Leopard

This forum covers all aspects of tortoise diet and nutrition, including mineral and vitamin supplementation and foods appropriate for different species.
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Polly
Posts: 15
Joined: 21 Jun 2020, 13:34

Leopard

Post by Polly » 18 Feb 2021, 08:44

Hi there

I am a little concerned about my leopards eyes.

On most days when tending to his needs I am finding his eyes are dry and need bathing with warm water in order for them to open

Is this normal or am I missing something n his daily care

Thanks for any help

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Nina
Posts: 1447
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Leopard

Post by Nina » 18 Feb 2021, 12:15

Hi Polly,

Great to hear from you again, and I'm sorry to hear that your little Leopard is having some eye problems. I do remember last June that he had some problems with his energy levels and you ordered a new bulb kit and saw an improvement, but this is obviously a different problem.

Just to check -- are his eyes a bit crusty or sort of 'glued shut' in the mornings and that is why you have to bathe them to get him to open them? When you said 'dry' I wasn't sure what you meant. Are the eyes puffy, crusty, swollen or just closed? There are many causes of this so it's hard to say why, but here are some of them:
-- lack of humidity. Although Leopards like a relatively dry environment, if it is too dry this can lead to eye irritation and keeping eyes closed. Do you bathe him at least twice a week? Do you spray the substrate every day or two, to keep it from getting dusty?

-- a foreign object in the eye. Sometimes a bit of sand/grit, or even a bit of skin that has been shed can get in the eye, but I would have thought that you bathing it and him opening it after bathing would indicate otherwise.

-- conjuncitivitis This is not uncommon and would need a visit to a good tortoise/reptile vet to diagnose it, and is easily treated with antibiotics. However, I think with conjuncitivitis that the eyes would almost certainly be swollen.

-- Vitamin A deficiency and Vitamin A overdose. Both a deficiency and an overdose of Vitamin A cause the same symptoms, but this is very rare and so very unlikely (and the eyes would also be swollen and perhaps watery, and there would be other health problems as well).

I think the most likely cause is environmental (lack of humidity or dust in the eyes), so I would bathe him well (in warm water up to where his top shell meets his bottom shell), and in a container that he can't see out of, for 15 - 20 minutes every day. Or you could pour some water on the substrate and mix it in well --- BUT the result should just be the teeny tiniest bit damp and not at all wet.

Also, a final check, because we've been having some really cold weather recently and the ambient temperature in a room has a huge effect on the temperature in the table -- what is the temperature directly below his lamp and at the height of his shell? You will need to hold a thermometer there to get an accurate reading (a thermometer on a nearby wall won't give a true reading).

I hope that helps. Could you post a photo of his eyes that are shut, before you bathe them in the mornings?

Nina

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lin
Posts: 829
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Leopard

Post by lin » 18 Feb 2021, 15:38

Hi Polly
I would also like to see a photo of the eyes before bathing. Can you remind me how old he is please.
Lin

Polly
Posts: 15
Joined: 21 Jun 2020, 13:34

Re: Leopard

Post by Polly » 20 Feb 2021, 13:30

Hi all

I have attached photos of his eyes hope they help they seem "crusty" first thing in the morning.

I have measured the temperature in his enclosure and it is steady at 32

I am also spaying his enclosure twice a week hoping to keep any dust down

He is 18 months old
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Nina
Posts: 1447
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Leopard

Post by Nina » 20 Feb 2021, 20:21

Hi Polly, and thanks for getting back to us and for posting that photo. After you have bathed his eyes in the morning and they open, then do they stay open for the rest of the day?

I'm so sorry to keep asking questions, but how and where in his enclosure did you measure the temperature? It shouldn't be one temperature throughout the whole enclosure, because you want a temperature of about 30C directly under the heat source and at the height of his shell, and then about 20C at the cooler end. This is so that he can move from warmer to cooler areas throughout the day to regulate his body temperature. Is he in an open table or an enclosed vivarium?

Sprayng his enclosure lightly to keep any dust down is a great help. Does he also have regular baths in warm water?

