SWOLLEN TORTOISE EYES..

TammyJ

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That ridiculous "Petsgang" enclosure would make a good hamster cage. Just needs a wire mesh top.
It's a horrible enclosure for a tortoise. All wrong. Use the glass tank with a cover to keep the humidity in.
Tom is very experienced and knows best what is good for your tortoise! Stick with us, we want to help.
 

Tinytony

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That ridiculous "Petsgang" enclosure would make a good hamster cage. Just needs a wire mesh top.
It's a horrible enclosure for a tortoise. All wrong. Use the glass tank with a cover to keep the humidity in.
Tom is very experienced and knows best what is good for your tortoise! Stick with us, we want to help.
I bought it after seeing everybody say glass tanks are bad, and tony always bangs his head against the glass trying to get out… also his glass tank is only 60cm it’s way to small and it’s hard to find glass tanks that are a good size for a decent price. Thank you, everyone has helped a lot. It’s confusing because everything was contradicted on YouTube so I didn’t know what was right or wrong.
 

zolasmum

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I have attached a image of the bulb, I have also attached an image of his new house.. until I’m able to buy one that’s bigger. Also you said about the humidity… this may sound silly but how do you know the Humidity? I have just bought a spray mist for his topsoil. I have added an image of his current house and his lights if this helps at all. If you have any more advice let me know it’s all appreciated! Also I noticed blood under his chin I have washed him and it’s gone away but do you know any causes of this? I am currently trying to get an appointment with a reptile vet. Thank you View attachment 346383 View attachment 346384 View attachment 346385 View attachment 346386
The water dish looks like a plastic one - if so,it would be much safer to get a terra cotta clay plant saucer , and push it into the substrate a bit, so that the edges are level with the surface of the substrate. It will be heavier, and less likely to tip when Tony goes into it - and the rougher surface will help him get out again easily.
Angie
 

Tinytony

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The water dish looks like a plastic one - if so,it would be much safer to get a terra cotta clay plant saucer , and push it into the substrate a bit, so that the edges are level with the surface of the substrate. It will be heavier, and less likely to tip when Tony goes into it - and the rougher surface will help him get out again easily.
Angie
Yeah I am currently looking for a terra cotta one from Amazon for his new house. The one he’s using now is plastic so I definitely need a different one, thank you
 

zolasmum

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Yeah I am currently looking for a terra cotta one from Amazon for his new house. The one he’s using now is plastic so I definitely need a different one, thank you
I just read what you said in your previous post about getting confused by information on You Tube - I think you can safely ignore anything said there or anywhere else - just stick to what people tell you here. Unfortunately, people with very little experience and set ideas often talk as though they know everything - here, people like Tom can be trusted to tell you the best way to do things from their own wide experience.
I have been wondering if you are in the UK - or is there an Eccles in the US?
Angie
 

Yvonne G

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Since he sometimes opens his eyes I'm going to GUESS that it's the light that's causing eye pain. For my baby russians I use a T5 fluorescent UVB. Then for heat I use a ceramic heat emitter on a thermostat.
 

Tinytony

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The pics help us understand what is going on better. Thanks for posting them.

Most of the care info from pet shops and online is all wrong. Here is the correct care info. Read through this at least a couple of times and you will see some changes you need to make. Your questions are welcome.

There is nothing wrong with the glass tank. That is a myth. The only problem with glass tanks is that they are too small for anything but a baby. Yours looks like a baby. Glass tanks are actually better for the very reasons "they" say they are bad. Reduced ventilation. This helps keep temps and humidity up wen compared to a low sided open topped table. Babies need warm temps and higher humidity.

You need to go to the hard ware store or Walmart and get a digital thermometer for about $13. Something like this:
View attachment 346387
Here is a simplified breakdown of the heating and lighting:
There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night. Some people in colder climates or with larger enclosures will need multiple CHEs or RHPs to spread out enough heat.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
Soil should never be used as reptile substrate. There is no way to know what is in it. Read the care sheet for better alternatives.

This is a lot of info to take in, but we will help you. At first it seems daunting, but after you do it all, it will make sense and seem simple.
Thank you for sharing this information, it helps a lot! I’m struggling to find a The basking bulb… I live in the uk maybe that’s why. Do you have any other recommendations for the basking light?

Is it safe for me to use the vapour all in one mercury light for a few months until I find a better alternative or will it harm my tortoise?

