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.