Are these signs of another respiratory infection? 😕

Faithan84

Member
Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - I'm a new reptile keeper. Kiwi is 6-7 months? Female Veiled. I've had her since December 20, 2020.
Handling - She had a round of antibiotics where I had to handle her everyday. I hadn't handled her in a month or so. I moved her to a new cage a week ago, but that was the last time I handled her.
Feeding - 3-4 feeders/day. I'm slowly reducing food. Black soldier fly larvae, dubia roaches, silkworms, occasional wax worms. I have a veggie/fruit gut load for the larvae and roaches.
Supplements - Zoomed Repti Calcium without D3, and Zoomed Reptivite. I've been dusting with the calcium at each feeding, and dusting with the Reptivite once every other week.
Watering - I have a MistKing and PetsPioneer Reptile Humidifier Digital Timing Fog Machine that I have set up to go off at the intervals suggested by chameleon academy. My new setup is awkward for the Little Dripper, so I have been misting for 30 seconds about 3pm. I've seen her drink occasionally first thing in the mornings. She still gets nervous with me near her cage. I've been using RO water.
Fecal Description - Brown, soft-dry, and white urates. Still haven't gotten the parasite check done. It's been difficult to find her poops in the new cage.
History - Unfortunately, I had the wrong uvb lamp with a plastic cover for the first two months I had her. She was treated for conjunctivitis and a respiratory infection with a 2 week course of topical and oral antibiotics. She returned to 100%. I have a cat, but she seems more interested in the crickets than the cham. I don't think she's stressing the cham. The medicine course and changes to the cage really stressed her out. She seems pretty happy about the new cage I moved her to a week ago. I've been trying to give her as much space as possible.

Cage Info: Dragon Strand 2x2x4 tall hybrid cage.
Lighting - Zoomed HO T5 5% uvb 24" bulb/fixture 6-7" from the basking branch. I have an Eco Incandescent Natural Light 40W replacement bulb for basking/heat. SANSI 24W LED Plant Grow Light Full Spectrum bulb. All lights are on a 7am-7pm timer. I have lights slowly come on and go off within that time frame.
Temperature - Floor - 69-72°F, middle of cage - 75-77°F, Basking - 78-80°F. Night temps drop to mid 60's. I have an Infrared Thermometer Gun, the Zoo Med digital thermometer that came with the kit, Govee thermometer/hydrometer, and a ThermPro digital thermometer/hygrometer that records highs and lows. I also have a space heater about 2' from the cage.
Humidity - Day humidity is around 30-50%. Night humidity goes up to around 74-85% with higher humidity near the bottom of the cage. I've had variable nighttime humity levels with the new cage and still trying to figure it out. Govee and ThermPro digital thermometer/hygrometer that records highs and lows. I have the fogger running from 1-6am with a small fan to maintain air flow, and the mister going off for 1 minute at 3 hour intervals at night.
Plants - I have a money tree, a pothos, a nerve plant, a spider plant, schefflera, monstera, and a maiden hair fern. I have natural branches placed throughout. The plants need to grow a bit more to provide more privacy. She's taken a bite out of nearly all of them but prefers the pothos and money tree. She removed one leaf from the schefflera to make a good sleeping spot.
Placement - My room is in the basement of the house. It stays cooler down here. The enclosure is on a wall in the middle of a long room. The sides are opaque and block her view to my desk, couch, windows, and my cat's favorite perches. She can see me come in and out of the room and walk back and forth through the room. The top of the cage is about 7' above the floor.
Location - I am in central North Carolina.
Current Problem: I've seen her with her nose in the air while awake and asleep and I'm concerned it's another respiratory infection. 😕 I haven't seen her gasping for air.

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Taken this morning 10 minutes before her lights came on.
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Yesterday afternoon.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Could you post your exact dripper/misting/fogging sched, along with day and evening humidity levels? While i doubt it, the cage could be too moist during the day, and getting a bit moldy from not drying out.


