Having some issues

hybrid

New Member
Hey guys its been awhile since I visited the board but Im turning to you all for advice.

Ive already written back and forth a bit with Jim at cham company and I want to put this up for other ideas as well.

Living where I do........(New Mexico) I dont have ready access to an exotic vet. Most vets here know little to nothing about reptiles let alone chams.

I struggled with a really small nosey be blue male for months before he died a few weeks ago and now a much larger nosey be female I have is showing me problems.

She seems to be weak and not able to move around

HUSBANDRY CONDITIONS

CAGES 2X2X4 enclosed on 3 sides with false rock (research my threads for pictures of the cages)

Watering via promist 1 nozzle per cage 3 minutes 6 times daily.

Lighting via 10" basking light with 60 watt light and sharing a 4' flourescent with one 10.0 Reptisun and a "daylight" bulb (1 4 footer per 2 cages)

Feeding EVERY OTHER DAY 6-10 full size crickets.

I USED TO DUST EVERY OTHER FEEDING BUT IVE BEEN GETTING LOTS OF CONFLICTING INFORMATION. Instead I started mixin the jurrasical and herbavite into the food for the crickets which (the food) claims is already fortified with both as it is.

for the last few days Ive been noticing that she spends alot of time towards the bottom of the cage in the thick of her ficus plant and it was perplexing me. I put a cup of crickets near her and found her on the floor last night.....I found that odd but attributed it to her hunting the now knocked down cup of crickets.

This morning she was still in the bottom of the ficus trees so I assumed the worst (she is too sick to make it to the top of the cage to bask) as she really didnt have her eyes open.

I soaked her in warm water for 15 minutes (was told it helps hydrate and stimulate appetite) and while soaking I mixed a concoction of GERBER babyfood, some minute dosage of pyrantle (in case of a worm problem) and some water with calcium and vite powder and used a syringe (minus needle of course) to squirt .8 of a cc of the food mixture into her mouth when I got her to gape at me.

She readily ate the mixture (not sure if she had a choice really) and I put an extra basking light at the top of the cage and put her up there to help digestion.

She is obviously lethargic.

I have a hard time believing its a husbandry issue with this as my pair of sambavas are voracious eaters and extremely healthy appearing.

In any case, Jim suggested that it could be bateria like Coccidia (sp?) or hook worm (he didnt have time to write a novel for me obviously) and that it could be a case of bad crickets or that I had a bateria contamination via cricket husbandry.

In all honesty it could be the crickets as I buy large adults and I buy them by about 100-200 at a crack (once a week) as large adult crickets die of fast here with the temps so high in the desert.

I plan to completely change the cricket habitat now but Id like to know if anyone else has any advice for me on nursing her back to health.

Big thanks to Jim at Cham Company for his help and to you all too!
 

charles

New Member
Hybrid,
Based on what you are describing sounds like she could be trying to lay eggs, and doesn't have a nesting box. If you already knew this pardon my stating the obvious, but she can become gravid with out mating her and the more you feed them the more they lay. My veiled lays un-fertile eggs once or twice a year. Just before she does this she goes to the bottom of her cage stops eating . If yours needs to lay she should be scrathing around in the dirt of her ficus tree.It also sounds like you are supplementing too much I only supplement with vitamins every 2 weeks. Herbivite is one of the "safer" vitamin supplements to use as it doesn't have preformed vit a but it does have beta carotene which the cham metabolises into vitamin a, however you can still get vit a toxcisity from this. As far as nursing her back to health I have had wonderful results with repti-aid critical care formula. It has made a complete turn around in my veiled that is currently recovering from a URI. You can get it at petsmart, but to get the best results you need to know the weight of your cham to get the best results. There is a chart in the box to guesstamate if you don't have an exact weight. Anyway I hope that this helps. Best of luck and let me know how it turns out

Take care,
Charles
 

hybrid

New Member
Sorry I should have specified that she is a Panther Chameleon and that I dont know of any spontaneous egg production in them............although I did show her to my male to see if he would fire up for her...........which he did not and she was on my hand the whole time so there was ABSOLUTELY no breeding.

I will look for some of the mentioned repti aid or what not.

