I need urgent help - no exotic vet available until tomorrow!!

carljr

New Member
Hey guys I really need some help with my 4 month old male panther chameleon.

We’ve had him for just under 2 weeks, and this morning out of the blue he just seemed really.. sick. He wasn’t moving from his branch in the morning like he usually does. He was a super pale colour, wouldn’t move his one eye, and is super weak. After coaxing him towards his basking spot he started getting more active, moving his eyes again and seemed like his normal self. My first reaction was to take him to the vets straight away, but after calling the breeder where we got him from, said that our husbandry issue was that his tank was near a window (we live in the uk) and that his tank temperature was dropping too low at night (around 65 but last night was really cold so it couldve been lower). So I went to the store and purchased a night heater so that the temperature levels wouldn’t drop so low. When I got home he was sitting in the cool side of the tank, all curled up and that same pale colour. I tried to move him but he wasn’t responsive at all,I desperately need to take him to a vets, but no emergency vet has an exotic specialist until the morning. Is there anything I should do to get him through the night before I’m able to go tomorrow? For some reason when I’ve taken him out he’s extremely active but in his cage he’s not.

I think my biggest issue is the dimming thermostat isnt getting the temperature high enough. I’m not sure why??! I’ve put on the night heater and the highest temperature it will go is 71, even when I put it on the highest gage.

Please help, I don’t want anything to happen to him. I feel like an idiot for not listening to my gut to go to the vets. I won’t forgive myself if anything happens to him. :(
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hey guys I really need some help with my 4 month old male panther chameleon.

We’ve had him for just under 2 weeks, and this morning out of the blue he just seemed really.. sick. He wasn’t moving from his branch in the morning like he usually does. He was a super pale colour, wouldn’t move his one eye, and is super weak. After coaxing him towards his basking spot he started getting more active, moving his eyes again and seemed like his normal self. My first reaction was to take him to the vets straight away, but after calling the breeder where we got him from, said that our husbandry issue was that his tank was near a window (we live in the uk) and that his tank temperature was dropping too low at night (around 65 but last night was really cold so it couldve been lower). So I went to the store and purchased a night heater so that the temperature levels wouldn’t drop so low. When I got home he was sitting in the cool side of the tank, all curled up and that same pale colour. I tried to move him but he wasn’t responsive at all,I desperately need to take him to a vets, but no emergency vet has an exotic specialist until the morning. Is there anything I should do to get him through the night before I’m able to go tomorrow? For some reason when I’ve taken him out he’s extremely active but in his cage he’s not.

I think my biggest issue is the dimming thermostat isnt getting the temperature high enough. I’m not sure why??! I’ve put on the night heater and the highest temperature it will go is 71, even when I put it on the highest gage.

Please help, I don’t want anything to happen to him. I feel like an idiot for not listening to my gut to go to the vets. I won’t forgive myself if anything happens to him. :(
Deep breath.

Please fill this out and provide photos of your setup and chameleon. Vet is always needed but we could possibly correct some husbandry that the breeder overlooked.

Here is some recommended information to include when asking for help in the health clinic forum. By providing this information you will receive more accurate and beneficial responses. It might not be necessary to answer all these questions, but the more you provide the better. Please remember that even the most knowledgeable person can only guess at what your problem may be. Only an experienced reptile veterinarian who can directly examine your animal can give a true diagnosis of your chameleon's health.


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 - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

