Can a regular vet treat parasites or should I go to a reptile specific doctor?

bberry820

Member
I was doing my routine cage cleaning and I noticed what I am almost certain are parasites in the bottom of one of my plants. Sometimes my chameleon will walk around on the bottom of the enclosure for no reason and will step in the water containing these worms. I want to get him checked out ASAP but I want to make sure I take him to a vet that can treat him. Is a normal vet sufficient for this treatment or is a reptile specific vet needed? Also does anyone have any recommendations on a reptile vet in south west Florida?
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
I was doing my routine cage cleaning and I noticed what I am almost certain are parasites in the bottom of one of my plants. Sometimes my chameleon will walk around on the bottom of the enclosure for no reason and will step in the water containing these worms. I want to get him checked out ASAP but I want to make sure I take him to a vet that can treat him. Is a normal vet sufficient for this treatment or is a reptile specific vet needed? Also does anyone have any recommendations on a reptile vet in south west Florida?
Reptile vets are recommended. Dosage and kinds of medication are different for chameleons. Try : https://arav.org/
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Reptile vets are recommended. Dosage and kinds of medication are different for chameleons. Try : https://arav.org/
Further to my last, many of the most common parasites do not have an adult phase outside their host. They often just shed eggs, and are often microscopic. If your Cham is sick, by all means go to the vet, but what you’re seeing might not be a chameleon parasite.
 

bberry820

Member
I would recommend a reptile vet with chameleon experience, to make sure they can properly ID the parasite and give the proper meds for that particular parasite and the correct dose. Where do you live? I might be able to recommend a good vet.

@MissSkittles Dr. Mader retired a year and a half ago. 😢😢😢😢
I live in Fort Myers
 

bberry820

Member
Further to my last, many of the most common parasites do not have an adult phase outside their host. They often just shed eggs, and are often microscopic. If your Cham is sick, by all means go to the vet, but what you’re seeing might not be a chameleon parasite.
Here are what they look like. They were in the plant water
 

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Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Further to my last, many of the most common parasites do not have an adult phase outside their host. They often just shed eggs, and are often microscopic. If your Cham is sick, by all means go to the vet, but what you’re seeing might not be a chameleon parasite.
There's no way to tell without proper identification by someone qualified.

A fecal test can be done by any veterinarian (and are often done by vet techs).
https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/fecal-flotation

For treatment, I would go to the most experienced with chameleons or reptiles that I could find.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Earthworms is exactly what I first thought when I saw the clitellum...but I don't know all the chameleon parasites well enough to know for sure... so didn't say anything. Glad @JacksJill confirmed it for me! 😉
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm not sure that it is. It may be in the right place, but is not what I'd call prominent—even enlarging by 400%. Also, there's no similar marking on the first pic.

I'd still take a sample to a vet for a fecal exam.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
After looking online, I think only leeches and earth worms have a clitellum...and it's not prominent until the worm is sexually mature.

I suppose the only way to know what it is is to take it to someone who would know or keep it and see what happens with it.
 
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