At a chemist/pharmacist you can buy something over the counter called 'Artificial Tears'. It is meant to lubricate eyes of humans, but it can be very effective in eliminating crust which could cause a tortoise's eyes to remain shut. It contains 'hypromellose', so if you ask the chemist for Artificial Tears, or it might have a different brand name, but it is basically hypromellose, you can then gently bathe his eyes with that in the morning. That should be suffcient to clear up most problems caused by dust or grit, but if it is a bacterial infection then you will need to take him to a good reptile vet because he will need an antibiotic. We have a list of recommended vets, organised by area here https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/tor ... DEwyXmnyM8 and if you can't find one near you, let us know and we will try to find one for you.

Don't know if you were notified of our responses to your post, but when you are writing a post, below the box you are writing in are some boxes you can tick, and if you tick the one that says 'Notify me when a reply is posted', then you'll get a message as soon as someone has responded to your post.

Nina

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lin
Posts: 829
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Leopard

Post by lin » 21 Feb 2021, 11:34

Again I am agreeing with Nina and would say a good tortoise vet just to be sure and put your mind at rest.
Lin§

Polly
Posts: 15
Joined: 21 Jun 2020, 13:34

Re: Leopard

Post by Polly » 23 Feb 2021, 14:30

Hi all

Sorry for the delayed response I have had issues with my password

The measurement of temperature was taken at shell level under his lamp and the rest of the open enclosure measures at around 19/20 at shell level

Once his eyes are bathed they seem to be fine for the rest of the day but today in his bath which we do every other day his eyes opened without bathing them

Would you still receive men’s a vet or just artificial tears first

Thank you

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Nina
Posts: 1447
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Leopard

Post by Nina » 23 Feb 2021, 17:04

Hi Polly,

So sorry you had problems getting onto the site. We had a bit of work done on the website and forum over the weekend, so that might have caused a few problems. Do click the 'remember me' button the next time you sign on and hopefully you won't have to type in your password again.

That is good news that he opened his eyes on his own in the bath today, and it is a bit of an improvement, but I thnk you do need to get to the cause of this, in case it's an infection of some sort. Artificial tears are just a temporary remedy for short-term problems and it seems like this has been going on for a couple of weeks (is that right)?

Do you have an exotics/reptile vet near you? I think you should take him in for a check-up, but it does need to be a reptile specialist (non reptile vets often just prescribe a vitamin A injection for anything to do with the eyes, and can cause problems and is usually unnecessary). Did you look at the link in my earlier post to our list of recommended vets? If you don't see one there near you then let us know and we'll try and find you one not too far from where you live.

Thanks for confirming the temperatures in the table. I think I might raise the lamp a tiny bit, to bring the temperature under it down to about 30C, rather than 32C, especially as some warmer weather is due and the temperature in a room has a big effect on the temperature in a table, so it could get even hotter under that lamp.

Nina

Polly
Posts: 15
Joined: 21 Jun 2020, 13:34

Re: Leopard

Post by Polly » 24 Feb 2021, 12:16

Hi Polly,

Many thanks for letting us know that the practice in Bognor no longer has an exotics vet -- we'll delete it from our list.

Our list is made up from recommendations by various tortoise keepers, so there might well be other exotics vets in your area, but they just haven't been recommended yet. I did a quick search and came up with this vet in West Sussex. Are they near you? I can't, of course, recommend them, but it sounds promising.
https://www.hawthornvets.co.uk/exotics

Do let me know if you want me to look further, and also if you do go to the vet and find them good, if you would recommend them.

Nina

Polly
Posts: 15
Joined: 21 Jun 2020, 13:34

Re: Leopard

Post by Polly » 03 Mar 2021, 11:38

Hi there

Many thanks for the recommendation of visiting hawthorn vets

We took sheldon for a visit on Monday and I must say that the exotic pet vet they have is very thorough and checked him over from head to toe.

She even took a sample of the dry skin around his head and eyes to look under a microscope for any issues, then checked his weight, all of his limbs, tongue and pretty much everywhere

She gave him a clean bill of health and thinks the issues with his eyes and head are because he is enjoying the heat lamp a little too much !!

We were advised to bathe him more than our normal once a day and to turn off the heat lamp for periods throughout the day

She also, as a precaution gave him a vitamin and antibiotic injection

It was a very good visit as it also put my mind at rest that the regime we had in place was correct and that he was healthy

They were so impressed with his colouring and overall look that they asked to put a piece about him on their Facebook page - he is now famous !!

Thank you for all of your help and advice

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