Jackson's Chameleon Prolapse

My_Chameleon

New Member
Hi,

My baby male Jackson's chameleon (3-4months) had a prolapse at 9 am this morning. I can't describe the panic that we had but after reading many suggestions, we dipped him in honey water and later some warm sugar water hoping that he would suck it back up. He didn't, the prolapse completely became detached after we put him back in his cage! I immediately made an emergency appointment with a vet who has experience with chameleons. She said that she couldn't say for sure but the prolapse looked like a piece of his rectum tissue may have been attached. She suspects an infection/parasites that she said could possibly have started from the time he was hatched (before we got him). She prescribed antibiotics and gave him some fluids. Otherwise, we're kind of just waiting to see him through. I'm here asking if anyone knows of some aftercare for prolapses like this. I plan to give him warm baths with honey water to keep him hydrated. The vet said crickets are fine but I'm not sure if there might be something that I can feed him that would be easier to pass. Let me know if you have any aftercare advice! (I put a picture of his prolapse that's 1/4 his size below)
Chameleon Prolapse.jpg
 
Oh my goodness! I have questions. Did you take the tissue to the vet or did she just see the pic? What did it look like when it was hanging out of him - what color? Did you take any pics of that? Was there any blood? Did the vet examine his cloaca? I’m asking because I want to believe that it was an abnormal urate rather than a prolapse. I would think that if it pulled off a piece of his rectum, then wouldn’t that area need some repair or something? Did the vet say it should just heal and he’ll be ok?
I have no idea for aftercare other than keeping him well hydrated. Warm baths, I’m afraid won’t hydrate him as they don’t absorb from their cloaca. I’m not sure if the honey will help healing or not because hopefully his cloaca is sealed like normal. I do know that what we consider lukewarm can be scalding hot for him and baths are stressful. I would limit handling to just the times you need to give him his medication. Stress can and will reduce his ability to heal. Get him some silkworms and hornworms instead, which are very hydrating and yummy. If you don’t use a dripper, I suggest adding one for about 15-20 minutes at least once a day. If your night temps are below 68-70, run a fogger/cool mist humidifier during the night which simulates the hydration in the wild thru fog. @JacksJill is the Jackson’s expert and knowledge to better help you with this. I hope your little guy makes a full recovery.
 
Have you been feeding him meal worms or super worms? I ask because the "prolapse" looks like a poorly digested meal worm.
As far as after care I would think soft bodied worms like tiny hornworms or silkworms. No hard bodied or largish insects like dubia and definitely no meal worms at all.
 
Also at this point if he did indeed lose some rectal or cloacal tissue then he would get more benefit and less stress from a dab of pasteurized (NOT raw) honey than he would from soaking. I'm afraid the stress of soaking may make lead to his demise.
Is he still eating and drinking well? if so that's a great sign. I see the bit of pink tissue attached to the fecal material on the bottom piece in the picture. It's hard to say what that is. I agree with your vet that a fecal should be run on him but just because that is always a good idea when you bring a new chameleon home. Let us know how he does.
 
Also at this point if he did indeed lose some rectal or cloacal tissue then he would get more benefit and less stress from a dab of pasteurized (NOT raw) honey than he would from soaking. I'm afraid the stress of soaking may make lead to his demise.
Is he still eating and drinking well? if so that's a great sign. I see the bit of pink tissue attached to the fecal material on the bottom piece in the picture. It's hard to say what that is. I agree with your vet that a fecal should be run on him but just because that is always a good idea when you bring a new chameleon home. Let us know how he does.
Great point on the honey because most people use raw honey. Advice like this is what makes this community so important.💞
 
Oh my goodness! I have questions. Did you take the tissue to the vet or did she just see the pic? What did it look like when it was hanging out of him - what color? Did you take any pics of that? Was there any blood? Did the vet examine his cloaca? I’m asking because I want to believe that it was an abnormal urate rather than a prolapse. I would think that if it pulled off a piece of his rectum, then wouldn’t that area need some repair or something? Did the vet say it should just heal and he’ll be ok?
I have no idea for aftercare other than keeping him well hydrated. Warm baths, I’m afraid won’t hydrate him as they don’t absorb from their cloaca. I’m not sure if the honey will help healing or not because hopefully his cloaca is sealed like normal. I do know that what we consider lukewarm can be scalding hot for him and baths are stressful. I would limit handling to just the times you need to give him his medication. Stress can and will reduce his ability to heal. Get him some silkworms and hornworms instead, which are very hydrating and yummy. If you don’t use a dripper, I suggest adding one for about 15-20 minutes at least once a day. If your night temps are below 68-70, run a fogger/cool mist humidifier during the night which simulates the hydration in the wild thru fog. @JacksJill is the Jackson’s expert and knowledge to better help you with this. I hope your little guy makes a full recovery.
I brought the prolapse to the vet and she pulled it apart, that's why it's in pieces now. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of what it looked like on him because frankly, it came off before I even thought of it. The color was a red/purple color and there was no blood. She did examine his cloaca but didn't come to any other conclusion other than a prolapse, although I'll ask about it possibly being an abnormal urate. The vet didn't mention any repairs because she said she couldn't say for sure that it was rectal tissue, but from the size/length of the tubular tissue, it might point to that. The vet said that she's seen many chameleons with prolapses like this and they usually don't do well, but my little guy was SO active yesterday (climbing all over the vet). I'm worried because of his young age that his body won't manage it. I'm glad that you mentioned the bath temp, I wasn't sure but even lukewarm maybe even too hot. I agree, between all the vet techs, the vet herself, and us handling him yesterday, he was really stressed out. He looks much better today though! We do have a fogger and a dripping system but I have been feeding him silkworms, so I'll get him some hornworms too. I appreciate your concern and response!
 
