Persistent eye irritation

Chefbrittyp

New Member
  • Your Chameleon - veiled, female 3 years, been with me 1.5 years. Had this issue when I hot her, it cleared up with 2 warm showers last time
  • Handling - rarely/never. Only when removing her to deep clean cage
  • Feeding - crickets. Dubia, horn worms, super worms. 4-6 insects 3 times per week. More often when gravid and after laying.
  • Supplements - repti-cal w/o d3 every feeding. Herptivite 1x per month, Calc with d3 1x per month
  • Watering - dripper and fogger.
  • Fecal Description - very large firm black poops and large bright white urates
  • History - when I got her h
  • She had an infection in her eye, like now, and on her spikes. With warm showers and care she recovered in a few weeks and seemed very healthy. Last clutch of infertile eggs laid 2 months ago, no complications.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - screen 18×36×36
  • Lighting - 24" arcadia 6%, 24" daylight bulb, 70watt incandescent for heat on timer 8am-8pm
  • Temperature - basking 85°, bottom 68°, 65° over night
  • Humidity - 40-60%
  • Plants - golden pothos, dracena, umbrella plant
  • Placement - spare bedroom, next to widnow, door closed always no traffic. Overall height apx 5' from floor
  • Location - WA state

Current Problem - she is having an eye issue. It "glazes over" so she cannot close it. This started after her last clutch, so I figured she has excess dirt irritating it. This happened when I first brought her home, 1 warm showed took care of it. This time I have showered her twice so far. After a 20 minute shower her eye is clear and she seems very relieved. Both times it has glazed back over in apx 48 hours. She is still eating, drinking, pooping normally but she seems to be in distress. Photos of before and after shower (she puffs up at the camera, is not gravid)
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi. :) I do see a couple of things in your husbandry that could be improved, one of which can effect eye health.
Supplements: You should be using both the multivitamin and D3 twice a month. Also, Herptevite lacks preformed vitamin A, which is good for eye health. Reptivite does have vitamin A and I’d suggest switching to that. If you get the Reptivite with D3, you’d still use it once every other week and wouldn’t need to use the other D3 supplement.
Normally I think showers are a bad idea...besides being stressful, what we feel as a comfy lukewarm can be scalding to your cham. Instead perhaps just an extra long misting session would be just as beneficial. How long is each of your misting? Usually at least 2 minutes, 3 times a day is best.
Eyes are difficult problems and usually a good chameleon experienced/knowledgeable vet is best for treating. She may have some grit or keratin stuck that needs a good deep flushing from a vet. She may also need some antiobiotic or anti inflammatory eye drops.
The other things that I see that could be tweaked have nothing to do with her eye. As laying eggs takes so very much out of our sweet ladies and shortens their lives, we try to reduce both clutch size and laying frequency with lower temps and reduced feeding. I feed my girls 3 feeders 3 days a week (plus occasional treats) and keep basking temps around 80. Both of my girls laid almost exactly one year ago. One just laid 34 eggs last week (which is more than I’d have liked) and the other might be laying sometime in the next month or so.
I hope all of this is of some help. Btw, your lady is gorgeous!
 

Chefbrittyp

New Member
Hi. :) I do see a couple of things in your husbandry that could be improved, one of which can effect eye health.
Supplements: You should be using both the multivitamin and D3 twice a month. Also, Herptevite lacks preformed vitamin A, which is good for eye health. Reptivite does have vitamin A and I’d suggest switching to that. If you get the Reptivite with D3, you’d still use it once every other week and wouldn’t need to use the other D3 supplement.
Normally I think showers are a bad idea...besides being stressful, what we feel as a comfy lukewarm can be scalding to your cham. Instead perhaps just an extra long misting session would be just as beneficial. How long is each of your misting? Usually at least 2 minutes, 3 times a day is best.
Eyes are difficult problems and usually a good chameleon experienced/knowledgeable vet is best for treating. She may have some grit or keratin stuck that needs a good deep flushing from a vet. She may also need some antiobiotic or anti inflammatory eye drops.
The other things that I see that could be tweaked have nothing to do with her eye. As laying eggs takes so very much out of our sweet ladies and shortens their lives, we try to reduce both clutch size and laying frequency with lower temps and reduced feeding. I feed my girls 3 feeders 3 days a week (plus occasional treats) and keep basking temps around 80. Both of my girls laid almost exactly one year ago. One just laid 34 eggs last week (which is more than I’d have liked) and the other might be laying sometime in the next month or so.
I hope all of this is of some help. Btw, your lady is gorgeous!
Thanks for your response. I was told the herptivite here 2 years ago but recently learned the other ones are better, so I do plan on switching to that asap.

