Is this his coloring or mouth rot?

Han0915

Member
Hey guys,

My 6 month old panther chameleon has me a little worried the past few days after noticing his mouth area was turning yellow. I guess I passed it off for his coloring since he's got yellows in him, but I wanted to get them opinions on it beforehand. There's a lesion-like spot on his left side that worries me too. I'll be searching around for a vet in the mean time just in case, but here are the pictures below. Any thoughts?

Also, does he appear dehydrated to anyone? I've seriously struggled to get him to drink enough water, despite me upping the amount of sprays throughout the day. He only will drink on one of the real plants in his cage, otherwise he won't touch the water. I bought him hornworms to try and help with this, and wanted to start taking him into the shower to see if he likes that too. I have a MistKing that I plan on setting up this week also, purely because I'm so worried he's not getting enough water.
 

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JackRipper

Avid Member
Yellow is normal. not sure though if they all have that coloring though. light shades of yellowish/greens are ok too. Darker greens/black or lime/bright/neon greens can all be signs of problems such as mouth rot or liver malfunction
 

Ruthless

Avid Member
Poor guy is going to be stressed! But the answer to your question is NO it’s not mouth rot the inside of there mouth is yellow in color. As for the lesion it’s hard to tell.
 

JackRipper

Avid Member
There are a few threads on it. It's normal be careful with those mandibles. Serve em chilled they are less likely to bite or remove the mouth parts. Or flick the super worms in the head before serving :( . I stopped serving supers long ago.
 

JackRipper

Avid Member
Before attempting any kind of home remedy like using honey on lesions it would be best to consult your veterinarian first. And do loads of research.
 

Han0915

Member
The yellow had me super worried there for a minute since I've never really checked until I saw the color yellow start to appear on the outside of his mouth. In my older pictures of him, he doesn't have that yellow around his mouth... it's only been maybe the last 2 weeks or so that I've noticed, and tonight is when I noticed that weird lesion looking thing along his lip line.

The breeder actually mentioned using the bee pollen powder mixed with his bugs- is that something I should try incorporating? I have some at my old place, just never got around to buying another to test it out. Or should I just get organic pure honey and I'm guessing, rub it along his mouth? I'm currently in a new state (I travel with my pets back and forth every 3-4 months) so my primary vet is in Texas... >< I planned on taking him for a checkup in about one month from now with her, however is this something you guys would recommend getting into the vet with ASAP? It's just a painnnnn to find an affordable vet, especially out here in LA. So if it can wait, I'd rather do that and take him to a vet that I trust.

OH and for bugs! I'm wondering what the lesion could've been caused by, since I only feed him hornworms, roaches, waxworms, butterworms, or mealworms. I haven't tried supers yet, mostly because they reaaaaally creep me out plus the biting thing scares me too! Is it possible that the hornworms could have bit him there?

He's actually been eating a little less this past week for some reason, but I think that's on me tbh. I've been trying to make him more.... "independent" eating wise, so no more hand feeding him constantly. I only did the hand feeding to tame him, and I must say it worked very well. He literally let me stick my finger in his mouth tonight, didn't even try to bite me lol. He's a very tame, gentle little guy who actually seems to like being out and about/held, but I think he's too dependent on me so I don't know if the feeding thing is just an issue with the fact that he has to actually work for his food now lol. Trying to feed him from his bowl more since I'm a student and am gone almost daily, but the brat will sit there, go hungry, and wait til I'm home to eat when I get hold the roaches and worms for him. I think I went a little too hard on the taming method and it's backfiring LOL.
 

JackRipper

Avid Member
Look into manuka honey. If unavailable then as natural as possible organic honey not KFC honey lol . Bee pollen is awesome for chams you are ahead of the curve. :)
 

Han0915

Member
Okay I will order those both tonight for him! Is there a link to that thread btw for the honey technique? I'd like to see how much honey to use, how to apply it, how often, etc. I'm not worried about handling him to apply the honey, like legit this chameleon is an angel compared to some I've seen LOL. I started touching his mouth, heath, body, etc from like... the very beginning, just so he's be used to it long term. It's definitely paid off hehe.
 

JackRipper

Avid Member
Okay I will order those both tonight for him! Is there a link to that thread btw for the honey technique? I'd like to see how much honey to use, how to apply it, how often, etc. I'm not worried about handling him to apply the honey, like legit this chameleon is an angel compared to some I've seen LOL. I started touching his mouth, heath, body, etc from like... the very beginning, just so he's be used to it long term. It's definitely paid off hehe.
Type honey into the search bar there are several threads on it :) there are also a few older ones on Neosporin original formula but not recommended without consulting a vet. I'm off to bed but there is always someone around to help answer any questions you come across. Best of luck
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
The yellow coloring inside his mouth is normal, but he does have the beginnings of multiple small lesions on his lip. These dont necessarily mean mouth rot, but they can contribute! Early days for sure, but I'd pop by a good reptile vet.

I've gotten very paranoid with anything mouth related since my girl Lily ended up with an infected lesion, caused by a superworm bite. The recovery process has been brutal... best to nip that in the bud!
 

Han0915

Member
Sorry for the late reply, I was moving to a new house all week with no internet!

So Felix actually completed a new shed 2 days back, and the lesion on the left side of his mouth looks a lot less severe/inflamed? The area looks quite normal now, but could be my eyes playing tricks on me.

