Baby Veiled Chameleon keeping one eye closed and now showing same signs on the other eye

Hshopkins

New Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - female baby veiled chameleon in my care for 3 weeks
  • Handling - 1-2x daily. When I got her they said she wasn't eating so i offer her mealworms and make sure she is eating during this time.
  • Feeding - there is a bowl with mealworms in enclosure. She has not eaten any of the roaches or crickets offered. The first week I had her she ate 3-5 worms/day. The past two weeks she has been eating 5-10 worms per day.
  • Supplements - I started gut loading the worms on week 2. I use Repashy Superload and Mazuri gut loading for the worms. I took Ruby to the vet last week and he told me to use vitamin A every day. I have been dusting half her worms with Repashy Vitamin A Plus. I have zoo med repti calcium which I have used once a week.
  • Watering - I have a little dripper and a mist king. I have seen her drink.
  • Fecal Description - fecal drippings seem normal with brown oval and white spot attached.
  • History - Ruby was a surprise gift from my parents. I immediately started researching and went out and bought all the things. I had reptiles growing up, but this is my first chameleon. Right after I got her I noticed her right eye would bulge in the front with a bluish hue and then return to normal. This would happen a few times a day as she rotated her eye around towards the back. About 10 days after I got her she started keeping her right eye closed. After a few days of extra misting and even a "shower" I took her to the vet. He said it could be:
  • 1. vitamin A deficiency so I upped her Dustin's as noted above.
  • 2. She may have something stuck on it, but her could not get her to open in during exam.
  • 3. An infection, but she has no signed of an infection otherwise. He gave me an injectable antibiotic to give her every 3 days.
She had a shed cycle on Wednesday/Thursday of last week.
Cage Info:
  1. Cage Type -zoomed screen enclosure 16x16x30
  2. Lighting -
  • Zilla Tropical 24 UVB lighting T8.
  • Zoomed 100w basking light
Lights on 7am until 7pm
  1. Temperature - the top was 90-95 ( i now realize this was too hot). Lower section 72. I have zoomed digital thermometers with the sensor separate from the screen.
  2. Humidity - 40-60% I have two digital hygrometer's. I was misfiring the first few days but when I went to the pet store where she was purchased they told me to stop misting because it is already so humid where we live. So I did not most for a week before realizing that was not good for her. Now the mist king is set to mist for 2 minutes at 12pm 7am 9pm and 12am
  3. Plants - i was not but added devils ivy today after reading through this forum.
  4. Placement - she is in my bedroom by some windows. I have read about the danger of windows and she is in an area that does not receive direct sunlight. Top of cage is 4'11 from floor.
  5. Location - Lexington, SC

Ruby has had her right eye closed for almost two weeks. She did open it after her shed cycle for a few hours, but then started closing it again. Now the same occasional bulging and narrowness has started on her left eye. She has been running g both eyes against items in her enclosure. When I take her out she rubs her eyes on my hand. I did have eco terra vines, but I removed them yesterday after reading through this forum.

Pic1: her enclosure as of today- I removed all fake plants, removed the exoteric vines, added devils ivy, and removed the lights for the day after reading about eye irritation from lights being too close/too hot
Pic 2: her right eye closed with bumps on it pre shed, but after vet visit
Pic 3: right eye slightly open after shed
Pic4: running her left eye on my hand
Pic 5: left eye bulging out for a few second before she pulled it back in but kept it closed

Any advice is greatly appreciated. I really want to help her feel better.
 

