Dead Panther Chameleon


New Member
Hi guys,

Sorry to be so blunt with the title, i just know it will get your attention!!! lol.

Anyway, I think my friend may have caused the death of his panther chameleon. He fed him with some adult locusts last week but failed to remove the back legs like previously told to do so. Is it possible that the spines on the legs could have ripped his stomach or intestines. He didnt eat since last week or poo but today he tried to poo but he said it was only clear liquid coming out. When he was dying ( i was there taking a look at him ) it seemed like he was choking and hissed a lot whilst doing this. Anyone have any ideas?

Hes obviously quite upset about this and would like to know if it was his fault that his gorgeous Nosy Faly passed away.. so if anyone can shed any light on this it would be greatly appreciated. The chameleon was around 10 months old.
There are lots of factors that could cause a chameleons death. If you could fill out the "How to ask for help " form it might help figure out what caused the death.

Chameleon Info:

* Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
* Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
* Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
* Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
* Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
* Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
* History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:

* Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
* Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
* Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
* Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
* Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
* Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
* Location - Where are you geographically located?
I'm so sorry for his loss! There's absolutely no way to know that unless there's a necropsy performed. It's not difinitive that the legs did a number on his GI tract without opening him up and seeing. They could just as easily done nothing to his intestines to cause any trouble, but saying it one way or another is a bit of a blind guess.

Maybe if he can fill out the health form we can pinpoint something else as the culprit?
I'd say the chances of that being the reason are slim. I feed wc grasshoppers during summer months. I never remove back legs. And I feed anywhere from 1/2" to 1 1/2" hoppers to my crew. I would begin to look elsewhere at his husbandry. Could it have choked on substrate?
It is possible he could have choked on substrate i suppose. his husbandry was pretty poor to be honest. it could have been an accumulation of many things. I just think its strange how his cameleon seemed to be holding out and looked fine, I got him out of his cage to take a look as my friend had claimed he was holding his head up and gaping his mouth. When i rached in to get him he appeared to be hanging from his branch and seemed pretty weak, then he struggled like crazy to get away from me. I restrained him to take a look in his mouth for possible signs of URI. Afterwards he started to gape again as my friend had said and appeared to be choking or trying to be sick. Then he just went downhill from there and within half hour he was gone.

Theres no way on Earth that it was down to me restraining him as ive done this many many times over the years with many Chams so i know what im doing and what to look for. This just baffles me completely. My friend is quite distraught about this and feels completely responsible which to be honest he is as his husbandry was poor and he wouldnt take any advise from me. It took me 2 weeks to get him to go to a vet when he had skin problems due to being rough handled during shedding causing it to come away too early and getting infected. I would just like to get some ideas as to what could have happened, just for future reference really. Is it possible that he was dying anyway and the struggle to get away from me used up the last of his energy reserves as it seems strange he was fine 1 min and dead the next?

His cham was kept in a 100x100x50 glass custom made glass vivarium, temps were around high 80s basking and low 70s ambient. his humidity was measured with exo terra hydrometer and around 40-50, peaking at 70-80 during misting. Substrate was used. plants were pothos. His light source was a powersun MVB 100w. he has had previous history with illness, 1 being an eye irritation that was treated and second being the skin irritation which was still being treated. I suspect he may have had a URI too as the saliva in his mouth was evident. He was fed a mixture of locusts and crix dusted with calcium WO D3 daily, With D3 twice per month and multivit twice per month. Not 100% sure of brands used. We are located in Germany. He was fine a week ago when i last saw him apart from the skin irritation, Today he looked really ill, sunken eyes, general weakness.
Hard to say man. Was his saliva kinda bubbling or frothy in his mouth? If so he def had a Uri. If you heard any funny popping or wheezing noises those are also signs. I just dont think it was the locusts. Or the fact that you held him for inspection. As any vet would have to do that to get any idea as to what was going on. Ive had to restrain mine for meds and stuff and I dont think that would do it. If it was your first time to restrain a cham I might be a bit worried. But you have prior exp so you know how hard to hold without harming I'd think.
I feed all of mine locusts and never have removed any legs, I did not know you were meant to, surely they come across worse thing in the wild and eat them?,
Thats what i thought too oski but i have always been advised to remove the legs just in case. I guess the reason for death is going to remain a mystery. I think its highly possible that poor husbandry caused his death with an accumulation of other illness that was underlying and not treated in due time. Perhaps it will serve him a lesson that he should have listened to what people were telling him. I constantly had to remind him to feed, water, take him to vets etc. I told him over and over i would take him but he refused. Shame really as he was a beatuiful Nosy Faly, sired by Johnny from Keeping reptiles is easy, you just have to take care of their environment, food, and water, they will do the rest themselves. Just wish he had listened to me. Thanks for the input guys.
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