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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11427
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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She is closing one eye most of the time. She does open it

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She is closing one eye most of the time. She does open it when fed and when I get her attention....but otherwise is keeping it closed. I had a Reptisun 10.0 coil bulb on the terrarium and replaced it with help and 4 days ago removed the UVB bulb completely and plan on replacing with a Reptisun 10.0 tube bulb tomorrow. There is no discharge by the eye.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the reptile's name?
Customer: Ruby
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Ruby?
Customer: Nope
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
terrarium is a 20 gallon, beardie is a juvenile. I've had her about 2 months. She was doing great until about 2 weeks ago. I made not changes until I noticed her not feeling well. I had an Exo Terra 150w infared basking spot light on the tank for heat and basking and the temp in the basking spot was about right at 104 degrees. The terrarium is only 13" tall. The Repitsum 10.0 coil bulb sat above a plant, which she climbed right up underneath....within an inch or two of the bulb. Could either of those bulbs burnt her eye? or the issue probably bad UVB bulbs?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
She also had a major shed right before this started....not sure if that's related, but have seen her attempt to scratch the eye on her basking rock. I have misted the eye area with bottled water in hope to provide some relief.


I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just logged on and saw your question. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with I'm sorry to hear of this problem. I realize it has been a long time since you posted your question. If you still wnat help, some additional information will be useful.

Does it look like there might be shed skin stuck on the eye?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you and no. There doesn't appear to be anything in her eye.

Thank you for getting back to me. I'm working on some information for you now, and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience.

Thank you for waiting. There are a few things you can try. Switching away from the coil UVB light is a good idea. Infrared can also cause problems. It's betetr to use a regualr incandescent bulb, and only leave it on in the daytime. It's ok for night temperatures to drop into the seventies. However, I suspect an eye infection. If you use sand, crushed walnut, or any loose substrate, I would switch to a solid one like reptile carpet or ceramic tile. Dust and minute particles from loose substrates are a leading cause of eye irritations, which often lead to infection. You can put a drop of saline solution (the kind made for contact lenses) in the eye several times a day. Some will seep in around the lid even if it is closed.

You may also want to consider using an actual eye antibiotic. Here is a reputable source where you can order one:

If none of these measures helps, it would be best to see a vet. This link will take you to a directory of reptile vets:

If you have more questions, just let me know. I hope Ruby will reacha full recovery.


My goal is to provide you with excellent 5 star service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service after you have all the information you need. I will greatly appreciate a positive rating as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you!

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks. I'll try the saline. I only use newspaper to line the floor of the terrarium. If it was infected would there be swelling and/or discharge?
That's good. Infection often, but not always, does produce discharge. There can be swelling, but swelling often indicates an injury. Keeping the eye closed usually means there is pain or itching. That can be caused by several different conditions. I would leave the UVB light off for three days - even the new one- and replace the infrared light. Then try the saline for a few days. If those steps don't help, you can either get the eye antibiotic or see a vet.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks. I removed the infrared light and UVB last Monday and only have had incendescent since. I installed the new tube UVB this morning. She's up and moving around with her eye open more than feel that's positive. Thanks for your help. I'll try the saline treatment and if things don't improve, take her to the vet.
You have a good plan. I wish you success.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
You're very welcome.
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