Luck vs Husbandry, seeking opinions

sruss

Member
After a rather poor year of losing animals (not just chameleons) and many, many vet visits, I'm looking to review my husbandry and seek advice for rescuing wildcaughts in case there's any way I can improve.

To throw a little history out there, I work at a large veterinary hospital with plenty of access to vets who will see chameleons, and because of this, many Florida ferals picked up off the side of the road and brought in, where I subsequently end up with them.

I am filling out the form for my only remaining cham and throwing a brief history of the others who passed below.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Male veiled Chameleon, supposedly 9 months. Only weighs ~15g.
  • PXL_20210628_140253939.MP.jpg
  • Handling - Never, if I can avoid it. He's very aggressive so secondary handling (using a branch) is best.
  • Feeding - I have a colony of dubias and discoids, superworms, and BSFL. Also regularly purchase silkworms and hornworms, and catch plenty of grasshoppers and crickets on the property. Everything's gutloaded.
  • Supplements - Arcadia Earthpro+, daily. Reptivite, 1x a month.
  • Watering - Misters, 45 min total since it is connected to the tortoises' system but the outdoor enclosure allows for night fog and morning dew naturally. Chams haven't been about drinking either. But looking for a better way to potentially get shorter, more frequent mistings without throwing off the tortoises schedule.
  • Fecal Description - Had coccidia, finally having clean fecals. Stool is well-formed and urates mostly white.
  • History - Purchased originally at a petstore, spent months with the new owner before being returned for being incapable of walking or gripping. Diagnosed with MBD, possibility of gout, and full of coccidia. Spent the first two months with me in a tank to recover and just recently moved out when he was able to walk and sleep upside down on the screen.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type -
    PXL_20210628_140105685.MP.jpg
    Total height is just over 6', shade cloth between barriers so chams wouldn't need to see each other, top also covered to avoid getting too drenched. This current cham ony gets the top left section to himself since he's quite little.
  • Lighting - Natural sunlight
  • Temperature - Basking spots can range but around 95 is what I get, ambient goes down to 80. Lots of little hygrometers. Nights vary but typically in the 70s
  • Humidity - 80-100% whatever FL is at that moment
  • Plants - Pothos, bamboo, hibiscus, ferns, and a few others I can't remember the names to but are pictured
  • Placement - in the yard, technically in a tortoise pasture
  • Location - SWFL
PXL_20210324_135234894.MP.jpg

-Mature male veiled 1, feral found originally in a parking lot, emaciated, unable to move, and parasite-ridden. Went from around 100g to about 250g after being declared worm-free, and gained a great deal of confidence once being moved into an appropriate 6x2x6 cage. Found sleeping in irregular spots of the cage two nights before passing, in which he was found asleep and unresponsive, dangling by only his rear legs. He went agonal and proceeded to die hours later, despite supportive care (heat and fluids).
MVIMG_20201224_131118.jpg

"Hell mouth" mid-sized veiled male. Feral found with a broken, abscessed jaw and previously broken stifle. First round of antibiotics worked but the jaw abscessed again about 1 month later and he was placed back on them for an expected more extended time. Jaw began to heal fantasticly, appetite was insatiable, then with the healing process sloughing off all the dead tissue, that previously broken stifle skin went as well, allowing his femur to become exposed. He was evaluated by multiple vets for surgery, scheduled, and it is suspected that the pain medication maybe have been too hard on his kidneys, killing him the day of.
PXL_20210610_171137851.MP.jpg

1 y/o male veiled. Surrendered by someone who purchased from a petstore and was historically healthy. Sudden tail paralysis and sperm plug. Hemipenes were unable to be persuaded to go back into the the vent, so it was elected to amputate. Never recovered from the surgery. While in hospital, a fecal was also run, revealing coccidia and giardia, which I am kicking myself for as he was given to me by a trusted person who swore he was healthy so I never checked myself.