I'm a little confused since I've read a lot into this, but did I do anything wrong to cause these lesions? Husbandry/care wise? I can post his specs below, but I'm still worried something more may be going on. He hasn't been eating normally and rarely wants to touch his roaches, so I've been giving him mealworms/larvae/BSF. He seems to want a "'worm only diet" these days lol. Going to pick him up crickets today and see if that sparks anything in him, but is this pretty normal for his age or should I be concerned? He eagerly will eat mealworms/larvae but essentially refuses everything else lol. I've given him a very varied diet from the start, so I'm wondering if he's just lost the taste for roaches and wants hornworms again.... hmmm.


Also, here are his tank specs;

Tank:
16 in. x 16 in. x 30 in. with T5 UV + heat and basking spot (temps from 70-86F)
Live plants, vines, branches, etc + outside tree by window to play on
Hand misted 3-4 times daily

Diet:
Dubias, crickets, waxworms, BSF, mealworms, hornworms
Calcium 3-4 times weekly + 1 day of multivitamins and Vit D supplements
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
So pretty much every feeder "can" bite. The worst being hornworms, crickets and supers. Crickets are more an issue if left to free range though.

With the worms: grab them right behind the head with your off hand and use a small pair of pliers [jewelry, electrical, mechanic, etc] and coax them into "biting" one side of the pliers. Then close the pliers with a slight wiggle. If you see a little drip of clear/teal liquid from the hornworm you're successful! You'll also get a pretty decent "crunch" feel. Yes, it's a tad cruel... but I don't feed hornworms who havent been handicapped... or that aren't in the middle of a shed where they have the "helmet" on and can't bite. Same method works for supers.

A worm can bite directly on the tongue, the mouth region, whip back for eye turrets, etc. They're feisty. A simple bite can lead to infection and death. Invest in pliers.

As far as the manuka honey, you can find it in most "organic" food shops - usually with the honey but sometimes in the first aid area.

As far as appetite, they do that. My guy loves his silkworms!

The shower method probably wont help much as they don't absorb moisture through their skin. [Possibly through their vent, but that's not helpful here]. He doesn't appear dehydrated to me anyway. The best indicator is poop, more specifically the urate. Urate should be white... but some yellow or orange is considered ok.

Every foodstuff contains SOME water, hornworms are just heavier in water. My male very rarely drinks and when he does I get to see it like 1/60 times.

Best of luck!
 

Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
So pretty much every feeder "can" bite. The worst being hornworms, crickets and supers. Crickets are more an issue if left to free range though.

With the worms: grab them right behind the head with your off hand and use a small pair of pliers [jewelry, electrical, mechanic, etc] and coax them into "biting" one side of the pliers. Then close the pliers with a slight wiggle. If you see a little drip of clear/teal liquid from the hornworm you're successful! You'll also get a pretty decent "crunch" feel. Yes, it's a tad cruel... but I don't feed hornworms who havent been handicapped... or that aren't in the middle of a shed where they have the "helmet" on and can't bite. Same method works for supers.

A worm can bite directly on the tongue, the mouth region, whip back for eye turrets, etc. They're feisty. A simple bite can lead to infection and death. Invest in pliers.

As far as the manuka honey, you can find it in most "organic" food shops - usually with the honey but sometimes in the first aid area.

As far as appetite, they do that. My guy loves his silkworms!

The shower method probably wont help much as they don't absorb moisture through their skin. [Possibly through their vent, but that's not helpful here]. He doesn't appear dehydrated to me anyway. The best indicator is poop, more specifically the urate. Urate should be white... but some yellow or orange is considered ok.

Every foodstuff contains SOME water, hornworms are just heavier in water. My male very rarely drinks and when he does I get to see it like 1/60 times.

Best of luck!
Question, how long can a hornworm or superworm live after being clipped? If not ate will they survive the day or two until the next feeding?
 

JackRipper

Avid Member
Question, how long can a hornworm or superworm live after being clipped? If not ate will they survive the day or two until the next feeding?

I don't always feed super worms... but when I do I flick em in the head then spin them in between my pointer and thumb to attract the chams attention. ;) or serve chilled and lethargic.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
Question, how long can a hornworm or superworm live after being clipped? If not ate will they survive the day or two until the next feeding?
They survive for quite some time. I'm not 100% on this, but I'm fairly certain they can still eat the chow. Its akin to a toothless person still being able to eat, say mashed potatoes?

Regardless, they can for certain survive a few days. I also find that after being "defanged", they are surprisingly feisty!!
 

Han0915

Member
I didn't even consider the hornworms being a problem with the biting yet I do know about superworms! They are nasty little buggers, we always um.... would crush their heads before feeding to my beardie. I'll make sure I handicap the hornworms since I feel like the lesions popped up around the same time when I was feeding him those. Very good to know that!!

He hasn't eaten now in two days as I've been only offering him roaches. Was gonna grab him crickets but I absolutely hate them so.... kind of giving him some tough love to see if I can wait out his stubbornness. Is it fairly normal for them to not want to eat daily even at this age still? He has always had an excellent appetite but this past month he has really slowed down on his eating but has gained a huge outburst of energy. It's like living with a dang toddler, like I can't trust him alone for 5 minutes of being out of his cage before he's somehow across the room up on my curtains LOL. This chameleon literally has no fear and walks around my room like he owns the place lol. I thought I'd had a little pet that likes to just hang out in his own turf and cage but nope, the whole room is his now. Thinking that my little jungle gym corner idea won't end up working afterall since he'll just crawl down to the floor and escape LMAO. He's only gotten lost about.... 5 times now during his excellent little adventures hahaha.
 
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