Jackson's Mouth Rot? (HELP)


New Member
Hello everyone!

I have a Jackson's chameleon I have had since November 2020. She has always been healthy, and amazing eater, and very calm (aside from scaring easily once and awhile from visitors).

I feed her small-medium dubia roaches, lightly dusted with calcium once or twice a week. She has a 5.0 UVB bulb and her cage is 24x24x48 inches. I made sure to give her tons of fake plants to hide and climb on everywhere. She has bend-a-branches too that she loves to sleep on. For water, I have a water glass, a dripper plant, and I mist her cage 2 times a day heavily. Right now I'm not misting as much because she's in shed, and I try to avoid getting her wet.

A few days ago, less than a week ago I bought some roaches and accidently got the wrong size online. They weren't giant, she could definitely fit them in her mouth, but I was wary on feeding them to her because they weren't the usual size she eats. I know this next part was wrong, please don't tell me it was because I know 100% that I probably shouldn't have. (Im not sure if this is an important detail but I want to make sure to write everything down that happened.)

Well, when I went to feed her, she was already acting very strange. She wouldn't strike at the dubia roach on my hand (she has always been comfortable with hand feeding), wouldn't even try. Eventually, she did get it with her tongue, but I was horrified when she quickly lulled her tongue out of her mouth as far as it would go until the roach came off. She has NEVER done this before, and I was extremely worried. I tried feeding her another, smaller one, from my hands, but when she went to reach it she instead bit it from my finger as if her tongue didn't work at all and she didn't dare try to use it. She let it sit in her mouth for an EXTREMELY long time. As if it was too big to swallow. After atleast 5 to 10 minutes of her doing this I very, VERY gently (I still know I was probably wrong for this but I was thinking she might choke and I got scared for her) grabbed the sides of the dubia roach that were sticking outside of her mouth and slowly pulled it away, making sure she wasn't resisting at all when I did. She didn't resist in the least.

Naturally, I was pissing myself in terror wondering what the hell is wrong with her. I let her be alone for the rest of the day, hoping that it was just a weird fluke and would try feeding her the next day.

The same thing happened twice. She drooped her tongue all the way out of her mouth until the roach came off and then wouldn't eat again.

Today, I went to check on her at around 6 PM. Her mouth is fucking horrible. Her jaw looks slightly dislocated almost, with the bottom jaw not being aligned properly to the top. There is a black, almost bloodly looking scab on the side of her mouth. I started to cry, honestly, terrified on what was happening and not being able to think straight. After several hours of weeping in self blame and terror/trying to calm down and assess the situation, I checked on her again dispite me half not wanting to see it at all and noticed that under her jaw is turning brown. It doesn't look like she's purposefully changing colors that way, it looks like it's shiny almost. She opened her mouth slowly several times, and I saw her tongue was a sluggish ugly purple color.

Please don't mind me if I sound panicked and terrified because I am, and if I'm short with anyone please understand I'm mortified. I think this is mouth rot but I don't understand how it's progressing so fast. I will upload pictures in the morning of her current state because I don't want to disturb her resting tonight.

NOTE: I already sceduled a vet visit for Thursday the moment I noticed this happening today, and I bought some antiseptic that was recommended for mouth rot that should be here within the next day or two.
All I want to know is if these symptoms sound like mouth rot, MBD, etc, and if she will live until Thursday. (That last part may sound a little dramatic, but please keep in mind that this is my baby)


Website Manager
Staff member
The vet appointment was a good call. I'm concerned about her supplement schedule as it seems to be missing D3 and multivitamins. Since I don't know your lighting setup it's hard to judge. Once this is treated we can go over that if you like.
If the infection seems to be coming from the corner of her mouth or the temporal gland area you can apply Manuka honey to the outside area. Don't get it in the eye or use it inside the mouth. It can help but will not resolve the problem on it's own. You will need systemic antibiotics provided by your vet for that.
If it is inside the mouth along the teeth then your vet is the best way to go.


New Member
I woke up this morning and she was at the bottom of her cage, looking dead almost. I took her out very gently and put her on a paper roll because it's all I have. I have no idea how this could have happened in such a short amount of time. I'm trying to keep her warm and I'm having a friend buy Vetericyn for her at a pet store right now if they have it. We have no exotic vets close by, and I'm not sure she would even survive the car ride. She has opened her mouth twice now and I saw the inside of her mouth (unfortunately I didn't take a picture) and the tongue looks like it has a yellow-white mark on it, and the scab on her face is very obviously infected because the inside is yellow. This happened literally overnight. I have no idea what to do.


New Member
She also hasn't opened her eyes once.
Her mouth keeps filling with watered down blood, which I am trying to take out carefully by putting a cloth gently to her lips to soak up. She just coughed, she looks like she's in a ton of pain.


New Member
Even if I can't save her I'm going to do everything I can to, but can someone please tell me any reason this could be happening to her


New Member
Her colors keep changing and now her tail is shaking on and off. The rest of her body hasn't moved at all since she fell over and coughed last. She defacated but it looked like it was very dificult for her to do.


New Member
She's not moving. She's completely unresponsive. Her tail stopped moving, she isn't breathing. She hasn't coughed, moved, wheezed. Ppl
She is dying hun... If you can get her to a reptile vet they can humanly euthanize her so she is not suffering. :(
Hello, thank you for responding. Unfortunately about an hour ago she passed away. I will check on her again late tonight because I know chameleons are very hard to tell when they die sometimes, but I think it's obvious that she won't be coming back. Thank you for trying to help, and if anybody knows what could have been wrong with her please tell me.


Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm so sorry for your loss, I know the way the passed was very hard for you, let alone anyone, to handle! May she rest in peace ❤️
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