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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11545
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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I have a male Anole lizard, i purchased him a week ago for

Customer Question

I have a male Anole lizard, i purchased him a week ago for my daughter at a fair. His eye seamed to be swollen. I noticed a fine piece of hair in his eye. I plucked it out and today his eye is closed and he keeps rubbing it on the soil and piece of bark. The soil is sticking to his eye. I feel so bad. What should I do for him?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the anole's name and age?
Customer: Flash and they told me he is a baby but not sure the age. His body is about 3 inches long
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Flash?
Customer: No not that I know of. When we first got him his face was shedding. He eats about 4-5 small crickets everyother day. I have a small water bowl and wet the sides of the tank everyother day. We just got him a 5 1/2 gallon tank and uv white light for the day and black light at night. He sleeps in the plant I have in his tank at night. They told me to put baby banana food in a small shell they provided. He turns light green and brown colors.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. I'm sorry to hear Flash is having some problems. Some additional information will help me determine the best steps for you to take.

Has he finished shedding now?

What is the brand name of your UV light? Is it a long tube or a coil type?

What are the temperatures under the basking light and on the cool side of the tank?

Have you fed anything besides the baby food?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
he is finished shedding. The brand of the UV light is zoo med. it is a mini combo deep dome light. I have to white lights on him during the day and I switch to black at night only one side lit. I am not sure of the temp. Should o only be lighting one side? I also feed him crickets 4-5 everyother day.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. I'm going to work on some information for you now, and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience, and will be back shortly.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Thank you
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for waiting.

I suspect you got your information on care from a pet store - or the people at the fair. Most people do. While we should be able to rely on such information, unfortunately, it is often wrong. They sell people the wrong lighting, advise the wrong foods, and often don't know the correct temperatures for the various reptiles. After months of things not being quite right, the animal becomes ill. Some of what you have been told is wrong, and I suspect that is why Houdini is having so much trouble. Even though you have been trying so hard to keep him healthy, when you didn't have correct information to begin with, things are going wrong.

There are several issues that may be affecting Flash's eye. The mini dome light is simply a fixture that holds two bulbs. They can eb any kind of bulbs. If the UVB bulb you put in it is the coil/spiral type. that can cause eye problems. A long tube UVB light that extends the length of the tank is a betetr choice. The Reptisun 10.0 is a good one.

You do not need a night light bulb at all. Lizards in nature have cooler temperatures at night, and in captivity, most do best with a night time temperature drop. However, it is essential to know the temperatures. Being too cool can quickly lead to eye and respiratory problems. The basking area should be 85 to 90*F, and the coolest part of the cage 75*F. Use a good digital probe thermometer to measure the temperature.

Anoles do not eat plant foods. I would get rid of the banana. Flash needs to have prey insects dusted in plain calcium powder every day. Crickets no larger than the space between his eyes are best, ***** ***** prey insects, such as wingless fruit flies are also excellent. A baby anole is about the length of a penny. Flash is not a baby, but he is still young.

If you are using sand as a substrate on the tank floor, get rid of it. The pet store sand substrate is not good. Despite the fact that it is highly recommended, more often than not, it leads to impaction and eye infections. Sterile potting soil or Bed-a-Beast are better choices. For more on substrate and other care from a reputable site:

I'm going to give you some first aid measures. Buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak Flash for about 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Reptiles can absorb the electrolytes and fluids through their vents (where droppings pass out), so make the water deep enough to cover the vent. Be sure to supervise closely.

I would also remove the UVB bulb for a couple of days to see if that helps. You can put a drop of saline solution (the kind made for contact lenses) in the eye several times a day. If that doesn't help, it would be best to see a reptile vet to get to the bottom of the problem. This link will take you to a directory of vets:

If you have more concerns, just let me know. I hope Flash will soon be thriving.


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