I have a leopard gecko which was given to me by someone. Her eyelids seem to have grown closed. I was told it was her shedding that didn't come off correctly and have done as suggested in this case by swabbing the eyes with water and keeping her in humid conditions. No improvement has been marked.

I did google photos of what retained eye caps look like and hers look much more severe than this, as it seems her eyelids are immobile and stuck on her eyes. She is very healthy otherwise and always eats well.

Please advise me on what to do as I would really like to help her.

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1 Answer 1


If you are really worried, I would take them to an exotic vet. They will be able to tell you for sure if it is a retained eye cap, something like a calcium deposit or a different disorder. They will also be able to give you prescription or normal eye drops for your pet.

If you aren't particularly worried about it, you can try to wait until their next shed and see if it comes off during that shed. A lot of people do that for retained eye caps in snakes. It isn't life threatening if it is a cap, but please note that my experience comes from snakes and it could be different for leopard geckos. If it is still there after the next shed, you should probably take them to a vet.

Make sure to keep your humidity at a correct level, to keep them watered, and keep the temperatures correct. Usually if it is a retained eye cap, it will come off normally

EDIT: yours looks fairly bad. I would err on the side of being safe by taking it to a vet. I'm sure all they'll do is give you some drops and call it good (assuming it is an eye cap issue), but it would be good to have the gecko checked to make sure, considering the severity of the case - and especially if you don't know when the last shed was.

  • I wouldn't wait for next shed, retained eye caps will severely damage the eye if untreated. The next she will takes weeks which is a long time to wait. Feb 22, 2017 at 17:28
  • Not sure about leos but for snakes a stuck cap doesnt damage the snake according to breeders forums. It is nice to take off using a humid hide and a q tip but it is not necessary to take off.
    – Ian
    Feb 22, 2017 at 20:50
  • It should also be pointed out that treatment of a retained cap has the possibility to do more damage to the eye than leaving it depending on how zealous you are and what techniques you use. It also stresses the animal out a lot each time you attempt to get it off. If you do it yourself, be careful. If you take it to a vet they can tell you what to do for sure
    – Ian
    Feb 22, 2017 at 21:02
  • I also read it as the person before them said it was from a shed and that they havent seen a shed yet meaning there is an unknown amount of time before next shed but it sounds like the current shed wasn't terribly recent. It would be good to check when the shed was last if they remember.
    – Ian
    Feb 22, 2017 at 21:33
  • Ya, retained eye caps in snakes as well damage the eye. I've seen it in practice a few times, the vet had to remove it with moist cotton balls, saline flush and Q-tips. The worst I've seen left a huge dent in its eye. Feb 22, 2017 at 21:57

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