Injured Tongue

fullhouse

New Member
Our veiled chameleon seems to have injured his tongue. :( Nothing will stick to his tongue and it is bright pink and swollen - he cant eat on his own. Took him to the vet and got antibiotics. I am currently feeding him with a syringe (meat babyfood fortified with retile vitamins). Is there a good chance of his tongue healing itself or will I be feeding him by hand for the rest of his life? Also, is it common for chameleons to injure thier tongues? HOw does it happen? I wonder if it is something in his cage or if he just may have bitten it? Any thoughts?
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
Hello fullhouse, welcome to the chameleon forums :)

How long has your chameleon had this tongue problem? What was your vet's diagnosis? The tongue could have become infected or he could have hurt it by shooting at a hard surface (glass). Chams can bite their tongues, get them trapped around branches, and many other unfortunate accidents.
 

fullhouse

New Member
tongue problems continued...

The problem started sometime the week of Thanksgiving. When we returned home from vacation our house sitter said she didnt think "greenie" was eating. I tried to feed him as I had in the past by holding a container of superworms for him (he would always just eat a few from the container I was holding). Anyway, he tried about 10 times but nothing would stick to his tongue and it is all bright pink = looks like a mangled piece of raw meat is at the end of his tongue. I assumed it may have been injured. The vet looked at it and said it looked like there was an acitve infection in the tongue. He gave "greenie" an injection of antibiotics and sent me home with 4 more injections to administer every 3 days for 15 days. I have also been feeding the little cutie some meat flavored babyfood with a syringe every night b/c he wont eat otherwise.

I guess I just was wondering if there were other possible causes of his tongue being swollen and bright pink other than an injury? Thanks, Julie
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
looks like a mangled piece of raw meat is at the end of his tongue.
It does sound like he might have bit into the tip of his tongue and it became infected. Is he having problems aiming, or just catching the food? Any signs of dehydration? Did the vet recommend the baby food you are using? A few drops of pedialyte a day wouldn't hurt.

With my limited experience, I still can not say if he will fully recover and have full use of his tongue. Would be nice to see a picture or two if you have a digital camera.
 

fullhouse

New Member
tongue update

Greenie's tongue does not seem to be getting any better. He has been on antibiotics for 2 weeks now. We have been hand feeding him and he seems to be in ok health. He is even being a little more cooperative about letting us feed him (ie... he will open his mouth a tiny bit so we can shove a mealworm in). I tried to get a picture -- but no dice. I would like to post a picture b/c if anyone has seen a similar problem I would really like to know if it ever healed. Any tips on how to get a picture of him w/ his mouth wide open? I feel like I am hurting him when I try to force his mouth open to feed him and dont want to traumatize him more than neccessary. Thx, Julie
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
I don't have any advice on getting him to open his mouth for pictures, but I if anything comes to mind I will post it. Do be careful, you can easily hurt their jaw by trying to force the mouth open.
 

kaspar

New Member
Hi everyone, greetings from Estonia.

Since the early winter, there have been lots of flies in my room and my female veiled has tried to catch the through the glass and mesh. And her tongue tip is swollen. She cant catch food im offering her because it wont stick, and chases it with his mouth. Because there arent any vet's in Estonia who could help me with this problem, I hope to get some advice from members of this forum.

Best

Kaspar
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
You should start your own thread so that everyone will see it. I would do what ever you can to stop her from trying to get flies through the glass and mesh. I'm not sure what you should do about her tongue but I would hand feed her soft food such as silkworms until it heals. Jann
 

Clifford

New Member
...I tried to get a picture -- but no dice. I would like to post a picture b/c if anyone has seen a similar problem I would really like to know if it ever healed. Any tips on how to get a picture of him w/ his mouth wide open? I feel like I am hurting him when I try to force his mouth open to feed him and dont want to traumatize him more than neccessary. Thx, Julie
Julie, do you have a friend that could take the picture? If you CAREFULLY hold your thumb and a finger one on each nostril, your chameleon may voluntarily open its mouth (in anger and to breath). THis is what my vet has done to peer in an uncooperative mouth. Then your friend could snap a few pictures. How succedssfully this would be Depend on its temperment. Your chameleon may just really fight you, in which case let it go.
 
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