PXL_20210428_142626602.MP.jpg

Helmeted chameleon, male, unknown age, he was an import, and I was the third owner. I'm quite sure he only passed due to having attempted to eat a wasp as I came home and began my feeding rounds only to find him in anaphylaxis. He also passed despite being given supportive care, though my vets are now researching the best possible treatment for anaphylaxis in chameleons and wasp traps have been ordered to prevent this from happening again. A wasp nest in the cage was discovered a few days later.
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m so sorry for all your losses! That’s so sad! It sounds more like a peopleproblem rather than your husbandry. They were in bad shape when you got them! I hope this last little guy does well. Sorry I don’t have any advice for you because I’ve never kept veils nor have I lived in Florida. Someone else will be along that can help you I’m sure.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Well major props to you for trying to save these guys...

For the one you have now... With him being 9 months at 15 grams that is very very small ( but working for vets you know this). He still has some time for growth. If he were mine I would feed him as much as he wants for the next few months and see if he doesn't get some size on him and hit a growth spurt. Make sure that the coccidia is actually gone. So series of fecals over a few months after the first clean fecal. Just in case he still has some hiding out.

Supplements... Are you using Reptivite with D3 or without?

I would add a dripper during the day. Take a old milk jug or something similar and put pin holes into the bottom. It will create a gravity fed dripper. With gout you want to ensure they are always getting proper hydration. Your temps are far above what most keepers will allow for a male Veiled. We typically max temps at 80-85 for basking and ambient low 70's during the day. So a dripper will come in handy to ensure they are drinking.

your cage set up is great looks like you are blocking the direct sun from above with tons of plants. This is exceptional.

The other veileds.... lots of health issues there and a crap life. Does not surprise me that they passed. Even a healthy chameleon with perfect care all its life can have complications from surgery.

Now the T. Hoehnelii a major issue would be temps for it. They are a montane species and need much cooler temps then your outdoor enclosures can provide. This would have been a concern had he not died from the wasps. Now many people swear that chams can eat bees and wasps. I think it is nuts myself but to each there own. Either stung from him eating it or the wasps actually were more agressive and stung him.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
You said..."Diagnosed with MBD, possibility of gout, and full of coccidia. Spent the first two months with me in a tank to recover and just recently moved out when he was able to walk and sleep upside down on the screen"....so no gout? MBD fixed? Coccidiosis all gone?

The first one you lost in the thread...because it went agonal, it's quite likely is was old or may have had organ damage IMHO. BTW...I'm not a vet...I just speak from experience and what I've learned and read in my 30+ years of keeping chameleons and other reptiles.

For "Hell Mouth"...what medication was he put on? What bacteria was involved? Pseudamonas? Was the wound cleaned out and flushed?

Number three...too many things for me to speculate.

Helmeted...not too much is likely known about treating anaphylaxis in chameleons. I've never seen or heard of it happening.

I don't think there's much more you could have done to save any of them.
 
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CasqueAbove

Chameleon Enthusiast
The common thread I see in all these is that these Chameleons underwent great trauma before you got them. We know that just the added stress of going to a vet ad getting treatment can be too much if the chameleon is already very ill. I don't think you have any issues with the husbandry. I prefer cooler temps and night time temp drops but you are out side where the live so kind of not needed. I think these little guys were already too far gone and just hiding it.
On the temp thing. I would be curious if lower temps would help with emaciated and dehydrated animals.
 

sruss

Member
Well major props to you for trying to save these guys...

For the one you have now... With him being 9 months at 15 grams that is very very small ( but working for vets you know this). He still has some time for growth. If he were mine I would feed him as much as he wants for the next few months and see if he doesn't get some size on him and hit a growth spurt. Make sure that the coccidia is actually gone. So series of fecals over a few months after the first clean fecal. Just in case he still has some hiding out.

Supplements... Are you using Reptivite with D3 or without?

I would add a dripper during the day. Take a old milk jug or something similar and put pin holes into the bottom. It will create a gravity fed dripper. With gout you want to ensure they are always getting proper hydration. Your temps are far above what most keepers will allow for a male Veiled. We typically max temps at 80-85 for basking and ambient low 70's during the day. So a dripper will come in handy to ensure they are drinking.

your cage set up is great looks like you are blocking the direct sun from above with tons of plants. This is exceptional.

The other veileds.... lots of health issues there and a crap life. Does not surprise me that they passed. Even a healthy chameleon with perfect care all its life can have complications from surgery.

