Explanation for only one eye closure?


New Member
Question: How come when Chameleons get sick, only one eye closes and not both eyes? I forgot to ask my Vet when I brought my C. in for a mild case of URI and only one eye was closed, not both. What is the medical explanation that only one eye can remained closed, and not both?

I don't have a good medical explanation for you, but I do know that this is common in nature. Eventually, as a chameleon's health continues to decrease, both eyes will close. Eyes are independent organs that can respond to stimulus at different rates. This is true in humans too. A person going blind may lose their vision quicker in one eye compared to the other. Human lungs are another example that comes to mind. In a person with developing pneumonia, one lung could be much more affected than the other. Physical stimulus is different in the eyes as well. A particle may have been caught in an eye and cause complications, where as the other eye remains normal.
Took my C. in for a Vet recheck of his closed eye.

Thanks for all your input on the explanation of possiblities of my C. one eye closure. My Vet looked into his eye again and found no medical problems. She says that he is in perfect health now! She flushed his closed eye with saline using a syringe to wash whatever is causing the irritation in his bad eye.
His bad eye certainly opened up for awhile after the Vet procedure but now it's closed again after 3 hours later. Will keep you posted to let you know if the saline flush helped in the long run.

This is just a guess ... but what came to mind is that if he's miserable from something else he very well might want to close both eyes, but his wild instincts keep him from doing so to watch out for predators? But you said that his URI is all gone? So that might not work as an explanation.
sick chameleons almost always close both eyes. If it's one eye, then there's simply something wrong it that one eye - usually just an irritation. I see it more in cup fed animals than others. There is usually much more supplementation on cup fed insects than others, and when they are caught, they almost always fling lots of excess supplementation towards the chameleon. They close their eyes reflexivly, but often, the insects still have a lot of powder on them, and it does get in their eyes.

My male veiled had his left eye shut for 3 days this past week. I just flushed it every day, and now it's fine.

We were away for the weekend, so I filled his bowl with some superworms (normally I hand feed him). When I got back, his eye was shut. Probably got some dust in it.
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