I am picking up some baytril today as well to give her a course of it for the next week providing she is alive when I get home tonight.

Hate to be a pessimistic one but the little male struggling so long with me working with a vet via 5 states away has worn me down.

I hate thinking that I KILLED one of my animals.........If youve seen my setups youll all know I spare no expense to husbandry.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
charles said...""Herbivite is one of the "safer" vitamin supplements to use as it doesn't have preformed vit a but it does have beta carotene which the cham metabolises into vitamin a, however you can still get vit a toxcisity from this"...beta-carotene is not toxic...the body converts only what it needs and the rest just passes through. If we give PREFORMED A it is already to be used by the body and is stored....so its preformed that leads to overdoses.

This is true for many animals and reptiles....but there is still controversy as to whether chameleons can even convert beta carotene. Some animals have to have the preformed vitamin A (like cats, for instance)...and this may include chameleons.

Vitamin A occurs in two forms in foods that I know of...retinol or preformed vitamin A and beta carotene (a precursor or provitamin A) that the body converts to vitamin A.

"There are no known or described mechanisms of toxic effects of beta-carotene, no data from studies in animals suggesting beta-carotene toxicity, and no evidence of serious toxic effects of this substance in human." (Alpha-Tocopherol)
"Toxicity studies in animals have shown that carotene is not mutagenic, carcinogenic, or teratogenic; it does not cause hypervitaminosis A because the conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A is dependent on the vitamin A status of the individual, which if adequate, limits the uptake of carotene and its conversion to vitamin A." (Helzlsouer)
http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/PPI/UnconventionalTherapies/BetaCaroteneProVitaminA.htm
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
I always put an egglaying container in all my female egglaying chameleon's cages, then if/when they have to lay eggs, there is somewhere to dig to show it.

hybrid said..."I did show her to my male to see if he would fire up for her...........which he did not and she was on my hand the whole time so there was ABSOLUTELY no breeding"...how did she react to him? Dark background colors? Hissing, rocking back and forth? Gaping?
Also, it may be possible that showing her to the male made her start the reproductive cycle.
Here's a thread that you might like to read...(I'm not sure how I feel about what is said in this thread...but its interesting anyhow.)...
http://chamaeleonidae.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=146&sid=5459eb53404e96ff331b00d79193410b

hybrid...why are you giving her baytril without the recommendation of a vet?

"Females who have extra fat reserves seem to produce eggs whether a male is present or not"...
http://www.tooscaley.com/reptiles/NoseBePantherChameleons/CaptiveCare.html
 
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hybrid

New Member
No she did not turn dark, hiss or rock back and forth gaping.

I showed her from a distance of about 2-2.5 feet and there was little in the way of displaying in either of them for the minute or two that I held her in front of him.

Yes it could be that she may have kick started a reproductive cycle but I doubt that as I cant see why she wouldnt have the energy to move about the cage on her own.

I literally believe her to fall from a higher perch to the thicker bushiness of the ficus and then she grasps the many branches to hold herself there.

Relevant or not she often is either head up or tail up straight up and down on the branchy area of the ficus (near the pot) and does not sleep like the others (hanging head up with tail coiled in full spring)

As to why Im going to dose her with some baytril without having a vet recommendation?

Well to be honest...........I dont have any vets in the area that know anything about exotics let alone chameleons. For me to bring her to the vet and have them scratch their head over it is enough of a pain and the idea that I lost my other little guy after such a long struggle with him that Im going to be proactive.

Jim at Cham Company listened to what I said and provided good questions I needed to ask of myself.

Such as my misting system leaving too much unevaporated water in areas that would promote bacterial growth that the crickets could contract or just me inadvertently or the petstore inadvertantly having a batch of poor crickets or improperly husbanded.

I know this much, I wont lose this one without a serious fight and I am attacking it head on. If I lose her it will be due to me not having the reasources Id like to have.

If she recovers some in the next couple days Im going to buy a microscope and do my own FECAL SMEARS to check for parasites on my Chams every 6 months.

I love my animals and Ive spent enourmous sums of money on this project. Two very good reasons for me to do as I do.

