Help! What could this be?

deadhd5

Avid Member
I woke up this morning to find Reggie Jackson with a bunch of foam on his mouth (pictured below).

He is showing no signs of RI, no gaping, wheezing, or clicking when he breathes. He has been lethargic this week and has not eaten much for a few weeks, although he would always immediately eat a superworm, his favorite. This week he stopped eating even superworms and he had two ugly poops, one with a very orange urate and the other was only poop, but it had a greenish look to it (very odd looking, like he had eaten plants).

Does anyone have any idea what is going on with him? Any help or advice would be appreciated and comforting.

I am obviously going to get him into a vet ASAP, but it is Sunday and the herp vet is not open until tomorrow.

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deadhd5

Avid Member
I am pretty sure the foam is throw up (with no food) as I found this hanging on a vine in his cage.

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little leaf

Avid Member
could he have eaten a "wild" bug? does he go outside? I do not know how, but all kinds of HUGE spiders keep getting in Olives indoor cage - I take them out as soon as I see them, but I always worry what they also find when outside - all my chams are acting weird too- no one is acting themselves - and my panther has gone insane !
I would think one of 2 things making him foam.. - URI or could he have something stuck in his thought ? like he is choking ? I really dont know - maybe ferret or Dr. O will see this and help - sorry he is not feeling well poor little guy
 

Seiryu

Established Member
Does his mouth look infected on the inside? Maybe even the outside? Jacksons can get temporal gland infections as you probably know.

Is it too hot? I haven't had a cham throw up before. But I do have tortoises and one day (even in the shade) it was just too hot and my leopard tortoise threw up similar white foam. He overheated.

Is that bump on his chin some of the foam or an abscess of some sort?
 

deadhd5

Avid Member
could he have eaten a "wild" bug? does he go outside? I do not know how, but all kinds of HUGE spiders keep getting in Olives indoor cage - I take them out as soon as I see them, but I always worry what they also find when outside - all my chams are acting weird too- no one is acting themselves - and my panther has gone insane !
I would think one of 2 things making him foam.. - URI or could he have something stuck in his thought ? like he is choking ? I really dont know - maybe ferret or Dr. O will see this and help - sorry he is not feeling well poor little guy

Thanks for the response Cheryl.

I am sure that the mucus is from his stomach as he has shown no signs of RI.. There was no food of any sort in the mucus (completely clear) I think it would be safe to rule out a wild bug. My house is only a few years old in an urban area, so I have only seen a few, very small spiders (thankfully).

It may be something in his throat, but I highly suspect it is tied to the previous symptoms that have had me really worried this week, the lethargy (after a period of being very active), sleeping in his basking spot, odd looking poop, and not eating the superworms (he has always been a picky eater, but goes nuts for superworms everytime).

I wonder if it could possibly be a parasite. About 3 months ago I submitted a fecal sample to my vet along with samples from my 3 other chams. He took his time doing the test, and told me he mixed all together in one test and that it was clean. I thought this was odd, so I am skeptical that what he did would have caught parasites. This vet is a nice guy, but I am not confident in him based on previous experience. I got a microscope just yesterday to do my own testing.... but without eating anything I can't get a good sample now.
 

deadhd5

Avid Member
Does his mouth look infected on the inside? Maybe even the outside? Jacksons can get temporal gland infections as you probably know.

Is it too hot? I haven't had a cham throw up before. But I do have tortoises and one day (even in the shade) it was just too hot and my leopard tortoise threw up similar white foam. He overheated.

Is that bump on his chin some of the foam or an abscess of some sort?

Thanks for your response.

That white spot appeared about 4 months ago and hasn't changed since. I have a thread about it and it had everyone stumped. The inside of his mouth looks great, both near this bump and back by the temporal glands. He has no other outward symptoms of illness or infection.

His basking temp is about 83 degrees. He has a pretty luxurious set up, two large reptibreezes connected, with one side cooler and humid and the other warmer and dryer.
 

deadhd5

Avid Member
Could it be runny urate??

