Cannot get to the bottom of this :(

dadofduck

New Member
Hello all. I have a 7 month old Panther that seemed to be doing really well until about 3 weeks ago. At that point he started closing his eyes often. I was advised yo apply some antibiotic eye ointment (which I did) but no improvement. At this point I also noticed he was eating less and seemed lethargic.
So I took him to the vet who kept him in under observation for 2 days while they gave him injectables, tested for parasites, did an x-ray while feeding him Day Gecko food (which is veggie based!!). Anyway we are a few weeks and a few more visits down the track and things haven't improved. His skin seems to be looking a little saggy, implying that he's either dehydrated or losing weight (he has gone from around 84g to around 78-80g). I'm not aware of him eating anything live for a week or so and although the vet is advising me to continue with the gecko food, I'm scared that the stress of it is going to cause him to give up and crash.

I'm torn over whether to keep taking him the vet (stressful).

I'm torn over whether to keep force feeding him, especially as I'm almost certain he aspirated some of it during the last feed, I thought I'd lost him.

Unfortunately I'm in a country where there are not many options with regards Chameleon care. The vet has openly admitted that she's not used to dealing with chameleons and is consulting with another vet for advice. I believe she is trying her best but I can't help but believe that her advice to force feed him 5-6 times a day shows a complete lack of understanding of what sort of stress levels these creatures can take.

The photos show him just after he aspirated some food (never seen these colours) then his normal colours and then his pyjamas chilling
25ED5707-71B8-4E9A-BC74-6811CB7B892C.jpeg
A5E3384C-CAB8-41C9-96D4-277711C20832.jpeg
6A77460C-1D2F-4F99-9AD9-C1B363897121.jpeg
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi there! First thing's first, he could've gotten debris from the Exo Terra vines stuck in his eyes. You could do longer mistings to help flush his eye if the vet isn't able to/comfortable flushing it herself. It could also be his UVB light, too. What type, strength, and brand of UVB do you use? If you want, we can help go over your husbandry to make sure nothing is awry, as well!
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
For feeding him, make sure to aim for the back of his mouth, as the airways (red arrow) are upfront
296387-695f4089239843f13896976990906a30.jpg

For food, Critical Care is better, along with blending up gutloads feeders, and only needed once a day or less, but @kinyonga and @jannb will be able to give you the best advice for that
 

dadofduck

New Member
Hi there! First thing's first, he could've gotten debris from the Exo Terra vines stuck in his eyes. You could do longer mistings to help flush his eye if the vet isn't able to/comfortable flushing it herself. It could also be his UVB light, too. What type, strength, and brand of UVB do you use? If you want, we can help go over your husbandry to make sure nothing is awry, as well!
Thanks for the quick reply!

He has been spending time rubbing his eyes, which really makes me sad as it looks so painful.

As for UVB. He has a brand new (bought after he got sick) T5 HO 10.0. Don't worry, I know this is a powerful bulb but it was all I could source here in Malaysia. As such it's propped up around 12" from his nearest basking branch.

Other than that, some key stats:

- he's in a mesh 36x36x18 cage
- the UVB stated above
- spot lamp for basking spot
- daylight T5 linear bulb also
- lots of coverage in his tank. All foliage is artificial. I know lots of people don't approve but I lost my veiled due to parasites likely from live plants so I took the conscious decision to go artificial for the first 12 months only.
- he has the monsoon duo for night time mistings every few hours
- humidifier pumping into his tank at night time only to try and get the humidity as max as poss
- dripper with fresh water dripping on leaves at all times
- diet WAS mainly dubia with crix and occasional supers. I had bought some BSFL but he hasn't had any due to not eating
- supps was exoterra calcium at every feed, calcium plus D3 fortnightly and multivitamin fortnightly (I have now changed to Repashy calcium plus and Repashy vitamin A plus, on the assumption that he has a vitamin A deficiency)
077B8603-F61C-4424-AA29-F70FABF947E8.jpeg
 