I do however understand someones complaint about dosing Baytril without quantifiable proof of bacteria but I have to do what I can.
 

hybrid

New Member
By the way Kinyonga...........that was a very interesting discussion.

I will place an egg laying bucket in the cages of the females as well.
 

Cherron

New Member
Not to be totally off topic, but I hate when I read that if you don't plan on breeding your female chameleons, then you shouldn't own them as pets. I love my females. They have great personalities. If I bred my females everytime that they were receptive, I would be over run with chameleons. I think that OVER breeding often causes irresponsible "breeders" to sell hatchlings that are too young and too small to be sold. What good is breeding if in a year old 95% of those babies are no longer alive?

I am done ranting. Sorry! That article just hit a little nerve :)
 
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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
You said..."it could be that she may have kick started a reproductive cycle but I doubt that as I cant see why she wouldnt have the energy to move about the cage on her own"...so when you showed her to the male she was already lacking the energy to move around? Did she see him for sure?

You said you have a pair of Sambavas...1.1?? How old?
 

hybrid

New Member
Okay a more recognisable set of symtoms for today as I spent the better part of the early morning with her.

BACK LEGS AND TAIL: seem to be weak. She can move them but chooses not to use them very much.

I have to manipulate her to get her angry enough to use them.

When placed in cage, she really doesnt move about the cage much as she isnt "walking" and I am gonna say my suspicion of her falling to the bottom of the cage was probably right.

Her EYES appear to be a bit sunken..........not like crazy but they arent nice and fat like my sambavas are.

Yesterday she was given the minimum dose of baytril 2.27% diluted with water (.04cc mixed with .46cc of water for a total of .5cc of water)

This morning she was given 1.0 cc of babyfood cocktail I mentioned yesterday and .75cc of straight water.

She was soaked in warm water to help digestion and stimulate appetite and hopefully help her rehydrate (I suspect its from her not having been able to get to the majority of the water spray)

KINYONGA

I cant say I remember her being ultra mobile but I didnt pay much attention to her that day (about 2 weeks ago) I grabbed her because she was easiest to get from a cage without a struggle due to placement.

My Sambavas...........Male was about 7 months when I got him in.........november????

Females (both sambava and nosey be) were supposed to be 4-ish months maybe just a tad older??? (a side note: the nosey male I lost was supposed to be 3 months when I got him and we struggled for 5-6 months and he never weighed over 10 grams by the end of it)

So I guess there are two things I was misinformed about when talking about these guys.

1) Panther females CAN actually produce eggs spontaneously. I was informed that they do not and that I should be fine not worrying about egg buckets unless I bred them.

2) Panther females can and may as well be bred before the 1 year mark (ASSUMING THIS IS AN EGG RELATED PROBLEM) as I was SPECIFICALY trying to do this by the book. I was adamant that I would not KILL my females by breeding at 6 months or something stupid.

Im not sure there were eggs in her when I held her today. She felt firm and had muscle tone but I didnt palpate her to feel individual eggs in the abdomen as I didnt want to make her any more miserable than she was.

I did buy pairs to breed, there isnt much in the way of these guys here and I sold off my ENTIRE snake collection to give this a go. So far Im mixed on my feelings with that decision.

Dont get me wrong, I love these guys and its awesome to have a beautiful bank of cages with beautiful animals.

To be honest I wanted at least one pair of most of the locals for panthers for the hobby..........but I am really hesitant to buy anything until I know what my problem is. I have tried so hard to be the best new owner on the planet.........I spent the money on all the gucci top of the line stuff...... built cages like ol' Zerrah did and got the lighting and all kinds of stuff.

If Im still doing something wrong after that I really need an education as this is a real expensive hobby to have losses like I may.
 

hybrid

New Member
Oh and let me make myself perfectly clear..............I dont blame anyone but myself for this.

I know some people like to look at the sellers but having these guys this long means its all my fault.
 

Cherron

New Member
Can you post a picture of your female? And what was the reason that the male passed? I know that you said he was small but you never gave the actual cause of death (unless I just missed it).

