dried blood at vent, then slight fresh blood, then tiny urate or sperm??


Established Member
I apologize in advance for my long detailed babbling.
So - I cleaned & rearranged my little guy's cage a couple hours ago, and as I was putting him back in I noticed a dark spot on his bum, so I lifted him out to check him out and there was what was probably dried blood on his tail below his vent. I also noticed a weird looking spot/sore (not open wound) I didn't notice before on his upper inside rear right leg, hoped maybe blood was from that, but after some awkward finagling with a warm wet paper towel, i was able to gently clean the blood off and just as i finished, there was a tiny bit of fresh red blood you could see beginning to show on the vent. I don't know if that little bit of fresh blood was due to maybe me pulling at the dried blood that was stuck to the vent? or from something else.
Anyways, At that moment i could feel he was just way way too stressed and needed a break (closed eyes, grip getting looser) so I quickly put him back in his cage.
I hadn't noticed this blood or sore before, as I have not handled him in about a week (only had him 12 days), and that was quickly, just to move him, plus the cage is pretty full of plants so I don't get that detailed of a view when he's sitting/climbing much either. (He may have had sore when I got him, but the dark stuff wasn't there before, I would have noticed that the first night as I had to handle him twice.)
On the bright side, he was happy to be back in his cage, perked up, I misted, he drank off some leaves, crawled around & checked the place out. Seemed happy. I put a cricket in there, to see if he was interested in food, and he was, he eye balled it a little, but it fell off the wet leaves before he positioned himself, put another, same thing, so I put a superworm on a vine , he got very excited and ate it right away. So, still moving around fine (grip back), still drinking, still hungry & eating fine.
I decided to just let him settle down first, I went and looked up some phone numbers of the vets, called one to see if they were even open today (snow storm)
I searched on here quickly for blood, bleeding, pictures of prolapse, etc. to be prepared. Couldn't find anything quite the same.
I misted and even turned the humidifier that sits next to his cage and pointed it into the cage to try and keep the plant he was on moist, in case something else did come out maybe it wouldn't dry up on him.
Well, he just loved that, crawled over to it, almost fell of his leaves. I misted again, and put another vine in there lower so he could be supported by it if he ventured too far on the leaves again. He used it to reach the screen side and perched right in front of the humidifier blast.
I then noticed that he had a little tiny dark pokey thing protruding from his bum area, and freaked out a little. I first thought oh no, a prolapse, then thought no, it's probably a parasite..
So I took him out to get a better look.
So actually this tiny dark poking sliver looking thing was attached to the end of a small creamy coloured gelly looking blob that wasn't even right at his vent but kind of stuck to his tail a little lower like it swung there from a little strand and stuck. I took a picture and put him back cause I wasn't sure if more was coming.
I went to look for pictures of sperm plug, etc. but it wasn't all dark and hard-looking like the pictures I found. Kind of more like the pictures of sperm stuck to vines though.
I went back and checked him again nothing new, so I wiped it off of him to get a better look. His grip was back just fine, so he's not weak or anything.

Now that it's dried up more, it is clear that that pointy dark tip thing is reddish (dried blood I imagine, from that little fresh bleeding that just happened) and the rest looks much more yellowy now that it's dried. Maybe it's just a tiny little urate??
Nothing is protruding, all body parts are inside where they belong.

I have only noticed about 4 poops so far since I got him, they all seemed pretty normal I believe, part brown, other part white - but - with a tiny little kind of seperate looking "tail" of more of a golden colour, I was going to ask you guys about that. I'm sure that some of his excrements are getting lost in the plants. I cleaned all the ones I found away, so I have none to show you guys, or a vet unfortunately.

It's after 5pm now, so I'm not able to see a reptile vet today anyways. In the morning maybe if we don't get snowed in tonight like they're saying. Can they even check for parasites without a fecal sample to offer them??

I'm wondering if you guys can tell me some of the possible causes for the blood.

Being WC, I am sure it's a distinct possibility/probability that the bleeding could be related to parasites, that was my first assumption.

