Leopard Geckos can’t/won’t open eyes

speedyjb

New member
Hi, my leopard geckos eyes are both closed and he hasn’t been opening them. One has been closed for a while and i have been using eye rinse on it but the other just started having problems last week. He hasn’t ate in a week because he can’t see. I started giving him steam bathes and that lets him open his eyes but they are dark and sometimes have white on them. He just shed and his shed didn’t come off his toes. Any tips on increasing the humidity or helping his eyes? I’m afraid he’ll lose all sight and not be able to eat. Also I can’t really go to a vet so any tips will help. Thank you!
 

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
Welcome to Geckos Unlimited!

Be extremely careful with steam baths. Don't cause more damage to his eyes.

  • Please share a top-down image of your leo.
  • How old is this leo?
  • Can you handfeed your leo?
  • Are both your leo's eyes are cloudy?
  • What is your supplement schedule: brand, exact name, & frequency?

Please buy Blink Contact Lens Wetting Solution for Contact Lens' wearers. Gently squeeze that on your leo's eyes several times per day. Once you've used it up, refill this bottle with a normal saline solution. You can find the recipe on Google.

This might be worth trying:
  1. Take a 2x2 inch sterile gauze pad.
  2. Saturate this sterile pad with Blink Contact Lens Wetting Solution or normal saline.
  3. Leave it over both eyes for 10 minutes.
  4. Repeat this treatment 4x daily: morning (8 ), noon (12), evening (4), & nighttime (8 ).
 
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speedyjb

New member
They are 4 years old
I feed them about 2-3 times a week with mealworms covered in Tetra ReptoCal. When I’ve tried Flukers liquid Vitamin he won’t eat it. He also hasn’t ha much appetite recently and his tail looks a bit smaller than it used to. I tried hand feeding him but i don’t really know the way to do it.
One of his eyes is cloudy but it looks red behind it, I think this is from him rubbing it on the glass because it’s bothering him. The other eye is dark
F9555F11-C37A-48E0-B3F9-BB7B880B85E0.jpg
 

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
They are 4 years old
I feed them about 2-3 times a week with mealworms covered in Tetra ReptoCal. When I’ve tried Flukers liquid Vitamin he won’t eat it. He also hasn’t ha much appetite recently and his tail looks a bit smaller than it used to. I tried hand feeding him but i don’t really know the way to do it.
One of his eyes is cloudy but it looks red behind it, I think this is from him rubbing it on the glass because it’s bothering him. The other eye is dark
View attachment 50241

Will this gecko open his mouth for you?
Click (How to assist feed a leopard gecko?): How to get a gecko to open it's mouth?

I don't know how good a product Tetra ReptoCal is. The bottle I found was all blurry. It was impossible to read a thing on it. Fluker's products generally aren't well-rated.

How about switching to Zoo Med's Reptivite multiviamins withOUT D3 (Pangea carries it) + Zoo Med's Repti Calcium with D3? Those products are excellent! Reptivite contains a very small amount of vitamin A acetate (retinol). A small amount of retinol @ 1 feeding per week helps prevent both eye & skin issues.
Schedule 126 for leopard geckos 18 + months old:
  • Mondays ~~ Zoo Med's Reptivite multivitimans withOUT D3 lightly dusted on prey
  • Thursdays ~~ Zoo Med's Repti Calcium with D3 lightly dusted on prey
Crickets & other feeders on this list are lower in fat than mealworms are.
17342539_1319514908116112_444175116466682477_n.jpg
(click to enlarge)​

It's important to feed the mealworms & other bugs a nutritious diet 24/7 or at least 24-48 hours prior to feeding them to your leo.

Here's a healthy dry diet/bedding for mealworms/superworms and for bugs too! After you get mealworms or superworms, replace the bedding they come in with already ground Professional Reptiles' Pro Gutload dry insect & worm diet (1-775-359-1085). Let's keep those worms in 6 quart plastic Sterilite tubs with bedding & ventilation at room temperature, NOT in the refrigerator.

\/ \/ \/
In addition to a balanced dry diet to cover the basics, offer your geckos' feeders some veggies and fruits from these lists.

Gutload Ingredients for Bugs & Worms . . . . . . thanks to Olimpia -- August 2013

"A commercial gut loading food like Bug Burger or Superload (both by Repashy), Cricket Crack, Dinofuel, etc. is going to make your life easier AND provide a nutritious diet to your crickets at the same time. Avoid Fluker's gutloads, as they are super feeble in their formulas.

"If you opt for making your own gutload at home, here's a list of great ingredients to use:
BEST: mustard greens, turnip greens, dandelion flowers & leaves, collard greens, escarole lettuce, papaya, watercress, and alfalfa.
GOOD: sweet potato, carrots, (oranges), mango, butternut squash, kale, apples, beet greens, blackberries, bok choy, and green beans.
DRY FOOD: bee pollen, organic non-salted sunflower seeds, spirulina, dried seaweed, flax seed, and organic non-salted almonds.
AVOID AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE: potatoes, cabbage, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, corn, grains, beans, oats, bread, cereal, meat, eggs, dog food, cat food, fish food, canned or dead insects, vertebrates."
 