I generally do not mist her, as she absolutely hates it and it stresses her out more than anything else. I mist the plants around her just until there is water droplets accumulated on all the leaves. (She sits under her dripper and drinks very well so I havent been concerned with misting her directly) The shower seems to stress her out less than misting. I put her in a big fake tree and she will walk into the droplets and rinses her eye in it. My husband thinks I'm insane because I stand next to the tree with my hand in the water the whole time because in paranoid it will get too hot.

I have wanted to tweak her temperatures more, but when I dim her basking bulb she hangs from the top screen to get closer and I dont want her to burn herself. Did you find there was an adjustment period to get used to the colder temperatures? I have struggled since the start with her feeding amounts. Some days she looks anorexic and others she looks obese. She laid her first clutch as about 6 months old which was shocking (her previous owner was a friend of mine so I know her history) and she has laid pretty much every 4 months. Since dropping her food levels and temperature from the start she was averaging 34 eggs per clutch and the last 2 were only 25 so that makes me feel a little better.

I will try and contact a reptile vet and see if they're able to tell me more.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for your response. I was told the herptivite here 2 years ago but recently learned the other ones are better, so I do plan on switching to that asap.

I generally do not mist her, as she absolutely hates it and it stresses her out more than anything else. I mist the plants around her just until there is water droplets accumulated on all the leaves. (She sits under her dripper and drinks very well so I havent been concerned with misting her directly) The shower seems to stress her out less than misting. I put her in a big fake tree and she will walk into the droplets and rinses her eye in it. My husband thinks I'm insane because I stand next to the tree with my hand in the water the whole time because in paranoid it will get too hot.

I have wanted to tweak her temperatures more, but when I dim her basking bulb she hangs from the top screen to get closer and I dont want her to burn herself. Did you find there was an adjustment period to get used to the colder temperatures? I have struggled since the start with her feeding amounts. Some days she looks anorexic and others she looks obese. She laid her first clutch as about 6 months old which was shocking (her previous owner was a friend of mine so I know her history) and she has laid pretty much every 4 months. Since dropping her food levels and temperature from the start she was averaging 34 eggs per clutch and the last 2 were only 25 so that makes me feel a little better.

I will try and contact a reptile vet and see if they're able to tell me more.
Chameleon husbandry is an evolving thing as we learn more about them, both collectively and personally. I have been amassing quite a collection of various supplements as I learn which is supposed to be better, what each vet suggests or how my chameleons (& other reptiles) respond to them. I was using Herptevite & then learned Reptivite is better because of the preformed vitamin A.
If you do find showering her to be needed, use cool water. It’s probably warmer than you think.
From the pics you posted, I don’t think she looks obese or emaciated. I don’t recall the girl that’s suffered through my learning (my first cham) having any problem adjusting to lower temps. I did know a bit more when I got my 2nd lady, so her temps have always been the same. If you’re able, I’d say raise your basking light a couple of inches off the screen. Will help reduce temp and the screen won’t get hot enough to cause a burn if she climbs up there. While I can’t comment about her clutch size as my girls have always laid numbers in the 30’s, (which is a bit too many) you should try to reduce the frequency of her laying. It may take a couple of cycles for your efforts to show results.
If you need any help finding a good vet, just ask and let us know what part of Washington you’re in. One of the forum members is extremely skilled/knowledgable in finding vets who have experience with chameleons.
 
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