Lily's Post Mortem

Miss Lily

Chameleon Enthusiast
I had a post mortem carried out on Lily this afternoon. I am satisfied that while the meds given may have contributed to her death they weren't the cause of it. The vet found that her liver was pale and enlarged and also her left ovary was very large and abnormal looking. He also drained approx 30ml fluid from her abdomen. Although there were some worms present in the intestines he was able to look at, they were not in such huge numbers to have caused her death. Although the exact cause of death wasn't found, there were several things going on that contributed it.

On the plus side her kidneys appeared to be normal. I was worried about them as she was never a big drinker. He did take samples that could be sent to a lab but this would get rather costly, so at this stage I will not pursue it further. For now I am reassured that at least it wasn't something I did or didn't do.


New Member
I really was hoping it wasn't the meds. Well at least you have some idea of what may have been the problem.

Sucks that animals we keep and become attached to get taken by natural selection. But as long as we keep them or any other animals this is going to happen. An animal may last you a yr but when in fact it wouldn't have made it near that long in the wild.

Again sorry for your loss. She was a sweetheart.


New Member
She was a healthy cham Di, because she was healthy , she did what came naturally, producing large batches off eggs (100 odd from memory the first time?).
While this can apply to other reptiles aswell, it seems a particular trait of chameleons,
which for you the keeper, isnt good since the females tend to have a shorter span anyway.
Production of eggs requires enormous energy, and drains all resouces, When your cham is incredibly well fed, this is not seen much, even so, it also appears to drain the animals
overall vitality.
Its a case of live fast die young for too many captive reptiles, Ive seen this over many years. Captive (usually overfed) metabolism is faster than nature intended, hence egg production is directly proportionate, The balance needs to be addressed.
A good diet is crucial for females before during and after egg production, but the rest of the year, a good diet but less quantity is probably more appropriate.
Eventually you get a balance of healthy but less, egg production, and less enormous drain on the animals reserves each pregnancy, greater long term vitality.
The younger the animal, the more drain on reserves to produce eggs, the more eggs, the more the exponential drain on the animal.

This is nature. I chose a male specifically to avoid having to deal with that, since Homer is my first. I know they will produce eggs, fertilised or not, but I think less unfertilised eggs than fertilised, and again, healthy cham, more eggs.

We need to understand nature (geared for survival) , the more we understand the better ways we find to provide ideal circumstances in captivity.

Sucks that animals we keep and become attached to get taken by natural selection
No natural selection involved here pure, lily wasnt a wild cham trying to adapt to captivity and failed (thats natural selection , failure to adapt, and dosent apply to individuals, just species as a whole), Its just nature doing what it does best.
A wild cham mates young, if its enviroment provides a healthy diet, it produces as large a clutch as possible, drains its reserves and dies young, but having given its energy to produce offspring and increase the gene pool, continuing the species.
The species survive, individuals dont, thats nature.



I know how it feels to lose a cham, but we need to learn from everything that happens to us. There are a couple of things that I would do differently if I were you next time.
First off, what started this whole situation was parasites. I cannot stress enough how important it is to do a fecal on a new animal. When you buy a chameleon, you might as well just add in the cost of a fecal. I do fecals every 6 months on all of my chameleons. (I have 9)
Second: I would really restrict the diet of your chameleon ESPECIALLY if it is a female. 100+ eggs in a clutch is pretty much unheard of. I love female chameleons, but you have to know what comes with the territory. They lay eggs, and their lifespan is not nearly as long as a male for the most part. IMO I would get a male chameleon if you are going to have it just as a pet.

Good luck :)



New Member
i am so sorry. i know the feeling and send my best thoughts to you. but she sure did have a great life and a great mum!


New Member
glad you had your mind put at rest,i think it does help a little bit when you know it's nothing we have done wrong,
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