5 Month old Panther Gaping

glebb

New Member
Hello I have a five month old panther chameleon. I'm coming to this forum for second opinions. My Cham is gaping seemingly randomly... he did this when he was younger but only while basking, and thus I just dismissed the issue as the basking spot being to warm and toasty. It's kinda scaring me how he just gapes sometimes he doesn't look pissed at anything. I thought maybe he wasn't getting enough UVB exposure becuse sometimes he'd climb to the top of the screen trying to get closer to it (the bulb was modestly old about a few months) so I decided to order a new one and it should come soon. I just wanna get some second opinions on taking him to the vet or not (since I'm pretty broke atm but if he does need to see a vet i would absolutely take him). Also my Cham is pretty docile and doesn't mind me being around (probably because I feed him). He never really cared about me seeing him gape even when he was just a little young juvenile so I don't think it's THAT advanced of an illness (if there is any). I've attached a photo of me taking a picture of the inside of his mouth (which he didn't seem to care about). In terms of supplementation I do calcium (without D3) every day except for once a week where I either do Multi Vitamin or D3 from Rep-Cal. He still eats food, but not as much as he used to. I'm guessing maybe he just doesn't like Dubia Roaches as much as he used to because he still gobbles up soldier fly larvae and hornworms like they're nothing. I found this issue occuring a day after I moved his cage a few feet to the right and putting a shower curtain on the side of his cage. (The reason I did this was because I got him a tree that he loved to climb around on, and all he wanted to do was go on this tree... maybe there's something to be said about my husbandry here then I don't know)

Any suggestions or tips would be helpful. He's my first Chameleon but I've done lots of research on the critters. Thanks
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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome on here! Filling out this form in as much detail as possible, including more pics of your cham, his lights, and his entire enclosure, will be super helpful for us to help you!

Here is some recommended information to include when asking for help in the health clinic forum. By providing this information you will receive more accurate and beneficial responses. It might not be necessary to answer all these questions, but the more you provide the better. Please remember that even the most knowledgeable person can only guess at what your problem may be. Only an experienced reptile veterinarian who can directly examine your animal can give a true diagnosis of your chameleon's health.


Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

glebb

New Member
Welcome on here! Filling out this form in as much detail as possible, including more pics of your cham, his lights, and his entire enclosure, will be super helpful for us to help you!

Here is some recommended information to include when asking for help in the health clinic forum. By providing this information you will receive more accurate and beneficial responses. It might not be necessary to answer all these questions, but the more you provide the better. Please remember that even the most knowledgeable person can only guess at what your problem may be. Only an experienced reptile veterinarian who can directly examine your animal can give a true diagnosis of your chameleon's health.


Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
Chameleon: Ambilobe Panther Chameleon, Male, 5 Months Old. He's been in my care for over a month (gotten him June 9th)

Handling: I'd say I handle him fairly regularly. I'm not "playing" with him or anything, I usually just try to handle him off his tree and outside sometimes.

Feeding: I feed my Chameleon Dubia Roaches, Black Soldier fly larvae, hornworms, and superworms sometimes. I'll admit I did see him eating a random fly or two though.. I usually try feeding him as much as possible since he's still young but sometimes he eats more or less. (I guess around like 3-5 feeders)

Supplements: I use Rep-Cal brand MultiVitamin, Calcium, and D3. It's everyday for Calcium except for on Sundays where I do either Multi or D3.

Watering: I use a MistKing misting system 4 times a day for humidity sake. It's usually about 2-3 minutes per time. Once before lights come on, one at 4 PM, one at 7:30 PM, and one before lights go out. I see my Cham lick random surfaces sometimes (I guess he's trying to find water). I'd say he's pretty hydrated though.

Fecal - His urates are usually white/orange. Not too much orange though its mainly white. He's never been tested for parasites since I got him from a reputable breeder.
 

Chameleoking

Established Member
One reason Chameleon is keeping its mouth open could be because it is too hot
Chameleons
, like all reptiles, are cold blooded. This means they need a heat source to warm themselves up. ... In captivity, this provides a temperature gradient for your chameleon to move between in order to regulate its body temperature.
 

Chameleoking

Established Member
This is a warning sign of a harmful and potentially deadly situation. This is a sign of overheating and you need to provide the means for the chameleon to cool off. Gaping is the second to last step. Eyes closed and body shutting down is the next step so if it is hot and you see gaping act immediately
 

Chameleoking

Established Member
An open mouth can mean anything from a fight response to a serious and deadly medical condition.

Possibilities:

  • Chameleon feel threatened and is warning that it will defend itself
  • Chameleon is too hot and is trying to cool off
  • Chameleon is having difficulty breathing
Gaping can meaning many different things depending on the context
 

Chameleoking

Established Member



DIFFICULTY BREATHING​

An unfortunate reason to see a chameleon gape is if they are in the final stages of respiratory infection or other lung based medical condition. With infection or other substance in their throat and lungs they are trying to gulp as much air as possible.
Any open mouth breathing is a red flag that you need to get to the vet as soon as possible.
The stages of Respiratory Infection
  1. Nose is in the air to help straighten throat to aid in breathing. This is the time to start treatment.
  2. Open mouth breathing when they are alone. They are sick but can still pretend they are healthy. Treatment has high percentage of success.
  3. Gaping even if you are in the room. Life is measured in days. Get to a vet. recovery is 50/50
  4. Eyes closed while gaping as their body is shutting down. This is an emergency and you have hours until death.
Any gaping due to illness is serious. And, be careful with the diagnosis. Viral infections can have the same symptoms as bacterial and the antibiotic treatment will be useless.
 
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Chameleoking

Established Member
I noticed that you said you give a multi vitamin or vitamin D3 once a week. Your cham should not be getting D3 no more than twice a month. For instance on the 1st, then once more on the 15th. From what I've learned anymore than that could be toxic to the chameleon.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Welcome to the forum!

You said..." I found this issue occuring a day after I moved his cage a few feet to the right and putting a shower curtain on the side of his cage. (The reason I did this was because I got him a tree that he loved to climb around on, and all he wanted to do was go on this tree"...this sounds like the issue. What color is the shower curtain? Is it printed or plain? What can he see now that he couldn't see before in the room? Mirror? Other reflective surface? What else?
 
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