Watery eyes after substrate mix up...

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Watery eyes after substrate mix up...

Postby OhKevin » Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:41 pm

Hi there! New to this forum and fairly new beardie mom. I adopted my Kevin just about 2 years ago from a home where kids were crazy with him and they had him in sand and nothing else with crickets running around and some iceberg lettuce covered in sand. So I researched how to properly care for them, got the lighting and heat and all that set up after taking up far too long of a reptile vet specialist's time, got the food ready and went over and took him out of there and into his new home with me. Vet estimated him to be about 1.5 years when I adopted him, so he's about 3.5, 4 years now. He got a fecal test and blood test last year.

I've always used reptile carpet. I have 8 cut out to his custom enclosure's floor and switch it out with every poop. Diet is a variety of arugula, greens, squash types, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, etc...and some occasional treats of watermelon or other small bites of fruit. He gets a drop or two of a vitamin mix every 2 days and calcium powder every other. He gets a mix of super worms, dubia roaches, wax worms, and horn worms. Dubia and super worms being the primary source. Daily salads, bugs every other day (not until he finishes his veggies or he'll never eat veggies, lol) Light is Reptisun 10.0 UVB full spectrum tube and ceramic heater. He gets a bath at least once a week, usually 2 times a week.

He's always been a super happy guy. Very friendly. I recently moved his enclosure into our new home in my home office right before all this started. There's nice natural light and his enclosure is higher up on a table so the dogs can't look into his home. The last 2 years he's never had any issues at all. Until recently...

I asked my friend to watch him for me while I was gone for a week, shortly after moving him to his new location in the home and said "make sure to change out his substrate when he poops"...meaning to change the carpet. For whatever reason, he thought I meant "buy a substrate and put it in there"...while I was gone on vacation. So my poor guy was sitting in repti bark for a week. When I got him he had red woodchip dust around his nostrils...ugh.

I cleaned out his enclosure completely. Wiped it all down and vacuumed it. Wiped it again to get the nasty red dust out. Rinsed off his stuff and it all just was covered in red woodchip dust. Other than the red woodchip dust around his nostrils, he was fine.

I got him back on his carpet. He seemed so much happier. Unfortunately I had to throw his hide away and am awaiting a new one. But I made one with some rubber leaves and a log so he can have shade on his cool side...and hide, lol. He LOVES his rubber leaves and hiding in them. I did change his bulb because it had been almost 6 months and figured I'd do it all at the same time.

It's been a week since then and over the week I've noticed his eyes looking watery sometimes. It's not cloudy, not viscous. Just clear watery eyes. I took a soft paper towel (the viva kind - super soft) and wet it with warm water and lightly patted each eye. It hadn't progressed at all until this evening I went to check on him before bed and make sure his temps were ok and all that...I noticed he didn't open his eyes when he sensed me like he always does. It was like he couldn't open his eyes!

I gently picked him up and let him know it was me. He stayed calm. I took him with me to the kitchen to get a warm water paper towel to see if I could help. Suddenly he freaked out. His beard went full black and he opened his mouth and swung his head around. He's never done this before. I understand....he was scared, he couldn't open his eyes. So I made sure to get a safe hold on him while gently dabbing at his eyes with the warm towel and his right eye opened like...halfway...like half of his eye lid was still stuck shut and his left eye was still shut.

He was so scared I decided to just put him back in his home and I'll check on him throughout the night without disturbing him but I'm really scared. I made a vet appt but they can't see him for 2 weeks. He's still eating very well, active during the day with his usual climbing and activities. Other than the watery eyes and then them getting stuck shut, he's totally normal. (He has been mildly more grumpy than usual...but he was moved into a new room of the house and has been going through a head and front leg shed which he can get a little gripey with sometimes, haha.)

I've ordered some Fluker's repti-rinse that will be here Sunday, and some simple saline solution that will be here tomorrow. I'm hoping I can rinse out whatever is bothering him. He is also going through a shed right now and just finished his facial/head shed last week.

Could the substrate have done this?? Could it be the new light bulb?? I don't think I see any shed in his eyes, and it's strange that it would be both of them, isn't it?) It's the same type of bulb I've used the last 2 years, but I read somewhere that new ones can burn brighter for a bit? I don't want to do nothing while I wait for the vet, but also don't want to make it worse. I'm really scared for my little guy and I can't find anything that mentions both eyes being watery and stuff like this.

Sorry for the novel...lol Thank you for any help!
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Re: Watery eyes after substrate mix up...

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:51 am

The regular saline is good to rinse w/ -- its possible its the dust still in his eyes from the red bark stuff -- the UVB could be a possibility too --- what are you using for the UVB brand and bulb and is it a T 8 or a T 5 ? Where in the tank is it? Top of screen or inside the tank?
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Re: Watery eyes after substrate mix up...

Postby Claudiusx » Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:00 am

Hi there,

Most likely just some dust in his eyes. I'd opt for just using the saline rinse. Squirt his eyes with it a couple times a day to help flush them.
It could also be his face shed, sometimes it really bothers them, especially around the eye. One of my girls is literally shedding her outside eye socket right now and she hasn't opened that eye for 2 days. She looks miserable lol.

-Brandon
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Re: Watery eyes after substrate mix up...

Postby OhKevin » Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:29 am

KarrieRee wrote:The regular saline is good to rinse w/ -- its possible its the dust still in his eyes from the red bark stuff -- the UVB could be a possibility too --- what are you using for the UVB brand and bulb and is it a T 8 or a T 5 ? Where in the tank is it? Top of screen or inside the tank?
Karrie


It's a ZooMed Reptisun 10.0 UVB T5, placed/mounted inside the tank more to the side, not directly in the middle but just about? When I had the enclosure made, it was placed specifically for a bearded dragon and he has a branch that keeps him about 12"...maybe 15"...away from the light, per the instructions from his vet. It's the same light I've used for 2 years and replace every 6-8 months and it's never caused this before. I actually turned off his light for a few days after posting and he didn't improve at all. Eyes still watery and stuck together, except now he's even more grumpy, haha. So I turned it back on this morning and he suddenly started eating a lot more and much happier to see me (still a little more jumpy than usual). Do you think it could be the light? If so, I'll happily replace it with a weaker one or something. Could his age start to make it so he's a little more sensitive? Or could the extra natural light in his new room make it so his usual light is too much? Thank you so much for replying!!!

Claudiusx wrote:Hi there,

Most likely just some dust in his eyes. I'd opt for just using the saline rinse. Squirt his eyes with it a couple times a day to help flush them.
It could also be his face shed, sometimes it really bothers them, especially around the eye. One of my girls is literally shedding her outside eye socket right now and she hasn't opened that eye for 2 days. She looks miserable lol.

-Brandon


I got the saline rinse and have been rinsing them twice a day and it seems to be really helping! That's crazy about the face shed!!! I totally thought he was done and this morning I go in and he's got a big ole piece of skin hanging off his beard and one off his upper and lower lip on one side. I've never seen him have such a tough time shedding. Is there anything more I can do? I've been giving him a bath more often. Put a shallow dish of water in with him (I usually just mist his veggies and we play squirt gun for him to get his water intake - he loves it haha) just in case he wanted to lay in it and help with some of the shedding.

I'm going to keep putting a few drops in his eyes every day, since that seems to help. I'm keeping his vet visit just in case, but the vet did call me and after talking said it doesn't sound like an eye infection since it's both eyes and there's no discharge or swelling (thank goodness for video chat, haha). But I'd rather have a vet visit and not need it, than the opposite haha.
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