How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Anna Your Own Question
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11508
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
Type Your Reptile Question Here...
Anna is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My Bearded Dragon has been keeping one eye closed. He is probably

Resolved Question:

My Bearded Dragon has been keeping one eye closed. He is probably 8 to 9 inches long head to tail. He has been eating collard greens, kale, and Crickets and small Hornworms everyday. He can eat 6 to 10 crickets and then a small Hornworm (Hornworm ever other day). The pet store said to only give him 5 crickets but that does not appear to be enough. He appears to be shedding on his tail again...he just shed like 2 or 3 weeks ago. I have a Reptisun 5.0 UVB compact fluorescent bulb and a Repti Basking Spot lamp 100 watts. The only thing I can think of is that when I tapped the criket container tube some of the waiste got in his or her eye. Is this possible or am I doing something incorrect. Thansk for your help...Mike R
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Anna replied 6 years ago.
Hello Mike,

A bit more information will help me to answer your question.

What substrate do you use on the floor?

What is the temperature under the basking light and on the cool side of the cage?

Is there any discharge from the eye?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Anna,

I am using a reptile carpet and the gauge under the basking light shows the temp of the cage normally between 91 to 95* on the hot side and 82 to 86* on the cool side..and when I look in the eye that is closed I do not see any discharge but when it is open It is hard to see if there is even an eyball in place..Should I send a picture of each eye? Thanks Again...Mike R
Expert:  Anna replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. I'm working on your answer, and will post it as soon as it is typed up. I appreciate your patience.

Please don't reply to this post as that can lock me out so I won't be able to post your answer.

At this point, I don't think a photo will help, but we'll see as we go along.

I'll be back shortly.


Expert:  Anna replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for waiting. First of all, the pet store has given you incorrect information on care. Unfortunately, that's common, and many lizards become ill because of it. I'll tell you what you need to change, and then we'll talk about the eye.

The Reptisun 5.0 does not emit enough UVB light for a beardie. If you continue to use it, your dragon is going to develop Metabolic Bone disease (MBD). I recommend a Reptisun 10.0 in a straight tube. The 5.0 lights are only good for about 3 months, so when it's time to replace it, buy the stronger light. A 10.0 will last for 6 months. The lights continue to look good after that, but are only giving off visible light. UVB rays are not visible to the human eye, and after the time spans I gave you, the lights no longer emit enough to do any good.

The warm side of the cage is way too cold for a baby beardie. The latest research indicates they need to be much warmer than was previously thought. It should be 110*F to 125*F. The cool side should be maintained at 85*F to 90*F. You can increase the temperature by lowering the basking light - but not so much your beardie could be burned- or by adding a second light. That doesn't have to be expensive. If you live in an area that has farm stores, you can buy a clip-on metal light fixture made to keep baby chicks warm for just a few dollars. Don't buy the accompanying bulb, however. You need an ordinary incandescent bulb in the basking light. Hardware and home improvement stores sell similar light fixtures as work lights.

A baby beardie can eat much more than what you're feeding now. Continue to feed him until he doesn't want any more, and have two feeding sessions per day. For reliable information on feeding, take a look at this site:

You are on the right track by strating with a warm bath. If the problem is simply that something got in the eye, you may be able to soothe and flush it by using preservative-free saline solution (the kind made for contact lenses). Put in a few drops several times a day. If there is only minor irritation, it should clear up in a day or so. However, once something gets in the eye, infection often results. If you don't get quick resiults, it would be best to see a reptile vet. Your beardie may need prescription antibiotics. If there is an actual injury, other treatment may also be needed. This link will take you to a directory of reptile vets:

I’m also sending along a care sheet, courtesy of Joan, another of our experts. Joan has many years experience keeping and rescuing beardies. I suggest that you use the care sheet as a check list to provide the best possible care for your beardie. If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope the eye will quickly clear up.


(If you find my answer helpful, please click on the green ACCEPT button. Thank you.)

Bearded Dragon Care Sheet

* Bearded dragons should be housed alone.

