Female jackson chameleon vitamin A deficiency won't eat or drink.

Absentia00

New Member
Hello! I have a female Jackson chameleon that has red puffy eyes and latgargy. I took her to the vet yesterday and it turns out it was a vitamin A deficiency and a bacterial infection in the eyes due to her rubbing them, they gave her eye drops to be administered twice a day and a dose of vitamin A. She got one dose at the clinic and the second dose will be done a week from yesterday. The thing that is worrying me so far is that she will not eat or drink anything that I offer her. Do you guys have any suggestions on how I might be able to get her to eat/drink? When she's out of her enclosure she's somewhat alert but when I put her back into her cage she stays in one spot with her eyes shut..
 

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JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
She probably won't eat until her eyes are feeling better and it can take a while for the vitamin A to kick in depending on how damaged the tissue is around the eye. There are products that can be syringe fed. Carnivore Care is one you can get from your vet but it also has vitamin A so you have to be careful not to give too much and OD her on Vit A. Some people have made a mix of ground up bugs and water and fed that by syringe. Because she has had vitamin A already this might be the best choice. If she doesn't eat soon you should call your vet and discuss the options.
Did your vet give her any Meloxicam? it is a pain medication and might make her feel well enough to eat sooner. Another thing to discuss with your vet as it is by prescription only.
 

Absentia00

New Member
Hey guys! Thanks for the responses, I hg Ave a little dripper for her that I use for her to drink she is normally really great with drinking right when I turn it on after filling it up and she hears/sees the water droplettes she will run over and drink excitedly. She loves water so to see her not even open her eyes when I turn on the dripper is very unlike her.. I lost her twice daily which brings up her humidity levels. My vet didn't prescribe any pain medications only eye drops and the vitamin A.. I tried to open her mouth to get some water in but she locked her jaw up and won't allow it..
 

Absentia00

New Member
Update on Sage, I took her outside for some natural light and to warm her up around 9:30am and put a mister on her. Once the water hit her she began to open her eyes and walk around, I even saw her open her mouth a few time to which I hope some water got in. Still has not eaten though and upon putting her back into her tank she has sat in one spot with her eyes closed. Should I try offering worms later when I take her outside for a misting?
 

Absentia00

New Member
Little update, she’s a lot more active today when I took her outside to play in some water. She still isn’t fully drinking on her own but she kept her right eye open for awhile longer than her left eye which seems to be bothering her still. Yesterday I was able to sneak in two small meal worms when she opened her mouth I’m assuming to get water and I was able to sneak in one small meal worm today. I’m very hopeful that these little snacks will help her heal. Thoughts??
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
I'm glad you were able to get some food into her. I would rather she eats super worms and not mealworms. They are very high in keratin so they are more like eating a fingernail than a steak.
Good plan sneaking some food into her though. Glad she was willing to eat and not spit it out.
 

Absentia00

New Member
I'm glad you were able to get some food into her. I would rather she eats super worms and not mealworms. They are very high in keratin so they are more like eating a fingernail than a steak.
Good plan sneaking some food into her though. Glad she was willing to eat and not spit it out.
I agree with the worms but they just seems so big for her, she's only 6 months and I tried feeding them to my veiled who is only a month older and he seemed to choke and spat it out... would you recommend if I were to cut them in half and sneak them in?
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
You can buy smaller super worms. You might have to order them on line. Places like Rainbow Mealworms (unfortunate name) sells a variety of super worm sizes from extra small to the full size you probably have now.
You could try feeding her pieces for now or a lightly calcium dusted cricket might work as well if you can hold on to it.
 

Absentia00

New Member
You can buy smaller super worms. You might have to order them on line. Places like Rainbow Mealworms (unfortunate name) sells a variety of super worm sizes from extra small to the full size you probably have now.
You could try feeding her pieces for now or a lightly calcium dusted cricket might work as well if you can hold on to it.
I'll look into the meal worms, I'm still a big baby when it comes to phisically handling the crickets. Thank you for the advice!
 

