Leopard geckos have large, round eyes, making them very cute and curious pets. Unfortunately, they often suffer from eye diseases, most of which are caused by poor rearing or environmental factors.
It is important that you are able to identify eye problems in your gecko so you can provide proper care and know when to contact your outside veterinarian for help. However, you can completely prevent many eye problems by maintaining optimal conditions in your pet’s habitat.
Why do leopard geckos have eye problems?
Leopard geckos have large eyes that are proportional to the size of their head.That’s why they tend to get things stuck in their eyes, develop abscesses or infections, and generally have more eye problems than other animals. Otherwise, they may have a congenital problem, or some aspect of their diet or environment may be lacking.
A foreign body is something that shouldn’t be in the eyes of a leopard gecko. This could be a piece of gravel or litter, food, remnants of skin, or anything else not normally found around the eyeball. If not removed in time, the material can get stuck or get stuck in the eye socket and cause various problems.
The actual eye may be punctured, infected, or develop an abscess. More commonly, the area just below the eye is swollen due to a wound abscess that does not involve the eyeball.
You will be able to identify an abscess if you notice a sudden lump under the leopard gecko’s eye. This abscess may be due to a cricket or mealworm bite, or your pet may have scratched itself on a branch or other object in the tank. Occasionally, geckos living together will fight, and any resulting wounds can lead to abscess formation.
Ulcers can form when a foreign body gets stuck in the eye or when the eyeball suffers other trauma. This happens when the cornea (the transparent outer layer of the eye) is damaged. An ulcer is a hole or tear in the cornea that can be small or large.
Eye ulcers are very painful. If your gecko has an eye ulcer, it may close its eyes, try to clean it with its tongue, or scratch the ulcer with its foot.
“Conjunctivitis” is the technical name for pinkeye, the inflammation of the pink tissue around the gecko’s eyelids. This pink fleshy part of the eye is called the “conjunctiva” Bacterial conjunctivitis is common in leopard geckos, and they can contract it from dirty water or any dirty environment that contains bacteria. One of the main causes of conjunctivitis in leopard geckos is that the enclosure is not clean.
Preserves eyelid lining
Check your gecko after it sheds its skin to make sure it’s also shedding the eyelid lining.If the conditions in the enclosure are not moist enough, the lining of the eyelid may stick to the eyelid and remain after shedding, which can lead to infection.
Protuberance is probably the most serious eye problem in leopard geckos. However, it is also the least common. Protuberance means that the eyeball is actually coming out of the socket. In fact, the only way this can happen to a leopard gecko is if it is squeezed so hard that its eyes pop out.
Sometimes leopard geckos are blind due to congenital problems, but sometimes trauma or other conditions can cause blindness. Whatever the reason, leopard geckos should be fine without line of sight.
You may need to help the blind leopard gecko eat, as it may have difficulty catching moving food such as crickets. Otherwise, the blind gecko can easily spend its life in a regular enclosure without any problems.
Since leopard geckos can have a wide variety of eye problems, treatment depends on the problem. Many times these problems are so severe that your out-of-town veterinarian will need to diagnose the problem and prescribe treatment. Sometimes you will need follow-up treatment at home.
foreign body: Your veterinarian should be able to remove the irritating foreign body from the affected eye by using a cotton swab, saline rinse, and sometimes eye lubricant. Occasionally, mild sedation or anesthesia may be required when the foreign body is difficult to remove or the leopard gecko cannot open its eyes. This will relax your gecko and allow your veterinarian to work faster without accidentally damaging the animal’s eyes.
Be careful if you try to remove items from the eyes of a leopard gecko. Try rinsing your eyes with sterile, preservative-free saline eyewash while gently restraining your gecko.
Just be very careful not to injure your gecko or put enough pressure on it to drop its tail, which is also stressful for your pet. If you have any doubts about your ability to do this properly, it is best to take your gecko to the veterinarian rather than cause it any further damage or pain.
abscess: Whatever the cause of the abscess, your veterinarian will need to drain and clean it up. She may open it with a scalpel or needle and gently remove the infected material. Depending on the severity of the area around your eyes, your veterinarian may send you home and provide you with eye drops, pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, and/or antibiotics.
ulcer: To diagnose a corneal ulcer, your outside veterinarian will use special eye stains or topical fluorescein dyes that stick to the ulcer if it is present. She will then use a black light to identify ulcers on the surface of the cornea.
If she finds an ulcer, your veterinarian will prescribe special eye drops, and your gecko will need to be re-examined in a few weeks to make sure the ulcer is gone. There is no home remedy for eye ulcers.
pink eye: Because conjunctivitis in leopard geckos is usually caused by bacteria, treatment usually requires antibiotic eye drops or ointment.
preserved eyelid lining: Do not attempt to remove residual eyelids by yourself. This is just the job of an experienced veterinarian.
Proptosis: If proptosis occurs, the eye must usually be removed by your outside veterinarian.
How to Prevent Eye Problems
Being proactive can prevent many eye problems and help keep leopard geckos safe and healthy.
- Provide a consistently clean, stable environment in a gecko enclosure and know how to properly handle your pet.
- Maintain optimal conditions in glass containers, including temperature, humidity and light.
- Keeping the gecko’s water and substrate clean is critical to its health and safety.
- very Also be selective about the substrate you choose for your gecko. Never use certain types of materials, such as crushed walnut shells, gravel, and wood chips, as they can cause eye injuries and other problems for pets. If you’re not sure which substrate is best for your gecko, don’t be shy to seek guidance from your exotic animal veterinarian.
- Make sure anything in the leopard gecko enclosure is smooth and free of sharp edges or tips that could puncture or scratch the eyes.
- To avoid residual eyelid lining, pay attention to the humidity level in the gecko’s shell and consider providing it with a humidity hiding box.
- Feed your leopard gecko a variety of diets suitable for geckos, and ask your exotic animal veterinarian if they provide them with vitamin and mineral supplements, as nutrient deficiencies may cause shedding problems.
If you suspect your pet is sick, call your veterinarian right away. For health-related questions, be sure to consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know your pet’s health history, and can give your pet the best advice.