Blind cham or sick from mouth rot?

About Ninja Sticky Pickles:

*Housing- mesh cage at 36x18x18
*Substrate- puppy paddings changed every other day
*Plants- plastic vines, wood climbing stick from bottom to top of cage, and wrapping coarse vines for climbing throughout cage.
*misting- misting with warm water for 50 seconds every 4 hrs with sprays from water bottle every 2 hrs for 15 seconds.
*lighting- repti 5.0 UVB on for 12 hrs a day and a 70watt basking light on 10 hrs a day.. Lights sit outside and above cage about 4 inches.
*humidity- stays average at about 70 to 90
*temps- night at about 65 and day/evening at about 72 to 82
*hydration- constant drip with 24/7 access at top of cage and moist plants
*feed- gut loaded large crickets normally 3 to 5 a day(she never has wanted the worms... Wax,super,meal) usually off of the tongs or even hunting them in her cage.
*supplements- every other day crickets are dusted with calcium and d3
*droppings- now that we have baby food in her she has yellowish runny poops and yellow urinate.... The past few weeks she maybe only pooped once. They certainly are not dark formed stools anymore but I'm glad to see her bowels working again.
*handling- usually once a week for a good cleaning of cage(she loves to climb around on me)
*cage location- in corner of dining room.. On a 3 ft tall cabinet. We don't use that room for eating... But it is in sight of kitchen and living room.

*she is a jacksons Cham bought from petsmart in Nov 2012 and we were told at the time she was only 5 months old but in Jan she gave birth to 10 babies. Not sure on her age.

... Now I'm writing you because she has stopped eating, drinking, and moving around. She is not ok but after several trips to the vet we are clueless. She has always been a pretty average Cham. Never a problem before and we haven't made any recent changes to the way we care for her. A month ago we noticed when she was shedding that she cut her lip on a branch while trying to scratch her head. After two days the abrasion looked dark and swollen and on the third day she was less active. We tried to make an appointment to see a vet but by our appt day she had stopped eating and the spot looked worse. At the vet office they weighed her and gave her a warm bath to help her shed the rest of her face. They also said it was indeed mouth rot but that it was not bad. They said they drained the puss and sent her home with an NSAID and the baytril oral. After a week we started to get worried because the strike on eating continued. We had to pry her mouth open just to get her syringe meds in. Then a week later after treatment was over we took her back to the vet because the abrasion was swollen again and Ninja sticky pickles looked skinny.

The vet said the inside of the mouth and jaw line looked okay. And that we needed to get her to eat something.. Anything. They gave us doxycycline and another refill of baytril. They also gave us wound gel topical to apply daily to wound. 4 days later I called because she still hasn't eaten and it was taking all I had to get her meds and water in her. After looking at her charts they called back and said they had been double dosing her on all the meds because they wrote the wrong weight in the charts. Now a month later and she has only eaten one cricket... The past 3 days we have been syringe feeding her baby food but are scared of "force feeding" and damaging her tongue,throat, or mouth. She doesn't move around her cage.. Just from one side of her branch to the other and that's rarely. She also has had her eyes constantly closed for at least a week now. If we get her to open them she doesn't follow our finger or the crickets like she used to... Did the over dosing make her worse? Is she blind? Just really sick from infection? Has the stress of going to the vet and being sick and given meds been just too much? Baby food feeding and syringe water forcing wont keep her alive forever and if she is suffering I can't just hope for the best. $620 in vet visits and meds already and the vet seems to be clueless a this point. At current date she is off all meds except topical wound gel. We give her water twice daily through syringe and try an ml or two of baby food. Any friendly help? Thanks in advance!!!!!!