Now the T. Hoehnelii a major issue would be temps for it. They are a montane species and need much cooler temps then your outdoor enclosures can provide. This would have been a concern had he not died from the wasps. Now many people swear that chams can eat bees and wasps. I think it is nuts myself but to each there own. Either stung from him eating it or the wasps actually were more agressive and stung him.
I totally forgot to add feeding frequency, apologies. He's offered 3-6 insects daily and eats with ferocity but has not much to show for in the way of gaining weight, so I am honestly not sure if he will ever grow beyond this despite being so small, though he has had a couple sheds so maybe there is hope 🤞

Regular fecals will be continued. I have both variations of reptivite but only use the one without since everyone is housed outside.

I will rig a more permanent dripper. It should also probably be noted that the hygrometers to keep track of temps are black 2x3.5" squares and probably read warmer than it is to the chams since they need to be placed in the open where I can see them and absorb the light. However, the grape vines are finally taking off and will further obscure some light and offer extra shade, if he chooses to use it anyway. All of the chams hated it and wore their dark colors when I attempted to shadecloth the back side of the cage in an attempt to drop the temperature to some extent.

Thank you for your words, this the common opinion I'm getting back but I had throw myself out there for critique in case these are all a "me" issue.

The T. Hoehnelii was stung just on the inside of his cheek from what I can see, and given his personality I would bet money that he made an attempt to eat the wasp. Whether or not he'd been successful in the endeavor previously is up for grabs. He was the only cham not kept quite in the conditions listed above, but did also live outside and would become very dark depressed and refused food when I attempted to bring him in or into a shadier place after the winter coldfronts faded away, so I spoke to a local Jackson's breeder who keeps theirs successfully outside about their setup and did my best to replicate with shadecloth, heavy plants, and extra handmisting and otherwise just kept a close eye on him for overheating and sleep (supplemented ice packs on nights he was being a light sleeper) and he did quite well and was easily the healthiest cham I'd ever had, which I suppose can only say so much when I just pick up the unwanted and ferals
 

sruss

Member
You said..."Diagnosed with MBD, possibility of gout, and full of coccidia. Spent the first two months with me in a tank to recover and just recently moved out when he was able to walk and sleep upside down on the screen"....so no gout? MBD fixed? Coccidiosis all gone?

The first one you lost in the thread...because it went agonal, it's quite likely is was old or may have had organ damage IMHO. BTW...I'm not a vet...I just speak from experience and what I've learned and read in my 30+ years of keeping chameleons and other reptiles.

For "Hell Mouth"...what medication was he put on? What bacteria was involved? Pseudamonas? Was the wound cleaned out and flushed?

Number three...too many things for me to speculate.

Helmeted...not too much is likely known about treating anaphylaxis in chameleons. I've never seen or heard of it happening.

I don't think there's much more you could have done to save any of them.
Gout was originally suspected due to the rather swollen joints but no evidence on the rads and we were unable to obtain enough blood for bloodwork to truly confirm/deny, nor was I willing to continue to subject him to such handling regularly until we could. Bone density did improve upon receiving calcium injection and regular dietary supplementation and activity and ability to be active increased from there. Mobility was regained to the point that I no longer feared he may hurt himself climbing and coccidiosis gone but will continue regular fecals to ensure that's how it stays. I wouldn't yet call him 100% but he's far more improved than I ever expected from him

This is also my suspicion on number one. It seemed as though he made a full recovery over the months, and then passed. I do appreciate your opinion, thank you.

"Hellmouth" was put on ceftazidime both times, injectable. There was no true wound to debride until the abscess finally burst and I was able to really get at it to flush and wipe it out with iodine. Shortly after, all the blackened skin began to slough and his femur fell out, quite literally, and spelled the end for him. We never cultured his mouth to determine the exact bacteria behind anything since he did have a poor prognosis from the start and did respond very well to the ceftaz.

