Aspirated Water

Mendez

Avid Member
@kinyonga @Beman @ERKleRose or anyone else

My Jacksons just aspirated water. I've been very careful in monitoring humidity over the past months so I never gave him a dripper. His eyes and poop looked perfect. Yesterday, just for the heck of it, I added the dripper again. Today he was trying to get water from the leaf that the water dripped onto but his horns kept nudging the leaf away and didn't actually get any water due to this fact. So I moved the dripper near him so he could drink from it. He started drinking from it. Once he finished drinking, he pointed his nose straight up into the air and closed both eyes. He looked like he was dying. It looked like the last stages of a respiratory infection except for the fact that I monitor my guy closely so I know it isn't a respiratory infection because he hasn't shown the earliest signs of it. Plus, this only happened after he drank from the dripper. I figured that he aspirated water. I took him out of his cage and pointed him faced down in hopes of getting the water out. I held onto his horn (see pic) to keep him faced down and then water/goo dripped out. After all of this, his head is still pointed up but only slightly (see second pic below). His eyes are open and he seems alert. I think I got the majority of the water out of his lungs. What should I do?
20210215_104408.jpg

The after picture down below.
20210215_110127.jpg


I took him out of his cage to get a good handle on him. I'm putting him back in his cage right now. Is there anything a vet can do or should do? Or do I wait. Will this become an automatic respiratory infection since water entered his lungs?
 

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh no! So sorry to see this...I don’t have a whole lot in this area but I know they can do an X-ray to look at his lungs. That might be able to help see the severity of it?
 

Mendez

Avid Member
@JacksJill you ever have any experience with this?

Oh no! So sorry to see this...I don’t have a whole lot in this area but I know they can do an X-ray to look at his lungs. That might be able to help see the severity of it?
Okay, I'll make sure to mention that. I have found an exotic vet location nearby. Should I tell them its an emergency? I just checked in on him after 5 minutes back in his cage and he looks back to normal. His eyes are not closed and he doesn't have his head pointed up in the slightest bit. His colors look good too. Should I still take him to the vet?

@kinyonga will this lead to a respiratory infection or some other lung infection like pneumonia?
 

Mendez

Avid Member
20210215_112325.jpg

Update again, he has pointed his nose up in the air, still has his eyes open and alert. I figure that he still has water in his lungs. Does anybody know what to expect when I take him to the vet?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
@kinyonga @Beman @ERKleRose or anyone else

My Jacksons just aspirated water. I've been very careful in monitoring humidity over the past months so I never gave him a dripper. His eyes and poop looked perfect. Yesterday, just for the heck of it, I added the dripper again. Today he was trying to get water from the leaf that the water dripped onto but his horns kept nudging the leaf away and didn't actually get any water due to this fact. So I moved the dripper near him so he could drink from it. He started drinking from it. Once he finished drinking, he pointed his nose straight up into the air and closed both eyes. He looked like he was dying. It looked like the last stages of a respiratory infection except for the fact that I monitor my guy closely so I know it isn't a respiratory infection because he hasn't shown the earliest signs of it. Plus, this only happened after he drank from the dripper. I figured that he aspirated water. I took him out of his cage and pointed him faced down in hopes of getting the water out. I held onto his horn (see pic) to keep him faced down and then water/goo dripped out. After all of this, his head is still pointed up but only slightly (see second pic below). His eyes are open and he seems alert. I think I got the majority of the water out of his lungs. What should I do?
View attachment 292778
The after picture down below.
View attachment 292779

I took him out of his cage to get a good handle on him. I'm putting him back in his cage right now. Is there anything a vet can do or should do? Or do I wait. Will this become an automatic respiratory infection since water entered his lungs?
Uggg I am sorry hun. This is outside my area of knowledge and really species knowledge as well. I would imagine if you have a great reptile vet then this would be a good idea but I worry over everything.

@JacksJill and @Kaizen are my two go to people for all Jackson's questions.
 

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
@JacksJill you ever have any experience with this?


Okay, I'll make sure to mention that. I have found an exotic vet location nearby. Should I tell them its an emergency? I just checked in on him after 5 minutes back in his cage and he looks back to normal. His eyes are not closed and he doesn't have his head pointed up in the slightest bit. His colors look good too. Should I still take him to the vet?

@kinyonga will this lead to a respiratory infection or some other lung infection like pneumonia?
I am not much help in this area either. 😕
 

Mendez

Avid Member
It was going about 1 drop per second but a lot of it was dripping down the sides of his body.

