Swollen eyes is a very common health issue for pet turtles. In this article, I am going to discuss turtle swollen eyes home remedies. So, let’s get started.
What is actually swollen eyes?
Swollen eyes is actually a very common eye disease for turtles. If your turtle is suffering from this disease, it needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Otherwise, this health issue may lead to the permanent blinding of the turtle.
There are two main causes of turtle swollen eyes: vitamin A deficiency and poor water quality.
Home Remedies for turtle swollen eyes:
As I have said, there are basically two main reasons for turtle swollen eyes: vitamin A deficiency and poor water quality. If your turtle is already suffering from swollen eyes, then there is little you can do on your own as an average turtle owner.
You need to seek the help of a professional reptile vet immediately. The vet will closely examine your turtle and try to find out the root cause of the problem. Depending on that, the vet will prescribe medicines for your turtle.
If the Harderian gland of the turtle shows signs of swelling, then you can be pretty much sure that the cause is vitamin A deficiency. In such a case, the vet may inject a dose of vitamin A if the condition is severe. He may also suggest you a nutrition rich diet for the turtle.
If that is not the case, then the bacterial infection may cause the swelling. Poor water quality is mainly responsible for that. If the water stinks, there are likely thousands of bacteria in it which can cause severe health issue to your turtle. Also, bacteria can easily move inside the body from organ to organ. So, it can also spread from other organs like an infection of the respiratory tract. If bacterial infection is the case, the vet will prescribe a systematic antibiotic to kill all the bacteria inside the turtle.
Here are some preventive home remedies you can take if the cause is vitamin A deficiency:
- Always aim to give your turtle a diet that has a complete nutrition profile. I have seen many turtle owners only giving their turtles commercial pellets, which is wrong in many many levels. Pellets are good, and they can form the majority of your turtle’s diet, however, they shouldn’t form 100% of the diet. Along with pellets, you’ll also need to feed your turtles green leafy vegetables, calcium supplement, and fruits occasionally. Try to aim for a diverse diet that provides your turtle with a full nutrition profile.
- Keep in mind that, younger turtles need more protein than older ones as they have much growing to do. Turtles prefer more and more vegetables as they grow older. So, make necessary adjustments to the turtle’s diet according to its age.
- To get a full list of safe foods for pet turtle species, click here.
In case of poor water quality, follow these preventive home remedies:
- First check, if the tank size is proper for your turtle. A general rule of thumb is 10 gallons of water for every 1-inch shell size. So, if your turtle has a 5-inch length shell, you’ll at least need a 50-gallon tank. I always recommend getting at least a 75 to 100 gallons tank if you are planning to keep species like red-eared sliders, painted turtles etc. Small tank size is the number one reason for poor water quality.
- Turtles produce much more waste than any other fishes in an aquarium. So, you need a much more powerful filter that can cope up with the load of the tank. I recommend getting a powerful canister filter like the Aquatop CF500UV filter. It can actually cope up with large turtle tanks.
- Perform water changes regularly. At least a 50% water change weekly is vital for the healthy growth of turtles. Frankly, there is no filter that can fully cope up with the load of a turtle tank for an indefinite amount of time. That’s why we need to perform water changes to balance out the parameters of the water.
The last recommendation is, if your turtle is suffering from swollen eyes, transfer her to a quarantine tank. If you keep the sick turtle with other healthy turtles, chances are that bacteria from the sick turtle will attack the healthy turtles and make them sick too.
So, whenever you find your turtle sick, move it to a quarantine tank immediately.
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Symptoms of turtle swollen eyes:
- The eyelids will seem to be puffier than normal at the beginning stage. The puffiness will get worse with time. In severe cases, the turtle may get blind.
- The orbital glands, as well as the conjunctiva, will get red
- You may observe fluids secreting from the eyes of the turtles. Also, dead cells may start to gather around the eyes of the turtle.
- In severe cases, the turtle will get blind, so it won’t be able to eat properly. As a result, it will lose weight rapidly.
Red Eared Slider Swollen Eyes Treatment:
To treat swollen eyes of red-eared sliders, first, you need to find out the cause of the swollen eyes. It can be any of the two: vitamin A deficiency or poor water quality. A professional vet can successfully perform diagnosis and find out the root of the problem.