Could bleeding also be related to eating feeders bigger than he should be eating? I was just happy he was eating something, and drinking often and seemed to be relaxing and enjoying his new home.
I'm slightly concerned about possible impaction from his insects - he wouldn't acknowledge the small silkworms, or butterworms. All he's interested in is crickets or superworms. I had picked out a few of the smallest out of the medium crickets bin we had at my store, as well as the smallest superworms we had when I first brought him home. He took them down like a champ. I got more crickets from my supplier, but he like me was thinking small, and brought me very very tiny small ones. My guy won't touch them. They're too small, he won't even look at them. So I could only find a few more acceptable (though bigger than the first ones) sized crickets and supers (still bigger than the first ones) from work. He seemed to not have a problem eating those sizes, wasn't intimidated, chomped them right down, but I was worried about going too big. I got proper sized crickets yesterday from another store, so the crickets should be fine now, but the all but one of the rest of the supers I have are almost near normal sized so I'm worried about those. He seems fine eating them, but he's just not a very big boy. I mean they're not size large, big honkin ones or anything, just still bigger than I thought he'd want.
Without any of the squishy juicy bugs I was counting on mixing in there, just crickets and supers seems kind of crunchy. I'm gutloading well, (collard greens, dandelion greens, romaine, acorn squash, carrot, orange, kiwi, plus a little sprinkle of hemp hearts since I haven't gotten a dry mix together yet) but still.
I think he's really hungry. Have only been giving him 2 or 3 bugs a day. Usually 2 crickets, one superworm. There were a couple days there where he had 2 supers.
Not entirely sure of his age, probably somewhere in the range of 4 to 6 months according to the forum's estimates, so didn't want to skip a day yet, but also didn't want to over feed.

The other thing is, he also doesn't really bask near the heat lamp. Which, I mean, if the cage is comfortable I guess he doesn't really need to, but if he's hardly ever getting his body temp up nice & warm, doesn't that make it even harder to digest things? Basking spot was low to mid 80's, room stays above 70. Maybe two basking spots? Especially now that the cage is longer. Right now he's dark, under the uvb light, but not the basking light.

Anyway, that was just something I was worried about, the bug thing.
Let me know your thoughts.

Update since I started writing this message:

he pooped - yay!, so he CAN (I was worried, since the blood) - so now I have a sample for a fecal
2 seperate brown blobs and a slightly smaller white blob with about a third more yellow. no blood that I could tell on any of it. I transferred that right into a baggie with a piece of moistened kleenex in it. Should I refrigerate that?
Picture attached is with the dried blood. More to follow, along with info form.
Thanks for your help and advice guys.


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I know, you want the form..

the basics:
Flapneck - male, age unknown, probably between 4 to 6 months? size is 3 inches nose to vent, less than 6 inches including tail
have had him for 12 days
Handling - on day 1 to move between cages, on day 2 to examine a little and take a picture, a couple of times since then just to reposition him in cage when he had gotten himself in a stupid place where it looked like he was struggling (I had flextray on inside wall, he thought he could climb it and frame poles, too slippery)
feeding - see above, crickets and supers, about 3 a day, small to med sized (tried silks & butters, no dice.)
Supplements - Have only dusted with plain rep cal no D calcium so far. Very lightly, not even every bug every time, since I do it one at a time. so maybe averaging out to 2 out of 3 bugs a day??
Watering - misting several times a day, basically every time I notice the leaves are dry, (usually because of scheduling reasons, more at beginning of day, then again more before lights out, not too much in middle) for at least a minute at a time (to cover all plants in cage, and if the water in mister is very freshly warm, I mist up in air over top of him too, so it falls on him, but I only do that about twice a day. - He drinks off of leaves almost every single time I've ever misted the plants. He's not shy about drinking in front of me.
Fecal - see above, again. Mostly white, some yellow. Not tested for parasites yet.
History - WC flapneck, got him 12 days ago. Unsure about history at wholesaler. Probably had a trip from toronto to windsor, then about an hour in car before he got to me. Seemed to be pretty relaxed and enjoying his new home.
Cage is 100 gallon flexarium - 4 ft tall, 30 inches wide, 16? deep - I had the back lined with a flextray to help with humidity and protect wall from misting
Lighting is 60 watt blue daylight uva heat bulb, 24 inch repti glo 5.0 uvb tube
lights on for between 12 and 14 hours (no timer yet)
(of note - I've had him on midnight shift. My husband works midnights so when he sleeps during the day the room is pitch dark, we have window blocked off and tv off, etc. So that is chameleon's night time. He does sleep, I've checked. At real night when husband leaves, I put the cage lights on. It works out, chameleon gets almost no traffic, plus, since I like having the tv on when I'm falling asleep, the light from that doesn't interfere with chameleon's sleep cause it's his daytime.)
Temperature - best basking spot read low to mid 80's, but i never saw him sit right there. cage usually mid 70's. room never gets below 70 or heat kicks on. i have a digital thermometer with positionable sensor, I usually left it in basking spot.
Humidity - see above. I have a digital hygrometer, but I believe it's faulty. Unless I'm not using it right. It's only ranged 2 degrees ever, usually never changes. Even after misting, even after adding a room humidifier right next to cage and leaving it go constantly. The room humidifier has a digital sensor and it ranges but never seems to be able to bring it above 50% unfortunately, so I hand mist frequently to make up for it. Usually every time the leaves get dry for the first 3 hours, then the same when I get up, then I let the leaves dry right before lights out. The humidifier goes constantly though, but I don't have it piped into cage.
Live plants - ponytail plant, hoya vines, bromelaid, staghorn fern, african violet - all washed before placing and repotted in mix of coconut coir and my redworm compost - But he has not been down to soil level yet.
Placement - Located in bedroom (only room I can get totally dark) Not high traffic as in back & forth. People are in here, but always laying down (low and not much motion) - no heckles about inactive bedroom please! lol.
No fans, no vents, not near window, no drafts.
Cage is on dresser, which is hip height for me, I'm 5'2". Cage was 4 ft tall, Basking spot above my head.
Geographically located Southernmost Ontario Canada (think Detroit)

