HELP.! Panther Mouth Infection

Pap

Member
Your Chameleon - He is a Male Panther born on 7/22/12 and I received him on 12/27/12
Handling - Very rarely.. Maybe twice a month to move him to another plant I keep in the room so I can clean his cage up and that is about it...
Feeding - His diet is mainly small crickets... I gut load them with cricket crack from tiki tiki reptiles.. but i do offer him silk worms and wax worms from time to time.. I put 8 crickets in the cup every morning and he eats what he pleases... very rarely does he eat them all.. I take the uneaten crickets out ever night and clean the cup..
Supplements - I use 3 different products. Rep-cal calcium with D3.. Zoo Med Repti Calcium with out D3... and Rep-Cal Herptivite... I dust the crickets in the Calcium with out D3 everyday... Once a week ill mix the calcium with D3 and Herptivite and dust with that...
Watering - I have an RODI system for my reef tank and i only use RODI water for his mister and fogger.. The mister is set for 4 times a day for 30 seconds.. The fogger only comes on at night... and yes i see him drink all the time...
Fecal Description - It looks to be healthy from what I've seen and read on here... solid brown at the top and pure white at the bottom... I did have it tested for parasites about 2 months ago and it came back parasite free...
History - He has had this infection (mouth rot) before some time in early Feb... I had his vet look at him and she put him on a week long dosing of baytril / cleaning the area with betadine... after the week everything looked normal to me


Cage Info:

Cage Type -It is a Large ReptiBreeze 18x18x36 all screen cage
Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? I have 2 fixtures one has a ReptiSun 5.0 in it the other a 5000k natural light plant bulb... I have 2 5.5" domes with 60 watt bulbs for his basking spot... 12 hours of light 12 hours of dark...
Temperature - I have 3 digital probes that read the temps One under each light and one at the bottom... I have the 2 60watt domes on switches i feel like nature isnt always 90 degrees so why should his cage be... when both bulbs are on the basking spot is in the 90-93 range... with just one on its about 85-88.. night time low about 68-70
Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? I just have a Zoo Med analog gauge in the top back corner of the cage... humidity say around 40/50 most of the day... spiking to 70/80 when the mister goes off and gets it wet.. The mister reptifogger and live plant are used to maintain the levels...
Plants - I have a dwarf umbrella plant.. Got it at a local florist unpotted it cleaned the whole plant and all of the dirt off and then repotted it in organic soil...
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? His cage is in my bed room In the far right corner.. There are no fan AC or Heat vents anywhere near it... I would say my room is a pretty low traffic area... The top of the cage is about 5 feet off the ground... It sits on a plastic stand that is about 2 feet tall...
Location - Central Pennsylvania


Current Problem - My Panther has had a mouth infection once before... Thanks to the forum i didn't have to post a thread i was able to read all the information i needed to help him about with the betadine and such till i could get him to the vet... The first time this happened he stopped eating the infection was visibly bad and his mouth had the stringy saliva.. The vet gave me baytril and after the week of dosing he looked 100%... 2 months have gone by and it looks to me like the infection is back but now on the other side of his mouth... This time he is still eating and drinking and i havent seen the stringy saliva yet.. The past two days i have been using betadine and i think it is helping... My question is do you guys think i need to contact the vet again... The first time was rough... He hated it... And even after i was done with the dosing he feared me... If my hand went in the cage he would fire up gape and strike at me... I have been working really hard at getting him to trust me since then and we have been doing well... i can now be in the cage with out him going nuts and he will even let me slowly lift him off his limb and crawl onto my hand... I really want to be able to handle him... Take him out of the cage let him free roam and take him outside once the summer comes... I fear if i have to start the baytril again he will go back to having a fear of me... Im going to post a few pics.. The first one is from 2 months ago and the first infection... the rest are going to be from yesterday and today... I did notice today when i woke up that he is starting another shed and it seems to be starting at his face if this means anything... Thank you all for your help and opinions.!
 

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Lovereps

Avid Member
Sorry that your very handsome cham is having what appears to be a recurrence or continuance of the mouth infection.

It is lousy when we gain the trust of our chams and then have to do things they don't like, since they can't understand what we are doing and that we are actually helping them.

Chameleons are slow to heal and can require a few weeks of antibiotic treatment, as opposed to just 1 week.

Your vet may need to culture the pus and find out what type of bacteria are causing the infection.
My understanding is that these can be stubborn infections.

