Bearded Dragon Swollen Eyes

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Bearded Dragon Swollen Eyes

Postby MatthewAhani » Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:48 am

Hi there, I am in kind of a pickle at this moment and would love to get some proper advice.

My bearded dragon, Toothless, now three years old, have recently gotten her eyes swollen. It started from her left eye which swell and started tearing. Attached below are those pictures. This was back in September 7 of this year.

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We then went to the vet, who have suspected Toothless to have an eye infection and prescribed the following:

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The medicine did not work, and a month ago her right eye started to puff up. Attached are the pictures:

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We did another follow up with the same vet who then prescribed antibiotics for Toothless for a month, saying that he would do a course of 6 months if the condition persisted. The current month long course of antiobiotics are due to finish next week on the 24th of October 2019, however her condition have not gotten any better. Attached are the pictures:

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Things to note: For her diet, Toothless gets grasshoppers in the can, occasional worms, live crickets, we mix it up. For her veggie, she barely wants any and we always have to sneak it Bok Choy leaves, kale into her mouth while she's chomping on any of the above. Toothless doesn't have the habit of getting her food, we had to either place the food near her before she would grab, or if she missed the food lets say a worm, and the worm walks away, Toothless would not go after it. We tried giving critical care for the past 4 days as she hasn't been eating well for weeks even though her weight and her poo has been relatively fine. We always tried to place her close to the heat lamp, we have the proper uvb bulb that we also replaced a few weeks ago.

I really hope I can find an answer, as the vet has no answer for us, and we are really tight on money... I'm happy to answer any further questions that anyone have that could help us cure Toothless and make her a healthy happy girl again.
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Re: Bearded Dragon Swollen Eyes

Postby claudiusx » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:56 am

Hi there,

Aww poor girl, she definitely seems to have something going on with her eyes.

How long was she on the metacam?
Were you given the sulfa trimethoprim to use at all? If so how was it administered?

I wish the vet would have done some bloodwork.
So there is no discharge from the eyes, just swelling correct?

Can you be specific with her diet? How many of what does she typically eat each day/week?
Do you use any supplement powders and if so how often and which?

Can you post a picture of your setup in whole?
And be more specific on your uvb bulb please? What type is it? Brand? How close is it to the basking surface?

And lastly, are you using any lights at night?

-Brandon
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Re: Bearded Dragon Swollen Eyes

Postby AHBD » Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:20 am

Poor girl, and I'm sorry that the vet was no help. Along with what Brandon mentioned I see that your uvb is off to the side and it looks like t5, is that so ? The strong uvb may have affected one eye first, then if she switched her position around caused damage to the other eye. The uvb needs to be from above rather than the side. I think that may be the problem.
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Re: Bearded Dragon Swollen Eyes

Postby CooperDragon » Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:30 pm

It looks like blood was drawn and a blood panel ordered according to the bill. Do you have the results of that yet? Several months on an antibiotic sounds like a lot to me. I'd be careful about that. Especially if the blood work turns out to show abnormal kidney or liver function. It might be worth trying to withhold bugs and focus on veges. Especially ones that offer lots of hydration. Maybe starting with things like cutting squash into worm shapes. If that's no good, perhaps try making a slurry of dark greens, squash, maybe some bell pepper or green beans etc. Mix that all up with some water and strain it to the consistency of baby food (or you can just offer veg baby food) and see how that goes when you drip some on her nose to lick up. I'd keep trying that as long as her weight remains pretty stable. It may be beneficial to get her to eat a diet more focused on veges.
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Re: Bearded Dragon Swollen Eyes

Postby AHBD » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:19 pm

So the chain of events is that her eye was swollen so vet visit on 9/11 19 , sulfa antibiotic + metacam [ pain, anti-inflammatory ] were prescribed. No improvement so vet says to give the meds. for another 5 [ or 6 ] months. YIKES. The meds. are doing nothing for the eye and may be damaging the liver + kidneys. Even if she had little appetite before it's amazing that she has any at all with all those meds. Best to get her off those. Try some Terramycin eye drops and or raw unpasteurized honey mixed with a tiny bit of warm water. Put the uvb bulb up above, at least 11" away if it's a t5, 8" if it's a t8. I mentioned in my other post that the initial eye problem may have been from the uvb being too close and coming from the side which may have caused irritation. Once it's adjusted the swelling MAY go down but hopefully now there is no kidney problem from having been on the sulfa drug for so long, that can also cause eyes to bulge. I would really look for a competent reptile vet after you see if these steps work but keep her off the meds..
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Re: Bearded Dragon Swollen Eyes

Postby MatthewAhani » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:07 pm

Hi there attached is our current setup

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The metacam has been stopped after the indicated dosage, currently sulfa trimethoprim is being administered orally twice a day every 12 hours, this is the antibiotic that the vet gave for us and plans to continue it to a 6 month period if required.

She has discharge from both eyes, the left eye is worse, it has been going on everyday.

For her diet, we do a three day per week protein with mostly canned grasshoppers as she actually go for it, live crickets and worms are rare. The rest of the week we provide bok choy leaves or kale leaves, abit of carrots, and squash as well, but she barely touches any.

