Veiled - Sudden Eye Problem


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Your Chameleon - Male, Veiled. 5 Months old (approx), had him for 2 months.

Handling - Almost daily, we take him outside for sunbathes.

Feeding - Crickets, mealworms. Gets 4-5 medium crickets 3 times a day, one mealworm a day. Wet gutload is Romain, Carrots, Oranges, Collard Greens, and Strawberries. Dry gutload is: Quick Oats, Dried Kelp, Sesame Seeds, Ground Ginger, Dried Basil, Garlic Powder. All of his feeders are dusted. He also eats 2-3 small pieces of strawberry on occasion.

Supplements - Exoterra brand. I also have reptical + d3 that I don't use. Calcium (every cricket and mealworm, everyday), Multivitamin and Cal+d3 every other Monday.

Watering - He drinks from the misting system we have, along with drops from leaves. We use the reptirain auto misting system.

Fecal Description - Never been tested for parasites as far as I know. He goes at least once a day, and it's white and dark brown. I've up'd his food intake lately, letting him eat pretty much however much he wants, and now his poops are twice as big.

History - I bought him from a local reptile specialty store / reptile zoo. They only had him a day, but said he was from a breeder in Russia. Don't know the significance of that, if any.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - 2x2x4' tall, screen enclosure.
Lighting - Exoterra 13W Reptile UVB 100 (Former Repti Glo 5.0 Compact), 75W basking light, on a dimmer. Both are in 5" domes from "All Living Things". They go on at 7am, go off around 7:30 - 8:00pm. I also have a grow light for the pothos. My husband and I have been taking him outside for 15 minute sunbathes almost everyday

Temperature - Basking is usually 80*F - 85*F, Ambient is usually 70 - 80 during the day. Lowest overnight was 60*. We have two humidity/temp gauges, one near the basking, one near the middle portion on the opposite side from the lights.

Humidity - 20 - 50 % Humidity, maintained through misting system that goes off for 60 seconds, every hour. He drinks from the spouts when they drip. I have also been misting manually a lot more since this issue started yesterday

Plants - Golden Pothos, and a bunch of fake foliage.

Placement - In the corner, between two windows, in my dining room. I have four cats that don't pay any attention to him. But other than that, it's only my husband and myself.

Location - Ontario, Canada

Current Problem - We were experiencing some colder days, so I decided to get a higher wattage basking light, and I also purchased an Exo Terra UVB 150, thinking he wasn't getting enough UVB from the one he has (don't know why, he just doesn't bask under it as often as his heat lamp). He seemed to really like it, and basked under it, but it was a bad idea, because within a couple hours he started to blink his right eye. I immediately switched the UVB bulb back, shut off the grow light, turned down the heat lamp, and misted the hell out of cage. After his eye got wet, it seemed to be ok. He kept it open, and it seemed fine after that. We watched him for a good hour, and he didn't blink it anymore.

This morning he's blinking again (same eye) :( Not only that, it seems as though he's beginning to shed on that eye, because the skin seems to be blotchy (white spots) in colour. He's due to shed any day now, but it usually doesn't start on his eyes, nor does he normally blink a lot when his eyes are shedding. I can't get a good picture of his eye right now, but it has white spots on it, as if he's about to shed. There are no clear signs of shedding anywhere else on his body right now.

I'm scared that he may have been burned. He can see out of it well (doesn't blink when I'm feeding him), so I know he's not blind in that eye. It's not swollen, actually its slightly sunken compared to his other eye. And he doesn't seem to be showing any other signs of infection, or any other issues.

If he doesn't start shedding today or tomorrow, I'm taking him to a vet. I'm also going to take him to the vet if anything gets worse. I'm going to continue the extra mistings, in case he is mildly dehydrated. I just really need some knowledgeable insight. I'd really like to find out what I'm dealing with.

Here's a picture I took yesterday,

Below is a picture I took only a few hours before he started blinking.


