Cham having eye trouble

AP711

New Member
Hey,
I havent posted much on this forum, but I have a serious question regarding my 14 mo. old male ambilobe.

He has been doing very well since I bought him at 8 mo. old from FLchams. I have been feeding him primarily crickets dusted w/ ca. 2x a week and multivitamins 1x a week. I know he should have a more varied diet, and i do feed him various worms when possible. But, he does seem to be doing well off this diet. Also, i mist him at least once a day.

Normally, i will bring him outside during the day time every day from his inside cage. However, as of 2 nights ago, i left him outside the whole night. He seems to be a bit more lethargic since this, and his colors have been a little bit darker. Just 10 minutes ago, i noticed that his left eye seems to be giving him trouble, as it wont open fully. He also managed to rub his eye on the side of a branch.

I am not sure if this is due to leaving him outside for 2 nights (temp around 80-85 during day and 75-80 at night). I have called a local vet and i am planning on taking him there ASAP (whats the best way to bring him to the vet?)

I would greatly appreciate some advice, as this is my first chameleon. Like I said, he has been doing awesome up until this point, and has had no issues whatsoever.

Thank you very much.
 

nosywhat

New Member
do you have a ficus plant in the cage??? if so i have heard that the sap from the plant can harm or irritate a chameleons eye... if this is the case you might wana try an umbrella tree :)
 

AP711

New Member
Well that is interesting because i do have a ficus benjemina in the cage...However, i have been putting him outside w/ the ficus for a couple months now. So maybe this just happened all of the sudden?

Can this be the only possibility?
 
Last edited:

Cherron

New Member
He has been doing very well since I bought him at 8 mo. old from FLchams. I have been feeding him primarily crickets dusted w/ ca. 2x a week and multivitamins 1x a week. I know he should have a more varied diet, and i do feed him various worms when possible. But, he does seem to be doing well off this diet. Also, i mist him at least once a day.
Do you see him drink when you mist him? Does he have a dripper? Only one misting a day is really not enough. It takes a chameleon several minutes of misting to start to drink and they often don't get their fill of water in just one session. How long are you misting for? Do you mist your chameleon directly? Making sure a chameleon's eyes both get misted several times each day helps ensure that they can clean them out well and also helps prevent eye infections.

Normally, i will bring him outside during the day time every day from his inside cage. However, as of 2 nights ago, i left him outside the whole night. He seems to be a bit more lethargic since this, and his colors have been a little bit darker. Just 10 minutes ago, i noticed that his left eye seems to be giving him trouble, as it wont open fully. He also managed to rub his eye on the side of a branch.
The darker colors and lethargy could be from a lower than normal drop in temperatures, but it could mean other things too. Does he show any signs of dehydration (sunken eyes, loose skin, yellow/orangish urates)? What are his basking and ambient temperatures in the cage and what are you using to measure them?

As for his eye being partially closed, he may have something in it.. especially if he is rubbing it against a branch. It may also be the beginning of an eye infection. Try giving him a 30 - 45 minute shower. What are the humidity levels in your cage before and after misting?

I am not sure if this is due to leaving him outside for 2 nights (temp around 80-85 during day and 75-80 at night). I have called a local vet and i am planning on taking him there ASAP (whats the best way to bring him to the vet?)
To transport my chameleons to the vet I took a rubbermaid container that has a handle with a lid, cut out one side and screened it and added a fake plants and some branches. It works well. If you don't have time for something like that, a small box with a stick wedged in works well. I'd put a hand towel or something in the bottom just in case he falls. You don't want something too big or he will just have more room to be knocked around.

I would greatly appreciate some advice, as this is my first chameleon. Like I said, he has been doing awesome up until this point, and has had no issues whatsoever.
Good luck with your cham. Taking him to the vet is the best thing that you can do if there seems to be a problem, and you are obviously trying to do all that you can for him :)
 

AP711

New Member
Thanks for the elaborate post. I am leaving right now to take him to the vet, but I will take the time to reply to your questions after I get back.
 

TreelionsUK

New Member
Sounds silly but whats your water like??
Is your water hard?
do you treat the water you use for misting??
How old is your chameleon?

Younger chameleons tend to suffer more with this problem,due to "hard" water.
Try some repti safe in your water;)

also i would not advise that you mist directly at your chameleons eyes,rain falls from the sky and i dont think a chameleon would look up towards the sky to clean its eyes,most seek shealter when it rains.
 
