Help!! Is this a fungal infection? Chameleon's skin turning black


A few months ago my panther chameleon's skin started forming dry patches along his leg and base of his tail which wouldn't shed.. I started misting more frequently during the day to help raise the humidity and see if it would help. After about 3 months of this we brought him to the vet to check and make sure it wasn't anything more serious. She said that it looked like a fungal infection and gave us F10 Ointment. When we started using it, some dry areas turned orange and eventually shed, but the skin at the base of his tail started turning a really dark colour.
We told the vet about this and she recommended flamazine (Silver sulfadiazine). After about a week of using it his skin became really thick and brown in which we were told to use a toothbrush to scrub it off as it looked like it could be dead skin. She said if it still looked the same to continue using it for another week, and if it doesn't clear up they're going to do a biopsy. After doing the scrub his skin now looks a dark almost black colour, and it seems to have spread quite a lot..
I'm really worried and just wanted to see everyone's opinions here who knows what this is or has experienced this before..
The pictures are before we started using the flamazine, and a picture from tonight after I put the cream on.


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Btw sorry for the picture quality in the 'after' pictures, I wasn't planning on posting a thread on here or else I would've done it before I put the cream!


Chameleon Enthusiast
Looks like fungal based on rear leg. The "skin" is either going to be grey or pink, in the absence of scales. But i dont see any scales missing. but any damage to cham skin will turn grey/black, even if its a slight graze from rubbing against a stick. if its fungus the skin will get thick and rigid, almost like leather.


No he isn't missing any scales, but the skin on his leg has changed in texture. Why do you think the silver sulfadiazine isn't working? :(


Chameleon Queen
I'm not a vet so this is just my opinion....if it is fungal and not responding to the flamazine it could be CANV...but it doesn't look like CANV normally looks to me when its on a chameleon. Hope you figure it out.


Thanks everyone for your comments.. I’m still not sure what it is, it’s now formed yellow marks around the tail so I’m taking him to the vets next week. I’m scared because they said they want to put him under anesthesia to do a skin biopsy :( I was hoping they could just swab it


Staff member
If it is fungal your best h\treatment option would be systemic anti-fungal treatment that you would have to get from a veterinarian.
CANV is also known as yellow fungus but it isn't always yellow. It is highly contagious among reptiles.


Chameleon Queen
CANV is a fungal infection that not only is on the surface of the skin but goes internal and can/will kill your chameleon.
CANV stands for a cutaneous anamorph of nannizziopsis spelling may be off. I'm sorry I can't give you a link to it right now but on this machine I cant figure out how to cut and paste.
If your chameleon has it surface creams/treatments wont get rid of need itraconazole or another antifungal medication as well.
I'm not a vet and I can't always identify it from a photo...just wanted to mention it so you could make your vet aware of the possibility.


This is a photo of what it’s developed into the past few days since I’ve stopped using the flamazine..

Thanks @kinyonga and @JacksJill for the explanation, I really hope that’s not it! I’ll mention it to the vet when I see her on Tuesday. I volunteer at a reptile rescue so hopefully I didn’t bring anything like that home with me on my clothes or something!!


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Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
CANV stands for a cutaneous anamorph of nannizziopsis spelling may be off.
Nope, you hit it right on! (Better'n I could have done... :oops: )

cutaneous anamorph of nannizziopsis vriesii (google search)

Nannizziopsis vriesii (Wikipedia)
Pathogenicity in reptiles

Several studies have shown that the Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii (CANV) causes dermatitis and cellulitis in reptiles for example; CANV was isolated from the skin of chameleons,[5] geckos[6] and more recently coastal bearded dragons which had nodular lesions and crusty debris on the skin.[7] Skin lesions have also been associated with poor nutrition which make reptiles more prone to infections as a whole. Once the skin becomes infected, there is an increased risk of developing a fatal condition called yellow fungus disease.[7] Unlike other fungi which infect reptiles, infections with N. vreisii are contagious and often fatal if not properly treated.[7] A recent review described a series of cases of infections which are resistant treatment, however certain agents may have some limited effectiveness, including: triamcinolone acetonide, neomycin, thiostrepton, nystatin.[7] Usually infections are successfully treated with thiabendazole or ketoconazole,[8] however, other suggested treatment options might include the removal of infected skin regions followed by the use of itaconazole as a maintenance drug.[7] A related fungus, Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, is responsible for an important disease of snakes.

I volunteer at a reptile rescue so hopefully I didn’t bring anything like that home with me on my clothes or something!!
I'm not a vet either, but it came from someplace; it didn't spontaneously generate.
IMO, this should be part of your conversation with your vet. IDK, but some deep cleaning of the enclosure & contents may be in order.

I'd also ask what other kinds of things you might possibly bring home from the rescue, and what kinds of precautions you should be taking. ;)

Maybe you'll have to start wearing two masks(?) :rolleyes: :ROFLMAO: ( Joke—just trying to lighten things up a little.)

Hoping for the best for you both.
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