Reptiles/Eye Gunk


QUESTION: We've had a female green basilisk for about 6 months. She has a paralyzed left leg since birth, but she has been healthy up until the last few weeks.  Her eyes seem infected and she hasn't been eating--I'm guessing because she can't see.  So I started cleaning them out with saline solution, hand feeding her meal worms--no luck.  The last few days I've been continuing and using an eye dropper full of herp vitamins with beta carotene 3x daily to feed her.   I have also put some tea tree oil (for its moisturizing and anti fungal qualities) on a q-tip to her brow ridge. I've had a lot of success within the last few days with the shedding. I've been able to peel several large pieces as they have seemed to loosen.  Is there anything else I can do?

ANSWER: Hello JulieAnn,

Oh poor girl, has she coped well with her paralyzed leg?  What happened?
Do her eyes appear cloudy also?  What is the humidity in her tank?
The sterile saline solution is great & should help out.  You could also consider some antibiotic eye ointment also to help.
You can look at your local pet store, or feed & supply store.  Usually you can find it.  If you aren't able to find it, I have an online supply store that sells the eye ointment.
Is she losing any weight?  You can try feeding her baby food right now, such as chicken or turkey to get nourishment into her.  What else is in the vitamins you give her?
Just continue with the regular baths & the diluted tea tree oil, being cautious with that as it can be strong.  Aloe vera gel or shea butter can also be helpful with shedding, too.



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

QUESTION: I really don't know what happened with the leg. It was like that when we got her.  She functions fine.  Swims, scampers, jumps.  I've even leashed her and taken her away or on walks and to play in our front landscaping--its all organic, no chemicals.  Her humidity is about 70%.  The vitamins are I'm guessing like a one a day.  Its a powder to shake insects in a bag, but I've been mixing it with water.  Her eyes are cloudy, but they've improved greatly.  I will look for the antibiotic ointment today.  

This is more of a random question than the plea for help from the aforementioned, but she started making a yelping sound yesterday. Is that normal? She doesn't appear to be in discomfort.  Just making noise

Hello JulieAnn,

Do you have any pictures, they are so beautiful!
That is great the eyes are improving, that is a very good sign then!
Wow, she started making a yelping noise?  Is it when her leg is touched or when she is trying to move around?  Or just a random noise?
Actually, some can make a barking type of noise, not all of them do though.  Is she trying to get your attention?
I had a bearded dragon who could bark & he did when he wanted my attention!



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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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