I was making a cup of tea and got distracted by the turtles as I entered the dining room. Unfortunately I then saw that 'Dude' the male ridgeback seems to have a very nasty eye infection. The turtles are the wife's and she will be researching herself but obviously if there is anything I can be doing to help I'd like to.
He appeared fine yesterday morning when we did a water change although I think my wife may have overdone it changing nearly 50% of the water.
Sweet - the female is fine, if a little fat. I have attached a photo, it didn't come out as well as I'd hoped though but you can see the general problem.
Yup treated that in rescue lots of times, usually punch in the eye or a scrape, gets in the eye , turtles do tend to make water bacterially filthy. First off, go to the vets get it some subcutaneous or intramuscular baytril injections, usually 5 days worth. Next check vitamin a balance in diet. Whats it eating?
Thought it might be a vet thing. I'm told they're eating frozen turtle preparation which is a mix of fish and crustacean, possibly some veg, we think they are "Ocean Nutrition" but the wife's ditched the box when she cut the cubes up (they where a little large for these little things).
They don't like the dried foods she'd tried so its pretty much just that although she does vary brands of the frozen.
Thanks for that, Angela said that she'd read something to boost vitamin A intake was a good idea. She phoned the vet but can't get an appointment until tomorrow. From what she said he's looking worse. Is there anything we can/should do in the mean time to sooth it?
Very dilute povidone iodine applied with a very soft cotton ball should act as a cleaner and aid to healing. Applied too thick it could get sticky and that wont help.Povidone isnt like usual iodine, it doesnt sting and can be quite soothing, its good on burns too. Just a once a day wipe sort of thing. Ditch the turtles water and keep it in clean chlorinated tapwater for a little while. Might as well use the chlorine for its intended use lol. Make sure both air and water temps are sufficient for healing and that a basking spot is available, though given the state of the eye perhaps a red bulb might be better than a white one.
Air circulation can he helpful on this sort of thing, so i'd go to a tub with an open top, a simple slate with a spot aimed at it and a couple of inches of water.
Thats about all you can do. I wouldnt use oils or aloes, you dont want the eye to pickle. Moisturisation at this point would probably impede the normal cycle of wetting and drying that comes with normal basking, and could make the eye more susceptible to further infection. Water should be enough.
As a side note, I've never seen either of them bask as such. There is plenty of basking spots for them to choose at a range of temperatures but normally they stop just under the water with only their nostrils breaking the surface.
Well, they are still pretty small, as a behaviour it asserts itself in a more pronounced way when they get a little bigger. Were infection not a current issue I would say drop the water temp a little to tempt them out. When turtles wont bask and they spend too long immersed the drying and remoisturising their skin is designed for often fails, and they get a little too soft skinned, allowing infection in. The drying periods are of course mildly antimicrobial, as are uv exposures. For now just warm tapwater will have to do. Daily 100% changes are probably a good thing to do when you get eye infections. Perhaps get the turtles out once in a while to have a skooch around the carpet to make sure they get a drying period in. Just an hour should do. Make sure you check the feet for carpet threads though.
Their level of submersion is probably more about mental comfort, young turtles of course will feel instinctively nervous about being out of water, they are very vulnerable to predation after all. Turtles of nearly all species at a young age prefer to bask when people arent around. To counter you can let them out for a run now and again.Let em have a supervised run on the lawn on a sunny day, temps permitting obviously, that sort of thing.
I meant to say did you get a reptile multivitamin and calcium formula? Small stuffed meat and fish pieces might be the way to go here. Might be time for meaty paste roule. lol. Little chicken liver, a lil fish,maybe earthworm, a lil reptavite, a lil pounded commercial turtle food, rolled into a tasty worm like shape. Think of it like rolling pasta.
Point being you roll the vitamins into the meaty paste your making so it doesnt just dissolve in the water.
Just had a phone call from my wife. The vet has diagnosed it as an absess behind the eye and he seemed certain it was not caused by any dietry deficiency (that's not to say we wont strive to jam as many vitamins as possible into them).
Unfortunately the eye is not savable and the poor thing has to have an operation. The eye will be removed under local anaesthetic and cleaned up. The vet also warned that he may not survive. Had he been a bigger turtle then the absess would not have grown to such a life threatening size so quickly.