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Turtles/Eyes and Aim


I have a female viatnamiese black breasted leaf turtle that is 16 years old. Latety when ever I feed her (mealworms) she keeps on trying to rub her eyes with her front legs, and I noticed that she has theses bumps on her eyeballs. also when I feed her she keeps on missing her food when she tries to grab it. I read about her breed of turtle and found out that they live to be 50 years or older so I know it's not old age because she's only 16. Please tell me what's going on and how to fix it.

Hi Anna,

I can't tell anything from the picture you posted because it's much too dark.  About all I can tell is that her eyes appear to be quite swollen.  I really need more information in order to help.  I need to know how long you've had her, exactly how you have her set up (enclosure type and size, substrate, basking/UVB bulbs, temperatures in warm and cool areas), and complete diet.

It's possible her eye issue is due to infection, but if her sole diet is mealworms and/or there's no UVB provided or inadequate room, the problem could also be due to that.  A wide variety of foods is very important for nutrition, for example.   If you can post back with more information I can help you to pinpoint what the problem is.  


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Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.


I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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