Lock Jaw


New Member
Please Help!

My Cham Charlie is almost 4 years old, about 6 months ago I noticed he wasn’t projecting his tongue as far anymore. He also wasn’t able to open his mouth as wide which meant he couldn’t feed on crickets. Otherwise he was acting completely fine. He was still climbing around fine, moving fast, drinking, had an appetite, everything was normal but his mouth. I took him to the vet thinking there would be a quick answer on what was wrong with him. They did bloodwork and took X-rays and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. They prescribed me Emeraid to feed him and a vitamin C supplement as well. They told me my last option was to sedate him so they could try to open his jaw and see if there was anything blocking it. Since they were going in blind I figured nothing would come from this either, I would risk him being put under for them to come to the same conclusion that they don’t know what’s wrong with him. For 6 months I have been feeding him 3ml of Emeraid everyday with a syringe. Over the past 4 days I have seen a drastic change in him. Up until this point he has still be acting normal. He still has an appetite is still drinking water, but he’s gotten very weak. His eyes are sunken and his color has faded a little, he sleeps most of the day. I came to the conclusion that it was probably best to let him go. I took him to another exotic vet for one more opinion but they told me what I expected that his body has used up all his fat and muscle and it would be in best interest for me to put him to rest. This is my last chance to see if any of you know what could be causing this, and if there’s anything I could give him to get his fat and muscle back up. His appetite is still there and he is still hydrated. This is my first and probably last Cham and I love him too much to not try everything before I let him go.

Thank you for your help!
Please post some photos of him. I had the happen to one of chameleons years ago and it was caused from a bone infection in his chin and jaw. My friend currently took in a rescue with this issue and now there’s a name for it. I’ll get the name for you.
Welcome to the forum! So sorry to hear about your chameleon.

What supplements have you been using and how often for each. I’m particularly looking for calcium, phos, D3 and the type of vitamin A in each.

What UVB light have you been using? Long linear one or compact?
what are the temperatures in the cage?

Here’s the recipe for Bug Juice…it’s more natural for a chameleon than EmerAid IMHO…
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It’s called Fibrosing myopothy, if your vet can get information on it. Here’s some research that’s was done.

: A case of lockjaw in a 3-year-old male veiled chameleon was described [UK, date not given]. The veiled chameleon was presented, because the owner had noted a progressive difficulty in the chameleon's ability to open its mouth. As a result, it was unable to feed. Despite considerable force being applied using a rodent mouth gag, it was impossible to open the chameleon's mouth more than 3 to 4 mm. Attempts to open the mouth were abandoned as it was considered that further force would risk serious trauma to the animal. The animal died despite several weeks of supportive care (analgesia, antibiosis and nutritional support via orogastric intubation). The postmortem examination showed a myopathy affecting the temporal muscles, myositis of the hyoglossal muscle, moderate portal fibrosis of the liver and interstitial fibrosis of the kidneys.
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