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 My Frilled Dragon is going blind... Help feeding

Help! My Frilled Dragon is only 5 1/2 yrs old and she is almost blind now. When her uva/uvb strip light holder burned out, the pet store didn’t have the size I needed so a manager whom I had dealt with for several yrs, and always help me, and I trusted, recommended I put a compact fluorescent uva/uvb dome light on top of her tank. I questioned her about this, and long story short after about 8 months, my Frilled was nose diving into her substrate totally missing the crickets when I dropped one in for her feeding. I knew something was wrong with her sight as she never did this before. I started researching online, and I found out that you are not ever supposed to use a compact fluorescent with a Frilled Dragon. I immediately took off and replaced with the strip tube uva/uvb light strip holder that I had always used with her in the past. Her vision did get better for a few months and then started going downhill again bad. Now she can barely see. I am So sad about this. I have been in tears trying to feed her because she misjudges, and she does not want to bite me. If she accidentally knicks my finger she stops eating at that time. I of course hand feed her. I dangle the cricket in front of her snout after i show it to her, and she is misjudging bad. I think she is Extremely farsighted, because last night it was really bad... She actually flipped herself over leaning back so far to try and eat the cricket I had right in front of her snout. This saddens me to no extent. Does anybody have any ideas of how I can feed her more easily or so she can maybe see the dusted crickets better. I have been trying everything, and I am Not gonna give up on her. I want to keep her as healthy as possible and keep her fed well. It normally takes me about an hour to feed her. If she eats good that feeding, she eats about 30 large crickets. Last night it took me 45min and she ate only 7! I am gonna try and feed her again today. I hope it goes better today. Any help or recommendations would be much appreciated. This has me heartbroken:( Please help my KoKo. Thanks

06/28/15  05:09pm


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  Message To: GearedUp   In reference to Message Id: 2314070

 My Frilled Dragon is going blind... Help feeding


I recommend removing UVB ;lamp for at least 7-10 days ...if your dragon improves keep the UVB off for another 10 days.

the eyes get sunburned and it takes time to heal. But it will heal soon ... Your dragon does not need UVB 100% of the time and a short vacation from the sun/ uvb lamp wont hurt. Give your dragon more partial exposure and not direct exposure in the future. Make branches and foliage to mimic a forest, like broken sunlight through the trees

07/06/15  08:37am


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  Message To: Cphill58   In reference to Message Id: 2314164

 My Frilled Dragon is going blind... Help feeding

Thank you for your reply. I did take out the compact fluorescent UVA/UVB as soon as I learned this was the incorrect light to use for Frillies, and that it could burn their retina’s or do other damage to their eyes. I immediately put the strip light I always had used and I has been back in there for over a year now. When I switched out the compact fluorescent for the strip UVA/UVB her eyes did get better for a month or two or so, but its been downhill for about 8 months now, even with the strip bulb in. Should I still give her a break from the UVA/UVB strip light knowing this? It is a Reptisun 10.0 UVB 18 watts. I use for daytime a 150 watt & a 75 watt spot/heat light during the day for 12 hrs, and at night she use a 150 watt infrared/heat light for 12 hrs. Should I just keep the UVA light off all together for now, and for how long should I keep it off? Thank you again in advance for helping me out in this matter. I just want to keep my Frilly as healthy as possible. Thanks again.

07/09/15  04:40pm


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  Message To: GearedUp   In reference to Message Id: 2314188

 My Frilled Dragon is going blind... Help feeding

I have a few questions...
what is the distance between the frill and the strip light UVB
What is the distance from the 150 and / 75 watt heat ...OMG .. that is a lot of light and heat.
What is the distance from the infrared night light. Do you really need it ?? what are the temps at night in your house this summer?

What are the temps measured with a temp gun?? The exact hot spot under a lamp can not be ,measured with a analog device or stick on meter. You need to go to harbor freight and buy the pocket temp gun for 11.99
Temp Gun

All the white daytime lights emit UVA... you don’t need all 3 IMO... just the 150 watt will be enough, unless you have a strong argument for all that heat and light?

Yes I still think you should turn off the UVB strip light for 10 days to see if the frilled improves at all... and remove 1- 75 watt lamp.

After all, it wont hurt the frilled to be without UVB. It is a short investigation.

