First vet visit


Avid Member
Well two weeks ago i caught fredo sleeping during the day and so i kept a close eye on him and he didn't do it anymore. Then a few days ago he opened his mouth and i heard a popping sounds which i knew was not good, and then yesterday he was not eating that well and slept a little in the afternoon. So.. I headed to the herp vet at 4 today. He took a Qtip and got some saliva from his mouth and looked at it through the microscope. he said he found red and white blood sells in it meaning mouth rot. But a pretty mild case of it. He gave me... Gentamicin Sulfate Ophthalmic Solution USP, 0.3% and said to use it twice a day. He said he couldn't find anything about my husbandry that would cause it but said he would raise the basking to 95!!? Right now it is between 82-86. Just depends on what time of the day because of the misting.. I said ok but in my head i was thinking no way does it need to be 95.

So... would you guys raise it that high for him (ambilobe panther)? I think not but maybe i'm wrong.
How old is your cham? IMO the vet should have done a culture and sensitivity test to see what kind of antibiotic to use. If he has an RI raising the temps is good along with a warm mist humidifier.
If he has an RI, at 5 months old I would only raise his temps to 90 and put a warm mist humidifier on him.
I agree with Jann, 95 seems way to high. If the vet confirm that she has a URI? If not and he only found mouth rot the why raise the temp so high?
The idea of raising the temp is for the same reason as with uri, increase the metabolism,
speed the recovery process.
I have an inkling that reptiles are not the vets specialty.
While a white cell count can indicate infection (white cells are the result of the bodies immune system fighting infection), I think the mouth rot diagnosis is premature and the guy is assuming increasing the temp will 'cover' the uri aswell (unless he didnt notice), did he mention a wound/area the pus (white cells) were coming from, or note any swelling in the mouth?
Gentamicin is topical treatment only, ( for aerobic bacteria) antibiotics may be needed for the uri (anerobic bacteria) which may be present in the lungs.
Since bacterial infection is present in the mouth (apparently) , and while temporarily raising temps is common practice with uri, there is never the less drawbacks to this approach, this being that increasing the metabolism will also speed the rate of infection, and if the prescribed drug is ineffective, you've made the situation worse.
The temp recommended may have been a guess at best, the vet may not be familiar with the specific needs of the species. A few degrees above normal is more than enough,
though if your still dropping temps at night, it a bit like 'one step forward, one step back', to my mind.
Prescription of a drug should be specific the issue. A culture will determine if the bacteria is gram negative (common with uri) or otherwise since some commonly used drugs are ineffective with gram negative bacteria. Looking through a microscope at mucous seems impressive but will not determine the type of bacteria involved.
I agree 90f is more than high enough. :)
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No he did not mention swelling or a wound.

So... Can i buy that medication myself for a URI or do i need to have the vet get it for me? I am completely lost in what to do now..
Gentamycin is a good broad spectrum antibiotic. If you cham is not showing any system signs of illness (down, depressed, not eating, etc), then I would follow your vets recommendation, because systemic antibiotics are not in order. To address someone else's comment: Looking at a mouth swab can tell us what kind of bacteria we are dealing with (rods, cones, etc), and give us a decent idea as to whether we're dealing with the commons. And while a culture and sensitivity would have been good medicine, it would've also come at a much higher cost. They are not cheap to do. Gentamycin is a good antibiotic, and if your cham does indeed have mouth rot, as diagnosed by your vet, it should help clear up the superficial infection. I would also lightly flush and dry his mouth, if you are able to before you administer the topical antibiotic, multiple times daily. If he had a respiratory infection, I'd expect additional clinical signs associated. Follow his instructions, although I would agree with the rest of the forum, 95 seems a bit high. 90 with good nursing should do the trick.
Dr Ren (Vet)
OP said:
Well two weeks ago i caught fredo sleeping during the day and so i kept a close eye on him and he didn't do it anymore. Then a few days ago he opened his mouth and i heard a popping sounds which i knew was not good, and then yesterday he was not eating that well and slept a little in the afternoon.
Sounds like clinical signs to me, but then I didnt hear it! :)
It could certainly be an URI, but since he has been seen by a vet, I'd like to give the veterinarian the benefit of the doubt in this case. Could this still be a URI and might the treatment plan need to be altered? Absolutely. Let's just hope the vet got it right, and the Gentamycin topical does the trick. It really is good stuff.
Dr Ren (Vet)
Absolutely! No intention to imply he was wrong, but rather that if the animal wasn't displaying obvious signs of RI at the time, it may have been overlooked.
We can only go on the poster's description.
Appreciate hearing from you, not many vets here mate.
Wishing them the best :)
Thanks for all the help boys and girls. i am going to buy a new bulb today to get the heat a little up and i am about to get the warm water humidifier set up as well. I dont like pissin him off when i open his mouth but.. gotta do what i gotta do! Sure hope this clears up. he is REALLY starting to show nice yellows, greens, reds and lots of blue.

I'll update in a few days.
Hoping he picks up for you, but do watch for any bubbling from nostrils or mouth and if it occurs do go back again.
I have used topical Gentamycin on a Boyds forest dragon that was bitten on the mouth by another and developed infection at the site, though the treatment plan included sub skin injections of antibiotic, it did clear up in time and healed nicely. :)
P.S Rascal didnt appreciate the treatment either!
I asked about where the medication was going to be used because is said opthalmic...and I thought the OP might be putting it in the eyes...which wouldn't do much for the mouth.
Well its now been a week. Fredo is MUCH more active, not sleeping and eating very well. Seems to be clearing up. He had been 20 grams for about 2 weeks before taking him in, now a week later he is 25 :) Thanks for your help everyone.
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