Impacted & Vitamin A Deficiency

gsurfn

New Member
Hello Everyone,

Some of you may remember me, as I come here frequently with health questions for my panther cham named Crash. He had been showing textbook signs of a Vitamin A deficiency (one eye closed with no other health effects). I had started dosing him with Vitamin A (retinly palmitate w/ some fish oil in the supplement). I was puncturing the pill and smearing a little bit onto a meal worm and then hand feeding him to it. Well I am happy to say that we are on day 7 of the dosing and the Vitamin A deficiency is clearing up as he has had no problems keeping his eyes open.

What leads me to the next problem is his impacted poop.

It hit me like a brick that I cleaned his cage out about 2-3 weeks ago and there are only two very small droppings. I have looked on hanging branches and in the soil and I do not see anything else. He has started to become lethargic, which I had presumed was from him being impacted. Today, I had my girlfriend put him on a fake plastic plant and then put him in the shower (warm water with the nozzle facing the wall so that he was only getting the mist). She put him in for about 15 minutes. Still no poop.

I know that I should have picked up on the impaction much sooner and I probably made it worse feeding him the meal worms with the vitamin as I know that it is a harder exoskeleton. Please be kind on your responses...I am an accountant currently in tax season. I only get to observe him for about 15 minutes before I go to work and then by the time I get home his lights are already off. (I am currently pulling 12 hour work days...starting back in the last week in January). Should I try bathing him again tomorrow? I don't want to stress him out too much. I will welcome any suggestions with open arms. Believe me, I am trying as best I can with my workload right now, and getting my girlfriend to update me on how he looks while I am not home. Thank you everyone.
 

ataraxia

Avid Member
awsome glad to hear he is doing better!! GREAT JOB!! becareful with the retinol though. dont worry about the mealworms impacting him. if you think he is possibly impacted give him longer mistings. ive never tried this but someone on here suggested smearing some vegetable oil on a feeder for impaction..
 

jojackson

New Member
You could give the guy a knee high soak in tepid water for 20 mins or so, if theres a blockage of hard poo in the colon (just inside his bum)it should soften up.
However if this fails and you suspect the blockage might be further in (intestines) then cease feeding and increase its water consumption for about a week.
This might entail having your other half hand mist the lizard continuously (over its head) for up to 5 mins at a time to encourage drinking, several times a day.
She should see it begin to drink, and should continue to mist until she sees the lizard raise its head (snout in the air) and swallow. This generally means its had enough.
Hydration is of the utmost importance regardless of diet.

If your not using a dripper, you could make one with say a 2litre/40 ounce bottle and some aquarium tubing. Using an aquarium tubing tap valve will allow you to control the rate of drips so it will drip for several hours.
This will increase the lizards opportunity to drink. If you can arrange it to drip over plant leaves, all the better.
You can buy them too ofcourse. :)

17519_pid.jpg
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello Everyone,

Some of you may remember me, as I come here frequently with health questions for my panther cham named Crash. He had been showing textbook signs of a Vitamin A deficiency (one eye closed with no other health effects). I had started dosing him with Vitamin A (retinly palmitate w/ some fish oil in the supplement). I was puncturing the pill and smearing a little bit onto a meal worm and then hand feeding him to it. Well I am happy to say that we are on day 7 of the dosing and the Vitamin A deficiency is clearing up as he has had no problems keeping his eyes open.

What leads me to the next problem is his impacted poop.

It hit me like a brick that I cleaned his cage out about 2-3 weeks ago and there are only two very small droppings. I have looked on hanging branches and in the soil and I do not see anything else. He has started to become lethargic, which I had presumed was from him being impacted. Today, I had my girlfriend put him on a fake plastic plant and then put him in the shower (warm water with the nozzle facing the wall so that he was only getting the mist). She put him in for about 15 minutes. Still no poop.

I know that I should have picked up on the impaction much sooner and I probably made it worse feeding him the meal worms with the vitamin as I know that it is a harder exoskeleton. Please be kind on your responses...I am an accountant currently in tax season. I only get to observe him for about 15 minutes before I go to work and then by the time I get home his lights are already off. (I am currently pulling 12 hour work days...starting back in the last week in January). Should I try bathing him again tomorrow? I don't want to stress him out too much. I will welcome any suggestions with open arms. Believe me, I am trying as best I can with my workload right now, and getting my girlfriend to update me on how he looks while I am not home. Thank you everyone.

