Can RIs Cause Eye Problems?

Alyssa_Kay

New Member
I have a male panther chameleon who's about 3.5 years old and over the last few months he's been acting like he has depth issues with his sight. I took him to the vet who prescribed him eye drops for a week for a supposed eye infection/poked eye. It seemed to help a bit but after the week he started getting bad again. Just yesterday I had the epiphone that Norman (my cham) may have an RI. He's been opening his mouth a lot and "gasping," and being really weird over the last 2 weeks (maybe less). He's also been making a sort of popping sound every once in a while the last few days. I'm going to take him to the vet of course, but I was wondering if the RI and previous eye issues could be related?
 

Mawtyplant

Chameleon Enthusiast
Also, you should look up for the causes, if all this immune system breakdown is caused by hypovitaminoses A you will soon get all the symptoms (bad shed, low sperm motility (if you breed you will notice) eyes infection, RI (LRI and URI) maybe gala edema and symptoms similar to MBD, so I think its time for a setup checkup! (suggest you too fill the "how to ask for help" form
 

Alyssa_Kay

New Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Male panther chameleon, about 3.5 years. I've had him for about 2.5-3 years.
  • Handling - Only occasional, mostly in summer so he can sit by the window.
  • Feeding - His diet is mostly mealworms, an occasional superworm, and I used to pick up a dozen crickets for him every few weeks but he hasn't been able to catch them since his eye issues. \he can eat as much as he wants, usually between 6-10 mealworms a day. I feed him usually in the early afternoon, sometimes in the morning. I gut load them most times with repashy bug burger.
  • Supplements - I used to use only calcium + d3 (I don't remember the brand) and would dust his food about 80% of the time, but I switched do dusting with ExoTerra (no d3) most feedings and exoterra with d3 about 10% of the time.
  • Watering - I have a dripper that is on most days for an hour or so, dripping once every few seconds and I mist at least twice a day for a few minutes every time. Some days I don't see him drinking but if I get concerned I water him by hand from a water bottle and he'll usually drink for a couple minutes when I do that.
  • Fecal Description - Dark and solid. White/pale yellow urates.
  • History - I adopted him from a family that was getting rid of some of their reptiles when he was less than a year old (no sure exactly how old, I estimated 8 months)

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 2'x2'x4' all-screen repti-breeze.
  • Lighting - Incandescent day bulb (unknown brand), reptisun 5.0 uvb light, ceramic heat emitter (100 or 150 watt version, I'm not sure). The heat light stays on 24 hours since it doesn't emit any light and his day and uvb light are both on a timer to be on from 7 am-8 pm.
  • Temperature - Ambient 75, basking 85-90. Lowest on some days 65, usually 70. I keep one thermometer about 8 inches below the basking spot and another in the middle of the enclosure.
  • Humidity - This is where my main problem comes in, I think. I can fairly easily get the humidity up to 65 when I mist, but after about an hour it drops to 35-40.
  • Plants - No live plants.
  • Placement - His cage is in a low-traffic area on a dresser in the corner of my bedroom. There's a heater low on a wall about 3 feet from the enclosure but doesn't point directly at it. The top of the cage in about 7 feet from the floor.
  • Location - Pacific northwest of the US in a "semi-arid" environment.

Current Problem - "gasping," occasional popping sounds, usually when he eats, and excess mucus. Potential link to sight depth issues. He often doesn't seem to see food when I offer it to him, but usually notices after I move it around him for a bit, though this has been going on much longer and my vet doesn't seem to have a diagnosis.
 
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Alyssa_Kay

New Member
We’re his eyes swollen before or was he just having trouble seeing?

Can you please fill out the how to ask for help form.

https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/how-to-ask-for-help.66/

I posted the form you mentioned (hope it helps!). I've never noticed his actual eye(s) swelling but he had what looked to be a bump on his left eye that appeared when he squinched (cleaned) it, which was when I took him to the vet the first time (very scary!). He just seemed to be having some issues seeing/aiming for his food. The vet didn't see anything unusual aside from a slightly smaller pupil compared to the right eye and I haven't noticed the bump since then (this was about 2 months ago). His RI-like symptoms have only been apparent the last week or 2.
 

