Lethargic Female Panther; oral lesion

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hey guys. I regret to post that Lily is doing pretty poorly right now, and I'd like to ask y'all for advice. She has a vet appointment on Monday (earliest availability, and the only accessible clinic for me at this time), but I was hoping you can look through my husbandry in advance and see if anything is off. There have been a lot of recent environmental changes, and I fear the stress might have set her off!

I'll be upfront and immediately fess up to not paying as much attention for the last month as I should have, and I should have caught this sooner. Life caught me up, and I'm doing my best to fix this!

I tried to keep the form as concise as I could, and highlighted a few areas that I'm especially concerned about. I'd really love to hear y'alls thoughts in general!

Current issue(s): puffy/swollen lesion on the outside of her mouth (lip), lethargic, dark/muddy colors, resting/laying on her branch, eyes closed, slow to respond. Re: the lesion - i've witnessed superworms latch on to this spot once or twice, and she rubs her face on branches on occasion. Unsure if this is the cause, or just making things worse - the inside of her mouth/gum line seemed unaffected when I last checked, but I'll try to get a better look (and a picture).

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Female Panther chameleon, about a year and a half old. Lily has been in my care for 6 months.
  • Handling - I handle Lily if I need to move her for whatever reason, but otherwise leave her alone. When she was feeling better, she would occasionally come out on her own terms and I'd bring her outside. Almost too chilly for that, now! It's nice today, so I'll try to coax her out.
  • Feeding - Lily's diet primarily consists of large crickets, about 3 every couple days as well as one or two superworms and BSF for enrichment. She also gets 1-2 hornworms a week, and silkworms when they're available. Once a month or so I'll give her a pinkie mouse. Crickets are gutloaded with Repashy Bugburger, Superload, bee pollen, and veggie scraps. Supers and BSFL get veggie scraps and some Bugburger.
  • Supplements - Repashy SuperCal LoD on all crickets and supers (accounting for about 80% of her diet). For the first month and a bit when I brought her home and she was sickly, I was directly by my vet to give her an aggressive vitamin regimen of Repashy SuperVite on 2/3 of her feeders, and plain calcium on the rest. (See History)
  • Watering - The enclosure is hand sprayed x2/day (morning/evening) for 2-3 minutes, with a shorter session in the afternoon when I'm around. I often see Lily drink during evening misting. Note: while I was building up her smaller enclosure, I kept her in my larger finished bioactive build for a month, the last two weeks of which I had my MistKing system running at 7a, 2p, 7p, and a quick spritz at 10p to maintain humidity overnight for a total misting time of 12 minutes. Lily seemed very stressed by the MistKing, and I believe this contributed to her downward spiral. She's been placed her her refurbished cage for the last 2 days, and is back to her old hand misting schedule.
  • Fecal Description - nothing of note; well formed moist feces, urates cream colored with a yellowish cap. She was treated for pinworms in April/May, and has been clear since. Last fecal run 2 months ago.
  • History - Lily was quite ill when I first brought her home, and had been at a petstore for the first 8 months of her life. She had issues with her left eye, a small mouth lesion (also on her left side), and had issues firing her tongue/aiming. She was initially treated with BNP +H eye ointment and betadine + flamazine for her mouth lesion, and was put on a somewhat aggressive vitamin regimen to get her back up to snuff. She improved within a month, and all meds were discontinued. At that point, I weaned her off onto Calcium LoD, instead of Repashy Supervite on 2/3 of feeders and plain calcium on the rest.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 16x16x30 ReptiBreeze, on top of a planter box. This is a bioactive enclosure, and while I realize it's on the smaller size Lily's also a very petite girl and isn't very active.
  • Lighting - Currently running a 24" 5.0 UVB (brand new) and a low wattage incandescent bulb on a dimmer, alongside 2 6500k plant lights. Lights are on from 7a-7p
  • Temperature - Basking temp peaks at 83, and the cage floor is 71 (ambient temp). Lowest overnight temp recorded was 68. I measure with a temp gun and a digital thermometer.
  • Humidity - generally ranges between 40-50, with spikes after misting. I have a digital hydrometer, but I believe I damaged the probe with an accidental direct spray, and it needs replacing. I'm placing shower curtains today on the remaining 2 open sides to boost humidity some more.
  • Plants - pothos, heartleaf philodendron, boston fern, rainbow moss, and a China doll that I'll be swapping out for a larger tree-like plant shortly.
  • Placement - The cage is in my bedroom area, and is low traffic. The only one in there is me, and I'm very conscious of quick movements. The cage is nearly 6 feet off the ground at the very top, and is located about 6 feet away (horizontally) from a closed ceiling vent.
  • Location - British Columbia, Canada
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Lily's lesion (I'll try to get a better angle/get her mouth open when I get home):

