Eye infection won't go away

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Eye infection won't go away

Postby tacopockets » Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:34 am

Hi there—I have a new juvenile bearded dragon, Falkor, who I brought home about 5 weeks ago. I believe he may now have a serious eye infection.

I have the proper (I believe, based on my research) setup for him—40 gal breeder tank with soft foam shelf liner substrate, Reptisun T 10.0 UVB tube + reflector base, and a 100w ExoTerra basking bulb plus a ceramic heat bulb for nighttime temp control. I take the temp of the viv at least twice a day with a temp gun, and his basking spot is usually around 94-96 degrees, which he seems to like. I keep his viv super clean, and free of debris.

He eats a diet of mostly dubias and BSFL, along with a couple of waxworms as a treat. He hasn't been too into his veggies, but I've had success hand feeding him arugula. I make sure to keep a fresh rotating menu of veggies available to him at all times—arugula, butternut squash, dandelion greens, carrot, blueberries, red bell pepper, honeydew, etc. I also dust his dubias and veggies with calcium + D3 5 days a week and a vitamin supplement two days a week.

He started closing his left eye on occasion at first about three weeks ago, but then started keeping it closed completely. When it was open, I saw some goo on the inside corner, and the bottom area looked a little white compared to his other eye. I also noticed him scratching at his eye a bit with his back foot.

I took him to a herp vet in my area two weeks ago, and she said it didn't look like retained shed, and gave me some saline solution to clean his eye as well as some Terramycin to apply twice daily. I have since been cleaning his eye twice daily + applying the Terramycin, but his eye seems to be getting worse! I don't believe I was applying the ointment properly at first, as the vet never showed me how to apply—she just left the room and I was called out by another staff member to pick up the prescription. I've since read it needs to be applied inside the eyelids, so I started trying to get it inside with a saline pre-moistened cotton swab. He's now very skittish when I pick him up to clean his eye—I imagine it hurts—and will not open it unless he's eating. He doesn't seem to be able to see out of it well or at all, and his eyeball seems to be in a weird position near the back of his head, or there's some goo in the front obstructing it. Sometimes while his eye is closed, it looks like his nictitating membrane is kind of stuck in between his eyelids or something? I'm really worried, as it seems that he has either low or no vision in that eye now.

He's been eating fine and pooping regularly—there were never any problems other than his eye, but I do believe his eye is causing him pain. I'm trying to avoid stressing him out further with another car ride to the vet since he was pretty skittish in the car when I brought him the first time. I do transfer him in a smaller feeder carrier with a soft towel inside, but it is pretty cold where I am (~35 degrees f) as it's winter. Any help/advice is super appreciated!

Tank setup: 40 gal breeder tank with soft foam shelf liner substrate, Reptisun T 10.0 UVB tube + reflector base, and a 100w ExoTerra basking bulb plus a ceramic heat bulb for nighttime temp control
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Eye closed—you can kind of see something stuck in between his eyelids, possibly his nictitating membrane?
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Eye opened—I've included a few pics to show that there's something weird going on with the position of his eye. It seems to be floating near the back of his head, or there's some sort of weird goo in there that I am not able to get out.
[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Eye infection won't go away

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:34 pm

It looks like his head is about to shed. That may be at least part of the cause of the irritation. The eye does look a bit cloudy so I'd keep up with the saline rinse. Using a curved plastic syringe can sometimes help. If the Terramycin isn't helping after a few weeks then it may not be effective against what is causing the irritation. Is it in a small dropper bottle? I usually just tilt their head a bit and put a drop in the effected eye. If it continues to look cloudy and watery the vet may want to test a sample and see if it is being caused by a bacterial infection (and if so, which one).
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Re: Eye infection won't go away

Postby SubGuy » Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:45 pm

Hey I see it's been a couple weeks since you've posted, any change? If so what helped? Very similar to my issue.
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