Absentia00

New Member
Update on Sage, she hasn't been as active as she was when I first started taking her outside for her mistings. Two days ago she had her left eye open and her right eye closed but now both of her eyes are shut making it difficult to administer her eye drops but I still continue to give them twice daily. She doesn't open her mouth anymore during the mistings so I can't give her food or sneak in some water.. I knew it was be a long recovery and there would be rough days but there's something new that's come up. She won't use her front left leg. She won't use it to grip when she's asleep and only uses it when absolutely necessary.. it doesn't seem to hurt her but it is concerning that she doesn't use it to grip when she used to.. these past two days have been a little rought and I'm planning to take her back to the vet for a wellness check and hopefully get her on an IV.
 

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
Update on Sage, she hasn't been as active as she was when I first started taking her outside for her mistings. Two days ago she had her left eye open and her right eye closed but now both of her eyes are shut making it difficult to administer her eye drops but I still continue to give them twice daily. She doesn't open her mouth anymore during the mistings so I can't give her food or sneak in some water.. I knew it was be a long recovery and there would be rough days but there's something new that's come up. She won't use her front left leg. She won't use it to grip when she's asleep and only uses it when absolutely necessary.. it doesn't seem to hurt her but it is concerning that she doesn't use it to grip when she used to.. these past two days have been a little rought and I'm planning to take her back to the vet for a wellness check and hopefully get her on an IV.
Sorry to hear she is not doing as well, you may want to consider setting up a hospital bin just in case she falls due to the leg. I hope the vet visit goes well. :)
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
Update on Sage, she hasn't been as active as she was when I first started taking her outside for her mistings. Two days ago she had her left eye open and her right eye closed but now both of her eyes are shut making it difficult to administer her eye drops but I still continue to give them twice daily. She doesn't open her mouth anymore during the mistings so I can't give her food or sneak in some water.. I knew it was be a long recovery and there would be rough days but there's something new that's come up. She won't use her front left leg. She won't use it to grip when she's asleep and only uses it when absolutely necessary.. it doesn't seem to hurt her but it is concerning that she doesn't use it to grip when she used to.. these past two days have been a little rought and I'm planning to take her back to the vet for a wellness check and hopefully get her on an IV.
That sounds like a good plan.
 

Absentia00

New Member
Update on Sage. I took her to a new vet last Saturday and they diagnosed Sage with stomatitis with plaque most likely caused by the vitamin A deficiency. She told me to carry-on with the eye drops but also prescribed me carnivore care, and oral antibiotic (enrofloxacin) and an anti-inflammatory (meloxicam) all to be administered once daily. I've been administering these by putting the syringe as far back in her throat as I could and slowly for the past week and have surprisingly seen her spruce up a bit she even ate one large dusted with D3 cricket yesterday that I popped into her mouth. I know some days will be better than others and today is just one of those days that are rough for her. I took her outside to administer her medicines and she took them fine. I tried to offer her a cricket but spat it out and didn't want to stress her by trying to put it in again. It was a pretty warm day out here in AZ so she had her mouth open I'm assuming cause she was hot so I brought her back inside to cool off in her tank. She still has her mouth open under her basking spot that sits at 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Should I switch her basking lamp off for awhile or leave it on?? I Google her having her mouth open and it immediately gave me the answer of a RI and idk if I'm aiming myself out at this point. There's just already so much going on with her that I dont want her to have that as well.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
It won't hurt her to have her lamp off for 15 minutes. It is most likely heat induced. As a precaution you can spend time listening to hear if she is making any popping or crackling sounds when she breathes. That would be the classic symptom. They also tend to have ropy or stingy saliva strands in their mouth. You would have seen that already while giving meds.
The tissues damaged while she had her vitamin deficiency will take time to heal even after the vitamin levels are normal.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
Just a note for the future. Once she is healthy again she may not go back to eating on her own very easily. Chameleons are lazy and she will have to get pretty hungry to go after prey instead of waiting for you to feed her. You may have to wean her off the feedings and give her some tough love to get her eating normally again.
 
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