Puffy eyes

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Stephen rodda
Posts: 3
Joined: 28 Jan 2021, 19:24

Puffy eyes

Post by Stephen rodda » 28 Jan 2021, 19:38

Hi I’ve had my tortoise (Corey) a few months now could anyone give me any advice on his eyes they seem to have gotten slightly puffy there is no discharge coming from the eyes but I’m getting slightly concerned as he has slowen down a lot and spends most of his time with his eyes shut any advice would be much appreciated.
Thank youu
Stephen

He is 5 months old and lives in a tortoise table

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Nina
Posts: 1560
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Puffy eyes

Post by Nina » 28 Jan 2021, 20:09

Hi Stephen and many thanks for contacting us. I'm sorry to hear that Corey is having eye problems. Could you possibly send us a photo? It might be something as simple as having got some grit in his eyes, or it could be more serious. You can try bathing the eyes in artificial tears that you can buy from the chemist -- ask for the product that has hypromellose in it. That will help to wash any grit out, but it could also be something more serious, so a photo would help a lot.

What is the temperature in his table, directly under the heat source and at the height of his shell? A thermometer mounted on a nearby wall will not give you an accurate reading, so you need to hold it directly under the lamp for several minutes. What species is he? With most species you are aiming for a temperature of nearly 30C under the light and then about 20C at the cool end. He shouldn't need any extra heat at night unless the temperature drops below about 14C or 15C.

I hope you can send us a photo.

Best wishes,
Nina

Stephen rodda
Posts: 3
Joined: 28 Jan 2021, 19:24

Re: Puffy eyes

Post by Stephen rodda » 28 Jan 2021, 21:37

Hello
Thank you so much for the reply, I have attached some photos of Corey and his table under his lamp the temperature read about 34 and about 26 at the edge of his table. I have a neo rep 80w uvb uva combi bulb I’ll try and move this up a bit. He is a horse field tortoise and five month old thank you again for you help it’s much appreciated :)
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Nina
Posts: 1560
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Puffy eyes

Post by Nina » 28 Jan 2021, 22:22

Hi Stephen,

Corey is absolutely gorgeous, and you have made him a really nice looking table, There are lots of different textures there for him to walk over, plants, stones, etc. -- so well done for giving him a nice home!

The material around his water bowl looks like hemp, or something similar, and there are cases reported where sharp ends of pieces have scratched a tortoise's eye, or caused problems if they are swallowed. It's unlikely that this has happened to Corey, but you might think about removing it (it can also sometimes go a bit mouldy if wet), and maybe replacing it with some large flat stones that butt up against the water dish, to stop the substrate getting into it.

I can see what you mean about his puffy eyes. I see that in one photo his eyes are closed and in the other they are open. Is he always able to open his eyes?

34C is too hot and he could dehydrate, so I would definitely raise the lamp to get that temperature down a bit (aim for 30 under the lamp and 20 at the other end). Do you bathe him often so that he can have a drink and stay well hydrated? A bath in nice warm water that comes just up to where is top shell meets his bottom shell, for 15-20 minutes every other day, in a container that he can't see out of (like an old washing up bowl). This will help to keep him hydrated, and the added advantage is that they tend to wee and poo in the bath, so there is less cleaning of the table. When he does wee, is there often some white goo that comes out with it? This is natural and is called urates, and if it is very watery or very soft like toothpaste then that means he is well hydrated, but if it is hard or sandy/gritty then he could be dehydrated. The other thing is to wet his food (leaves, flowers, etc.) before giving it to him, and that will help to rehydrate him too.

You probably already have a good care sheet for Horsfields, but if not then here is a link to one: https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... 014New.pdf Have a read and let us know if you have any questions.

I think I would first try and bathe his eyes in some hypromellose. You can buy this in any chemist, and it is usually called 'Artificial Tears' (but there's no need to tell them that it's for a tortoise). If that doesn't help and his eyes continue to be puffy, then you might need to see a good reptile vet. If you don't have one, we have a list of vets in the UK, organised by county here https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/tor ... BMz4nmnyM8

I hope that some of this helps and do let us know how you get on. Feel free to ask any questions at all, and please update us on how he is doing.

Nina

Stephen rodda
Posts: 3
Joined: 28 Jan 2021, 19:24

Re: Puffy eyes

Post by Stephen rodda » 28 Jan 2021, 22:43

Hi Nina he is a very cute tortoise we love him to bits, it’s made my day you have taken the time to write this thank you! I will remove the chipping first thing Tomorrow morning he seems to be able to open his eyes when eating and bathing, I will raise the lamp until the correct temperatures are achieved. The white goo is as you described sometimes water and sometimes like toof past so I presume he is well hydrated.
I tried to contact a vet but could not get in due to COVID so they suggested camomile tea baths could this be a possible solution along side artificial tears?
Thank you for the care sheets I will have a read through it!
Thanks again for the help I will keep you updated

Stephen & corey

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Nina
Posts: 1560
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Puffy eyes

Post by Nina » 29 Jan 2021, 11:28

Hi Stephen,

He certainly is cute, and he is lucky to have found a home with such a caring person.

Great news that Corey is well hydrated, so do keep up those baths and also let us know how you get on with the artificial tears -- just gently rinsing the eyes with a bit of cotton soaked in it should be fine.

Chamomile tea baths? It probably wouldn't hurt him but I've never heard that prescribed before, and certainly not by a vet. Was the vet you rang a reptile vet, or a vet with expertise in 'exotics' (reptiles, birds, etc.)? It is really, really important that you consult a reptile/exotics vet. In their training ordinary vets only have three or four weeks on 'exotics'. If they specify in their training that they wish to treat reptiles, etc. then they take the appropriate courses, but if not then they often lack the specialist knowledge that you need to treat reptiles. There are instances of vets prescribing the wrong medicine for tortoises. For example, ivermectin is a medicine that is successfully used to worm cats, dogs, etc., but it is lethal for tortoises, and we know of instances where this has been given with fatal results. Our list of vet practices that I gave the link to are practices that have been recommended to us by tortoise owners who have used them, and they have employed at least one vet who is qualified to treat 'exotics. If you need to then I would highly recommend contacting one of those practices that is near to you (and do ask first if they still have a member of the team who treats exotics, because vets come and go and our list isn't always updated). If you can't find a practice near you then let us know and we will see if we can find one for you. You might not need to consult a vet yet, but it's always good to know of one, just in case.

Nina

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