PlanetRemulak

Avid Member
Do you know what he was injected with when your vet kept him for 2 days, and is it still day gecko food you were advised force feed to him with 5-6 times a day? I am far from an expert chameleon keeper, but it has been my experience that eyes closed during the day means something is happening inside of the chameleon’s body, and that is what needs to be remedied. You are correct that chameleons do experience a great deal of stress through repeated vet visits and force feedings. Your boy being fed a diet that his body can’t naturally digest will probably add to his stress as well. I did see that you are in Malaysia and your options are limited.. is there any chance you can get the name of the other vet your current one is consulting for advice, and get their opinion instead? Unless of course, the vet she is going to for advice is the one that suggested force feeding your chameleon day gecko food to begin with. Again, I am far from being the foremost expert on chameleon care, but if it were me in your situation, I would see if there was any chance I could get a second opinion from a different vet. A vet with any reptile experience should be able to do a blood draw for you. I do realize that your options are limited and that is probably easier said than done 🙁. What does your misting schedule look like, and what brand of multivitamin are you using?

Several months after I got my first panther chameleon, I noticed he was rubbing his eyes on branches and vines quite a bit. That turned into him closing his eyes frequently during the day, and it got to the point that it seemed like he couldn’t open them. As it turns out, I made a mistake and was using the wrong supplement powder for his multivitamin. What I had been using only had beta carotene in it, no preformed A. I definitely wouldn’t assume this to be the only cause behind your guy closing his eyes, but depending on what multivitamin you‘re using, it is a possibility.

Outside of the antibiotic ointment for his eyes, do you know if he received any antibiotics during those two days he stayed with the vet? Did his xrays come back looking normal? I would assume the X-rays would show signs of a respiratory infection. However, if he aspirated a bit of the wet food you had to force feed him after he got back from the vet, he might be at risk of a RI. There is a recipe for a bug slurry you can make for him and inject into the back of his mouth using his feeder insects:

https://www.adcham.com/html/husbandry/bug-juice.html
 

dadofduck

New Member
Do you know what he was injected with when your vet kept him for 2 days, and is it still day gecko food you were advised force feed to him with 5-6 times a day? I am far from an expert chameleon keeper, but it has been my experience that eyes closed during the day means something is happening inside of the chameleon’s body, and that is what needs to be remedied. You are correct that chameleons do experience a great deal of stress through repeated vet visits and force feedings. Your boy being fed a diet that his body can’t naturally digest will probably add to his stress as well. I did see that you are in Malaysia and your options are limited.. is there any chance you can get the name of the other vet your current one is consulting for advice, and get their opinion instead? Unless of course, the vet she is going to for advice is the one that suggested force feeding your chameleon day gecko food to begin with. Again, I am far from being the foremost expert on chameleon care, but if it were me in your situation, I would see if there was any chance I could get a second opinion from a different vet. A vet with any reptile experience should be able to do a blood draw for you. I do realize that your options are limited and that is probably easier said than done 🙁. What does your misting schedule look like, and what brand of multivitamin are you using?

Several months after I got my first panther chameleon, I noticed he was rubbing his eyes on branches and vines quite a bit. That turned into him closing his eyes frequently during the day, and it got to the point that it seemed like he couldn’t open them. As it turns out, I made a mistake and was using the wrong supplement powder for his multivitamin. What I had been using only had beta carotene in it, no preformed A. I definitely wouldn’t assume this to be the only cause behind your guy closing his eyes, but depending on what multivitamin you‘re using, it is a possibility.

Outside of the antibiotic ointment for his eyes, do you know if he received any antibiotics during those two days he stayed with the vet? Did his xrays come back looking normal? I would assume the X-rays would show signs of a respiratory infection. However, if he aspirated a bit of the wet food you had to force feed him after he got back from the vet, he might be at risk of a RI. There is a recipe for a bug slurry you can make for him and inject into the back of his mouth using his feeder insects:

https://www.adcham.com/html/husbandry/bug-juice.html
Hi, I'll try and post screenshots of the vet bills so that you can see what he was given.