Alyssa_Kay

New Member
Also, you should look up for the causes, if all this immune system breakdown is caused by hypovitaminoses A you will soon get all the symptoms (bad shed, low sperm motility (if you breed you will notice) eyes infection, RI (LRI and URI) maybe gala edema and symptoms similar to MBD, so I think its time for a setup checkup! (suggest you too fill the "how to ask for help" form

I'll definitely be taking him to the vet (calling tomorrow when they're open). I haven't noticed any other symptoms associated with a Vitamin A deficiency. The eye issues have been around much longer than the RI and he's been otherwise very healthy until about a week ago. My vet doesn't seem to have a diagnosis for the eye issues but I'll be bringing them up again when I take him in for the RI. Hopefully there's something else we can look into.
 

Alyssa_Kay

New Member
  • Temperature - Ambient 75, basking 85-90. Lowest on some days 65, usually 70. I keep one thermometer about 8 inches below the basking spot and another in the middle of the enclosure.
Whoa! Lowest ambient on some NIGHTS is 65, usually 70. Sorry about that, it wouldn't let me edit. I also leave the basking light on at night so he has the option of a warmer sleeping area/gradient.
 

Mawtyplant

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'll definitely be taking him to the vet (calling tomorrow when they're open). I haven't noticed any other symptoms associated with a Vitamin A deficiency. The eye issues have been around much longer than the RI and he's been otherwise very healthy until about a week ago. My vet doesn't seem to have a diagnosis for the eye issues but I'll be bringing them up again when I take him in for the RI. Hopefully there's something else we can look into.

yeah, you should really consider the hypovitaminoses of vitamin A (based on your form : "I used to use only calcium + d3 (I don't remember the brand) and would dust his food about 80% of the time, but I switched do dusting with ExoTerra (no d3) most feedings and exoterra with d3 about 10% of the time." I strongly suggest you to consider small dosage of vitamin A soon. (no blood test can detect hypovitaminoses A but RI and eyes issue are probably the #1 warning). anyway! for the dosage, go to the grocery store and buy vitamin A oil capsule (same used for human) open one pills and dip one feeder in the oil and give the dipped feeder to your chameleon. Still now he will probably need the vet for the RI but he never gonna heal and things gonna get worst if he need vit A
 

Alyssa_Kay

New Member
For anyone wondering:
We had a vet appointment at 1 today. Mawtyplant was very right! Though I was wrong about the RI, the vet called the deficiency. Simple fix; he was prescribed oral antibiotics for a minor infection in his gums (most likely what I mistook for the RI) and I picked up some Vit A gel capsules on the way home. I ordered a jar of Repashy Calium Plus after hearing some good things. I'm hoping it'll help with nutrient supplementation in the long run. I'm so glad to finally know what's been going on and I can give him even better care!
 

Mawtyplant

Chameleon Enthusiast
For anyone wondering:
We had a vet appointment at 1 today. Mawtyplant was very right! Though I was wrong about the RI, the vet called the deficiency. Simple fix; he was prescribed oral antibiotics for a minor infection in his gums (most likely what I mistook for the RI) and I picked up some Vit A gel capsules on the way home. I ordered a jar of Repashy Calium Plus after hearing some good things. I'm hoping it'll help with nutrient supplementation in the long run. I'm so glad to finally know what's been going on and I can give him even better care!
Thats actually good news!

So as he got antibiotic, raise your temperatures a bit, dust your prey with bee pollen and try to give silkworms (they contain antiinflamatory stuff and can help with disease ;) ) dont forget to add extra water because antibiotic is hard on the kidney and go with soft and highly digestible food!
Good luck with him! keep us uptated! :)
 

Alyssa_Kay

New Member
Update: We're a little over halfway through the round of antibiotics and a little over a week after his first dose of Vit A. He's so well-behaved when I give him his medicine; sometimes it's hard to get him to open his mouth for it! :) I've been keeping the ambient temp at around 80 at the request of the vet and the basking spot at 95 during the day. His eyes are still "runny" but he has a good appetite and the infection in his mouth is not noticeable, if not gone altogether. He's awake and active all day, and I'm hoping for even more improvement as time goes on!
 

Ragsterdragster

New Member
Hi Alyssa, just wondering how your little guy is doing since treatment? This sounds similar to what my Yemen is experiencing. We have a vet appt Monday.
 
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