Advice about puffy and closed eyes

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Jayne1964
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Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Jayne1964 » 07 Jul 2017, 23:05

Hi folks,
Wonder if you may be able to offer any suggestions. My 3 year old Horsfield Barry has been suffering with puffy eyes since late April. Originally they were just puffy, he was obviously irritated as he would rub with front legs, but he continued to eat and I wiped them each day with cooled boiled water. After a week I took him to my reptile vet - ex vet from Twycross zoo who keeps tortoises himself. The vet gave him an antibiotic and steroid flush to both eyes ( they were slightly open at this point) checked his stool sample for worms/parasites, his sample was clean. The vet said he thought it was an irritation or allergy rather than infection, possibly something under lid etc ( all 3 lids down which were shut tight and unfortunately still are).
His eyes have continued to get worse - they were not runny just puffy and closing more and more. Barry started to eat less, I believe he could not see his food. His eyes got to the stage where he never attempted to open them, even though I continue to wipe with boiled warm water morning and night. I returned to the vet, Barry had lost a considerable amount of weight, he was only 100g currently 84g. The vet gave him an injection of antibiotic and anti inflammatory..and I brought him home. He continues to have his eyes shut and is hardly eating. His varied diet has gone out the window as the only thing I have been able to get him to eat on occasion is soaked dandelion pellets, pellets that I only gave him as a treat once a fortnight...and even then I have to hand feed him and at the most he eats 2.. and most days just smells them and leaves them. His weeds, flowers, romaine and kale that he loves he walks away from. I have him booked into vet again for this Monday. He had said if he does not eat he may need to insert a tube. It is more his closed eyes I am worried about, I see his eyes moving under his lids, they just do not open, which in turn I find when I put him outside he hardly moves ( he used to scoot all over the place) same when in inside habitat.
I spray his substrate everyday. I use 70/30 topsoil and play sand, same supply I have used for nearly 3 years. Temps have not changed 30/32 warm end 20 max the cool end. Always have fresh water available. When it has been really warm of late I have had the basking bulb off as temps have remained the same. I have a good quality uv strip, nothing re set up or feeding has changed. He is soaked evvery other day, except when really warm then everyday as he quite small. I read someone suggest cod liver oil as it could be a vitamin deficiency..I tried this, however he is not eating so I cannot get him to take it. Is there anything you could suggest I try while I wait to take him back to the vet?Hate seeing him so lethargic and looking and feeling so irritated, especially at this time of year?
had told the vet I have not seen him pass any unrates for months. He used to wee when he was walking round the garden or on topsoil, I have seen nothing, not even a wee( although wee could be hidden as I spray) Any suggestions may be gratefully received. I worry he may have gone blind, I even thought he could have been bit by ants, or stung as he had been in the garden a lot around the time this all started.

Many thanks

Kind regard

Jayne 🐢

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lin
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Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by lin » 07 Jul 2017, 23:49

Hi Jayne.
So sorry to hear that Barry isnt 100%. It must be horrible for you to see him like this.
I think it would be a good idea if we could see a photo of his enclosures, both inside and out. Anything that might make us think could do with a tweak. You do sound to have it all covered though but other eyes can sometimes see things that we owerlook because its under our noses all the time.

It will probably be sometime tomorrow before someone gets back to you but if there are photos here we can have a look straight away.

Lin

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Nina
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Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Nina » 08 Jul 2017, 07:43

Hi Jayne,

I'm so sorry to hear that Barry has been so unwell! I'm sort of at a loss to think of any cause of his eye problems other than what your vet has suggested. I've just looked through my copy of 'Veterinary Management of Tortoises and Turtles' by Stuart McArthur, and the only causes I can see are a) foreign objects in the eye; b) infection; c) post hibernation anorexia; d) vitamin A deficiency or overdose.

Re a) --If you have been spraying his substrate (and even if you haven't) that is very unlikely, especially if you have been bathing the eyes. You can bathe them with hypromellose eye drops (known as 'artificial tears' that you can get from any chemist), but I don't think that is the answer really.

Re b) if he has been given an antibiotic for a possible infection that should have worked by now

Re c). Did he hibernate? Swollen eyes are one of the symptoms of post-hibernation anorexia, and also of tissue damage from temperatures that were too cold so that the tissues of the eye froze. But it sounds like Barry not eating is a result of the swollen eyes and not of anorexia. Again, this is unlikely an there would be other symptoms.

Re d). Swollen eyes are a symptom of Vitamin A deficiency but they are also a symptom of Vitamin A overdose. However, it sounds like Barry's diet was absolutely fine and there are other symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency/overdose -- like skin sloughing. Vitamin A deficience is very rare, and in the case of suspected vitamin A deficience it is recommended that the tortoise is NOT given a Vit A injection, as these can easily be dangerous and result in an overdose, but that the deficiency be corrected by diet. However, again I think this is unlikely because of the good diet you have given him.

