Tortoise Eye Infection

Updated April 17, 2017

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

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

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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About the Author

Ellice Lin graduated from the University of California, Irvine, with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. She continued her education and earned a master's degree from Rice University. She is an environmental consultant writing air quality reports in Southern California.