Gaping

TheRaveChameleon

New Member
Hello!

I fed my cham a few days ago a large hornworm probably edging on the line of too big (I'm so stupid). Since then, he has been gaping a lot no matter where he is in his cage. There are no popping sounds, no excess saliva, head up, or anything else that makes me think he has an RI. I have read that they may do this when trying to digest something very large. He has stayed a normal color and everything else is normal. When he is moving around, he does not do this, only when he stops. I have not seen a poop yet, though that doesn't mean he may have dropped one I haven't seen. Could I be right in my guess? Also, should I be concerned and take him to the vet, or should I just wait it out. The picture I have attached is him near the bottom of his cage, not near his heat source. Thank you for any information!
 

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TheRaveChameleon

New Member
Hello!

I fed my cham a few days ago a large hornworm probably edging on the line of too big (I'm so stupid). Since then, he has been gaping a lot no matter where he is in his cage. There are no popping sounds, no excess saliva, head up, or anything else that makes me think he has an RI. I have read that they may do this when trying to digest something very large. He has stayed a normal color and everything else is normal. When he is moving around, he does not do this, only when he stops. I have not seen a poop yet, though that doesn't mean he may have dropped one I haven't seen. Could I be right in my guess? Also, should I be concerned and take him to the vet, or should I just wait it out. The picture I have attached is him near the bottom of his cage, not near his heat source. Thank you for any information!
Sorry, should also say his temps are between 70-80 during day, and down into the 60's at night
 

Rlc1994

Chameleon Enthusiast
Temperatures look good. Just a guess but try taking a peek into his throat if you can. I have heard horror stories of hornworms latching onto chameleons throats as the chameleon tries to swallow it. Has he ate anything since you last fed him the hornworm?
 

TheRaveChameleon

New Member
Temperatures look good. Just a guess but try taking a peek into his throat if you can. I have heard horror stories of hornworms latching onto chameleons throats as the chameleon tries to swallow it. Has he ate anything since you last fed him the hornworm?
I know it's not that because I actually squished his head all the way in fear that would happen! He's not showing any signs of being in pain and I've felt along his neck and he hasn't reacted to it. I fed him it about 2 days ago, tomorrow would be day 3
 

Rlc1994

Chameleon Enthusiast
I know it's not that because I actually squished his head all the way in fear that would happen! He's not showing any signs of being in pain and I've felt along his neck and he hasn't reacted to it. I fed him it about 2 days ago, tomorrow would be day 3
Okay then we can rule that out. Has he eaten anything since that hornworm though is what I asked? What’s your humidity levels day and night?
 

TheRaveChameleon

New Member
Okay then we can rule that out. Has he eaten anything since that hornworm though is what I asked? What’s your humidity levels day and night?
Sorry about that thought I put it in there. No he has not, but I have not tried yet. I did just show him so food, and he looked interested. Humidity is quite low during the day and at night I run a fogger so somewhere between 50-80% depending on where he is in the cage.
 

Rlc1994

Chameleon Enthusiast
Sorry about that thought I put it in there. No he has not, but I have not tried yet. I did just show him so food, and he looked interested. Humidity is quite low during the day and at night I run a fogger so somewhere between 50-80% depending on where he is in the cage.
Okay at least he still sounds interested in food. Nothing really pops out in your husbandry on why he would be gaping like this. I would monitor closely and possibly a vet visit if nothing changes.
 

TheRaveChameleon

New Member
Okay at least he still sounds interested in food. Nothing really pops out in your husbandry on why he would be gaping like this. I would monitor closely and possibly a vet visit if nothing changes.
I know it all seems so strange because everything else is completely normal except this one thing. That was pretty much my thinking as well. Thank you for your input, I really appreciate it!
 

TheRaveChameleon

New Member
Definitely strange. Hopefully someone else might chime in with advice though.
Luckily where I live is a 24/7 exotic animal hospital open nights, weekends, and holidays, so if he takes a turn, I definitely have resources. But like anyone, would hate to waste the money with how he is right now
 

Bush baby

Avid Member
WOW! The exact same thing happened with my Jacksons about 3 years ago; he's about 5 y/o now. Gaped for about a few days after feeding him a large hornworm. Never figured out why. From that day on he wouldn't touch horn worms, even if I left him without food for a few days to encourage him to eat one. I'm guessing if yours starts eating again in a few days, he'll be fine...
 

TheRaveChameleon

New Member
WOW! The exact same thing happened with my Jacksons about 3 years ago; he's about 5 y/o now. Gaped for about a few days after feeding him a large hornworm. Never figured out why. From that day on he wouldn't touch horn worms, even if I left him without food for a few days to encourage him to eat one. I'm guessing if yours starts eating again in a few days, he'll be fine...
Makes me feel better to know someone else has had this happened to. I've fed him hornworms just to vary his diet, but it isn't worth this struggle. Plus they are little a**holes that bite. Think I'm gonna be done with them now. Thank you for letting me know!
 
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