Swollen Eyes


  • swollen eyes, may be unable to open
  • squinting


  • nearby abscess
  • respiratory infection
  • vitamin A deficiency
  • other bacterial infection
  • poor hygiene
  • too much chlorine in water
  • not enough UVB
  • poor quality heating
  • injury


If your turtle has swollen eyes, first make an appointment with an experienced reptile veterinarian to get it checked out. The vet will determine the cause of the problem and an appropriate course of action, likely antibiotic ointment or injections. The turtle may need to be dry docked during recovery.

Meanwhile, clean your turtle’s tank and double-check the filter. You may need to upgrade your filter if it’s too small for the amount of water you have. Alternatively, you may need to perform more frequent water changes. For more information on water hygiene, visit the Water page of this guide.

You should also check your turtle’s heating and UVB. A basking spot that is too cold, is using a low-quality source of heat, or doesn’t have enough UVB may have caused your turtle’s infection.

If vitamin A deficiency is the culprit, you may need to switch to a more nutritious type of turtle pellet (see recommended brands here) or offer more carotene-rich foods like dark leafy greens, carrots, and sweet potato.


ATP Medical – Eyes and Ears. (n.d.). Austin’s Turtle Page. http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/medeyes.htm

Diaz. (2019, September 27). Eye Problems in Turtles. Exotic Animal Hospital of Orlando. https://www.orlandoexoticveterinarian.com/blog/eye-problems-in-turtles/

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