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speedyjb

New member
Thank you. I’ve been giving him the eye drops 3-4 times a day. However idk how much they’re doing since his eyes are mostly shut. I also bought a better mister bottle so i could increase the humidity and the humidity hide is coming on friday. I tried to hand feed him but he doesn’t want to actually eat it and drops it out of his mouth. I’m looking into other vitamins but i’ve been putting a small amount on his chin and he’s been licking it off. Also should I continue the steam baths, I haven’t done one in a few days.They seem to help his eyes open more but i don’t know the dangers of it. Thank you!
 

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
Thank you. I’ve been giving him the eye drops 3-4 times a day. However idk how much they’re doing since his eyes are mostly shut. I also bought a better mister bottle so i could increase the humidity and the humidity hide is coming on friday. I tried to hand feed him but he doesn’t want to actually eat it and drops it out of his mouth. I’m looking into other vitamins but i’ve been putting a small amount on his chin and he’s been licking it off. Also should I continue the steam baths, I haven’t done one in a few days.They seem to help his eyes open more but i don’t know the dangers of it. Thank you!

Welcome to Geckos Unlimited!

Be extremely careful with steam baths. Don't cause more damage to his eyes.

. . . . . .

Please buy Blink Contact Lens Wetting Solution for Contact Lens' wearers. Gently squeeze that on your leo's eyes several times per day. Once you've used it up, refill this bottle with a normal saline solution. You can find the recipe on Google.

This might be worth trying:
  1. Take a 2x2 inch sterile gauze pad.
  2. Saturate this sterile pad with Blink Contact Lens Wetting Solution or normal saline.
  3. Leave it over both eyes for 10 minutes.
  4. Repeat this treatment 4x daily: morning (8 ), noon (12), evening (4), & nighttime (8 ).
You're welcome!

I really don't know how safe steam is either. How were you providing steam?

Based upon feedback I received early yesterday, I'm troubleshooting my large OMEM hide's humidity levels. I'm setting up a plastic baby food container upside down with a probe-sized hole for the digital hygrometer/thermometer's probe to monitor ambient humidity near the top of that hide right underneath the basin. Results won't be in for several days.

An OMEM hide was definitely a game changer for my Northern Velvet gecko. He stopped continuously biting his healing tail once I provided him with a medium OMEM hide. Even to this day his preferred night time spot is between that hide and the glass. He does have a dry hide right next to his OMEM hide, if he wishes.

  1. For link 166 click: Persistent Gecko Tail Biting Behavior (with accompanying Problematic Tail Sheds) . . . . . . Remedy -- 19 December 2020 (updated)
  2. For link 29 click: Zoo Med's ReptiVite™ multivitamins with Scott Stahl, DVM

I highly recommend switching to both Zoo Med's supplements I recommended earlier. Excellent supplements are cheap insurance!

Let's try flushing his eyes several times per day with Blink Contact Lens Wetting Solution or normal saline. Then gently hold 2 x 2 inch gauze pads saturated in normal saline or Blink Wetting Solution over his eyes for 10 minutes several times per day.

Because he's not eating bugs or worms please order some Repashy's Grub Pie Insectivore Diet Gel Premix. That can be fed as a slurry, paste, or gel. Be sure to refrigerate it upon arrival. Be sure to read ALL the directions.

A good exotics vet would be his very best option.
 
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speedyjb

New member
Thanks. I was just putting a little warm water in a container with holes poked in the top for the steam bathes, I don’t think it’s very dangerous.
 

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
Thanks. I was just putting a little warm water in a container with holes poked in the top for the steam bathes, I don’t think it’s very dangerous.

A leopard gecko's preferred body temperature = 86*F.

What temperature is this water you put your leo into? It's important to know.

Does your leo normally have 3 hides: a warm dry hide, a warm humid hide, & a cool dry hide?
 
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speedyjb

New member
It’s not very hot. Its just warm. I lower him into it and if he pulls back from the water I take him out. He doesn’t seem to have a problem with the steam and i think he likes it. He only has a cave and a log right now until the humid hide comes in
 

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
It’s not very hot. Its just warm. I lower him into it and if he pulls back from the water I take him out. He doesn’t seem to have a problem with the steam and i think he likes it. He only has a cave and a log right now until the humid hide comes in
Has your leo's OMEM hide arrived yet? How does your leo like it?
 

speedyjb

New member
Yes it has. He likes it a lot, he spends most of his time in there. Despite the humidity being up he’s still having trouble shedding, especially around his toes and eyes. Any idea why?
 

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
Has your leo's OMEM hide arrived yet? How does your leo like it?

Yes it has. He likes it a lot, he spends most of his time in there. Despite the humidity being up he’s still having trouble shedding, especially around his toes and eyes. Any idea why?
Your leo's shedding difficulties could be caused by a lack of Vitamin A acetate (retinol). All supplements are created differently. Some supplements are superior to others.

