Checking for parasites is always good bit don't let the vet treat for parasites without confirming they're there first. :)

Keep up with the baby food soaks and offering different types of food and lots of warm soaks. Get the bulbs ASAP. Keep us posted:)



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Tech13

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I'm so sorry to hear your little tort is unwell, but it is lucky to be in good loving hands. The experienced people here will help you thru this, so do your best to hang in there. We're cheering for you both from the sidelines
 

aamdericco

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Zabbi0 said:
The only thing about Petsmart that I like is yes- they always refund me for things & completely own up to their mistakes. But you will learn to be very precautious about pet stores. I'll tell you- people on this forum have saved my babes life many times. Be careful with reptile vets too. They are good about having some general knowledge but sometimes treat different species like the one general species of tort if that makes sense.

Definitely try the Zoomed Powersun mercury vapor bulb and a CHE at night.

Checking for parasites is always good bit don't let the vet treat for parasites without confirming they're there first. :)

Keep up with the baby food soaks and offering different types of food and lots of warm soaks. Get the bulbs ASAP. Keep us posted:)



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I got the MVB 100 watt powers in today, and my tort seems to be doing better already. He had both of his eyes open! I am going too be the lamp up further away though because it gives more heat than my old bulbs.

I don't want to risk overheating.

Also, our suspicions about mixed up genders were confirmed today when he flashed me while I was cleaning him. Haha we had to pick a different name and decided to name him Misha after Misha Collins.

I don't know what we would have done if not for the nice people on this forum! Thank you all so much!


Powersun*

To bring the lamp up*

Sorry about the typos- it was partly due to autocorrect.
 

BeeBee*BeeLeaves

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Excellent help already. Yes, out with coil. Check. Baby food soaks with carrot, or squash. Good. For food, try junk food like iceberg lettuce just to get something in. My Greeks from Petsmart last year love shredded carrots. Maybe start with those and gradually mix in other things. Also, remember that these may be wild caught. Been through a lot before you got it. From middle east to us is quite the journey, and a scary one at that. Seen pics of a truck bed in Jordan full of them all thrown in the back. Poor babies. Rolling around. Make sure your temps are spot on, soak twice a day is okay, for now. Helps a lot. The soaks rock. Do not hover, until your tortoise knows you as the food god, cause for now, you may be a predator trying to eat it. Give him time to acclimate. Mine took months (I bought 2), so give it time. Oh, and experienced keepers say do NOT let vets give your tortoise a Vitamin A shot. Forget why, but search TFO for the why. Congrats on your new baby. These Greeks are darling. Love mine. Impulse buy, but glad I did it.
 

aamdericco

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BeeBee*BeeLeaves said:
Excellent help already. Yes, out with coil. Check. Baby food soaks with carrot, or squash. Good. For food, try junk food like iceberg lettuce just to get something in. My Greeks from Petsmart last year love shredded carrots. Maybe start with those and gradually mix in other things. Also, remember that these may be wild caught. Been through a lot before you got it. From middle east to us is quite the journey, and a scary one at that. Seen pics of a truck bed in Jordan full of them all thrown in the back. Poor babies. Rolling around. Make sure your temps are spot on, soak twice a day is okay, for now. Helps a lot. The soaks rock. Do not hover, until your tortoise knows you as the food god, cause for now, you may be a predator trying to eat it. Give him time to acclimate. Mine took months (I bought 2), so give it time. Oh, and experienced keepers say do NOT let vets give your tortoise a Vitamin A shot. Forget why, but search TFO for the why. Congrats on your new baby. These Greeks are darling. Love mine. Impulse buy, but glad I did it.

Aw thanks for the tips! What is the best substrate to use for Greeks?
 

Yvonne G

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If they eyes have swelled shut due to the coil bulb, it's not an infection. It is similar to snow blindness. It will clear up in a few days after you've stopped using the light. The ointment the vet gave you will help to sooth.
 
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