Thank you
 

Tom

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Thank you for sharing this information, it helps a lot! I’m struggling to find a The basking bulb… I live in the uk maybe that’s why. Do you have any other recommendations for the basking light?

Is it safe for me to use the vapour all in one mercury light for a few months until I find a better alternative or will it harm my tortoise?

Thank you
MVBs are not safe or reliable in my experience. I wouldn't trust one. They also cause pyramiding. If you decide to use one, also get a solar meter 6.5 to check the UV output,

Arcadia makes flood bulbs for reptiles, and those are available in the UK. They make different wattages. Here is one:
 

TaylorTortoise

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I am so happy he is finally opening his eyes! Eyes looks perfectly fine/ healthy full of life when open. Making these corrections will only bring more happiness and health to your friend.
 

Tom

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I bought it after seeing everybody say glass tanks are bad, and tony always bangs his head against the glass trying to get out… also his glass tank is only 60cm it’s way to small and it’s hard to find glass tanks that are a good size for a decent price. Thank you, everyone has helped a lot. It’s confusing because everything was contradicted on YouTube so I didn’t know what was right or wrong.
The "everybody" who is saying that is wrong. Pure ignorance. If you take a Russian that is behaving that way and put it in an opaque enclosure of the same dimensions, it will do the same thing. The problem is that the enclosure is too small and too barren. There needs to be hides, plants, logs, sight barriers and areas to hide and explore. Small, empty, boring enclosure cause this behavior. Doesn't matter if its glass or solid wood. All tortoises need large enclosures. Russians roam great distances in the wild. Small enclosure affect them even more than some other species.

Some tortoises at some times of the year will do this behavior even if their enclosure is 10 acres. Males of brumating species tend to want to wander in spring in search of females after they wake up.
 

Tinytony

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Eccles
The pics help us understand what is going on better. Thanks for posting them.

Most of the care info from pet shops and online is all wrong. Here is the correct care info. Read through this at least a couple of times and you will see some changes you need to make. Your questions are welcome.

There is nothing wrong with the glass tank. That is a myth. The only problem with glass tanks is that they are too small for anything but a baby. Yours looks like a baby. Glass tanks are actually better for the very reasons "they" say they are bad. Reduced ventilation. This helps keep temps and humidity up wen compared to a low sided open topped table. Babies need warm temps and higher humidity.

You need to go to the hard ware store or Walmart and get a digital thermometer for about $13. Something like this:
View attachment 346387
Here is a simplified breakdown of the heating and lighting:
There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night. Some people in colder climates or with larger enclosures will need multiple CHEs or RHPs to spread out enough heat.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
Soil should never be used as reptile substrate. There is no way to know what is in it. Read the care sheet for better alternatives.

This is a lot of info to take in, but we will help you. At first it seems daunting, but after you do it all, it will make sense and seem simple.
Thank you for all this information, I have purchased the Arcadia flood light you recommended, and for the UV bulb I have attached a photo to make sure it’s the correct one before I buy. Also what food do you recommend for a vitamin A deficiency? Or should I buy a supplement? Also I know you said I should bathe my tony for around 30 minutes everyday but he scratches to get out after like 3 minutes.. should I just leave him to soak or take him out since he doesn’t seem to be enjoying it? Also people on here recommended reptimed eye drops for his swollen eyes would this be safe? I have made him a vets appointment but it’s not till next week. Sorry for all the questions
 

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Tinytony

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The "everybody" who is saying that is wrong. Pure ignorance. If you take a Russian that is behaving that way and put it in an opaque enclosure of the same dimensions, it will do the same thing. The problem is that the enclosure is too small and too barren. There needs to be hides, plants, logs, sight barriers and areas to hide and explore. Small, empty, boring enclosure cause this behavior. Doesn't matter if its glass or solid wood. All tortoises need large enclosures. Russians roam great distances in the wild. Small enclosure affect them even more than some other species.

