Is it bacterial conjunctivitis or a bad T5 HO bulb?

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Is it bacterial conjunctivitis or a bad T5 HO bulb?

Postby mapchick2001 » Sun Feb 28, 2021 5:42 pm

Hello from New Hampshire. I'm very glad to have found this community. We welcomed Roxanne into our house 1 month ago today. She started showing signs of eye trouble after two weeks--puffy, swollen eyes and cruddy goop. I started flushing them with saline and applying a warm compress in the am. Things didn't seem to be getting better, so 3 days ago she saw our local exotic reptile vet who diagnosed bacterial conjunctivis and we are now on a course of ofloxacin. He thought that besides the eye sand her corneas looks clear and healthy, and there were no signs of retained shed. He thought her hydration was on target too.

After 3 days on the antibiotic, I'm not very encouraged. She squints most of the day and seems lethargic and uncomfortable. I can't say she's looking much better, however with encouragement she's been eating her dusted dubias and is pooping on schedule.

Could her UV be bad, or could it be too strong? She's in a 4x2x2 with a T5 10.0 HO 34" bulb. Her substrate is machine washable carpet. The double-dome fixture has a 100w daylight bulb and a 50w basking bulb on a dimmer. The two mini domes have 50w CHEs, though I've not had to run them since we've been having some (relatively) mild overnight temps here in the Northeast. The house is about 68 overnight.

Thank you so much for any experienced insights. I'm a total noob, but want to do right by her highness Roxanne.

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Re: Is it bacterial conjunctivitis or a bad T5 HO bulb?

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:04 am

I don't think the issue would be caused by lighting. Your lights look like they're set up directly overhead and your T5 looks to be at a good distance. Your substrate is solid but you mentioned sand in the eye. Do you know where that could have come from? Physical irritation could be causing mucous buildup. Sometimes shed does it, but you mentioned no shed was found in or around the eye. It may be a bacterial infection but that's tough to determine unless the vet took a sample of mucous to test. If it has only been a few days on the meds, they may not be taking effect yet. Are these oral antibiotics or eye drops? They may take a week or two in order to get the full effect from them if the issue is due to a bacterial infection.


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Re: Is it bacterial conjunctivitis or a bad T5 HO bulb?

Postby mapchick2001 » Mon Mar 01, 2021 6:07 pm

Thank you CooperDragon for your reassurance. The vet called today and echoed your observations, that the bulb should be good, and that generally reptiles can take a little while before they bounce back. Re the sand, I meant the crud that's been drying up in her eyes, not anything that might be caught up from her enclosure. Though, you are right, they didn't culture her eye mucous, but if it persists I suspect they might.



CooperDragon wrote:I don't think the issue would be caused by lighting. Your lights look like they're set up directly overhead and your T5 looks to be at a good distance. Your substrate is solid but you mentioned sand in the eye. Do you know where that could have come from? Physical irritation could be causing mucous buildup. Sometimes shed does it, but you mentioned no shed was found in or around the eye. It may be a bacterial infection but that's tough to determine unless the vet took a sample of mucous to test. If it has only been a few days on the meds, they may not be taking effect yet. Are these oral antibiotics or eye drops? They may take a week or two in order to get the full effect from them if the issue is due to a bacterial infection.


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Re: Is it bacterial conjunctivitis or a bad T5 HO bulb?

Postby Drache613 » Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:53 am

Hello,

I agree, it is most likely an issue that she had before you brought her home that was likely
harbouring in her eye. Bacteria takes awhile to manifest sometimes, especially in reptiles.
If it seems to be clearing up then that is a good sign. Are you using an antibiotic eye ointment
or just the Ofloxacin & is she done with the antibiotics now?
The UVB lighting looks fine to me, as well. It is nice & bright also, & you have a solid bedding/
substrate which is perfect.
How is her appetite doing?

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Re: Is it bacterial conjunctivitis or a bad T5 HO bulb?

Postby mapchick2001 » Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:41 am

Thank you Tracie. Here's a picture of how she's looking today, which is day 4 of the ofloxacin drops (no other ointment was prescribed). The main issue at the moment seems to be the swollen puffy eyelids. It seems that the dried goop situation is starting to get better, maybe a little bit, hard to say. At the vet's suggestion I bumped up the dimmer switch on the basking bulb and turned on a CHE. She has not been eating over the past 2 days, unfortunately. I gave her a bath last night and was able to get her to accept some water from a dropper this morning.

**Update**
She just ate two roaches and a bunch of kale :D

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Update re: Is it bacterial conjunctivitis or a bad T5 HO bul

Postby mapchick2001 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 3:39 pm

So after three weeks on the antibiotic with virtually no change, I called the vet who suggested discontinuing the antibiotic drop and instead prescribed an NSAID drop for general inflammation. We've been doing that for a week now, and I continue to wipe eye boogers several times a day. She continues to eat and poop proportionately but hides most of the time and squints constantly. I know y'all back up my choice of UV bulb, but I would like to see if it makes a difference if I back off the UV for at least a few days so her eyes can rest. How long would be ok to do that?
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Re: Is it bacterial conjunctivitis or a bad T5 HO bulb?

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Mar 19, 2021 4:01 pm

Ok so I would get a smaller UVB fixture so its not taking up the whole or nearly the whole tank - she needs to be able to get out of the UVB rays w/ out hiding out - you can also try and cover up half the UVB so shes not constantly under it as well -- your basking bulb is it a solid bulb or a bright white coil bulb? these are just some ideas of what might be causing the issue
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Re: Is it bacterial conjunctivitis or a bad T5 HO bulb?

Postby mapchick2001 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 4:34 pm

Thank you for your reply. The basking bulb is a 50W Zoo med. Its' next to an exo-terra 100W daylight heat bulb in the double dome. So not much UVB coming out of there. I get the importance of UV...I also worry I'm giving the poor thing snow blindness with her 34" T5 10.0 HO bulb. I mean, that's like one of the strongest ones out there, isn't it? Isn't it true that for this fixture, I could get a 10.0 standard bulb or a 5.0 HO? Thank you again, in advance.
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Re: Is it bacterial conjunctivitis or a bad T5 HO bulb?

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Mar 19, 2021 4:38 pm

No the strongest one out there for UVB would be a Arcadia 14% bulb but those are for tanks 24" +
so your heat bulbs are solid white no coil white -- what is the distance for the UVB ? that is crucial if its too close to her basking area that would cause some issues --- distance for that T 5 should be 12-15 inches --
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Re: Is it bacterial conjunctivitis or a bad T5 HO bulb?

Postby mapchick2001 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 4:49 pm

The distance is 12 1/4' from the rock to the reflector, so probably 12 1/2" to the bulb. Seems about right then.
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Re: Is it bacterial conjunctivitis or a bad T5 HO bulb?

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Mar 19, 2021 5:02 pm

Yes how are you getting basking temps? Are you using a digital probe thermometer on the hammock? IR guns will not give correct temps on hammocks
Pardon me I was looking at the CHE's -- I have the same exact tank but mine is set up w/ the basking lights on top of the screen and T 5 inside the tank
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