Jackson chameleon hurt leg

Discussion in 'Health Clinic' started by Vince, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Vince

    Vince New Member

    Well i really don't know where to start this thread...

    My jackson chameleon hasn't been eating well so i had bought him some house fly's. I gave him some fly's and he was eating them up. I got home yesterday after doing some er ins and noticed a bubbly substance that i am sure was his puke. It had a couple partially digested fly's in it. The fly's in the cage appeared to be hovering around him and the puke, and looked to be bothering him. Therefore, i removed the fly's. For the rest of the evening he wouldn't move and stayed darker colors and never went lower in the cage like he normally does to sleep. I assumed he was stressed over the fly's...

    Then this morning i hand misted as i normally do, he drank a lot of water. More than normal. So i misted him several more times through out the day by hand and he drank lots from every misting. He never does this. Usually i mist him in the morning by hand and let the dripper and mist king do the job through out the day. Since i can never get him to drink from the hand mister but in the morning. Now on to the leg...

    He wasn't moving still this morning. So i got him out to do a quick look over and couldn't notice anything. I was looking for bumps, lost nails, swelling, and anything else that might look abnormal. As the day went on his leg seemed to start to swell. Today i didn't see him put pressure on his leg / paw at all.

    I am pretty worried about him... this is how his mothers health started to go down hill. The sad thing is i have no idea on his genetic make up. I had bought his mother from a Petsmart. She was pregnant, and to make things short we raised the babies for four months had an excellent turn out and kept the biggest male, who we call Twitch. Now he is hurt and i need help:(

    It really stinks this happened right at the beginning of the weekend. I hope i can get my herp. vet to help me tomorrow. Being way up here in Northern country i only have one reliable vet that i can go to. Anyone else is 7+ hours for me to get to. Downstate Detroit area that is...

    Like i said i don't know where to start, there is a lot of signs i think but i cant put them together. Between the excessive drinking, the puke, and now a hurt leg.

    Cage Info:

    * Cage Type - Home made screen/wood. 2' x 2' wide by 3.5' high
    * Lighting - Reptisun two 18" one 5.0 and one 10.0 For basking i have a 75 watt soft white. (normal household bulb) They are on timers. Turn on at 7:00 and turn off at 6:30.
    * Temperature -75 degrees normal temp 80 to 85 degrees basking spot. I use a digital thermometer/hydrometer. To measure temp and humidity.
    * Humidity -His levels go from 55 to 70 percent. I use a humidifier to make sure i reach these levels.
    * Plants - I use live plants i have two pothos and a schefrella.
    * Placement - In my bedroom. Minimum traffic. I have a towel on the side of the cage that gets the traffic.
    * Location - Where are you geographically located? I live in Marquette mi.

    Chameleon Info:

    * Your Chameleon - A male jacksons. A year and 6 months now. Raised him from birth.
    * Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? Never just to take him from his cage to the out side cage in the summer. I took him out today to observe to see if i noticed anything abnormal. Other than that just for cage cleaning.
    * Feeding - I feed him roaches and supers as a staple, he also gets silkies when available, butter worms, phenixworms, and crickets. I offer food every other day.
    * Supplements - I use rep-cal calcium every other feeding. Rep-cal calcium with D3 once a month unless he has been outside a lot. And finally, reptivite once every other month.
    * Watering - He has a auto mister runs 4 times a day. 3 times at 10 minutes and 1 time at 5 mins. I also hand mist in the morning because i have never scene him drink from anything else but the drops from the mist bottle. I buy culligan water from walmart.
    * Fecal Description - Brown poo, his urates are normally mostly white.
    * History - I raised him from birth. He has always been real active and strong.

    I know this picture isn't good but i didn't want to keep flashing him in a time where he needs the most rest. You can tell that he isn't using it and looks swollen.

    Please any advise is good advise

    Attached Files:

  2. SpinyFranky

    SpinyFranky New Member

    Well it is definitely swollen, easy to tell. As for the reasons, I really can't see anything in your husbandry that screams error... like most other people. Then again your a senior member, so ya probly know a thing or two about chams :)

    Perhaps he fell? Its not uncommon for a perfectly healthy chameleon to misjudge distances every now and then. A fall to the bottom of the cage may have fractured his limb? Just a theory.

    Best bet is to take him to your vet. He obviously needs something done, best to leave it in the hands of the doc.

    You said something similar happened to his mother? perhaps it could be genetic? Did you have her autopsied? I would be really curious to know what is the matter with your guy. Knowledge is the best form of preventative medicine.

