Urgent Care :: Blind Turtle?

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Post Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:57 pm   Blind Turtle?

How big is your turtle? 6.8 lbs
How long have you had it? 20 years but she is 30

What is the water temperature? 76
Did you use a thermometer? yes
Are you using a water heater? yes
How much water is in there? 45
Are you using a water conditioner? yes
Are you using any filtration? yes

What is the basking temperature? don't know
Is there a basking light? there is a ceramic heat emitter
Is there a basking platform that is easy to climb on? yes
What kind is it or what is it made out of? it's one of those fake turtle logs
Is there a UVB light? yes

What have you been trying to feed it? she gets Omega One Turtle food and red leaf lettuce
When was the last time your turtle ate? just now

How big is the tank/pond/enclosure? 75 gallons
Is the tank near a window? yes
Is the tank in a room with a lot of activity? no

Have you read the Basic Care section? yes
Have you searched the forums for similar situations? yes

Is there any other unusual activity/symptoms? no


Hey, all. I'm just curious about turtle blindness. I think my turtle might be losing some of her sight. Before you ask, as you can see from above she does get UVB light 12 hours a day and I change the bulb every six months. She gets red leaf lettuce every week. She is in good health. I just had her in for a vet checkup this past December and she was given a gold star. Her eyes are clear. There's no sign of any sort of infection or anything.

This past week I noticed that she wasn't eating as much. Sometimes this can mean she has eggs but she's not displaying the other egg symptoms (not restless). She seems hungry so I put food in and she'll eat a bite or two and then it seems like she can't find the food. It just floats all around her while she begs for more. And if I put more in front of her she'll eat another bite or two and then miss the rest. I tried to gauge if she can see me. Normally she's very attentive of me, swimming right over and following me but now she seems to be having a hard time tracking me. Even if I put my hand in the tank she only reacts if my finger is right in front of her face.

I'm worried about her not getting enough food so just now I fed her some tuna using tweezers. And again, she would only eat it if I had it right in front of her face. But she did eat. I will take her to the vet of course but I can't do it till next week.

I'm just curious if anyone else here has any experience with this sort of thing and if she is going blind, I'm looking for advice going forward with feeding her. I don't want to feed her just tuna because she needs more nutrients than that. So any advice on what and how to feed a turtle with poor eyesight?

Thank you!
zana
 
Posts: 16
Joined: May 31, 2014
Gender: Female

Post Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:08 pm   Re: Blind Turtle?

20 years with you that's great , good parent , at a young 30 now. Blind turtles yes can happen accidents , age ... But turtles have a far greater sense of smell than even the famed bloodhound. They use that smell to hunt out a lot of things. Maybe eating same thing for thirty years just got old. They can be very picky at times. Try a live worm , live /can cricket , smash up a minnow (may be to fast live) do this in separate bowl /container so she can reach it easier. Hell try all her favorite treats for awhile. Sorry upfront to say this If live food a problem for you it's time to get over that , your girl needs you now. 20 years with you this is your child ! We had a blind turtle at the Nature Center that done very well. As a volunteer I got to feed him , little extra attention and all was good.
You can also try this , her head is out the water watching say you feeding her. Gently push her head under water so she can see the food from another view. Sometimes works especially if one get over excited in the begging area. Maybe a little farsighted? We know turtles are near sighted.

PS: Saw all your other post! x-rays , blood work.... I was always told that turtles do not go through menopause , can produce eggs to the end when healthy ( x-rays no eggs) but sometimes I just wonder due to symptoms I have seen in my time if that is actually true?
litefoot
 
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Location: New Orleans
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Post Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:35 pm   Re: Blind Turtle?

Any disoriented swimming? Does she keep her head tilted?
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steve
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:29 am   Re: Blind Turtle?

litefoot wrote:20 years with you that's great , good parent , at a young 30 now. Blind turtles yes can happen accidents , age ... But turtles have a far greater sense of smell than even the famed bloodhound. They use that smell to hunt out a lot of things. Maybe eating same thing for thirty years just got old. They can be very picky at times. Try a live worm , live /can cricket , smash up a minnow (may be to fast live) do this in separate bowl /container so she can reach it easier. Hell try all her favorite treats for awhile. Sorry upfront to say this If live food a problem for you it's time to get over that , your girl needs you now. 20 years with you this is your child ! We had a blind turtle at the Nature Center that done very well. As a volunteer I got to feed him , little extra attention and all was good.
You can also try this , her head is out the water watching say you feeding her. Gently push her head under water so she can see the food from another view. Sometimes works especially if one get over excited in the begging area. Maybe a little farsighted? We know turtles are near sighted.

PS: Saw all your other post! x-rays , blood work.... I was always told that turtles do not go through menopause , can produce eggs to the end when healthy ( x-rays no eggs) but sometimes I just wonder due to symptoms I have seen in my time if that is actually true?



Thank you so much for all this info. You're right, maybe she is bored of eating the same thing. That's a good point I hadn't thought of. The reason I feed her the Omega One is because it has high quality ingredients as opposed to just being made of corn meal and grains. But I'll do some research and see what else I can find. You're right, I AM squeamish about the live food thing but you are also right that she is my child. I'll suck it up and try it.

She is definitely still laying eggs so it will be interesting to see as she continues to age if she keeps laying them.

Thanks again!
zana
 
Posts: 16
Joined: May 31, 2014
Gender: Female

Post Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:30 am   Re: Blind Turtle?

steve wrote:Any disoriented swimming? Does she keep her head tilted?


No, everything about her is totally normal. Swimming fine, basking fine, pooping fine. Just isn't eating all her food (though she gobbled up the tuna I fed her today).
zana
 
Posts: 16
Joined: May 31, 2014
Gender: Female

Post Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:39 am   Re: Blind Turtle?

Okay, that's interesting. I just went back and looked at my old post from 2014 which happened to be in May and it looks like she went through sort of a similar thing back then too. Not eating as much and seeming to have trouble seeing the food. Could it be some sort of seasonal thing? I don't let her hibernate but maybe some ingrained old instinct just makes her eat less this time of year? I dunno. Just seems like an interesting coincidence. Last time she ended up fine. I don't remember how long it took but she DID start eating again, voraciously, so maybe that will happen again.
zana
 
Posts: 16
Joined: May 31, 2014
Gender: Female

Post Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:14 am   Re: Blind Turtle?

What we do for our kids ! I also use Omega One it's the best , and feed veggies every day.
Instinct is very strong , yes , even for a captive turtle's.
There are turtles out there better at telling when spring is coming than a lot of weather people.
litefoot
 
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