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Hshopkins

New Member
The pre and post shed photos that did not load with my original post.
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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - female baby veiled chameleon in my care for 3 weeks
  • Handling - 1-2x daily. When I got her they said she wasn't eating so i offer her mealworms and make sure she is eating during this time.
  • Feeding - there is a bowl with mealworms in enclosure. She has not eaten any of the roaches or crickets offered. The first week I had her she ate 3-5 worms/day. The past two weeks she has been eating 5-10 worms per day. MEALWORMS ARE OK TO USE ONCE IN A WHILE BUT THERE ARE LOTS OF OTHER BETTER CHOICES...SILKWORMS, CRICKETS, ROACHES, ONCE IN A WHILE WAXWORMS, SUPERWORMS, HORNWORMS, ETC.
  • Supplements - I started gut loading the worms on week 2. I use Repashy Superload and Mazuri gut loading for the worms. I took Ruby to the vet last week and he told me to use vitamin A every day. I have been dusting half her worms with Repashy Vitamin A Plus. I have zoo med repti calcium which I have used once a week. YOU NEED A PROPER SUPPLEMENTING SCHEDULE...A PHOS FREE CALCIUM POWDER AT ALL FEEDINGS BUT TWO A MONTH. AT THOSE TWO USE REPTIVITE WITH D3 AND PREFORMED VITAMIN A. ALL DUSTINGS SHOULD BE LIGHT.
    YOU NEED TO GUTLOAD/FEED THE INSECTS A GOOD DIET TOO. DANDELION GREENS, KALE, COLLARDS, ENDIVE, ESCAROLE, SQUASH, ZUCCHINI, SWEET POTATO, SWEET RED PEPPER, ETC AND A BIT OF FRUIT SUCH AS BERRIES, APPLE, PEARS WORK.
  • Watering - I have a little dripper and a mist king. I have seen her drink.
  • Fecal Description - fecal drippings seem normal with brown oval and white spot attached.
  • History - Ruby was a surprise gift from my parents. I immediately started researching and went out and bought all the things. I had reptiles growing up, but this is my first chameleon. Right after I got her I noticed her right eye would bulge in the front with a bluish hue and then return to normal. This would happen a few times a day as she rotated her eye around towards the back. About 10 days after I got her she started keeping her right eye closed. After a few days of extra misting and even a "shower" I took her to the vet. He said it could be:
  • 1. vitamin A deficiency so I upped her Dustin's as noted above.
    COULD BE THIS...IM NOT A VET AND CAN ONLY GUESS.
  • 2. She may have something stuck on it, but her could not get her to open in during exam. THIS IS ALSO AN OPTION.
  • 3. An infection, but she has no signed of an infection otherwise. He gave me an injectable antibiotic to give her every 3 days.
WHAT ANTIBIOTIC DID HE GIVE HER?
She had a shed cycle on Wednesday/Thursday of last week. EVEN THIS COULD BE PLAYING A PART.
Cage Info:
  1. Cage Type -zoomed screen enclosure 16x16x30
  2. Lighting -
  • Zilla Tropical 24 UVB lighting T8.
    @beman IS GOOD WITH LIGHTS.
  • Zoomed 100w basking light
BASKING ONLY NEEDS TO BE AT 80F.
Lights on 7am until 7pm NOMLIGHTS AT NIGHT AT ALL!
  1. Temperature - the top was 90-95 ( i now realize this was too hot). Lower section 72. I have zoomed digital thermometers with the sensor separate from the screen.
  2. Humidity - 40-60% I have two digital hygrometer's. I was misfiring the first few days but when I went to the pet store where she was purchased they told me to stop misting because it is already so humid where we live. So I did not most for a week before realizing that was not good for her. Now the mist king is set to mist for 2 minutes at 12pm 7am 9pm and 12am
  3. Plants - i was not but added devils ivy today after reading through this forum. FAKE PLANTS ARE NOT A GOOD IDEA SINCE VEILEDS TEND TO MUNCH THEM.
  4. Placement - she is in my bedroom by some windows. I have read about the danger of windows and she is in an area that does not receive direct sunlight. Top of cage is 4'11 from floor.
  5. Location - Lexington, SC

Ruby has had her right eye closed for almost two weeks. She did open it after her shed cycle for a few hours, but then started closing it again. Now the same occasional bulging and narrowness has started on her left eye. She has been running g both eyes against items in her enclosure. When I take her out she rubs her eyes on my hand. I did have eco terra vines, but I removed them yesterday after reading through this forum.

ONE MORE THING TO DISCUSS...FEMALES CAN PRODUCE EGGS WITHOUT HAVING MATED AND NEED A PROPER LAY BIN IN THEIR CAGE AND A SPECIAL DIET AND TEMPERATURE CONTROL ONCE THEY APPROACH SEXUAL MATURITY TO PREVENT THEM FROM HAVING HUGE CLUTCHES AND EGG LAYING ISSUES.

