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Reptiles/water dragon won't open his eyes.


I have a water dragon and he doesn't want to open his eyes. he has lost of appetite he hardly doesn't want to move. I have correct lighting, huminity is at 80 to 85. His eyes looks a little swolen. What can i do to help him.

Hi Leo,

The symptoms you are describing are not specific to any particular condition. Lethargy, lack of appetite and closed eyes are general symptoms of a reptile that is not well. Unfortunately the possible causes are numerous.

What type/brand of lighting specifically are you using? UV lighting with the incorrect spectrum or very high intensity lighting can cause eye irritation. The compact coil UV lamps caused this problem a few years ago.

Again though, the closed eyes may just be a symptom and not the actual cause of the problem.

Assuming your husbandry is otherwise correct, temperature 90 - 95F at the basking spot, proper UVB lighting and sufficient humidity then the other causes need to be examined. Unfortunately, that may require a vet visit. Parasitic and bacterial infections can also produce those same general symptoms.

In the meantime, make sure he stays hydrated by soaking him daily. Reptiles that are not eating are usually not drinking either and that causes its own set of problems. You can  flush water over his eyes while he is soaking.  


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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.


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.

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

Diagnostic medical microbiology with some parasitology experience.

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