Urgent Care :: Closed eyes while swimming + might be swollen

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Post Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:13 pm   Closed eyes while swimming + might be swollen

How big is your turtle? About 4 and 5 inch respectively
How long have you had it? For 6 and 7 months respectively

What is the water temperature? 83°F
Did you use a thermometer? Yes
Are you using a water heater? Yes
How much water is in there? 26 gallons
Are you using a water conditioner? Yes
Are you using any filtration? Yes, rated approx triple the tank size. It is an internal filter.

What is the basking temperature? Exact temperature at the basking platform is uncertain, but I am using dophin uvb lamp which is placed about 30cm away from the basking platform. Been 5 months since I had it and will replace the bulb next month probably.
Is there a basking light? Yes
Is there a basking platform that is easy to climb on? Okay so here is the problem actually. The issue of my 2 RES closing their eyes in water happened after I changed their basking platform. Initially I was using those floating ones made by exoterra. But it became a bit sad to see the two sliders sharing one platform so I created a simple above the tank basking platform made from egg crates for them. I understand that they needed to take some time to adjust and get used to the new basking platform, which was why I wasnt concerned when on the first day it was changed, they didnt bask much except for going up for short periods to just check out this interesting new 'addition'. The next morning, they were ok, swimming around. Noticed nothing unusual. They ate as per normal too. However, in the evening when I came back, I noticed that the older one of my terrapin was swimming around with eyes closed at all times. This made me really worried basically. The other one followed suit about an hour after which made it worse basically. I observed them and then decided to take them out, and do a water change. It wasnt long before the previous water change (maybe 2 weeks?) but I figured their eyes being closed might indicate a problem with water quality (although this has yet to be a concern before this). A point to highlight, however, is that each time they were on land, their eyes opened up. When we were cleaning up their main tank and housing them in a temporary one filled with water, their eyes are ok also.
What kind is it or what is it made out of? Explained above!
Is there a UVB light? Yes

What have you been trying to feed it? Zoomed pellets mostly, and occassional blood worms (once every 2 weeks)
When was the last time your turtle ate? This morning (so far no eating problems, thankfully)

How big is the tank/pond/enclosure? 2.5 feet x 1.5 feet x 1.5 feet
Is the tank near a window? No
Is the tank in a room with a lot of activity? Only in the morning

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

Is there any other unusual activity/symptoms? So, I bought the Zoomed Turtle Eye Drop thing just today and applied accordingly to both my sliders. They both appeared better after the application, in the sense that they dont swim all the time with eyes closed. They occasionally open their eyes, but still its not frequent enough for me to be relieved.

I am seeking suggestions. What should I do? Could it be thar the lack of basking for a day or two resulted in this condition? Could it be that this is a reaction to dealing with deeper waters now (since I increased water level when I made the change of basking platform). I know going to the vet is a likely advice given by most, but I actually am in Singapore. The reptile vets around are not many, and dont have very great reviews to be honest. I would like that to be my very last resort.

Link below is a video of how one of my sliders is just going around rummaging through the rocks as usual, but with his eyes closed. I am not sure if his eyes are considered swollen though.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-AzpwJ ... p=drivesdk
Last edited by dwsyr on Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:27 pm   Re: Closed eyes while swimming + might be swollen

Did you change the water recently? Do you dechlorinate it? Are they closer to the UVB under the new backing dock?
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:31 pm   Re: Closed eyes while swimming + might be swollen


The last water change prior to the change of basking platform was about 2 weeks ago. I did dechlorinate the water. For the new basking dock, they are 30cm away from the UVB. It is closer than before though. Previously it was maybe 35 to 40cm away from the UVB.
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:07 pm   Re: Closed eyes while swimming + might be swollen

Sometimes city water in very hot summer's does vary a little and or the dechlorinater may be getting old. Temporary tank water was ok so it may be the bulb around 12" with the new ATBA rather than your normal 14" to 15 placement .

Did you use a "new" bulb for the new dock ? I'm an old timer and to this day I have a few days "burn in time" for the coating on the bulb away from the tank. If was new bulb some manufactures say just raise it a few inches for the "burn in time" until readings settle down to were your regular placement would be needed.
Even if was old bulb but lower down to 30cm's may have irritated there eyes then the water was more of an irritant. Was all three eyelid's closed upper and lower or just the nictitating inner ? Video little dark looks like all closed ?

Try and raise the bulb back to 35-40cm's and watch reactions. Also are you using a meter to check reading from the bulb for placement ?
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:58 pm   Re: Closed eyes while swimming + might be swollen

Hello all for the help! After reading, I figured that the light was actually the problem, and decided to put it at the usual distance instead. But they wouldnt open their eyes still so I quarantined them separately in my smaller feeding tanks plus routinely place zoomed reptile eye drops just in case. Plus did daily water changes to ensure water quality is ensured at all times. They got better over the few days, and are now back to their normal tank! They were so happy to be back there LOL it was cute.

Really super grateful for all the help!
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:43 pm   Re: Closed eyes while swimming + might be swollen

An inch or two to us giants may not be a lot but to small turtles it is. Good call correcting placement and giving time for the drops to help with the eye burn. Bet they are very happy !

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