Crested Gecko Cloudy Eye – Causes And Treatment
Crested geckos are overall healthy animals. However, you might come across a condition known as Crested gecko cloudy eye. Normally, Crested gecko cloudy eye is the result of improper shedding. However, it can also be caused by bacterial infection, UVB lights, injury.
This article will help your establish the cause of Crested gecko cloudy eye and how to fix it. To do this, we are looking at the following topics:
- Crested gecko cloudy eye causes and treatments
- Gecko cloudy eye – Prevention
Crested Gecko Cloudy Eye Causes
The possible causes for Crested gecko cloudy eye are:
- Stuck shed/ Retained eye cap
- Bacterial infection
- UVB light
Stuck Shed/ Retained Eye Cap
Retained eye cap or stuck shed is the most common cause for Crested gecko cloudy eye. Normally, retained eye cap or stuck shed is the result of improper or incomplete shedding.
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.
In the case of incomplete shedding, some of the dead skin can get stuck on various parts of your gecko’s body such as limbs, tail and eye. If the skin is stuck on the eye, it will appear as cloudy (check picture above).
Normally, the cause for incomplete shed is dry conditions and not enough humidity in the gecko’s habitat.
Therefore, ensuring the humidity and temperature are correct is the most important part in the Crested gecko’s shedding process.
To treat Crested gecko cloudy eye caused by stuck shed, start soaking the gecko in tepid water twice daily.
Normally, incomplete shedding is the result of not enough humidity and moisture in the gecko’s tank. Therefore, to help with the completion of the shedding process, first you must improve the gecko’s living conditions by doing the following:
- Correct temperature levels. Check that the temperature in their enclosure is between 72°F to 75°F. If the temperature is higher than that, you should take the Crested gecko out of the enclosure and place in a shallow plastic tub/bowl with a wet, cool cloth on the bottom
- Check humidity levels. If the humidity is at 50% or lower, you need to mist their enclosure. Crested geckos get most of the moisture they need through their skin. Therefore, humidity is one of the first things you should check. By doing this, the eye cap may raise up and come off by itself
- Water bowl. Check if their water bowl is full, it not – refill it with fresh water. Also, you should provide two water bowls – one on the ground and one on at a height
Quick Hydration Treatment
By quickly increasing the moisture and humidity, it will subsequently help shed the remaining dead skin. You can do this by applying the following treatments:
- Dab a q-tip in olive oil and gently rub it around the edges (around the lid margins) of the gecko’s eye. In some cases, leaving a dab of oil on the eye edges for 10 to 15 minutes can loosen the cap enough to see it wrinkle up and free an edge
- Highly diluted electrolyte solutions such as sports drinks, Pedialyte or Ricelyte can help restore fluids. This should only be used if the gecko is refusing to drink plain water. As these drinks contain sugars, your gecko might be more willing to drink
- Pureed food mixed with water. You can feed your gecko pureed fruit diluted with water. This will help restore some of the fluids in your Crested gecko. For example you can use a puree of papaya, figs and bananas
- Use syringe or eye pipette to administer water/puree into your gecko’s mouth if they are refusing to eat/drink. However, don’t force it as that can cause additional stress
- “Sauna”. One of the quickest ways to restore moisture is by soaking your gecko in a small plastic box/crate/bowl with air holes. You need to put a wet, lukewarm paper tower on the bottom. This sauna effect will help them restore moisture through their skin. Furthermore, the gecko might begin to drink the condensation off the sides of the container
- Soaks. Set up a soak with 50/50 Pedialyte and room temperature water. Soak for at least 15 minutes. This will help with the dehydration. Make some fruit puree (ketchup consistency) such as mango or papaya and mix some Retile calcium in. Use a pipette/syringe without the needle to drop the mix on their snout. They should be able to lick it off.
If the eye still appears cloudy after more than 24 hours, you should take your gecko to the vet as it might require medical intervention such as removing the cap.
This is to avoid the eye becoming infected or constricted. Some eye caps are so stubborn that they require tiny surgical instruments to be used after the pet is sedated to lift up an edge for removal.
Normally, the vet will administer fluids through feeding tubes or subcutaneous injections. Furthermore, the vet will check your Crested gecko’s hydration levels and if dehydration is the symptom of an underlying illness.
If you’re suspecting that your Crested gecko is suffering from retained eye cap/stuck shed on the eye but the humidity and temperature levels are correct, it might be due to vitamin deficiency.