Keep in touch

07/09/15  11:50pm


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  Message To: Cphill58   In reference to Message Id: 2314190

 My Frilled Dragon is going blind... Help feeding

Hi, thanks for your help... Ok, let me address your questions... Distance from UVA/UVB is 16 1/2", 150 watt spot/heat 20", 75watt spot/heat 16 1/2". Her tank is 36Lx16Hx18W screen top. I added the 75 watt bulb because the exotic vet told me to last Jan when I had to take her in on an emergency. Vet wanted day temp to be 100 degrees and night temp to be 85 degrees. She also told me to get the temp gun. With all three lights on during the day, her temp is 94 degrees, unless she is basking. At night now in the summer its about 90 degrees. Winter she’s cooler temp at night a little. My house is set at 83 degrees... I live in the desert. I turned off her 150 watt bulb last night, and she is laying right under where it shines down now, and her temp is 89.4. If she is at top of her trees under uvb light she is about 4" away from it. The temp gun I purchased is a top brand, (cant remember brand) says Infrared thermometer 58degrees to 1,022degrees. Temp under 75 watt spot/heat is showing 96.5 degrees. I turned off her uva/uvb strip bulb just a little bit ago. She does have a hot & cool side in the tank. Thanks again for your help.

07/10/15  02:59pm


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  Message To: Cphill58   In reference to Message Id: 2314190

 My Frilled Dragon is going blind... Help feeding

Oh, the 150 watt infrared (black not a red one) is also 16 1/2" up.

07/10/15  03:01pm


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  Message To: GearedUp   In reference to Message Id: 2314202

 My Frilled Dragon is going blind... Help feeding

OK the black infrared is a heat emitter.. or CHE (ceramic heat element)... not a lamp...good

The temps of 89.4 F are good... if you turn on the 150 watt again what do they raise up too?? Possibly too hot?
I can see using it in the winter possibly .. but not now in the summer.

6" from the uvb is pretty close...and should be about 40-60 micro watts of UVB but with a tube lamp should not be to drastic....still we need to do the experiment to see if her eyes get better. The reptisun tube should be the safest tube on the market...but China changes them from batch to batch Quality control goes out the window.

When you have 50.00 and a fixture to hold another lamp like the heat emitter ( black) I recommend MEGA RAY

70 or 100 watt self ballasted 120v UVB and heat lamp...e mail Bob Mac to answer any questions ...or call him, he is the owner and very helpful.

I buy 3 or 4 at a time from him to save on shipping costs.

here is the exact lamp in the product pages.
They show the 70...then the 100... and up from there.
the 100 is rated at about 150 micro watts at 12-14"
the 70 will be the specs on the lamp page by clicking the product in bold yellow letters
the 160 more UVB etc....
My iguana gets a 275 watt above her at 36" it emits 170 micro watts @ 3 ft away...

The normal sun in bright clear daylight in the summer screams 300-400 micro watts but most lizards hide in the hottest part of the day ...and bask early and late.
In the shade about 120-200 depending on the foliage
gray overcast days can literally drop the uvb down into the double digits. 40-50-60...etc
screen cuts the uvb received by 50%
Glass blocks UVB 100%

Hope you can understand all this ... it took me awhile to absorb it all.

07/13/15  11:30am


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  Message To: Cphill58   In reference to Message Id: 2314217

 My Frilled Dragon is going blind... Help feeding

Thank you SO much for all the help!! First, if I turn the 150 back on, her temp rises to 94, as long as she is not basking under or near it. If she does bask under it her temps depending can be 101-104 degrees. She will of course be venting, but she will go to her cool side when she has had enough, and will alot of times get in her large water dish. In her water dish she stays 90-94. Her water is usually 90degrees. I will check out the other bulbs. Thanks for the links😊. Oh, also not sure if I mentioned this. Her uva/uvb strip bulb sits on top of her screen top, so it does have to go through the screen. What do you think I should do with her lighting now? Keep the 150 off or maybe keep 150 on & turn the 75watt basking spot off during summer?
Also she did stop taking crickets from me about a week ago. I was told by the manager at Petsmart, who seems pretty knowledgeable when it comes to these guys to get a dog food called Recovery, it is for dogs that just had surgery. It is normally prescription, but she over rode it at the register for me. I mix it with water & sprinkle in her calcium powder and feed her with a syringe. I started this Thursday. She has come around, she is doing better, and moving around her tank now. She was just laying in the corner of the cool side before for like 4 days. I was scared she would die. She is doing better now!!😊 I am still feeding her this food with the syringe, 1 syringe at a time every 3-4 hrs when I’m home all day, like the weekend. I just want my girl healthy. So in that part she is feeling better. I would really love for her vision to get better too. Makes me very sad that she can’t see. Thank you SO Much again, I really appreciate it.

