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RES with Swollen Eyes

Discussion in 'Turtles' started by graduationxday, May 21, 2009.

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  1. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    We recently redecorated our RES's (her name's Jeremy) tank, got new aquarium rocks to put at the bottom, a water heater, some algae eater fish things, and some rosy minnows for her to eat.
    She has around a 4 or 5 inch carapace (I hope that's the right word, haha) and she's in a 20 gallon long tank filled a bit more than half way with water. The water temps average out around 74 degrees F. She has a UVB light, she needs a new one though cause this one is getting old.
    Her eyes weren't swollen until we did all these changes. It's been fixed like this since this past Sunday, and I noticed her eyes seemed swollen today. She was on her basking platform and instead of being stretched out like she usually is, she was kinda limp. I freaked out and looked at her and noticed her eyes were closed and puffy looking. I picked her up to make sure she was alive, and she was, but she still didn't open her eyes. I put her back on her platform and she got into the water and her eyes were open, but they didn't look as open as usual. I'm not sure, I may have just noticed her eyes always look like this, but I do think something's wrong. I've never heard of anything like this happening before, so I'm coming to you guys.
    I have to charge my camera and then I'll try to get some pictures up.

    By the way, we didn't know she was a girl until after her name was already very much stuck with her. So she's a girl named Jeremy... Haha I figured I'd explain that.

    Thanks in advance for all your help! :]]
     
  2. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    swollen eyes are a very typical sign of vitamin A deficiency (Hypovitaminosis A). Dark green veggies are good fr this, or reptile vitamins, on crickets tossed in the water.
     
  3. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    Okay. I was reading up on that just now.
    She won't eat greens. I've tried and tried and tried. Different kinds too. Squash and grapes and collards and turnip greens and mustard greens. She just wont. I'll fix food for my beardies and put a piece of greens in the tank but she has nothing to do with them. Any special tricks?
    Crickets are okay though, she'll eat those no problem. What kind of reptile vitamins would you recommend? I have calcium stuff but it just comes off in the water, obviously.

    Also I read that dirty water can cause bacterial infections in the eyes. We got the algae eaters to keep the water cleaner, and we changed the rocks recently and the water's been absolutely clear since we fixed it up last weekend, so I dont think that could be a problem. She's my little sister's turtle, and she's really upset and worried.
     
  4. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    I also read that I should heat the water temp up to about 80-85 F if she's showing symptoms of lack of vitamin A. I wanted a second opinion though before I do that.
     
  5. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    heat always help herps. Is there a filter on the tank?

    Yes, some of the dust will come off the crickets (any bug, or even worms will do nicely) try by putting them on land. Often enough, the turtle will crawl up on land and grab bugs and take them back into the water to finish them.

    Check the label on the supplements, to see if they have Vit A. If you can't find one that does, gut load the crickets on dark leafy greens overnight before feeding. Lots of options choose what works out best for the turtle.
     
  6. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    Okayyyy cool. I'll turn the water heater up in her tank. I have some superworms now that I have for my beardies. Never though about feeding them to Jeremy too. I just checked my ReptoCal and it has some vitamin A so I could give her a couple worms right now. Goodness I hate superworms... But that's beside the point haha.
    Can you gutload superworms? I have some mustard greens in the fridge and that might make them better.
     
  7. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    yeah, they load like crickets.
     
  8. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    Mkay good. Sooooo I've never gutloaded anything before x]
    The superworms are just in one of those little bait tub things. Should I put them in a different little cage, like a cricket one? Keep the wood shavings on the ground and just throw some veggies in there?
     
  9. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    You can probably just throw a leaf of a few shreds of it in their tub with them. Feed them out in the morning, once they have had a chance to munch on it. They should take right to it because of the moisture.

    And yes, in the future, any bugs or worms you have handy will do, and make sure turtle gets his loaded bugs a few times a week. (Those loaded worms will be good for any of your herps.) To start with, Give one or two to turtle daily, and watch his eyes.
     
  10. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    Will do. Thank you so much. I'll keep trying to give her a bit of greens too. I'll post any changes in her eyes :]
    She's also been a lot more skittish than normal. I don't know if that means anything..
     
  11. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    if your eyes were swollen, you'd probably be a little jumpy too.

    Vitamin A is what makes turtle tear ducts work, and keep their eyes lubricated. Without it, the ducts can swell shut, thus cutting off lube to turtle eyes, thus causing irritation and swelling, because water is not quite as good as tears for any eyeball. At that point, bacteria can play a role too, as the saline in the tears would have kept most of it at bay. However, in all but the most serious cases, a Little Vitamin A will completely fix the problem. Turtles are generally pretty hardy creatures.
     
  12. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    Good point. I would be jumpy x]
    And its neat to know what's actually going on with her. I'm going to major in biology when I get there in a couple years. Herpetology is my passion so I like to know these kinds of things.
    Thank you so very much :D
     
  13. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    While you are at it, if you can, upgrade that tank! 10 gallons per inch of shell, so you are looking at a 40 - 50 gallon tank! Don't carrots have vit. A in them too? Drop a carrot in with the supers as well. You can put the supers in something a little bigger like a small tupperware container. This will help you fit more veggies in and keep the molding don.
     
  14. Kendalle

    Kendalle Elite Member

    Some turtles will eat shredded carrot as well, I would think it would look a little like a worm on the water anyway.
     
  15. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Oooo good idea. Try sprinkling one or two bits and see what happens.
     
  16. Kendalle

    Kendalle Elite Member

    I would throw a worm in to first get the interest and then plop in some worm looking veggies (thin slices of carrot, green pepper, squash...) and hope that he doesn't notice until after he swallows
     
  17. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Turtles will eat most anything, and if it's new, they will often take an experimental bite out of it just to see. Anything you can get her to eat, by all means. Anything she won't can be loaded into the bugs.

    And in general, a turtle can eat most anything you can. Anything colorful usually has a high vitamin content of some type, which is precisely why colorful fruits and veggies are highly recommended for human consumption.

    Check the vitamin values on some red fruits and veggies. Turtles have an affinity for that color. Strawberry, cherry, etc might be easy ways.
     
  18. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    Ughhhh I just got back from a short trip to Florida, left Friday got home yesterday, and when I got home the two algae eaters in Jeremy's tank were dead. There weren't any signs of Jeremy trying to eat them, so I don't know why they died... I'm thinking this might all be a water quality thing, but the water is quite clear. The rosy minnows didn't die though...
    Also, I can't get the water heater to work. I have it set on 85 but the water's still around 75...
    Her eyes are only worse. I'm afraid that she won't open them enough to even see her food.
    Can you force feed turtles? Is that only a last resort or should I try it? Gahh I don't know what to do for her. I'm very worried :[[
     
  19. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    with water, clear does not equal clean. Is there a filter on the tank? if so, when was the last time the cartridge was changed out?

    You can try force-feeding, but they often just spit it out. Don't underestimate a turtle's sense of smell either. Make sure the veggies you throw in there are cut so the juices can leak out, and the turtle can smell them. You may also want to make a vet appointment. You can also get turtle eye drops for her at your local petsmart/petco (Zoo Med Repti Turtle Eye Drops) These are the one my vet recommends, not just for turtles, but reptiles in general.
     
  20. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    There is a filter, 10 gallons I think, and there's probably about 5 gallons of water in the tank. I just changed all the stuff out Sunday before the one that just passed.
    I want to take her to the vet, but I'll have to wait til we get some extra money in. I'll get some eye drops next time we're out towards a chain pet store. The closest pet store is a little crappy local thing that never carries anything useful.
     
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