He doesn't seem to want to open that eye at all now. I just manually misted him, getting him pretty much soaked, and right afterwards he started rubbing his eye on the hanger of one of his pothos plants. It's REALLY bugging him. Now it appears to be swollen around the socket. ****.... I got to get him to a vet.
The vet I use for my cats does not deal with reptiles, but they refered me to another vet that does. I called, had to leave a message. I'll be getting him in as soon as possible. This is starting to look like a sinus, or UR infection. :(

Does anyone here have experience... I'm going to pay whatever it costs, but I'd like to know generally what the medication price usually is, so I can plan ahead.
I definitely will. I just wish someone with some experience here would give me a little insight. I just made the appointment for tomorrow morning, is there anything I could be doing right now to make things better for him? Am I doing something wrong that could be actively making it worse?
I tried feeding him, he's not interested. I left a cup of crickets in there with him, but usually he eats everything we give him, at every feeding. This is way out of the ordinary! :( I'm soooo freakin worried! My husband's at work right now.... I have no way to get a hold of him either!!!!
Now his other eye has been effected! It's swollen, and shedding. The original problem eye is still closed - not swollen.


There are no emergency reptile vets here. I don't have any way to get him to the vet today, because my husband is at work. Is there anything I can buy to put on his eye for now? I'm going to go try and take some more pictures of what's going on.

He's getting worse - fast!
Have you tried a saline rinse and warm mistings? My cham had an irritated eye a month ago during a shed and the saline rinse did the trick. Even if it is due to an infection, the plain saline will offer some temporary relief until you get to the vet.

I just took him out of his cage to try and get better pictures of the situation. His left eye isn't swollen anymore, but he's blinking. The left eye is in full shed.

The right eye, (original problem) is bothering him. He opened it when I took him out of the cage, and left it open.

I tried to feed him while he was out of the cage, he seemed interested, but kept missing the cricket. I'm going to try giving him a mealworm to see if he'll eat that.

He's shedding now, but I think it maybe because he was rubbing his eyes. I'm keeping the humidity really high right now, to help him shed. If he sheds overnight, maybe there will be some improvement.

I'm taking him to the vet regardless. I need to know what the heck is going on.
Have you tried a saline rinse and warm mistings? My cham had an irritated eye a month ago during a shed and the saline rinse did the trick. Even if it is due to an infection, the plain saline will offer some temporary relief until you get to the vet.

When my husband gets home from work, we're going to the pharmacy to get some saline right away. How should I wash his eye with it?

I'm doing warm mistings, hoping it will help the shed progress. The water does seem to make him want to open and move his eyes around, so I've been doing it all day today. It could be something as small as a piece of skin caught in his eye... it could be a serious infection though.

I'm going to get some saline, hopefully that will at least ease some of the irritation he's experiencing.

I'm not too too worried about him not eating, because he had a big breakfast, and still seems interested, just can't focus on them in order to catch them.

So, he rubbed all of the shed off of his left eye, and it seems to be back to normal for now. He doesn't appear to be shedding elsewhere yet though.

His right eye is still squinty, and it's affecting his ability to target food. He does open his right eye in an attempt to focus, which I'm glad he can do.

I gave him 2 mealworms. One he was able to catch on his own... the second he missed, so when he aimed for it the second time I stuck it to his tongue for him, and he ate it. I'm glad he still has his appetite, unfortunately feeding him crickets is going to be difficult.

All of the swelling has subsided.. I believe he may have been puffing them out on purpose to clean them.

2 more hours until I can run and get him some saline.... I love living in the country... but not on a day like this.
Make sure to get saline without any additives, it is in the contact lens section. If he has a piece of shed in the eye squirting it with saline will help him work it out and will not sting his eye like plain water can. Good luck- let us know how he progresses!
Make sure to get saline without any additives, it is in the contact lens section. If he has a piece of shed in the eye squirting it with saline will help him work it out and will not sting his eye like plain water can. Good luck- let us know how he progresses!

I really really appreciate the help! It helps me feel better. I was really worried after waiting without any suggestions. I also read some other threads about eye problems and saline seems to help out a lot of chams with similar problems. Even if it does the trick, I plan on bringing him to his appointment tomorrow, just in case it is the early signs of an infection or blocked nostril.

Now that I think back we have seen him rub his nose and eye on a couple occasions, and we have recently seen white residue in and around his nose that I thought was salt, but may actually be mucus.

I'm still going to worry until I get him to the vet and they take a look at him. This guy is the only reptile vet for a long distance, so chances are he's seen a few chameleons before.... if any vet has experience with chams, it'll be this guy.
So, he's finally starting to shed on his bad eye. The first one that shed seems fine now. I'm hoping for improvement after the bad one finishes.
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