My Yemen's eye isn't right... it's been a couple of days...

Shoey

New Member
Hi everyone,

This is my first post here, so if I miss something I apologise.

I have a Yemen who is around 8 months old and whose eye hasn't been right for a few days. I noticed him scratching his eye on his vines not so long ago but didn't think much of it. A couple of days ago I saw him scratching it, however when he finished he was unable to open it again until the next morning. This was my first concern - he wasn't very happy at all.

Since then, his eye is opening and he's more mobile that he was - seemingly improving, however still not quite right. When basking the eye affected (left) is usually closed whilst the other is open. In instances like this the eye looks identical to the right one, however when he scratches at it, it swells up quite significantly and appears misshapen. After a minute or so it settles back down and looks almost normal again.

His temperament is always very relaxed and that doesn't seem to have changed - although he is more reluctant to take food when hand fed, of which has normally been his preferred method of feeding.

Like I said he has certainly improved as far as his mood goes, and his eye is functioning again, however not as perfectly as it was before.

I have considered taking him to a vet, however the nearest reptile specialist is over an hour away, which is a journey I don't want to put him through if not entirely essential (The north of England sucks for reptile vets).

I have used this forum to look for suggestions in other posts, and I see many people have issues similar to this. So here's some information to start with.

- I mist him 3 to 4 times a day (never directly)
- He has a dripper that he usually drinks from
- His bulb is UVB 5.0 which he gets 12 hours exposure to every day (plenty of shaded sports should he want them)
- The cooler areas of his screen vivarium (Reptibreeze 46x46x91) are at 77 degrees f (could fall to the very low end of 70 during the night in winter) , whilst his basking spot is closer too 85 degrees f.

From what I've read, I believe it could be Vitamin A deficiency, this makes the most sense - however I suppose he could also have debris stuck in there.

Any help is very much appreciated, it's definitely very stressful seeing him this way.

(Please see attached images.)
 

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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Welcome to the forum!

I hate eye issues because there are too many possibilities of what's going on. All we can do is offer the best guess or possibilities usually.

What supplements do you use and how often and how heavy for each? Looking particularly for calcium, phos, D3 and form of vitamin A.

Is the UVB light the long linear type or a compact?
What bulb are you using for basking? Does it produce a white light?
 

Shoey

New Member
Thank you, anything is appreciated!

I use repti-calcium to dust couple of crickets a week, and dust with reptivite a couple of insects a fortnight, although its very hard to tell how much he's getting as a lot of the time the dust seems to slide straight off the crickets... He's a bit of a fussy eater, easts meal worms from time to time, and crickets, but I've tried him on Dubias - that is still a work in progress.

Feeders are loaded on green leaves, carrots etc (although I've recently learned that certain veg is much better than others, so am in the process of adapting the loading schedule accordingly).

The UVB light is compact and the basking bulb is a "Exo Terra Intense Basking Spot Lamp (50W)", which doesn't produce a white light.

 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you, anything is appreciated!

I use repti-calcium to dust couple of crickets a week, and dust with reptivite a couple of insects a fortnight, although its very hard to tell how much he's getting as a lot of the time the dust seems to slide straight off the crickets... He's a bit of a fussy eater, easts meal worms from time to time, and crickets, but I've tried him on Dubias - that is still a work in progress.

Feeders are loaded on green leaves, carrots etc (although I've recently learned that certain veg is much better than others, so am in the process of adapting the loading schedule accordingly).

The UVB light is compact and the basking bulb is a "Exo Terra Intense Basking Spot Lamp (50W)", which doesn't produce a white light.

Hi. The compact uvb isn’t able to provide adequate levels for chameleons at any farther away than 2-3”. I strongly advise getting a linear T5HO fixture with either ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% uvb bulb. Then you’ll want the light about 8-9” above basking area.
 

Shoey

New Member
Hi. The compact uvb isn’t able to provide adequate levels for chameleons at any farther away than 2-3”. I strongly advise getting a linear T5HO fixture with either ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% uvb bulb. Then you’ll want the light about 8-9” above basking area.
Hi.

Thanks for the information, he basks about 6 to 7 inches below both the basking light and the UVB, so if this is the case I shall buy the linear light. Can I ask why this is stronger than the regular compact? I was under the impression that strong UVB can be harmful for chameleons, so if this is stronger why is that necessarily better?

Please don't think I'm trying to question your knowledge, I'm just trying to get a true understanding of these things. I completely trust what you're telling me.

Thanks.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi.

Thanks for the information, he basks about 6 to 7 inches below both the basking light and the UVB, so if this is the case I shall buy the linear light. Can I ask why this is stronger than the regular compact? I was under the impression that strong UVB can be harmful for chameleons, so if this is stronger why is that necessarily better?

Please don't think I'm trying to question your knowledge, I'm just trying to get a true understanding of these things. I completely trust what you're telling me.

Thanks.
It isn’t that it is stronger. It provides a broader area of uvb than the compact bulbs. We aim for a UV index of 3.0 with gradients down for our chams to be able to choose the strength they desire at that moment. Perhaps this graphic will demonstrate.
55EC4AF9-368D-42E7-81D9-40E1F2AB6CCD.jpeg
C32F62C2-BB33-4EB4-9915-1D9F8B15E27B.png
 

Multivitamins

Chameleon Enthusiast
I had a eye issue that was very persistent. A vet visit had helped they cleaned the eye and found that it had slight damage. Could have been from the fake vines that are textured as they do love to rub their eyes on things or even a cricket bite. Vet thought crickets were the cause.
It's no longer an issue but I did overhaul many aspects of my care

1) Got rid of the fake vines with rubberized texture in place for real branches and live plants like pothos that vine out and can support my Chams weight.