If the problem is vitamin A deficiency, the vet will likely give a dose of vitamin A to make conditions stable. On the other hand, if poor water quality is the issue, then the turtle is likely suffering from a bacterial attack. In such cases, the vet will prescribe a systematic antibiotic.
Here are some tips on red-eared slider swollen eyes treatment:
- Ensure that you are providing a diverse diet to your red-eared slider which provides a complete nutrition profile. Ensure that the diet contains commercial pellet, fresh leafy vegetables, occasional fruits, calcium supplement and protein.
- In most of the cases, swollen eyes occur because of vitamin A deficiency. So, feed your turtles food that is enriched with vitamin A such as sweet potato, kale, carrot, spinach etc. I like carrot the most as it is filled with vitamin A and turtles can munch it easily. You can also feed your turtle carrot puree.
- If you are looking for some supplement, I’ll highly suggest Nature Zone’s turtle eye vitamin. It is basically a supplement which provides a balanced mixture of antioxidants, vitamin, beta-carotene, phytonutrients as well as minerals. This supplement helps to prevent various types of eye diseases of turtles including swollen eyes, eye infections etc. Apply only 2 to 4 drops either on the turtle food or inside your turtle’s mouth.
- If the swollen eyes is caused by bacterial infection, then I’ll suggest you try Zoo Med’s Repti Turtle Eye Drops. It helps to clean the turtle’s eyes and prevent various types of eye diseases. These work particularly great with box turtles. However, before applying, you can ask your vet if it would have any side effect or not.
- Make sure the size of the tank is sufficient for your turtle. Turtles generally need a lot of species. A rule of thumb is, red-eared sliders generally need about 10 gallons of water for every inch shell length.
- Always keep the turtle tank water clean and fresh. Choose a high power canister filter which can cope up with the load of the tank.
- You can use a reptile water conditioner like Zoo Med ReptiSafe conditioner. It will make the water safe for your turtles.
Turtle Suffering from Swollen Eyes and Not Eating?
If swollen eyes get too severe, the turtle can get blind and fail to eat properly. In such cases, you must visit the vet immediately. A vet will take the necessary steps for performing a treatment. The treatment procedure will vary according to the cause of the swollen eyes.
Also, along with asking for help from the vet, do the following:
- You can try out different vitamin A supplements, Zoo Med Repti Turtle Eye Drops etc.
- Perform a 50% water change. Add Zoo Med ReptiSafe conditioner to the water to make it completely safe for the turtle.
- Make sure the diet is providing complete nutrition to your turtle. You can also ask the vet what to feed your turtle depending on the health condition.
Usually, at the last stage, turtles can’t eat due to swollen eyes. So, if your turtle can’t eat, you need to take actions immediately. Otherwise, the turtle may even die at the worst case scenario.
Why Are My Turtle’s Eye Swollen?
There can be basically two reasons for swollen turtle eyes. They are:
- vitamin A deficiency
- poor water quality
So, if your turtle is suffering from swollen eyes, visit the vet. After performing a thorough checkup, the vet will be able to find out the root of the problem. If the Harderian glad shows signs of swelling, then it is probably due to vitamin A deficiency your turtle is suffering from swollen eyes.
Otherwise, bacterial infection through poor water quality can be the reason. In both cases, you should seek the help of a certified reptile vet.
How to cure turtle swollen eyes?
As I have said before, swollen eyes can occur due to 2 reasons: vitamin A deficiency and poor water quality.
In case of vitamin A deficiency, the vet may dose your turtle with a vitamin A supplement. He’ll also suggest you give a proper diet to your turtles. You can also use some other supplements such as Nature Zone’s turtle eye vitamin.
Bacteria is the main culprit if the eyes get swollen due to poor water quality. In such cases, the vet may prescribe a systematic antibiotic.
Turtle Medicine For Swollen Eyes:
This is a very sensitive topic. You shouldn’t apply any medicine to your turtle without the approval of a reptile certified vet. If your turtle suffers from swollen eyes, then take her to the vet. The vet will examine thoroughly and prescribe according to how serious the disease has become.
Here are some supplements you can use for turtles:
Before using any of these, ask the approval of your vet to be super safe.
So, this is my detailed article on turtle swollen eyes home remedy. I hope now you have a clear idea of what causes turtle swollen eyes, how to prevent it, how to treat it and what medicines to use.
If you have any more question, feel free to ask in the comment box below!