My reptiles eyelids are closing up. What should I do?
I have a problem with one of my leopard geckos. She escaped in the summer for two weeks, and she seemed fine until a couple of weeks ago when her eyes started to close up. I was advised to change the lighting, but this hasn't helped. Can you give me some advice, please?
Please make an appointment with a herp vet, and get your leopard gecko examined as soon as possible. Swollen eyes can be a symptom of many different problems, so a thorough examination and any necessary testing should be performed in order correctly diagnose the problem and treat it. Make sure that you are keeping her at the correct temperature (70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit) and humidity.
I recently diagnosed a leopard gecko with swollen eyes that turned out to be a type of worm that inhabited the conjunctival space in both eyes, causing swelling to the eyelids.
Eyelids can swell up due to vitamin A deficiency (not as likely in geckos), foreign bodies under the lids, bacterial infections, parasitic problems, viral infections (again, not likely in geckos), mite infestation (again, not likely in geckos), topical irritants and aerosols. Your gecko’s problem may or may not be related to her two-week excursion of freedom.
Because this problem can be caused by many different agents, it is important to have your lizard examined by a herp vet. Good luck with your little guy.
Margaret A. Wissman, DVM, DABVP has been an avian/exotic/herp animal veterinarian since 1981. She is a regular contributor to REPTILES magazine.
Need a Herp Vet?
If you are looking for a herp-knowledgeable veterinarian in your area, a good place to start is by checking the list of members on the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarian (ARAV) web site at www.arav.com. Look for DVMs who appear to maintain actual veterinary offices that you could contact.