Clumsy Cham or health problem?

Katy52

Member
Hi guys,

I hope everyone & their cham’s are having a good weekend :)

My Nosey Be rescue has been increasingly clumsy over the past couple months:

- he is standing less, resting on his tummy mostly
- sleeps with half his legs dangling, not gripped in the usual sleep position
- His feet often slip off a branch before they find grip
- once saw him grip his own leg

Photo attached of how he is chilling right now, back half of his body mid-air, hanging from his tail.

Please see previous post for my full husbandry form. He is a rescue Cham who had terrible care for the first 2/3 years of his life. He’s now 4/5.

A few things that have happened in recent months:

- I moved house
- It’s been very cold & snowy : He had a very lethargic winter slump last year but no mobility issues observed then
- He’s grown toe nails (never had them before!?)

I know he is likely to have poor health as he gets older due to his bad start in life. Does this clumsiness call for a vet trip? Is there anything that can be done?

If anyone has any good health resources for older cham’s a link would be much appreciated! I want to make the little guy as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. He’s such a character, I really adore him <3

Thank you as ever for your time & help!

Katy
 

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Hey there you have too many threads for me to go through them to find your husbandry. Can you please post a pic of the enclosure lights down and pics of your supplements. Please tell me what the rotation is with the supplements as well. Can I see a few more pics of your boy as well? Are you seeing any swelling in the joints?
 
Hi Beman,

I hope you’re well, happy 2023!

Of course, please find husbandry form below :) I have also just taken some photos of him and tried to inspect him more thoroughly.

His grip seems worst on his left hand side, the back leg on the left is swollen at the knee and perhaps a little at the ankle too. I can feel strong grip in the right hand side and tail but his back left leg seems to hang rather than be used. He also waves it about a bit before he finds a position for that leg.

What do you suspect is wrong? Is a vet needed / can a vet help?

Any pointers would be a huge help, I’m a bit overwhelmed by the health info online.

Thank you for your time!


Husbandry Form

Your Chameleon
- Male, Nosey Be panther chameleon, a rescue but approx 4 years

Handling - very friendly. Most days he will voluntarily come out of his enclosure, he then explores matrix of hanging plants & bamboo canes. I limit the time out of enclosure to ensure he gets enough time under enclosure lights.

Feeding -: Staple: dubias, silkworms Secondary: BSFL, waxworms, morioworms

Feeding 3 x per week and offering 4 feeders a time

Gut loading - fresh mulberry leaf paste for silkworms. Dubia: sweet potatoes, dandelion greens, carrots, green beans, oranges. Arcadia Insect Fuel as a back up.

Supplements - Daily: Repashy SuperCal no d3, 1st and 3rd sundays: Repashy Calcium plus LoD

Watering - Mistking: 1 minute of misting in the morning, 3 minutes of misting at evening. The room has 50% baseline so it mostly needs boosting at night.
Dripper runs during the day onto plant leaves.

Fecal Description - creamy white urate along with semi-solid brown poop

Cage Type - customised reptibreeze, 46x46x92, clear vinyl back & sides & top door, mesh lower door & ceiling for chimney effect. No substrate, water drains through holes drilled into the base, umbrella plant on top to weigh it down.

Lighting -

UVB: Arcadia ProT5 22" with Arcadia Forest 6% bulb.
Basking: 100 watt halogen bulb

8 inches between UVB tube and top of Cham when on his basking branch.

Light Schedule - both on for 12 hours, 8am - 8pm

Temperatures -
27-31C / 80-87 F basking temp (measured with probe hanging at cham height above basking branch)
12-18C ambient (measured with a second digital temp at lower end of cage)


Humidity -
50-60% daytime (the room has 50% baseline)
70-80% nightime

Plants - live plants: pothos, spider Plant, fittonia, umbrella tree

Placement - low traffic bedroom, 1.2 metre off the floor
 

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Hey there you have too many threads for me to go through them to find your husbandry. Can you please post a pic of the enclosure lights down and pics of your supplements. Please tell me what the rotation is with the supplements as well. Can I see a few more pics of your boy as well? Are you seeing any swelling in the joints?
Another photo attached - this morning I woke up to him in this position, his left legs both hanging in the air :(

His left back leg is definitely swollen at the knee, left front leg is swollen a little bit.

Is this a husbandry issue or time for a vet appointment?

Any advice for next steps would be so appreciated!
 

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Hi. @Beman does have better eyes than mine, but your husbandry looks pretty good to me. That swelling could be gout, an abscess, abnormal growth or something else. I’d advise an appointment with a good vet.
 
