My Turtle Keeps Rubbing His Eyes (4 Reasons Why + What To Do)

Turtles, just as any other animal, need their eyes, they depend on their eyes for analyzing their surroundings and to be autonomous, so, any signs of eye distress in your turtles will understandably worry you

This article looks into why your turtle may be rubbing its eyes

My turtle keeps rubbing his eyes:

Frequent eye rubbing is not normal in humans and it is not normal in turtles either, this behavior in your pet is cause for concern 

Here are the common reasons why your turtle may be rubbing its eyes:

Irritated eyes: 

If your pet keeps rubbing its eyes then the animal may be doing this because there is something wrong with the tank water 

Something about the water’s chemistry may be irritating your pet’s eyes, something like chlorine or ammonia in the water.

What to do:

Test this theory out by putting your pet in a separate clean container and filling it with distilled water.

If your turtle stops rubbing its eyes while in the new container then this is a sign that there is something wrong with your pet’s tank water.  

You’d have to do a full or partial water change if this is what’s happening with your pet.

If you aren’t already using a water conditioner in your pet’s water then consider getting one so your turtle feels comfortable in the water.

Injury of abrasion:

Your pet’s water may be fine, but, the animal’s eyes may be injured and this may cause it to constantly rub its eyes. 

The eye could have been injured if it was scratched or bitten by a tank mate, or, injured by a foreign body, like dirt or sand.

What to do:

Figuring out why your pets are scratching and biting at each other’s eyes, and solving this problem, should prevent future injuries from happening.

Also, cleaning out your pet’s enclosure should keep dust and dirt from getting under the eyelid.

Eye infections:

Infections can reach anywhere in your turtle’s body, including the animal’s eyes. An eye infection may be what’s causing the irritation and rubbing at your pet’s eyes. 

Your pet may be suffering from a parasitic, bacterial, or viral eye infection.

What to do:

You can try to relieve the eye irritation by gently irrigating it using a saline eyewash. These can be found at pharmacies.

To do this gently flush your pet’s eyes two times a day using copious amounts of the saline solution.

Tip the turtle to the side when you use the saline solution to keep the solution from getting into your pet’s mouth or nose.

Vitamin A deficiency:

Another reason why your pet turtle may keep rubbing its eyes may be because its diet is lacking in vitamin A.

A lack of vitamin A in your pet’s diet changes the animal’s epithelial tissue, this causes a thickening, dysfunction, and inflammation of the skin in that area and this may be why the animal is rubbing its eyes

What to do:

Vitamin A supplementation, or a vitamin A injection, should help with this issue as a short-term solution. Your pet would need a change in diet as a long-term solution 

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other turtle/tortoise  related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Why Is My Turtle Lethargic?Why Is My Turtle Bloated?Red Worms In My Turtle TankMy Turtle Was Upside DownMy Turtles Eyes Are SunkenMy Turtle Keeps Wiping His FaceMy Turtle Egg Has A Dent In It, My Turtle Eats A LotMy Turtle Won’t Stop Splashing 

My Turtle Keeps Rubbing His Eyes (4 Reasons Why + What To Do)
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