Chameleon Eye Issues
Chameleon Eye Issues are a common problem arising in herpetoculture. Pete Hawkins examines the causes and prevention. He also offers some treatment tips as well.
So, your Chameleon has eye issues?
Swollen, rubbing on vines/leaves due to irritation, weeping. All will require a Vet visit first and foremost.
But 99% of this is all about prevention.
Yes, Chameleons (and many reptiles actually) can have eye issues traced back to the same few items; it can still be sinus issues etc. It’s well worth going over the following within your setup and routine.
Common Culprits of Chameleon Eye Issues
UV – too close, too strong, not strong enough.
Vitamin Deficiency – Vitamin A is the main culprit here. A Vitamin A boost injection/supplement via the Vet, will aid the healing process regarding eye issues. If you are using reptile supplementation, and gut-loading correctly, this should erase the issue from happening.
Plants – Some plants deemed safe for our Chameleons, could cause issues via their sap, and or broken leaves. When you have a reptile climbing around, leaves will break. Also, a rogue Locust or Cricket will happily munch on your Ficus, exposing sap.
This can cause irritation if it makes contact with the eyes. I have first hand experience with that.
Most of you know this stuff anyway
But the one, many surprisingly forget, is our tap water.
we all know what it’s like having Chlorine water in the eyes. It’s, uncomfortable.
Our tap water does contain various chemicals. Yes, they are in low quantities, they can cause issues none the less. Take the Chlorine, and Chloramine levels for example. With the average levels in our city/town supplies ranging between 0.1 and 0.5 ppm (parts per million), this is still potentially enough of an irritant for our very sensitive Chameleon’s eyes. This would probably mean water getting in the eyes on a regular basis for this to happen. But, it happens and we all know what it’s like having Chlorine water in the eyes. It’s, uncomfortable.
So, there are a few ways to combat this.
Boiling the water via the kettle does not in fact remove all ammonia and chlorine. Only about 30% of it. A steady 15/20 min boil should remove the aforementioned 30% though.
Many will opt to use RO water (reverse osmosis). Although it sorts the issue of removing the chemicals. It also removes the goodness in our water. So all the minerals, calcium, ions all get removed too. But of course, water is water. Thus will still hydrate our Chameleons.
Me, I just use a water conditioner. Either the Zoo Med ReptiSafe Water Conditioner or Exo Terra Aquatize Water Conditioner. Both of which, when used correctly, will remove Chlorine/ammonia etc. and also add some extra goodness to boot. I use this in my tap water used on my automatic misters, manual sprayer, and any drippers used.
Prevention is often better than cure, don’t you know.