Hi Carol. I am sure that it came from his mouth... It may be hard to tell, but in the first picture it is running down his chin, so I assume it came from his mouth.

It is clear and bubbly like think spit.
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
ah ok. I could not see much in the picture, atleast not with my eyes anyways! I have seen runny urates hanging from branches before that is why I thought maybe it could be. In any event, I hope you get to the bottom of what is wrong. Good luck!
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'll be saying a prayer that little Reggie will be ok. I have not experienced anything like that with any of my chameleons or my daughters. It's not like any RI that I've ever seen. The very best to you both. Keep us posted.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
How's he doing now? Spitting up foam is a bit of an unusual symptom. Did you find any actual vomit in his cage? The only time I've seen a large amount of foamy spit is when my panther gets a little dehydrated and then while he's drinking he drools foamy saliva. No other time, and no other problems. Could this have happened while he was drinking? That's the only thing I can think of...

Parasites could be in play to cause inappetance and lethargy, or a number of other things. Might be a good idea to consider doing some more in depth diagnostics like bloodwork or X-rays if husbandry is correct. Have you tried other feeders like silks or horns?
 

deadhd5

Avid Member
How's he doing now? Spitting up foam is a bit of an unusual symptom. Did you find any actual vomit in his cage? The only time I've seen a large amount of foamy spit is when my panther gets a little dehydrated and then while he's drinking he drools foamy saliva. No other time, and no other problems. Could this have happened while he was drinking? That's the only thing I can think of...

Parasites could be in play to cause inappetance and lethargy, or a number of other things. Might be a good idea to consider doing some more in depth diagnostics like bloodwork or X-rays if husbandry is correct. Have you tried other feeders like silks or horns?

Thanks for the input Dayna. He had a pretty normal day today minus the lack of appetite. I gave him a shower and he drank a bunch of water and was quite mobile the whole time. He had a strong grip when transferring him to and from the enclosure. He does appear a little skinny though and fell asleep earlier than normal (likely related to the long days right now).

It could have happened while he drank as I found him with the drool shortly after the first and longest misting of the day.

I did notice today that his skin appears to be readying for a shed, so maybe that has something to do with the lack of appetite. He has had quite a menu of bugs offered to him to no avail. Homebred silks, crickets, snails, and dubia. Also BB flies and phoenix worms.

I am going to get him into the vet for some diagnostics early this week and I will post any updates here if there are developments.
 

deadhd5

Avid Member
I'll be saying a prayer that little Reggie will be ok. I have not experienced anything like that with any of my chameleons or my daughters. It's not like any RI that I've ever seen. The very best to you both. Keep us posted.

Thanks for the kind words Jann. He is a sweet little guy, so I am hoping to get to the bottom of this before it is too late.
 

Dr O

Veterinarian
hey eric-

sorry to hear about reggie! some thoughts-

-obviously the main focus should be a thorough exam of his mouth. anything going on in there can cause excessive salivation. it doesn’t have to be stomatitis, it could be as benign as a cricket leg that poked into his gums, a superworm bite, etc. and certainly i think your vet is the most qualified person to do the exam. also, any systemic disease that causes nausea may cause vomiting too, but this doesn’t sound like true vomiting.

-i have seen chams do this before due to ingesting a vile-tasting substance. he may or may not have eaten a small bug that emits a noxious spray or liquid like a stink bug, some beetles, and many others. he could have spit it back out or swallowed it but i don’t think it would be easy to find. that would also put him off food for a bit and the upcoming shed can prolong the anorexia. it’s a possibility.