I took him to the vet. He's been in there for about 20 minutes now.
 

Mendez

Avid Member
Here's the invoice for the vet visit. I brought my guy back with me. He is home now. I'm also pretty upset. I don't think that they listened to me the way they should have. I told them exactly what happened with the dripper and how he aspirated water. They told me that he had a respiratory infection beforehand but I just didn't catch the symptoms earlier and that only today I happened to see it. But that's impossible since I check on him multiple times a day, especially now during the pandemic and there is nothing to do.

Essentially I am giving him an antibiotic every three days. They also gave him a one-time multivitamin injection which seems odd since I give him repashy lod twice a month. I feel just as stressed as my chameleon. I think he will be okay, but I'm upset with everything that went down. Looks like every three days I'm giving him an injection for an RI that he has had. I just missed the signs? I think I'm done. I'll be taking a break for a while. I have one question before I go, should I continue the injections? I think I should since you don't want to make anything immune to it. I'm writing this with tears streaming down my face. Thank you all for what you have given me.
20210215_133709.jpg
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Here's the invoice for the vet visit. I brought my guy back with me. He is home now. I'm also pretty upset. I don't think that they listened to me the way they should have. I told them exactly what happened with the dripper and how he aspirated water. They told me that he had a respiratory infection beforehand but I just didn't catch the symptoms earlier and that only today I happened to see it. But that's impossible since I check on him multiple times a day, especially now during the pandemic and there is nothing to do.

Essentially I am giving him an antibiotic every three days. They also gave him a one-time multivitamin injection which seems odd since I give him repashy lod twice a month. I feel just as stressed as my chameleon. I think he will be okay, but I'm upset with everything that went down. Looks like every three days I'm giving him an injection for an RI that he has had. I just missed the signs? I think I'm done. I'll be taking a break for a while. I have one question before I go, should I continue the injections? I think I should since you don't want to make anything immune to it. I'm writing this with tears streaming down my face. Thank you all for what you have given me.
View attachment 292787
Awwwww honey I am so sorry. It will be ok... Maybe he did have an RI started. They can be very slight in the beginning. My vet said she has to listen with the stethoscope to catch the early signs.

Sending you hugs and good vibes for a full recovery!
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I hope your chameleon will be ok.

It ticks me off when they give that vitamin shot right away.
IMHO it can do more harm than good in many cases.

If he has an RI or aspirated water, the antibiotic should help...so fingers crossed for that.

I hope you'll stay on the forum and update us on it.
Hugs.
 

Mendez

Avid Member
I hope your chameleon will be ok.

It ticks me off when they give that vitamin shot right away.
IMHO it can do more harm than good in many cases.

If he has an RI or aspirated water, the antibiotic should help...so fingers crossed for that.

I hope you'll stay on the forum and update us on it.
Hugs.
Yeah, I thought they would have asked me beforehand about the shot since I've heard the same thing.

I'll definitely keep updating this thread for future people who run into this problem. I'll also more accurately describe the situation in the future so it can be referenced. I'll definitely stay with the forums--but I'm going to be taking a break from helping people. This whole day has been super stressful.

I'm glad to hear that the antibiotic will help him in any case.

I really appreciate you all for the help (@kinyonga @Beman @janjan20)
 

Mendez

Avid Member
Just make sure to keep him hydrated while on the antibiotic.
Take a deep breath. Hugs.
Will do, thanks for the advice.
And thanks for the hugs, I can definitely use them right about now.

I'm feeling better now, especially after hearing that the antibiotic will work for aspirated water or an RI. My mind can stop racing.

Grommet, my jacksons chameleon, was super stressed out by the vet visit. But he seems to have forgotten all about it once he got back in his cage. I offered him a dubia roach and he took it. I'm feeling better, thank you all.

My only concern is that he still might have water in his lungs as he still slightly points his nose up. I think I'm going to run the dehumidifier in my room to dry it out while running the little dripper. That way he can breathe in dryer air to help get that water out and also stay hydrated if he needs to by giving him the little dripper as an option. But I won't make the same mistake that I made this morning. I'll make sure that I get the water to drip onto a solid leaf so he can drink on his own volition. I'm still not entirely sure how he aspirated water, but I figure that I might have triggered his drinking reflex when he wanted to take a break for air.
 

NikkiA

Avid Member
I just want to say that I can understand your stress and frustration with the situation. I hope that your chameleon is okay. You are a fantastic chameleon owner. In my opinion, you always come across as someone who cares about people and chameleons in the threads you post responses to. Sending positive thoughts you way.
 
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