So I am at an absoloute loss. I think your vet sounds like a good one. Is he on our list of recommended vets? http://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/tort ... WB9v-mQyM8 If not, could you pm me his name and the practice so that we could consider adding him? Nina@thetortoisetable.org.uk

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this next visit to the vet brings up some good results -- you must be so stressed! In the meantime, do send the photos as Lin requested, in case there is something that we notice (but I have to say, it sounds like your husbandry is very good).

Nina

Jayne1964
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Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Jayne1964 » 08 Jul 2017, 08:33

Morning ladies,
Many thanks for your swift response. I have taken some pics..just need to figure out how to upload them lol.[attachment=2]20170708_082239.jpg[/attachment][attachment=1]20170708_082318.jpg[/attachment][attachment=0]20170708_082339.jpg[/attachment][attachment=0]20170708_082339.jpg[/attachment]
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Jayne1964
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Joined: 07 Jul 2017, 23:00

Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Jayne1964 » 08 Jul 2017, 08:35

Hope I upload ok. It is a viv but with glass removed. I will upload a pic of my poorly boy if these first pics upload

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Nina
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Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Nina » 08 Jul 2017, 08:44

Hi Jayne,

I know you said you might have missed a wee because you have sprayed the substrate, but Helen suggests that if Barry really isn't weeing then it could be a renal problem, so when you next go to the vet it might be a good idea to ask him if he can check the renal function. Good luck, and please let us know how you get on.

Nina

Jayne1964
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Joined: 07 Jul 2017, 23:00

Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Jayne1964 » 08 Jul 2017, 08:49

[attachment=0]20170705_173040.jpg[/attachment]

Thanks Nina, booked into vet Monday. My appointments are when the particular vet is on duty as he is the only one in the practice with reptile knowledge. There were no vets in Coventry where I live so a local vet suggested this one. It is Feldons Veterinary centre, Bedworth 4-96 King st Bedworth cv12 8jf
I was concerned re urates and wee as I often saw when he was walking theat he had passed both. I will deff ask re renal.
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Nina
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Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Nina » 08 Jul 2017, 09:05

Hi Jayne,

Oh dear, his eye does look bad! Thanks for posting the photos of your set-up. I think it looks very good -- lots of nice variation and things to walk over and around, and it's great that you have taken the glass out of the viv, as you are now getting a good temperature range.

My only question is about the temperature readings. With a thermometer mounted on a nearby wall, the temp will be reading lower than it actually is. You need to take the temperature directly under the heat source and at tortoise shell height (which might mean holding a thermometer there for a minute or two). We once had someone with a tortoise in a viv (with the glass still in), and their wall-mounted thermometer was reading 30C but when she took the temp directly under the heat lamp, only a few inches away, it was over 40C. I use one of the digital fridge thermometers (you can buy them in lots of places), with a digital display unit that is outside the table and a cord with a probe on the end that is hung from the top so that the probe is at tortoise shell height and as close to the circle of light from the heat lamp as possible. Like this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TM803-Fridge- ... 2238036405 They also often have a Max/Min function so that you can tell how hot or cold it got since you last re-set it, and that is useful. If possible, could you physically hold a thermometer directly under the lamp and see what reading you get?

Also, his sleeping end seems to be at the hot end (although I see that he also has another little shelter at the other end). It would be best if he slept at the cool end, but if he is choosing to sleep there that is fine, and if he is on antibiotics then you do want warm temperatures 24/7 so that is fine too.

Many thanks for the details of your vet, and please let us know how you get on -- we'll be thinking of you and Barry and hoping for the best.

Nina xx

Jayne1964
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Joined: 07 Jul 2017, 23:00

Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Jayne1964 » 08 Jul 2017, 09:22

Thanks Nina,
I will indeed purchase one of these digital temp readers...when we have the hot spell I have not put his basking bulb on, as temps were high enough without it on, hope that is ok to? Before his eyes got bad he would merrily move from one end to the other, depending on time of year and night temps he would often sleep in diff 'huts' obviously with his eyes the way they are I think he so irritated he just stays put and I do the moving. Your advice is much appreciated. I will keep you all posted.

Jayne

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Elaine
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Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Elaine » 08 Jul 2017, 09:45

Good morning Jayne,

Is your heat bulb on a dimming stat to maintain correct level of heat? Often within an enclosed area ( even with the glass doors off) there is very little air disturbance which can allow for heat to build up, especially with the ambient temperature rising.

What UV strip do you have and what is the distance? ( At some point get a reflector as it will at least double the UV towards your tortoise and protect your eyes too).