-the fecals that you were concerned with are “group fecals”. it’s not uncommon to do this with a litter of puppies or kittens for instance. take a few random samples, combine them in the float, and it will usually give a good idea how the group of animals are doing. in the same respect some vets will do this with some exotic fecals (particularly if they are housed together) just to save the owner some money. it’s not considered bad form as long as it’s done with a related group of animals, and is generally as accurate as testing them individually. in other words, i wouldn’t toss your vet for that reason alone.

let us know what the visit turns up, and good luck!

o-
 

deadhd5

Avid Member
hey eric-

sorry to hear about reggie! some thoughts-

-obviously the main focus should be a thorough exam of his mouth. anything going on in there can cause excessive salivation. it doesn’t have to be stomatitis, it could be as benign as a cricket leg that poked into his gums, a superworm bite, etc. and certainly i think your vet is the most qualified person to do the exam. also, any systemic disease that causes nausea may cause vomiting too, but this doesn’t sound like true vomiting.

-i have seen chams do this before due to ingesting a vile-tasting substance. he may or may not have eaten a small bug that emits a noxious spray or liquid like a stink bug, some beetles, and many others. he could have spit it back out or swallowed it but i don’t think it would be easy to find. that would also put him off food for a bit and the upcoming shed can prolong the anorexia. it’s a possibility.

-the fecals that you were concerned with are “group fecals”. it’s not uncommon to do this with a litter of puppies or kittens for instance. take a few random samples, combine them in the float, and it will usually give a good idea how the group of animals are doing. in the same respect some vets will do this with some exotic fecals (particularly if they are housed together) just to save the owner some money. it’s not considered bad form as long as it’s done with a related group of animals, and is generally as accurate as testing them individually. in other words, i wouldn’t toss your vet for that reason alone.

let us know what the visit turns up, and good luck!

o-

I really appreciate the input Dr O. This knowledge will be very helpful when I get him in to see the vet.
 

deadhd5

Avid Member
I just wanted to update everyone. I dropped Reggie off at the vets this morning for some disgnostic testing. He had a very strange looking poop this morning (urate was mostly red despite heavy drinking and poop part was completely green). He had "spit" on his chin again this morning for the second time.

Despite these developments, I am still hopefull. Reggie still has a strong grip, doesn't appear lethargic (to the point it was very hard to get him out of his cage this morning), and he has consistantly shown only his relaxed, happy colors.

I also want to thank everyone again for the support, advice, and well wishes. I will keep everyone updated on the symtoms and treatments so hopefully someone else can use this information if their cham show similiar symptoms in the future.
 

pigglett79

Avid Member
I hope they can figure out what is causing his symptoms and get him treated. Poor littel guy. Keep us updated on his condition. Hoping for the best.
 

deadhd5

Avid Member
How's Reggie doing?

Thanks for asking Jann, it is nice to know that others care about little Reggie too (I'm not getting much sympathy at work or from the wife, lol). I suspect a lot of my co-workers don't quite understand a 33 year old man being so concerned about a lizzard. My wife lost her father 2 weeks ago, so my potential loss is understandably of less significance than what she is going through.

Reggie is still at the vet being monitored. He had an x-ray which did not show any problems, the mouth inspection showed no problems, and the preliminary bloodwork came back without any issues (still waiting on the final results). I brought a crazy looking poop with me (orange/red urate and very green poop part) and it tested negative for parasites.

So at this point, his illness is still a mystery. The vet is happy with his color and his energy level, and was able to provide some nutrition with a plastic syringe (which he kept down).

So right now I am hopeful and relieved that the tests so far have ruled out a few of my concerns, but I am still worried since we do not have a diagnosis. I will update again later today after the doc gets the full results. :D
 

deadhd5

Avid Member
Got tests back today and everything is fine except for very high uric acid levels. The doctor believes the test was invalid they were so high, 107 compared to a normal score of 10. He is going to ask them to retest.

I know this indicates gout but he has no swelling of the joints from what I can tell and he is very active normally (before the last few days). Also, I barely supplement him at all being that he is a montane. I basically give him repashy once a month and plain calcium the rest of the time. His cal/phos ratio is perfect.
 
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