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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18200
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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I have a Herman turtle hatchling and he has been holding One

Customer Question

I have a Herman turtle hatchling and he has been holding One of his eyes shut. . Once I apply a warm compress of water he opens it fully and it looks fine this is been happening for two days now what should I do.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.


My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years with special interest in Reptiles and Reptile Rescue. I do need to ask some questions to best assist you. Please do not rate my service until I give you a complete answer.

Can you tell me about the set up?

Do you have a tank or a tortoise table?




UVB light, age of bulb, linear tube or compact coil, strength and brand?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Joan, I purchased the hatchling online and they guided me with set up. I have a 55 gallon tank with the coconut flooring UVA and UVB bulbs that are strong enough to handle the 55 gallon tank. Bulbs are brand-new as is the whole set up we have only had the hatchling for about seven weeks. The diet consists of greens, turnip greens, Romain lettuce, Orange baby tortoise pallets to stimulate appetite, I also give a multicolored small tortoise food that is hard. I sprayed it so that it becomes slightly moist. And I also give a very small amount of fruit. The tortoise loves the greens and fruit but I have yet to see him eat the harder pellets. I also have a cuttlebone that I have in his enclosure and I often take it and scratch it over his fruit so that he gets calciumRight now he looks fine however this morning and yesterday morning he woke up and had one eyeshot for quite some time once I put a warm compress on it B I opened easily. I've read that this is an indicator of upper respiratory infection or a tortoise I can be getting sick. I just want to be preventative as he is a hatchling
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

I need to have the information on the UVB specifically: linear tube or compact coil, strength and brand?

Once I have this I can give you an answer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I bought UVA and UVB combo pack here are the specs on the exact product as per the description. The hatchling only had RUV a bulb for the first week in till I knew to buy both a UVA and UVB when I purchased this combo pack I put both bulbs in fresh and new about five or six weeks agoZoo med bearded dragon combo pack
Includes a repti basking spot lamp and a reptisun 10.0 mini compact fluorescent lamp
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have pictures in full product description but for some reason I cannot send them through this message communication. I have pictures in full product description but for some reason I cannot send them through this message communication.
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.


Whoever gave you instructions on care they gave you some poor information. A tortoise shoould never be kept in a tank. They need either a large rubbermade Bin or a Tortoise table. Tortoises do not thrive well n a tank because they need air circulation to prevent Respiratory issues. This is a care sheet that is basic and has proper diet as The Romaine should not be a staple food.

This is an idea of a good tortoise table but can be modified to fit your home:

I suspect the eye problem you are seeing may be a result of the coil UBV bulb. They can can cause eye issues called Photo Kerato Conjunctivitis. I suggest replacing the UVB bulb with a Reptisun 10.0 Linear tube. The spectrum of light is not as concentrated and gives better coverage and not affect the eyes. I also suggest using a Drop of saline in the eye twice a day.

Another issue is the baby needs to be bathed once a day since they dehydrate easily and need a good soak daily.

Hopefully if these items are changed alone with an updated diet:

Mustard greens
Collard greens
Turnip greens
Carrot tops
Spring greens
Salad mixes
Carrots (sparingly)
Cucumber (sparingly)

Aloe vera
Bitter cress
Field pansy
Rose petals
Hedge mustard
Global thistle
Bermuda Grass
Other grasses

Fruit is not recommended for tortoises because of the sugar.

Plain calcium should be sprinkled on the veggies and weeds.

The pellet and already made foods are not the best for tortoises.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK, I was told that one side of the tank should be warm one side should be cool so if I get the linear bold wouldn't that make the whole enclosure warm? I just want to make sure I do the right thing.
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

Hi The UVB light gives off very little heat and that is what the basking bulb does. I do highly suggest getting the tortose out of the tank and into a better suited habitat asap. They are susceptible to Respiratory issues in a tank, fungal infections as well as poor growth rates. I cannot stress enough how bad the tank is for tortoises. UBV Coil bulb issues: UVB lights give little heat unlike a Basking bulb.

When I have addressed your concerns, please take a moment to rate my service 5 stars. If I can assist you further, please hit reply.

Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?