Dehydrated Female Chameleon

Hi all. This is my first post on here. My female Cham “Rango” seems to be dehydrated. She has been very lethargic the past three days. Yesterday she had sunken eyes. She has not eaten in over a week. I took her to the vet yesterday where they examined her and could not palpate any eggs (because my initial thought was that she could potentially be egg bound). Her last clutch was 2 1/2 months ago. She has not been eating for over a week which is her usual sign of being gravid. However that is not what the vet thought. The vet gave her subq fluids and carnivore care at 1 cc once a day. I use a pipette to administer that and not a syringe. Today she was still lethargic and not her normal self. She shut her eyes multiple different times throughout the day. She just seems weak and tired. Her coloring has stayed bright green and her eyes seemed to have gotten a little more bulgier. She does have some edema around her head and horn I believe from the fluids. She did fall asleep tonight holding onto her branch instead of sleeping on the soil of her tree- so I’m hoping that’s a good sign because she had been sleeping on the soil the last two days and not getting up when her light turned back on at 7 am. (Then I would have to pick her up and put her under her lamp for the day)

I booked another vet appt for Saturday morning in case she does not get better.

Any advice on what this might be, or if there’s hope to her recovering? I have been so distraught over the thought of losing her. I’m open to any changes necessary to revise husbandry.

How many days does it take a chameleon to recover from dehydration?

Thank you in advance!
-Kristen

About my Rango girl:
• Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
Female veiled chameleon. Estimate 1.5 years old. Over 1 year in my care.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
Not often
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
Crickets (large size) from petsmart. 5-6 every other day. Occasional hornworms and occasional super worms. Carrots for gut load
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Calcium supplement with no vitamin D3 dusted on every cricket. Calcium with Vitamin D3 biweekly. Multivitamin 1-2 times a month.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? Misting with spray bottle 3-4 times a day for 2 minutes. No I usually do not see her drinking. Dripper made from water bottle available at all times and it creates a ripple effect onto the leaves of her tree

  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? Recent droppings- sparse and drier than usual. No she has not been tested for parasites
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help.
She was purchased from Petsmart.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? Screen DIY cage. 3 1/2 feet tall by 2 feet wide
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? Repti sun T5HO linear bulb 10.0. 75 W heat lamp white color. 12 hours daylight 7 am- 7pm daily.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? 85-88 degrees basking spot. Lowest overnight temp is 61 degrees.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Humidity 65-80% during the day. I create these levels by having live plants and misting sessions, as well as a dripper system. I use a hygrometer to monitor the levels
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? I am using live plants. 3 Dracena trees and artificial leaf vines. I have also used ficus and small fiddle leaf trees. She also has a stick placed under her basking area.
  • 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? Guest room of our home. Light traffic by me only. No air vents or fans. About 2 1/2 feet above the ground on a wooden table.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Huntington Beach, CA
 

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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Welcome to the forum!

IMHO, she looks like she's carrying eggs even though you said she laid about 2 1/2 months ago....don't know if it could be retained eggs or another clutch though.

How many eggs has she laid each time she laid eggs?
 
Welcome to the forum!

IMHO, she looks like she's carrying eggs even though you said she laid about 2 1/2 months ago....don't know if it could be retained eggs or another clutch though.

How many eggs has she laid each time she laid eggs?
Her first clutch was 70 eggs. Her second clutch was 50 eggs and her third clutch was around 25 eggs because I cut down on her food intake.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Good to hear that the last clutch was that low.

I just hope that she hasn't retained eggs and that's why she's lethargic, etc. I really think you need to get her to a good chameleon vet and explain that the last clutch was only a couple of months ago and get an X-ray to see if there are eggs there or not. Just my opinion.

Btw...the basking temperature should be about 80F.
I'd also remove any artificial plants and replace them with real ones.

Can you post another photo of her from the side so I can see her right arm please.
 
Okay thanks so much for your time and information. The vet the other day said her basking spot should actually be up to 95 degrees? I didn’t agree with that.

Here is her right arm. Again it’s extra puffy right now due to the edema from the fluids. And I am aware that she has some slight burns on the top of her horn.

Her vet appt is tomorrow morning but I’m going to try and get her in today. If I have to wait until tomorrow, is there anything you suggest I do in the mean time? I have a baby monitor camera in there so I can monitor her at all times.
 

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Update: I took her to a second vet this evening and the vet did a thorough palpate on her and also did not presume she retained eggs or is egg bound.
He suggested an antibiotic and anti inflammatory injection for her to hopefully help with any potential infection. He also does not presume MBD.
To be honest, I simply cannot afford X rays and further diagnostic/ blood testing at this time. I’m praying for a miracle in that these medications help her. Taking it one step each day and I don’t want to put her through any more trouble.
Thank you all for your help.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
She also looks to have some gular edema. Would you be ineterested in having all of your husbandry reviewed to make sure all is correct? If so, copy & paste the following with your answers and someone can review it.
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?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 
@Kristen.landeros what color have her urates been lately?
So she has not had any urates or feces since last week. They were mostly white/ drier looking than usual maybe a tinge of yellow but no orange. But clearly since she has had no urates at all this week, that is a reason for concern. She was usually always regular going twice sometimes three times per week with healthy urates + feces.
 
She also looks to have some gular edema. Would you be ineterested in having all of your husbandry reviewed to make sure all is correct? If so, copy & paste the following with your answers and someone can review it.
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?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
Yes thank you please review my first post. Yes I do agree on the edema and the vet said that was to be expected from the subq fluids?
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
So there was no swelling in her arm or gular area before she had the subQ injections of fluids?
 
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Did the vets mention kidney issues as a possibility?
No he didn’t. I was thinking the same thing possibly since she may not be retaining the fluids? At this point, all I can do is supportive care for her. Like I mentioned unfortunately I cannot afford more testing like bloodwork/ x rays/ surgeries, etc.
so I’m just trying to do the best I can to keep her on the mend. She does have enough strength to stay on her branch under her basking spot and she also has been sleeping that way too for the last two nights now. Today I did notice her moving around in her enclosure a bit more.

Have you had any experience/ positive outcomes with Rimadyl and/or Baytril injections? That is what the second vet gave her this evening.
 
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