Last edited:

AP711

New Member
Well, I just got back from the vet a few minutes ago. The vet, who seemed to be very knowledgeable, concluded that my cham is fine except for a bit of sediment or dirt build up in the eye. I figure it could also be the sap from the ficus. The good news is that she believes there is nothing to worry about, like an infection. She gave me an antibacterial ointment to use on each eye once a day for a week.

Do you see him drink when you mist him? Does he have a dripper? Only one misting a day is really not enough. It takes a chameleon several minutes of misting to start to drink and they often don't get their fill of water in just one session. How long are you misting for? Do you mist your chameleon directly? Making sure a chameleon's eyes both get misted several times each day helps ensure that they can clean them out well and also helps prevent eye infections.
I use a pressurized hand sprayer to mist him. Ill use the whole bottle, and completely soak his cage normally which takes about 5-10 minutes. Most of the time, he will get right in front of the mist and soak it up and start drinking almost immediately after I stop spraying.

The darker colors and lethargy could be from a lower than normal drop in temperatures, but it could mean other things too. Does he show any signs of dehydration (sunken eyes, loose skin, yellow/orangish urates)? What are his basking and ambient temperatures in the cage and what are you using to measure them?

As for his eye being partially closed, he may have something in it.. especially if he is rubbing it against a branch. It may also be the beginning of an eye infection. Try giving him a 30 - 45 minute shower. What are the humidity levels in your cage before and after misting?
On the contrary, it has actually been warmer outside than in the house. The ambient temp. outside has been around 80-85, and the ambient temp inside is 76. The basking temp. in his inside cage is around 90. At night however, the temp drops to about 75-80 outside. I have a digital thermometer. This incident is the first that i have noticed a difference in his eyes, but he does rarely have a bit of loose skin. (thank you for telling me this is a sign of dehydration)

The inside humidity is about 30-40% I believe, although I use a crappy zoomed dial. Outside, the humidity is usual very high here in Florida, around 60-70%.

To transport my chameleons to the vet I took a rubbermaid container that has a handle with a lid, cut out one side and screened it and added a fake plants and some branches. It works well. If you don't have time for something like that, a small box with a stick wedged in works well. I'd put a hand towel or something in the bottom just in case he falls. You don't want something too big or he will just have more room to be knocked around.
This worked very well thank you. I dont think that the trip was overly stressful to him.

Sounds silly but whats your water like??
Is your water hard?
do you treat the water you use for misting??
How old is your chameleon?

Younger chameleons tend to suffer more with this problem,due to "hard" water.
Try some repti safe in your water

also i would not advise that you mist directly at your chameleons eyes,rain falls from the sky and i dont think a chameleon would look up towards the sky to clean its eyes,most seek shealter when it rains.
The tap water is very very soft here. I do not treat the water at the moment, but I do have an RO/DI unit if it is advisable to purify the water. One issue that may or may not be a problem is the chlorinated tap water that I use to mist him. It seems to have been working fine since I got him, but i can certainly change this if it is advisable.

The chameleon is exactly one and a half years old. I normally dont mist right at him, just a gently mist throughout the whole cage to soak everything.

Thanks so much for the responses.
 

chameloman72

New Member
I live in Tampa, FL. and I can tell you that if you use city water in florida it is definately not soft!! It is very hard the GH out of my tap is about 16 which is pretty hard!! The chloramine levels are about 5 ppm which will kill fish in a matter of a couple of hours!! I can imagine what it would feel like on a chams eyes!! If I were you I would use RO water!!
 

Julirs

New Member
Did the vet say it would work it's way out on it's own with the ointment? What did he give you?
 

AP711

New Member
Chameloman, I used to live in New York, and I can tell you that the water up there is very hard. Now I live near Orlando, and the water is just the opposite. Maybe because I am not using city water, the water here is not hard. The chlorine levels are something to take into consideration, although I have been misting him with the same water for months. This makes me believe that the his eye problem was caused by something else.

Julirs, the vet gave me Vetropolycin, which is apparently an antibacterial ointment much like bacitracin. She did say that whatever is in his eye will work its way out with the ointment.

The chameleon has been very lazy today, and has not moved much. I hope this is only due primarily to the incredible amount of stress he went through yesterday at the vets. :(
 
Top Bottom