Some tortoises at some times of the year will do this behavior even if their enclosure is 10 acres. Males of brumating species tend to want to wander in spring in search of females after they wake up.
Yeah I definitely won’t be listening to any more YouTube recommendations again.. I know you said about using a cheap washing bowl and cutting a hole for a hide because it keeps it humid so I will do this in his new home and what plants are safe to put into his enclosure? Thank you Tom
 

Tom

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Thank you for all this information, I have purchased the Arcadia flood light you recommended, and for the UV bulb I have attached a photo to make sure it’s the correct one before I buy. Also what food do you recommend for a vitamin A deficiency? Or should I buy a supplement? Also I know you said I should bathe my tony for around 30 minutes everyday but he scratches to get out after like 3 minutes.. should I just leave him to soak or take him out since he doesn’t seem to be enjoying it? Also people on here recommended reptimed eye drops for his swollen eyes would this be safe? I have made him a vets appointment but it’s not till next week. Sorry for all the questions
That is a perfect UV bulb. Best to use a solarmeter 6.5 to set the mounting height correctly. If you don't have a meter, set it around 50cm over the tortoise. It only needs to run for a couple fo hours mid day, so be sure you also have LED ambient lighting of some sort.

Tortoises don't get vitamin A deficiency. That is a turtle thing. Everything torts eat is full of vitamin A.

Soak the tortoise for 30-40 minutes. It would be weird if they didn't crawl around trying to get out. This is good exercise and it also keeps the bowels moving. We call it "the tortoise treadmill".

I've never needed eyedrops, so I have no first hand experience to offer there.

Be careful with the vet. They often do more harm than good out of ignorance. If they offer a "vitamin injection" politely decline and realize that they know little about tortoises. Vets don't usually know tortoise care.

Have you changed the substrate? Soil should never be used. That could be your problem.
 

Tinytony

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Yeah I definitely won’t be listening to any more YouTube recommendations again.. I know you said about using a cheap washing bowl and cutting a hole for a hide because it keeps it humid so I will do this in his new home and what plants are safe to put into his enclosure? Thank you Tom
That is a perfect UV bulb. Best to use a solarmeter 6.5 to set the mounting height correctly. If you don't have a meter, set it around 50cm over the tortoise. It only needs to run for a couple fo hours mid day, so be sure you also have LED ambient lighting of some sort.

Tortoises don't get vitamin A deficiency. That is a turtle thing. Everything torts eat is full of vitamin A.

Soak the tortoise for 30-40 minutes. It would be weird if they didn't crawl around trying to get out. This is good exercise and it also keeps the bowels moving. We call it "the tortoise treadmill".

I've never needed eyedrops, so I have no first hand experience to offer there.

Be careful with the vet. They often do more harm than good out of ignorance. If they offer a "vitamin injection" politely decline and realize that they know little about tortoises. Vets don't usually know tortoise care.

Have you changed the substrate? Soil should never be used. That could be your problem.
Great I shall buy that one, I checked for the solar meter 6.5 but on Amazon there over £200 so I can’t afford it right now but I will definitely keep it in mind for the near future.

Oh okay when I was doing research some people said swollen eyes can be a vitamin a deficiency or respiratory infection. The lady I got him from only fed him on kale… so maybe that has something to do with it? But his eyes have been this way for a year now even when I used coco coir his eyes was still swollen.

Tortoise treadmill😂 okay I will let him get his workout whilst having a bath, I usually only bathe him quickly but he doesn’t seem to enjoy it.

Yeah I’m unsure about the drops because I don’t want to give him anything that will cause further pain.

Thank you for the advice, I have read a lot about vets giving tortoises the vitamin injections but I will be sure to decline.

He’s currently still in his soil bedding i ordered some coco coir bricks but it doesn’t get here until Tuesday, I have tried coco coir about 2 months ago and then switched to top soil to see if his eyes got better but they didn’t.

Thank you
 

TammyJ

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Great I shall buy that one, I checked for the solar meter 6.5 but on Amazon there over £200 so I can’t afford it right now but I will definitely keep it in mind for the near future.

Oh okay when I was doing research some people said swollen eyes can be a vitamin a deficiency or respiratory infection. The lady I got him from only fed him on kale… so maybe that has something to do with it? But his eyes have been this way for a year now even when I used coco coir his eyes was still swollen.

Tortoise treadmill😂 okay I will let him get his workout whilst having a bath, I usually only bathe him quickly but he doesn’t seem to enjoy it.

Yeah I’m unsure about the drops because I don’t want to give him anything that will cause further pain.

Thank you for the advice, I have read a lot about vets giving tortoises the vitamin injections but I will be sure to decline.

He’s currently still in his soil bedding i ordered some coco coir bricks but it doesn’t get here until Tuesday, I have tried coco coir about 2 months ago and then switched to top soil to see if his eyes got better but they didn’t.