    Best of Luck Mate,

  3. JaxyGirl

    JaxyGirl Avid Member

    I'm sooo sorry to hear about Twitch :(. There definitely doesn't seem to be anything wrong with his set up. Could he have ingested something toxic? If he's vomiting it sounds like he definitely ate something that didn't agree with him but that still doesn't explain what's going on with his leg. When did he start acting sick? Also it sounds like he's dehydrated maybe from vomiting? I would try to get some pedeolyte (sp?) in him to get his fluids up. I really feel for you. I can't imagine if Triton was ill and the vet was closed.
  4. JaxyGirl

    JaxyGirl Avid Member

    I was just checking out the toxicity of the Schefflera plant and it says that it causes Vomiting, numbness and tingling of the mouth, lack of coordination. Skin irritation after contact with cell sap. According to the aspca it's toxic to cats and dogs www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/schefflera.html
    www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/poison/Schefsp.htm www.plantsciences.ucdavis.edu/ce/king/PoisPlant/Tox-COM.htm

    Twitch might have inadvertently ingested the sap, had a reaction and fell and hurt his leg :(

    Here is a number for ASPCA that might help...worth a try maybe?How much does it cost to use the APCC hotline?

    The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (888) 426-4435. There is a $65 consultation fee, payable by credit card, for this service. This includes follow-up consultation should you or your vet need further assistance with your pet’s case.
  5. Vince

    Vince New Member

    Thanks for the reply. I unfortunately never had his mother autopsied. She got knots in her joints, gout / fractures. I couldn't nurse her back into good health after the birth she just kept decreasing in health no matter what i did. I believe she was pregnant at a young age. She was a small female. Also, like i said i know nothing on her genetic make up therefore, have no clue on this guys make up. He could be an inbred for all i know. Pretty worried about the poor guy though... you get attached. I will keep you posted.
  6. Vince

    Vince New Member

    Thanks for the reply, this is very interesting. I have been having to clip the leaves on my plant because it is getting big for the cage. I wonder if he did ingest some of the sap or something. hmmmm... i got this plant because it was suppose to be safe, and i read that the sap from the ficus tree can cause eye irritation. :rolleyes:
    Really though thanks for the kind reply this does really stink... i feel so bad that this happened.
  7. Vince

    Vince New Member

    Because i am going to be going to the vet here ASAP what should i make sure they do for him? What can they do for a broken / leg? What kind of meds should i steer clear of, and what ones should i make sure he gets. If i could get this info before i have to go to the vet it would be great.
  8. JaxyGirl

    JaxyGirl Avid Member

    I wish I had something I could tell you that might help unfortunately my guy hasn't had to go to the vet yet. The only thing I would suggest is to keep him well hydrated with pedeolyt and water to get his fluids and trace minerals and electrolytes back up and if he did ingest something it would help flush it out a little until you get to the vets. Just like when a child vomits they get dehydrated quickly and then once that starts they go down hill fast. The first thing they do at the hospital is put them on a saline drip to replace fluids. He might have just sprained his leg a little. Hopefully it's nothing serious :)
  9. Vince

    Vince New Member

    I love your positive way of thinking! I always think of the worst. What is this pedeolyt? Is it easy to get?
  10. JaxyGirl

    JaxyGirl Avid Member

    Pedolyte is really easy to get. You can find it in any drug store, walmart and probably at a large food store. It's mostly used for children that have vomiting or diarrhea. It is found in a liquid form usually in the baby department of the drug isle. You want to get the clear bottle and use it mixed with warm water. I would do 1/2 water 1/2 pedolyte. Here are some links that describe it. http://www.drugs.com/cdi/pedialyte-solution.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedialyte

    Hope this helps :)
  11. SpinyFranky

    SpinyFranky New Member

    Pedialyte is like gatorade, but for infants. It also works very well with animals as well. It main uses are to treat symptoms of dehydration, such as a lack of electrolytes.

    In you chameleon, watch for sunken eyes and a sharp line along the animals tail. These are usually the best indicators of dehydration, however lethargy and weakness are also indicators. Beware - lethargy and weakness can also be signs of a stronger underlying cause than dehydration, and if you ever see these signs a vet visit should be in order.

    Pedialyte could never hurt, especially since you said you see him drinking a lot more than usual. Stress is an easy way to put the animals body into over drive, which is also a great way of dehydrating the animal.

    Take him to the vet and see about the leg, however the theory about accidental ingestion of the sap ( especially if you have been cutting leaves ) mixed with an accidental fall, sounds like a likely story for the injured leg.

    Pray for no signs of infection, though if the leg was not cut I doubt there will be. If there are no signs, then the doctor should prescribe little to no medication at all. Though how he would go about setting the leg and or bandaging it is an entirely differently story.

    Any bandage of material not of natural origin will of course be of stress to your chameleon, because of this it will be important to constantly monitor him. I have heard of people using webcams to see what is going on with a sick or injured child/pet while the parent/owner is away at work. Perhaps this would be a good idea for you? I say this because unlike other animals, reptiles have a fairly slow metabolism.

    This means that his recovery will take longer than most other animals. It will be important to keep his conditions monitored, especially water intake and food. A slight raise of temperatures to help speed up metabolism and feeding throughout the day ( perhaps spread his feedings out over three hours instead of just at once ) will all do their part to aid in recovery.