But it doesnt sound like a UR. They are typically; drool or crusty around mouth, popping sound several times a minute, then deep into it labored breathing.

But she could just be a dork and sleep weird, some sleep head completely up, and some sleep with head completely down(aka hanging upside down, tail up head down).
 

Faithan84

Member
Thank you for saying she's a dork! 😆 It made me smile and that's the best thing when I'm stressed about my cham.

I have two humidity/temperature gauges. This one is lower in the cage, about the level where she sleeps. This is info from the last four days.

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This is the gauge near her basking spot, also close to the fogger and mister.
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Fogging schedule:
1am - 6am

Fan: (blowing across the top of the cage, slightly angled down)
1am - 6:15am
3:30pm - 5:30pm

Misting:
3pm - 30sec
8pm - 2min
11pm - 2min
1am - 2min
3am - 2min
5am - 2min
6:50am 2min

I am having some drainage issues... It's not draining at all. 😕 So there is standing water in the drainage tray.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Everything looks good. I would not be misting at night though. So keep your fogging as is. But i would change your misting to maybe long 5min say an hour after lights on, and maybe again an hour before lights off. Day misting are not needed unless its winter and you are dropping below 40%.

By drainage tray is bioactive, i have 2 potted plants with do bottoms,, and a dirtless potho in it :)
 

Madmango

Established Member

Faithan84

Member
@nightanole @Madmango
☹️ I took her to the vet yesterday. She did have a respiratory infection and inflammation in her lungs. I now have to give her injections for the next three weeks. 🤕 I think I'm going to trust Chameleon Academy more than this forum. 😓
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
@nightanole @Madmango
☹️ I took her to the vet yesterday. She did have a respiratory infection and inflammation in her lungs. I now have to give her injections for the next three weeks. 🤕 I think I'm going to trust Chameleon Academy more than this forum. 😓


uhhhhhhhhh. You asked people on the interwebs what is wrong inside your chameleon. There were no external signs(no sunkin eyes, popping breathing, druewl, hungerstrike,) so it wouldnt show up on camera(other than one pic of sleeping at night). We both told you that your misting is wrong and you may have a mold issue.

Feel free to leave. But you cant say " i found a web site that says nose up go to vet, but i wanted ask here first because either the website is wrong or this forum is. I went to the vet, you were wrong so im leaving".
 

RescueMom

Avid Member
Sometimes it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, but it's really a chicken 😔
Like @nightanole said, you asked questions, posted pictures, they answered what they could about your little cham and your husbandry.

When my guy was sick, I took him to the vet. She examined him and reviewed my husbandry. Turns out he wasn't sick (which no one said he was) and my husbandry was 100% on point, and THAT was thanks to this forum.

9 times out of 10 the recommendations will be to take your cham to a vet. You happened to be the 1 time that it didn't seem like he needed it, and it was your description of his symptoms that led to that conclusion 🤔
 

Faithan84

Member
uhhhhhhhhh. You asked people on the interwebs what is wrong inside your chameleon. There were no external signs(no sunkin eyes, popping breathing, druewl, hungerstrike,) so it wouldnt show up on camera(other than one pic of sleeping at night). We both told you that your misting is wrong and you may have a mold issue.

Feel free to leave. But you cant say " i found a web site that says nose up go to vet, but i wanted ask here first because either the website is wrong or this forum is. I went to the vet, you were wrong so im leaving".
While I appreciate the time you took to respond to my request, I'm allowed to be disappointed that I followed online advice instead of trusting my gut.

Sometimes it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, but it's really a chicken 😔
Like @nightanole said, you asked questions, posted pictures, they answered what they could about your little cham and your husbandry.

When my guy was sick, I took him to the vet. She examined him and reviewed my husbandry. Turns out he wasn't sick (which no one said he was) and my husbandry was 100% on point, and THAT was thanks to this forum.