The idea to treat the anaphylaxis is one that only a tech has, I think lol. The idea actually occured to me when I was doing rads on skinks for a sexing study that involved flushing their vent with contrast, and it was noticed that one of them appeared to have a reaction, almost rash-like in appearance and it's quickness in spreading, and the vet involved found some doses for diphenhydramine and dexamethasone, though nothing involving epi like in small animals practice but interesting and perhaps worth a try to keep around, none the less. But, in theory, all animals are capable of going into anaphylaxis, and treatment is similar across the board. Chams are just generally much more successful hunters than he was that day

Thank you again for your reply
 

sruss

Member
The common thread I see in all these is that these Chameleons underwent great trauma before you got them. We know that just the added stress of going to a vet ad getting treatment can be too much if the chameleon is already very ill. I don't think you have any issues with the husbandry. I prefer cooler temps and night time temp drops but you are out side where the live so kind of not needed. I think these little guys were already too far gone and just hiding it.
On the temp thing. I would be curious if lower temps would help with emaciated and dehydrated animals.
It is actually believed to be the opposite (and has gotten me into some trouble arguing with vets for a temp drop at night)! But it is very widely supported that sick reptiles should be supported with heat (the books recommend ~90F, I feel better watching where they're comfortable and offering some gradient) and subcutaneous fluids therapy at minimum. Supposedly, higher temps quickens the healing process

It could probably be noted that, for the most part, the chams were only minimally taken to the vet itself since, working the the doctors, it was possible for me to provide symptoms and photos for nonmajor issues. But yes, I agree, they all came from less than ideal conditions and that likely contributed to their passing. It just starts to feel at some point that they shouldn't ALL be passing but perhaps, this is just a testament as to how difficult wildcaughts are to manage to get healthy
 
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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I totally forgot to add feeding frequency, apologies. He's offered 3-6 insects daily and eats with ferocity but has not much to show for in the way of gaining weight, so I am honestly not sure if he will ever grow beyond this despite being so small, though he has had a couple sheds so maybe there is hope 🤞

Regular fecals will be continued. I have both variations of reptivite but only use the one without since everyone is housed outside.

I will rig a more permanent dripper. It should also probably be noted that the hygrometers to keep track of temps are black 2x3.5" squares and probably read warmer than it is to the chams since they need to be placed in the open where I can see them and absorb the light. However, the grape vines are finally taking off and will further obscure some light and offer extra shade, if he chooses to use it anyway. All of the chams hated it and wore their dark colors when I attempted to shadecloth the back side of the cage in an attempt to drop the temperature to some extent.

Thank you for your words, this the common opinion I'm getting back but I had throw myself out there for critique in case these are all a "me" issue.

The T. Hoehnelii was stung just on the inside of his cheek from what I can see, and given his personality I would bet money that he made an attempt to eat the wasp. Whether or not he'd been successful in the endeavor previously is up for grabs. He was the only cham not kept quite in the conditions listed above, but did also live outside and would become very dark depressed and refused food when I attempted to bring him in or into a shadier place after the winter coldfronts faded away, so I spoke to a local Jackson's breeder who keeps theirs successfully outside about their setup and did my best to replicate with shadecloth, heavy plants, and extra handmisting and otherwise just kept a close eye on him for overheating and sleep (supplemented ice packs on nights he was being a light sleeper) and he did quite well and was easily the healthiest cham I'd ever had, which I suppose can only say so much when I just pick up the unwanted and ferals
Ok start giving him more feeders. See if he doesn't put on a bit more weight. If he is 9 months then he has 3 more months roughly to full maturity. So there is still time for growth but 3-6 is not that much with his size of 15 grams. He need to at least get up another 50 grams. A healthy full grown male of 15-16 inches total length will range in weight from 120-140 grams. I do not see him ever getting to that size given his age now but I would shoot for at least half that. you will be able to tell if he grows or is only gaining. Just watch his casque size as it should remain slim on the sides and not puffy.

Reptivite without D3 is perfect for outside. But you want to do this 2 times a month say the first and the 15th.

Honestly you know what you are doing. You are asking the right people for advice on your journey and not just winging it. Continue to think that way and you will be good. I find that the more open you are to information and learning the better in this hobby.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
You said..."Gout was originally suspected due to the rather swollen joints but no evidence on the rads and we were unable to obtain enough blood for bloodwork to truly confirm/deny, nor was I willing to continue to subject him to such handling regularly until we could"...can you please post another couple of photos so I can see the swellings?

