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Special Report :
A problem with some of the new high UVB output
fluorescent compact lamps and tubes

The Report: Introduction - Case histories - Lamp test results
Discussion - Summary, Recommendations and Company Responses- References



This is one case from a series of reports compiled as part of an investigation into photo-kerato-conjunctivitis, possibly occurring as a result of excessive low-wavelength UVB radiation under certain brands of fluorescent UVB lamp.

Please do not view this one case without reference to the whole report of which it is a part.


Case History : AM (New Jersey, USA) - Blue Tongue Skink (Tiliqua scincoides)

A one-month-old Northern Blue Tongued Skink (Tiliqua scincoides intermedia) had been in its new home - a "30 breeder" vivarium, size 36 in. by 18 in. by 12 in., for 7 days under a ZooMed Reptisun 10.0 linear tube positioned above the screen lid at a distance of 12 in., with no problems.

On July 8th 2007, this was replaced by a new Reptisun 10 compact in a 10-inch aluminium dome clamp lamp set on the screen, again, 12 in. above the tank floor. (Figure 1.) The lamp was to one side of the main basking spot - a raised platform about 12 in. to the side of the lamp, above which was the halogen basking lamp in an identical dome.

Within 24 hours, the baby skink was keeping his left eye closed and the next day, kept both eyes permanently closed (Figure 2) and would bask and eat with his eyes closed, opening them only when he moved around. His owner contacted the breeder for advice, but the lamp was only discovered to be the source of the problem on the third day (July 12th) when his owner found reports of similar cases on an internet forum.
Fig. 1
Fig. 2.

She removed the lamp immediately, and he began to open his eyes again. However, the eyelids had become swollen and there was noticeable skin damage, especially to the lower eyelids. At first the lids were puffy (Figure 3) but by the end of a week, the lesions on the lower lids had formed crusty scabs and resembled burns. (Figure 4).
Fig. 3. Fig. 4.

The scabs came off a few hours after this photograph was taken, and the left eye appeared to have lost a significant amount of epidermis (Figure 5). Healing was slow, but when the skink sloughed normally on 23rd July, a significant improvement was seen.

Nevertheless, a month later, after a second slough, there still appears to be residual scarring to the lower left eyelid and his owner reports that the eyelid appears to be "stiff" and does not close as well as the other one.

Fig. 5.

The skink now has an Arcadia D3 Compact Reptile Lamp in the reflective dome. His owner introduced this gradually, starting with a four-hour period in the middle of the day, building up over three weeks, to ten hours a day in the middle of the twelve-hour photoperiod. He has also been taken outdoors into natural sunlight for short periods during fine weather.


 © 2007 UVGuide.co.uk