DESPERATE FOR HELP! Can one of the vets on this forum please help!?!?!

Tyaeda

Member
Unable to find a decent vet, my husband and I have been extremely stressed out about Mr.Pink's condition. We have no clue what's wrong with him, and we are becoming more and more desperate.

I'm going to list his symptoms in the order of which they started to appear. Can one of the very experienced owners, or chameleon vets here please try and help us?!?!

- Right eye closed, able to open it to eat, but remains closed most of the time.

- Began to shed. Took him to the vet who said that he has shed caught in his eye. Prescribed Ciloxan (antibiotic) eye drops (1 drop, 3 times a day) His left eye molted first, he blinked it a lot but it did not stay closed.

- His left eye seemed ok after the shed, little to no improvement in right eye.

- His left eye is almost as bad as his right now. He keeps both eyes closed most of the time, and only opens them to eat, or if we take him out of the cage for his eye drops/ saline rinse. (we are unable to figure out how to fill his eye turret, but after the saline rinse and drops, he swishes it around in his eye) When he washes his eyes he inflates them and moves his eyes around.

- I've noticed that his tongue reach has decreased substantially. He is only able to shoot it out about 2-3 inches.

- He is extremely disturbed by mistings. He normally likes to be misted, but now he runs (sometimes with his eyes closed) away whenever he is exposed to water.

- He seems much less interested in food. I'm only able to get 4-6 crickets in him a day, if anything. I gave him 3 small pieces of strawberry, which he ate, because I was worried about his hydration.


He's hasn't gotten worse in the last 2-3 days, but he is not getting better.


Here is my husbandry form.

Your Chameleon - Male, Veiled. 5 Months old (approx), had him for 2 months.

Handling - Multiple times a day to administer eye drops and rinse with saline.

Feeding - He's eating some crickets but his appetite has decreased significantly in the last week. Yesterday he ate 5 crickets, and 3 pieces of strawberry. He has not eaten yet today.

Supplements - Exoterra calcium without d3 every feeding. Exo terra mult + cal w/ d3 every two weeks.

Watering - I used to see him drink, but now I don't. He is misted manually a few times a day, plus his mister comes on for 60 sec every hour.

Fecal Description - Large poo, with white urate. Looks like he's pooping at least once every 2 days.

History - I bought him from a local reptile specialty store / reptile zoo. They only had him a day, but said he was from a breeder in Russia. Don't know the significance of that, if any.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - 2x2x4' tall, screen enclosure that we built ourselves out of pine 2x2's and aluminum screen.
Lighting - We have a 50W basking light, along with a brand new Repti Glo 5.0 UVB linear tube. We used to have the coil bulb, and a grow light that have both been removed. Before we went with the linear tube we changed his bulb to a 150 UVB coil, his eye closed that day, so we took it out immediately after we noticed the eye problem.

Temperature - Basking is usually 80*F - 85*F, Ambient is usually 70 - 80 during the day. Lowest overnight was 60*. We have two humidity/temp gauges, one near the basking, one near the middle portion on the opposite side from the lights.

Humidity - 20 - 50 % Humidity, maintained through misting system that goes off for 60 seconds, every hour. He used to drink from the spouts when they drip but I haven't seen him do that in a while. I have also been misting manually a lot more since this issue started. I also gave him a few 15 minute showers that pissed him off.

Plants - 2 pothos, and a bunch of fake foliage.

Placement - In the corner, between two windows, in my dining room. I have four cats that don't pay any attention to him. But other than that, it's only my husband and myself.

Location - Ontario, Canada



I'm going to take a series of pictures, and possibly a video. If you have ANY questions that aren't already answered in the post, PLEASE ASK!
 

Tyaeda

Member
There are a few things that I think may be contributing to the problem

- The uvb coil bulb
- Low humidity
- Poor shedding
- Sinus infection
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
I have to run out of the house so this will be brief, but look into vitamin A. Eye issues and a failing tongue are sometimes symptoms of low vitamin A, something that can be fixed by giving a drop or two of a fish oil capsule on a feeder for a few days.

Run a search or maybe someone else will fill in with more details, if not I'll re-reply when I get back home later.
 

Tyaeda

Member
I would have never guessed Vit A deficiency, but after looking it up, it looks like that might be the case... especially with the tongue problem. Another symptom is edema, and I believe he might have that going on as well. Maybe someone can tell from the pictures/video I posted?

I don't have fish oil to give right now (and he's not going after insects at the moment), so I'm wondering, since he's such a big veggie eater, if it would be a good idea to offer him some carrots. According to the packaging on the carrots I have, they are really high in VitA.

----
Edit... I just looked on my multivit box and it contains no Vit A what so ever, so now I'm pretty sure that's what's going on.... at least I hope so, cause if it is, I can treat it without putting him through a very very long car ride to the nearest vet (Guelph). I might even be able to go to the vet I already saw with this new information (if he's willing to listen) and administer the correct oral injection.
 

little leaf

Avid Member
how long has the coil bulb been out? I also had an issue with this bulb- I do not use them anymore- I watched the vid- I can only tell you what I saw with my cham, but she did the same thing, kept "flushing/washing " her eyes, even when there was no water - my vet told me that her eyes were irritated by this light, and thus the constant washing/rubbing them - we also thought she had shed or dirt in her eyes ( well, eye - she only had one eye, but I still had to tend the dry socket ) - to "wash" them, I had to take the eye drops and really squeeze it hard to make a stream into her eye - just strong enough to get into the eye- but not so strong you hurt her eye - but the light would have nothing to do with the tongue - so there is something going on for sure - when Olimpia gets back, she is VERY wise, and I am sure she can be of much more help - sorry I was not - but did want to share how I had to clean my chmmys eyes if it was any help :eek: - do you only feed crix? if so, you may want to get a bigger selection of feeders - I know its harder in Canada to get feeders - there was just a post on Can/ feeder suppliers - I will post it if I can find the link ~ will keep you and your cham in our prayers - best of luck - hang in there
 

