Box Turtle and Tortoise Discussion :: eye irritation

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Post Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:35 pm   eye irritation

I'm out at Michael's place tonight, and it looks to me like Apollo's bad eye is sort of swollen, and when I set him in his water pan he was really rubbing at it. I should have taken better close up pictures right when I got him, but I can't really tell if it's different or if it was like that and I just didn't really look closely. I tend to be super paranoid so it could just be the way it looks, but I was thinking that we just started using the new t-rex lamp, and I wondered if that could be the issue (if there is one). Do MVBs have a burn in period like the compact fluorescents? The lamp is 15 inches from the soil, so a bit more than the recommended minimum, and he doesn't seem to come out of his hut much. Just in case, I set it to run for a little less time each day and to shut off for an hour in the afternoon, and gave him the zoomed eye drops. The other eye looks fine, but I was wondering if maybe since he can't see out of that eye he doesn't protect it as well as the other. So it could be irritation from stuff getting in there as well, but I wanted to at least ask about the lamp. I won't be able to post pictures until tomorrow but if it still looks weird to me I will.
Napoleon - Western Painted Turtle
Apollo - Eastern Box Turtle
Moxie - Painted Turtle Mutt
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:41 pm   

I personally have never seen any problems with my animals and the MVB's, but I'm sure there's always that potential because they are more powerful. I also believe that most of the gas bulbs have a 100 hour burn in period so it might be a good idea to raise the lamp about 4 to 6 inches higher for the first 2 weeks if you are noticing a problem. It won't hurt to do that. :?
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:12 pm   

Isn't that eye missing? Perhaps you can flush it out.
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:01 pm   

It's not missing, but it's deformed and much smaller than the other, and he doesn't see out of it. He was rubbing at it with his head underwater in his pan, and I applied the eye drops afterward, but he immediately buried himself so it's tough to keep it clean.
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:46 am   

Does they eyelid function? Maybe it's not preventing foreign matter for irritating the eye. Did Apollo's rehabber use the same kind of substrate?
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 7:50 am   

Pretty much the same, a mix of topsoil and sphaghnum moss, although I think I probably don't have enough moss in there yet, it dries out really fast. I had thought his eyelid was okay, but now I can't get him to blink and I can't recall a specific time where I saw it in the past, so I'm unsure. His eye definitely looks better this morning, so I took pics to reference, and raised the lamp quite a bit.
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Moxie - Painted Turtle Mutt
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:13 am   

Can you post a close-up shot of the bad eye?
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:29 am   

I'm uploading right now, it'll just take a minute! I did manage to catch him blinking before I left though, so his eyelid does work.
Napoleon - Western Painted Turtle
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Moxie - Painted Turtle Mutt
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:48 am   

Okay, pics!

For comparison, here's his good eye:
Image

This one is from this morning, of his bad eye, but when it was looking more normal to me:
Image

And these are ones showing what I'm concerned about. It's like much more of the membrane around the eyeball is visible. These were taken after the one above, after his light had been on for a bit and he had been splashing around in his dish for a while.

Image
Image
Image
Napoleon - Western Painted Turtle
Apollo - Eastern Box Turtle
Moxie - Painted Turtle Mutt
RIP Hercules

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:50 pm   

That makes my eyes water... It does look a bit puffy. Are the drops helping at all? It would seem to me that if he doesn't see anything out of that eye, the bulb wouldn't be the problem. Can you bring him to the vet for a quick once-over?
The things that come to those who wait may be the things that were left by those who got there first - Steven Tyler
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:47 pm   

I should have watched him for a while after giving the drops, I can't really say whether they helped. I gave them last night, and when I got up in the morning he was back to normal until the light came on and he hopped in the water, so I can't say whether him seeming to get better was due to the drops or due to the absence of whatever the irritant was. I sent the pics to the rehabber who gave him to me, I trust her opinion more than the vet, and she knows what's normal for him. It could just be something to do with the fact that his eye's not normal. But if she's concerned I'll get him to the vet.
Napoleon - Western Painted Turtle
Apollo - Eastern Box Turtle
Moxie - Painted Turtle Mutt
RIP Hercules

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:58 pm   

She obviously knows him better than any vet would. She's gotten him this far :-)
The things that come to those who wait may be the things that were left by those who got there first - Steven Tyler
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jenaero
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:47 pm   

So...is it every time he's under that bulb that his eye swells, and when he's been away from the bulb the eye goes back to normal?

I think it could possibly be the bulb. Even though he doesn't see out of the bad eye, it still has a pupil that allows light to hit the back of the eyeball, which is extremely sensitive and covered with nerves. I think it's conceivable that light that's too intense or the wrong wavelength could be irritating even when the brain isn't translating what it sees into pictures.

The MVB doesn't seem to be irritating to a normal reptile eye but maybe his bad eye is more sensitive to certain wavelengths or intensities.
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:23 pm   

The rehabber wrote back and said that she's not concerned, she said that if there was a problem I'd see the lid swelling shut. She thinks it's probably a matter of the substrate not being damp enough, and he's probably irritating it by rubbing at debris in there. But I will hopefully have him with me at my apartment this coming week, so I'll watch to see if there's any connection between how his eye looks and whether the bulb's on. Thank you all for your help!
Napoleon - Western Painted Turtle
Apollo - Eastern Box Turtle
Moxie - Painted Turtle Mutt
RIP Hercules

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