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HomeDear VetBabbleWhy are both eyes of my one-month-old chameleon swollen and closed?

Why are both eyes of my one-month-old chameleon swollen and closed?


Dear VetBabble,

I have a one-month-old chameleon, and I recently noticed that his left eye is swollen and closed. Today, I saw that both of his eyes are closed. Is this something to worry about? What steps should I take to help my chameleon, preferably without spending too much money on a vet visit? Thank you!


It’s quite concerning when our pets experience health issues, especially with their eyes. It’s essential for chameleons to have healthy eyes since they rely heavily on their vision. Let’s discuss some general chameleon eye care practices to ensure your little friend’s well-being, as well as addressing potential causes and treatments for swollen eyes.

Chameleon Eye Care Basics

Chameleons have unique eyes that can move independently from each other, giving them a wide field of view for hunting and detecting threats. However, this also makes them more prone to various eye issues. To keep your chameleon’s eyes healthy, make sure you provide:

  • A clean and properly-sized terrarium
  • Appropriate levels of humidity and temperature
  • Regular misting to aid in eye cleaning
  • A variety of live insects for a balanced diet
  • Proper UVB lighting for vitamin D synthesis, which is crucial for calcium absorption

By maintaining a suitable environment for your chameleon, you can minimize the chances of eye problems and ensure their overall health.

Possible Causes of Swollen Eyes in Chameleons

Swollen and closed eyes can indicate several underlying issues:

  • Infection: Chameleons can develop infections due to bacteria or parasites. These infections can cause eye swelling, discharge, and discomfort.
  • Injury: Rough handling or accidents within the terrarium can result in bruises or other eye injuries.
  • Dietary imbalance: Lack of vitamin A in the diet can lead to eye problems since this vitamin is crucial for maintaining healthy eye function.
  • Improper care: Inadequate lighting, humidity, or sanitation can cause disruptions to your chameleon’s eye health.

It’s crucial to identify the cause of your chameleon’s swollen eyes to apply the appropriate treatment. Consulting a qualified exotics veterinarian with experience in chameleons is highly recommended.

Treating Swollen Eyes in Chameleons

First, you can try reaching out to the pet store where you purchased your chameleon. They might have some insight into the issue and could offer advice or medication before seeing an exotics specialist. However, if they recommend a visit to the veterinarian, don’t hesitate to make an appointment—as timely treatment is crucial for your chameleon’s health.

Some cases of swollen eyes might be resolved by adjusting your chameleon’s care routine. However, if an infection or injury is detected, your veterinarian will likely prescribe appropriate medication.

We understand that keeping pets can be expensive, especially when specialized care is required. However, the health and well-being of your pet should always be a priority. It’s always better to seek professional help early on, as untreated issues can lead to more severe complications.

Lastly, consider researching other exotic pets and their care requirements to become more familiar with their potential health issues. This could be beneficial if you plan to bring home additional exotic pets in the future. You can find information on snake care, frog care, and iguana care on our website.

Good luck with your chameleon, and remember that the best course of action is usually to consult a knowledgeable professional when dealing with health issues in exotic pets.

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