Immobilizing an injured chameleon

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
I was thinking about this yesterday - if you have a chameleon that has become injured (broken ribs, injured legs, weakness, etc.) where they shouldn't be moving around too much, how can we make this happen? Obviously we can't tie them to a pillow so they can't move around, but how can we make a movement-limiting environment that is comfortable (and non-stressing) for them?

I searched but didn't really find any good suggestions. I imagine that especially with hurt ribs and limbs going up and down it much more stressful on the injuries than moving horizontally, so perhaps just a flat platform under the lights? Or a tight grill of bars serving the same purpose but letting them grip onto something.?

I thought it would be interesting to hear what other people's thoughts are on this and what anyone has tried in the past if they've had to limit movement due to an injury/condition.
 

Ace

Avid Member
hmmms idk. good question....glad u asked..so we can get ideas:cool:

i would get a temperary smaller cage, and somehow use flat platforms like ones on a barbeque grill, and possible leafy beds on the platforms from plants? not really sure....>.<
 

PedroANDAshley

New Member
If a chameleon had broken legs I think the vet puts a chameleon cast on it, yes I'm being serious lol. And obviously you'd want to limit the climbing space so there wouldn't be any chance of being injured more from a fall.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
If a chameleon had broken legs I think the vet puts a chameleon cast on it, yes I'm being serious lol. And obviously you'd want to limit the climbing space so there wouldn't be any chance of being injured more from a fall.
Of course, but how do we do this? What are some ideas?
Would they be horrified if you made them a completely horizontal living space, but put it all up high?
 

Texas Panther Man

New Member
I had an ambanja many yrs ago that suffered paralysis of the hind legs. My vet and I did x-rays and could find no source of trauma to the legs or back. I fastened a hammock type device under his lights and moved him into a much smaller enclosure. I think he ended up in a 18x18 or something close to that.
We werent able to correct the situation but he lived for at least six months in his hammock. His quality of life was taken into account and I put him down when he could no longer defecate without outside assistance.

So my opinion is a ferret cage hammock makes a great bed for them to stay relatively immobile yet give them a since of being off the ground.
 

jessica

Avid Member
Would they be horrified if you made them a completely horizontal living space, but put it all up high?

This is what I would do, may be a reptarium on its side with towels or something for soft landing and set it on a stand above eye level.

If the chameleon is on pain meds may be that would make them a little "woozy" therefore making them easier to contain contained? I haven't' had a chameleon on Medcam so I'm unsure of it's effect.
 

Jamelon

New Member
after being in a larger enclosure, and then moved into a smaller one, id think that they would feel a little cramped and move around trying to find a way out. especially chameleons who were free ranged.
 

draetish

Avid Member
Something to think about.....if they cham were in the wild and this happened, more than likely they would become dinner for a predator unless they were really good at hiding but then would they be able to hunt food? If it were my cham, I would leave it in the "same" enclosure, but raise the bottom to a safe distance in case he falls. I'd also remove most of the climbing branches and leave just a few. That way he is not stressed by being in a new enclosure, but has a safer one to accommodate his needs.
 

Amanda1801

New Member
I think we don't give animals credit for their resiliance to such injuries.

My cham has broken legs (now healing) - all of his legs are broken, some badly broken and healing in a bad position, and others just fractured. He also has several broken ribs which have healed, but he still roams about and climbs well, never fallen etc.

My vet did discuss with me, the possibility of splinting his legs, so that is an option, but we decided not to as he was better off having deformed legs and the ability to gain muscle rather than trying to fix already re-calcifying breaks and restricting his mobility.

So, albeit slightly bendy-leggedly, he has continued to climb about and such, with no medical intervention
 

draetish

Avid Member
I think we don't give animals credit for their resiliance to such injuries.

My cham has broken legs (now healing) - all of his legs are broken, some badly broken and healing in a bad position, and others just fractured. He also has several broken ribs which have healed, but he still roams about and climbs well, never fallen etc.