Let's switch to Zoo Med's supplements. I highly recommend these for your leo. Zoo Med's Reptivite multivitamins contain vitamin A acetate (retinol). Retinol promotes healthy eyes & skin. Just lightly dust Reptivite multivitamins on all or half the bugs or worms at 1 feeding per week! Then lightly dust Repti Calcium with D3 on all bugs or worms at another feeding per week.

Way back when I bred Pachydactylus tigrinus many developed cloudy eyes. :cry: I even took a couple to a Seattle vet who specialized in reptile eye problems. I don't recall that she had any retinol advice for those geckos. Since I switched to Zoo Med's supplements, I've not had any eye problems with my geckos.

Fast forward to Scott Stahl, DVM whose link I shared above. He's a true expert with geckos.

Schedule 126 for ADULT leopard geckos 18 months old +:

5777.jpg + repticalciumwd3.jpg [+ 5774.jpg]
(click to enlarge)​

This 2-supplement combo lets me use Zoo Med's Repti Calcium with D3 separately from Zoo Med's Reptivite multivitamin withOUT D3, if necessary. You might not need Zoo Med's Repti Calcium (plain calcium carbonate) at all right now.

  • Mondays ~~ Zoo Med's Reptivite multivitimans withOUT D3 lightly dusted on prey
  • Thursdays ~~ Zoo Med's Repti Calcium with D3 lightly dusted on prey
 
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speedyjb

New member
He won’t eat. He just spits out his food when I put it in his mouth. I don’t know if he’s going to recover from this
 

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
He won’t eat. He just spits out his food when I put it in his mouth. I don’t know if he’s going to recover from this

Let's troubleshoot your ground temps. Better late than never. :(
  1. What are your warm end ground temps underneath your leo's warm dry hide as measured by the probe of a Zoo Med digital thermometer or other reliable digital thermometer? (Do not use an analog thermometer!)
  2. What are your cool end ground temps?
Please try Repashy's Grub Pie. Repashy's Grub Pie a powdered food you mix with water. Then put some thickened Grub Pie on his nose. Maybe he'll lick it off. Grub Pie is powdered insects with other nutrients.

Have you seen this link?
Click (How to assist feed a leopard gecko?): How to get a gecko to open it's mouth?
 
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Elizabeth Freer

Active member
Temperatures - A temperature gradient from warm to cool maintains your leo's health. Here's a temperature guide for all leopard geckos as measured with the probe of a digital thermometer or a temp gun. Set your thermostat at 91*F/32.8*C. Each HEAT source needs to be on a separate thermostat - especially heat mats and CHEs.

Tape the thermostat's probe and a digital thermometer's probe together, but offset a little. Place them right on top of the substrate underneath the warm dry hide. If you use a UTH + a CHE you'll need 2 separate thermostats, because ground and air temperatures are substantially different.

  • Warm dry hide ground temperature: 88-92 F (31.1-33.3 C) inside a leo's warm dry hide.
  • Warm humid/moist hide: Place the humid hide 100% on top of the heat mat. Keep temperatures similar to the warm dry hide.
  • Cool dry hide ground temperature: 70ish-75 F (21.1-23.9 C) Usually the cool end ground temperature matches the room temperature where the enclosure sits.
  • No greater than 82ish F (27.8ish C) surface temperature - 4 inches (10 cm) above ground on the warm end
  • No greater than 75 F (23.9 C) surface temperature - 4 inches (10 cm) above ground on the cool end
Leave your heat mat on 24/7 IF ambient room temperatures drop lower than 67ish*F (19.4*C). If NOT, during the night turn off overhead lighting/heating (~12 hours on and ~12 hours off).
 

speedyjb

New member
Thanks for all the help. Sadly it seems like my gecko has lost his eyesight and won’t eat. I’ll continue to try to feed him. Somehow he goes long times without eating but maybe I’ll find a way to better his life any way I can.
 

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
Thanks for all the help. Sadly it seems like my gecko has lost his eyesight and won’t eat. I’ll continue to try to feed him. Somehow he goes long times without eating but maybe I’ll find a way to better his life any way I can.
You're MOST welcome.

I'm very sorry to hear this. Do you think his eyes have/had stuck shed? Might this be an age-related issue?

  • Has he lost weight?
  • Will your leo accept ANY handfed bugs or worms? Were you able to get Repashy's Grub Pie to make a pastey-type food?
  • Try mixing a little Zoo Med's Repti Calcium with D3 with water. Place that on his nose. Will he lick it off?
    repticalciumwd3.jpg
    (click to enlarge)


Based upon feedback I received earlier, "I'm troubleshooting my large OMEM hide's humidity levels. I'm setting up a plastic baby food container upside down with a probe-sized hole for the digital hygrometer/thermometer's probe to monitor ambient humidity near the top of that hide right underneath the basin. Results won't be in for several days."

I've been measuring my leo's large OMEM hide's relative humidity since I mentioned this on 2/7/2022. I can reliably say that your OMEM terra cotta hide provides a constant humidity level, even though that level may be less than 40% relative humidity. However, constant humidity is better than ON/OFF humidity.​
 
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