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Reptiles/Eyes twitching on a bearded dragon


QUESTION: What could cause my 5 year old male bearded dragon's eyes to twitch or jump? He weights 673g, 40 gallon enclosure with tube uvb and basking. temp at basking point is 102.3. He gets dubia roaches, hornworms, silkworms, or superworms every other day dusted with Rapshey Calicum plus. Greens/Veggies daily, and friut once a week. I have 14 dragons in my home and this is the first time I have ever seen this. My first thought was shed but there is none. Any help would be welcomed.

ANSWER: Hello Kathy,

Wow, you have 14 dragons, that is terrific!  They must keep you busy then.
I am sure you are using the correct UVB but which tube bulb do you have?  Are you using a bright white light for basking also?  
Is he a special morph like a silkback or leatherback?  
Do both eyes twitch or just one of them?
It sounds like it could possibly be some type of vitamin or mineral deficiency perhaps.  He gets calcium several times per week & does it have vitamins included in it?
Does any other area of his body have any twitching issues?  
If you have pictures of him along with his tank setup, that would be great, also.
This sounds like a different issue, I agree.  Normally it is twitches in other areas of the body.

Let me know how he is doing.

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QUESTION: My Puffy is orangish leatherback. The twitching jumped from on eye to the other, back and forth. It freaked him out to the point he started to rub his face in his hammock. This is the first time that I have seen this happen, and it was just odd. We do rescue but I raised him from about 5 inches long. He was a petsmart special, my 1st bearded dragon. We are using reptisun 10.0 UVB tube and Zoo Med Repti Basking Spot Lamp (white 100 watt for winter, 50 to 75 watt for summer depending on temps) We have alway used the same brand basking white light, but we only changed over to tube UVB about 2 years ago. Prior to that we did use the coil UVB which I understand is not a very good source of UVB. The first year of his life we did use colored night bulbs, at night only. (red or purple). Now we use a CHE or he sleeps outside the encloser when warm enough. I can change him over to liquid calicum and vitamins if you think absorbsion is now an issue with his age. With 14 dragons in my home we keep alot of liquid meds on hand just in case the need is there. What they all get now is a multivitamin with calicum mixed and it is a powder. I also use bee pollen on greens often because it has alot of vitamins and have always heard you can not overdose on it.
No other areas of his body are twitching at all. He is eating and basking well. He did sneeze last night, so I am wondering now if the crazy weather we have been experienceing in Georgia could be placing a factor in all this. I have a picture of him saved here, but will need to take one of his encloser when I get home today and send it later. Thanks for you help.

ANSWER: Hello Kathy,

Adorable pictures!  Puffy is beautiful, he looks healthy for a leatherback.
What I am thinking is it is probably going to be just a nutrient/vitamin issue.  Also, since he is leatherback, "sometimes" the specialized morphs may have a slight tendency to have issues with calcium & or vitamin absorption, too.
I am glad that you did switch to a tube bulb now, as the UVB is tons better.  The spectrum is more conducive to D3 synthesis & absorption overall.
I would recommend trying to give individual calcium & individual vitamins.  Sometimes when uses mixes that contain both calcium & vitamins they may not get adequate calcium & or end up getting too much of one thing & not enough of another.  
Though the Repashy brands are known to be very good.  Not all dragons are the same so on occasion, you need to adjust the nutrition & supplementation for a dragon, too.  They are just like people.  :-)  I am sure you know that, they are part of your family.
How is he doing today?  
Barometric pressure changes due to weather could play a part in overall health too.  
I will be interested to see if he improves & the eye twitching goes away.  
Let me know how he is doing.


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All but 2
All but 2  
QUESTION: Puffy is doing well and have not notice any eye twitching anymore but they are going to shed. Lol
My 1st  instinct was that he may be stretching his eye lids for shed  even though I had never seen it, I have read about it several times.  Because he had no signs of shed at the time I ruled that out. Now he has signs. I still plan to continue with liquid calcium & vitamins for him because of his age and  everything you mentioned above.  I want to thank you for your help, you have a great knowledge of bearded dragons  and your time is truly appreciated.

Hello Kathy,

Oh my, what a great picture of all of your dragons!  LOL  How on earth do they get along, because they are all distracted looking out the window?  :-)
So Puffy's eyes are going to shed?  I guess that would likely be the culprit of the twitchy eyes!  I guess they have been itching him some then.  How funny!  I have never heard of the eyes doing that either, so definitely something new.  
Definitely continue with the liquid calcium & vitamins, it wont hurt him any.  
Don't hesitate to contact me if you need anything at all.

Talk to you soon.......



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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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