Blind Chameleon Quality of Life?

So i have an ambilobe panther chameleon named Skittles.. hell be turning 2 years old in october, ive had him for about a year and a half. He currently resides in a Dragonstrand Medium Atrium with a Reptisun T8 linear UVB and a 30watt(?) heat lamp that goes on an off from 8am-9pm. Currently i have a Mistking that goes off at 8:30am for 1min30sec, 10am for 2min, 11:30 for 1min, 1pm for 1min, 2:30pm for 1min30sec, 5:30pm for 2min, and 7pm for 1min30sec. Last year around November or so he started to develop a problem in his right eye. I immediately took him to the Vet and they believed it was stuck shed in his eye and/or an infection, so we got him on eye medication and they told me to wash it with saline daily. For a little while it didnt seem like it was working, but ultimately it didnt, it was a rollercoaster.. hed get better then get worse all the time, until eventually the infection claimed his eye sight.. its extremely sad. So here we are now. The vets said that hed lost his eye sight completely in his right eye, its sort of shaped funny now and theres no pupil.. the other eye isnt so bad but they dont think he sees anything out of that eye either and i agree.. they said its better off for him that it happened gradually and not suddenly, so he sort of got to “adjust” to it.. I still feed him and give him water through syringes every couples of days. I used to have to force his mouth open to feed but now when i take him out he almost starts licking his lips and i can slide crickets in without forcing it really.. He was and still is somehow a SUPER adventurous and friendly chameleon, so i still take him outside to feel the sun and try to hold him every so often just so he doesnt feel so alone.. even though i know they thrive in solice. I have a Nosy Be named Mr Freeze who has the same setup next door to Skittles. He started to experience the same issues but he got through it and is now thriving again.. So basically my question is what does everyone think about the quality of life for a blind chameleon? I love him so much and id do anything for him, but i dont want him suffering.. has anyone cared for blind chameleons before?
 

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JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
A friend has one who has been mostly blind for many years. He can see shadows. He manages to get around in his cage to bask and find good sleep spots. He can see a superworm wiggled over his head and when he starts to eat that he is fed dubia and hornworms while he is still chewing. He drinks when he's misted.
I don't think he has poor quality of life but his care is not easy. I'm sure it will depend on how blind and your ability to cope with his needs.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
It sounds like his quality of life is pretty good. If he were mine I wouldn’t give up on the eyes and take him to an eye doctor for pets. I’m not sure where you are located but there’s a really good one in Tampa, FL.
 
A friend has one who has been mostly blind for many years. He can see shadows. He manages to get around in his cage to bask and find good sleep spots. He can see a superworm wiggled over his head and when he starts to eat that he is fed dubia and hornworms while he is still chewing. He drinks when he's misted.
I don't think he has poor quality of life but his care is not easy. I'm sure it will depend on how blind and your ability to cope with his needs.

i believe he MAY be able to see shadows, he does move around his cage pretty well and he knows his basking spot, and when its hot he goes under the leaves where its cooler.. and youre right the care isnt easy but i couldnt imagine giving up on him.. but i just question how HE is feeling..
 
It sounds like his quality of life is pretty good. If he were mine I wouldn’t give up on the eyes and take him to an eye doctor for pets. I’m not sure where you are located but there’s a really good one in Tampa, FL.
im definitely trying to best i can to give him a good quality of life.. i love him dearly and it pains me to see him like this so i try to do everything i can to make his life easier.. i live in Rhode Island, i dont know of any places like that but i can look around for sure..
 

MrsM

Avid Member
My Betty is blind in one eye but really vibrant.

She actually regained the ability to open and use her eye a bit after I got her, and sees shadows. She has to be able to use her eyelid to squint to regulate light. She began to use her eye more when I upped the humidity a bit and gave a monthly vitamin a, silkworms and hornworms2x a week for hydration. She has an easier time catching silkworms on her own- especially if they are on a dark leaf. She has difficulty moving her eyelid as she gets close to shedding.

I’d suggest just sticking with him, making your priority nutrition to encourage healthy shedding.
 
I can only speculate but if he had no will to live he wouldn't eat or seek a nice place to hangout. I know their needs aren't as complex as ours.
I think a full belly, comfort and freedom from pain is probably enough.
when you put it like that it definitely eases my mind.. im going to continue to try to provide him with the best life he can possibly live... i just really needed some peace of mind and hopefully opinions from people who have owned blind chameleons
 

MrsM

Avid Member
when you put it like that it definitely eases my mind.. im going to continue to try to provide him with the best life he can possibly live... i just really needed some peace of mind and hopefully opinions from people who have owned blind chameleons
Definitely check your lighting and increase the density of vines to prevent accidents.
 
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