Your mention of the eye rubbing sounds exactly the same. I mentioned that I'd switched up his supps but have been unable to get any in him as he's just not eating any bugs at all.

I actually have another vet option. This guy works with exotics at the zoo and he's been good in the past. My only concern with taking him to him is that I don't want him to start from ground zero and my little guy just gives up with the stress of it all.

Misting is done at night time, 30s at a time at 8pm, 12am and 4am. His humidifier is pumping air in through the night though, 8-8.
Multivitamin WAS exoterra multi. But I intend to use Repashy calcium plus along with Repashy Vitamin A plus. But they can only start helping when he starts eating.

I've been reading all about Hemipeneal or Sperm plugs on here. I have been noticing that that area is bulging a little more than before. BUT I put it down to him just 'becoming a man' 😃
Thanks for your questions and help!
 

Attachments

  • 56D0D6F0-E9E2-4EBF-B013-913D7E9EC3DA.jpeg
    56D0D6F0-E9E2-4EBF-B013-913D7E9EC3DA.jpeg
    77.3 KB · Views: 19
  • C8351899-C4BD-4E4E-8098-8324CC15E932.jpeg
    C8351899-C4BD-4E4E-8098-8324CC15E932.jpeg
    98.1 KB · Views: 16

MzLaurie11

Avid Member
Here are pics of a sperm plug and the vent with part of the plug exposed. My one year old veiled got this after recovering from an RI. Symptoms included not eating anything but hornworms. No.urates only liquid with calcium in it like a tortoise. He had many health issues and hand to be hand fed. However with hornworms i could inject them with liquud calcium. like i said he was just recovering from an RI which i thought was related. The day the hard plug exposed from his vent i frantically called his vet but has gettung chemo and couldnt come in. The vet asked for photos said it wasnt a prolaspe. The next morning i tried to take him out if the cage and he held on as i pulled him and it came out on its own. After it was out he began to go back to his regular diet within two days and urates formed within days too. Not sure its what you are dealing with but you chams vent does look swollen. Another thing it feels like wax and hardened and shrank after it came out. I called the vet and told her it was out and asked if it happened again could i remove myself she said only if it had crowned if it hadnt she would prefer to remove it because accessing the vent improperly could cause harm. So feel the vent and if that bulge seems hard you may haveva plug as you can see its rather large and is a blockage. I hope the pics and info help.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20211208_050740.jpg
    IMG_20211208_050740.jpg
    135.6 KB · Views: 17
  • IMG_20211208_050827.jpg
    IMG_20211208_050827.jpg
    106.6 KB · Views: 18
  • IMG_20211208_050846_burst_01.jpg
    IMG_20211208_050846_burst_01.jpg
    107.6 KB · Views: 18

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
You want to be very careful of the supplements. Repashy Calcium Plus contains both preformed and pro vitamin A and there is no need to give any additional A. The Repashy vitamin A Plus also contains preformed and pro vitamin A, so you’ll be giving too much. Preformed vitamin A is fat soluble and is given with great care to avoid overdosing it. The same is true with vitamin D3. A good supplement regimen to follow for example would be a quality calcium without D3 at every feeding and then Repashy calcium Plus used one feeding every other week. Without blood work, there’s no way to determine if your chameleon is even deficient of any vitamins or has the organ capability to process/tolerate excessive doses.
For feeding, have you tried slipping a feeder insect in his mouth?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
You can very easily overdose them with the repashy vitamin A supplement. The repashy calcium plus is even higher than what we recommend for use 2 times a month. We recommend the repashy calcium Plus LoD version instead.

I think if he has something in the eye then he is having issues cleaning it due to not having misting sessions during the day. I would personally pull him from the vet and bring him home. Stop force feeding and no more injectables. Change your misting sessions to add some 5 minute day time sessions. And remove all of the exo terra vines and replace with flukers vines if you can't do regular non sap producing branches.
Correct the supplements as well.

