Maggot inside jackson cheek

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
This vendor has hundreds of complaints against them on the reptile feedback boards, don’t know how they are still in business.

Parasites can and do transfer to live bearing females. Without a solid ID on this parasite we will never know the source, which honestly is irrelevant anyway.

The only path forward for you is to see a vet.
I'm with you guys on this vendor being shady and parasites being transmitted to young, however in this case I doubt that's what it is. An infected temporal gland is maggot heaven. See a vet or let your chameleon die are your options.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Aren't "most" jacksons wild caught in hawaii? Like 95%. I didnt even think there was a captive bred market for them other than a few hobbyist.
 

KevinMcI

New Member
Years ago I bought a juvenile Parson's from them for $1800. It was shipped to me in the NE in a cold month. When I opened the outer cardboard shipping box, the heat pack was taped to the OUTSIDE of the styrofoam container, making it totally useless. The Cham was cold and lethargic when I opened the box. I brought him in warmed him up as soon as I could. He died 3 days later. I had contacted them and told them how I found him when he arrived. When I informed them that he had died, they blamed it on me for not hydating him properly. I had worked in a reptile dept at a zoo in the past and have been taking care of reptiles for over 60 years. I previously had a pair of Parsons that I kept for over 8 years. Their solution was to replace it with a Panther chameleon. Buyer beware.
 

Jevin

Chameleon Enthusiast
Years ago I bought a juvenile Parson's from them for $1800. It was shipped to me in the NE in a cold month. When I opened the outer cardboard shipping box, the heat pack was taped to the OUTSIDE of the styrofoam container, making it totally useless. The Cham was cold and lethargic when I opened the box. I brought him in warmed him up as soon as I could. He died 3 days later. I had contacted them and told them how I found him when he arrived. When I informed them that he had died, they blamed it on me for not hydating him properly. I had worked in a reptile dept at a zoo in the past and have been taking care of reptiles for over 60 years. I previously had a pair of Parsons that I kept for over 8 years. Their solution was to replace it with a Panther chameleon. Buyer beware.
Not going to lie, your experience really annoys me, they were clearly at fault, but reading their fine print, it doesn't surprise me in the least and I am infuriated that they think a Panther Chameleon is a suitable replacement for a Parsons Chameleon. The first red flag other than the name was also the price of the chams they had seemed too good to be true, and found out it was because they were majority wild caught.
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
Back to the important part of the subject this chameleon needs to see a vet and begin antibiotic treatment for the temporal gland infection. Chances are the fly was attracted to the area by the infection and glandular secretions. If there is any inflammation and infection it can spread quickly and be life threatening if not treated ASAP.
Do you have a reliable reptile vet? Do you need us to help you find one? If so, in what city and state are you located?
 

Jevin

Chameleon Enthusiast
Some pics from different angles like from above and from the front could also be helpful, but vet visit is definitely a must. Out of curiosity, how long did the other two chams you got from Underground Reptiles live for @Carmstrong?
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
The worm could be a maggot or a filariasis worm or maybe something else....we don't know without seeing it and even then we might not be able to identify it.

We also don't know if there is an infection in that area or not or if there is if it was caused by the worm or attracted the worm.

What I do think/know is that if its filarial worm it will need to be treated by a vet. If it's a maggot that resulted from an insect laying it there as an egg there could be more and it would be best to see a vet to check and clean it out. If there is an infection in there that attracted the worm then it still needs a vet to deal with it. So IMHO if it were mine I would take it to a vet. Just my opinion.
 

Carmstrong

New Member
Yesterday me and my boyfriend noticed our 9 month old jackson had a swollen cheek and assumed it was a swollen temporal gland like they are prone to and have been cleaning it with recommended products. Tonight we went to go clean his cheek once again except when we wiped it down with warm water we noticed something moving inside got a pair of tweezers and he had a tiny maggot inside his cheek. The picture was taken yesterday after I noticed his swollen cheek but we just removed the maggot and cleaned the area. Was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on how to help his cheek heal quicker or any general info would be appreciated.
For all who are wondering after I originally posted this I ordered mouth rot gaurd on amazon. While waiting for that to come cleaned his face daily with peroxide and iodine. Once the rotgaurd arrived aas applied that to the area. About a week later it was already closed up and scabbed over. Scab fell off a little but ago and hes been a happy chameleon since. But if anyone every faces this issue dont believe the people that tell you your chameleon is about to die just handle it quickly and with care.
 