First, if he hasn't been eating as much as he normally did, there may not be as much bulk to pass. Second, in our winters many chams do sort of slow down metabolically. Third, with the stress of treatment he may be drinking less than normal which will contribute to the problem. Soaking a cham in luke warm water can sometimes help, but can also panic a cham because they are not comfortable in deep water. I prefer to really increase how much my cham is drinking, raise their cage humidity, shower them in a steamy bathroom if possible, and feed softer bodied insects like hornworms. Trying to force a constipated cham to poop isn't always a good idea because they can prolapse bowel tissues or hemipenes when straining.

One odd thing I've also noticed. If you put your cham in a warmer very bright place (such as a south facing sunny window) it can sort of stimulate them to go, especially if they have been climbing around actively before hand.
 

gsurfn

New Member
Thank you for responses!

I have a mistking with the settings being 1 minute misting at 10:00 am, 1 minute misting at 1 pm, and 1 minute misting at 5 pm. I also actually had that exact little dripper from when he was a baby in his old cage. I hooked that back up this morning with a drip over one of the leaves near a branch he always walks on.

If I don't see any poops today, I'm going to have my girlfriend do the misting suggestion starting tomorrow. I'll try that vegetable oil suggestion too. I just want to make sure my little man is doing ok! I'm still supplementing the Vitamin A, and hand fed him a mealworm with it smeared on there. He took it no problem.

Unfortunately, my apartment does not have a south facing window (I got screwed!!).

Being in New Jersey, it is a constant struggle to keep humidity up. I can't wait for summer...or at the very least May.

I've also questioned his light settings as of late. Right now it is on at 7 am off at 7 pm. By around 6:30 though he is pretty much ready for bed and gets into his curled up position. Is this normal?
 

javsto

New Member
how about the next time you gutload yuor feeders, you can use prunes and prune juice bath prior to feeding:confused:
 

gsurfn

New Member
I just wanted to let everyone know that Crash officially went to the bathroom this afternoon!!! I stopped giving him as much food and upped his water intake. I also increased his basking temp. It was in the 84-86 range, and now it is in the 87-89 range (used a temp gun).

I examined the fecal matter and his poo looked good, but he was absolutely dehydrated. Very orangey urates. He also had a massive sperm plug that exited him as well.

I am surprised about the him being dehydrated because I have a mistking that goes off 3 times a day for a minute a piece. Maybe hooking up that dripper was just the missing piece to Crash's hydration puzzle.

Thank you everyone for your ideas!
 

Texas Panther Man

New Member
I'd up the morning and mid day misting sessions. The early session could go for 3-5 mins and 5mins at mid day. Then 1 min late in the day so the cage could dry before lights out.
 

Silkyslim

New Member
In response to his bed time, it is very normal for chams to get ready for bed early and wait it out. Mine generally is in his sleeping area 30-1 hr at most before lights out.

There have been a few posts regarding urates becoming very orange from the urate itself being in the body too long, this could be part of the case for you but it never hurts to offer more water as long as your cage is getting dry between offerings.
 

gsurfn

New Member
Thanks for the advice Texas. I am going to adjust his misting settings to your suggestion. Only having it go for 3 minutes in total for the day just isn't cutting it.

Silky, my cham does the exact same thing. 30 to an hour before he is in his spot ready for the lights to go off. Thanks for clearing my paranoia!

So happy that he is back to his normal self. He is currently doing laps around the cage. Instantly after her got rid of the impaction he was back to normal. Pretty crazy!
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for the advice Texas. I am going to adjust his misting settings to your suggestion. Only having it go for 3 minutes in total for the day just isn't cutting it.

Silky, my cham does the exact same thing. 30 to an hour before he is in his spot ready for the lights to go off. Thanks for clearing my paranoia!

So happy that he is back to his normal self. He is currently doing laps around the cage. Instantly after her got rid of the impaction he was back to normal. Pretty crazy!

I agree...such a short misting cycle wasn't really saturating the cage surfaces enough to hold the humidity level up for very long. As long as the surfaces get to dry out at some point during a 24 hour period they won't get moldy.
 
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