leg motion after laying eggs - worry or not?

tdeamicis

Member
FYI, this part was written before I found the eggs.
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I have a vet ready on standby. I am trying to determine if this is "normal" or not.

Pez has laid one clutch before (a few months ago), clutch of 66 eggs. I have reduced her food and temp to what was suggested, and now it is time for the second clutch.
I have a large bioactive enclosure that is full of plants. She laid her prior clutch at the bottom of the cage as expected.

This time, she started digging in my potted pothos. I didn't want her to, but well, she started so I was letting her. Seems they like to lay eggs near roots/etc. So she was digging most of yesterday (almost all day digging). Around 10pm, I quietly take a look to see where she is, and see her still in that pot, near the bottom. She has her head way down, and she looks like she is digging, so I let her be.

Near 1am, I am hearing her still, so I take a look, and she looked odd to me, moving a little weird in my (untrained) eyes. I was working, so I could keep listening.

Around 2am, I was starting to get concerned, so after doing some crash research online and not finding anything that went along with what I was seeing, I decided that it was better to get her out (and deal with possible vet issues with eggs, rather than let her get hurt/suffocate/crushed/etc somehow). I pulled the plant out, brought it to my kitchen sink and slowly pulled the plant/roots/dirt out. Pez was at the bottom, with her head deep in the roots, with a root behind her casque, which was keeping her down there. I carefully pulled the root off from around her head, and then I let her move. She moved slowly, so I gave her some water, which she gratefully drank.

As I put her back in her cage, she was moving her leg around strangely, like she pulled it way back and waved it around. I am wondering if this is just her legs being sore from being stuck, or if there is another problem going on.
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Update now that we found the eggs:
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Should I worry about this leg motion, or is this her being exhausted and trying to "stretch" her legs after the marathon she went through yesterday?

I dug through the bottom of the cage, and then my husband dug through the plant. He ended up finding the eggs!! :) She laid 87 eggs though.

So I also want to talk about food. Trying to do the right thing for her, and am a little unsure. Am hoping that someone has any idea of what my next step should be. Thank you in advance.
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I have been keeping a food diary if you will. Sometimes I miss a day, I try to update it each day, but sometimes I am remembering a few days after the fact.
Ultimately, I was told to feed her between 3-5 every other day. If I feed every other day, she is down at the bottom of the cage eating the isopods and searching for food.
So I started feeding her between 1-2 each day. That keeps her from eating my isopods and it seems that the numbers would still be the same. Is it more of an every other day thing that is more important? Or a number of bugs being more important to keep egg production low?
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
So did she go back to digging after you untangled her from the root? Did she go back to he hole and try to fill it in?
Hopefully she laid all the eggs.

Not sure what's going on with the leg....but wondering if it could be that she's low on calcium and that's affecting the muscles

87 eggs is way too many. Can't understand why it should be so many when you said you cut her down. You need to get her on the diet and make sure her basking temperature is 80F IMHO asap.

Can you post a video of it if she does it again?

Also watch for signs of decline....lethargy, sitting low in the cage, sleeping during the day, etc. In case she has retained eggs.
 

tdeamicis

Member
So did she go back to digging after you untangled her from the root? Did she go back to he hole and try to fill it in?
Hopefully she laid all the eggs.

Not sure what's going on with the leg....but wondering if it could be that she's low on calcium and that's affecting the muscles

87 eggs is way too many. Can't understand why it should be so many when you said you cut her down. You need to get her on the diet and make sure her basking temperature is 80F IMHO asap.

Can you post a video of it if she does it again?

Also watch for signs of decline....lethargy, sitting low in the cage, sleeping during the day, etc. In case she has retained eggs.
After I got her out of the plant, I took the plant out of the cage. I put her down at the bottom, dug out a little area, put a cover down like the past laying. She ended up digging under there at some point, but I didn't find any eggs in my first pass through of the dirt. I can look closer.

I know.... :( I am so confused also. We were doing 3-4 bugs every other day, and then I figured that was the same as 2 every day. We go from 1 or 2 each day. Most days, one medium/large Dubai nymph is what we feed her. We'll only occasionally do the second one is they are smaller.

The basking point is right at 80° and we've been doing good to keep it that way.

I took a picture of the leg thing. Let me try to upload that so you can see it. It's weird, at least to me.

I'll definitely look out for that, thank you. I'll definitely take her to the vet for x-rays if anything else weird goes on.
 

tdeamicis

Member
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Can't add the video. Hope the picture shows sort of what she's doing.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
That is odd. I’ve never seen either of my girls do that at any time. I wonder if she may have hurt herself trying to get out of the plant roots. @kinyonga is the best to help you.
I did look back at your husbandry review. Did you add the calcium without D3 for every feeding and a multivitamin once every other week?
I have bioactive enclosures too and a male that’s getting fat off of his isopods. Make sure to have plenty of leaf litter and a chunk of cork bark for the isopods to hide under. If that’s not enough, you’ll either have to reduce her feedings more or make her enclosure non bioactive. Last year one of my girls discovered her isopods, but thankfully it didn’t effect her at all. She hasn’t laid since Feb 2020 and my other girl has only laid once since then. They both average about 34 eggs each time.
I do have to ask, are you positive no one else has been sneaking her food?
 