* Ages of bearded dragons follow these guidelines:

1. 0-3 months- baby
2. 3-12 months-juvenile
3. 12-18 months- sub adult
4. 18 months + -adult

* Bearded dragons live as much as 10-12 years if well cared for properly.
* Bearded dragons have a very good temperament as long as they are cared for and handled.
* When you bring your baby home, it may be quite stressful to him/her to get use to new home. May not eat well the first 2-3 days. They may not need to be handled the first 2-3 days if skittish and nervous.
* Never use sand or any other type of loose substrate: Loose substrates can cause impaction (not being able to go Poop) in all ages of bearded dragons- they lick their environment to explore .It is difficult to keep germ free and clean. Ceramic tile, newspaper, non adhesive shelf liner and reptile carpet is what is most recommended. Use paper towels for the little one and as they get bigger you can change to something else.
* Be sure you keep your beardies home as clean as you can. Clean up by spot cleaning when needed. Clean & sanitize entire tank every 10-14 days. A good cleaning solution is a 20% bleach solution. If you choose to use wood climbing branches etc, these should be soaked in the bleach solution and rinsed well. Then bake in 250 degree oven for 30 minutes.
* Need a climbing accessory: to bask and to warm up under basking heat light and lower branches or platforms to come down and cool off.
* A hide of some sort like a cave.
* A food dish and water dish.
* Plastic spray bottle
* Can use artificial plants when they get older- 3 months or so.
* Digital thermostat and/or temp gun
* Tank size: Minimal size tank for this age is 20 gallon long
* Minimal size for older beardie: 4 months of age: 40 gallon breeder is the minimal tank size for older dragon. Can divide a 40 gallon breeder for a smaller dragon. Must have two lights for your beardie.

1. A UVB light source-best is 10.0 Reptisun that runs the length of your tank. Your dragon must have this light to metabolize calcium. If not he will get metabolic bone disease, a serious condition. You can also take your beardie outside to bask in the sun for 15 minutes each day if your temps are 80 degrees or above outside. You can purchase cages or reptariums from your pet store. Never leave a beardie outside unattended.
2. A basking type light that puts out heat and warmth above basking spot. Your beardie must have warmth to digest food & thrive.

* Lights should be on for 12-14 hours each day. Follow the seasons and light timers are a great luxury if you can get them. 6 dollars at Lowe's. No lights or warmth needed at night unless your temperatures get below 62 degrees. If they do, there are ceramic heat emitters that put out no light, only heat. Use these at night if temperatures fall below 62 degrees.

* Temperatures have to be kept at the following ranges during the day:

Babies: Warm basking log: 110-125 degrees F (43.5* to 51.5*C)
Cool side: 85-90 (29.5* to 32*C)
Adults: Warm basking spot: 105-115F (40.5*C to 46*C)

Cool side: 80-85F (27*C to 29*C)

Measure temperatures with a digital probe type thermometer or a temp gun-these are most accurate. Stick on thermometers unreliable.