Thank you
That topsoil may also be irritating his eyes.
 

Tinytony

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Yeah I definitely won’t be listening to any more YouTube recommendations again.. I know you said about using a cheap washing bowl and cutting a hole for a hide because it keeps it humid so I will do this in his new home and what plants are safe to put into his enclosure? Thank you Tom
 

zolasmum

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We have used Viscotears from the local chemist pharmacy department for Zola several times over the years - it is a clear gel, so you just put a blob on Tony's eye, and it will turn to liquid - much better than drops, and also not expensive, unlike the things vets supply. I think it cost about £3. You can use it as often as you like, and it certainly works for Zola.
Angie (from UK)
 

Tinytony

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That topsoil may also be irritating his eyes.
We have used Viscotears from the local chemist pharmacy department for Zola several times over the years - it is a clear gel, so you just put a blob on Tony's eye, and it will turn to liquid - much better than drops, and also not expensive, unlike the things vets supply. I think it cost about £3. You can use it as often as you like, and it certainly works for Zola.
Angie (from UK)
Oh really I will check that out, Did zola ever have swollen eyes and did the gel work for that ? Do you have an outside enclosure for yours? I live in the uk aswell and I’m unsure on weather to let tony out every day in the summer or only when it’s really hot out…
 

zolasmum

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Oh really I will check that out, Did zola ever have swollen eyes and did the gel work for that ? Do you have an outside enclosure for yours? I live in the uk aswell and I’m unsure on weather to let tony out every day in the summer or only when it’s really hot out…
Yes, Zola had swollen eyes quite a bit when we first got him, and it was the pet shop owner, who had several tortoises of his own, who told us about Viscotears. It really does work well, and seems quite soothing. I have never needed it personally, but would happily do so - it is made for humans, really. We don't have an actual outside enclosure for Zola - we always stay with him all the time while he is out on the lawn - unfortunately, our garden isn't really suitable for an enclosure. Indoors, he has a fairly large conservatory for his room, and his lamp, hide and food are in there. We also take him out every day in the car - mainly we go to look at the sea, or a local lake or wood - he really enjoys that - my husband carries him, in such a way he can get a good view. It's lovely to see Zola stretching his neck out to watch the waves.
I think you need to have a hide for Tony in any outside enclosure, so he can decide for himself if he wants to be out in the sun (if any !) - but normally our sun here is probably ok.
Anyway, do try the Viscotears before you see the vet - it may be all you need.
Best wishes from Angie.
p.s. I'm sure you think we are a bit weird, taking Zola out with us every day, but he enjoys our company, and we enjoy his. He is nearly 22, and we have ben doing this most of his life !
 

Tinytony

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Yes, Zola had swollen eyes quite a bit when we first got him, and it was the pet shop owner, who had several tortoises of his own, who told us about Viscotears. It really does work well, and seems quite soothing. I have never needed it personally, but would happily do so - it is made for humans, really. We don't have an actual outside enclosure for Zola - we always stay with him all the time while he is out on the lawn - unfortunately, our garden isn't really suitable for an enclosure. Indoors, he has a fairly large conservatory for his room, and his lamp, hide and food are in there. We also take him out every day in the car - mainly we go to look at the sea, or a local lake or wood - he really enjoys that - my husband carries him, in such a way he can get a good view. It's lovely to see Zola stretching his neck out to watch the waves.
I think you need to have a hide for Tony in any outside enclosure, so he can decide for himself if he wants to be out in the sun (if any !) - but normally our sun here is probably ok.
Anyway, do try the Viscotears before you see the vet - it may be all you need.
Best wishes from Angie.
p.s. I'm sure you think we are a bit weird, taking Zola out with us every day, but he enjoys our company, and we enjoy his. He is nearly 22, and we have ben doing this most of his life !
Oh great thanks I will give it a try, my garden isn’t great for tony since it’s all stones and is quite sharp but we have a little grass which he goes on. But I can’t stand there watching him for an hour or 2 because I had a toddler lol, so I just bought an outside enclosure (122cm long) with a mesh lid so he will be safe. Yeah I’m going to add some plants and hides for him , do you know any safe plants and flowers to add? o… sounds like zola is living his best life, wow 22 he’s almost the same age as me! Is he a Russian?
 
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