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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 17304
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 20+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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I have a Chinese water dragon that won't eat or open her

Customer Question

I have a Chinese water dragon that won't eat or open her eyes.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dragon's name and age?
Customer: Her name is ***** ***** she's about a year old.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Saria?
Customer: She's also mysteriously lost 2 toes.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 1 month ago.


My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet etch for 30+ years with special interest in Reptiles and Reptile Rescue,

Can you tell me about your set up?

UVB light, linear tube or compact coil, strength. age of bulb and brand?

Basking light?



How long has she been like this?


Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I have a basking light with coil bulb (250V and 660W), UVB lamp with linear bulb (120V and 100W), basking lamp is about a year old and All Living Things brand, whereas the UVB lamp is Med Zoo brand, about 6 months old (replaced it after the other stopped working).She eats crickets, mealworms, and I give her some fruit like honeydew once a month. She wouldn't eat anything living for a while so I started buying the dead ones, now she won't eat those but can't very well hunt with closed eyes.I sprinkle herptivite and powdered calcium on her food before feeding her.She's been this way about a week or two. It started with one eye so I started giving her baths so soak her eye and after doing so for a few days, she was fine. But now both eyes are closed. I use paper towels to line her tank that I clean every other day and I clean her water dish daily. She doesn't seem lethargic and still enjoys being pet, held, and basking. She finished her shedding cycle the day before her eye closed. I try to keep giving her daily baths to get some water on her eyes and every now and again she opens one but it looks swollen. She has started to look a bit thinner and I'm worried about her not being able to hunt her food.
Expert:  Joan replied 1 month ago.

Thank-you. You have a few issues going on. The All Living Things bulbs are having issues. They are exploding and sending shards of glass all over the tank. UVB bulbs need to be changed every 6 months. They give out light but will not give UVB after 6 months. It is imperative to change the bulb asap. The UVB bulb can have a great bearing on the health of Yyour water Dragon.

I suspect the eye issue is a Vitamin A deficiency. This is common in Reptiles and needs to be addressed by a Herp Vet. They will do some blood work and address what she needs. I can locate a Herp Vet with a State from you.

Right now we can start some emergency feeding, by mixing some chicken baby food with a pinch of calcium powder and drop on the snout and allow the WD to lick it off. We need to keep food going in to keep the WD going until see by the Herp Vet..

Please continue with a daily soak and you can use some Plain Saline eye drops without Preservatives in each eye. Please repalce the UVB light and as I said you may want to switch any bulb that is All Living Things to a Zoomed bulb. I like to use the Reptisun 8.0 or 10.0 as the linear tube.

My goal is to assist you and your Water Dragon. I strive for excellent service and to earn a 5 star rating from you today. Please hit reply for any concerns and to supply a State.


Expert:  Joan replied 28 days ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?