Help! chameleon Scales ripped off.

Lets_go_drive

New Member
A local pet shop gave me a 1 month old veiled chameleon today. He said its leg and tail got stuck to duct tape and it ripped off all the scales. I am very experienced with veiled chameleons, but this is a little extreme. He supplied me with antibiotics, but im just not sure what else I could do to help her. Attached is a picture of her. If you zoom in, you can see her back right leg is pretty bad.
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Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh my god! I've never seen anything quite like this. It looks like it was degloved almost...

Honestly, this is way beyond me. Probably any of us. I think this is only something a vet can even possibly handle. That much exposed flesh is going to be at major risk of infection with nothing protecting it from the outside world
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm always telling people not to use tape anywhere near chameleons. This is why.
Your picture won't let me zoom in very well but it looks like it is from above the "knee" down to the sole of the feet. Degloved is right.
I don't know how well an area this size can heal. It will have to be protected from infection and drying. I would recommend veterinary care.
I would start with silvedene cream or triple antibiotic ointment to protect it as much as possible since it can't be bandaged.
 

Lets_go_drive

New Member
I would get that poor girl to a vet right now. What’s the name of the antibiotic that you have? You might be able to use Silver Sulfadiazine on it but it’s so bad I’d be afraid to use it without asking my vet.
I have small portions of baytrill and antibiotic ointment which I'm applying generously to keep it from drying.there are no exotic pet vets anywhere near me...but I will call a vet and ask about the suladiazine. Thank you!
 

Lets_go_drive

New Member
I'm always telling people not to use tape anywhere near chameleons. This is why.
Your picture won't let me zoom in very well but it looks like it is from above the "knee" down to the sole of the feet. Degloved is right.
I don't know how well an area this size can heal. It will have to be protected from infection and drying. I would recommend veterinary care.
I would start with silvedene cream or triple antibiotic ointment to protect it as much as possible since it can't be bandaged.
I've seen tape injuries before, but this is the worst! Yes, from just above the knee to the toes. She can walk, but it is a struggle. As soon as I find a vet nearby that might be able to help I will take her. I will try the cream for now. Thanks!
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Well thats not the Sahara, but close!!

My speculation is the vet may consider amputation as an option. The infection risk is very high, and the loss of scales probably makes it more susceptible to other injuries like cuts and burns. You’d be surprised how adaptable animals can be... but that cham needs a vet asap.
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
Well thats not the Sahara, but close!!

My speculation is the vet may consider amputation as an option. The infection risk is very high, and the loss of scales probably makes it more susceptible to other injuries like cuts and burns. You’d be surprised how adaptable animals can be... but that cham needs a vet asap.
BTW, that isn't "ripped off scales", that's ripped off SKIN. The leg has been entirely de-gloved. Whether it will be able to scab over and heal and not become a mass of stiff painful scar tissue...? Poor little thing! Must be incredibly painful.
 

Graves923

Chameleon Enthusiast
Well this is a new one for me... I don't see that healing well if at all. My brother in law had his finger get degloved in a work accident and had to had most of his finger amputated.

Not sure if reptiles could recover from that kind of damage
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
I can almost guarantee that's an amputation case; there's not enough skin left for that to heal properly, and would be immensely painful. Poor critter needs a vet as soon as you can, ideally before infection sets in!
 

Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
I've seen some bad things on this site since I've joined a few months ago. But just when I thought I've seen it all, I come across this thread.

Wouldn't the pet shop had to have ripped the tape off the little guy to cause this. I wouldn't think the chameleon would have the strength to do this?
 

absolutbill

Chameleon Enthusiast
Good luck to you and your little one! I've never seen this before, and after those photos I'm thankful I haven't. Sharing it is good to show other keepers why you don't use tape around chameleons, and I hope the pet shop changes their ways after this accident. Keep us updated on this case!
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
I don't believe it is possible for a chameleon to rip its own skin. I've heard of them getting stuck in place by tape.
If they had used adhesive remover instead of force this might not have gone so badly. Most vets have some kind of adhesive remover on hand for use with medical tape.
 
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