Attachments

Connorology

Established Member
I'm happy to hear your chameleon improved without veterinary intervention. To be fair though, the advice to seek veterinary care was good advice. Like humans or any other animal, chameleons can improve spontaneously, or spiral and get worse. Reptiles also don't clear infections as well as mammals. Without early treatment, reptiles tend to wall them off as abscesses that never get broken down without surgical debridement, and they can become a more difficult/expensive problem later.

It's really hard to tell how bad an illness/injury is without examining the animal. Generally speaking, chameleons are not known for recovering well once illness is bad enough that keepers notice. That's why folks on here repeat "go to the vet" as a mantra. You can get lucky, and I am glad to hear that you were, but in general self treating with herbal remedies from Amazon is probably not the approach that is most likely to yield a positive outcome.

I do understand it is hard to find experienced exotics veterinarians, and I am glad that you were able to achieve a positive outcome without veterinary access. I would still encourage others with similar problems to consult a veterinarian early though.
 

Goose502

Chameleon Enthusiast
I would error on the side of cation and still look for a good vet. A fecal should be done as nearly all Jackson chameleons are wild caught or born out of wild caught females. I’ve never purchased from underground, but have watched where YouTube videos in the past. They seem to technically breed only a handful of species(mainly tegus), and offer hundreds of varieties. I know Brian Barcheck just purchased their two headed snapping turtle. This is mainly a whole seller who will offer to us private keepers as well. The guy who seems to run the place is very familiar to me as he was involved in America Top Teams MMA years ago. He appears pretty genuine to me though looks can be deceiving. Again, please as suggested look for a good exotics to look your chameleon over, it’s money well spent.
 

skoram

Established Member
Very glad your Jacksons seems better. Ultimately that is the most important thing.

I also give you credit for proactively purchasing medication and treating him. That is a lot better than doing nothing and hoping your cham gets better. With that said, you definitely rolled the dice by not taking him to a vet. Posts like your last one may encourage others to roll the dice and they may not be so lucky.
 

Mawtyplant

Avid Member
Quite confident it was a maggot but you could be right the problem is I am in a very rural area with little to no reptile vets let alone ones with chameleon experience
I think a picture of the maggot might be useful, sometime when a reptile got TGI or infection xyz, a fly can simple ly some eggs close to the chameleons pouch while he sleep so, is the maggot was sub cutaneous or from some part of the mouth?
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
You were very lucky that nursing care without antibiotics was enough to save your chameleon. Not everyone would be so lucky. I agree that a temporal gland infection is not a death sentence but it is best if treated professionally with debridement and antibiotics. Good nursing care is important also.
The maggot might have been part of what saved your little guy. The fly that laid the egg was probably attracted to the early signs of the infection. Specially treated maggots are being used in human medicine to debride or clean delicate wounds rather than surgery. Some maggots will only eat dead tissue and will leave healthy tissue intact. Unfortunately the maggot can leave toxins behind in the wound so have to be managed by medical staff so I'm not recommending randomly putting maggots in wounds (as if you ever would). I'm suggesting he cleaned the infected area and you found him in time to prevent negative effects.
At this point I would double check your temperatures and humidity along with general husbandry to ensure he does not get another infection.
I'm glad you had had positive out come.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
For all who are wondering after I originally posted this I ordered mouth rot gaurd on amazon. While waiting for that to come cleaned his face daily with peroxide and iodine. Once the rotgaurd arrived aas applied that to the area. About a week later it was already closed up and scabbed over. Scab fell off a little but ago and hes been a happy chameleon since. But if anyone every faces this issue dont believe the people that tell you your chameleon is about to die just handle it quickly and with care.
You're an idiot. I'll just leave it at that.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom