My Cham keeps squinting???


New Member
Hi there my Chameleon George wont open his eyes either???
It all started 3 days ago when i noticed he was squinting with one one like he had something in it, the next day both eyes where closed most of the day and yesterday the same. I took him to the vets today and he thinks he might have some skin from his last shed (which was last friday) irritating his eyes? He's told me to wash them with water and a cotton bud 3 times a day? I did this tonight but it just seems to have upset him even more, to the point where he wonders round his viv with his eyes closed tightly walking off branches/plants? So I've now put him in his travel faunaium in his viv to try and stop him doing more damage to him self? Don't know what else to do, I've completed the info below in hope of some help, any would be much appreciated. Many thanks.

Cham info:

Male Yemens about 5 to 6 months old at a guess I've only had him for 3 weeks. I handle him about 3 times a week for about 15 min a time he's very child out.
I feed him twice a day ones in the morning when his lights are on and ones when I come home from work if he's eaten everything else. He has 3-5 medium locusts every day then 2-3 waxworms and or butterworms about 3 - 4 times a week. locusts are feed on mixed salad worms are feed on bee pollen granules all bugs are dusted in calcium 5 days a week nutrobal 2 days a week. I also use exo terra water conditioner with calcium, he has a dripper on all day with a bowl under which I empty twice a day he's also misted twice to three times a day. Have only seen him drink once on the day I first brought him home, but his fecal in dark brown/black with white.
I brought him from the shop where I work and he'd been there for about 3 weeks eating well and being sprayed twice daily.

Cage Info:

He lives in a exo terra glass terrarium 45 W x 45 D x 60 H, lighting in a exo terra duo canopy with two 35w halogen and two 15w UVB 0.5 tubes, he also has a exo terra glow dome light fitting with a green 40w spot. Lights go on at 7am UVB of at 8PM then green off at 10PM. Heat mat behind backing to one side on all the time. Temp day reading 90 at hot end 82 cool end down to 75 at night, george seems to like it best under green spot? Humid is 75 t0 80 all reading are from dial thermometer and hydrometer but I do have digital ones with probs on order.
Terrarium is covered in plastic plants with different leaf sizes and textures, vines and real wood branches. His viv ins in a quite area in living room on the floor at the moment.

Please help as I love him to bit and worried I'm going to lose him...

Exo terra viv is only temp as he's small right now only 3" body length and terrrarium is 60 x 45 x 60 not 45 x 45 x 60 as previously stated, sorry.

Have also now turned halogens off as recommended on previous post.

Today there is signs of improvements he opens both eyes a bit, and is hunting his food, still eating, seen him drinking today and pooping fine.
I think we responded yesterday and said your lighting was probably causing the problem. You don't need two 5.0 and you only need one 40-50 watt basking bulb. Try making that change and see if there is not some improvement. Why do you think you need so much lighting? Get you cage temp down into the low to mid 70's and your basking area around 80-82 and you probably will see a difference.
Yer you did respond yesterday thanks for that I have reduced the lighting. I was told to start a new thread which is why I've re posted. Should I do anything else? I took him to the vets yesterday and they told me to bath his eyes with water and cotton bud?
Didn't mean to sound snotty if I did, just wasnt sure if you had read the other post and then I saw at the bottom of this one that you did! Anyways, does he look like he has shed stuck on his eyes? If not, then I don't really see the reasoning to wipe his eyes with wet cotton and probably scare and stress him for no reason. If your temps are too hot and your lights are too intense then it might cause him to close his eyes. You want your cool end which is your (82) to be your your hottest point. Not too much higher than that. Like I said I would just do the one 5.0. He will go under it when he needs to. And then just try different wattages of bulbs to achieve that 82 mark. As far as your vet, is he well knowledgeable of Chameleons? Just because he is a reptile vet doesn't mean he knows how to treat chameleons. We see that too often on here.
He doesn't have any shed left on him, So I won't stress him out by wiping them as he didn't like it when the vet didi it. I'm leaving the halogens off but I can't take one of the UVB's out because it stops the other one from working in the exo terra unit, should I put UVB 2.0 in one of them or just change the unit all together? The vet was pretty crap to be honest with you, and I think he's damaged his tail wile handling him as it had a slight bend in it when I got him home and has now gone a darker colour but he's still using it? Thanks for all the advise I want to right by him and give the best care and as much love as I can... :)
you can put a 15" fish tank tube in the exo terra dual canopy because it will not produce UVB, it will enhance the brightness in the viv and it will complete the electrical circuit in the dual canopy set up so both tubes light up. i have it set up like this over my 45x45x60 and 90x60x45 exo vivs

works for me

There are people who use the 10.0's but the majority of us use the 5.0's with great success and no problems whatsoever. I wouldn't go down to the 2.0. the main thing is gettting your temps right. So, lets see if cutting back on all the other bulbs doesnt help with your chams eye issues. The uvb's don't give off hardly any heat at all so that is not what is raising your temps. Did you watch your vet handle your chameleon? There have been members on here with chameleons with damaged tails before. Just keep an eye on it and watch and see that it doesn't change color like it is not getting blood supply.
Sometimes if they get a bruise it will turn black, but a kink does not sound like a bruise. I closed my chams tail in the door when I first got him and was beside myself! It turned all black and I thought it was going to fall off! He ended up being ok thank god! If he is still using it, I would say that is a good sign.
Thanks for all the advise guys I will do all thats been suggested and let you know of his improvements over the next couple of days. I have also just got exo terra digital thermometer and hydrometer that stores the highest and lowest readings in terrarium so I can keep a better eye on things. I hope you guys don't think bad of me for the things I've been doing wrong, George is my first chameleon and I want him to have a long and happy life with me.

Thanks again, Jem:eek:

Attached is photo of George


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Thanks for all the advise guys I will do all thats been suggested and let you know of his improvements over the next couple of days. I have also just got exo terra digital thermometer and hydrometer that stores the highest and lowest readings in terrarium so I can keep a better eye on things. I hope you guys don't think bad of me for the things I've been doing wrong, George is my first chameleon and I want him to have a long and happy life with me.

Thanks again, Jem:eek:

Attached is photo of George

Thats the spirit all chameleon owners should have :D

I had the same issue with my baby panther a few weeks back, the issue was light intensity, he was just getting used to his new cage and lights, Any animal with eyes just like us need to adjust when moved into a new environment (cage) thing is i had two uvb lights in kinda the same area as i also have a veiled and this was to intense for him. Even when he was out side for the first few days he used to close his eyes for a few seconds.

Now his fine his eyes are used to everything....
Awe George is adorable!! I hope you can get all the issues resolved with him. He looks healthy in the picture!
It really sounds like light is the issue. Halogen bulbs are pretty intense for a small cage. maybe you can raise up the other lamps, intensity drops quickly with distance.
He seems a lot happier today, still closing one of his eyes and squinting now and then but better than before. Tail tip is still a different colour but normal shape with no bend in it and he's still using it fine, so hopefully thats just bruised. Will keep you updated on his progress thank you all again,

Jem and George :)
i think you're getting a lot of good info on your lighting, which is usually a case of a non-lethargic chameleon with its eyes closed. on the subject of washing his eye out with water and cotton, IMHO is a very dumb idea. the cotton no doubt must have irritated his eye more, and little fibers can easily become caught on sharp or tight edges. for eye problems, saline solution and turtle eye drops work best,
Turtle eye drop is what I said to the vet and I took some with me so he could see what was in them, and he told me not to use them to use cotton buds socked in tap water..... :mad: He wants me to take him back on monday but he can forget that idea. Poor George came out worse than when he went it and it cost me £15 for that :mad:
George seems to have his good days and his bad day, eyes both open, still eating, but he has periods where one or both eyes still closed or squinty. How long should I have his lights on for? At the moment Green heat bulb is on from 7am to 10pm and UVB 5's are on from 8 to 8 is this to long :confused:
12/12 for both lights is good. So exactly what lights are u using now? I would do one ordinary housebulb 40-60 watt and one 5.0 tube uvb. that is ALL you need. Forget, the red, green, blue bulbs...plain old white house bulb. Just going by what most of us use with great success.
I have to use two tubes to get the light unit to work so there are two UVB 5's but I'm thinking of changing one of them for just fish tank tube, and then theres the one 40w spot, temp is 85 under spot to 75 at the coolest end.
My boy JJ had an eye issue. It wasn't closed, but it had a film, an odd hazy color to it. I rinsed with saleine, used turtle drops, and supplemented with vitamin A (a tiny dab from a capsule on the back of a cricket once a day for a week). He has had no issues since.
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