Jackson chameleon not feeling well

sperpich

Member
Hi,
I have a one year old male Jackson chameleon. He seems to be feeling bad. He lays under his basking light on his vine with his head resting on it. His eye are slightly closed like he is tired. I haven't noticed any signs of him going potty for a week. His belly looked big so I started to wonder if he was constipated. He's been eating normally but yesterday he only ate a horn worm. Today I tried to feed him but he didn't want to eat the crickets. He did eat another horn worm tho. I live in Wisconsin and it's hard to keep his humidity level consistent in winter so I gave him a shower yesterday and he drank a ton. He didn't look dehydrated going into it though. I gave him another one today and he only drank a little. This morning I found a normal potty. He still looks the same and is still laying with his head down. His humidity in his cage is around 50% during the day. His basking spot is 80-85 degrees with the middle of the cage around 72 degrees. I was hoping the shower would get him back on track, but other than him going potty he seems worse than yesterday. I noticed now he isn't holding on with his front legs. He was fine a week ago. I'm thinking I'll take him to the vet tomorrow, but wanted to get some advice here first.

Here is a picture of him:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZPibWAGKyGrzWnoBA
 

Mawtyplant

Chameleon Enthusiast
What are your night temperatures? do not give him a shower. Is he CB or WC? (from a breeder or random pet shop?) can you fill the how to ask for help form please this will help to help!

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

sperpich

Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Jackson chameleon, male, 1 year. I've had him since he was 4 months. Captive bread, we know the breeder
  • Handling - almost never
  • Feeding - Mostly crickets, blue bottle flies, horn worms. He gets 4 to 6 large crickets every other day. Some times he skips a day though. 1 Horn worm once or twice a week. I use cricket crack for gut load.
  • Supplements - Rep-Cal Phosphorous-Free Calcium Powder without Vitamin D3 , twice a week. Rep-Cal Herptivite Multivitamin and Mineral Powder, one time per month. Rep-Cal Phosphorous-Free Calcium Ultrafine Powder with Vitamin D3, twice a month. If he get's the D3 he only gets calcium without D3 once that week.
  • Watering - Mistking. Goes off 6 minutes at 8am then every three hours for 4 minutes and 7 minutes at 8pm for bed time.
  • Fecal Description - His droppings were normal this morning. White with a little orange and a solid turd. Yes, he tested negative for parasites a few months ago.
  • History -

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Screen cage. 48Tx24Wx24D? Three sides are covered with plastic for humidity.
  • Lighting - 2 T5's. One is for plants and the other is a zoo med ReptiSun 5.0 UVB T5, 24W. They are on 8am-8pm.
  • Temperature - His basking light is 80 to 85 degrees. Top of cage time is around 75 degrees and 70 degrees in the middle. Not sure what the temp is at the bottom. He never goes down there. Not sure what his temps are overnight. Our house is set at 71 degrees. I use a Zilla temp/humidity gauge.
  • Humidity - His day time humidity is 50% in the middle and 40-45% at the top. I have a mistking and also use a fogger in his cage. I have a humidifier in the room that points at his cage.
  • Plants - Have a ficus tree and pothas. Also have fake plants.
  • Placement - He has his own room. It is not near fans or vents and not in a high traffic area. It's 6.5' tall.
  • Location - Wisconsin

Current Problem -
I have a one year old male Jackson chameleon. He seems to be feeling bad. He lays under his basking light on his vine with his head resting on it. His eye are slightly closed like he is tired. I haven't noticed any signs of him going potty for a week. His belly looked big so I started to wonder if he was constipated. He's been eating normally but yesterday he only ate a horn worm. Today I tried to feed him but he didn't want to eat the crickets. He did eat another horn worm tho. I live in Wisconsin and it's hard to keep his humidity level consistent in winter so I gave him a shower yesterday and he drank a ton. He didn't look dehydrated going into it though. I gave him another one today and he only drank a little. This morning I found a normal potty. He still looks the same and is still laying with his head down. His humidity in his cage is around 50% during the day. His basking spot is 80-85 degrees with the middle of the cage around 72 degrees. I was hoping the shower would get him back on track, but other than him going potty he seems worse than yesterday. I noticed now he isn't holding on with his front legs. He was fine a week ago. I'm thinking I'll take him to the vet tomorrow, but wanted to get some advice here first.

