Swollen eyes

Drownafish

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Hi, I have a Russian tortoise about 1-2 years of age. And I've noticed that his eyes are completely shut and he's very lethargic and doesn't really eat. I bought eyedrops and have been applying daily after his daily soaks. It looks like he really struggles to open his eyes. What should I do?
 

Yvonne G

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This is what happens when a young tortoise isn't having his basic care needs met. It's very important for you to read the care sheet and make adjustments to your little one's environment ASAP. A tortoise with swollen shut eyes is very sick.
Go to our Russian section and look for the thread "The best way to raise any temperate species of tortoise". You'll find it towards the top of the section.

Did you get him from a breeder or a pet store? I'm trying to figure out if he's really one or two years old or if the sales clerk just told you that.

Please post a picture of the tortoise (because our answer to your problem will be different for a baby or an adult)
 
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Drownafish

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el monte
This is what happens when a young tortoise isn't having his basic care needs met. It's very important for you to read the care sheet and make adjustments to your little one's environment ASAP. A tortoise with swollen shut eyes is very sick.
Go to our Russian section and look for the thread "The best way to raise any temperate species of tortoise". You'll find it towards the top of the section.

Did you get him from a breeder or a pet store? I'm trying to figure out if he's really one or two years old or if the sales clerk just told you that.

Please post a picture of the tortoise (because our answer to your problem will be different for a baby or an adult)

I have him in a 6x6 outdoor enclosure with another smaller tortoise, however the smaller is thriving. I got my Russian from a petco, about a few months ago.
 

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Yvonne G

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It's hard to know what's wrong because there are a couple different things that could be making him sick.

First of all you should not have two tortoises in the same enclosure. . . especially if they are not the same species. He's probably been sick this whole time, not your fault, came to you that way from Petco. Secondly, the area you have TWO tortoises living in is too small for two tortoises. It's testing the limit for just one, and of course, bigger would be better for the one. I'm guessing that the smaller tortoise is not a russian? Mixing species quite often causes one or both to get sick and even to die.

The tortoise in your picture is full grown, not one or two years old. His eyes are swollen because he hasn't eaten, he's too cold, he's crowded with another tortoise.

Here's what you can do to get his eyes open (but, remember, you need to change the way he's living or he'll just get sick again):

Using a small tub he can't climb out of, with a smallish footprint, add a jar of Gerber strained carrots with that same amount (the jar) of warm water. You want the liquid to come up to the middle of the tortoise's sides, where the top shell meets the bottom shell. So, a small container with tall sides. Set the soaking tub into a larger plastic bin that you can mount a light over to keep it warm because you're going to leave him in there for an hour or more. If you do this every day for three days, at the end of the third day his eyes will open. They won't eat if they can't see.

In the meantime, because he's sick, he'll need to live in your house for a while. . . at least until the weather outside is warm all the time and the nights don't get any colder than, say, about 70F. So buy a large plastic tub. If you can find somewhere that sells the Christmas tree storage bins mfg'd by Iris, that's a good size for this tortoise. He's going to need a good UVB light during the day for 14 hours, a CHE on a thermostat set at 85F while he's sick, day and night (you can adjust this cooler once he's not sick), a waterer, a hiding place and a couple potted plants. I like to use fir bark as the substrate.

Good luck getting this tortoise well. We're rooting for the both of you, and we're here for you if you need more help and advice.
 
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Tom

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I have him in a 6x6 outdoor enclosure with another smaller tortoise, however the smaller is thriving. I got my Russian from a petco, about a few months ago.
They need acclimation time to live outdoors and they need a heated shelter too.

Give this a read:
 
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