Avoiding using Leg. Gout? MBD?

bobbydigital

Avid Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - His name is Moe and he is a Male Veiled Chameleon. Purchased on September 25th 2016 he was about 2-3 months old. I'd say he is about 8-9 months.
  • Handling - 2-3 times a week
  • Feeding - Mostly crickets with occasional mealworms. I usually feed in the morning/afternoon and he eats about 6-8 crickets as of lately. Two months ago he was eating about 12-15 daily. I gutload with oranges, apples, water cubes, and cricket food (not 100% but it might be Flukers).
  • Supplements - I dust at every feeding with ReptiCalcium without D3
  • Watering - I mist several times a day as well as give him water drops directly from the spray bottle until he is done drinking. That seems to be his main source of drinking as I rarely see him drink of leaves anymore.
  • Fecal Description - Fecal and urates look normal. Never been tested for parasites.
  • History - My GF is a manager at Petco and said that before I purchased him he was not in the best of shape. He refused to eat and would only eat if she decapitated crickets for him. When he was in my possession I was told he was not in the best of shape. He had a broken rib it seemed which I have read can be common. Also, he showed slight signs of a respiratory infection (clicking when open his mouth and the occasional gaping mouth with the weird breathing) I read somewhere that bumping up the heat could help, which led to me buying a ceramic heater that i put on at night and those symptoms went away shortly after.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Screen cage. I originally purchased the Zoo Med Repti Breeze chameleon kit. I believe it is 16" L x16"W x 30"H
  • Lighting - 12 hours on and 12 hours off. zoo med mini combo deep dome lamp with 75w basking bulb and reptisun 5.0 UVB both from zoo med
  • Temperature - Basking spot surprisingly never really goes above 80 degrees. Lowest overnight temp I have seen is about 65. I have a temperature gauge.
  • Humidity - 20-70 I mist several times a day with warm water. I have a humidity gauge.
  • Plants - I have several fake plants 3 silk and pretty sure the other 1 is plastic
  • Placement - Cage is located next to a few windows. The cage itself is about 2 feet above the ground.
  • Location - Los Angeles, California
Current Problem - Two nights ago he was sleeping at the very top corner of his cage closest to the door hanging from the cage. I usually don't like him sleeping like that with worry that he might fall. Anyways, I didn't want to wake him to move him so I left Moe in his current spot. When I woke him up he was walking along the face of the cage along the screen and I waited for him to walk onto his vine before I opened up the cage. I use 4 repti carpet for the bottom of his cage which get wet due to the misting so I take and ring them out and let them dry each night before putting them back in the next morning when I wake him up. I gave him water and he drank from the bottle as he usually does. I was gone for a good portion of the day that particular day and when I came back I noticed he was a little lethargic. Also i had noticed that he had not made a bowel movement which he usually does within the first hour of me waking him up. I tried feeding him but he refused to eat. I came back a short time later and noticed he had not moved too much and that one of his legs was dangling off his perch. Upon further examination I noticed something on one of his toes that didn't seem normal but looked to be the cause of him not wanting to use that leg. I put my finger under the dangling foot and he somewhat gripped it and started moving around to relocate. He has been able to use the leg but seems to try to only use it if he has to. I will attach pictures of his foot and a couple others. I waited a day to post this thread to see if there would be any improvements, which there has not been any. Still no bowel movement, or eating and he is keeping his movement to a minimum. I was able to get him to drink earlier but made several attempts which he refuses to drink more at the moment. Also tried putting him in a container with warm water to stimulate bowels and he held onto me for dear life so it was almost impossible to put him in the container. Any help will be appreciated I am very concerned as his behavior has not been normal for the last couple days.
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I can take more pictures if anyone needs to see anything else specifically, also can answer anything i may have missed. Feel free to ask. Again, any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
The foot looks swollen. It could be an infection. Gout is usually further up in the ankle...but I'm not a vet and this is my best guess. It would likely be a good idea to take him to a vet.
 

bobbydigital

Avid Member
Still not eating or making any bowel movements.
He is also refusing to drink this morning.
I will be taking him to Dr. Greek at 2pm today. Hopefully all goes well.
I will post with an update.
 

bobbydigital

Avid Member
So I took Moe to a well renowned Vet named Dr. Greek yesterday, and he said that there was no signs of any major illness and to basically take it day by day and if he shows any signs of anything then to give him a call and we will put him on antibiotics. He did not want to pump him full of antibiotics when it didn't seem he really needed them. He lanced the swollen part of his leg (which he mentioned was not very swollen at all) to see what sort of discharge would come out and depending on the discharge he would be able to make a diagnosis. No Puss or anything else came out, only blood which led him to believe there was no serious issue. He said that swollen joints were fairly common in chameleons and when asked how often he sees Chameleons like this his response was "daily". Which made me feel much better and gave me a great peace of mind. He also cut the small growth off his foot and put some silver nitrate to cauterize the wound. Upon taking him home, I fed him and he ate 6 crickets! then this morning about 2 hours after waking him up I noticed he made a HUGE bowel movement. His Urate was slightly pink but I am assuming that is because the hydration possibly was getting absorbed for those three days. He did drink however except for yesterday, Anyways his urate was much bigger than his fecal matter and was definitely the biggest I've ever seen him lay. I took him outside today for about 90 minutes to get some nice sunlight and he seemed to enjoy it. All in all Moe seems to be back to normal, and seemed to have possibly hurt his foot climbing the screen. He has not climbed the screen since then which is good because I did not like him doing that anyways. Thank you for your concerns and responses.
 

