How To Treat Crested Gecko Eye Infection And Other Eye Problems

Crested Gecko Eye Infection

Crested geckos often suffer with eye problems and infections. Usually, the most common Crested gecko eye infection symptoms to look out for are discharge and swelling due to fluid build-up.

This article, will help you establish the cause of your Crested gecko eye infection and find the right treatment. To do that, we are looking at the following topics:

  • Crested gecko eye infection symptoms
  • Causes for Crested gecko eye infection
  • Treatments and prevention
  • Other Crested gecko eye problems

Crested Gecko Eye Infection Symptoms

If your Crested gecko has an eye infection, the eye will appear swollen and larger than usual. This is because of fluid build up. If the swelling is accompanied by discharge, you’re most likely dealing with an eye infection.

Overall, Crested gecko eye infection symptoms to look out for include:

  • Eye appearing as baggy
  • Swelling or bulging of eye
  • Eye discharge, mucus or “goo”
  • Gecko scratching or rubbing eyes
  • Eye twitching
  • Haziness
  • Partial or full blindness in extreme cases

If there is no swelling or discharge present but you’re still suspecting an eye problem, it could be internal eye damage or cataract.

Crested Gecko Eye Infection Causes

Crested Gecko Eye Infection

As Crested geckos don’t have eyelids, their eyes are exposed and vulnerable to infections and injury. The only way for Crested geckos to protect their eyes is by sinking them into their eye sockets and through the use of their “eyelashes” that help keep away debris.

The main causes for Crested gecko eye infection include:

  • Bacterial or fungal infection
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Incomplete shed
  • Parasite infestation such as ticks and mites
  • Blocked tear duct
  • Ulcers and Uveitis

Other Crested gecko eye problems are the result of:

  • Tumours
  • Cataract
  • Injury

Bacterial Or Fungal Infection

Quite often Crested gecko eye infection is caused by bacteria or fungus. These types of eye infections are the result of incorrect habitat setup and poor hygiene.

If your Crested gecko’s enclosure is not cleaned regularly, the dirty conditions will promote  bacteria growth. Furthermore, if your Crested gecko scratches themselves or gets a cut in dirty living conditions, it increases the risk of infection.

Another cause for bacterial eye infection in Crested geckos is incorrect temperature and humidity levels. If the environment is too hot and humid, it can lead to bacteria and fungus growth.

Treatment

Crested gecko eye infections caused by bacteria or fungus are normally treated by antibiotics such as Fusidic or oral antifungal drugs such as Voriconazole prescribed by a vet.

To help your pet at home you should deep clean your Crested gecko’s enclosure and ensure that you follow a strict cleaning schedule that consists of daily spot clean and weekly deep clean.

Conjunctivitis

Crested gecko eye infection such as conjunctivitis is most likely the result of secondary infection from opportunistic organisms, dirty tank or unclean water.

Symptoms of Crested gecko eye infection caused by conjunctivitis include:

  • Accumulation of discharge causing a bulging of the eye
  • Pain and depression
  • Avoiding the light
  • Not feeding or drinking
  • In severe cases, there may be obvious damage to the conjunctiva, resembling a burn, with exudate and scab formation

If not treated quickly long term infection can result in loss of the eye due to septicaemia.

Treatment

Normally, treatment for Crested gecko eye infection such as conjunctivitis is antibiotic eye drop or ointment prescribed by a vet.

Incomplete Shed

One of the more common causes for Crested gecko eye infection is incomplete shed.

When shedding, your Crested gecko eyes will turn cloudy and shed just like their skin. However, after the shedding process is complete, the eye should return to its normal transparent opacity.

However, if the living conditions are too dry, there is a high possibility of dead skin to get stuck on the eye and this can result in Crested gecko eye infection. Therefore, it’s important to act quickly and treat your gecko’s eye.

Treatment

As incomplete shedding is the result of not enough humidity and moisture in the gecko’s tank, the first thing you need to do is ensure the temperature and humidity are at the correct levels.

Temperature should be at 72°F to 75°F for temperature; whereas humidity should be 60% during the day and 80% during the night.

However, the actual treatment of Crested gecko eye infection such as stuck shed is actually hydrating your gecko which helps for the skin to complete shed.

You can do this by doing the following:

  • Dab a q-tip in olive oil and gently rub it around the edges (around the lid margins) of the gecko’s eye
  • Highly diluted electrolyte solutionssuch as sports drinks, Pedialyte or Ricelyte can help restore fluids
  • Pureed food mixed with water. You can feed your gecko pureed fruit diluted with water
  • Sauna
  • Soaks

You can learn how to treat Crested gecko stuck shed in much more detail here Crested Gecko Cloudy Eye – Causes And Treatment

Ticks And Mites

Crested gecko eye infection can be caused by ticks and mites. Such parasite infestations can occur through food sources and some types of substrate.