The danger of mouthrot aka stomatitis is that it can rapidly progress to an infection of the bones, so it must be treated without delay.

Most of your care looks good but I'm concerned about what you said,"Temperature - I have 3 digital probes that read the temps One under each light and one at the bottom... I have the 2 60watt domes on switches i feel like nature isnt always 90 degrees so why should his cage be... when both bulbs are on the basking spot is in the 90-93 range... with just one on its about 85-88.. night time low about 68-70 "

In nature they have more opportunities to maintain, decrease or increase their temperatures, depending upon what they know they need at any given time.
You have to realize that since we are keeping chams in artificial environments, with much more limited diets than they would have in nature and for many, no natural sunlight at all, so it is to their advantage to have everything as ideal as possible.

After all, we don't house predators with our chams or intentionally add parasites to their feeders, or make conditions drought-like--even though these things are all very typical of what occurs in nature.

The basking temps are actually higher than what is recommended for a Panther.
the forum caresheets recommend:
Baby/juvenile (<9 months): ambient 72-80F (22-26C), basking 82F (28C)
Adult males: ambient 75-80F (23-26C), basking 85-90F (29-32C)

In an area of 18x18x36, the ambient temperature may be too hot, as well.
You could save some electricity by using one bulb and it may help him, overall.
Do you have at least one basking bulb on at all times?
If not, you should.

Adding more variety to his diet and making sure that the feeders are fed a nutritious diet will also have a positive effect on your cham's health.
More details on what to feed your cham and his feeders are here:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/food/
While his mouth is healing, he may feel better on his mouth if he is fed softer feeders like Phoenixworms, silkworms and hornworms--which are all good feeders to incorporate into his diet as staples.
The cricket crack is a good addition to a gutload but fresh fruits and veggies should be the main components of it.

As for 1x a week of both D3 and a multivitamin, that may not be so good, either.
Chams are somewhat delicate and it is too easy to overdose them on D3 and/or multivitamins--which is at least as bad as them not getting enough of either.
It can actually lead to very serious health problems.

He is also around the age where he should move up to a larger cage of 24x24x48"

A good Panther caresheet to refer to is this one:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/panther/

I hope that your cham is well again soon and that you'll let us know how he is doing :)
 

Pap

Member
First off I would like to thank you for replying to the post and providing me with lots of helpful information... and for the handsome comment... his colors are finally starting to come in and i think he is becoming very studly myself haha.!

I think i already knew that i needed to contact the vet before i posted this but i wanted to put it out there to hear what people had to say... He is my first chameleon and it was heartbreaking after this happen the first time to watch him go from being a nice little guy to being completely afraid of me when all i am trying to do is help and make his life as awesome as i possibly can... But i will contact the vet in the morning and hopeful we can see her tomorrow or Tuesday...

I think my explanation of the lighting set up may have been a little rushed and didn't come out the way it should have... I have two domes side by side... The basking branch is slightly sloped so the low end under the first light is at a constant 85.. a little higher up on the branch is the second light where it is in the 90 range.. both lights come on and off with the 12 hour timer... but they both have on/off switches on them... and i only really turn the one off if my room is hot that day and see the temps going up.. ( Its spring here now so we have yet to turn on the central air so the room temps flex depending on the weather that day) This way he is free to choose his temp... I only added the second light after the first vet visit... she told me that 85 maybe ideal but he might also want the 90 range as well and that the higher temp basking spot would help him process the medication... could this have any truth to it or would your advice be to leave the second light off and let the 85 be the hottest point of the basking zone.?

The reason i mainly feed crickets is because that is what i have available to me.. I live in a small town with one local mom and pop pet store... All they have to offer is crickets and superworms but the superworms are way to large for him at this point.. I know that a verity is important and that is why i ordered silkworms and he loved them.. I am trying really hard to have a breading set up of them so i have a constant flow.. I will get a hold of the pet store in the morning to see if they would be able to order me in weekly orders of some of the other insects you provided in your link... One option that i do have available to me right now is bait and tackle shops.. fishing season is now in and that is were i picked up the wax worms.. i know they are not the greatest feeders but i figured it was something different for him... I know they also have mealworms but i don't know how get they are... I will also add my own gut loading process on top of the cricket crack when time permits...