Chameleon Enthusiast
First of all, sorry that your little one is not doing well. Did your vet culture the bacteria from the mouth rot to see which anti biotic to use?. From what I have learned that must be done as some of the bacteria that is causing the mouth rot may be resistant to certain meds. This is probably the case if your chams mouth is not getting better. Meds can be very hard of the kidneys of chameleons so she is probably not feeling very well being pumped full of them. Sometimes, unfortunately the meds can do damage as well as good, just like in humans. I know you are over supplementing her with d3! The suggested dosage for d3 for Jackson's is about once a month. This can do damage to your chameleon also, especially depending on which brand you have been using. I would not run the dripper 24/7 either. It is not really necessary as you don't have to keep the humidity constantly as high as you have it and they are not going to drink while sleeping. These are just some of the things are see that might be helpful. BTW what happened to the 10 babies? Do you still have them? Also another vet might be in order in this point.
Thanks for the helpful suggestions.. The d3 dosing is because it is in the calcium dust with use on the crickets. It's the repti calcium with d3 that suggest on package that we dust 12 crickets total weekly. We only use dusted crickets every other day but she hasn't eaten them in a month though... Will look into that dosaging more. The drip is a tube drip that produces 0.25ml drip every 2 minutes into a dish and we have found she only drinks when she wants to... I also felt the himitidy and mist was a lot but when we originally went to the vet they suggested to do the misting every couple of hours instead if twice a day so that she may absorb more hydration during the antibiotics(normal humidity was 50-70 at top of cage). I asked them to do a culture and they did the first time but refused to do another... I was thinking another vet was needed because over dosing was not ok with me... I'm a pharmacists and know they did damage to the kidneys if not more. Being a pregnant cancer patient for the past few months I have been with her at home all day every day and try to keep my eyes on her from a distance constantly... I keep looking for signs. The sad thing is that all other vets in the area have recommended this vet for herbs. Hmmmm :( I'm really concerned about the lack of eating being a result if sight problems.

Oh am the babies were born right after I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and I had to have major surgeries to save my unborn child's life... It was a surprise to us because we thought she was younger and not pregnant when we bought her.... Anyways, I knew that babies needed even more critical care than the adults and I would be in and out of the hospital so we gave them to someone who could care for them an only one passed away!


Chameleon Enthusiast
Get a calcium without d3. If you cannot find it in the stores, as sometimes it is difficult to find, you can order it online at LLL Reptile. I do not own Jackson's but just from what I have read on here and learned they are sensitive to supplementing more so than the common Veilds and Panthers. If you look on the home page, there is a box to click on that says Chameleon Care Starts can click on caresheets and then Jackson's and I think they give you a supplement schedule to follow for the future. I know for a fact that meds do damage over a prolonged period of time. I had a panther with a chronic foot wound and he was on anti biotic for a long long time. He ended up with gout(not from his diet) but more suspected because the kidneys became damaged from excess meds and could not filter the uric acid crystals into the urine. Anyways, I want to say how sorry I am about your own personal diagnosis of cancer. I pray that you will be ok and your baby too. I had a friend that was diagnosed with cervical cancer also while pregnant and I am happy to say that she and her 25 year old son are alive and well!!!! Sending positive thoughts your way!!!
Thank you for the advice! Just got done reviewing their care sheet and I just ordered the repti calcium without the d3. Will not be dusting crickets again until that arrives.... I do also appreciate the well wishes! The encouragement is lovely... It has been a battle but with full time bed rest I have become very close to delivering a healthy baby here soon.


Chameleon Enthusiast
Great! Nice to see someone get advice and follow it! I said "had" a friend...I meant have a friend cause like I said she is alive and well!! Wishing you all the best on your journey into motherhood, conquering cancer and lastly getting your Jackson's back to good health! If there is anything I or the forum can help you with, please don't hesitate to ask. Keep us updated on your chameleon and you too as well! Good luck!!!


New Member
Check amazon for a better deal on calcium w/o D3 I think they have a 16oz for like 14 bucks and two day free shipping with prime. I have Jacksons and they are real prone to infections and fungal irritations. They are some of the toughest looking chameleons...sadly they are only tough looking and seem to get cysts, mouth rot and rash way more often. Hang in there, I hope your cham gets better.
Yes that's where I just purchased from.. Gotta love amazon :) thank you for the help! Am I silly for thinking she is blind though? She really acts like she is blind.. Hmmmm
Poor girl... Still wont eat or poop again. She is off all meds and no change really. Her eyes are still mainly shut except when we open cage door and even them she isn't following movements.. Oh and speaking of movement, she has a strong grip on the same vine right in the basking light which worries me since I can only get a few MLs of baby food every other day and water in her daily. She is super light green with no color change which gives me fear she is too warm in that basking spot- but strangley that is where she wants to be. We have yet to receive the new calcium but for now she won't eat her crickets anyways.
Top Bottom