I'm a horrible Cham mommy :(

farrahsc

New Member
I've really debated on posting this but my hope is maybe one day it will help someone else.

My WC Senegal juvenile that hasn't been acclimating very well had a major accident night before last. He has only eaten 6 crickets in the 2 weeks he has been with me and even with misting 4 times a day, a dripper, showers 2x a week and using a small syringe to drip water into his mouth he was still showing signs of dehydration. So when I came home from work the other night I went to look in on him first as I always do and he was standing on his branch by his bowl looking at the crickets and worms (I cup feed him to count the number he is eating). Well of coarse I got super excited! So I walked away and went to take a bath. When I came out there was something red running down his side. I was like what in the world??? So I took him out of his cage and noticed the red thing was pulsating! It was his tongue!

Some how I guess he caught his tongue on something and ripped it off! I was devastated! All I could think was this poor little guy is going to die, there is no way he is strong enough to live through this. I sat and held him wrapped in a warm wash cloth and a towel for 3 hours crying trying to decide what would be the best thing for me to do. Do I take him and have him put to sleep, do I try to syringe feed him until he can learn to eat on his own if he makes it that long? I didn't want him to suffer but I decided I was going to try and see what could be done.

I opened his mouth and noticed that his tongue was gone all the way to the bone. I knew from reading other posts on here that this wasn't going to be good. If he was in perfect health maybe, but not in the shape he is in. I mean the poor little guy is covered with bruises and scratches from his journey, dehydrated, and now unable to eat. I put him back in his cage and thought if he makes it through the night then I will call around to vets in the morning.

The vets here are useless when it comes to chams but I found one that told me to get some antibacterial medicine that they make for reptiles and mix in it with his water and that maybe I could smash up some worms and try to feed him that way.

Well that wasn't good enough for me so I got the medicine, some chicken and squash baby food and some pedialyte. I've been mixing a little of each of the baby foods, the medicine and some pedialyte together and syringe feeding it to him. He gets 0.2 cc's of straight pedialyte and 0.2 cc's of the food/medicine mixture every day.

He is learning how to swallow again and it's a very slow process. It takes about 45 minutes to feed him since I drop a little in his mouth and then allow him to walk along my hands arms until I know he is done eating that bit and then on to the next.

I will do this for the rest of his life if I have to.

He seems to be doing pretty well considering. He's been a bit more active and spending lots of time under his UVB bulb. I'm doing even more mistings as well trying to keep him hydrated and as soon as I can get a good fresh poop from him he is getting a fecal done.

I feel terrible about this and would give anything for this not to have happened. I just really hope the little guy makes it and that I made the right choice by trying to save him.
 

Leon911

Member
I'm really sorry to hear this. I wonder how it happened? Today my lil guy had a cricket supplement stuck in his mouth and I was really scarred. He was banging his head on a branch and ended up swallowing it. I hope he's okay
 

imcurt

Avid Member
Wow! I have read on here about the same thing happening to other chams ,and it seems that the most of them make it with lots of help. Treat your self to A mistking it will make keeping your chams sooooo much easyer.It sounds like you need A break!!!
 

Jakama

Member
That's horrible! I admire you for nursing him back to health, I don't know if I would've been able to do that. I hope all goes well for you and your chameleon.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
IMHO you seem to be on the right road to helping it...but I think it should be on an antibiotic in case it might get an infection from the tongue being ripped off.
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
That is horrible but there are two other members recently who had the same thing happen and their chams are ok. I admire your determination to keep your cham alive. I hope he makes it and can lead as normal a life as possible. Good luck to you and keep us updated.
 

ghettomike

New Member
that doesn't make you a horrible cham mom, it makes you an amazing cham mom. It was a freak accident and you have been nursing your lil cham back to health through patience and determination when some people would just give up. You are doing a great job from the sound of it
 
good job. I had to do something similar to this when I had my blind chameleon a couple years back. Try some fruit and veggie baby foods. I also made a trick of when I ought crickets I would gutload them, and then stick them in the freezer so they died and then I would thaw them out when I as ready to feed them. In his case you can try making a cricket mush. I did a few different things, and I also made my ownbabyfood with steamed carots, steamed apples, steamed pears, and crickets. If he can chew I would say just give the thawed crickets.
 