Alexander1

Avid Member
Sounds like Alfred, take him to the vet,come home and he's normal. Lol. Anyway I thought I'd give you some pointers based on my experience with my veiled. Fake plants are almost dangerous for veileds, they tend to try to snack on them which can cause issues like impactions. If you want/need to raise your basking temps try using a halogen bulb, make sure you start low in wattage, it directs the light down so in focuses the heat in one direction. Also try and feed your crickets a little more fresh veggies, and occasional fruits.
 

bobbydigital

Avid Member
I have been having trouble getting his basking spot above 80 degrees. I have a 75w im using right now, and my 40w halogen bulb gets it just as hot as the 75w basking bulb. Not sure if I should get a higher wattage?
 

Peachypink

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm glad you were able to get him to a vet. Hopefully he starts to turn around for you.

A few things I wanted to take note of...
Is the Calcium without D3 all that you are dusting with?
You need to also have a Calcium with D3 to dust with twice a month as well as a Multivitamin twice a month. He needs the D3 to help absorb and use the plain calcium.

Definitely look at a higher wattage bulb for his basking area. His basking temp should be higher. 85 for under 9 months and 90-95 for over 9 months old.
 

bobbydigital

Avid Member
I dust using calcium without d3. I also have calcium w/d3 as well.

Moe seems to be in a slump again. No eating and haven't been able to get him to drink for the last two days. I've been taking him out for about 60- 90 minutes the past few days to get some sunshine.

I am able to hold him much more and much longer than before. He's become very docile which is starting to worry me. I've been putting him in a 10 gallon aquarium with about an inch of warm water to try to stimulate his bowels for about 15 minutes. But no success. He also is starting to avoid using his front left leg now.

I don't know what's wrong and can't figure it out. If he doesn't get any better by next week I might have to take him back to the vet. Just kind of weird since the vet couldn't find any major issues. He doesn't have sunken eyes and he is always showing bright colors.
 

Peachypink

Chameleon Enthusiast
I dust using calcium without d3. I also have calcium w/d3 as well.

Moe seems to be in a slump again. No eating and haven't been able to get him to drink for the last two days. I've been taking him out for about 60- 90 minutes the past few days to get some sunshine.

I am able to hold him much more and much longer than before. He's become very docile which is starting to worry me. I've been putting him in a 10 gallon aquarium with about an inch of warm water to try to stimulate his bowels for about 15 minutes. But no success. He also is starting to avoid using his front left leg now.

I don't know what's wrong and can't figure it out. If he doesn't get any better by next week I might have to take him back to the vet. Just kind of weird since the vet couldn't find any major issues. He doesn't have sunken eyes and he is always showing bright colors.
How long has it been since he pooped? The older they get, the less they will go. Mine are 11 months and usually go once a week or so. I wouldn't do the bath. It is too easy for them to get freaked out and accidentally aspirate. The better thing to do, if you don't have an automatic mister is to do shower sessions. Get a really sturdy plant and put that in the shower. Then turn on the warm water and direct the spray at the wall so that it bounces onto the plant. Do a good 20-30 minutes that way and it will usually encourage them to drink and will help get things moving too. Make sure to supervise the entire time. They don't just sit there. If you have an automatic mister, just give him some really long misting times.

Definitely don't hesitate to take him back to the vet if you are thinking you should. You know your cham and know if something isn't right.

Also, were you able to up the basking spot? Temps are hugely important and from what you posted, his have been too low. Too low of a basking temp could also make them not want to eat since they can't digest it properly.
 
Sorry if you answered this but I didn't see it in your first post..but do you give him calcium WITH d3 at all? From what I've picked up..and what I do is..he gets his multivitamins twice a month (I didn't see you mention that either) and calcium WITH d3 twice a month as well..so every Friday he's getting a supplement..alternating between those 2..supplements might seem tedious but in my opinion they are just as important as eating and drinking for these little guys.
 

bobbydigital

Avid Member
I don't give him the d3 very often. He popped today finally. It's pretty big and had a lot of mucus. Is that Anything to be worried about? I'll post a pic. I'm using a ceramic bulb along with his uvb and heat lamp to bump up the temp a bit and it's helping. He drank again today and seems to be starting a shed.
 

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bobbydigital

Avid Member
20170409_170830.jpg 20170409_170824.jpg 20170409_170843.jpg 20170409_170849.jpg 20170411_081625.jpg 20170411_091007.jpg 20170411_103756.jpg Ok so I figured I'd give it some time to see if there's any progress on the leg. I haven't noticed much of a difference and my girlfriend said his knee looks worse. He doesn't seem to be bothered too much if i touch his knee. I was thinking he would show some sort of resistance if he was in pain, but He lets me pick him up with no problem. I would like your opinions and if I should take him to the vet again. I'm just concerned because the vet said originally that he didn't have gout. I am attaching pictures of each of his legs and a couple of the problem leg. Thanks for all your help.
 
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