Current Problem: found dried blood near vent. Seems fine now though.
Your thoughts, likely cause?

Picture attached is his bum area after I cleaned off the blood, put him back in his cage, this is the thing I found stuck to him after - the urine?/sperm maybe??/probably just small urine only, with tip of previous blood attached. I will attach a closeup of that too.

So, IF the thought IS probably parasites, should i just bring the poop to vet first, or the chameleon too? Today's handling and ahem, bum rubbing got him really flippin upset. It was scary how he was just like "I give up".
Add to that a couple slow car rides through the snow and even more in-depth probing at the vet... he might really give up??


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I had the same exact symptoms with my chameleon. I believe what happened to my guy is because he was feeding on superworms before I got him. I think he still had undigested superworms bits when we picked him up. I think his intestines were scraped up by the undigested chitin of the superworm. He passed a very bloody stool the first day I had him. His feces after that were very liquid but had consecutively less blood. I gave him plenty of water to stay hydrated and also gave him mineral oil to help pass whatever was causing it. He seems to be doing much better. In your situation, I believe he may have digested something while he was at the wholesaler considering he is wc.

I didn't take him to the vet because there are no reptile friendly vets in my area. So I had the help of the breeder and some research to work through this.
Sorry to hear your little guy is having issues.

First thing I noticed right off the bat was the swelling around the base of his tail. Looks like his hemipenes are inflamed for some reason. Is this something that has gotten worse or has he been like that since you got him? I would venture to guess its some sort of infection.

I have had males leave tiny amounts, way less than a drop of blood when dislodging spermplugs, but it is not common. Usually in this case the blood is on a branch, more like an abrassion.

Given the amount of blood that was there and the swelling, I would say that a trip to the vet for him is warranted, weather permitting. Keep us updated as to what happens please.
this is what came out shortly after I cleaned off the blood

just urine, with previous bit of fresh blood dried onto end on way out??


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Sorry to hear your little guy is having issues.

First thing I noticed right off the bat was the swelling around the base of his tail. Looks like his hemipenes are inflamed for some reason. Is this something that has gotten worse or has he been like that since you got him? I would venture to guess its some sort of infection.

I have had males leave tiny amounts, way less than a drop of blood when dislodging spermplugs, but it is not common. Usually in this case the blood is on a branch, more like an abrassion.

Given the amount of blood that was there and the swelling, I would say that a trip to the vet for him is warranted, weather permitting. Keep us updated as to what happens please.

Thank you for your reply.
You know, I thought it looked a bit too swollen, but I don't have experience to go on. He always did have a bit of a bulge, a little wider there, but I thought that was just a boy thing. I never really flipped him over and examined it though, so I don't know if it has been that big all along.
Sounds like a likely theory though, considering the sore on the leg, maybe he's been rubbing the area for a while? Or, possibly vice versa, maybe he's been rubbing the area for the leg thing and irritated the vent and it's parts??
Its kind of hard to tell from the picture, but it doesn't really look like a urate. If you let it dry out and try to crumble it, urates when dry turn to powder.

Males do have a bulge. Usually its most pronounced from the side view. It will hang down at the base of their tail. The bulging to the sides, from a top or bottom view, is not common.

It is definately possible that one led to the other.
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Its kind of hard to tell from the picture, but it doesn't really look like a urate. If you let it dry out and try to crumble it, urates when dry turn to powder.

Males do have a bulge. Usually its most pronounced from the side view. It will hang down at the base of their tail. The bulging to the sides, from a top or bottom view, is not common.

It is definately possible that one led to the other.