You say that you don't dust your chameleon's feeders any longer, just give the supplements for your crickets to eat. The insects metabolize at least some of the vitamins and minerals that they eat, making them useless to your chameleon. What are you gutloading your crickets with? Lack of calcium in the diet can cause lethargy and muscle weakness. Dehydration can as well. What does her poop look like? Do you see her drinking? Does she have any loose looking skin? If you pinch the flap under her neck does it immediately bounce back or does it stick out for a second? Does she lift her belly up off of the branch she is sitting on? When she does move, is she shaky seeming?

A picture of your girl will help a lot. So will a trip to the vet because usually, if they are showing this many symptoms, something is going wrong quickly and if you don't act fast, she may not make it.
 

hybrid

New Member
Can you post a picture of your female? And what was the reason that the male passed? I know that you said he was small but you never gave the actual cause of death (unless I just missed it).

You say that you don't dust your chameleon's feeders any longer, just give the supplements for your crickets to eat. The insects metabolize at least some of the vitamins and minerals that they eat, making them useless to your chameleon. What are you gutloading your crickets with? Lack of calcium in the diet can cause lethargy and muscle weakness. Dehydration can as well. What does her poop look like? Do you see her drinking? Does she have any loose looking skin? If you pinch the flap under her neck does it immediately bounce back or does it stick out for a second? Does she lift her belly up off of the branch she is sitting on? When she does move, is she shaky seeming?

A picture of your girl will help a lot. So will a trip to the vet because usually, if they are showing this many symptoms, something is going wrong quickly and if you don't act fast, she may not make it.

Cant post a pic of the female today it would have to be tomorrow as Im at work and would need to borrow a camera (dropped mine)

No loose skin, I didnt pinch the flap at all and she puffs it out at me in a threatening gesture when I reach for her.

Front half has good mobility and some strength.........she paws at my fingers to keep them out of her face.

Food is a combination of readily had commercial foods all advertised as CALCIUM FORTIFIED and VITAMIN FORTIFIED and I add calcium powder and vitamin powder to the food for the crickets.

She has ample UVB via the reptisun 10.0 bulbs

Dehydrated? she looks to be a little but Ive syringe fed her .5 to 1.0 cc of water yesterday and today and will continue doing so.

Unfortunately the only exotic vet that is within some miles of me seems to be out of town and anyone else that is even remotely smart about exotics seems to be out as well...........believe me Ive called 15 places for recommendations.

As far as appearance she looks exactly the same as she ever has...........she is a bit darker "pink" than she was a month or two before. Meaning her color has taken a darker hue to it but not the blackish hue Ive read about happening in gravid females.

My sambava female is a light pink with faint green markings and this Nosey female has always been a more robust pink with brown markings.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
You said..."She seems to be weak and not able to move around" and "She is obviously lethargic" and "found her on the floor last night" and "this morning..."she really didnt have her eyes open".
You said.."she often is either head up or tail up straight up and down on the branchy area of the ficus (near the pot) and does not sleep like the others (hanging head up with tail coiled in full spring) and "BACK LEGS AND TAIL: seem to be weak. She can move them but chooses not to use them very much. I have to manipulate her to get her angry enough to use them."...all of the above are not good signs. She is definitely having problems. On the forum your husbandry can be gone over to see if there are any obvious things that need to be corrected. I know what you said about the vets....but I still have to say this...there are quite a few possibilities re: what's wrong with her. It could be eggbinding, impaction, MBD or any number of other things that could be wrong with her or a combination of things...and a vet is the one who needs to tell you. I'm afraid if you leave her too much longer she may not survive. I hope I'm wrong.

Is she pooping? Do you have a substrate in the cage?

You said..."I started mixin the jurrasical and herbavite into the food for the crickets which (the food) claims is already fortified with both as it is"
I'm not familiar with what is in jurassical and I don't know what herbavite is...do you mean herptivite?

You said..."I literally believe her to fall from a higher perch to the thicker bushiness of the ficus and then she grasps the many branches to hold herself there"...she shouldn't be falling like this.

You said..."Panther females can and may as well be bred before the 1 year mark (ASSUMING THIS IS AN EGG RELATED PROBLEM) as I was SPECIFICALY trying to do this by the book. "....I have never bred a female panther before she is a year old. I want to make sure that she is done growing her own bones before I put the demand on her calcium to make eggs.

