You're in > TPG Members Forum > Tortoise Care, Health/Problems > Eye worries

Eye worries
Posted: 26/11/2009 by BabsUk

Hello; i'm new here, only just found your site.

One of my spur thighs has resurfaced from hibernation; i picked him up to check him out only to see that his eye was very swollen. I brought him inside; bathed him and his eye and placed him under the lamp.

The swelling has gone down today but i cant make out what's wrong, it looks like the eye is 'missing'? at first i thought it was his lid that was swollen but i cant see the black of the eye at all?  Is it possible to lose an eye in hibernation????

There isnt a 'hole' just pink' but no back eye? do you think he has lost his eye?

I'm wating for the vet to ring; we have to book because he travels; i wont get to see him unitl tomorrow now?  

He was hibernating in the shed dug down in soil, they have been monitored well with temps and frist heating etc so i have done everything to the book so to speak.  He isnt eating yet either he ihas been up since Tuesday evening?

This is turning out to be a disastrious hibernation year, one tort got chewed by my dog and os on the tort tabke recovering; the othe rtwo would not go down so are now in the fridge (scary stuff our first ever fridge hiberantion) and now this poor chap with his eye, awww so sad.

Ay thought or advice please





Re: Eye worries
Posted: 26/11/2009 by kirkie

Hi there,

Sorry to hear you are having such a run of bad luck with hibernation, you've done the right thing by involving your vet as soon as possible. Its hard to say what might be the cause, tortoises can suffer sight (rather than eye) damage if exposed to extreme cold but this sounds more like an infection than "frost damage". A tortoises eyes are probably the least protected part of its body, being covered only by the relatively thin eyelids during hibernation. I have never heard of any instances of large animals attacking the eyes of hibernating tortoises, its usually the limbs or head. I wonder if a small mammal or insect could have caused it? Thats pure speculation as it does sound bacterial to me. I'd suggest just to continue with bathing the eye until the vet can advise. Hope its ok for you and the tortoise.

Re: Eye worries
Posted: 26/11/2009 by kirkie

Something else just occurred to me. Tortise have a "third eyelid" a thin membrane that protects the eye. This could have become stuck over the eye during hibernation and would cause a milky appearance. If this was sore it may appear pinkish perhaps?

Re: Eye worries
Posted: 26/11/2009 by VivTPG

Hi,  I agree with Kirkie, it could have been 'got at' by a crawley under the ground or a mouse, last week I found a mouse nest right next to my dug down tort!  Or it could be the third eye or infection showing.  You are doing the right thing by going to the vet.

Hope all goes well, keep us informed, VivienneClick and drag me down to the editor

Re: Eye worries
Posted: 27/11/2009 by tpgAli


Dave (Kirkie) is right, i had a horsfield tortoise wake last year with a "cloudy eye" there was no black at all just a mist over the eye and my vet told me this was the membrane that protects the eye, he gave my tort  some tiacil and after a week i saw an improvement. Are the eyes clear? They can get a cheesy discharge after hibernation, this isnt nice but you can get this out but gently pushing under the eyelid, i love this its like squeezing a spot :-) Good luck and please keep us updated.


Re: Eye worries
Posted: 29/11/2009 by BabsUk

Hello all

Thanks for you replies; the Vet was lovelt; he has an infection and you're right, its the inner eye lid that has become infected; he seems to think that maybe a bit of dirt got under the lid and caused an infection, he has antibiotic drops and also some code liver oil caps to drop over the eye, he said that all the torts could benefit from that as it helps keep them lubricated; they dont like it much though!!

H estill has not eaten a thing so i'm going to try temp him with a bit of juicy tomato tomorrow, I know he should not have it but i just need to see him eat something -might help?

thanks again


Re: Eye worries
Posted: 30/11/2009 by TPGDarren

Glad to hear all is well Babs.
Fingers crosed for him eating soon.


Re: Eye worries
Posted: 30/11/2009 by BabsUk

whoo hoo he was tempted by chopped tomato; cucumber and leaves lol he munched away which is really great to see; now lets see if he will eat 'just' leaves tomorrow!! :)


Web Design Bristol