Tortoise Eye Infection

Written by ellice lin | 13/05/2017
Tortoise Eye Infection
A healthy tortoise has bright healthy eyes free of discharge and swelling (Image by, courtesy of Cliff)

Tortoises are hardy creatures that have adapted well over evolutionary times. If well cared for with a healthy diet and adequate space to exercise in a sunny area, the chances of your tortoise getting sick are slim. However, they do occasionally get infections, especially eye infections, depending on certain conditions.

Bacterial Infection

Tortoise Eye Infection
Treat bacterial eye infections with eye drops (Image by, courtesy of Hussain Al-Ahmed)

A small white spot on the surface of the cornea is a sign of an eye infection. Swollen eyes indicate bacterial infection. If not treated immediately, the infection spreads and becomes an ulcer. The cause of the infection is often contaminated water or low environmental humidity. Eye infections can be treated with a few drops of an antibiotic containing neomycin, chloramphenicol, or gentamycin.

Vitamin A Deficiency

Tortoise Eye Infection
Carrots are a good source of vitamin A (Image by, courtesy of Jackie)

According to Nadine Gill from the Tortoise Trust, Vitamin A deficiency can cause eye problems. Provide your tortoise Vitamin A supplements or foods rich in vitamin A such as leafy salad greens and carrots.

Sharp Objects

Eye infections can also be due to physical trauma. Remove sharp objects such as jagged rocks from your tortoise's habitat. Sand and other particulate matter may also cause eye irritations and swelling.

Drop in Temperature

Eye problems can also develop from a sharp drop in temperature. Keep your tortoise in a terrarium and monitor the temperature. According to the California Turtle & Tortoise Club, tortoises thrive in a temperature between 23.9 to 29.4 degrees Celsius.

Contact Your Veterinarian

When all else fails, contact a veterinarian that specialises in herpetology.

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