Did the fecal come back clean?
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm not sure how much testing had been done on ReptiZoo UVB bulbs, as the recommended brands are Zoo Med and Arcadia. @Beman should OP switch to Arcadia/Zoo Med or do you have any info on ReptiZoo bulbs?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm not sure how much testing had been done on ReptiZoo UVB bulbs, as the recommended brands are Zoo Med and Arcadia. @Beman should OP switch to Arcadia/Zoo Med or do you have any info on ReptiZoo bulbs?
I do not know much about this brand. I know they are used in other countries... and that is really it. I would see if they can get an arcadia bulb instead. I would go down to a 6% and then have basking branch 8-9 inches below for the correct UVI level.
 

dadofduck

New Member
I do not know much about this brand. I know they are used in other countries... and that is really it. I would see if they can get an arcadia bulb instead. I would go down to a 6% and then have basking branch 8-9 inches below for the correct UVI level.
Thank you guys for the help!

Regarding the UVB. This was all I could get here but am travelling back to the UK next week so will bring back multiple versions of the correct bulbs. Don't forget though, this is a new addition, an attempt to ensure his UVB is as optimal as I can make it.......certainly not a causal factor.
 
Last edited:

dadofduck

New Member
You can very easily overdose them with the repashy vitamin A supplement. The repashy calcium plus is even higher than what we recommend for use 2 times a month. We recommend the repashy calcium Plus LoD version instead.

I think if he has something in the eye then he is having issues cleaning it due to not having misting sessions during the day. I would personally pull him from the vet and bring him home. Stop force feeding and no more injectables. Change your misting sessions to add some 5 minute day time sessions. And remove all of the exo terra vines and replace with flukers vines if you can't do regular non sap producing branches.
Correct the supplements as well.

Did the fecal come back clean?
Thank you for the help!

Yes fecal came back clean.

I hear what you are saying regarding supps but please bear in mind this is a new regimen, not a cause of this issue. Using these new supplements is an attempt to correct the issue. Personally I'm happy with using the calcium plus for the time being as this is a regimen sworn by Kammerflage Creations as a time tested supplement that they have had great success with under similar conditions.

As for the vitamin A Plus, again this is an attempt to correct what I believe could be a Vit A deficiency. Once corrected, I will be dialling this back to using just once or twice a month.

But again these are both new supps of which he has not knowingly ingested any at all (due to not eating other than what he is force fed).

UPDATE: I have knocked the Day Gecko food on the head and replaced it with a 'Bug Juice' type concoction (there goes my brand new blender cup) feed. I gave him two 0.5ml shots of it yesterday and he was looking a little brighter when I went in this morning. He also seemed to take his breakfast a little more willingly this morning. He still struggled but seemed tp voluntarily open up while giving me a "quick, get it over with" sort of death stare 😂
 

dadofduck

New Member
Here are pics of a sperm plug and the vent with part of the plug exposed. My one year old veiled got this after recovering from an RI. Symptoms included not eating anything but hornworms. No.urates only liquid with calcium in it like a tortoise. He had many health issues and hand to be hand fed. However with hornworms i could inject them with liquud calcium. like i said he was just recovering from an RI which i thought was related. The day the hard plug exposed from his vent i frantically called his vet but has gettung chemo and couldnt come in. The vet asked for photos said it wasnt a prolaspe. The next morning i tried to take him out if the cage and he held on as i pulled him and it came out on its own. After it was out he began to go back to his regular diet within two days and urates formed within days too. Not sure its what you are dealing with but you chams vent does look swollen. Another thing it feels like wax and hardened and shrank after it came out. I called the vet and told her it was out and asked if it happened again could i remove myself she said only if it had crowned if it hadnt she would prefer to remove it because accessing the vent improperly could cause harm. So feel the vent and if that bulge seems hard you may haveva plug as you can see its rather large and is a blockage. I hope the pics and info help.
Hi, I took him out and had a little 'squidge' around in the area and it was definitely soft and pliable, I tried to do what Petr recommended in his videos but nothing was appearing or coming out after about a minute of massaging. Thanks for the advice.
 

dadofduck

New Member
Yes fecal came back clean.