Here is a picture of him:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZPibWAGKyGrzWnoBA
 

Mawtyplant

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Jackson chameleon, male, 1 year. I've had him since he was 4 months. Captive bread, we know the breeder
  • Handling - almost never
  • Feeding - Mostly crickets, blue bottle flies, horn worms. He gets 4 to 6 large crickets every other day. Some times he skips a day though. 1 Horn worm once or twice a week. I use cricket crack for gut load.
  • Supplements - Rep-Cal Phosphorous-Free Calcium Powder without Vitamin D3 , twice a week. Rep-Cal Herptivite Multivitamin and Mineral Powder, one time per month. Rep-Cal Phosphorous-Free Calcium Ultrafine Powder with Vitamin D3, twice a month. If he get's the D3 he only gets calcium without D3 once that week.
  • Watering - Mistking. Goes off 6 minutes at 8am then every three hours for 4 minutes and 7 minutes at 8pm for bed time.
  • Fecal Description - His droppings were normal this morning. White with a little orange and a solid turd. Yes, he tested negative for parasites a few months ago.
  • History -

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Screen cage. 48Tx24Wx24D? Three sides are covered with plastic for humidity.
  • Lighting - 2 T5's. One is for plants and the other is a zoo med ReptiSun 5.0 UVB T5, 24W. They are on 8am-8pm.
  • Temperature - His basking light is 80 to 85 degrees. Top of cage time is around 75 degrees and 70 degrees in the middle. Not sure what the temp is at the bottom. He never goes down there. Not sure what his temps are overnight. Our house is set at 71 degrees. I use a Zilla temp/humidity gauge.
  • Humidity - His day time humidity is 50% in the middle and 40-45% at the top. I have a mistking and also use a fogger in his cage. I have a humidifier in the room that points at his cage.
  • Plants - Have a ficus tree and pothas. Also have fake plants.
  • Placement - He has his own room. It is not near fans or vents and not in a high traffic area. It's 6.5' tall.
  • Location - Wisconsin

Current Problem -
I have a one year old male Jackson chameleon. He seems to be feeling bad. He lays under his basking light on his vine with his head resting on it. His eye are slightly closed like he is tired. I haven't noticed any signs of him going potty for a week. His belly looked big so I started to wonder if he was constipated. He's been eating normally but yesterday he only ate a horn worm. Today I tried to feed him but he didn't want to eat the crickets. He did eat another horn worm tho. I live in Wisconsin and it's hard to keep his humidity level consistent in winter so I gave him a shower yesterday and he drank a ton. He didn't look dehydrated going into it though. I gave him another one today and he only drank a little. This morning I found a normal potty. He still looks the same and is still laying with his head down. His humidity in his cage is around 50% during the day. His basking spot is 80-85 degrees with the middle of the cage around 72 degrees. I was hoping the shower would get him back on track, but other than him going potty he seems worse than yesterday. I noticed now he isn't holding on with his front legs. He was fine a week ago. I'm thinking I'll take him to the vet tomorrow, but wanted to get some advice here first.

Here is a picture of him:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZPibWAGKyGrzWnoBA

ok! humm so some problems with your husbandry over there, I suggest you to consult this : https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/jacksons/)

Supplement : this is too much, from the picture I notice lot of swelling/maybe oedema cause can be multiples but over supplementation can be one cause.
Try to give colder night drop, my Jacksons got the same night drop than my bradypodions (all between 10-14 Celsius)

How old is your uvb?

is there any sunny day over 15 celicuis close to your areas in the next days? if yes take him outside for natural sunlight.. best medicine ever

about your humidity problem, im from Quebec.. this morning outside temperatures were -22 (feel like -33) celicuis.. so this mean -30 feel lie -100000 :p this is a problem I agree! I fixed my problem by starting to build sort of hybrid terrarium made with one glass enclosure at the bottom and one screen at the top. Bottom have a layer of clay hydroball, moss, plants, springtail, branches etc! this REALLY help to keep things humid because you have a tiny rain forest at the bottom always evaporating to the top where you have screen with good air flow. seriously this is gold! I strongly suggest you to do the same! easy and effective! (I front you some pictures, sorry for the quality.. its bedtime:)

Finally about your chameleons can you try to grab some picture from the inside of the mouth, have you notice any changes? I think a vet visit can be a good option here. Does he poop? I have the feeling the issue is not constipation but inflammation and this can be secondary to an infection. hard to tell but since husbandry condition were not on top maybe he catch something :/


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sperpich

Member
His light is 6 months old. I just ordered a new one. It's very cold here and he can't go outside. I read over the husbandry sheet and I didn't notice anything wrong except I give him calcium with D3 twice a month instead of once. Was there something I missed? He was definitely swollen yesterday. I love the cage idea for humidity. He did poop today and everything looked good. I could try for pictures tomorrow.
 