We are using a Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Bulb 18inch. I have been using this bulb and a 100W heat lamp since she was adopted at 3 months old until now when she's 3 years old. Her setup has not changed, it's a 40 gallon tank, the placement of the bulbs have remained the same as well. We don't use any lights at night although if it gets too cold, we turn on a ceramic heater throughout the night as you can see in the picture, it is the second bulb fixture in the middle.

The blood test came out fine I believe, and thus we ruled out any other abnormalities. But honestly, I forgot what the blood test was for. She had pneumonia just a few months ago, and was on medication which after follow up xray, it showed that her pneumonia subsided.

I will take the advise and get started on the vege mix, we do have a blender, so if anyone could provide exact vegetables for us to blend and feed through a syringe we will start doing that.

Any other advice would really help.
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Re: Bearded Dragon Swollen Eyes

Postby AHBD » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:18 pm

The best greens would be turnip, collards, kale, mustard, dandelion, arugula. Plus you can use squash , green beans and some peas as well but focus on the leafy greens.

As for the eyes, the proximity of the uvb is still a potential problem. People can develop eye sensitivity, cataracts, etc over a period of time and at different stags of their life. So the same goes for other living creatures. The bulb getting replaced after so many months, then you get one that might be a bit stronger uvb output even though it's the same make + wattage.

Six months on antibiotics is just almost unheard of. The vet is just guessing IMO, and not very well. I'd be surprised if any dragon would not develop severe health problems on such a heavy use of them.
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Re: Bearded Dragon Swollen Eyes

Postby claudiusx » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:28 pm

I agree that your dragon can get way too close to the UVB bulb.

I had to click on your picture to go to photbucket, and then click on it again to actually see the unblurred pic.
You should just upload to this site here
https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/

That way you don't have to deal with photobuckets lame blurring.

Anyways, he is able to get way way too close. Remember, uv rays are necessary, but they can be very damaging too. The uvb and the uva rays being that close to the eyes can definitely cause some major eye issues.

He either needs to have his basking site lowered, or the tube needs to go up higher, which would mean on top of the screen.

I'd go with a lower basking site and a higher wattage heat bulb if you need it for proper temps.

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Re: Bearded Dragon Swollen Eyes

Postby MatthewAhani » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:36 pm

Thank you guys for the advice, I will start working on a veggie prominent diet blended through the syringe for now. I'll use a 150W bulb and remove that basking branch so that Toothless is just on the floor for now. I'll stop the antibiotics after the course is finished next week as well, and I guess I will offer protein once a week?
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Re: Bearded Dragon Swollen Eyes

Postby claudiusx » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:37 pm

150w may or may not be too much.
Do you have a digital with probe end or a temp gun to measure temps? Those dials are pretty inaccurate.

But getting better veggies in will help :)

You can continue with the protein 3 times a week really, no need to stop that.

How often were you dusting with the multivitamin powder (if that's what I see in your pic)

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Re: Bearded Dragon Swollen Eyes

Postby AHBD » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:43 pm

You're welcome. :) And yes, that sounds reasonable. Just a couple of bugs since she is a bit on the heavy side. I know this is distressing for you and it's obvious that you care for your dragon very much. Plus it's hard to hear one thing from a vet and then other suggestions on a forum. We really do want the best for your beardie and you, hopefully there will be some improvement in the near future. By the way, is the uvb bulb a Reptisun t8 or t5 ? The t5 is stronger but is the thinner bulb , here they are side by side in this picture.

https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploa ... _large.jpg
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Re: Bearded Dragon Swollen Eyes

Postby MatthewAhani » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:15 pm

The 100W bulb only gets the temp to arnd 90 at the basking spot, we don't have a digital probe or temp gun, could you guys recommend one? Will really appreciate it. Ok, I'll continue the protein 3 times a week. I dust multivitamin once a week, and calcium everyday.

I believe it's the T8, mine doesn't look as thin as the T5. Should I put a screen cover for the light fixture to reduce the amount of UVB wavelengths? According to amazon, the product dimensions are 46.2 x 3 x 2.8cm. It outputs 10% UVB.
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Re: Bearded Dragon Swollen Eyes

Postby Drache613 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:37 pm

Hello,

I completely agree, sulfa drugs are extremely hard on humans as well as reptiles, too.
I would love to see a copy of the blood test results if you can get hold of them! Perhaps
the vet missed something?
As AHBD suggested, do try the honey mixed with warm water to thin it out for the eyes. It
is an excellent antimicrobial/antibacterial agent & very safe.
Was a clogged sinus duct or eye duct ruled out, or what about any signs of an abscess?

Let us know how she is doing.
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Re: Bearded Dragon Swollen Eyes

Postby MatthewAhani » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:10 am

Hi, I believe I have made a mistake, the last blood test we took was back in April, here is the results. What kind of honey should I be getting? How would i go about mixing it in what quantity, and how do i apply it? There was no word from the vet on a clogged sinus duct or eye duct nor abscess.. He just said it was an infection.

Image
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Re: Bearded Dragon Swollen Eyes

Postby Drache613 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:42 pm

Hello,

The blood test doesn't look too bad, overall.
I did notice that the calcium is a bit high though. The AST is pretty normal, within range too.
The uric acid is on a higher level but still in range.
Has she ever laid any infertile eggs? The albumin is good but the calcium is high so it is
always a possibility she could have something going on with eggs perhaps.
Also, if she wasn't absorbing calcium very well her calcium levels in her blood could also be
high if her bones were being leached some.
How is she doing today?

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