I hear what you are saying regarding supps but please bear in mind this is a new regimen, not a cause of this issue. Using these new supplements is an attempt to correct the issue. Personally I'm happy with using the calcium plus for the time being as this is a regimen sworn by Kammerflage Creations as a time tested supplement that they have had great success with under similar conditions.

As for the vitamin A Plus, again this is an attempt to correct what I believe could be a Vit A deficiency. Once corrected, I will be dialling this back to using just once or twice a month.

But again these are both new supps of which he has not knowingly ingested any at all (due to not eating other than what he is force fed).

UPDATE: I have knocked the Day Gecko food on the head and replaced it with a 'Bug Juice' type concoction (there goes my brand new blender cup) feed. I gave him two 0.5ml shots of it yesterday and he was looking a little brighter when I went in this morning. He also seemed to take his breakfast a little more willingly this morning. He still struggled but seemed tp voluntarily open up while giving me a "quick, get it over with" sort of death stare 😂
You want to be very careful of the supplements. Repashy Calcium Plus contains both preformed and pro vitamin A and there is no need to give any additional A. The Repashy vitamin A Plus also contains preformed and pro vitamin A, so you’ll be giving too much. Preformed vitamin A is fat soluble and is given with great care to avoid overdosing it. The same is true with vitamin D3. A good supplement regimen to follow for example would be a quality calcium without D3 at every feeding and then Repashy calcium Plus used one feeding every other week. Without blood work, there’s no way to determine if your chameleon is even deficient of any vitamins or has the organ capability to process/tolerate excessive doses.
For feeding, have you tried slipping a feeder insect in his mouth?
I've not tried slipping a feeder in as of yet. I'm short handed at the moment as my family is back in the UK. It's quite a challenge to hold him, and slip the syringe in at the right moment. I may attempt to slide something in next time I feed him the big juice, see how he reacts. I really do wish I had more hands 😂
 

dadofduck

New Member
Here is another older thread on the topic. https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/vitamin-a-v-s-beta-carotene.38163/ I use spirulina in my cricket gut loads and once a month a drop from a gel cap on a roach. I only supplement with repashy calcium plus for panthers and have them under T5 HOs with a 5.0 for UVB, they also get a lot of natural sun this time of year. There are lots of variables at play between D3 and Vit A but this has been what works for me, so far my panthers have not had any eye issues and no issues with eggs or reproduction. I'll have to go back and re listen but in one of the species specific chameleon breeder podcast the breeder was having very low succes rates with clutches then started using Vit A from gel caps and the mortality rate dropped to almost 0.

I don't think the rep cal is causing negative outcomes just maybe not meeting the exact needs of a chameleon. I haven't read much about RepCal personally since I don't use it. I've always used the repashy line and recently switched over to just calcium plus trusted the supplement observations of the Kammers they compared and tested the repashy calcium plus on a breeding group of Panther chameleons for 3 years before switching over to it and recommending it to their customers and in general. I use the gel cap drops additionally after hearing many with more experience than myself suggest it, I hope some of them will see this and contribute!

I understand the 'Repashy Cal plus daily' take is controversial but I've not decided it on a whim. I've been researching and have trust in the sources of advice I've found. The ChamAcademy podcast mentioned above with the guy from Kammerflage Creations was enough to convince me to give it a whirl. Finding evidence of other people using it with success makes me even more hopeful.

It is the route I have decided to take in my efforts to improve my husbandry. But again please understand that this is essentially a future 'suck it and see' regimen that I will be watching closely. Until he starts eating from his dusted bugs, it's pretty moot.
 
Top Bottom