Is the setup in a cold area? Tortoises especially Horsfields need to cool down at night so no need for the ceramic.

Is the substrate at least double the size of his body? They need this to allow thermal regulation to take place. It's natures way of allowing them to dig down to regulate their own body temperatures.

I like the idea of the artificial tears. I would also bathe in Reptoboost twice daily: just remember to give a fresh bath to wash the Reptoboost off after the soaking. It is used with sick reptiles and often to give tortoises a general boost after hibernation so may just give him a little kick start.

I'm really sorry that after all your efforts you haven't anything more specific to go on.

I'll look forward to your reply and some up close pictures of his eye and one that includes his front legs too please.

Hth Elaine
Elaine on behalf of The Tortoise Table (T.T.T.).

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Elaine
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Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Elaine » 08 Jul 2017, 09:49

Sorry the two posts prior to mine have only just shown up.

You could also try a humid hide at the warm end of your table too as the eye really does look dehydrated.


Elaine
Elaine on behalf of The Tortoise Table (T.T.T.).

Jayne1964
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Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Jayne1964 » 08 Jul 2017, 10:45

Hi Elaine,
No, my heat bulb is not on a dimming stat, my ceramic is but that is set to only come on below 15 so rarely activates. The room is small bedroom that is not used. He is nera the window but to the side of it not directly in front. Normally curtains and blinds are open (sun vomes round about 2pm onwards) but recently wuth this spurt of good weather I have kept curtains ( they are ines that keep light out) closed util I am home from work. Window is vented. I vould try putting my basking bulb in the ceramics dimmer. I have 3 bulbs I use at diff times depending on weather 40 50 60..but thinking about it with your advice on dimmef could use just the one I supose. I will attach pic of uv i have. Not sure how far away from soul it is as can not find tape measure but it just slightly lower.than viv roof. Soil is deep in parts. I do not build it up near front but back and where 'huts" and plants are i do more than shell height. I try to make it uneaven so not just flat. When he was well and roamed he would dig under the plant where nice and moist..and cool.

Jayne1964
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Joined: 07 Jul 2017, 23:00

Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Jayne1964 » 08 Jul 2017, 10:54

Have tried to upload pic of uv source twice..trying for third time so I apologise if you get 3 all upload[attachment=0]20170708_103232.jpg[/attachment] at once lol.
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Elaine
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Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Elaine » 08 Jul 2017, 12:08

Hi Jayne,
Pictures can distort size and distance so if you could measure from the bottom of the UV strip to the surface of the substrate then that would be useful.

I think we MAY have found the problem. The UV strip that you are using is High Output T5 which gives out double the amount of UV that the old T8s did. I haven't used this type of UV source / brand before but I'm positive it's for large enclosures which would mean it would be far to close in your setup.

I have just searched and the strip UV that you have should be 24-36" I think the eye condition may be due to over exposure?

Hth Elaine
Elaine on behalf of The Tortoise Table (T.T.T.).

Jayne1964
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Joined: 07 Jul 2017, 23:00

Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Jayne1964 » 08 Jul 2017, 18:16

Thanks Elaine,
I have ordered a digital temp reader, I have swopped the basking bulb into the ceramic holder that has a dim on off on it and set it too 30. I went to the local reptile shop with the hope of purchasing a diff uv source but they have closed down..for good! So as it has been nice I have switched his uv off today as he has been outside - mainly in dark area of garden/enclosure but at times I got him out and his shell warmed up nicely. I will do this again tomorrow and hopefully source another uv from somewhere. re the current uv tube, I change just after xmas each year and this is the second I have had so Barry has been under the same for past 18mnths, would the uv take this long to cause eye problems?

Jayne1964
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Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Jayne1964 » 08 Jul 2017, 19:05

How could I make a humid hide? I like the sound of that, I am willing to try anything.

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Elaine
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Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Elaine » 08 Jul 2017, 20:26

Hi Jayne,

Do you have anything in the house that could be turned into an open top table? An old wardrobe, bookshelf, underbed storage drawer? Then all your equipment would be fine, would just need brackets.
Sunshine is fantastic! Nothing can beat it.
Humid hides are very basically sphagnum moss and a tub on top with a hole cut out for the tortoise to go into. It must be warm as Horsfield can't tolerate damp. Given that he can't move around this might be something for the future rather than now.
Did you get the artificial tears today? That will get some moisture back into the lids.
I have a good friend that rescued a baby tortoise that had its eyes closed it took a year plus to show change but was being hand fed.
Hth Elaine
Elaine on behalf of The Tortoise Table (T.T.T.).

