Dying Cham at Swap-meet

esponda55

New Member
I went to the swap-meet this Saturday with my boyfriend where we saw a tall screen cage. Naturally, I asked the guy if it was a chameleon and he said yes. I asked what kind and his answer was "a flaphead chameleon." I had no idea what that was so I asked to see it. Turns out, it's an adult veiled in really bad condition. The little thing was in a shaded area with a tiny stick and plant that may (or may not) be toxic. It had no basking or UV lights. I was outraged and saddened because it had a lot of leftover shed and flakiness and it's helmet was really flat.
He said he'd sell it to me for $45 but I got away with $36. He said it was male and told us "make sure you put a branch in the cage." I got mad at his stupidity and told him the poor thing was sick and he reacted defensively telling me "no it's not. It eats." I took "him" to the petshop I shop at for Tootie (my first veiled) and the guy confirmed he is a she and that she is underweight. He said she'd be ok but I realized right away there is something really wrong. She won't eat and drinks a lot more than Tootie. She also isn't as responsive as I'm used to. By that I mean that she doesn't puff up when she gets made like Tootie does.
So, I took her to the vet yesterday. The vet pretty much confirmed that she is suffering from severe dehydration and that her skin is flaky and stuff because the humidity she was in was inadequate. They gave her some shots with vitamins and did a tube feeding since we don't know when or what she's been eating. They also gave her liquids to hydrate her. The vet warned me that if she doesn't get better within a few days they will need to do a blood test to check for kidney failure. I really hope she is ok but to be honest, I'm a little worried. I've only seen her eat one cricket and a superworm since Saturday. She doesn't look for food and seems to wait for it to come to her. She can hold her weight and the vet said she's clear of MBD but her helmet kind of worries me.
I kind of feel torn about buying her because I feel like I'm supporting the stupid guy who was selling her but at the same time I feel like she wouldn't have made it if I didn't. All I'm doing now is waiting and watching her for progress.
Oh, I showered her today and she loved it. Her personality is starting to show through so I hope that's a good sign. We decided to name her Hercules because we want her to be strong and healthy when she recovers =)
I will post pics as soon as I can.
 

Dez

Chamalot Chameleons
Bless your heart!

This is a familiar story we unfortunately hear too often. So many people are uneducated about how to properly take care of a chameleon.

I hope your girl makes a full recovery.

A friend of mine once rescued a pair of veilds that where extremely EXTREMELY underweight. They literally looked like walking skeletons. He was able to turn them back into healthy chams again.. so there is always hope for a positive outcome.
 

melric

Established Member
I hope she makes a full recovery! She sounds worse than my rescue. There sure are a lot of good hearted people here. All the best!:D
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
Thank you for caring, I hope she does really well for you. Did the vet check if she might be carrying eggs? Might explain her not eating.
 

Trace

Captain Awesome
Are you sure he didn't say Flapneck Chameleon? Many thousands of those are imported every year and the trip from Africa can take their toll on delicate chameleons. Everything you are describing sounds like a sickly wild caught import to me not a mistreated Veiled as you describe no casque (helmet).

Keep up with the showers - do it daily for at least 20 minutes at a time. The excess water will not hurt her at this point and will help rehydrate her. Flapnecks (if that is what she is) are not fussy eaters generally but they do prefer crickets and flies over worms. Offer small amounts of food daily and follow your vets recommendations.

Good luck!
 

esponda55

New Member
Are you sure he didn't say Flapneck Chameleon? Many thousands of those are imported every year and the trip from Africa can take their toll on delicate chameleons. Everything you are describing sounds like a sickly wild caught import to me not a mistreated Veiled as you describe no casque (helmet).

Keep up with the showers - do it daily for at least 20 minutes at a time. The excess water will not hurt her at this point and will help rehydrate her. Flapnecks (if that is what she is) are not fussy eaters generally but they do prefer crickets and flies over worms. Offer small amounts of food daily and follow your vets recommendations.

