Blind in one eye

Bettyalive

Member
Some background:
Starting December 6th my female veield2 1/2 year old (we think- she’s a rescue from 1 1/2 years ago) chameleon’s right eye has had problems. It started one day right in the middle of her shed.
It was fine one day and then the next day it was black and very swollen- I have pics from both the day it started and the day before.
She was still otherwise the same and normal behavior.
This was a Sunday things started, I flushed it with sterile saline and on Tuesday had an appointment with her at my local Avian and exotic vet. They prescribed ciprofloxacin eye drops.

Over the last few weeks the swelling has gone down but her eye is still black. I’ve determined she is blind in the right eye now. I’ve had to move her to a hospital bin from her chameleon mansion as she was falling because her depth perception is off and she was loosing her balance scratching at her face.
She’s still eating and seems fine but I have to put the feeders right up to her mouth as she isn’t shooting her tongue far (she was but she kept missing).
She’s also scratching really harshly at the eye recently and I’m concerned now she’s going to do more damage. 😩
Has anyone encountered anything similar?
I have tried to get her back into the vet but they’re on Covid lockdown (someoneon staff tested positive) and are only seeing emergencies but they did let me pickup meloxicam for her for pain/inflammation.

Husbandry:
Large home made bioactive cage.
Basking temp: 80
General temp: 72
Evening: 67
Mister runs for 15seconds every two hours from 1hour before lights out and 1hr after lights on. And have a dripper during the day.
Crickets/dubias/BSFL every other day
Arcadia earthproA dusting every feeding except: Arcadia CA twice a week(added to earthproA)
twice a month Arcadia revitalize with D3.
Arcadia t5 10%uvb ( last replaced 7 months ago).
photos:
Her black eye (after swelling went down)
Her colors
What her eye looked like swollen
What her eye looked like swollen
Her hospital bin
Her mansion
Her supplements
Pic right before everything started
 

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Last edited:

FVcham

Member
I did have a similar situation. Eye with a very similar swelling at the bottom lid, eye rubbing on branches, issues with tongue shooting accuracy. However, he did not have the blackened area on the nose and casque. My vet diagnosed a vitamin A deficiency and treated with an injection and then gave a follow up injection two weeks later. The issues cleared up by mid day the next day after the first injection. The vet also recommended an insect gut load with a higher vitamin A content. The issues has not returned and it has been a few months. I am not as experienced as others on this forum, just wanted to share my experience with an eye issue.
 

FVcham

Member
I am wondering if the blackened area might be from excessive rubbing/scratching?? Maybe someone else might know if that is a possibility?
 

Bettyalive

Member
Thank you! Yea I’m fairly certain it’s not a vitamin A deficiency as I dust with it and also raise my own feeders and gut load them with carrots and collards and other good veggies (I have many reptiles that eat insects).
 

Bettyalive

Member
I am wondering if the blackened area might be from excessive rubbing/scratching?? Maybe someone else might know if that is a possibility?
That’s definitely possible, it just hasn’t changed on that side in a solid two weeks but has spread slightly to the other eye that I know she scratched at also.
This is the left eye tonight that’s previously been fine... but I saw her yesterday scratching at it.
 

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FVcham

Member
That was the same situation with mine. Followed a strict supplementation schedule and gutloaded with lots of fruits and veggies. I actually argued with the vet a little over it and he insisted that was the problem, he sees it constantly. I actually apologized to him the next day when I saw how fast the injection worked.
 

Bettyalive

Member
That was the same situation with mine. Followed a strict supplementation schedule and gutloaded with lots of fruits and veggies. I actually argued with the vet a little over it and he insisted that was the problem, he sees it constantly. I actually apologized to him the next day when I saw how fast the injection worked.
Ok but how do I insist the vet do an injection they didn’t think was necessary?
 

FVcham

Member
Ok but how do I insist the vet do an injection they didn’t think was necessary?
I would definitely listen to a reptile vet over me :) I just wanted to share my experience in case you want to bring up the possibility. I honestly have no idea if that is the issue, just sounded and looked similar to what my guy had but I know there are lots of reasons for eye issues. Your girl is beautiful, I am so sorry you are having this issue; it is the most stressful feeling when these guys have problems. 💚
 

Bettyalive

Member
I would definitely listen to a reptile vet over me :) I just wanted to share my experience in case you want to bring up the possibility. I honestly have no idea if that is the issue, just sounded and looked similar to what my guy had but I know there are lots of reasons for eye issues. Your girl is beautiful, I am so sorry you are having this issue; it is the most stressful feeling when these guys have problems. 💚
Ok but how do I insist the vet do an injection they didn’t think was necessary?