* Feeding a Beardie: Beardies eat live prey consisting of crickets, roaches and/or silkworms. Never feed any size of mice to your beardie. Never feed mealworms. They also must be given greens/veggies everyday. The younger they are the more live prey they should have. As they grow older the live prey decreases and the veggies/greens should be the major part of diet. Never feed anything bigger, than the space between your beardie's eyes. This includes both live prey and pieces of veggies/greens,
* A chopper or food processor is a huge help when your beardie is small. Always offer greens and veggies: collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, cabbage, red cabbage, fresh green beans, yellow summer squash, butternut squash, sweet potato, cactus pad. Apricots, strawberries, apples, blueberries, raspberries, cantaloupe- fruits are treats only.
* What is live prey? The easiest and less expensive live prey is crickets when you have a young or first beardie. The other live preys you can feed are silkworms, and special types of roaches. You can learn to raise your own live prey. Treats can be waxworms, super worms, and tomato/goliath worms. You may find that ordering live prey from the internet is the way to go..... Never leave live prey or greens/veggies in tank overnight. . Crickets can bite your beardie when sleeping.
* Babies should get 80% live prey, and 20 % greens/veggies. But since the greens/veggies are a must when they are older, get them eating their greens/veggies very early. Give greens/veggies in small pieces everyday. You should eventually start decreasing your older dragon's protein intake when they are about a year to 15 months old. Their protein intake decreases to 20 % live prey and 80% veggies/greens.
* A baby can eat 50-75 crix a day. Never feed crix or veggies bigger than the space between your beardie's eyes. Use this guide when buying crix or chopping your greens/veggies.
* You must provide calcium dust without D3 and multivitamin dust for your beardie. You should dust the live prey with calcium one time a day, and vitamins 3 times a week. Just collect your live prey into baggie and add enough calcium and vitamin to dust them. Then pour a few at a time into your tank. Some people feed their beardie in a separate tank so that no crickets can hide. Or some take out "furniture" from tank and feed this way. As they get older, 4-5 months or so dust live prey with calcium 3 times a week.
* Feed the veggies/ greens 1st thing in morning after lights on for one hour at least. Then after 2-3 hours offer crix. Then freshen green/veggies. Then give more crix. Make sure after last crix feeding there is at least 1-2 hours of lights so that they can digest their food before night time.

*Beardies over the age of one year old during the winter months will go into a Brumation like most Reptiles and Herps. It is a form of hibernation that is governed by the weather and time of year. The lights should be on a shorter period at this time. Fresh greens should be available during this period. Do not feed live prey during Brumation.

Water: Mist your little one with the spray bottle 3-4 times a day. You can also offer a small dish of water in your enclosure but be sure your dragon is not too small to drown in it. It is recommended that when your beardie is 2 months old you can bathe your baby in a small plastic container with warm water- not hot. It will help them to stay hydrated. As they get older you can move up to the bathroom sink and then to the bathtub. Very important for bath enclosure to be thoroughly cleaned and rinsed prior to bath time. Clean between dragons too if bathing more than one.

Expert:  Anna replied 6 years ago.
Hi again,

I just realized that your UVB light is a compact coil type. (Thank you to our other expert, Joan, for noticing). That bulb may be the problem. Coil bulbs can cause eye problems. Turn off the light for a couple of days, and see if that helps. I would replace it with a straight tube right away.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
OK, I am going to run out and get some saline, but is it possible that it is the UVB bulb is causing the problem? Or should I just get the Reptisun 10.0 in a straight tube and that should be OK too run? I will raise the temp too...I do not belive that the eye bothers her/him but I do not think it can really see out of the attacks it's prey on the other side and ignores it in the eye that is shut a bit...It does not look like there is an eye in there...Or is there another eye lid there that is protecting it? Please let me know and thanks agin...Mike R
Expert:  Anna replied 6 years ago.
Why don't you go ahead and post a photo of the bad eye? You can do that by clicking on REPLY, then click on the paper clip icon in the tool bar and following the directions.

The UVB light could definitely be causing the problem. Even after you get the new straight tube, leave it off for two days. You'll want to use the saline, too. The following site has more information on treatment of the UVB induced eye problem.

Anna and other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I accept your answear...Is there a way I can send you a picture in an hour or so? To take a look? Just let me know and thanks for the help...Thx Mike R
Expert:  Anna replied 6 years ago.
Yes, even though you have already accepted, you can come back to this question and click on REPLY. Then use the paper clip icon as described above. I'll take a look at it. You may be dealing with a retained eye cap, and that's why I'd like to see.

I'll watch for the photo.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

This is his bad eye from what I gather...Thanks for taking the time to look....

Just seeks so dark inside his or her eye...

And this eye seems to have a eye ball in it...

Thanks for taking a look..Thanks Again Mike R
Expert:  Anna replied 6 years ago.
Thank you, Mike. The photos are a bit blurry when I enlarge them, but I can see that there is no retained eye cap, so we don't have to deal with that. Just follow the suggestions I gave you above, and see what happens. You can always come back tot his question if you need follow-up information, or to let me know how things are progressing.

There's no need to click on accept again. Thank you for accepting above.

I hope all goes well.