Well, lets see what other previous pictures I have, maybe you could tell if it was already there from first day, we'd know if it's more swollen.
It won't let me upload because I already uploaded into this thread here:
I don't see too much swelling in the previous pics. The third pic, in the set of three, does seem to show a little bulge, but it looks fairly normal. Given the old picture I would say there is an increased swelling at the tail base.
causes for hemipenal swelling/inflammation?

What would possibly cause such an issue then? Is that likely parasite-related?
Its kind of hard to tell from the picture, but it doesn't really look like a urate. If you let it dry out and try to crumble it, urates when dry turn to powder.

well, I checked that out again this morning and it's not crumbly. So i guess probably not just urine? Although actually also looking quite a lot likethe little "tails" i was describing on the ends of the other urines i've been seeing, where most of it's white white, then a little skinny bit of a golden tip to it. What is that about? Is that normal?
Anyways, this thing from yesterday, It hardened and it's now looking a lot more like the sperm plugs you see in most of the pictures. But it wasn't hardened like that when it came out of him, as I guess some of them are. So I'm sure that wouldnt have caused the bleeding, probably just needed to come out, whether it's spermy or uriney, I don't think it's a reason for the blood, maybe the dried blood was just blocking him up a bit? Or maybe all the genital stroking lol from cleaning him up loosened up some stuff that was waiting to come out.
The swelling is probably not parasite related. For the most part parasites are concentrated in the gut of animals, with a few exceptions. I have never witnessed a golden tip at the end of a urate. If the animal is dehydrated the urate usually appears to white faded into orange near the fecal end. If it is very dehydrated the urates are totally orange or not present. I dont know what that thing is that you have been seeing. If it is an infection, any opening in the skin could have let bacteria in. The wound on the leg or even just the vent opening are both possible.

I dont know what the thing is that you found. It does not look any sperm plugs I have ever seen. When the first come out they are very soft. Within a day they will turn rock hard. They are always shaped like this in my experience though, 0------0. The 0's are kind of little sacks. and the ----- is a thin connecting piece. It is usually never in a straight line like that, most of the time it is bent in half. But they still look like I showed. If I had one in a cage atm I would snap a pic for you.

Just something to keep in mind. Reptiles don't have the same reaction to an infection as mammals. Our "puss" is fliud, theirs is not. When they get an infection these large lumps of cheesy sort of stuff form. If it is not removed totally it will cause reinfection. Maybe some this chessy stuff was dislodged and thats is what you found.

I know he has been stressed already but I do think a vet is warranted. These guys will go downhill fast and one problem often causes another.
Okay, interesting. Thanks very much for all the detailed info.
Strangely, as far as I can recall, im almost sure that these tips on the urates were on the non-fecal end.

Before it dried up, that thing actually looked exactly like half of what you described your sperm plugs as. It was one round sac, with a thin little strand, I believe leading to the vent. Maybe the other half didn't come out until later?
(I mean exactly except for the dried bloody tip, but that could be explained by the bit of blood that was at the vent after I cleaned him.)
Anyways, I agree he needs to go to the vet. I just feel awful that all this had to happen on such an already otherwise stressful day for him. So all that after being out on a plant waiting for his cage to be cleaned, then he had to go into an unfamiliar cage afterwards, poor guy. He seemed okay later, ate and drank, but was darker than usual for quite a while, I think he was cold, his cage is now more open, and he was perched under the UVB not basking light. I'll have to go plant shopping again soon, give him more cover now that there's more space.
Do you happen to have an idea what kind of medicine he might end up getting for this issue? I am not sure how to go about administering medicine to a chameleon... Any tips?
If the problem is infection, they will give you some sort of antibiotic. Baytril and Fortaz are the common ones, they do go by other names as well. Baytril is oral or injected, and the fortaz is injection only. Personally I despise Baytril, I have had bad side effects with some chams on it. I don't like the shots in general either, I dont like the added stress. I have had very good results with oral Chloramphenicol. It is not common prescribed anymore, due to a issue some humans having a reaction. I love the stuff though. As for giving the meds, theres many ways of that. If its oral meds theres two ways that I use. Pry his mouth open and shoot it in, or get the meds in or on a feeder.

If you go the first route, get a silicone spatula. The smaller the better, I use one from a child playset. The silicone is soft and it wont damage the lips or gums when you try to open her mouth. It also acts to depress the tounge and block the trachea, to prevent the meds from being aspirated. This used to be my prefered method.

