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Redfoot with bubbly eye

Discussion in 'Tortoise Health' started by JTH, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. JTH

    JTH New Member

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    Location (City and/or State):
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    I have a 6 year old red-footed tortoise that seems very healthy, good appetite, and nice smooth growth. But about once or twice a day she will develop clear bubbles over one eye, which does obscure her vision. If I spray her head with water, it washes away the bubbles and her eye looks completely clear. No apparent eye damage, no nasal discharges. Has anyone experienced this in a tortoise, and any thoughts on cause or significance?

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  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    Forest tortoises sometimes have bubbly eyes. It's perfectly normal, and an indication the tortoise may be kept too dry.
    ZEROPILOT likes this.
  3. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    ....And or kept too hot.
    What is the enclosure temperature?
  4. Melis

    Melis Well-Known Member

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    This is interesting. Is it a mechanism to keep the eye moist?
  5. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Can you give us more information on the way it is being kept?
    That is not normal. But it may be something we can help you correct.
  6. JTH

    JTH New Member

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    Thanks to all for comments. This tortoise (and one other sibling redfoot) is now kept on moist coco fiber substrate, but was kept on a mulch for several years that probably did have a tendency to dry out too quickly. The torts are given a range of daytime temps, with UV fluorescent bulbs and a ceramic heat emitter on one end (reaches mid 80sF), and cooler on other end (upper 70s). They move back and forth as they wish. Nighttime temps drop to 70s, but never lower than 70°. We have a few flat rocks for them to clamber over, to keep claws worn down. As I noted, they seem healthy except for the eye bubbles.
  7. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Your temperatures do seem adequate.
    Is it just the one RF...And just one of his/her eyes?
    How long has this been going on?
    Have you changed anything at all in the enclosure?
  8. JTH

    JTH New Member

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    The other tortoise, a sibling, has occasionally had bubbly eye, but mostly it's just the one, and normally in one eye at a time. I am keeping them moister and more humid now. As long as the bubbles clear away with water and I don't see other problems, I guess I won't worry too much, but I was curious as to how common this is, and whether it's a sign of a latent infection.
  9. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    I've never seen bubbles.
    But I did have a tortoise left in the sun too long that had watery eyes.
    I'm still not sure if it was overheating, dehydration or both.
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