My vet did discuss with me, the possibility of splinting his legs, so that is an option, but we decided not to as he was better off having deformed legs and the ability to gain muscle rather than trying to fix already re-calcifying breaks and restricting his mobility.

So, albeit slightly bendy-leggedly, he has continued to climb about and such, with no medical intervention
I agree, what happened to your cham?
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
I think we don't give animals credit for their resiliance to such injuries.

My cham has broken legs (now healing) - all of his legs are broken, some badly broken and healing in a bad position, and others just fractured. He also has several broken ribs which have healed, but he still roams about and climbs well, never fallen etc.

My vet did discuss with me, the possibility of splinting his legs, so that is an option, but we decided not to as he was better off having deformed legs and the ability to gain muscle rather than trying to fix already re-calcifying breaks and restricting his mobility.

So, albeit slightly bendy-leggedly, he has continued to climb about and such, with no medical intervention
Ouch, really?
I'm among the first to always tell people who ask me in person that these animals are much tougher than we give them credit for, but anyone who has broken a bone knows how painful it is. I've broken both my arms and I can't imagine continuing to use them with fresh breaks. Even broken toes are horrible to walk with.

Obviously with broken ribs there isn't much you can do about fixing them, but it feels like at least a few weeks (be it broken ribs, limbs, etc.) some adjustments should be made to make the animal more comfortable as it heals. Obviously, we're chatting now about what that means and what that looks like. But it's interesting to know that your vet thought that about yours' injuries.
 

Amanda1801

New Member
Ouch, really?
I'm among the first to always tell people who ask me in person that these animals are much tougher than we give them credit for, but anyone who has broken a bone knows how painful it is. I've broken both my arms and I can't imagine continuing to use them with fresh breaks. Even broken toes are horrible to walk with.

Obviously with broken ribs there isn't much you can do about fixing them, but it feels like at least a few weeks (be it broken ribs, limbs, etc.) some adjustments should be made to make the animal more comfortable as it heals. Obviously, we're chatting now about what that means and what that looks like. But it's interesting to know that your vet thought that about yours' injuries.
Yeah, his breaks were already beginning to heal though, and as he was moving about well, we decided to let nature carry on doing what it does.

I think in a case of a fresh break, they would themselves decide how active they want to be - as long as they have horizontal and vertical branches and such to sit on, you'd prob be able to work out what needs they have depending on their indiviual injury.

I'm not sure about the anatomy of it, it's something I keep meaning to look into, I study veterinary anatomy but I'm snowed under with assignments at the moment, but I assume that they have some kind of "passive stay apparatus" as horses do, similar in birds, where they can sleep and still stand/grip the branch. I also regularly see mine just holding on with 3 or sometimes even 2 or 1 leg (and a tail!) just merrily dangling above his bowl and such, so I think if push came to shove and he had a damaged leg, he would manage ok - I personally would maybe add in a false floor to minimise risk of further injury through falling, but looking at my cham's behaviour and such, I'd say he would cope better with 3 legs moving vertically rather than horizontally, as he'd have the ability to use his tail to stablise himself
 

Dexter Love

New Member
I think we don't give animals credit for their resiliance to such injuries.

My cham has broken legs (now healing) - all of his legs are broken, some badly broken and healing in a bad position, and others just fractured. He also has several broken ribs which have healed, but he still roams about and climbs well, never fallen etc.

My vet did discuss with me, the possibility of splinting his legs, so that is an option, but we decided not to as he was better off having deformed legs and the ability to gain muscle rather than trying to fix already re-calcifying breaks and restricting his mobility.

So, albeit slightly bendy-leggedly, he has continued to climb about and such, with no medical intervention
I am currently having trouble with my chameleon as he fell out of his ficus tree and broke his front leg... any suggestions for me? He is very weak and does not respond to food or water... is this typical during this situation?
 

ataraxia

Avid Member
lotus had a rear broken leg from a unfortunate accident. no splints or casts. his limb is a bit deformed but he uses it just fine now.
 

Seeco

New Member
The baby cage method on my blog works well. You just make the top platform half the size since an adult can not slip between the bars.
 
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