9 times out of 10 the recommendations will be to take your cham to a vet. You happened to be the 1 time that it didn't seem like he needed it, and it was your description of his symptoms that led to that conclusion 🤔
I understand that you all are not (I'm assuming) veterinarians and your advice is based on personal experience. I'm finding chameleon care to be a huge learning curve and I've had some great advice and some not so great advice. It's my responsibility to figure out who to trust. I was wrong this time. 🤷‍♀️ And I'm bummed. But I'm not blaming anyone. 😕
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
While I appreciate the time you took to respond to my request, I'm allowed to be disappointed that I followed online advice instead of trusting my gut.


I understand that you all are not (I'm assuming) veterinarians and your advice is based on personal experience. I'm finding chameleon care to be a huge learning curve and I've had some great advice and some not so great advice. It's my responsibility to figure out who to trust. I was wrong this time. 🤷‍♀️ And I'm bummed. But I'm not blaming anyone. 😕

Ok lets try this again.

You had Setup #1. the cham got an URI
You had Setup #2. The cham got an URI
You posted here
So what are you changing for Setup #3?

I live in the frozen north, very dry winters, the only time i get URI is if i run the humidifier 24/7 to maintain at least 40%, due to "protein growth" for lack of a better term on all the plastics in the room. So adjusted my mistings, and just deal with the 20-25% lows. its so dry i dont even have to drain my open top water catch basins.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
@nightanole @Madmango
☹️ I took her to the vet yesterday. She did have a respiratory infection and inflammation in her lungs. I now have to give her injections for the next three weeks. 🤕 I think I'm going to trust Chameleon Academy more than this forum. 😓
How did the ft determine that she has an RI?
What are you injecting into her to help the RI?

The Chameleon Academy is a great source of information...but so is this sight.
 

Faithan84

Member
Ok lets try this again.

You had Setup #1. the cham got an URI
You had Setup #2. The cham got an URI
You posted here
So what are you changing for Setup #3?

I live in the frozen north, very dry winters, the only time i get URI is if i run the humidifier 24/7 to maintain at least 40%, due to "protein growth" for lack of a better term on all the plastics in the room. So adjusted my mistings, and just deal with the 20-25% lows. its so dry i dont even have to drain my open top water catch basins.
I can adjust the misting schedule, but with the information I've read, ideal humidity levels are 30-50% during the day and 80-100% at night. These are the ranges I've worked towards and maintained. I am getting a wet vac to help with the drainage issue.

How did the ft determine that she has an RI?
What are you injecting into her to help the RI?

The Chameleon Academy is a great source of information...but so is this sight.
The vet took x-rays, along with knowledge of her recent symptoms and history. She prescribed an antibiotic and anti inflammatory - ceftazidime and meloxicam (I don't remember which is which). She said that injectables will be less stressful for the cham than oral antibiotics.

I asked her what may be the cause of the RI. She said that my husbandry was "on point," and it was possible that the move to the new cage at the beginning of April may have been stressful enough to make her vulnerable enough to cause another RI. I imagine it's also possible that the first one didn't clear up 100%. It's also possible that these are still residual effects of my first poor setup that haven't resolved yet.

My first setup was awful (due to extremely incorrect information from PetSmart), and after I found this forum (and other websites) I started making changes. I've spent thousands of $$$ getting things right. I came to the forum before heading to the vet this time because I've received good advice in the past and if I could save myself another $200, it would have been worth it.
 

RescueMom

Avid Member
I can adjust the misting schedule, but with the information I've read, ideal humidity levels are 30-50% during the day and 80-100% at night. These are the ranges I've worked towards and maintained. I am getting a wet vac to help with the drainage issue.


The vet took x-rays, along with knowledge of her recent symptoms and history. She prescribed an antibiotic and anti inflammatory - ceftazidime and meloxicam (I don't remember which is which). She said that injectables will be less stressful for the cham than oral antibiotics.