If your Crested gecko eye infection is accompanied by the following symptoms, it’s most likely a parasite problem:

However, the only certain way to diagnose parasites is by testing your gecko’s poop.

Treatment

You can treat Crested gecko eye infection caused by ticks or mites with home remedies such as:

  • Soaks in tepid water
  • Olive oil applied on the body
  • Organophosphates
  • Carbamates
  • Pyrethrin or pyrethroid sprays

If you decide to get a dewormer such as Panacur, it will need to be prescribed by a vet with the correct dosage. It’s important you don’t try to dose the gecko yourself as the incorrect dose can kill them.

When dealing with parasites, treating your gecko’s enclosure is as important. This can be done by stripping the tank, throwing away the old substrate and deep cleaning it. This way you’ll be ensuring all parasites are removed including the eggs.

Blocked Tear Duct

Blocked tear duct in Crested geckos is the result of liquid build up behind the spectacles. As the tear fluid increases it can result in Crested gecko eye infection as it contains bacteria.

In some cases the cause for blocked tear duct is vitamin A deficiency.

If you suspect blocked tear duct, look out for the following symptoms:

  • Excessive tearing
  • Redness of the eye
  • Eyeinfection or inflammation
  • Swelling near the inside corner of the eye
  • Pus or discharge from surface of the eye
  • Blurred vision

Treatment

If your Crested gecko eye infection is due to blocked tear duct, there might not be much you can do. Many owners report that the vet treatment consist of draining the fluid from the eye, prescribing antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication. Unfortunately, in most cases the swelling returns and the issue persists.

Other options that the vet can offer are surgery to recreate a new tear duct or to completely remove the eye.

As the first option is heavy surgery, it’s very likely that your gecko won’t survive it. However, the second option which is to remove the eye is a fairly simple procedure and geckos can lead a normal life without one eye.

What you can do to help your Crested gecko at home is the following:

Ulcers

Crested gecko eye infection such as ulcers are usually the result of foreign bodies or trauma to the eye.

Eye ulcers can be very painful for your gecko and can lead to infections. That’s why is important to quickly treat it.

Symptoms of ulcers include the gecko trying to clean the eye with its tongue and scratching the eye.

Treatment

Crested gecko eye infection caused by ulcers require vet treatment such as sutures and antibiotics.

Unfortunately, there are no home remedies that can treat Crested gecko eye ulcer.

Uveitis

Crested gecko eye infection caused by uveitis appears with symptoms such as red eyes and blurred vision.

Uveitis is an eye inflammation that affects the middle layers of eye tissue.

This condition is not that common in Crested geckos as it appears post hibernation. However, if they are affected by it, it can easily lead to eye infection.

Treatment

Uveitis in Crested geckos must be treated by a vet. They will then prescribe any of the following:

  • Topical steroids or non-steroidal agents
  • Topical antimicrobials
  • Surgical removal of purulent debris

Abscess

If you notice a bump or a lump under your Crested gecko’s eye, it can be an abscess. Abscesses can result in Crested gecko eye infection if not treated.

The cause for abscess can be anything from a cricket or mealworm bite to a simple scratch. Furthermore, if you have more than one gecko living together, abscess can also be the result of a fight wound.

Treatment

Crested gecko infection such as abscess need to be drained by a vet and properly cleaned. This is usually done through the use of a scalpel or a needle to open the abscess and gently remove the infected material.

In addition to draining the eye, the vet can prescribe eye drops, pain medications, anti-inflammatories, and/or antibiotics.

Other Crested Gecko Eye Problems

If you feel there is something wrong with your Crested gecko’s eyes, but there isn’t any discharge or swelling, then your might be dealing with other Crested gecko eye problems such as cataract or internal eye damage.

Cataract

The older we get, the more the eye lens loses some of its elasticity and ability to focus. This is why many people require reading glasses as they get older. This condition is known as cataract and it also occurs in reptiles such as Crested geckos.

In addition to old age, systemic diseases can also lead to the lens becoming opaque, causing cataracts and it can lead to blindness.

If you suspect that your Crested gecko eye problems are the result of cataract, look out for other symptoms such as:

  • Sight issues such as not noticing food in front of them
  • Decreased appetite

Possible causes for cataract in reptiles include:

  • Nutritional imbalances
  • Genetics
  • Trauma
  • Uveitis

Treatment

The treatment is usually a surgery that removes the lens. Your vet might also suggest adjusting your Crested gecko diet if the cause is improper nutrition.

It’s important to note that using sterile solution won’t help with such Crested gecko eye problems.

Injury

Crested Gecko Eye Infection

Your Crested gecko’s eyes are incredibly delicate and you have to be very careful when doing anything around them. This is especially true because Crested gecko’s don’t have eyelids and their only way of protecting their eyes is with their “eyelashes” or by “sinking” their eyes in.