Pic1: her enclosure as of today- I removed all fake plants, removed the exoteric vines, added devils ivy, and removed the lights for the day after reading about eye irritation from lights being too close/too hot
Pic 2: her right eye closed with bumps on it pre shed, but after vet visit
Pic 3: right eye slightly open after shed
Pic4: running her left eye on my hand
Pic 5: left eye bulging out for a few second before she pulled it back in but kept it closed

Any advice is greatly appreciated. I really want to help her feel better.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome. :) You’ve gotten advice from @kinyonga who is the best (even though she’ll deny it). You need a much better vet - one that has experience with chameleons. @jannb can perhaps guide you to a good vet close to Lexington, SC. The vitamin A that you are giving is both preformed and proformed. The preformed is fat soluble and will quickly build up in your baby’s body to toxic levels. With reptiles,a vitamin A deficiency is often the first cause taken into consideration, but it shouldn’t be the only thing. I also need to tell you that baby/young chameleons are very fragile and have no resources to fall back on if something in their husbandry is wrong. Everything needs to be spot on, and especially for a little girl. The most accurate and up to date husbandry guidelines can be found here. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
Your little sweetie should be eating more than she is. Are the feeders the right size? Anything larger than the space between her eyes is too big. I would think 1/4” crickets would be appropriate. Bsfl are pretty small and more nutritious than mealworms. Attaching feeder and gutload graphics for you. Also, if your feeding bowl is on the floor of the enclosure, it’s best to raise it up where she can see it easily from her basking spot. Basking temp shouldn’t be any higher than 80F for a young one/female. Ideal daytime humidity is between 30-50%. You need to mist at least twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time to provide drinking water. Usually right before lights on and off is the best time to mist. Mid day you could either use a dripper for about 15 mins or add a 1 minute misting. The correct uvb light is essential! A T8 can be used with a 10.0 uvb bulb and then needs to be about 9-10” above basking area (@Beman may correct me if I’ve got this wrong). Make sure there is no plastic cover over the light as it will block all uvb.
Btw, I love your little cutie’s name…Ruby is very pretty. 🥰
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Hshopkins

New Member
Before reading through this forum I definitely had her light both basking and UVB closer to her than they should have been. So thank you to @MissSkittles and everyone else for sharing your knowledge.☺️

I also removed all fake plants and added real devil's ivy today. I know she probably needs more big leaves, and will add more this week.

@kinyonga I am attaching a photo of the antibiotic RX. She does not have any signs of infection in her mouth. I have gotten a good look every time she has hissed at me 😬


The worms I have been feeding her are much bigger than her head. I also learned that could be a problem reading through this forum. It also explains why she often positions herself vertically and does a lot of swallow movements with her throat after eating one 🤦🏼‍♀️

The vet did say I should be ordering insects for her not buying them at a pet store, but he agreed that I won't be able to have any shipped in the next few weeks because it it WAY too hot here for any of them to survive.

Any thoughts on where I can source quality bugs for her?
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Some online bug vendors will have the option to add a cold pack to help protect the bugs from the heat. It may cost an extra couple $$ but is worth it. Or you can have it held for pick up at the delivery hub/post office. Also of course, ordering from somewhere relatively close to you helps reduce shipping time. For crickets and a couple of other feeders, I like https://www.ghann.com/Default.aspx#3 who is located in Georgia. For just about every feeder (except dubia - can get discoid which are very similar) http://www.lindasgonebuggie.com/ has a nice variety and great prices. Also check out the site sponsors. https://www.chameleonforums.com/sponsors/?tag=food Rainbow Mealworms is great, but located on the west coast.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Regarding the medication...it is also known as Fortaz. It can be hard on he kidneys so make sure you keep the chameleon well hydrated while it's on this medication.

It treats many bacteria chameleons are prone to...Gram-negative bacteria such as Klebsiella, Proteus, E. coli, Neisseria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and some Gram-positive bacteria too.

Where do you inject it into the chameleon?

(I recognize the name Dr. Keith Benson.)
 

Hshopkins

New Member
Intramuscular injection next to her spine. She has been opening her mouth some, but not panting... when she opens her mouth a few times I turn her dripper on for her and she will drink from it.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Can you please show me the fixture you are using? Does it have a plastic panel that covers the bulb? What bulb strength did you get for it?

Sounds like to me she had something stuck in the eye at first. Not an issue of vit A and by giving it everyday you can overdose her creating toxicity. What you describe of it puffing up then returning to normal is how they try to clean the eye.