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GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ah! I forgot to mention - Lily's appetite is definitely down, but she'll eat when handfed. She's reluctant to shoot (and when she does, it's wildly inaccurate), but will snag things at close range if I hold it up (1-2 inches).
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
@GoodKarma19 jumping in here since you asked me to review everything. As we were talking about I still think mouth issue is due to possible bite from supers. I also do not see anything wrong in husbandry. But like we talked about and in my opinion a cham that was raised on hand misting does not always do well with the automated mistings. I think the Vet visit is in order like your planning to take a look at her mouth. Once that is treated I think she will be much happier in her old enclosure especially since your getting her another big tree to fill it out. I just think the combo of the mouth issue and the further stress of the mistking dropped her immune system which is why she has declined. I love what you have done for her with her new and improved enclosure. You did a wonderful job.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh no! I. Sorry to hear that Lilly isn’t doing well. I’m glad you are taking her to the vet. That could be an infection on her mouth. Take a fresh poop so you can get a fecal.
Please keep us updated.
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Took Lily outside, and she had a nice horizontal bask until the sun went behind the clouds again and it started getting chilly. She perked up a bit and had a drink and a snack, and I got her curtains up. I have all of my digits crossed! Poor lady has had a terrible time with her health :(

@GoodKarma19 jumping in here since you asked me to review everything. As we were talking about I still think mouth issue is due to possible bite from supers. I also do not see anything wrong in husbandry. But like we talked about and in my opinion a cham that was raised on hand misting does not always do well with the automated mistings. I think the Vet visit is in order like your planning to take a look at her mouth. Once that is treated I think she will be much happier in her old enclosure especially since your getting her another big tree to fill it out. I just think the combo of the mouth issue and the further stress of the mistking dropped her immune system which is why she has declined. I love what you have done for her with her new and improved enclosure. You did a wonderful job.

Thanks Becca! :love: Just thought I'd put it out in the open, see if anyone else had thoughts. Maybe it'll help someone down the road! When it rains, it pours :(

I'm going to take a trip to the nursery either today or next week, I think - see if I can find her a nice schefflera or a ficus benjamina!

Oh no! I. Sorry to hear that Lilly isn’t doing well. I’m glad you are taking her to the vet. That could be an infection on her mouth. Take a fresh poop so you can get a fecal.
Please keep us updated.

Yeah, it's looking more and more like an infection. I'm keeping it clean with my remaining supply of betadine (1% iodine solution) and covered with a thin film of silver sulfadiazine (Flamazine) to hopefully prevent it from getting worse until I'm able to get her seen on Monday.

Might be more difficult to get a poop sample due to her bioactive base, but I'll see what I can scrounge up! Thankfully, she has a tendency to poop in transit.
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I agree with @Beman I too believe this is a feeder injury. I witnessed Tye-Dye snag a super by its butt once and got a nice response from the super because of it. He and I both learned that day that he needs to be hand fed the supers head first. I believe some TLC from the vet in the form of some antibiotics should help clear her up. I'm hoping and praying for the little beauty!
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
Mona had something very similar on her mouth from a horn worm bite.

What does the inside look like?

Is it getting larger or smaller?
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Same happened to Mama two days ago. She grabbed two in one shot, one bit in exact same spot on her jaw.

Did you ever get that open mouth shot?


I stressed the heck out of the both of us, and this is the best I could get for now in terms of a kinda open mouth. I dont have enough hands, and Lily didnt want to open her mouth and keep it open for more than a second.

It's kinda hard to tell in the picture, because it's super unfocused, but only the outside of the lip is effected - not the gums at all. The lip is swollen, but there isnt any discharge or anything that I can see.

@AnamCara - Lily has had a lesion in the exact same spot previously from when she was living at the pet store. It doesnt appear to be growing, per se - but it is more swollen than it was.

I'm fairly sure it's a bite, the more I look at it. I can actually pick out what appears to be the initial trauma from the bite, and the rest is probably from her rubbing her mouth on branches.

Gums:

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Closeup:

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Swelling:

249533
 

Mawtyplant

Chameleon Enthusiast
Mouth is a concern but I see some inflammation to the nostril who can look close to a respiratory infection (upper)

Try to keep your temperatures low till the vet visit (to slowdown the bacteria growing). If tomorrow the sun pop out try to give some natural sun. If there a place where you can buy Manuka honey I strongly suggest you to give some orally to provide immunity support-antibiotic and energy.