Yeah something is going on with that back left knee area. It is much more swollen. You want to take him to an experienced reptile vet. They may need to run blood work to see if this is gout or connected to renal issues. Swelling like this can be quite painful for them. Your husbandry looks good and I do not see anything there that would cause this. I am betting on his age catching up with him and poor care prior to you.
 
Yeah something is going on with that back left knee area. It is much more swollen. You want to take him to an experienced reptile vet. They may need to run blood work to see if this is gout or connected to renal issues. Swelling like this can be quite painful for them. Your husbandry looks good and I do not see anything there that would cause this. I am betting on his age catching up with him and poor care prior to you.
Thank you both! @MissSkittles @Beman

The only recent thing that occurred is my house move, during which the mister was damaged and it took a couple weeks to fix so humidity was low. I have also realised my UV bulb is over-due replacement. Could either of those factors have caused this kind of issue?

I have an exotics vet, will see how quickly I can get an appointment. Will the vet suggest euthanising him? They make me anxious :(
 
Thank you both! @MissSkittles @Beman

The only recent thing that occurred is my house move, during which the mister was damaged and it took a couple weeks to fix so humidity was low. I have also realised my UV bulb is over-due replacement. Could either of those factors have caused this kind of issue?

I have an exotics vet, will see how quickly I can get an appointment. Will the vet suggest euthanising him? They make me anxious :(
If he was not drinking enough during that period then that could contribute to the issues I am mentioning. The thing is if the renal system is compromised and shutting down then it typically does not get better when they go into renal failure. But then there is also pseudo gout which does get better and then Visceral Gout which does not. Now both of these are very painful but if I remember correctly pseudo gout is due to calcium crystals and visceral gout is uric acid build up. I have limited knowledge on these and that is about all I know honestly.

I doubt they will suggest euthanizing him. This is something they typically leave to the owner to bring up unless an animal is obviously dying and in pain. And they would want to do an xray and blood work to see what was going on. Once they get the results depending on what it is they may suggest it. At that point you have to decide what you want to do. We are all different in what we want to see an animal go through. I personally would not put any of my pets through anything I would not personally want to deal with especially if it is a slow death. But that is me. There are others that want them to live as long as possible. I just think quality of life and if they can rebound should always be considered over my own wants and needs.
 
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If he was not drinking enough during that period then that could contribute to the issues I am mentioning. The thing is if the renal system is compromised and shutting down then it typically does not get better when they go into renal failure. But then there is also pseudo gout which does get better and then Visceral Gout which does not. Now both of these are very painful but if I remember correctly pseudo gout is due to calcium crystals and visceral gout is uric acid build up. I have limited knowledge on these and that is about all I know honestly.

I doubt they will suggest euthanizing him. This is something they typically leave to the owner to bring up unless an animal is obviously dying and in pain. And they would want to do an xray and blood work to see what was going on. Once they get the results depending on what it is they may suggest it. At that point you have to decide what you want to do. We are all different in what we want to see an animal go through. I personally would not put any of my pets through anything I would not personally want to deal with especially if it is a slow death. But that is me. There are others that want them to live as long as possible. I just think quality of life and if they can rebound should always be considered over my own wants and needs.
Totally agree, that’s why I wanted to gauge how serious it looks so I can emotionally prepare myself!

He has a dripper that he drinks from religiously so it was just his humidity that dropped when the mister was busted. I will ask the vet to look into both types of gout, thank you for the tips! I go to an exotic specialist but I honestly think you guys have more Cham specific experience.

Poor little guy has barely moved today, I’ve given him water & bugs by hand :(

Is there anything the reduced UVB bulb could cause like this? That I can ask the vet to investigate?

Thank you so much for taking the time to help today, it’s really appreciated

Katy
 
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Totally agree, that’s why I wanted to gauge how serious it looks so I can emotionally prepare myself!

He has a dripper that he drinks from religiously so it was just his humidity that dropped when the mister was busted. I will ask the vet to look into both types of gout, thank you for the tips! I go to an exotic specialist but I honestly think you guys have more Cham specific experience.

Poor little guy has barely moved today, I’ve given him water & bugs by hand :(

Is there anything the reduced UVB bulb could cause like this? That I can ask the vet to investigate?

Thank you so much for taking the time to help today, it’s really appreciated

Katy
No I would not say the uvb would have any issue on swelling of this type. I have never seen any link. Even if the bulb needs to be replaced a T5 would still have output although the UVI may be more of a 2 rather than a 3. It would not do this.

If it were me I would mentally prepare for the worst and hope for the best. You won't have any idea until blood work comes back how serious this is.
 
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