Mawtyplant

Chameleon Enthusiast
His light is 6 months old. I just ordered a new one. It's very cold here and he can't go outside. I read over the husbandry sheet and I didn't notice anything wrong except I give him calcium with D3 twice a month instead of once. Was there something I missed? He was definitely swollen yesterday. I love the cage idea for humidity. He did poop today and everything looked good. I could try for pictures tomorrow.
I missread sorry I read you give twice a week (I think I might be tired :/)

I was always advices that jacksonii need a considerable night drop from now I think this is the only things you donc have (with humidity:)
he look a bit overweighted too.. do you have a vet you can trust with chameleons? maybe jackjills can help you more than I can :/

try to add few more pictures

(oups I also realize I put a mating picture of brookesia on the terrarium example lol! :p sorry!)
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
I don't know if it's just the photo or not...but are his toes swollen on his right leg on the toes closest to his body swollen?
 

sperpich

Member
His night time temp dropped to 67 degrees at night. His humidity was anywhere from 70 percent to 39 percent. I don't think that is accurate. The humidity in the room is higher than that. I can try a different one tonight. I have his cage wrapped in a shower curtain on 3 sides and put a towel over the front overnight. He has a fogger on all night plus a humidifier. I did think he was looking a little fat. haha. I have a vet in our area that does reptiles but I wouldn't say "trusted". They have helped in the past tho. I think his toes are good. I can check when his lights come on.
 

sperpich

Member
Took him to the vet today and she thought he looked in good shape, just looks miserable. Something is wrong but not sure what. He has good muscle tone , a little fat, eyes looked good, legs and feet were good. Skin looks good. His mouth looks great. She gave him a vitamin (A, D and B) shot and took blood. She said it will take 3-4 days to get it back. He has some left over skin from a shed by his butt hole and gave him some cream to help that. So I guess I have to wait for blood work. That seems like a long time for him wait. Does anyone have any idea's or suggestions?
 
Last edited:

sperpich

Member
Just wondering what his night time humidity and temperatures should be? I did use two different gauges and lowest humidity level was 40% (that's the current reading also) and lowest temp was 68 degrees. The highest humidity level was 60%. That was a few hours after his last mist. Not sure what else I can do it increase his humidity level. 3 sides are covered in plastic, he has a humidifier (pointed in his cage) and a fogger. I also cover the top and front with a towel over night. Any suggestions? I will check and see how he looks later when he has a chance to get up and move around. Thanks for any help.
 

Mawtyplant

Chameleon Enthusiast
Took him to the vet today and she thought he looked in good shape, just looks miserable. Something is wrong but not sure what. He has good muscle tone , a little fat, eyes looked good, legs and feet were good. Skin looks good. His mouth looks great. She gave him a vitamin (A, D and B) shot and took blood. She said it will take 3-4 days to get it back. He has some left over skin from a shed by his butt hole and gave him some cream to help that. So I guess I have to wait for blood work. That seems like a long time for him wait. Does anyone have any idea's or suggestions?
outch not sure about the shot! (thoses are fatty vitamins.. he looked bit inflammed to me already but who know..) can you post more pictures?
 

sperpich

Member
The vet didn't really seem to know what was going on. She even tried to tell us that maybe he was fine. We are waiting for the blood work but with the holidays coming up I'm concerned when they will get back. Not sure he should wait that long for help. There is a specialist clinic at the University but that's a few hours away and not sure when or if they will be open due to the holidays. Here are some more pictures I took. Any advice would be appreciated.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/PkLGCi8B4xVJ8LvN7

@JacksJill You've helped me in the past and hoping to get your thoughts too.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
I’m sorry I don’t have any idea what is going on hopefully the blood work will reveal the problem and solution. I would be sure not to give any fat soluble vitamins after that injection for a couple months. If you were giving supplements I doubt deficiency was the problem.
 

sperpich

Member
This morning I woke up and checked on him and he looks better but there is a huge drool string hanging on the vine where his head was. He drank a lot of water yesterday. Could he have too much water? I listened to his breathing and don't hear any sounds. He still has his head laying on the vine too. I attached a picture.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/AXb1GczUHw5gV7Dq8
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
I'm so sorry for your loss. Their kidneys are very delicate and susceptible to damage. I know what a difficult and heart breaking decision that must have been.
 
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