Therefore, foreign bodies or trauma to the eye are quite common and can cause Crested gecko eye infection and problems.

Treatment

Crested gecko eye injuries require a visit to the vet. The vet treatment includes sutures or sterile antibiotic ointment to prevent the infection from destroying the eye. This can’t be a regular OTC ointment and needs to be specifically labelled for use in eyes.

If there is a foreign body stuck in the eye, the vet will use cotton-tipped applicators, saline rinse, and sometimes eye lubrication to remove it.

In some cases damage can be reversible, although it may a long time for the lens to clear up.

Crested Gecko Eye Infection And Eye Problems – Prevention

To prevent Crested gecko eye infection or any other Crested gecko eye problems from  developing, you must ensure you’re providing your pet with good husbandry such as:

  • Provide a clean and stable habitat to avoid any eye injuries. Ensure the substrate is safe and the enclosure has smooth edges. Stay away from gravel, crushed walnut shells for substrate
  • Temperature levels. Ensure temperature maintains at 72°F to 75°F. Use a thermostat to track temperature levels
  • Humidity levels needs to be between 60% and 80%. Use a hygrometer to track humidity levels
  • Cool spot. Ensure your gecko has a cool spot in the enclosure where it can cool off if needed
  • Misting is what maintains the humidity in your gecko’s enclosure. Mist twice per day – light one in the morning and stronger in the evening. Use a hygrometer to track the humidity levels
  • Water sources. Ensure your gecko’s has easy access to fresh water. In addition, you can include water catching decorations to keep them hydrated
  • Diet. A well-balanced and nutritious diet is essential to your gecko’s health. Recommended is a staple diet such as Repashy or Pangea with an occasional treat of dusted insects and healthy fruit purees. If you’re worried about dehydration, add more water in the powder
  • Minerals and Vitamins. Your Crested gecko can get the minerals and vitamins they need either from their staple diet, by feeding them dusted insects or give them minerals and vitamin as supplements
  • Bathing. It’s recommended to bathe your gecko in lukewarm water. Not only do geckos enjoy bathing but this is also a great way to bond with them and add more moisture to their body
  • Use safe UVB lights. If you want to include UVB light to your gecko’s enclosure, you must ensure the light is not too powerful, that is not consistently switched on and it doesn’t shine directly at your gecko’s eyes. Ideally, your Crested gecko’s tank should be exposed to natural light instead
  • Handle your gecko with care to avoid eye injury

Final Thoughts

If you suspect your Crested gecko suffering from an eye infections, look out for symptoms such as swelling, eye discharge or mucus and your gecko scratching or rubbing their eyes.

It’s important to treat any eye problems quickly to give your gecko the best chance at recovering.

Treatment for Crested gecko eye infections include topical antibiotics, systemic antibiotics along with flushing, and cleaning the infected area to heal the eye.

If you suspect Crested gecko eye infection, you can use antimicrobial eye drops or rinse such as the one by Fluker Labs.

However, if the eye doesn’t improve, you can be dealing with other Crested gecko eye problems such as cataract or injury.

To help your Crested gecko recover from eye problems, you should take them to the vet for further exams and proper treatment plan.

Related Topics Q&A

How To Look After A Sick Crested Gecko?

Regardless of what your Crested gecko is sick with, it’s important to know how to look after a sick Crested gecko, apart from the medication they need to take.

To nurse your gecko back to health, following these steps:

  • To help with bringing back their appetite, try giving them puree of fruits such as papaya, figs, bananas. You can sprinkle some CGD powder to add vitamins and minerals
  • Another way to feed them is by using a small wooden stick and dipping it in a repashy mixture. This can make it easier for them to eat by licking the food off the stick
  • Feed them by using a syringe straight to their mouth
  • Avoid handling them for some time
  • Place a blanket over the enclosure. That will help them relax
  • Deep clean the enclosure and strip it down to the bare minimum. Use paper towel substrates until you see improvement in health
  • Ensure temperature and humidity levels are right

What Is A Crested Gecko First Aid Kit?

To be prepared for any situation, you should keep a Crested gecko first aid kit always ready.

Your Crested gecko first aid kid should contain the following:

  • Eye dropper
  • Syringe (the smallest you can find)
  • KY Jelly (lubricant)
  • Cotton swabs (q-tips)
  • Reptile-safe topical disinfectant (.05% chlorhexidine, Betadine, etc)
  • Tweezers
  • Magnifying glass
  • Pedialyte
  • Gram Scale
  • Disposable gloves
  • Vet phone number including out of hours
  • Gauze pads 
  • Sterile saline flush
  • Adhesive tape (cloth and waterproof)
  • Antiseptic wipes or spray
  • Scissors

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