Thank you!!! She’s such a beautiful and usually social chameleon especially for a veiled!
Our next appointment after Christmas is with a dr at avian and exotic that was recommended from another chameleon person so hopefully they’ll be a little more confident then the first one she saw.
I’m also devastated over ruining her trust of me. She’s been an anomaly among veiled chameleons... she’s always been super social and rbrasil come out onto my hand. She was a rescue that was going to be euthanized... Within a month of having her she stopped hissing and blowing up at me. She hissed at me today for the first time since she first came home over a year ago😩 and she won’t come to me. I know she’s scared and in pain but it breaks my heart.
 

Kamikaze Chameleon

Avid Member
I'm so sorry your having issues 😭 So in the past I had an eye issue that was due to vitamin A deficiency come to find out the multivitamin i use didn't have the active form. I now use arcadia supplements, also, I've been giving him a direct dose of vitaA i just get from the pharmacy on a feeder once a month and he keeps looking better and better! I can't tell you if that's your issue but yeah that looks more like a burn or bruising? maybe something lodged in the eye? It looks like your basking bulb sits right on top of the cage?🤔 its good that you got a vet appointment setup, itd be smart to get bloodwork and fecal done. All live plants? Your setup looks good, i really hope she pulls through! 🤞
 

Bettyalive

Member
I'm so sorry your having issues 😭 So in the past I had an eye issue that was due to vitamin A deficiency come to find out the multivitamin i use didn't have the active form. I now use arcadia supplements, also, I've been giving him a direct dose of vitaA i just get from the pharmacy on a feeder once a month and he keeps looking better and better! I can't tell you if that's your issue but yeah that looks more like a burn or bruising? maybe something lodged in the eye? It looks like your basking bulb sits right on top of the cage?🤔 its good that you got a vet appointment setup, itd be smart to get bloodwork and fecal done. All live plants? Your setup looks good, i really hope she pulls through! 🤞

I’ve been told it looks like a bruise which is possible with her scratching etc bits it’s stayed almost exactly the same for over two weeks.
All live plants in my set up.
Led Grow and uvb lights do sit right on top of cage but are 6-8inches from the closest branch and grow light/basking light is about 8inches.... temp where she basks is 84 at highest.
 

Kamikaze Chameleon

Avid Member
Try to get a better picture of her pupil i know it will be a pain but how does it compare to the other? When my guy had his issue i noticed his pupil became smaller and started becoming kind of glossy looking, its nice to have another eye for reference 😅
 

Bettyalive

Member
Try to get a better picture of her pupil i know it will be a pain but how does it compare to the other? When my guy had his issue i noticed his pupil became smaller and started becoming kind of glossy looking, its nice to have another eye for reference 😅
This is a pic from over a week ago, she’s sleeping so I don’t want to disturb her.
 

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Kamikaze Chameleon

Avid Member
No definitely dont wake her, yea idk its REALLY hard to see on the bad eye but doesn't look smaller or any different from what i CAN see. Just get a better pic tomorrow👌
 

Kamikaze Chameleon

Avid Member
When i took my cham to the vet she said it was all shed issues...😒 She was NOT as experienced as i would've liked but I was like hell NO!😂 That's not it hahah that doesn't cause day sleeping and make his pupil smaller 🤷‍♂️😂 anyway its very possible she just got something stuck in her eye and she's just attacking the crap out of it. The vet gave me drops, you can get some OTC from Flukers its not pharmaceutical grade but maybe that will give her some relief? Are there bark on your branches? What kind of vines?
 

Bettyalive

Member
No definitely dont wake her, yea idk its REALLY hard to see on the bad eye but doesn't look smaller or any different from what i CAN see. Just get a better pic tomorrow👌
Thank you, yea I’m taking her and her hospital setup with me to work tomorrow so I can keep a closer eye on her and I’ll be able to take pics.
 

Kamikaze Chameleon

Avid Member
So also I notice your pots arnt covered 😬 that soil has lil sticks and debris could totally have gotten in her eye. You want to cover the soil with a layer of stone 👌
 

Bettyalive

Member
When i took my cham to the vet she said it was all shed issues...😒 She was NOT as experienced as i would've liked but I was like hell NO!😂 That's not it hahah that doesn't cause day sleeping and make his pupil smaller 🤷‍♂️😂 anyway its very possible she just got something stuck in her eye and she's just attacking the crap out of it. The vet gave me drops, you can get some OTC from Flukers its not pharmaceutical grade but maybe that will give her some relief? Are there bark on your branches? What kind of vines?

No bark on anything, she did have one of the pet store vines with black stuff that can flake off... but I removed that as soon as she started having issues, my initial belief was that she got something in it when she was shedding. The eye has been flushed several times since though.
 
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