Great point on the honey because most people use raw honey. Advice like this is what makes this community so important.💞
The reason not to use raw honey is that is can contain botulism spores.

The color was a red/purple color and there was no blood.
Then that was a genuine pro;apse. It's very lucky that it reduced on it's own and didn't require surgery. Some times a circular suture needs to be placed to keep it from reoccurring.
 
Have you been feeding him meal worms or super worms? I ask because the "prolapse" looks like a poorly digested meal worm.
As far as after care I would think soft bodied worms like tiny hornworms or silkworms. No hard bodied or largish insects like dubia and definitely no meal worms at all.
Yes, I've only been feeding him silkworms and gut-loaded/calcium-dusted baby crickets. We switch off and on of Ca with D3. But, you're right it doesn't look fully digested. Otherwise, I will continue using pasteurized honey but I think I'll break up the soaks to every few days so the stress isn't consistent. This morning he ate a baby cricket that was already in the cage and he's moving around, that feels like a great sign! Although he still looks a little dehydrated, so I'm running the fogger at a little higher setting (same for the dripper). I will keep you all updated, thank you for the help!
 
This is him as of 5 minutes ago... his skin looks a little dehydrated (humidity is at 80%) (I turned up the fogger and dripping system) but his color looks good and as I said, he's active! Would anyone recommend cutting up the silkworms, if it's in fact a non-complete digestion of the worms? The worms themselves are pretty small but my guy is pretty small and I can see how that could be possible.
 

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Just want to say hi and welcome! Sorry your baby is going through this. Hopefully he recovers quickly, and hopefully you stick around after! This is a great community to be a part of!
 
UPDATE:
My Jackson's Chameleon is looking so much better! He's well hydrated, he's very active, and he's eating. From what you guys and the Vet told me I feel tremendously lucky and grateful that it wasn't worse, and I don't want to get my hopes up but I'm working hard to make sure he gets better. Anyhow, I was feeding him this afternoon and I noticed a sac-looking substance on the bottom of his cage. I was freaking out thinking it was another prolapse or something. There is definitely a cricket/silkworm in the sac but I have no idea what the white part is. Can anyone tell me what that is?? Should I be worried? I'm hoping it's just poop!! I attached the photos of this sac below.
 

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The white is the urate - reptile urine. White is a good color - means he’s well hydrated. The darker it is, the less hydrated he is, so a little yellow on one end is still good, but all yellow or orange is not.
Glad to hear that he’s doing ok. Hope he is able to fully recover and have a long healthy life. :)
 
Please be aware…I’m not a vet….just speak from what I’ve learned.
If there is a Hemipene prolapse and it becomes necrotic and falls off like that, it can only happen twice…there are only 2 hemipenes,of course. They are usually ok without the hemipenes.

If an intestinal prolapse happens, and becomes necrotic and falls off, then there would likely be an open end to the intestine…and that would not be good…and IMHO I don’t think without surgery, the chameleon could survive. There would likely be an ensuing infection and the chameleon would die. They actually usually die before it becomes necrotic, when it’s an intestinal prolapse.

Even if the prolapse is treated, while it’s still pink and alive, there is a good chance that the chameleon could die. Unless the swelling comes down and the prolapse is replaced and a purse string suture is placed across the cloaca opening to keep the prolapse from recurring (but allowing the feces and urates to come out), the chameleon has little chance of surviving IMHO.

I don’t know what came out of your chameleon because I’m not a vet and photos don’t help me much in some cases…but I’m hoping it was a sperm plug or an encased worm.

You might like to read these if you haven’t already…
https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/po...r-chameleon-backside-issues-with-dr-rob-coke/

https://birdsandexotics.com/blog/chameleon-prolapsed-hemipenes-case-study/

https://www.veterinary-practice.com/article/cloacal-prolapses-in-reptiles

https://www.madcham.de/en/kloakenvorfall/
http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/2013/10/daedalus-his-intestinal-prolapse.html

Whatever is going on with your chameleon, I hope it is solved and all is well in the end.
 
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