Good luck and keep us uptake, for the moment I think you should not change the husbandry except that you should shut up the heat other than that she might not be survive till Monday. :/ à
Good luck with the little girl

à
I stressed the heck out of the both of us, and this is the best I could get for now in terms of a kinda open mouth. I dont have enough hands, and Lily didnt want to open her mouth and keep it open for more than a second.

It's kinda hard to tell in the picture, because it's super unfocused, but only the outside of the lip is effected - not the gums at all. The lip is swollen, but there isnt any discharge or anything that I can see.

@AnamCara - Lily has had a lesion in the exact same spot previously from when she was living at the pet store. It doesnt appear to be growing, per se - but it is more swollen than it was.

I'm fairly sure it's a bite, the more I look at it. I can actually pick out what appears to be the initial trauma from the bite, and the rest is probably from her rubbing her mouth on branches.

Gums:

View attachment 249531

Closeup:

View attachment 249532

Swelling:

View attachment 249533
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Mouth is a concern but I see some inflammation to the nostril who can look close to a respiratory infection (upper)

Try to keep your temperatures low till the vet visit (to slowdown the bacteria growing). If tomorrow the sun pop out try to give some natural sun. If there a place where you can buy Manuka honey I strongly suggest you to give some orally to provide immunity support-antibiotic and energy.

Good luck and keep us uptake, for the moment I think you should not change the husbandry except that you should shut up the heat other than that she might not be survive till Monday. :/ à
Good luck with the little girl

à

Thanks Martine - she had some outside time an hour or so ago, and perked up some. I was actually considering some manuka - I'll pick some up at the health food store, and discuss with my vet. Can't hurt might help, right?

Re: her nostril, that was my fault. I grabbed her face a little too hard while I was trying to look at her mouth, and banged her up a little! It wasnt there previous to handling, so I guarantee that was me. :(
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hmm, actually... might have been swollen, and I just made it worse. Crap. Basking's going off until I can get into the vet. I'm going to give them a call and see if I can come by earlier, even without an exotics vet. That's what VIN is for, and I can always call the head exotics doctor. I have her #.

Pre handling picture, alongside her good side.

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GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Called the clinic. There's nothing they can do for me, and the head exotics doctor is on vacation. The GP there today and tomorrow won't see reptiles at all. I have no other exotics clinics accessible to me - the closest is over 3 hours away, and I dont drive.

I have no option but to wait.

Is there anything else I can do to limit spread beyond keeping the lesion clean and lowering temperatures?
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’d just show up, they won’t turn you away. I realize some people aren’t comfortable doing that...

... or not, you know what’s best...
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’d just show up, they won’t turn you away. I realize some people aren’t comfortable doing that...

I used to work at that clinic (I still locum there). The GP that was supposed to be in tonight is very ill, and had to call in. There's no doctor right now, and they're closing in 15 mins (they're an hour and a half away from me). I'll call them tomorrow and try to talk with the GP that'll be in. She's very new, and not comfortable with reptiles, but I may have better luck asking her to hit the books.

No one else will take reptiles here, trust. I've worked in the local veterinary industry for 7 years... all of the reptiles come to the one clinic. But there's one other hospital that I hesitate to use that might consider looking at her... worth a call at this point...
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
I used to work at that clinic (I still locum there). The GP that was supposed to be in tonight is very ill, and had to call in. There's no doctor right now, and they're closing in 15 mins (they're an hour and a half away from me). I'll call them tomorrow and try to talk with the GP that'll be in. She's very new, and not comfortable with reptiles, but I may have better luck asking her to hit the books.

No one else will take reptiles here, trust. I've worked in the local veterinary industry for 7 years... all of the reptiles come to the one clinic. But there's one other hospital that I hesitate to use that might consider looking at her... worth a call at this point...
OK, was just an idea. You have a much firmer grasp of the situation. Praying for you!
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
OK, was just an idea. You have a much firmer grasp of the situation. Praying for you!

Thanks for the well wishes! Hopefully she'll hang in there. She's a trooper, and she's still eating and drinking so I think she'll be ok until Monday. I'll call the clinic as soon as it opens tomorrow, and ask if the Dr's comfortable.

The alternative clinic's exotics doctor is away at a conference, and my alternative alternative hail Mary option is closed for the weekend. This is incredibly frustrating! :mad:
 
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