If your gecko is not dehydrated, low Vitamin A levels can be the reason for your Crested gecko cloudy eye and incomplete shed.
To avoid Crested gecko cloudy eye as a result of incorrect shedding, you must ensure that your Crested gecko diet is nutritious and includes the appropriate vitamin/mineral supplements.
To treat Crested gecko cloudy eye caused by vitamin deficiency, you should start giving your gecko supplements. However, if their diet already includes sufficient calcium and vitamin D, you can feed your gecko dusted insects to provide them with the additional vitamins that can help them during shedding.
For more information on what is a good diet for your Crested gecko, read here What Crested Geckos Eat? Crested Gecko Diet – Do’s And Don’ts
If your Crested gecko cloudy eye is presenting with pus or discharge, it means that there is an infection. In this case, you must take your gecko to the vet.
Infections can also lead to open ulcers or abscesses. Therefore, it’s essential they are quickly treated.
When Crested gecko cloudy eye is the result of bacterial infection, the treatment is antibiotic ointment, systemic antibiotics along with flushing and cleaning the infected area to achieve the best results.
Although, Crested geckos don’t need UVB lights to be healthy, some owners prefer to use UVB light to provide their gecko with additional vitamins.
However, in some cases a UVB lights that are too powerful and pointing directly at the gecko’s eyes can result in Crested gecko cloudy eye.
To treat Crested gecko cloudy eye caused by UVB light exposure, switch off the light and make their enclosure as dark as possible. Then, wait to see if the eye’s condition improves.
If the eye doesn’t improve on its own after 24 hours, you should take your Crested gecko to the vet for further treatment.
With age, 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 also occurs in reptiles.
In addition, 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 cloudy eye is the result of cataract, look 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
If you feel there is something wrong with your crested gecko’s eyes, but there isn’t any discharge or swelling, then your Crested gecko may have a cataract.
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 in the case of cataract, the problems is inside the eye, therefore using sterile solution won’t help.
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 cloudy eye condition.
Crested gecko eye injuries require vet treatments such as sutures or sterile antibiotic ointment applied in order to prevent the infection from destroying the eye. This can not be a regular OTC ointment and needs to be specifically labelled for use in eyes.
In some cases damage can be reversible, although it may a long time for the lens to clear up.
Crested Gecko Cloudy Eye – Prevention
To prevent conditions such as Crested gecko cloudy eye developing, you must apply the following preventative measures:
- 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 has a water bowl that is always full with water and it’s easily accessible by your gecko. In the wild, Crested geckos drink rain water directly from the plants. Therefore, including water catching decorations can help 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
Crested gecko’s eye opacity should be transparent. However, if you notice your Crested gecko’s eyes turning cloudy, it’s important to find what’s causing it.
The most common cause for Crested gecko cloudy eye is stuck shed from incomplete shedding. To help your Crested gecko shed the rest of their skin, you must provide them with additional humidity and moisture by doing the following:
- Mist their tank
- Use a q-tip dabbed in olive oil and gently rub it around the edges of the eyes
- Highly diluted electrolyte solutions such as sports drinks, Pedialyte or Ricelyte can help restore fluids
- Feed them pureed food mixed with water using a syringe or eye pipette
- “Sauna” and soaks
Other causes for Crested gecko cloudy eye include vitamin deficiency, eye infection, UVB light exposure, cataract or injury.
If your Crested gecko cloudy eye condition persist after you’ve tried all the solutions suggested in this article, you need to take your gecko to the vet for further exams and antibiotics.
Related Topics Q&A
What Is A Healthy Appearance Of Crested Gecko Eye?
The normal perimeter of the tissue surrounding the gecko’s eye should be uniform and smooth. It shouldn’t appear sunken or pushed out.
The opacity of the eye should be transparent and not cloudy.
If your Crested gecko eyes are sunken, read here to find out what causes it and how to treat it Crested Gecko Sunken Eyes – Causes And Treatment
What Substrate Can I Use To Avoid Crested Gecko Eye Injury?
When setting up your Crested gecko’s habitat, choosing the safest substrate is essential. Avoid using loose substrates as they can get into your Crested gecko’s eye and mouth.
Safe Crested gecko substrates include:
- Compressed coco fiber
- Sphagnum moss
- No substrate
- Paper towels
- Solid stone (no small pebbles that can be ingested)