Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

Reptile & Amphibian Center

Ear Infections in Reptiles

Aural Abscesses


Turtles, especially box turtles and aquatic species, are at risk for developing ear infections. If the infection leads to the development of pus and the pus becomes trapped underneath the reptile's eardrum, aural abscesses can occur




Symptoms of aural abscesses include:


  • Swelling or bulging of the ear drum
  • The presence of thick pus behind the ear drum
  • Pain when the animal opens its mouth
  • Loss of appetite




The underlying causes of aural abscesses are not completely understood but cases tend to develop when turtles are forced to live in dirty environments, are exposed to improper temperature and humidity levels, and/or do not receive adequate amounts of vitamin A in their diets.




Veterinarians diagnose aural abscesses based on a turtle’s history, clinical signs, and a physical exam.