You said..."Bone density did improve upon receiving calcium injection and regular dietary supplementation and activity and ability to be active increased from there. Mobility was regained to the point that I no longer feared he may hurt himself climbing and coccidiosis gone but will continue regular fecals to ensure that's how it stays. I wouldn't yet call him 100% but he's far more improved than I ever expected from him"...sounds good.

You said..."This is also my suspicion on number one. It seemed as though he made a full recovery over the months, and then passed. I do appreciate your opinion, thank you"...just an opinion.

You said..."Hellmouth" was put on ceftazidime both times, injectable. There was no true wound to debride until the abscess finally burst and I was able to really get at it to flush and wipe it out with iodine. Shortly after, all the blackened skin began to slough and his femur fell out, quite literally, and spelled the end for him. We never cultured his mouth to determine the exact bacteria behind anything since he did have a poor prognosis from the start and did respond very well to the ceftaz"...ceft usually works against pseudomonas aeruginosa which is usually the bacteria involved with mouth issues...although there can be other bacteria found there along with it. It's hard to get rid of because chameleon "pus" is like cottage cheese most of the time and the antibiotic won't completely penetrate it....as you likely know. This is why cleaning the wound out well and flushing it is important. Was there infection around the femur too? Was that area cleaned out?

You said..."The idea to treat the anaphylaxis is one that only a tech has, I think lol. The idea actually occured to me when I was doing rads on skinks for a sexing study that involved flushing their vent with contrast, and it was noticed that one of them appeared to have a reaction, almost rash-like in appearance and it's quickness in spreading, and the vet involved found some doses for diphenhydramine and dexamethasone, though nothing involving epi like in small animals practice but interesting and perhaps worth a try to keep around, none the less. But, in theory, all animals are capable of going into anaphylaxis, and treatment is similar across the board. Chams are just generally much more successful hunters than he was that day"...never thought about treatment for chameleons...but makes sense that what you used could have worked. What kind of skinks were you studying?

You said..."Thank you again for your reply"...no problem. Wish I could have been more of a help. Good to see someone is helping these chameleons.
 

sruss

Member
Ok start giving him more feeders. See if he doesn't put on a bit more weight. If he is 9 months then he has 3 more months roughly to full maturity. So there is still time for growth but 3-6 is not that much with his size of 15 grams. He need to at least get up another 50 grams. A healthy full grown male of 15-16 inches total length will range in weight from 120-140 grams. I do not see him ever getting to that size given his age now but I would shoot for at least half that. you will be able to tell if he grows or is only gaining. Just watch his casque size as it should remain slim on the sides and not puffy.

Reptivite without D3 is perfect for outside. But you want to do this 2 times a month say the first and the 15th.

Honestly you know what you are doing. You are asking the right people for advice on your journey and not just winging it. Continue to think that way and you will be good. I find that the more open you are to information and learning the better in this hobby.
I agree, I don't believe he'll ever get to the size of the average veiled but it definitely worries me how tiny he is, I'll increase the feeders and see if I can't figure out a cup that won't drown them when the misters come on so I can try to leave something out all the time. Will also increase the reptivite to twice monthly.

You comment on watching the casque has only just reminded me that the second adult male with the hemipene prolapse was quite overweight upon coming to me, though I'm not sure what that may have contributed to his problems.

Thank you, haha, I think life itself is easier with that mindset. Meanwhile I am here reading over everyone's input with my preferred vet (the one who did the hemipene amputation) right now on the off chance anything strikes her differently than it does me
 

sruss

Member
You said..."Gout was originally suspected due to the rather swollen joints but no evidence on the rads and we were unable to obtain enough blood for bloodwork to truly confirm/deny, nor was I willing to continue to subject him to such handling regularly until we could"...can you please post another couple of photos so I can see the swellings?

You said..."Bone density did improve upon receiving calcium injection and regular dietary supplementation and activity and ability to be active increased from there. Mobility was regained to the point that I no longer feared he may hurt himself climbing and coccidiosis gone but will continue regular fecals to ensure that's how it stays. I wouldn't yet call him 100% but he's far more improved than I ever expected from him"...sounds good.

You said..."This is also my suspicion on number one. It seemed as though he made a full recovery over the months, and then passed. I do appreciate your opinion, thank you"...just an opinion.