Tyaeda

Member
how long has the coil bulb been out? I also had an issue with this bulb- I do not use them anymore- I watched the vid- I can only tell you what I saw with my cham, but she did the same thing, kept "flushing/washing " her eyes, even when there was no water - my vet told me that her eyes were irritated by this light, and thus the constant washing/rubbing them - we also thought she had shed or dirt in her eyes ( well, eye - she only had one eye, but I still had to tend the dry socket ) - to "wash" them, I had to take the eye drops and really squeeze it hard to make a stream into her eye - just strong enough to get into the eye- but not so strong you hurt her eye - but the light would have nothing to do with the tongue - so there is something going on for sure - when Olimpia gets back, she is VERY wise, and I am sure she can be of much more help - sorry I was not - but did want to share how I had to clean my chmmys eyes if it was any help :eek: - do you only feed crix? if so, you may want to get a bigger selection of feeders - I know its harder in Canada to get feeders - there was just a post on Can/ feeder suppliers - I will post it if I can find the link ~ will keep you and your cham in our prayers - best of luck - hang in there

The light has been out for a few days now, but there has been no improvement. I feed him mealworms and crickets, but mostly crickets. He also loves fruits and veggies and will usually take them, even when he's not taking crickets. When he's big enough we'll be getting him some superworms and hornworms... right now he's too small to eat them.


I offered him some carrots, and he ate some :) As weird as this sounds, he already seems to be happier, and is walking around with both eyes open and plump. This is the first time I've seen him this well in almost 2 weeks!!!!! I don't want to jump the gun, but I'm really excited to see SOME progress!

Thank you for the crossed fingers! I'll keep everyone updated!

--- Edit----
I just fed him 4 crickets. He couldn't reach very far so I have to put them right beside him. He seemed uninterested after the 4th one, so I put 4 more in a cup for him to grab later on. (This time I made sure the mister couldn't get at them, and drown them all again).
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Interesting that he might have some gular edema. It doesn't look too bad but can you get some more pictures including the front half of his body? Vitamin A deficit is possible for the eyes, but one of my theories for gular edema is excess vitamin A. If you haven't had a large component of vitamin A in your supplementation and gutloading then that would be less likely the cause. There are several theories that have credence so not terribly surprising, just interesting. He's pretty young for edema.

Glad he's looking better right now! Hopefully he continues on that trend!
 

Tyaeda

Member




It's quite possible that I mistaken his puffiness for swelling. If he does have it, it's not severe.
 

Tyaeda

Member
Well in those pictures it does not look like there's any edema!
Well that's great to hear!


Carrots are a big part of the gutload I feed the crickets, but I feed my crickets a large variety, and it's quite possible that they are favoring another food over them. Until I can get some fish oil for his feeders, I'm going to continue to offer him carrots.

I just finished blanching some carrots, and cutting them up into really small pieces. He also ate a couple more crickets out the cup, so I'm glad he's eating.

His eyes are open more often than they were, but he still closes them. Hopefully this is what's going on, and I can solve the problem :)
 

Tyaeda

Member
I just went to check up on him, and when I did he was eating the remaining crickets out of his cup. Offered him a meal worm too, and he ate that as well.

This is the most I've seen him eat in days. Besides his eyes closing sometimes, he seems to be back to normal. I really hope he keeps improving! :D
 

Tyaeda

Member
Really good news, keep up the good work.
Thanks! I'm willing to do anything for my babies, as long as it's good for them.
All the kudos should go to the experienced people here who have helped and informed me through these last few months. I simply could not have done it without you folks! In fact, if it wasn't for you guys, I would have listened to the pet store, and the vet, who both gave me some very bad advice (that I paid for none the less). You guys have all helped me, and have asked for nothing in return! I'm sooo incredibly grateful! :D
 

Dr O

Veterinarian
although this could be a vitamin/mineral issue, I personally doubt it with your supplements and feeding. I have treated four chams in the past month for ocular issues, some really nasty. I think the potential mistake here is assuming that the tongue isn't working well "is another sign" of deficiency, when you are certainly giving him enough calcium. my opposing thought is that his ocular issue is primary, likely bacterial/foreign body/UVB burn, and when chams can't see very well or only have one eye to work with, they secondarily lose the aiming ability for their tongue. I have seen that recently with complaints of missing food or not sticking it out as far when the issues were only ocular as far as I could see on repeat exams. and the 3 of 4 that I was able to fix began using their tongues normally again with eye treatments alone.

I'm a big proponent of flushing the eye and ducts as well as possible, usually under sedation, C&S and meds. nasolacrimal ducts that were completely blocked opened back up after two weeks of therapy, easily tested with some flourescein dye in the eye and seeing if it makes it's way to the mouth within a few minutes. food for thought.
 

ataraxia

Avid Member
Id have to agree.
1. The vit A eye deficiency problem is really thrown at panthers. I have not encountered a veiled yet that has had an issue with proformed vitamins. Wouldnt count it out but i wouldnt put my money that this is the issue.
2. I have witnessed first hand eye issues from past coil bulbs. They close the eyes within a day or so and if you leave it on them. On the second or third day the eyes swell and will have discharge. Removing the bulb the eyes cleared up on there own within 3-5 days.
3. I did see a picture where it appeared that he had a swollen turret towards the front pointing towards an infection. Usually you will see a knot or formation between the eyes that points towards needing the duct cleaned. I dont see it on your kid but im with Dr.O. I would explore this option.
 
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