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Turtle Eye Infection

One of the most common illnesses among pet turtles is an eye infection. In today’s article, I will review some of the best ways to treat a turtle eye infection. I will also discuss what causes eye infections in turtles and how to prevent them in the future.

Turtle eye infection

aquatic turtle eye infection

Eye infections in turtles are pretty easy to spot. Your turtle’s eye will likely develop a white, cloudy color. Additionally, their eyelids might begin to swell up, sometimes to the point where your turtle won’t be able to open its eyes.

As with most illnesses, it is important that you treat your turtle’s eye infection as soon as possible before it gets worse.

Turtle eye infection treatment

The best way to treat your turtle’s eye infection is with turtle eye drops. Some good options include Zoo Med Repti Turtle Eye Drops and Fluker’s Repta Rinse.

Med Repti Turtle Eye Drops

turtle eye infection treatment

This is a popular eye drop solution that does a great job of cleaning out your turtle’s eye and decreasing inflammation. Two of the main ingredients are Vitamin A and Vitamin B12. You should start to see improvement after applying the eye drops for a couple days.

If you don’t see improvement after a week, I suggest you try Fluker’s Repta Rinse.

Fluker’s Repta Rinse

rinse for turtle eye infection

These eye drops are a great option if your turtle’s eyes are swollen due to a bacterial eye infection. The solution helps clean out swollen eyes and gets rid of excess liquid and discharge that may be stuck in your turtle’s eyes.

For this medication, you will need to put 1-2 drops into each of your turtle’s eyes 2-3 times per day. You should do this everyday for a week. If you don’t start to see improvement, you should probably take your turtle to the vet.

There is also one other eye drop you can try.

Nature Zone Eye Drops

eye drops for turtle eye infection

While I have never tried these eye drops, some people have had success with it. It is similar to the eye drops listed above and helps clean out your turtle’s swollen eye. You should give your turtle 2 to 3 drops in each eye twice a day until you see improvement.

No matter which eye drops you choose, it is extremely important that you do the following after you administer the eye drops:

Water quality: It is very important that you maintain perfect, healthy water quality for your turtle while they recover from an eye infection. You should do partial water changes every day or at least every other day. Make sure that you are using water conditioner to make sure the water doesn’t have any harmful chemicals. Also make sure that your filter is working properly.

Water temperature: You also need to make sure that your turtle tank is the proper temperature. The water should be between 80 and 85 degrees fahrenheight, and their basking area should be between 90 and 95 degrees fahrenheight.

Balanced diet with vitamin A: If your turtle is recovering from an eye infection, you will need to ensure they are eating a balanced diet with essential vitamins. You will want to especially make sure they are getting a lot of vitamin A. You can also give your turtle this vitamin A supplement.

Turtle eye infection home remedy

The best home remedy for a turtle eye infection is to clean your tank water and provide a diet rich in Vitamin A. You can also try soaking your turtle in carrot water.

Turtle eye infections are usually caused by two things: dirty water and vitamin A deficiencies. Therefore, you should address both of these when treating your turtle’s eye infection.

For starters, you should remove your turtle from the tank and do a full water change. This can help remove harmful bacteria from your tank that could be the cause of your turtle’s eye infection. When you put the new water in the tank, make sure to add a conditioner to detoxify the water and remove any harmful chemicals.

Next, to address the possibility of a vitamin a deficiency, you should give your turtle food that is rich in vitamin A. Some good vegetables that have a lot of vitamin A are baked sweet potato, kale, collard greens, and carrots. If your turtle is not touching the vegetables, you can try to give them cooked salmon or hard boiled eggs. You can see more options here on foods with high vitamin A content.

Carrot water

While I have never tried this, some people have treated their turtle’s eye infection by soaking their water in “carrot water”. You can easily make carrot water by putting saw raw carrots in a blender with some water. Blend the solution until it is a liquid, and then put it into a large container. Next, add some water conditioner in case the water contains any toxins.

Next, allow your turtle to soak in the carrot water for 20-30 minutes. Make sure that the water does not go above their shell so they can easily stick their head above the water.

Turtle water is a good option if your turtle’s eyes are completely shut, and they are unable to see their food.

If your turtle’s eye infection refuses to go away, there’s a chance your turtle has a respiratory infection.

You can learn more in my article on turtle respiratory infection home treatment.

When to take your turtle to the vet

If your turtle’s eye infection has persisted for more than two weeks without any improvement, you should take them to the vet. It is important that the eye infection is treated before there is any irreversible damage. They will also be able to check for other turtle diseases.

Additionally, you should take your turtle to the vet if they are displaying any of the following symptoms:

  • Gasping for air
  • Erratic swimming
  • Lethargy (unable to move)
  • Excessive discharge and bubbles at their mouth or eyes
  • Loss of appetite

All of the above symptoms are signs that your turtle may have a respiratory infection. It is very hard to treat a respiratory infection at home, and your turtle will most likely die if you don’t take them to a vet to get treated.

At the vet, they will confirm the diagnosis, and then administer antibiotics or steroids depending on the severeness of the illness.  

Curing a turtle eye infection

As long as you catch it early and make the necessary changes, it is pretty easy to treat a turtle’s eye infection. While you should ideally give them eye drops, you might be able to fight of the infection by simply cleaning your tank and giving them a diet rich in Vitamin A.

If you suspect that your turtle might have a respiratory infection, you should take them to the vet immediately for adequate treatment.

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