A 22-yr-old male sulcata tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata) presented to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Louisiana State University for acute swelling around the eyes, lethargy, and serous oculonasal discharge. Upon physical exam, the patient had severe bilateral chemosis, was unable to open his eyes, and was dehydrated. Because of a clinical suspicion of bacterial upper respiratory infection, the patient was started on antibiotics, an anti-inflammatory, and fluid therapy. It was also hospitalized for further diagnostics and treatment. The patient was anesthetized for bloodwork, microbiological assays, diagnostic imaging, and an ophthalmic exam. During hospitalization, fluid therapy, parenteral antibiotic administration, nebulization, esophagostomy tube placement, and bilateral subpalpebral lavage system (SPLS) placement were performed. The most significant diagnostic findings were bilateral anterior uveitis and bilateral conjunctivitis. The patient was discharged 3 days following placement of the SPLS. On re-evaluation 11 days later, the patient showed marked clinical improvement and the SPLS were removed. Subpalpebral lavage systems proved to be an effective technique for treating uveitis in this animal. Without an SPLS, topical eye medications can be difficult or impossible to administer to large tortoises.

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