help!! jackson cham eyes swollen

rai.cham15

New Member
Hello, I am new to this forum looking to see if i could get any advice on how to resolve my chameleon’s eye problem

Background Information-
I had my jackson for over a year. We are not sure how old he is as we had found him in the wild. He freely roams around the house (sometimes makes his way to the top of the curtain rod). Has regular sunlight/basking time & drinks water every other day. About 4 days ago, I noticed both of his eyes getting a little swollen each day, and this morning they were bulging out of his head. He is still able to look around and open his eyes normally but his aim when eating is slightly off.

Nothing had changed the whole time I had him, until we switched what vitamins to feed him when dusting the crickets. (From Reptivite to ReptiCalcium w/o D3)
I am not able to get him to a vet anytime soon
Please help
Mahalo.
 

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Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome. I had the exact same problem 3 weeks ago. And before I could get him to the vet, needed to wait a week before the appointment, it went over, in my case.

There are some things that could be wrong:
- the worst is an infection, maybe TGI, therefore check his inside of the mouth for infections, if so, he needs a vet asap.
- second, could be he’s going to shed soon and he has been rubbing his eyes and he has debris in it. Extra misting, so he can flush his eyes could help.
- third, a vitamine deficiency, giving him extra vitamins supplementation the following 1-2 feedings could do the trick.

I did the last 2 options, because I couldn’t get him in sooner then a week and I didn’t saw any direct noticeable infection. And it helped, within 3-4 days he was back to the old.

Still I recommend making an appointment with a vet, because in general suddenly swollen eyes are red flags.

@Mendez, @JacksJill @Kaizen any other thoughts??
 

leedragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome. I had the exact same problem 3 weeks ago. And before I could get him to the vet, needed to wait a week before the appointment, it went over, in my case.

There are some things that could be wrong:
- the worst is an infection, maybe TGI, therefore check his inside of the mouth for infections, if so, he needs a vet asap.
- second, could be he’s going to shed soon and he has been rubbing his eyes and he has debris in it. Extra misting, so he can flush his eyes could help.
- third, a vitamine deficiency, giving him extra vitamins supplementation the following 1-2 feedings could do the trick.

I did the last 2 options, because I couldn’t get him in sooner then a week and I didn’t saw any direct noticeable infection. And it helped, within 3-4 days he was back to the old.

Still I recommend making an appointment with a vet, because in general suddenly swollen eyes are red flags.

@Mendez, @JacksJill @Kaizen any other thoughts??
Would do extra vitamins if it is not vitamin lacking. The OP would need the form how to ask for help. What it can be as you say that something is in the eye. The OP says it free ranges but he does get light. How does the chameleon get uvb light in his free range? A long shower myatingwhere the chameleon can choose to clean his eye as chameleon do could help if it's something in his eyes. A vet visit should be needed anyway.
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi, I’m a fellow Jackson’s keeper can you fill out the how to ask for help form? It will give us an idea of how You’re caring for him and any advice you may need. I’ll add it here. Please fill out and copy and past it in.
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
He may not be spending enough time under his uvb light which can be a problem with a free range set up. I love the thought of a free range but I can’t do it because I have a cat otherwise I would. By the way, repticalcium has no vitamins in it so he still needs the reptivite with D3 to give him his vitamins, especially the preformed vitamine A which the lack of may be the cause of his eye problems. He also needs the vitamine D3 to prevent mbd. You would give the reptivite with D3 once a month and then use reptical without D3 2-3 times a week on his feeders. By the way, where do you live that you would find a Jackson’s chameleon roaming in the wild?? Do you live in Africa or Hawaii?
 

Mendez

Chameleon Enthusiast
Nothing had changed the whole time I had him, until we switched what vitamins to feed him when dusting the crickets. (From Reptivite to ReptiCalcium w/o D3)
Depending on how long ago you switched, I most likely would hold off on giving additional supplements besides plain calcium. How long ago was this switch? Reptivite has the necessary levels of Vitamin A . Too much vitamin A (which could be the case here--though really hard to tell without a vet appointment) can lead to eye issues as well. It may just be a coincidence that the timeline of swelling eyes matches up with when you switched to plain calcium. Plain calcium, given in powder form on crickets or other insects, is not enough to cause an overdose. So it's unlikely the plain calcium has anything to do with the swelling eyes.

Does your Reptivite have D3 or is it without D3? Depending if it has D3 or not, you will need to make sure he is getting the proper dosage of D3. Reptivite with D3 (make sure it has D3) is a great supplement and should be given just once a month. Plain calcium should be given every feeding except when giving Reptivite w/ D3 once a month.

Fill out the husbandry form and we will get you squared away.

Free-ranging is fine. But may I suggest you confine him to his enclosure until this problem blows over. This way we can remove unforeseen variables from the room he free ranges. By reducing the variables that may be causing the swelling eyes, the easier it is to pin down the cause. Once his eyes are back to normal, or the vet declares a cause and you start a treatment plan, he can go back to his daily life as a free chameleon within your house.

Some problems frequently encountered when free-ranging that we don't always necessarily think of are low house humidity, not enough exposure to direct sun or a UVB bulb, room temperatures that are too hot or too cold. All of these factors can affect their metabolism which may hinder their ability to synthesize the supplements we give them causing supplemental imbalances.
 
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