I asked her what may be the cause of the RI. She said that my husbandry was "on point," and it was possible that the move to the new cage at the beginning of April may have been stressful enough to make her vulnerable enough to cause another RI. I imagine it's also possible that the first one didn't clear up 100%. It's also possible that these are still residual effects of my first poor setup that haven't resolved yet.

My first setup was awful (due to extremely incorrect information from PetSmart), and after I found this forum (and other websites) I started making changes. I've spent thousands of $$$ getting things right. I came to the forum before heading to the vet this time because I've received good advice in the past and if I could save myself another $200, it would have been worth it.
My recent experience with a vet when I suspected a RI was that they are too quick to prescribe antibiotics "just in case". Admittedly the vet said they didn't hear or see signs of infection, but they gave antibiotics anyway.

A few days later after new symptoms developed I took him to a different vet for another opinion.

That vet was very thorough, listened, listened, listened, and heard no breathing issues at all, saw no roapy saliva, nothing indicating RI. Said no antibiotics because it wasn't necessary, but the issue was an injury to his tongue from a horn worm bite.
The adema and swelling went away in a couple of weeks and he recovered completely.

Moral of the story is, find a vet that doesn't prescribed meds "just in case" but can actually show why they diagnose what they do.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
I can adjust the misting schedule, but with the information I've read, ideal humidity levels are 30-50% during the day and 80-100% at night. These are the ranges I've worked towards and maintained. I am getting a wet vac to help with the drainage issue.
PetsPioneer Reptile Humidifier Digital Timing Fog Machine

Is this getting cleaned at least once a week to keep the pink slime bacteria growth down? Some clean it and the hoses every other day.
 

Faithan84

Member
My recent experience with a vet when I suspected a RI was that they are too quick to prescribe antibiotics "just in case". Admittedly the vet said they didn't hear or see signs of infection, but they gave antibiotics anyway.

A few days later after new symptoms developed I took him to a different vet for another opinion.

That vet was very thorough, listened, listened, listened, and heard no breathing issues at all, saw no roapy saliva, nothing indicating RI. Said no antibiotics because it wasn't necessary, but the issue was an injury to his tongue from a horn worm bite.
The adema and swelling went away in a couple of weeks and he recovered completely.

Moral of the story is, find a vet that doesn't prescribed meds "just in case" but can actually show why they diagnose what they do.
This is the only exotic vet in my area. She took x-rays and said she saw inflammation in the lungs. 🤷‍♀️
 

RescueMom

Avid Member
This is the only exotic vet in my area. She took x-rays and said she saw inflammation in the lungs. 🤷‍♀️
It's tough. Just because they say they treat chameleons doesn't mean they really know much about them.

I had a vet tell me that my Panthers color wasn't good once. He was red and blue and... gorgeous. After she went out of the room and came back, she said she had to look it up because she'd never seen one before. I ended up telling her about calcium with D3 and without, ect. Obviously I didn't go back!

They should be listening to their breathing in a RI and checking the saliva.

I've driven over an hour one way, some drive a lot further, to get to a good vet
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
So I retrofitted my fogger/humidifier with pvc pipes instead of the crummy collapsible ones that come with the units. The collapsible ones are nearly impossible to clean and they hold water. So you get a ton of yuck build up in them. With the pvc pipes I do shorter sections that I hook together with fittings. This way I am able to take them all a part once a month and I soak them in star sans in the kitchen sink. Then soak in hot hot water then let them dry out and put the pipes back together.
Here is the link to the star sans that I get https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E5MXGKK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

Faithan84

Member
So I retrofitted my fogger/humidifier with pvc pipes instead of the crummy collapsible ones that come with the units. The collapsible ones are nearly impossible to clean and they hold water. So you get a ton of yuck build up in them. With the pvc pipes I do shorter sections that I hook together with fittings. This way I am able to take them all a part once a month and I soak them in star sans in the kitchen sink. Then soak in hot hot water then let them dry out and put the pipes back together.
Here is the link to the star sans that I get https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E5MXGKK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Thank you! I guess I'll be doing another pvc project!
 
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