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Help- My Russian has something wrong with his eye

Discussion in 'Tortoise Health' started by katieandiggy, Jun 28, 2019.

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  1. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    Hello,

    My Russian (18 months) has been off for a few weeks. Not really eating, sleeping a lot.

    A few days ago I though his eye looked different, it just seemed very very slightly swollen on the lid and it seemed like when he opened his eyes, one took longer to open than the other. There is no gunk or mess and it’s not watery at all.

    Today I’ve realised that there is something going on with it as he keeps on rubbing it on his leg and when open the third eye lid does not completely go (if that makes Sense) IMG_0231.jpg IMG_0234.jpg


    The other eye is open

    IMG_0233.jpg

    What can I do for him?
  2. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    What lighting do you use? What substrate? Do you have anything in the enclosure that could get in or poke his eye? Can we see a picture of the enclosure?

    Warm soaks with a mixture of 50% water to carrot baby food usually help for eye issues because of the vitamin A. Try doing that daily for a bit.
  3. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    Hi Techno,
    I don’t suspect for one second it’s lighting, I use the strip light and have done for over a year. All my enclosure is based on what I’ve learnt from here, I use coco coir and orchid bark. I guess a piece of bark could poke the eye?

    He just seems off. I’m not sure if he is just off because his eye is bothering him.

    I will try the carrot soaks thank you.

    I’ll see if I can get a better pic too
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  4. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    Update:

    I have just got him in and he can’t open his eye at all now. The other eye also looks odd to me.
    Pics below
    IMG_0260.jpg

    The other eye looks like it’s not fully open
    IMG_0258.jpg

    IMG_0261.jpg
  5. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    @Yvonne G I know that you will know what this is?

    Do you think it could be the start of a RI?
  6. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    Today both eyes don’t seem to be open.

    I can’t buy any kind of eye antibiotic in the UK

    Can’t get to the vets until Tuesday at the earliest, she is the only specialist reptile vet that I would trust.
  7. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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  8. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    My tortoise is off to the vets tomorrow. I have an appointment an hour away with a reptile specialist.

    Here is her website.
    https://www.exoticvetsuffolk.co.uk/suv.dll/Blog
    She seems to have a fair bit of experience with tortoises, she has operated on them you can read about them on her case studies.

    Fingers crossed.
  9. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

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    In your photos I see some very tiny grit? Is this just due to the zoom or something inthe enclusure. The coco coir can be gritty when dry? Hope the best for your Tort
  10. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    Hi blackdog, what you see is dirt from the garden. He was dug down about a foot into the ground and came out covered in dirt, I always soak him to get the dirt off then empty the water and put fresh water back to soak him again.

    I purchased some turtle eye drops from amazon, it had great reviews online so I have put them on twice today. Hopefully it has helped somewhat and tomorrow we will see what she has to say.
  11. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

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    I have those same drops in my animal first aid kit per the TFO suggestions. Lets hope I never need them. Good luck with your Tortie we have some awesome people to get advice from. I am personnaly a Torie Newbie- I went from zero to almost zen master following the advice her. Don't hestate to ask
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  12. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

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    Dang I just realized you said dirt from the garden. Could it be topsoil, because some topsoils mix sand in and sand is a major irritant.
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  13. Michael231

    Michael231 Member

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    I agree with @Yvonne G that it seems like it is either a scratch or substrate getting stuck underneath the eyelid and irritating the eye.

    Try doing the soak in 50% carrot baby juice, and see if he opens it. Generally, when my box turtles have eye issues it is because they get some dry substrate stuck between the eye and eyelid.

    When he opens his eyes, is there any puss discharge? If so, that may indicate an infection. For bacterial infections, I use gentamicin, an aminoglycoside antibiotic. If infection is indicated (which I doubt it is based on the photos) your vet will likely prescribe an aminoglycoside or a flouroquinolone of choice for ophthalmic use.

    Good luck, and I hope he gets better!
    katieandiggy likes this.
  14. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    Hi thanks for your reply. There hasn’t been anything until today when I noticed that his eyes were running. Nothing coming from the nose at all but I wonder if I’m dealing with an RI
  15. Michael231

    Michael231 Member

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    How long have his eyes been shut? Some of the bacteria that cause URTD (RI) can also cause irritation to the eyes. However, if it was RI I'd expect to see copious nasal discharge and overall lethargy...

    Until there are signs of nasal discharge or severe lethargy I'd treat this like an eye infection.

    So you did notice puss coming from the eye? Or was the fluid clear?
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  16. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    I did use topsoil but it’s no different from the one I used last year and it’s used widely in the uk for tortoises. I hope that is all it is but as it’s now affecting 2 eyes I’m leaning towards some kind of infection.
  17. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

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    Wish you the best! Caring for our animal babies stinks cause they can't tell us where it hurts!!
  18. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    The fluid was clear like water. He is very sluggish and his appetite has not been good for about 6 weeks. I first noticed that one eye was slower to open than the other one but there was nothing else that looked wrong with the eye. He’s just become more sluggish the last week and on Friday I first noticed one eye wouldn’t open and by Sunday neither would open. He managed to open one a tiny bit and I could see the third eyelid.
  19. Michael231

    Michael231 Member

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    It could definitely be URTD (RI) based on the fact that he has had a lack of appetite and seems to be quite lethargic from your description. I would definitely suggest taking him to a vet, and they can better assess him there. Generally they will give an antibiotic such as Enrofloxacin (albeit this antibiotic is getting less and less coverage), Ofloxacin, or any other antibiotic the vet prefers. From the photos, it looks like your tortoise is not super young, so it should be old enough to receive antibiotics.

    For now, I still agree you should try the carrot soak. You could also get an empty, clean, Home Depot bucket (or any other bucket) and place a dry towel on the bottom of it. Place your tortoise in the bucket, situate an incandescent overhead attached to the bucket, and gently spray some room-temp water into the bucket. Place another towel over it, but create a small gap for air to exit. This will create a humid environment that will also be warm, which should help to curb the infection.

    What are your tortoises ambient, basking spot, and shady area temperatures? While it is good to cure the problem, it is also good to get to the root of it!

    Cheers!
  20. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    Hey thanks. He is young, he’s around 18 months and 100g although I bet he lost some weight the last few weeks. My scale batteries are dead so I will wait and see tomorrow. He’s in a 5ft open top table, he was doing great in it, I did have him in a viv but swapped it out last year and he seemed much happier. Basking is 35c and is at one end of the table I guess the middle is coolest point at 22c and at the opposite end where he sleeps I run a che at 25c. There are a range of temperatures for him to move between. The ambient of the room is around 22c.
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