AmandaS

Retired Moderator
View attachment 316161View attachment 316162
Can't add the video. Hope the picture shows sort of what she's doing.
Is her shoulder joint swollen? It looks as though she could have dislocated it, perhaps.


I am not certain. My female did this same kind of behavior after she fell and hit the side of a pot on her way down. But she broke her arm. Her shoulder, arm, and wrist were all very puffy and I notice your female's is not, from what I can tell.
In my situation the vets said they couldn't really do much for her, and it ended up healing on its own.
I'm not saying your female has a broken arm, but it does look like it is in an unusual position, and it would be worth it to go to the vet. On the chance it is dislocated or something.
 

tdeamicis

Member
That is odd. I’ve never seen either of my girls do that at any time. I wonder if she may have hurt herself trying to get out of the plant roots. @kinyonga is the best to help you.
I did look back at your husbandry review. Did you add the calcium without D3 for every feeding and a multivitamin once every other week?
I have bioactive enclosures too and a male that’s getting fat off of his isopods. Make sure to have plenty of leaf litter and a chunk of cork bark for the isopods to hide under. If that’s not enough, you’ll either have to reduce her feedings more or make her enclosure non bioactive. Last year one of my girls discovered her isopods, but thankfully it didn’t effect her at all. She hasn’t laid since Feb 2020 and my other girl has only laid once since then. They both average about 34 eggs each time.
I do have to ask, are you positive no one else has been sneaking her food?
Definitely positive no one else is feeding. I've stressed that to my girls that if we overfeed, she overlays and then she won't live as long. And after losing her sister at age 9 months (suspected egg problem), no one wants to lose her anytime soon. I'm pretty well in charge of missing and feeding, unless I'm working nights, then they do more, but still write it all down.

I probably "overdust" with calcium, as you can usually see white powder on the roaches. I try not to "powder donut" them, lol, but you can definitely see white on them. Think that's okay with so many eggs? ... Could that be causing lots of eggs if she has too much calcium?? ... Is that even possible??

I've got lots of leaf litter, and have been feeding the isopods fresh broccoli lately which they are loving. I've got a couple wood items, but no cork bark. I'll check that out. She hasn't been eating them lately, but I'm not sure if that's because I'm feeding her daily, or because there is naturally more leaf litter (as ivy leaves yellow and fall off, they turn into additional leaf litter), or if it's a combination of both things. I can easily try every other day and see if she goes back to eating/watching the isopods.
 

tdeamicis

Member
Is her shoulder joint swollen? It looks as though she could have dislocated it, perhaps.


I am not certain. My female did this same kind of behavior after she fell and hit the side of a pot on her way down. But she broke her arm. Her shoulder, arm, and wrist were all very puffy and I notice your female's is not, from what I can tell.
In my situation the vets said they couldn't really do much for her, and it ended up healing on its own.
I'm not saying your female has a broken arm, but it does look like it is in an unusual position, and it would be worth it to go to the vet. On the chance it is dislocated or something.
I'm not thinking the joints are swollen. And she does it with whatever leg is up, as she walks, definitely all four legs at one point or another. It's definitely weird, I can't find anything like this... I'm thinking to monitor for a day or two, and if anything else abnormal starts, get in to the vet right away.

Here is an uploaded video of how she is moving her legs. This was about 10 minutes after I got her out of the plant, was at 2:40am, early this morning actually.

I've got another couple videos of it helps, but she's not fond of my camera lol. So she puffs up in some of them (the most recent actually, the earlier videos she didn't react to the camera, guess she was super exhausted??)).
 

AmandaS

Retired Moderator
Hmm, it is strange. But if it is all 4 legs then I'd say the one isn't dislocated.
Good call on watching it and taking her in if need be. I have no idea why she would do this.
 

tdeamicis

Member
Hmm, it is strange. But if it is all 4 legs then I'd say the one isn't dislocated.
Good call on watching it and taking her in if need be. I have no idea why she would do this.
Very true. I'm hoping it is just being sore and exhausted after the ordeal. I just wasn't sure if that was common, or even likely at all... Not sure how often they get stuck in a potted plant... :(
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Since she's doing it with all her legs, it sounds like a nutrient issue. She seems to be able to stop the strange movements when you let her hold your finger which makes me suspect this even more.


Extra calcium shouldn't affect the size of the clutch. It's the overfeeding and higher temperatures that are playing the biggest part in that, IMHO. (Studies are being done to try to determine exactly what is causing follicular stasis and eggbinding and large clutches, BTW.)

Calcium absorption has to do with the amount of the D3 the chameleon has...overdoing the D3 supplements means that she will absorb more calcium...so overdosing D3 can/will lead to overdosing calcium. The UVB is less of an issue in causing overdoses in D3... as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it.

Vitamin A can play a part in the balance between the calcium and the D3 too.

You might want to read these...
Scan down in this first one to the part on.D3 and calcium...
http://www.geckosunlimited.com/comm...ard-gecko-care-sheet-geckos-unlimited-10.html

Another...
http://www.chameleonnews.com/07FebWheelock.html
 
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