Eye Problem

SaveDeafDogs

New Member
Hey everyone,
So.... I'm obviously very saddened by this... so any suggestions are great!

Current Problem -
I woke up a couple days ago and noticed my female panther chameleon was squinting her right eye. I tried to flush it out with some water and checked on her the next day and it seemed to be getting worse. I flushed the eye out with water again and a large clot of what looked like puss came out with a q-tip. (Obviously I was being VERY gentle). Her eye looks like its still pretty swollen and puss might be pooling inside again. I know a vet is probably the best solution. But the vets around me aren't available to see her till monday and I'd like to do something before then seeing as how it might be getting worse.
Suggestions or ideas?

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Panther, female, 9 months
How long has it been in your care? 8 months
Handling -every day, loves being handled
Feeding - Crickets, and wax and mealworms, 8-15 per day, gut loading with carrot cricket diet
Supplements - calcium couple times a week, vitadust once a month
Watering - dripper and 2x-4x mistings per day
Fecal Description - looks normal from what I've seen, she was housed with another female till yesterday, so i will know more about this soon


Cage Info:
Cage Type - screen 4ftx2x2
Lighting - 9am turn on 100w powersun bulb (was using coil florescent and halogen, switched about a week ago)
Temperature - 85-75 and mid to low 70s at night
Humidity - ranges but between 30-70%
Plants - ficus
Placement - cage is on the floor and is about 4 feet tall. there is a ceiling fan in the room that is sometimes on, and an AC unit about 9 feet away
Location -Chatsworth ca
 

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Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
I know a vet is probably the best solution. But the vets around me aren't available to see her till monday and I'd like to do something before then seeing as how it might be getting worse.
Feeding - Crickets, and wax and mealworms, 8-15 per day, gut loading with carrot cricket diet
Supplements - calcium couple times a week, vitadust once a month
Lighting - 9am turn on 100w powersun bulb (was using coil florescent and halogen, switched about a week ago)
Temperature - 85-75 and mid to low 70s at night
Humidity - ranges but between 30-70%
Plants - ficus

You will need a vet, no question, and don't wait. This will need a systemic antibiotic as the infection isn't going to be reachable topically. You could make her more comfortable by keeping her eye clean. If you spritz it with sterile saline (contact lens rinse solution without preservatives) instead of water it will help loosen the discharge, help her clean her eye, and it won't sting like plain water would.

Your diet could be improved as well as your supplementation schedule. These tweaks may help keep her as healthy as possible during treatment. Your gutload can be improved quite a bit with fruit (orange is good because of the vit. C) dark leafy greens (not spinach or broccoli as they tend to bind up dietary calcium), bee pollen, spirulina and fortified cereal grains. There are some excellent gutloads available from forum sponsors too.

Dusting should be done with plain calcium (no D3) lightly each day, with D3 a couple of times a week, and a herp multivitamin dust once a month.

I'm not sure about the Powersun as you just started using it, but they can produce a lot of heat for a cham that has to get very close to the bulb to get the necessary amount of UV. I haven't used this type of bulb so am not an expert on that. How close to the bulb can she get? What's the temp right at the basking perch?
 

SaveDeafDogs

New Member
Do you think it would be problematic to wait till monday to take her in? I have Terramycin arriving tomrrow morning, I've heard thats what is typically used to treat this kind of infection (if thats what it is, which is what I'm guessing) and I will be putting that on starting tomorrow. The vets I called in my area dont have any openings till monday. They are all closed on sunday and thats my first day off this week. I can't miss work, but I might be able to have someone else take her on friday if it's terribly important, but they arent even open till then.

I'm not waiting to see a vet, I'll go as soon as I can, but in the mean time I was hoping to start treating her myself. Any meds or anything you suggest?
 

NosyBe15

Member
All the vet did for me was get the gunk out. Which sounds like you have done. and gave me Tobramycin Ophthalmic Soultion USP 0.3% for his eye drops which i applied twice a day for 14 days.

My biggest issue was I could not get that big ole thing of gunk out of his eye.
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
Do you think it would be problematic to wait till monday to take her in? I have Terramycin arriving tomrrow morning, I've heard thats what is typically used to treat this kind of infection (if thats what it is, which is what I'm guessing) and I will be putting that on starting tomorrow. The vets I called in my area dont have any openings till monday. They are all closed on sunday and thats my first day off this week. I can't miss work, but I might be able to have someone else take her on friday if it's terribly important, but they arent even open till then.

I'm not waiting to see a vet, I'll go as soon as I can, but in the mean time I was hoping to start treating her myself. Any meds or anything you suggest?

The problem with starting treatment of the eye itself (and I totally understand why you want to start!) is that it may mask the extent of the infection by the time you DO get to the vet, or treating it incorrectly could lead to development of more resistant bacteria. If they try sensitivity cultures to pinpoint what bacteria are present your treatment could make it that much harder to figure out. I don't know. Also, as we don't know if the infection is limited to the part of the eye that a topical can reach it might not get at the root of the problem anyway.

I'm hoping one of our vets could give you ideas how to support her until your vet visit.
 

SaveDeafDogs

New Member
So! I took her to the vet today and the vet said a couple things.

She has an eye infection. The cream I already bought and have been administering is exactly what she would prescribe for this issue (which is great news, cause systematic antibiotics can be very stressful and dehydrating). LLL Reptiles delivered it on thursday. Vet says she should be healed in 10 days of using the cream and rinsing with reptile eye drops.
When i originally posted her eye wasnt really opening at all. The day I got the meds and the eye drops (thursday, today is monday) and put them in she was doing MUCH better within a couple hours, i assume the reptile eye drops helped. She started moving her eye around and opening it to normal size. The puss was still caked to the eye lid and eye, but has been slowly coming out with persistent spraying from a water bottle. The vet checked her eye with some dye and said she doesnt have any scratches or issues with her eyeball besides the infection.
They gave us some more eye drops and told us to keep putting on the cream and rinsing it and it will take care of itself. Also gave her a Vitamin A shot just in case, vet said to increase her Vitamin A intake in multivitamins to once a week for the next month.
That's the good news...
As for how this happened....
She said this is probably a result of us not properly quarantining a new male. We received a sick male a few weeks back and eventually introduced them before realizing the issue was internal not just dehydration from shipping. He seemed to be in okay health when we got him, but his health started declining quickly and he actually passed away very suddenly this weekend. We were very alarmed and terribly sad, but the vet said it happens and thats probably what introduced the infection to her. I knew we should have waited longer to introduce them, but I guess we got a little ahead of ourselves... totally my fault and a mistake I WILL NOT make again. (JSYK....not to hate on them, cause they have been very nice the entire time and working with me to find a solution, but the cham was from Underground Reptiles. We recieved him dehydrated and even told them he wasnt looking too hot, he died within 1.5 weeks with daily showering and systematic herbal remedy, no one seems to know how it happened).
Also, when we took the female to the vet, we asked about a very minimal kink in her back. The vet explained that it looks like she HAD Metabolic Bone Disease, when she was VERY little, and thats the lasting reprocusion. I got her at 4 weeks old and have been using UVA bulbs, UVB bulbs, and multi vitamins since day one. I dont think the owner before me had any idea what he was doing with two baby panther chams... and so he sold them for dirt cheap and probably just wanted to get rid of them before he killed them.
It all makes sense now... even SUPER young chameleons can have permanent bone problems from improper husbandry.
 
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