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Water Dragon Eye Problem

Discussion in 'Herp Health' started by tobyosbourn, Feb 4, 2007.

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  1. tobyosbourn

    tobyosbourn Member

    Hey everyone,

    I am sorry to start my first posting on this message board looking for answers, I usually hate people that do this, but I am pretty desperate to help my Chinese Water Dragon.

    About 3-4 weeks ago my wife noticed small white/yellow mites crawling over paine's (the W/D) eyes and face - obviously we were worried and I contaced the shop where we got her from, who told us they were bark mites and harmless, just clean out the cage and she will be fine - we did this, but to no avail, she still seemingly has them as I see them from time to time (and remove them when I see them)

    After about 2 days of having them crawl about her eyes, she closed them, and they have stayed closed pretty much since then - I have tried cleaning her eyes with water (which she seems to like and enjoy) and after a good clean she will maybe keep them open for a while and then close them again - recently though things have got worse.

    This is hard to describe, but you know the way they can retract their eyes into their sockets, well she is doing this, and now when you bathe her eyes and then set her down, she will open both sets of lids but will not "push" her eyes out of her sockets, you can see the top of the pupil and iris but she doesn't seem to focus on anything.

    Up until recently she was seemingly eating fine (not as much as normal but still enough (she was a gannit before!!!)) but she has stopped eating now.

    Does anyone have any ideas at all on what I should do?

    Thanks in advance for any answers.
  2. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member


    Mites are never "fine". Have any of the mites you've seen been red by any chance?

    The first thing i would do is strip the entire enclosure down to nothing, toss the water dragon in the bathtub with some 85 degree water, and clean the entire enclosure outside with a water and bleach solution. Toss out all of the substrate in the enclosure and bleach everything else that was in there. (Make sure you rinse everything off thoroughly.) You need to remove ALL of the mites.
  3. venus

    venus Founding Member

    Not 100% sure, but I would start with putting paper towels only in her tank. If your putting substrate back, they will only infest it again. You can also try warm soaks to help get some of them off of her.

    Rich beat me, lol
  4. tobyosbourn

    tobyosbourn Member

    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

    No, not red mites (which I understand to be the ones that will attempt to feed on blood).

    I had already given the cage a very thorough clean and put brand new substrate in.(sorry for my idiocy, but I assume substrate is the bark used almost as flooring?), obviously I will do this again if you think it will help.

    When you say in a bathtub with 85 degree water, how deep, up to their necks from standing on all fours? or below or more?

    Assuming all the mites go - is this usually linked with closed eyes, and in the absense of mites should she start getting better?


  5. tobyosbourn

    tobyosbourn Member

    Thanks, but that link didn't seem to work - when you say warm soaks, is that at 85 degrees or more?
  6. venus

    venus Founding Member

    The water should be no higher than the elbows. Once the mites go away, hopefully she will open her eyes, shes closing them to prevent them from getting in her eyes.

    Sorry about the link, it was working earlier, I removed it and will add again once it is available.

    Richs temp suggestion is perfect.
  7. tobyosbourn

    tobyosbourn Member

    Thanks - Should I be worried that when she does open her eyes (after they have had a good soak) she doesn't pop up them from her sockets or focus on anything? is that normal when she is annoyed by them?
  8. tobyosbourn

    tobyosbourn Member

    One other thing I forgot to mention (just read over what I wrote again) - her eyes look a bit sore when they are opened - would this be normal if she is keeping her eyes closed for long periods of time?
  9. venus

    venus Founding Member

    Are they swollen? You may need some eye oinment or drops from the vet.
  10. tobyosbourn

    tobyosbourn Member

    They don't look swollen or infected, just they look like they are sore for her.

    Maybe I am just being an over protective daddy! :p
  11. venus

    venus Founding Member

    Never hurts to be over protective or worry. Better to be safe :)
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Parrticularly where the eyes are concerned! That is a direct route into the animals system!
  13. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    I would recommend, in addition to overhauling the cage taking her to a vet.
    If she hasn't been in for a basic check up then this is a good excuse to go, prolonged eye irritations can do serious damage and even cause blindness which would result in the lizard not eating.

    Also...don't listen to anything a petstore tells you, they are about the money, not the animals.
  14. tobyosbourn

    tobyosbourn Member

    Thanks - I am not sure that there are any reptile vets in Northern Ireland though - looked before, just for a general reference and couldn't find anything.
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