My Box Turtle Won't Open His Eyes!

Posted by Nancy on 1/25/2018 to Turtles, Box Turtles and Tortoises

Question:  I have a male box turtle that is not opening his eyes.  When I look at him closely I can see a white discharge coming from the eyes.  He is still moving around and has eaten part of strawberry recently.  Do you have any ideas what could be wrong?

.Answer:  It sounds like you have a box turtle with an infection in the eye or in the tissue around the eye.  The most common cause for this in box turtles is a deficiency in vitamin A.  Vitamin A is responsible for the health of eye ducts linings, as well as the respiratory tract's lining and other vital structures.  When there is a vitamin A deficiency these ducts occlude.  This causes fluid to build up and the eyes swell.  Often there is a secondary infection.  Box turtles with vitamin A deficiencies often have a respiratory infection also.  Check for a discharge around the nostrils. If your box turtle is still active and eating you need to get some turtle eye drops with vitamin A.  If you notice a drop in activity or appetite get your pet to a veterinarian that specializes in herps.  Once your box turtle is well you should review your nutritional plan for your box turtle.  You should include a pelleted box turtle food to assure proper nutrition in the future. See our site for more information on box turtle care

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