@kinyonga and @MissSkittles covered you on everything I would just like to double check your UVB lighting.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
@Beman Here is a picture and the link to the light:
https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/zilla-tropical-25-uvb-fluorescent-t8-bulb

Based on some of the other threads I read through I am concerned about eye irritation due to overexposure to UVB light. I had the light sitting directly on top of her enclosure and she could climb up to the very top of it. ☹️
So this is one of the worst lights... The reflector is really poor quality. But the bulb output is very slight. If the plastic is left on then you have no UVI output at all because the plastic is not permeable. T8 lighting has a much more shallow range typically the max to get a 3 UVI is about 5-6 inches if using a 10.0 bulb strength. 3-4 inches if using the 5.0 bulb strength. I do not like the zilla bulbs. And would recommend the reptisun ones because those are more in line with the depth reached that I mentioned.

We do not recommend the T8 bulbs unless it is a very young baby. Due to how close they need to be to them to get the correct UVI level for an Adult or juvenile this puts them right on the screen where they can rub their casque.

We recommend the T5HO fixtures with a 5.0 UVB bulb. Then distance from the bottom of the fixture to the branch would be 8-9 inches to be in the correct 3 UVI level.

Can you tell me the measured distance between the top of the enclosure and the highest branches? Also can you take a pic of the enclosure including the lighting on top so I can see what your working with?
 

Hshopkins

New Member
Top branch is 4 inches from top of enclosure. That is where she spends most of her time. It is currently 86 degrees on that branch. UVB on top of enclosure diagonally. I raised basking light to be 9-10inches from top branch. Thank you so much for your insight and advice! @Beman
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Top branch is 4 inches from top of enclosure. That is where she spends most of her time. It is currently 86 degrees on that branch. UVB on top of enclosure diagonally. I raised basking light to be 9-10inches from top branch. Thank you so much for your insight and advice! @Beman
Ok so 86 is too hot for her. You want to swap out that heat bulb your using and go to a regular incandescent 60-75 watt household bulb. You are using a spot baskign bulb and these can produce much higher heats then you want for a chameleon. Females should be no hotter than 78-80max.
Having it raised is good.

Now for the UVB. You can go to the store and get the 5.0 or 10.0 T8 reptisun bulb. Replace the one you have. If you have 4 inches I would go with the 5.0 strength. Swap the bulb and do not put the plastic cover back on it. Set it back on the cage and see if that helps. UVB is one of the major points in husbandry that has to be on point.

They will close their eyes if uvb is not on point as well. I would honestly start here. Make sure supplements are on point as well. Give her longer misting sessions like 4-5 minutes morning and evening with room temp water. That way if she does have something irritating the eye she can clean to try to dislodge it.

accurate info go here. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Intramuscular injection next to her spine. She has been opening her mouth some, but not panting... when she opens her mouth a few times I turn her dripper on for her and she will drink from it.
Is the needle given above the "waist" or below?
 

Hshopkins

New Member
I redid her lights. I can post a picture tomorrow. Thank you @Beman

@kinyonga Dr. Benson used to be the veterinarian at the zoo here. He came highly recommended for exotics. I got Ruby in for the first appointment available, which was a drop off. I did not get to meet him in person, but he did call me to review. His technician showed me how to give the injections. She said IM next to the spine in order to guarantee injecting into muscle. She did not specify above or below the waist. What are your concerns with above or below the waist? His office sent me a follow up text on Friday. I sent a video of her rubbing her eye against my hand and one of her rubbing her eye against the side of her cage. He suggested a recheck early this week. He saw her for the first time on 7/20.

To clarify for the Vitamin A supplement... Dr. Benson told me to order Repashy Superfood or Mazuri better bug gut loading and Repashy Vitamin A which I did. I had Reptivite and repticalcium from the petstore where my parents purchased Ruby. He said to get rid of those and only order feeders online.

My understanding from your extremely helpful advice is to use Reashy or Mazuri for gut loading. Reti Calcium without Vitamin D for every feeding and Reptivite and Vitamin A plus 2 feedings per month. Is this correct?

I am attaching photos of supplements.
 

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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
You said..."His technician showed me how to give the injections. She said IM next to the spine in order to guarantee injecting into muscle. She did not specify above or below the waist. What are your concerns with above or below the waist?"...shots given below the "waist" won't do the chameleon much good. The medication will go straight to the kidneys and out in the urates instead of circulating and doing the chameleon some good.

See post number 4...
https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/ceftazidime-as-a-subcutaneous-injection.155032/

I remember Keith Benson being at a zoo.
 
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