07/19/15  03:06pm


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  Message To: GearedUp   In reference to Message Id: 2314263

 My Frilled Dragon is going blind... Help feeding

As your vet said ...keep her warm... but do keep her hydrated as well and mist that enclosure. 2x a day ...I know it will dry out pretty fast so if you like keep a damp washcloth in there on a branch or will help.

Keep feeding her the recovery food and maybe get a partial cricket body in her mouth too.
Turn off the UVB / UVA as we talked about and lets see if she opens her eyes in time.

So if I get the math right ...Max temps are 101 -104
Minimum temps are around 94-96...water a constant 90-94

What about the farthest away from the lamps ...what is the temps?? the coldest spot in the enclosure?

07/21/15  12:12am


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  Message To: Cphill58   In reference to Message Id: 2314273

 My Frilled Dragon is going blind... Help feeding

Yes, correct on the temps. The coolest spot in tank is 92 degrees during the day. I’ll have to check it at night, tonight & get back to you on that. Oh, also she doesn’t keep her eyes shut, she has them open. No cloudiness in her eyes. I do notice now when she blinks that there is a little white when blinking, but otherwise her eyes are clear. I do notice her pupils are pretty small now though, which is a little different looking as far as her eyes are concerned. They were never that small several months back before all this started. Thanks again for your concern & all your help. It is much appreciated!😊

07/21/15  03:23pm


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  Message To: GearedUp   In reference to Message Id: 2314279

 My Frilled Dragon is going blind... Help feeding

Glad we could talk all about it ... always happy to try and help.

So , even though at first I thought the lights and temps were a bit much it sounds like everything is in order. Since frills are basically carnivores you can also feed raw or cooked chicken breast thinly sliced or shredded. Eggs ... scrambled or raw if the frilled will lap it up. My beardies and Blue Tongue love eggs.

There was a girl o9n here awhile back Called... RX7Chick... she made a big deal about humidity... and many frills die from the lack of it. So don’t let your friil dry out and get dehydrated. Dehydration will cause the frill not to be able to swallow and thus starve to death basically. Urates will be orange instead of white. Side note ...urates are orange in females during breeding season due to hormonal changes. later they get white again.

My vet says, to increase humidity get a wet towel and microwave it in the enclosure to create a sauna effect for short periods of time. I do it for the boa constrictor every so often and allow the glass to steam up until it cools down and gets back to enclosure temp (85)

You say you see a white film over the eye when it blinks this the second eye lid...that would be normal
If you have concerns about the eyes you can always flush them with a sterile saline solution sold at WALMART or TARGET / WALGREENS ...etc. usually we detect a foreign object or debri and then proceed to flush.

If you have spare time for reading check out Melissa Kaplan vet pages and see her first aid kit that she keeps handy .... she has so many pages to read and I know most are for iguanas but all the information can be crossed over.


Ok until next time best regards

07/23/15  12:35pm


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  Message To: Cphill58   In reference to Message Id: 2314296

 My Frilled Dragon is going blind... Help feeding

Ok will do. I will make sure I mist her enclosure at least twice a day, and put the wet washcloth in. Again, thanks so much for all your help. Oh, as far as the little bit of white when she blinks, don’t know about second eyelid, all I know is I never noticed it before she started having vision problems. Thanks again, I appreciate so much!!!😊 I will check out those articles you mentioned. I will keep you updated.
ALSO... I increased the Recovery I have been giving her with syringe slowly, 1st i started out giving her 1 syringe every 3-4 hrs 3 times a day. The syringe is a 1cc syringe. I started her on this Recovery Thurs afternoon, July 16th. I increased her to 1 1/2 syringes 3 times a day on July 19th. Yesterday, I gave her 1 3/4 syringes her 1st meal, she was lazy all day when I picked her up to give her, her 2nd feeding, her belly was pretty fat, she felt full, so I gave her 1 1/2 syringes, and for her last meal yesterday I only gave her 1 syringe. I tried to feel her a cricket to no avail. She just laid and slept mostly all day yesterday. Today, I just gave her 1 syringe only, for her 1st meal . Maybe I’m feeding her too much?? She does like it though, she will actually lick some off my finger, and the tip of the syringe. After I put her back into her tank she went right back to sleep. Has me a little concerned. Maybe I’m just freaking a little, don’t know. Just don’t want to hurt her, want her healthy. She is pooping normal, no diarrhea. So that is good. Fingers crossed. I just wanted to mention that. I haven’t really been misting her tank, I will start right now, and be consistent with it. Thanks again😊

07/26/15  04:50pm

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