Urgent Care :: Swollen eyes, can't open, wheezing

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Post Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:48 pm   Swollen eyes, can't open, wheezing

Our RES 4-5 y.o. (estimated, previous owners didn't have a clue), 7 inches long, 23 Ounces, have a problem with swollen eyes, sometimes wheezing and complete loss of appetite.
She lives with us for 1.5 years, in 64 gal. tank with three goldfishes, water temp. 93 Fahrenheit, food - mostly shrimps, some red chicken meat and some Reptomine Baby.
Appetite loss started a month ago and progressed, we thought that she prepared to lay eggs, as she did the same time year ago, but no (still no eggs feels when palpated).
The wheezing started about 2 weeks ago, the same time she started swimming with closed eyes, then about week ago her eyes swelled and made her almost blind, since then she didn't eat anything (though her appetite decreased progressively during last month).
She don't dive at all (surface balance is perfect, she still swims pretty fast, but wants to get out of water in just about half an hour) and sometimes wheezing quite loud.
We assumed that combination of not clean enough water (we used to clean canister filter and change 2 pounds of charcoal in it monthly, but didn't for 2 month by then, only few water replacements) and cold air - our turtle spends half of the day with us, freely moving around apartment, sometimes sitting for hours in pretty cold places, so she can catch a respiratory infection.

Now we twice a day put her into smaller container with warm filtered water (changed each time) for about half an hour each time (until she wants to get out). When swimming, she mostly put head downward and in container can be seen few 0.3 inch long transparent threads similar in texture to human snots.

We visited few local herpetologists, did a 0.4ml of viamine A injection, it was Eleovit (1 ml contains: vitamin A - 10,000 IU, vitamin D3 - 2000 IU, vitamin E –10 mg, vitamin K3 - 1 mg, vitamin B1 - 10 mg, vitamin B2 - 4 mg, vitamin B6 - 3 mg , cyanocobalamin –10 µg, biotin - 10 µg, nicotinamide - 30 mg, pantothenic acid - 20 mg, folic acid - 0.2 mg and auxiliary substances: lactoalbumin protein hydrolyzate - 0.2 mg, glucose - 50 mg),
and then prescribed course was:
1. For two weeks twice per day: subcutaneous injection of 0.25 fl.oz. Ringer's lactate solution (once per 2 days added 0.04 fl.oz. of сalcium gluconate). Turtle drinks normally herself! And pees a lot regularly, sometimes she pees when pulled out of water, I clearly see a stream then, and so did vets during manipulations with head/palpation...
2. Rinse eyelids with saline solution and then put Actovegin in gel/ointment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actovegin) under her eyelids. It's basically extract from calf blood and also contains polypropyleneglycole/ethanol...

I refused both of the above, and asked few different herpetologists (there are few in Kiev), the answers were pretty much the same:
1. There is no need to use stethoscope as 'we can't hear anything, she's not a human'(quote) - the only test was rapid push on the head to force it inside the shell, as no liquid was thrown out from nostrils 'no problems with breathing tract'.
2. I insisted on respiratory infections test, the answer was 'there is no such thing as respiratory infection for turtles, only pneumonia rarely exists'(quote).
3. The combined 1/2 fl.oz. subcutaneous injection daily is harmless as 'turtle is empty in the inside'(quote).

After vitamins injection our turtle became much less active and mostly sleeping, today we setted 60w incandescent light bulb (distance about 12 inches) and she starts to lay/sleep under it.

I'm asking for advice here, because all of the above makes me think that our local vets are dangerously unqualified.
I understand that remote advice is risky, but swelled eyes induced almost complete blindness and starvation, it really makes me worry, so such advice might be better then nothing or above stated prescriptions.

Should I use any antibiotics (no local vets talks about them) dissolved in smaller tank when she swims? Dissolved in eye drops/saline solution?
Should I try to open and rinse eyelids with small syringe (without a needle of course) with saline solution? Can it help or only make it worse?
Thank you in advance.
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Post Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:46 am   Re: Swollen eyes, can't open, wheezing

I would try applying some cod liver oil to the eyelids. That would help if it were a Vitamin A deficiency. As for what else it could be... the eyelids are thin and pretty sensitive. If it's infected, an antibiotic ointment (usually a triple antibiotic) is prescribed. It could be also irritated/swollen from various UV light sources, but it does not seem like it here. In those cases, removing the UV light and some direct sunlight can help.
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steve
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:44 pm   Re: Swollen eyes, can't open, wheezing

Thanks, Steve!
4 days ago vet already did injection of 0.4ml of Eleovit, so we don't expect vit. A deficiency.
There is no UV light, you right, we expected that food supply of vitamins are enough. Thanks for advice, all local vets insisted to buy one and immediately start using it for at least 12 hours daily "all because of the lack of UW".
We started using simple 60w incandescent light (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incandescent_light_bulb) it's 95% infrared - a turtle runs under it and stays there for about 14 hours, then wanted to swim (we temporary use small container, to ensure water quality filled using water filter jug).
Now we sure about respiratory infection - in water turtle starts coughing, expelling large amounts of white snots from nostrils. We keep adding hot water to keep water temp. around 97 Fahrenheit as the warm water seems to ease expelling snots. We completely changed water in container 4 times as snots was floating around, taking a shifts with my wife to keep it warm for 13 hours as turtle didn't want to go out. Now turtle breathe easily, without any sounds, and looks much more active (became active after first 4 hours in water, when expelled most snots), eyes swelling decreased, but she still can't open them.
Local vets (I've contacted most of them by now) can't do proper infections tests, they only can inject Baytril (eye irritant, can't just be added to water when swimming) - we refused.
We hope our turtle will just heal herself...
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:04 pm   Re: Swollen eyes, can't open, wheezing

Is the turtle dry docked? 97F is too warm for your turtle.
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steve
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Post Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:28 am   Re: Swollen eyes, can't open, wheezing

Drydocked only for last week, with 2 swims per day in especially filtered water. Usually water temp 90-93F, it was the only case when we raised it - because turtle had visible strain to cough out snots, and when water became warmer - she expelled them MUCH easier, without that much strain and efforts. Usually she runs out of container when water so warm, but not that time.

Wheezing stopped, respiratory problems seems like resolved, eyes swelling decreased, she still can't open them. When swimming, eyes swelled a bit more and tiny transparent parts of snots/pus(?) sometimes get out from eyelids.
Should we try to help her by gently pulling eyelids with cotton swab?
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Post Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:53 pm   Re: Swollen eyes, can't open, wheezing

If she were out of the tank for that long, it could have been dried mucus you were seeing. I would try the cod liver oil first.
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