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Reptiles/beared dragon eye problem

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Question
Hi I think my female beared dragon has a eye problem only one eye I got them about two days ago from people that didn't feed good and they also didn't have correct lighting and had gravel in viv I did put in 10.0 uvb light and reptile carpet.They just won't eat greens gave peas carrots apple salad green beans but no luck.But what can I put on eye no reptile vets near me I did took her to the reptile shop and they said just leave the eye alone but its getting worse thanks Sindy

Answer
Hi Sindy,

There may be some dust or debris from the gravel she was on that has caused inflammation which can become an infection. Retained skin around the eyelid can lead to the same problem. The lack of greens and veg in the diet also means that she was probably lacking vitamin A which (among other things) plays a role in keeping the eyes moist and healthy.

Start by flushing it as well as you can to help wash out any debris or pus. It will also loosen any old skin stuck around the eye. I prefer to use saline which is sold for contact lenses but you can also just use boiled and cooled water. Gently moving a well moistened cotton tip swab over the eye can often help un-stick the lids and allow them to open it. You have to be very gentle if you try this.

If you have access to any drops or ointment suitable for human eye infections then those can be used on your dragon. In Canada, there is brand called Polysporin that is suitable for eyes and ears and can be purchased  over the counter (without a prescription).

My own vet has also recommended the use of cooled, weak tea to flush infected eyes. The tannins in tea are acidic and act as an anti-bacterial.  

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Expertise

I can answer questions on the proper husbandry and diet of Iguanas, bearded dragons, geckoes, skinks, chameleons, tortoises, box turtles, treefrogs, non-venomous snakes and tarantulas. Also the breeding of some species of feeder insects. I have no experience with venonmous snakes and only limited experience with aquatic turtles.

Experience

I have been keeping and breeding reptiles for over 30 years. In addition to my regular job in the medical field I also worked for several years in a pet store that specialized only in exotics. The job entailed both caring for and answering questions on innumerable species. It required constant, extensive research into a wide range of reptiles. I have been called to appear on televised national media (CBC, CTV and Life Channel) as well as CBC radio to discuss the proper care of reptiles and other exotics in captivity. I currently own one or more species of those listed under my expertise with the exception of chameleons. I owned chameleons for years but keep none currently. I keep over 20 snakes comprising 5 species, both Colubridae and Boidae. I bred corn snakes for several years. I have a particular interest in treefrogs and currently have 5 different species. I've raised redfoot tortoises for 10 years and have two iguanas, one for 12 years.

Publications
A small and now defunct local magazine called "Pet Vue"

Education/Credentials
Diagnostic medical microbiology with some parasitology experience.

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