Any idea what could be wrong?

RescueMom

Established Member
If you've read my previous posts, you know that I'm dealing with a picky eater (understatement of the century) but here's a brief recap.

I got Waldo in February when he was 7 months old (or so I was told). As soon as I got him home, he started closing his right eye (I'm pretty sure he's lost most of his sight in this eye now) .

He would only eat super worms because that's all he was being fed. I tried to get him on other feeders, but that created a complete food strike.

I took him to the vet in March where I got a supplement. I gave him that for about a week and he started eating "normally".

Still concerned with his eye, I took him back to the vet in May (after COVID-19 allowed). After an xray, found out he doesn't have the orbital bone in the right eye socket. Doctor said everything else seemed healthy. No signs of mbd etc.

He saw the vet again last month too when I saw the cut on his foot, so that's 3 times since February he's been to the vet. I never even took a cat to the vet that often!

The eating battle has continued. He was eating horn worms so I got him some more. Now he walks right over them.

I can't get him to open his mouth to give him any supplement now. He fights me so bad I'm afraid someone's going to get hurt ?

He DOES drink his water. Mister goes off 3 times a day for 2 minutes. I think he drinks the water off every leaf in his cage.

I also replaced his light (T5 HO). It was 6 months old.

Basking 85-90, ambient appx 75, humidity 50-70%.

Live plants. No plastic. Fake vines (for now).

He's in a 18x18x36 right now, but his 2x2x4 will be here today, along with the dragon ledges. I have real wood (almost) ready for the branches and the pots and plants ect.

He's either climbing the screen or laying in the same place for hours.

I've offered him crickets, calci worms, and horn worms, just today. He had a cricket crawling up his back and he was acting like a fool trying to get away from it (I never leave crickets in his cage over night, BTW).

What is going on?? He's not quite skin and bones yet, but you can see the ridges in his tail and I don't like it! Every day he doesn't eat is another day he isn't getting any calcium. The only thing he'll eat now are wax worms, so if I want him to get his d3 (which last Sunday was D3-day) I have to give him those. Oh, and he ate a horn worm moth last week that finally came out of its cocoon.

My only thought at this point is a different vet, which would be Blue Pearl. Maybe my local vet has missed something.

I'm completely out of ideas ?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I wonder how his vision loss is affecting his ability to eat. Usually chams are able to compensate for loss of vision in one eye, but I’ve no idea how long that process takes. I do know that they can be very picky eaters and this is a somewhat common occurrence. Usually the keepers have to stand firm and outlast their chams stubbornness. Are you using a feeder bowl or similar? Is it kept in the same place all the time?
 

RescueMom

Established Member
The reason I'm sure he's lost his vision in the right eye is because he can only see the chameleon in the mirror with his left eye. If I turn his right side to the mirror, he can't see the chameleon anymore ?
Also, the pupil in his right eye stays very tiny, where his left eye is normal, with a large dilated pupil.

He ate a horn worm several weeks ago and he did use both eyes to focus on it, so he must have some vision, but maybe it's blurry ?

I do use a feeder cup, always in the same place, but I've also let crickets free range too. Either way he seems to just look at them like "yeah what am I supposed to do with those, you idiot ?"

I ordered a shooting gallery for his new set up, so maybe that will help ??
 

CasqueAbove

Chameleon Enthusiast
So from my experience in other reptiles, I have seen snakes refuse to eat, but never lizards, frogs, or other daily eaters. That is unless there is something wrong.
It is a tough call, because you will defiantly need a vet with experience.
I have seen overweight chams, be picky, but this does not sound like your case.

He can be force fed if necessary, sometimes this will stimulate.

I had to feed my male for a while, I made "tongs/tweeser" out of a plastic lid. and smoothed the edges. I use dubia so I crush the head (sorry gross I know), then hold the dubia by the back end.
See https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/force-feeding-and-hydrating.177850/#post-1599815 for how to feed.

This would only be a stop gap till you find why he is not eating.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think right now it is hard because the enclosure he is in is quite small for him. This will cause stress.. Screen climbing can be the result of that as well.
I would say you could run another fecal just in case. If there was a parasite issue it may not have shown up in the first screening if the oocysts were not in cycle to be expelled at the time.
 

RescueMom

Established Member
So from my experience in other reptiles, I have seen snakes refuse to eat, but never lizards, frogs, or other daily eaters. That is unless there is something wrong.
It is a tough call, because you will defiantly need a vet with experience.
I have seen overweight chams, be picky, but this does not sound like your case.

He can be force fed if necessary, sometimes this will stimulate.

I had to feed my male for a while, I made "tongs/tweeser" out of a plastic lid. and smoothed the edges. I use dubia so I crush the head (sorry gross I know), then hold the dubia by the back end.
See https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/force-feeding-and-hydrating.177850/#post-1599815 for how to feed.

This would only be a stop gap till you find why he is not eating.
I can't get him to open his mouth. He literally closes his eyes, clamps his jaw shut, puts his hands up in the little Kung fu pose, and then plays dead. He'll stay that way until he gets mad enough and then he starts to fight. It's not pretty, so I'm at a loss about that too ?
 

RescueMom

Established Member
I think right now it is hard because the enclosure he is in is quite small for him. This will cause stress.. Screen climbing can be the result of that as well.
I would say you could run another fecal just in case. If there was a parasite issue it may not have shown up in the first screening if the oocysts were not in cycle to be expelled at the time.
I'm trying as hard as I can to get his new cage ready. Hopefully I'll have it together for him this weekend.
I'll have to grab his next ? and run it up to the vet so she can check it again
 

RescueMom

Established Member
He has to be eating something then... is he in a bioactive set up?
No, not bioactive.
He ate a few wax worms on Sunday (vitamin d3-day).
Middle of last week he ate that horn worm moth.
The week before that he ate one horn worm.
He's eaten a few calci worms, but not recently.
I have managed to get some of the supplement in his tight little jaw (until today) , so maybe these few things are enough to ?
But he drinks like a ?
 

RescueMom

Established Member
Why is he taking the supplement?
I got it from the vet when he stopped eating initially. I gave it to him for about a week and it stimulated his appetite. He started eating and I thought "yayyyyyyyy he's normal" (oxymoron?)

So, when he got all weird again I was hoping it would help ?
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
I can't get him to open his mouth. He literally closes his eyes, clamps his jaw shut, puts his hands up in the little Kung fu pose, and then plays dead. He'll stay that way until he gets mad enough and then he starts to fight. It's not pretty, so I'm at a loss about that too ?
Hmmm... Possible issue with his mouth, teeth, or throat? That might cause him to hold out until he's starving & can't stand it, or it heals just enough between times he eats, then gets aggravated again? Might also explain all the drinking—feels good on whatever may hurt?

Of course I'm just spitballin' here. I think we're all brainstorming trying to help. ?
 
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