You said..."Hellmouth" was put on ceftazidime both times, injectable. There was no true wound to debride until the abscess finally burst and I was able to really get at it to flush and wipe it out with iodine. Shortly after, all the blackened skin began to slough and his femur fell out, quite literally, and spelled the end for him. We never cultured his mouth to determine the exact bacteria behind anything since he did have a poor prognosis from the start and did respond very well to the ceftaz"...ceft usually works against pseudomonas aeruginosa which is usually the bacteria involved with mouth issues...although there can be other bacteria found there along with it. It's hard to get rid of because chameleon "pus" is like cottage cheese most of the time and the antibiotic won't completely penetrate it....as you likely know. This is why cleaning the wound out well and flushing it is important. Was there infection around the femur too? Was that area cleaned out?

You said..."The idea to treat the anaphylaxis is one that only a tech has, I think lol. The idea actually occured to me when I was doing rads on skinks for a sexing study that involved flushing their vent with contrast, and it was noticed that one of them appeared to have a reaction, almost rash-like in appearance and it's quickness in spreading, and the vet involved found some doses for diphenhydramine and dexamethasone, though nothing involving epi like in small animals practice but interesting and perhaps worth a try to keep around, none the less. But, in theory, all animals are capable of going into anaphylaxis, and treatment is similar across the board. Chams are just generally much more successful hunters than he was that day"...never thought about treatment for chameleons...but makes sense that what you used could have worked. What kind of skinks were you studying?

You said..."Thank you again for your reply"...no problem. Wish I could have been more of a help. Good to see someone is helping these chameleons.
PXL_20210420_205718723.MP.jpg

This is the only photo I can find of when he came to me and isn't the best for this purpose, I could have sworn there were others but my youngest dog was hospitalized about that time so my ability to document his case photographically was definitely not great.

Yes, every doctor or exotics technician I spoke to is all about the ceftaz for them, we had almost considered switching to baytril but it simply wasn't recommended by anyone. And oh yes, once the abscess burst, it took me quite a bit to manage to clean it all up. The femur was a little more touchy, there wasn't a purulent discharge or mass, so while we wiped it off and decided that applying silver sulfasalizine shouldn't hurt, were more so intending on amputating the leg ASAP vs attempting to sneak a catheter in to try and flush, potentially opening it up further

Blue tongue and Gidgee skinks! Since it was discovered that blue tongue skinks can be sexed by the patterns contrast material flushed into their vents showed in radiographs, one of our exotics vets had the idea to see if we could expand the idea to Gidgee skinks as well so she found an enthusiastic breeder of both and we had totes of skinks to experiment with on this idea
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I agree, I don't believe he'll ever get to the size of the average veiled but it definitely worries me how tiny he is, I'll increase the feeders and see if I can't figure out a cup that won't drown them when the misters come on so I can try to leave something out all the time. Will also increase the reptivite to twice monthly.

You comment on watching the casque has only just reminded me that the second adult male with the hemipene prolapse was quite overweight upon coming to me, though I'm not sure what that may have contributed to his problems.

Thank you, haha, I think life itself is easier with that mindset. Meanwhile I am here reading over everyone's input with my preferred vet (the one who did the hemipene amputation) right now on the off chance anything strikes her differently than it does me
Check out Full throttle feeder cups. I think these would work really well for your cages. If the magnet does not work you could take large zip ties to hook it in https://www.fullthrottlefeeders.com/feedercups But it has a screen in the bottom that drains. It is what I use and I love it. You can see mine in this image on the right. It is the 3 inch diameter version.



Well I am not a vet by any means... Just a keeper that has read too much. I dealt with coccidia and lost my boy that came to me with it. I was lucky in the fact it did not spread to my other chameleon though. It is a horrible parasite.