Regarding husbandry...this is what I do....I make sure that the basking temperature for panther chameleons that are over 5 months old is in the mid 80'sF so that they can digest their food well.

I dust with a phosphorous-free calcium powder at most feedings because most of the insects we feed them have a poor ratio of calcium to phos.

I dust with a vitamin powder twice a month that contains a beta carotene source of vitamin A since beta carotene won't cause an overdose. Preformed sources can....however, there is controversy as to whether chameleons can convert the beta carotene to vitamin A or not, so some people give them a bit of preformed vitamin A once in a while. Excess preformed vitamin A can prevent vitamin D3 from doing its job and lead to MBD.

Since my chameleons only get UVB from UVB tube lights, I also dust lightly with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder twice a month. D3 from supplements can build up in the system too...so don't overdo it.

I feed the insects a nutritious diet and gutload the crickets before I feed them to the chameleons. It is necessary to pay attention to whatever you feed the insects in the way of calcium, phos., D3 and preformed vitamin A too since these play an important part in bone health and need to be in balance. I don't feed my insects commercial foods because it is difficult for me to attain the balance when I do. I'm sure some of the foods are good...its just my way of doing things.

Hydration is important too. I use a mister on all my chameleons and dripper on all my chameleons but babies and small ones (like brevs).

Make sure you keep her well-hydrated when she is on the baytril.
 

hybrid

New Member
Next update.

Moved her to a smaller all screen enclosure with two 60watt regular light bulb set ups to maintain higher temps for her. (should be about 85-90 mid day in the cool temp house (swamp cooler is on)

She has one small bushy plant to hang out on and a stick thats too thick to perch on so its the bush really.

This morning she is still at the bottom of that thing...........back legs really kind of useless as it seems.

I palpated her and felt no mass of eggs (not really ever done that but I assume your feeling the same thing as when you do it to a snake only smaller) and gave her the second dose of baytril.

Put her on my digital scale she weighed in at 42 grams (is that small? she is nearly if not a year old) my male sambava is 3 times either of my females size in all reality (maybe not three but he dwarfs them) she also got dose two of baytril.

This morning she was given another 1CC of water NOW MIXED WITH the repti-aid critical care. I fear my constant hydration with her is not going to help in the end.

I suspect that she either has a severe intestinal parasite or she is impacted. After reading countless threads in every forum I could come up with it seems that those are the two culprits. I intend to continue the baytril even if it would be deemed that its compation as it may cause infection.

I wonder if my bowl feeding numerous crickets was a bad thing, and if it is compaction that I contributed it. I had read that most of you fed 10+ crickets almost constantly to growing "teenage" chams to help them grow.

Perhaps its just an unlucky roll of the dice but if she ends up dieing on me (Im having strong suspicions that she will) I will disect her to take pictures of her internal organs. Then at least we shall see what did in fact cause it and will ONLY FURTHER MY HUSBANDRY SKILLS.

It sucks that its so expensive to lose these guys with them being a relatively fragile animal but its the nature of the beast I suppose.

I havent given up and I dont plan on it. I have a couple other ideas to test and see whats going on.
 

hybrid

New Member
Oh and Cherron,

The pinch flap test only pissed her off, you couldnt get a pinch of it and the little I did bounced back immediately.

I took pics with my phone but I dont know if I can get them on the computer........stupid thing wont let me email them.
 

Cherron

New Member
Has she pooped at all? Even just getting repti-aid and water in her, she should still be pooping. Again, a vet trip is your only bet but aside from that, if she isn't pooping and an impaction is suspected, try a drop or two of olive oil. Then give her a few moments and massage her belly to help everything move through.

Do you have a substrate in the cage? Does she eat the soil from her plants? Do you feed a lot of mealworms or other chitinous insects?
 

hybrid

New Member
The main cage has massive amounts of real plants and if she was pooping Id almost never see it. I use a shop vac to suck the dead leaves and other crap out.

She was moved from the big one to a small one last night...........with no substrate so I can better see it.

Ill try the olive oil thing tonight and see if that doesnt help her out. Ill mix the baytril with it.

She has never accepted anything other than crickets for her diet. Ive tried wax worms and superworms.
 
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