Good luck!
Hmmmm. She doesn't have a helmet and it is very possible that the guy said flapneck. Should I worry about parasites? I read somewhere that wild chams may carry those. the vet couldn't test her feces because she hadn't gone since I've had her. she finally went today and it looked really wet. Is that a sign of dehydration? her urine was definitel abnormal it was yellow and orange. I Managed to get her to eat one more worm but she is igoring the bowl. How can I get her to eat? She avoids my hand so hand feeding is not really an option. I bought her a ficus and she is loving it up there. I also gave her a bath in warm water (vet suggested I do to promote bowel movement) and she was wriggling around trying to get out, something she didn't do during yesterday's bath. Her colors are more vibrant so she seems to be doing better but I'm worried about feeding her since she won't approach the bowl or hunt the critters that climb out. i'd like to put up pics but I don't ve internet and have to post from my phone =(
 

melric

Established Member
Yellow in her poo usually means she is dehydrated. Just keep up the warm water misting. Sometimes when my cham's hiss at me I can put a worm or cricket next to their mouth and as they're trying to bite me they bite the bug. Then they eat it. Idk if you can try that. I fed my new Ambi that way today. He is a bit aggressive.
 

JaxyGirl

Avid Member
I just wanted to say how wonderful it is that you rescued her. You have a big heart..and it sounds like your new girl ended up with the best person to care for her. Best of luck on her recovery :):):):)
Natalie
 

esponda55

New Member
Yellow in her poo usually means she is dehydrated. Just keep up the warm water misting. Sometimes when my cham's hiss at me I can put a worm or cricket next to their mouth and as they're trying to bite me they bite the bug. Then they eat it. Idk if you can try that. I fed my new Ambi that way today. He is a bit aggressive.
She doesn't open her mouth at all. she has never hissed no matter how much I bug her. Tootie (my other cham) is really sassy and does get aggressive but Hercules doesn't even puff up. she is evasive and not confrontational at all. I'd like to think she will just get so hungry that she will be forced to eat =(
 

melric

Established Member
Yeah, that's definitely not a Veiled. It looks really dehydrated too. Maybe someone can give her some Flapneck help??? I don't own any.
 

esponda55

New Member
Do you have any pic's to show. We could tell if it was a Veiled from a pic.
Yeah, that's definitely not a Veiled. It looks really dehydrated too. Maybe someone can give her some Flapneck help??? I don't own any.
Yup she has the sunken eye thing going on but I'm keeping her as misted and moist as I can. I feel a bit intimidated knowing now that she isn't a veiled. There isn't a lot online about flapnecks so I hope she will be ok with what I have for her now until I can accomodate her better. It's still a lot better than where she was before.
 

sallyb

New Member
Thank goodness you did get her. I really hope she responds well to treatment. Although it is annoying that you paid the seller I think you definitely did the right thing without doubt. She is a lucky girl to have found such a loving home. :)
 

Trace

Captain Awesome
Yup, definitely a wild caught female Flapneck Chameleon. Care is very similar to a Veiled so check out this site for caging, lighting, supplementing and other basic husbandry tips: http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/

She is dehydrated so continue with the showers or extra long misting sessions but beyond that keep your handling to a minimum. Just let her chill in her cage. No baths – this just stresses them out. Unless she is straining to poo she will eventually produce one, especially with the extra watering. She may not have had much to eat in the last few weeks so therefore there will be no poo to produce. Putting lots of plants (preferably real non-toxic ones but plastic will do in a pinch) will provide her with lots of cover in which to hide and feel secure. In the wild chameleons do not eat from bowls so she may not recognize that as an option for feeding. Free range a few crickets in her cage and she may not eat in front of you initially. Flies are also relished by many chameleons so maybe order some of those. Again, worms were not always accepted as food so try crickets, flies and roaches as prey first. Eventually I would recommend getting a fecal done to check for parasites but she is in a delicate state and adding any poisons (which is what dewormers really are) to her system can be detrimental at this early stage. I would focus on watering, watering and more watering for the next few days and then when she is stronger and eating regularly hit her with some meds.

She doesn’t look completely horrible so I think you can pull her around with some extra TLC.

Any other questions; don’t be shy.

Good luck!
Trace
 
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