    If the the bone is broken/ fractured and needs to be set, make sure to ask your vet about supplementation. perhaps for a short while it would be best to cut off supplementation? I am not very knowledgeable in this part, and perhaps he will ask you to dust thicker than usual. The important part is to make sure you ask.

  12. Vince

    Vince New Member

    Thanks for all the help so far.

    This morning his leg is still slightly swollen. He seems good besides that. He has clear, and alert eye's.

    Is there something i should do to his cage until he gets his mobility back? I was thinking about making a net of some kind that would catch him if he were to fall again.

    Last night he slept sitting on the branch, this morning he was hanging up side down from the branch. Hanging on with his three good legs. I don't know if he slipped or what. But i felt that i had to help him get back up right since he isn't using his one front leg.

    Anyway, i almost suspect he sprained his leg. Simply because i have seen brakes before and it don't seem to be that bad. I didn't see what happened so it is hard to determine how this happened. I really don't think he fell to the bottom of the cage but maybe caught himself midway resulting in a twist or a sprain leg.

    Would it be extremely frowned upon if a waited to see if any progress happened between now and Monday. Or should i call and try to schedule an Emergency visit? The only reason i ask is because i really rather not take him to the vet, and stress him out for them just to tell me it is a sprain. If that were the case... On top of that i don't have the most reputable vet so i try to do everything i can before going.
  13. JaxyGirl

    JaxyGirl Avid Member

    Has he been drinking or eating??? You should put up another pic of what he looks like today. If he still isn't drinking or eating and isn't using his leg I think a vet visit is definitely in order.
  14. Dave Weldon

    Dave Weldon Avid Member

    Howdy Vince,

    The leg may have had some sort of trauma. One can hope that it is only a sprain rather than a fracture. If the swelling is going down then you may have lucked-out and it is not broken or worse. If not then it might be an infection. Infections like that can end-up in the bones where they are really tough to treat successfully :(. If you are able to manipulate the leg a little bit you may be able to tell if it is actually broken or not. An infection with the possibility of bone involvement can often take months of antibiotic treatments. If the bones are involved, don't be fooled into thinking that the infection is gone when the swelling goes down after a couple of weeks of treatments. Let an experienced exotic vet guide you on a schedule. I had a rescued Dwarf Fischer's years ago that came with an infected leg. Treatment reduced the swelling. The vet said that 2 weeks was enough. I stopped treatment and the infection quickly returned, worse than ever :(. A "real" exotic vet informed me that it might take months of treatment to deal with an infection that moved into the bones.

  15. Vince

    Vince New Member

    Hi Dave, Thanks for the information. The more i look at the injured leg the more i think it looks like the paw / ankle is swollen. If i were to mimic the leg movement what am i feeling for?
  16. Vince

    Vince New Member

    Here is some more pictures of my buddy. His front legs are so beefy they may look swollen but i am pretty sure now that the problem is the paw / ankle. The left ankle in the picture (would be his right) is definitely swollen compared to the other. Also, he holds the injured leg up from the elbow. But does not want to move it from the ankle down.

    Please need advice
  17. Vince

    Vince New Member

    Here are some more pics. I know they are not the best but the best i can do with my high quality camera. Let me know if i should post a different angle or something.

    Attached Files:

  18. Dave Weldon

    Dave Weldon Avid Member

    Howdy Vince,

    He's got something going on systemically. He's either obese or retaining fluids (edema) or a systemic infection or something... I don't recall seeing a Jackson's that swollen all over before :confused:. You listed that he is fed every other day. How much does he eat? If he's getting more than 2 medium-large food items every other day then it may be obesity and it's time to cut him down to maybe 1 item every other day or less until he gets back into shape while you monitor his weight on a gram scale.
  19. Vince

    Vince New Member

    I offer him food every other day. He normally will eat 1-2 medium sized bugs every other day in the summer months. But during the winter months he cuts back a lot on his eating. That is why i bought him flies, to stimulate his eating.

    He has always been a bigger guy. He was the biggest one out of the 18 babies we raised. I don't believe he is swollen all over. If he is he has been for his whole life. Since he has always had real thick features. He has always been real happy, extremely strong, and energetic. Walks standing up tall and tale straight out. Until this injury.

    So on a diet he goes?
  20. JaxyGirl

    JaxyGirl Avid Member

    I agree with Dave. Looking at the pictures it looks like his legs are swollen and his eyes seem puffy to me. He does look like he has the beginnings of renal failure and some of the symptoms to go with it here is a link about kidney disease in reptiles. Either way I would get him to the vet ASAP before he gets sicker. I seriously don't think he needs to go on a diet if he hasn't been eating. Have you tried giving him the pedialyte??? He needs fluids to flush him out. Here's a great article http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=17+1796&aid=3317

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