One eye turret significantly smaller?

zelink14

Member
Hi all!

I got my Ambrose in November, and he's wonderful and growing like a weed! While he's generally healthy, he's had a constant issue that doesn't seem to go away.

Since a week after I got him he's had an issue with his left eye. Initially, he kept it shut most of the time and it turned out my UVB light was way too close to his branch. Elevating that and giving him some misting treatments seemed to help.

While he doesn't keep his left eye shut often anymore, it's still shut for about an hour every morning, and most times the eye turret is significantly smaller than the right; the eyelid also appears droopy.

When his tongue accuracy seemed to be affected, I took him to the vet last week. I've been dripping an antibiotic saline drip in the left eye since and, while it seems to help a little bit, the issue still persists.

It hasn't seemed to hugely affect his overall health as he basks, eats, poops, and roams quite happily every day, but this issue is a bother to me. I want him to be as healthy as possible! Has anyone had an issue like this? Is it as simple a fix as increasing the humidity somehow? (I've toyed with the idea of buying a small humidifier to run in the cage for a couple hours every day.) I live in Los Angeles so, while it's plenty warm, it can get pretty dry.

Thank you for your help! I'd love to figure this out.

Here are some photos!

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His neutral colors. Beautiful!

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Ambrose sitting on my head, looking in the mirror.

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Taken yesterday, in his cage.

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An old photo (about 1 month ago) but still accurate to the appearance of his eyes. His left eye is slightly sunken compared to the other and the eyelid is droopy.

Care Info:
Your Chameleon - Male panther chameleon, 5 months old.
Handling - I take him out twice a week to bask by the open window.
Feeding - Primarily dusted, gut-loaded dubia nymphs, with crickets, mealworms, and superworms for variety.
Supplements - Repashy Calcium Plus, every day (recommended by breeder)
Watering - Misting the cage at least 3-4 times a day till everything is coated.
Fecal Description - Poops regularly. I suspect he isn't drinking as much as he should, though, as I see semi-orange urates often.

Cage Type - I'm using the mesh reptarium from LLLReptile, about 17"x17"x30". The back and sides of the cage are covered in vinyl to hold in moisture, with 4-5" exposed at the top for ventilation. In the next two months or so I suspect he'll need a larger cage.
Lighting - Reptiglo 5.0 UVB tube light and Repti Basking Spot Lamp, 50w. On from 8 AM - 8 PM.
Temperature - Range is about 90-70 degrees F. At night it gets as low as 65.
Humidity - It's been between 40%-70% at different times. I run a dripper for 2-3 hours every day.
Plants - Pothos & Ficus
Placement - The cage is against a wall in the middle of the room - there are no vents or windows immediately next to it. The top of the cage is about 5'8" above the floor.
Location - Los Angeles, CA

Current Problem - His left eye turret has consistently been smaller than the right, and the eye lid droopy. This seems to come and go; right after shedding or having the saline dripped into his eye it sometimes seems to improve, but never for long.
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
If you notice, his left pupil is smaller than the right. I am dealing with this very same thing right now with my 2.5 yr old panther.It seems his pupil has shrunk and I don't know why. The eye looks pretty normal but the black part has gotten smaller. I also saw him closing his eye and I had some eye ointment (I had gotten from the vet before to have on hand) as I thought it might be the start of an infection. I flushed the eye with saline and awhile later I saw a chunk of bark or some type of debris sitting half in and half out the turret. I was able to remove with a qtip. I don't think it is Vit A problem with mine as I give the multi vitamin, gutload, etc. and it came on very suddenly. I think my chameleon might have injured his eye in someway by maybe getting poked or scratching his cornea or something. He spends most of his time in a large outdoor cage, and there are tons of plants and branches in there. I am just guessing right now, but I can tell you there is a similarity with the pupils being small. I just noticed this and am going to have a vet take a look next week and see what he thinks. It appears he can still see, as he will follow my finger on that side. I have noticed since this happened though his aim is off sometimes. I don't think he is blind, but I know there is something not right.
 

zelink14

Member
If you notice, his left pupil is smaller than the right. I am dealing with this very same thing right now with my 2.5 yr old panther.It seems his pupil has shrunk and I don't know why. The eye looks pretty normal but the black part has gotten smaller. I also saw him closing his eye and I had some eye ointment (I had gotten from the vet before to have on hand) as I thought it might be the start of an infection. I flushed the eye with saline and awhile later I saw a chunk of bark or some type of debris sitting half in and half out the turret. I was able to remove with a qtip. I don't think it is Vit A problem with mine as I give the multi vitamin, gutload, etc. and it came on very suddenly. I think my chameleon might have injured his eye in someway by maybe getting poked or scratching his cornea or something. He spends most of his time in a large outdoor cage, and there are tons of plants and branches in there. I am just guessing right now, but I can tell you there is a similarity with the pupils being small. I just noticed this and am going to have a vet take a look next week and see what he thinks. It appears he can still see, as he will follow my finger on that side. I have noticed since this happened though his aim is off sometimes. I don't think he is blind, but I know there is something not right.

Yes, I checked his vision earlier, too - he did follow the finger, so obviously he can see. He also seems to miss his mark more than he used to - he seemed to have 100% accuracy back in the day and now it's more like 60-80% on a given day. It'll be interesting to see if anyone has any ideas, but I'm somewhat glad I'm not alone in this.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have had a couple chameleons with smaller eye turrets. My vets say it's weak eye muscles and inherited. Some of the siblings also had the same problem. I have one now like that and he is also blind in that one eye. The vets said at this point there's nothing that can be done. When a younger female had this problem he had me exercise the eye by holding a feeder on that side and move it around to exercise the eye muscle. She passed away at a young age due to female problems and her brother that I have now is three years old and blind in that eye. I have only had him for a short time so not sure when he lost sight in that eye but the former owner said he had always had the weak muscles. I have never noticed the pupil being smaller but with ask my vets about that the next time he has a vet visit.
 
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carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Jann, on Boomer his whole eyeball is the same size of the other. It is just the pupil that Is smaller! It seems to be the same case on this chameleon if you look close.
 

zelink14

Member
No one has any more thoughts on this?

The saline I've been administering doesn't appear to be doing any good. His eye is still significantly smaller than the right. Weird. :/
 

Direwolf

Established Member
Hi there, I realize this is an older post but while I don't have any answer/solutions, I did want to express that I've also noticed this with my 8 month old Panther Darkstar. It appears one eye turret is smaller than the other. In fact, so is the pad on his head on the same side. Weird. Otherwise my guys seems very healthy. Anyways, sorry I couldn't shed any light on the issue, but wanted you to know I am also experiencing the same thing!
 
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