carljr

New Member
Thank you guys for the quick response, I’ve just been on the phone with the emergency vet who’s told me to keep spraying him to get him hydrated, and to turn up the temperature of his tank.. for some reason he really doesnt want to be in the tank and just wants to come out :( I do ‘t know what’s wrong.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - 4 month old male panther chameleon - we've had him for just under 2 weeks.
  • Handling - We hold him daily, for about 15 minutes. He always wants to come out so it makes me thing there’s an issue with the husbandry.
  • Feeding - We feed him locusts, about 6 per day and I feed him in the morning. I will put an extra few in the evening if he's eaten them all by the end of the day, whereas other days he will only eat 3 of the 6. I shake calcium on them before putting them in the tank, and we've been gutloading the locusts watercress. The lady at the pet store who breeds the chameleons also gave us calcium with D3 to use twice a month (which we haven't used yet) as well as gutload powder to give to the locusts once per week.
  • Supplements - Repashy Superfoods Calcium Plus, Repashy Superfoods Superload (Insect Gutload Formula), and Advanced Nutrical (D3). We give the Superload to the locuts once per week, and feed the locusts watercress every 2 days.
  • Watering - We use the zoo med dripper for an hour, plus we mist him in the morning and evening. We mist for about 2-3 minutes and I've only seen him drink once the whole time we've had him.
  • Fecal Description - His poop is normally white and brown. Yesterday it had a bit of yellow mucus in it.
  • History - Unfortunately I don't know anything about his history, all I know is that the pet store we bought him from has been breeding panther chameleons for years.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - An exo terra glass tank with mesh on top. The dimensions are 61x46x90 cm
  • Lighting - We use Arcadia T5 UVB 14% (which we were told to get from the store - they said that the UVB cuts in half with the mesh?) and arcadia basking lamp 150W with a habistat dimming thermostat. We put them on for 12 hours, and turn them off for 12 hours. Also make sure at night the room is pitch black as not to disturb him.
  • Temperature - The bottom of the tank is 65, the medium of the tank is between 70-71 and the highest is 85. We use a temperature gun I bought off Amazon. It’s really hard to get the temperature high, for some reason it’s hot right under the lamp, but the heat on the branch only goes to about 75.
  • Humidity - Our humidity levels range between 65-85 (it's 85 first thing in the morning, and throughout the day it stays around 70-75), we do this by misting him twice a day, as well as using a drip system
  • Plants - Yes we use live plants, I'm not sure what they're called though. We got them from the breeder.
  • Placement - Our cage was originally in the bedroom, next to the window on top of a 70cm cabinet. We’ve just moved his tank now to the living room, away from the window, where it’s a lot hotter.
  • Location - We live in the UK
The pictures attached show what colour he is right now, and the first one is what he normally looks like. (the tank picture was taken a few days earlier - where his colour was more normal as well)
 

Attachments

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
  • Your Chameleon - 4 month old male panther chameleon - we've had him for just under 2 weeks.
  • Handling - We hold him daily, for about 15 minutes. He always wants to come out so it makes me thing there’s an issue with the husbandry. a decent assumption
  • Feeding - We feed him locusts, about 6 per day and I feed him in the morning. I will put an extra few in the evening if he's eaten them all by the end of the day, whereas other days he will only eat 3 of the 6. I shake calcium on them before putting them in the tank, and we've been gutloading the locusts watercress. The lady at the pet store who breeds the chameleons also gave us calcium with D3 to use twice a month (which we haven't used yet) as well as gutload powder to give to the locusts once per week. I'd not feed anything at night. Stick to only food towards the first half of the day.
  • Supplements - Repashy Superfoods Calcium Plus, Repashy Superfoods Superload (Insect Gutload Formula), and Advanced Nutrical (D3). We give the Superload to the locuts once per week, and feed the locusts watercress every 2 days. Are you dusting the feeders with gutload formula? For east, I would stop all of this and go to Repashy Calcium Plus LoD. A more traditional schedule is widely used but the LoD makes it easier. Do not dust feeders with gutload.
  • Watering - We use the zoo med dripper for an hour, plus we mist him in the morning and evening. We mist for about 2-3 minutes and I've only seen him drink once the whole time we've had him. You could do a little longer misting after light out. 5 minutes or so. You also want to get the humidity as high as possible at night. Foggers or cool mist humidifiers can help.
  • Fecal Description - His poop is normally white and brown. Yesterday it had a bit of yellow mucus in it. Have a photo of the poop by chance?
  • History - Unfortunately I don't know anything about his history, all I know is that the pet store we bought him from has been breeding panther chameleons for years.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - An exo terra glass tank with mesh on top. The dimensions are 61x46x90 cm I'd consider a larger cage eventually.
  • Lighting - We use Arcadia T5 UVB 14% (which we were told to get from the store - they said that the UVB cuts in half with the mesh?) and arcadia basking lamp 150W with a habistat dimming thermostat. We put them on for 12 hours, and turn them off for 12 hours. Also make sure at night the room is pitch black as not to disturb him. Good! I'd switch him down to a 6% bulb especially if you are going to use LoD. Calcium Plus and that intense of a light is too much Vitamin D.
  • Temperature - The bottom of the tank is 65, the medium of the tank is between 70-71 and the highest is 85. We use a temperature gun I bought off Amazon. It’s really hard to get the temperature high, for some reason it’s hot right under the lamp, but the heat on the branch only goes to about 75. 85 is okay for basking. These temps look good. Be mindful that a temp gun only measures surface temps and not ambient ones.
  • Humidity - Our humidity levels range between 65-85 (it's 85 first thing in the morning, and throughout the day it stays around 70-75), we do this by misting him twice a day, as well as using a drip system I would say that is a little high humidity for the day time. You could even drop to 50% and be good.
  • Plants - Yes we use live plants, I'm not sure what they're called though. We got them from the breeder. Def wanna know what they are called.
  • Placement - Our cage was originally in the bedroom, next to the window on top of a 70cm cabinet. We’ve just moved his tank now to the living room, away from the window, where it’s a lot hotter.
  • Location - We live in the UK
Honestly, overall he doesn't look bad, visually. Looks fairly healthy. Sometimes they do just chill on a branch and not roam. That being said, trust your gut and get him to a vet.
 

Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
They said they are running it on a dimming Habistat thermostat.
ya I seen that. I don’t know how well the thermostats work since I’ve never used one. But I wonder if they would be able to dim a 150w bulb enough to get it to 85.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Or you could be trying to get temp readings from to far away. You need to be within 12” of whatever you measuring for it to get an accurate reading.
This ^^^^ mine only works within about 6-9 inches. And it gives different readings if I try to go through anything so door has to be open for proper temp.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
ya I seen that. I don’t know how well the thermostats work since I’ve never used one. But I wonder if they would be able to dim a 150w bulb enough to get it to 85.
I am not familiar with that brand specifically but yes they can. I run a herpstat on Beman's cage with a 100 watt bulb. They are designed with a probe that you put in at basking. They dim the light up and down based on the temp the probe is reading. Regardless a 150 watt bulb is extreme though.
 

JackRipper

Avid Member
Great work Team I agree 150w is probably to hot for a glass enclosure and altho I'm usually an advocate for the highest level UV output available due to the aforementioned screen effectively blocking most of the uv rays and the fact that no bulb can ever come close to matching the copious amounts of uv provided by natural sunlight, Glass tanks heat up very quickly and are great at blocking or in this case trapping uv rays allowing the rays to bounce around and multiply essentially turning the tank into a microwave oven..I would change basking bulbs to a 75w and redecorate the basking area with plenty of climbing branches at various distances from the basking light starting at 6 to 8 inches away from the top of the cage and further away to allow him to thermoregulate at his convenience. And go to a less powerful uvbulb cause I think he may be slow cooking internally. Or get a screen enclosure but be weary of night time low temps in screen cages.. thick towel or a horse blanket helps lol..
 
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JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm usually an advocate for the highest level UV output available due to the aforementioned screen effectively blocking most of the uv rays and the fact that no bulb can ever come close to matching the copious amounts of uv provided by natural sunlight, Glass tanks heat up very quickly and are great at blocking or in this case trapping uv rays allowing the rays to bounce around and multiply essentially turning the tank into a microwave oven..
^^I would usually agree with some notable exceptions. Juveniles don't tolerate the same levels of UVB as adults and eye and skin damage is possible. We have even seen burns from UVB here. Also montane species don't tolerate as much UVB not relevant in this case. If you are going to use high level UVB you need a large cage and lots of plants.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Great work Team I agree 150w is probably to hot for a glass enclosure and altho I'm usually an advocate for the highest level UV output available due to the aforementioned screen effectively blocking most of the uv rays and the fact that no bulb can ever come close to matching the copious amounts of uv provided by natural sunlight, Glass tanks heat up very quickly and are great at blocking or in this case trapping uv rays allowing the rays to bounce around and multiply essentially turning the tank into a microwave oven..I would change bulbs to a 75w and redecorate the basking area with plenty of climbing branches at various distances from the basking light starting at 6 to 8 inches away from the top of the cage and further away to allow him to thermoregulate at his convenience. And go to a less powerful uvbulb. Or get a screen enclosure but be weary of night time low temps in screen cages.. thick towel or a horse blanket helps lol..
Question... Do you use a solarmeter to test UV output? Typically we do not recommend high UV output. While a 6% arcadia bulb in a single bulb fixture at 9 inches easily gives a 3-4 UVI range. Panthers should never have a higher UV level and with the Calcium plus supplement this can be a recipe for overdose/overexposure.
 
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