As far as being overweight... It can contribute to decreased organ function issues. The heavier they are the more compromised the organ function can be. It can harm the kidney's which can then lead to gout. Also can impact their ability to breathe properly depending on how much fat has filled out in their abdomen and around the actual organs. Please note Fat casque can also be infection. Specifically if there was a thermal burn to the casque prior. We have see where the swelling is not fat at all just puss and they lose part of the casque if not treated properly. I would imagine any major infection could impact this way but I really am just throwing out an idea on that one.
 

sruss

Member
That mouth definitely was bad.
The chameleon looked very skinny too...but with that mouth and the leg that way I bet he didn't eat much.
At least you gave him a chance.
Yes, this photo was directly after the abscess burst and I apparently forgot to photograph it again post-cleaning. Believe it or not, he ate hornworms with such vigor immediately after that he did not even finish one before going for the next. But appetite was day by day for him, some days he could not stop eating and would even eat from the hand, others he would eat one feeder and be done- overall, he came to me only mildly thin and lost almost 10 g before passing (51g at heaviest).
To be honest, if he hadn't had such a nice, fighting disposition, I probably would have opted to euthanize
 

sruss

Member
Check out Full throttle feeder cups. I think these would work really well for your cages. If the magnet does not work you could take large zip ties to hook it in https://www.fullthrottlefeeders.com/feedercups But it has a screen in the bottom that drains. It is what I use and I love it. You can see mine in this image on the right. It is the 3 inch diameter version.



Well I am not a vet by any means... Just a keeper that has read too much. I dealt with coccidia and lost my boy that came to me with it. I was lucky in the fact it did not spread to my other chameleon though. It is a horrible parasite.

As far as being overweight... It can contribute to decreased organ function issues. The heavier they are the more compromised the organ function can be. It can harm the kidney's which can then lead to gout. Also can impact their ability to breathe properly depending on how much fat has filled out in their abdomen and around the actual organs. Please note Fat casque can also be infection. Specifically if there was a thermal burn to the casque prior. We have see where the swelling is not fat at all just puss and they lose part of the casque if not treated properly. I would imagine any major infection could impact this way but I really am just throwing out an idea on that one.
Oh, I've looked into these cups after hearing them mentioned by Chameleon Academy but never realized they had a screen bottom. Definitely worth a second look, thank you

According to VIN, coccidia definitely appears to be of the worse parasites to end up with for them so I've been doing my best to avoid any cross-contamination

I don't believe the casque was infected since it was symmetrical and did slowly slim down as he lost weight, he didn't appear to have any scarring from burns that I noticed, and he didn't have any of the usual sick tells, aside from being an awfully easy-going chameleon who'd probably only bite if you made an attempt to pet his chin or something silly like that, excepting when his hemipenes prolapsed and post-op. But it's very interest that that's a possibility- must've made for a super interesting case. But the fat sounds like it could definitely have compromised his organs' ability to cope with the drugs and anastasia from surgery
 

sruss

Member
Are there blood tests that can test for pesticides?
No, at least not directly, or none that I know of. Generally, doctors look for tell-tale markers in the bloodwork, such as organ function and electrolyte levels, etc., with the assistance of the toxicologists at poison control to confirm/track different toxins but they're nonspecific so treatment is limited to firsthand knowledge of consumption/contamination or symptomatically based. I can't say I've ever seen or heard of any reptiles come in for the concern of pesticide poisoning personally, but I work mostly nonexotic er.
 

sruss

Member
PXL_20210712_180740590.MP.jpg


I thought I'd post an update for anyone curious- Roto (hopefully officially stating his name doesn't jinx anything) very much appreciates all the extra food (big thanks to jamesst0o0 for helping add some extra variety) but did consequently clear out my roach bin of all the babies. . . So, of course, I started two more colonies of smaller species while my discoid/dubias repopulate.
Apologies for photo quality, this is the only type of photo currently allowed lol he visibly looks larger and more filled out, had at least one quick shed. I haven't managed to find a good opportunity to weigh him to compare since I see him less and less now that the foliage is really taking off (though I often hear him hiss at me when I poke too close) and the fact that he's so extremely adverse to any type of handling, even trying to shoo him onto something is a disaster, I feel it would do more harm than any good.

In other news, with all the eggbound veileds coming through work lately, it's a miracle I haven't been stuck with one yet. I am starting to eye around for a healthy older cham to add now that I'm confident the cages are entirely disinfected and animals have been healthy for a whole four weeks now. Just one cham feels so odd but nothing is a rush given that it is summer in Florida
 
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