As far as the supplments go i will cut back to every other week for the mix of calcium with d3 and herptivite and continue to dust with calcium without d3 everyday

I realize that he is prob ready to move up again in cage size... when i bought him i got a start up package from the breeder with a cage that i am guessing now that he was too big for to began with... from pictures that i have seen on here I think he is kind of small for his age... but also in reading i guess they all grow up and color up at their own rate... If i do have to start a new round of medication i don't think i would be comfortable with changing his home on him in the middle of it and adding more stress... but i plan on starting a custom enclosure that i can hopefully move him into when he is back to 100%

Thank you again for all the help... I'm truly grateful to this forum and all its members... I will send you a friend request and keep you updated on his recovery

Jason
 

Lovereps

Avid Member
First off I would like to thank you for replying to the post and providing me with lots of helpful information... and for the handsome comment... his colors are finally starting to come in and i think he is becoming very studly myself haha.!
You're very welcome. It makes me glad to know that I'm able to help some people with their chams.

I think i already knew that i needed to contact the vet before i posted this but i wanted to put it out there to hear what people had to say... He is my first chameleon and it was heartbreaking after this happen the first time to watch him go from being a nice little guy to being completely afraid of me when all i am trying to do is help and make his life as awesome as i possibly can... But i will contact the vet in the morning and hopeful we can see her tomorrow or Tuesday...
No one likes to rush to the vet--myself included--and I sometimes hate to suggest it but it is often the only way to get a cham back to good health.
Hopefully they can see him without delay and get him onto the right medication to help him heal.

I think my explanation of the lighting set up may have been a little rushed and didn't come out the way it should have... I have two domes side by side... The basking branch is slightly sloped so the low end under the first light is at a constant 85.. a little higher up on the branch is the second light where it is in the 90 range.. both lights come on and off with the 12 hour timer... but they both have on/off switches on them... and i only really turn the one off if my room is hot that day and see the temps going up.. ( Its spring here now so we have yet to turn on the central air so the room temps flex depending on the weather that day) This way he is free to choose his temp... I only added the second light after the first vet visit... she told me that 85 maybe ideal but he might also want the 90 range as well and that the higher temp basking spot would help him process the medication... could this have any truth to it or would your advice be to leave the second light off and let the 85 be the hottest point of the basking zone.?
My chams' vet always tells me to increase the temperature by about 5 degree when a cham needs to heal. They are slow to recover from things and I believe it helps their bodies to recover in a similar way to people getting a fever.

The reason i mainly feed crickets is because that is what i have available to me.. I live in a small town with one local mom and pop pet store... ... I will also add my own gut loading process on top of the cricket crack when time permits...
Silkworms are one of the best feeders, as are hornworms and Phoenix worms--very high in calcium and not too high in fat.
I'm in a densely populated area and still have very few feeder choices.
It's only the lucky people in some parts of California who seem to have plenty of feeder varieties locally available. The rest of us rely on mailorder.
I use mailordered feeders to ensure the chams get the variety that they need.
One of my favorites is http://www.mulberryfarms.com/ since I can order a few different kinds of feeders at once and not go broke with shipping from multiple sources.
This one is my favorite for bilk Phoenixworms http://www.phoenixworm.com/servlet/the-Phoenix-Worm-Sizes--Place-Order-Here/Categories
Some of the other forum sponsors sell feeders too: https://www.chameleonforums.com/index.php?page=sponsors
Good gutloading is really the best way to ensure proper nutrition.
Mealworms are OK but there has been controversy as to whether or not they can lead to intestinal impaction.
I don't use them often but do from time to time.


As far as the supplments go i will cut back to every other week for the mix of calcium with d3 and herptivite and continue to dust with calcium without d3 everyday
That's what's best for him.

I realize that he is prob ready to move up again in cage size... when i bought him i got a start up package from the breeder with a cage that i am guessing now that he was too big for to began with... from pictures that i have seen on here I think he is kind of small for his age... but also in reading i guess they all grow up and color up at their own rate... If i do have to start a new round of medication i don't think i would be comfortable with changing his home on him in the middle of it and adding more stress... but i plan on starting a custom enclosure that i can hopefully move him into when he is back to 100%
You are very wise. I wouldn't change cages now for exactly the reason you mentioned.
Just wanted to give you a heads up, in case you didn't know.

Thank you again for all the help... I'm truly grateful to this forum and all its members...
This forum has many experienced members, as well as newcomers and is a great forum overall.
I, too, am deeply grateful for the many forum members who have shared their cham wisdom over the years.
 
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