Age-related eyesight loss?

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Age-related eyesight loss?

Postby SilverGravity » Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:13 am

Hey everyone! Been a long time since I’ve visited (last time was for my rescue beardie Steve I believe) and my beardie is getting older. I was wondering if anyone knew when a beardies eyesight might start to go? I was just feeding my girl Sapphire and she is so horrible at catching the dubias, even when I hold them up to her face. She’ll open her mouth and stick her tongue out a inch or so above the roach, or not see it when it’s on the ground running past her, or lunge for the part of the tongs that doesn’t have the roach. Even when it falls off the tongs and hides on her foot she won’t realize, or when it’s on its back and it’s legs are moving near her. She also loves flowers, and when I left her a hibiscus flower (which is pretty big) next to her for her to eat she didn’t eat it, but was very excited to eat it when I held it and showed it to her again so I have to assume she somehow didn’t realize it was there. Also worth mentioning she often doesn’t eat from her bowl- she’s eager to eat from my hands but what I don’t hand feed and instead leave in her bowl she doesn’t usually eat. She does sometimes but not super often. Despite this she’s still a healthy weight though, so I more so assume it’s just her not wanting to go get it if she’s not hungry.

She’s around 11-12 so I wouldn’t be shocked to hear it’s just age related, but I did want to know if anyone else saw issues in their beardies eyesight and if so, at what age? She had awful care her first few years so I wouldn’t be surprised if she won’t live quite as long as she should have, but she is doing well otherwise! She’s still a happy girl, just sucks at getting the bugs in her mouth.
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Re: Age-related eyesight loss?

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:29 am

I wouldn't be surprised if their eyesight fades as they get older. I don't know if they have any specific eye related disorders or at which age this tends to begin (if it does). It's possible she just likes the movement of the food when you offer it by hand. My dragon prefers being hand fed most of the time too. He is 5 and I've been on the fence about his eyesight. He sometimes seems to have trouble tracking things with one eye but other times he can obviously see through it. Not too sure what to make of it but will discuss with the vet on the next wellness visit.
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Re: Age-related eyesight loss?

Postby SHBailey » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:29 am

Our beardie has trouble catching his bugs sometimes too, and we suspect that it may be a problem with his eyesight. He seems to do better if he has very bright full spectrum light, so you could try making sure that your beardie has adequate lighting when you feed her, and also that there is enough contrast between the color of what you're feeding her and the surroundings -- that might also help her to see it better.

Our beardie needs to be hand fed veggies too. He almost never eats them out of his dish. :roll:
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Re: Age-related eyesight loss?

Postby SilverGravity » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:53 am

Completely forgot to reply back, but thanks! Glad to know she’s not the only one wanting to be hand fed only lmao. Strangely enough she catches crickets easy but runs over roaches and can’t find them when I feed her them. Might have to do with lighting, who knows!
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Re: Age-related eyesight loss?

Postby SHBailey » Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:08 am

If bearded dragon vision has anything to do with movement, then crickets jump around and probably do a better job catching their eye. Roaches are sneaky little things and will often run under the beardie if he/she misses the shot on the first attempt. Since they're dark colored, it might help if you're feeding her on a light colored surface, or not. :?

Bearded dragons also have their eyes on the side of their head, so I suppose that they wouldn't have good depth perception with something that crawls right in front of them instead of hopping around from side to side.

The roaches we've been getting lately are pretty small -- it may matter how big they are too. The other day, when we got done feeding our beardie, he had little roaches crawling all over him and we had to do our best to catch them and put them back in their container. :roll:

I don't think Puff's (our beardie) problem is completely age related either, since he's had it for several years. He's about 8 years old now and it doesn't seem to be really getting any worse. The vet said he doesn't have any cataracts, so it's probably not because of too much UV. Maybe genetic, although I've wondered if the adenovirus (he's been ADV positive for about 6 years now) is eating away at his optic nerve. Probably not though, or he'd be blind by now, which I hope doesn't ever happen. As far as I can tell, he hunts by vision, so he'd be likely to starve unless he could learn to open his mouth and allow himself to be "spoon fed" things that he can't see.

With everything that can interfere with bearded dragons being able to eat enough to stay alive, if you think about it it's probably pretty amazing that they survive as well as they do. :)
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