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Reptiles/Bearded Dragon Eyes Shut


QUESTION: Hello i have a 7 mon old bearded dragon (Female) her name is Izzy anyway the other day she was shedding so she was rubbing all over in her Tank which was normal but today i notice that she will not open her eyes she open them a bit and looks at me when i talk or move her but then closes them again right away she was fine and healthy before then and she still moves around and eats a bit now but all with her eyes closed! i am really worried i do not want to lose her but i do not have a lot of cash to take her to the vet i know that's bad but its hard! She eats Greens such as green beans Snow peas Mustered Greens Turnip Greens and carrots and fruit such as papaya but since she is young she mostly eats Crickets as well as a few meal worms once in a while, she has a 40gal tank with repi carpet and she passes stool normally as for lighting i have a Power sun Uva Uvb/heat balb its a combo one and the tembs are about 100-110 degrees and i use a infrared balb at night also, Please can you help!

ANSWER: Hello Jynna,

Oh I hate to hear Izzy is having eye issues.  When did they start?
I think that it is most likely going to be the Powersun mercury vapor bulb.  Which wattage is it, the 100 or 160 watt bulb?  How close is it to her?  This light has been known to produce irregular wavelength of UVB which at produces low wavelength UVB or virtually UVC which can be hazardous to them.  
Go ahead & turn off the light for now & just use a regular house hold light bulb or a bright halogen for her basking with no UVB right now.  I am pretty sure the light is going to be the culprit.

You can get some sterile saline eye drops at the store to use daily to help her eyes out.  
Give her some time for her eyes to heal up & then we can talk about which UVB light she needs.

Let me know how she is doing.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello Tracie

They did start about 4 days ago i would say she has only had the Power sun bulb for about 2 months now it is a 100w bulb and it is about 10-12in from her basking spot after seeing you message i went ahead and bought a halogen basking light and she is already starting to open her eyes! i will be getting the Saline for her eyes also, i have stopped using the power sun for all three of my dragons now (all have there own house) to make sure they do not have problems also Thank you so much for helping she is not 100% yet but its a start, Does each Dragon need a different kind of bulb or can you use the same brand of uvb light for all? Id love to know which is the best since i didn't pick the best one the first time.
Thank you again

Jynna and a very happy Bearded Izzy!

ANSWER: Hello Jynna,

That is interesting, had the eyes been irritated at all prior to the onset of her closing her eyes?
I am sorry about that.  The Powersun at one time was a good bulb, but they along with the other US brands had problems with manufacturer's  glass & have not seemed to recover from it yet.  This has been going on for several years now.
You can use the same brand for all dragons, or different brands, as long as the brands are reputable.  
There is a Mercury vapor bulb called the Solar Glo which I believe has been improved that you could try.  Or there is the Reptisun 10 tube bulb or the Arcadia D3 12% tube bulb that you can purchase either one at:

You can use the beautiful halogen in combination with the tube bulbs placed directly beside it on one end of the tank for a great basking/UVB area.  

Let me know how Izzy's eyes are doing with the saline solution.  I am happy to hear the eyes are opening more now.  It sounds like the brightness was not enough with the bulb to mask the improper wavelengths which cause eye irritation.  
It's ok, it is extremely difficult to know how good or bad the lights are without having a UVB meter.  

Keep me posted on her!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello Tracie

No she had not had problems before this she was very health up until then but with your help she is now doing much better! I went ahead and got the reptisun tube bulb but i have not started using it yet i want to make sure her eyes heal before turning it on, The saline is doing wonders i put it on once a day with a q tip and she does not seem to mind it at all she keeps her eyes open more and more every time so its working! There are still times she gets out of the light to take a break but im guessing that is normal right? when should it be ok to start using the uvb light again?

Hello Jynna,

I would give her eyes a couple of weeks to allow full healing.  I wasn't sure how quickly you were going to get the Reptisun 10 tube.  Be sure it is mounted directly beside the basking light.
I am glad that the saline solution is helping her eyes.  I would continue to use it for awhile on them to follow through with any irritation.  
Yes, that is normal she moves out of the light a little right now, her eyes are still probably a little bit sore & irritated.  
How is her appetite doing?
Let me know how she is coming along.



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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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