Jayne1964
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Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Jayne1964 » 08 Jul 2017, 21:57

Hi Elaine,
I went to the chemist today and asked for the natural tears, the chemist got them for me and asked if they were for me as he was going to explain how to use them, being honest I said no I was going to use them on my tortoise, he then said he could not sell them too me as it is against their policy to sell for use on animals. Tomorrow I will go elsewhere..and if asked if they are for me I will just say yes. I do not have the room for something as large as that but today I have been looking at large wire rabbit/guinea pig enclosures...would this be ok? I will make the hide, he may use it if not it might produce some moisture in the enclosure. Can I just ask. I use a basking bulb that emits light as well as heat. Would it be better at the moment just to use a heat source like my ceramic or is the current on (light and heat) ok? Sorry to ask so many questions, just trying to bring some relief to my poor baby x

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Elaine
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Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Elaine » 08 Jul 2017, 23:36

Sorry we should have mentioned that it is not for animal use. It's some sort of law as it hasn't been legally ok for animal use.

Yes the large indoor rabbit cages are fine.

Use your basking bulb as they omit light rays which a ceramic doesn't.

And it's totally fine to ask!

Elaine
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Elaine
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Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Elaine » 09 Jul 2017, 14:27

Jayne not sure if you've managed to measure the distance from the bottom of your basking bulb to the level of the top of your tortoise yet?

Further research pictures attached.

Hth Elaine [attachment=0]IMG_1379.PNG[/attachment][attachment=1]IMG_1378.PNG[/attachment]
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Elaine on behalf of The Tortoise Table (T.T.T.).

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lin
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Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by lin » 09 Jul 2017, 22:24

Hi Jayne.
I agree with Elaine that artificial tears are not made for use with animals, so the chemist can't legally sell them to you. However, they are perfectly safe and we know of several vets who have recommended them for use with tortoises, so if you want to buy some (and say they are for you), it should be fine. Make sure they contain hypromellose.

Lin



Jayne1964 wrote:
> Hi Elaine,
> I went to the chemist today and asked for the natural tears, the chemist
> got them for me and asked if they were for me as he was going to explain
> how to use them, being honest I said no I was going to use them on my
> tortoise, he then said he could not sell them too me as it is against their
> policy to sell for use on animals. Tomorrow I will go elsewhere..and if
> asked if they are for me I will just say yes. I do not have the room for
> something as large as that but today I have been looking at large wire
> rabbit/guinea pig enclosures...would this be ok? I will make the hide, he
> may use it if not it might produce some moisture in the enclosure. Can I
> just ask. I use a basking bulb that emits light as well as heat. Would it
> be better at the moment just to use a heat source like my ceramic or is the
> current on (light and heat) ok? Sorry to ask so many questions, just trying
> to bring some relief to my poor baby x

Jayne1964
Posts: 17
Joined: 07 Jul 2017, 23:00

Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Jayne1964 » 09 Jul 2017, 23:04

Many thabks for finding the information for me re uv. I measured at 15cm. I am now looking for a T8. Purchased the natural tears today. Have used them, Barry's eyes are mainly closed but still used them then later on his eyes opened the size of a pin ( pointed end...thats how little it was) so I gave another squirt in each eye. Have made humid hide in ourdoor and indoor enclosure. We have nice weather here tomorrow so Barry is going out while I am at work ..trying not to use the uv I have..not used it yesterday or today trying to just use natural outside ( with shade ) rather than my syrong tube. I will let you know what vet says and will remember to ask about renal.

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Nina
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Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Nina » 09 Jul 2017, 23:24

Good luck tomorrow, Jayne! We'll all be thinking of you and Barry.

Nina xx

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Elaine
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Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Elaine » 10 Jul 2017, 07:40

Hi Jayne,
Glad the drops are perhaps elevating a little discomfort.

You could always get a smaller % of the T5 strip. That would save you having to buy a new starter unit. And when he gets bigger the strip you have can be used in the larger setup.

Good luck with the vet visit
Elaine
Elaine on behalf of The Tortoise Table (T.T.T.).

Jayne1964
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Joined: 07 Jul 2017, 23:00

Re: Advice about puffy and closed eyes

Post by Jayne1964 » 10 Jul 2017, 23:31

Hi folks,
Just a little up date. Saw the vet, although I was able to report Barry had actually eaten a little over the weekend and today (hand fed..not ideal) Mark the vet agreed it was a major concern that his eyes are still shut tight. Barry is booked in at 9.15am tomorrow to be sedated and have his eyelids pulled back so the vet can have a good look to see if there is any damage to the actual eye or if foreign bodies are present. Once open he is going to flush them out..fingers crossed this works and gives my poor little fella a bit of relief.
Really have appreciated your advice. My digital thermometer arrived today, so that will be put into place tomorrow. Will let you know how his op goes.

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