If you want to try it on the feeders. This is a little more tricky but I use this way now whenever possible. If it is a small amount .01cc-.05cc I just put the meds under the back wings of a female cricket. They can hold a good amount of liquid under them. Just make sure he eats them all if you need to use multiples. Another route is to ask the vet for 1 syringe to inject the feeders with the meds. I have had good luck with injecting just at the start of the abdomen. It seems like if you puts some meds in the crickets they die though. Which can be problematic if your vet gives you the exact right amount of meds.

My least favorite is the shots. In most cases it will be once every 3 days. I suggest you alternate back legs, as the tend to get sore. If you have to give the injections make sure the vet shows you exactly how to do this. You may also need help from someone else to restrain the cham while you do it. A wash cloth works well to protect the fingers. The idea though is to go into the muscle of the rear leg, not a vein, and not under the skin. When you look at the chams skin, you want to try and go between their scales. It not 100% crucial as most times the needle ends up there anyway. But it is alot easier to get through that thinner skin between the scales. It takes practice to get good at it and even more to get "comfortable" with it.

Hope you are able to get to the bottom of things with your vet.
I kind of wanted to stay off this topic but since you asked. Baytril is a very powerful drug, devolped for mammals. It is very powerful, and works well to rid the bacteria, as long as its sensitive to it. However it is very powerful, and it has affected two chams of mine when treated with it.

First was a female panther with a URI. She was eating, drinking, and moving aorund well, given the URI. I started her on baytril within three days she was unable to stay in her tree. For some reason it seemed to affect the motor functions to her legs. Her grip was weak, she was uncordianted, and stopped eating. I continued it for 5 days before telling the vet to give me another antibiotic. That was my first time using baytril.

I used it after this a few times sucessfully with no ill effects. These were at the suggestion of a new vet. Me and the first one had a falling out over the Baytril incident. He was claiming that it was the URI that caused the uncordinated movements and her stopping eating. BTW within 2-3 days of being off it she was back to normal, so I doubt it was the URI that caused it.
I think I used it two or three more times with no problems.

Then I had a mellers cham who ripped out a toe nail. The trip to the vet and the antibiotics were precautionary. He was acting fine, just I notice the redness and a little swelling. Being that things usually become more complicate/expensive the longer they go on, I put him on antibiotics. Big mistake on my part. Same thing happend to the mellers as the female panther. I watched him go down hill over 3-4 days, seemingly just from the meds. Again I stopped the Baytril and he returned close to normal. He didn't really seem to have the same speed moving through his plants after that. Kinda of like he had a limp.

Many many people have had no ill effects from Baytril. There are a few instances of people having exactly what happend with mine. Theres atleast 3 or 4 post on here about it. I choose to try other things first, mainly the chloramphenicol. My vet now knows how I feel about it, and works with me to get other meds if needed.

This answer was in no way to tell you not to use baytril. Just to make you more aware of what to look for. I basically have come to the view that I will use it IF NOTHING else will kill the bacteria. This is my opinion, based on previous experiences
Thank you again. That's the kind of thing I was wondering. I just like to be prepared and aware of possible symptoms to watch out for. I'm a little paranoid cause since we're kind of warned to be careful with flappies not to oversupplement, I imagine they might be extra sensitive to medications as well?
To be honest I don't know if montanes should be getting smaller doses. I would doubt it, given that it is two different functions that are involved. Generally the lower supplementation is to account for their low temperature lifestyles. IE the use up the supplements slower because they don't warm up as much. That leads to the possibility of overdoses over a length of time.

It is the drug itself that would be combating the bacteria. It has to be at some determined concentration in the blood to act properly. A lower concentration might just expose the bacteria to it, and allow them to become immune. The drug would probably be in them for a longer amount of time for the same reason mentioned before. But its not like he will be on this for the rest of his life. Not like supplements that he would be getting for the rest of his life.

Maybe someone more experienced with them will help out.
Okay, help, Now he just vomitted!!!!

Okay, I have a vet appt in the morning, but now I'm getting even more worried. He's been mostly basking since he got up tonight, didn't drink too much (he normally loves to drink) he just climbed up on a vine near me, kind of rubbed his snout on it a few times,'leaned over it, hung down, opened his mouth wide, gagged a bit then piled up what looked like a big poop!! I picked it up and checked it out, it was mostly half eaten superworm (from last night)
He was kind of licking his lips or something afterwards, I was worried he was gonna do something stupid with is tongue, so I hurried up and misted again quick. He drank a bit off a few leaves, then went right under the basking lamp, like touching his nose to the screen under the lamp.
I'm worried. I'm afraid to feed him, for starters. I'm certainly not going to feed him superworms again any time soon!!
What would make a chameleon puke - normally, or in relation to his other issues?
Anything I can do for him overnight???
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