2) Got new lights and used a solo meter to test the uvb levels

3) They prescribed a eye ointment to help clean and heal it

4) I increased humidity and fine tuned the misting schedule

5) upgraded my gut load using both fresh veggies as well as repashy big burger it's easy to make and almost all my bugs love to chow it. Also I used a very low dose vitamin a capsule on some feeders but be cautious as it's fat soluble and you can over do it. Only did this once and prob won't again as gut load should provide enough support but it was something I wanted to rule out as the cause.

With all this the eye is now open and healthy

Best of luck 🤞
 

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Shoey

New Member
I had a eye issue that was very persistent. A vet visit had helped they cleaned the eye and found that it had slight damage. Could have been from the fake vines that are textured as they do love to rub their eyes on things or even a cricket bite. Vet thought crickets were the cause.
It's no longer an issue but I did overhaul many aspects of my care

1) Got rid of the fake vines with rubberized texture in place for real branches and live plants like pothos that vine out and can support my Chams weight.

2) Got new lights and used a solo meter to test the uvb levels

3) They prescribed a eye ointment to help clean and heal it

4) I increased humidity and fine tuned the misting schedule

5) upgraded my gut load using both fresh veggies as well as repashy big burger it's easy to make and almost all my bugs love to chow it. Also I used a very low dose vitamin a capsule on some feeders but be cautious as it's fat soluble and you can over do it. Only did this once and prob won't again as gut load should provide enough support but it was something I wanted to rule out as the cause.

With all this the eye is now open and healthy

Best of luck 🤞
Would it be possible to see a picture of your set up? For ideas as to the branches and live plants? I'm unsure as to how I'd determine plants that are safe and those that are not? Any advice with this? Thanks!
 

Multivitamins

Chameleon Enthusiast
Would it be possible to see a picture of your set up? For ideas as to the branches and live plants? I'm unsure as to how I'd determine plants that are safe and those that are not? Any advice with this? Thanks!
I used dragon ledges to secure the large items to the sides and did a custom build on the back wall to pot in the live plants ... My enclosure is FAR from perfect but it was my first shot at using the great stuff expanding foam. Fun project none the less. I've got a lot of house plants and rotate some in and out depending on how well they are doing. I keep a quad t5 light on top and it's lifted off the enclosure using craft wood from home Depot. Easily adjustable and sturdy enough to support the fixtures. It has one arcadia UVB also the Sansi 70w led is key to keep the plants alive.

Used to have a very large schefflera on the front left (now deadspace sadly) but it didn't survive Ive recently potted in two new pothos cuttings to fill in the branch network. Please excuse the empty plant spots I'm working on some propagations that will tolerate lower light underneath the canopy.

I have plans to redo the layout come summer and trouble shoot some things and perhaps even do another great stuff build on another reptibreeze next year with what I've learned from my mistakes. I think have things a little to near the ceiling so raising the lights up was mandatory.

I have a LLL reptile store near by so I was able to score some really nice wood for the center piece and Michael's craft store have bundles of the curly branches you see for cheap they make for decent climbing avenues.

I think I have a half assed post about the build process. I had so much great stuff on my hands it was hard to type or photograph much 😂
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Shoey

New Member
I used dragon ledges to secure the large items to the sides and did a custom build on the back wall to pot in the live plants ... My enclosure is FAR from perfect but it was my first shot at using the great stuff expanding foam. Fun project none the less. I've got a lot of house plants and rotate some in and out depending on how well they are doing. I keep a quad t5 light on top and it's lifted off the enclosure using craft wood from home Depot. Easily adjustable and sturdy enough to support the fixtures. It has one arcadia UVB also the Sansi 70w led is key to keep the plants alive.

Used to have a very large schefflera on the front left (now deadspace sadly) but it didn't survive Ive recently potted in two new pothos cuttings to fill in the branch network. Please excuse the empty plant spots I'm working on some propagations that will tolerate lower light underneath the canopy.

I have plans to redo the layout come summer and trouble shoot some things and perhaps even do another great stuff build on another reptibreeze next year with what I've learned from my mistakes. I think have things a little to near the ceiling so raising the lights up was mandatory.

I have a LLL reptile store near by so I was able to score some really nice wood for the center piece and Michael's craft store have bundles of the curly branches you see for cheap they make for decent climbing avenues.

I think I have a half assed post about the build process. I had so much great stuff on my hands it was hard to type or photograph much 😂View attachment 317846
That looks really neat! A little too complicated I think for me though... although I'd love to do it. Did you use any videos to help you along the way? (Basically i'm asking if there is anywhere I can find help on doing something like this...)😂
 

Multivitamins

Chameleon Enthusiast
Just used the search on the forums for other people who had done similar. It took a few days of planning a few to build and then time for it dry before planting and putting chameleon in. Totally worth digging in even if you want to do it down the line I was doing. Research for months before finally trying it.
 
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