jpm995

Member
Sounds like your a great cham mom. Seems like your doing everything humanely possible for your little guy. These are difficult animals to care for when healthy sick ones are near impossible. Keep up the good work, lets hope he recovers.
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
that doesn't make you a horrible cham mom, it makes you an amazing cham mom. It was a freak accident and you have been nursing your lil cham back to health through patience and determination when some people would just give up. You are doing a great job from the sound of it
This is also my thoughts. You are a wonderful cham mom trying to beat the odds and succeeding so far!! Don't beat your self up, rather consider without you the little guy would be history. Keep up the good work.:)
 

Hoj

Friendly Grasshopper
hey first off you are not a bad mom. my name is hoj and i am one of the other members that has had the exact same issue happen. i have shivvers and a stomach ache after reading your post, i went throught the same thing. it soulnds like you are doing everything you can. i would suggest that you get yourself some baytril antibiotic to help with poss, infection as well as uri's.
when chams loose their tounge esspecially close to the bone it leave thier air duct exposed and make them very suseptible to pnemona.
as far as feeding goes i now also have to hand feed i remove the cricket legs as well, givining my guy a chance to possibly get some himself which he has.
i totally know what you r going through and its a hard battle but they can do it my camo is a little tropper and i hope yours is too. if you want to talk further or have any other questions just pm me.
 

brandychams

New Member
:( poor guy... i hope he makes it , hang in there and dont beat your self up
do you or anybodyelse have any ideas how this happens and what we can do to prevent it?
 

asianer

New Member
:( poor guy... i hope he makes it , hang in there and dont beat your self up
do you or anybodyelse have any ideas how this happens and what we can do to prevent it?
I wonder if there is a common theme for the people that have chams with ripped tongues, perhaps certain wood, vines or other structures in their cages...sorry to the original thread starter for having to experience this!
 

sallyb

New Member
That is just so sad for the poor little guyand you , of course, but he is a lucky boy in that he has you to look after him and nurse him. You are obviously being a great mum to him and care about him a lot. I pray that he will recover well and that you will both have many pleasant experiences to come when he is well again.
 

Hoj

Friendly Grasshopper
I wonder if there is a common theme for the people that have chams with ripped tongues, perhaps certain wood, vines or other structures in their cages...sorry to the original thread starter for having to experience this!
i would like to explore this as well. i believe that mine got his stuck on a fake vine and prob bit it off, makes me second guess my fake vines but i dont believe that a real vine woould have been any better, prob just as strong and the fake vines are pretty realistic
 

chefbill

New Member
Try to get some retaid for carnivores to help supplement for the nutrients and protiens necessary for a Cham to survive I just finished nursing an egg bound cham by feeding with reptaid for almost 6 weeks until she finally passed the eggs with an oxytosin injection and daily calcium supplements. Reptaid kept her alive while she refused to eat.
 

farrahsc

New Member
Thank you everyone for the words of encouragement! I really have no idea what he could have caught it on. His cage has 3 live plants, I dowel rod staked into one of the plants for it to vine up on and one fake vine that is a Fluker's Bend-A-Branch. There was also a small white Tupperware type bowl that I had his food in.

I do have access to liquid Bayatril but I've read stories on here about it causing leg paralyzes and so I was worried about using it.

What other types of baby food do you suggest? I did the chicken because I thought it would be better then beef and the squash over carrots because it had a bit higher calcium content.

I did think about the reptiaid but I know you can't use it on bearded dragons, not sure why that's just what I was told. And I've read a few things on here about it not being exactly what a cham needs.

As for an update, he is awake and basking under his heat bulb. His eyes pretty much stay closed when he is in his cage which I can't figure out why except for the fact that he is miserable. He has a 40w household bulb and a 5.0 UVB. But when he is out on me his eyes are open. I'm going to give him a bit to warm up then I will try some more pedialyte and if I can to get some photos of him.

He is the sweetest of all of my chams. He climbs right out on your hand and he never hisses or puffs up.

I had also bought a 3 foot tall pothos plant that I was going to free range him on a bit to try and help him accumulate better. I went a head and repotted it last night in organic potting soil. I might try putting him on it some today as well.
 
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