Bearded dragons are reptiles that are kept as pets. They are lizards that are very friendly and are receptive to any home. Caring for them isn’t a stressful task; they love to eat insects and vegetables. After being captured, they are either seen basking in the light or loving the shade. Their tolerance rate is high, and they are very popular reptile companions. To take optimum care of our bearded dragons, we should know the various infections that can affect their health, their symptoms, how to cure and prevent them. One of the regular health concerns of this reptile is having a crusted shut-eye. This article contains all the information you need to know about this health issue and how to deal with it.
What makes a bearded dragon’s eyes crust shut? A bearded dragon having a crusty eye indicates the presence of an eye infection. When this eye infection occurs, the following are the common symptoms you should notice in your bearded dragon. The eyes remain shut. The eyes become crusted, and this disallows the lizard’s eyes from opening them. The eyes also start to have a discharge. Lastly, the eyes are swollen.
What causes this eye Infection that leads to crusted shut eyes in your Bearded Dragon
There are many causes of eye infections in bearded dragons. When you identify the specific cause of the eye infection, you can prevent the recurrence of the infection in the future. Some of these causes include;
Deficiency of Vitamin A
The deficiency of vitamin A is very popular amongst bearded dragons. These creatures are omnivorous; they eat leafy greens and insects. Oftentimes they suffer from a deficiency of vitamin A, and this can lead to an unpleasant eye infection.
This infection (Hypovitaminosis A) can be easily cured by giving your pet vitamin A supplements. A supplement accompanied with corn, carrots, and peas should cure the infection in your pet’s eyes.
You must take note of the kind of substrate you use for covering the lower part of your dragon’s enclosure. If you’ve used the wrong material, your bearded dragon could be exposed to an unpleasant eye infection. A lot of substrates possess loose particles that can enter the eye, irritate it and lead to an infection.
A dragon getting a mite is not an uncommon thing. Your job is to closely inspect the eyes; this will enable you to notice any small black or red dots around the area of the eye; this could represent mites.
Mites can lead to crusty eyes, pus, and discharge around the area of the eye. If you ever see an eye discharge, your closest bet is that the eye has been infected.
How to treat eye Infections in Bearded Dragon
An infected bearded dragon eye should not be taken lightly or ignored. Once you notice signs of an infected eye in your dragon, you should take it to the vet soonest. This ensures quick treatment and reduces the potential of the eye having permanent or grievous damage.
Before you get an appointment with the vet, you can bathe your dragon in warm water, dry it, and gently wash any discharge or crusting from its eye. This enables you to open its eyes, and it also relieves your pet of some discomfort while you wait for your appointment with the vet.
When you get to your vet, he/she will most likely prescribe an eye drop for you to use. Make sure you follow the prescription to treat the eye infection in your dragon’s eye. You should take note that eye drops are not enough. You need to discover the reason for the crusty eyes, which could be your dragon’s diet or substrate. You need to deal with these also, as their existence can frustrate the effort of the eye drops in healing your dragon’s eyes.
How to prevent your bearded dragon from having crusted shut eyes
There are various ways you can prevent your dragon from experiencing the pain of having crusty eyes. They include;
Are you presently using a substrate that is particle-filled, like eco earth? I advise you to change it to a shelf liner, reptile carpet, or ceramic tile. This will make it difficult for something to enter your pet’s eyes. It will also minimize the impaction risks, which is another common problem in the bearded dragon reptile.
The origin of Bearded dragons is Australia, where they spend their days enjoying the heat of the sun as well as soaking up UV rays coming from the shining sun; this helps them to keep fit and be healthy.
After they’ve been captured and turned into pets, they still need to be exposed to UV lighting as it reduces eye infection risks. It also keeps your pet healthy and strong for as long as it lives.
However, you must take caution when exposing your dragon to UV light to not expose it to the wrong lighting as this may cause crusty eyes. Tube lights that go spread throughout the tank are the best to use. Avoid using coiled bulbs; they can be too strong for your pet’s eyes.
The enclosure temperature shouldn’t be kept at optimum levels because it will waken your dragon’s resistance to fight infections, including eye infections. You should keep daytime temperatures at 75ºF to 85ºF, basking temperatures should be kept at 88ºF to 100ºF. You can drop the temperature to 70ºF at night.
Giving your bearded dragon a varied and healthy diet strengthens its immune system to fight off any infection, including eye infections. Ensure they absorb sufficient vitamin A through eating a healthy and varied diet consisting of peas and carrots.
Gut load all your crickets well before you feed them to your dragon with multivitamins that have good quality. This helps to keep your pet strong and happy for a long time.
Crusted shut eyes in a bearded dragon is a condition that must be taken seriously if you notice it in your pet. If your bearded dragon is exhibiting the symptoms stated earlier, do not hesitate to take it to the vet. Failure to do this can lead to a total loss of eyesight for your pet.