May be in need of another vet visit

I took Fred to the vet last time, as you guys suggested, and he didn't have days left to live. The vet looked at him and told me he was absolutely fine, that my husbandry looks great and the only thing I need to fix is my lighting (which I already suspected). I didn't do a fecal but I know for a fact that he doesn't have parasites. He has no more symptoms of parasites and since my visit I upped the wattage of his lightbulb. I woke up today and Fred looked really pale. He's been a little pale the past few days. He's usually more vibrant than he has been. I know that he's been happy and his natural colors are super vibrant. He is a chromatic chameleon and his bloodline is naturally very vibrant. I know what his natural colors look like so please trust my observation when I tell you guys he's brighter or darker than usual. I checked on him at around 11am (2 hours after lights go on) and he was asleep! I know this is usually a sign of severe illness/stress. I am almost positive he's just constipated and stressed from it. Please don't tell me he's been impacted because he does not eat dirt! He has rocks over most of his plants so he can not eat dirt! He does not eat the leaves in his enclosure! One more time for the people in the back, he's just constipated! I cleaned out his cage a couple days ago and found this huge gross poop so this confirms he has constipation issues. Like I said, I've adjusted my lighting so he should be able to digest things properly now. Please leave me with some advice on how to treat constipation. It may seem like this post is a bit aggressive but that's because last time I was on the forums I got bad advice and ended up wasting 2 and a half hours and $100. I will take the advice I get for treating constipation and keep in mind I'm not just being stubborn or ignorant. If these remedies don't work by tommrow I will be taking him to see the vet. My vet plans on an x-ray and exam which will likely run my mother a couple more hours and $500. We have to go out of town Sunday and if I have to board him with my local vet I will. I really need advice on how to treat constipation so if anyone knows thank you very much! There's a picture of the poop I found the other day and a picture of him today. I will be taking him to the vet if the remedies don't work. I'm aware of how bad day-sleeping is and how bad he looks. There's evidence of constipation which is usually only life-threating if no action is taken. He will live to see tomorrow and I'd rather try to treat it at home before we spend $500 on vet treatment.
 

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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Can you please show me where it was said "he didn't have days left to live". (I did see the suggestion about taking him to the vet. This is a normal suggestion when we don't have a definite answer and there is something said to be wrong.)
 

PoseidonTheChameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I will also say the only reason I got my cham checked for parasites is because he wasn't growing, he was a baby and yours is not so you may not notice any symptoms of parasites. Its always a good idea to get them checked as chameleons are good at hiding things.
 
Can you please show me where it was said "he didn't have days left to live". (I did see the suggestion about taking him to the vet. This is a normal suggestion when we don't have a definite answer and there is something said to be wrong.)
I meant that it was suggested that I take him to the vet, but the way people were responding to the forum made it seem like his condition was critical and his situation was an emergency. It can be a little bit overwhelming for a first time reptile owner to see panic in responses and to be told he needs to be seen at a vets office as soon as possible. It made the situation seem very urgent and possibly life-threating.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
To quote the advice I gave you when he had diarrhea and dehydration, “I would suggest a vet visit with a fecal to check for parasites.”. I can’t apologize for how you perceived that. Putting that in the past and moving on....
Have you tried giving him some hornworms? The additional hydration they provide may help lubricate and help the poo pass.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
I would give him a little liquid calcium everyday and some Reptaboost. Mix the Repta boost runny so to help keep him hydrated.

If your weather permits some outside time works wonders for these guys. If you take him back to the vet make sure you take him to a vet that is knowledgeable with chameleons. Where are you located? I might be able to recommend a good vet.
 

aleagueofherown

Established Member
Great advice here, especially from @MissSkittles and @jannb. I know how frustrating it can be when you're feeling attacked and panicked. Think - most new people here feel that way because they are overwhelmed by the amount of husbandry mistakes they're already making. And with something medical (because chameleons are fragile, sensitive assholes), it is taken more seriously because there have been cases in the past of people not taking corrective action before it was too late. So while I understand your approach, you must also put yourself in the shoes of someone on the other side of the line.

That being said, I have not read the husbandry on your previous post, so I apologize if this is repetitive.

- When was his last void?
- What are your current humidity values and how do you observe them? (What device do you use to measure?)
- Do you have a sufficient drinking area for him, and how often do you observe him using it?
- How often and when do you mist him, or do you have a misting system? If so, when is it set for?
- What color are his urates now?
- How long has it been since you made the previous changes to his enclosure?

Dehydration can cause constipation, so it is important to consider them both. A chameleon that is too dehydrated will be met with chronic constipation. I am not an expert on this, but I have seen some cases of it with other reptiles (I have previously owned other species, this is my first chameleon).
 
I took Fred to the vet last time, as you guys suggested, and he didn't have days left to live. The vet looked at him and told me he was absolutely fine, that my husbandry looks great and the only thing I need to fix is my lighting (which I already suspected). I didn't do a fecal but I know for a fact that he doesn't have parasites. He has no more symptoms of parasites and since my visit I upped the wattage of his lightbulb. I woke up today and Fred looked really pale. He's been a little pale the past few days. He's usually more vibrant than he has been. I know that he's been happy and his natural colors are super vibrant. He is a chromatic chameleon and his bloodline is naturally very vibrant. I know what his natural colors look like so please trust my observation when I tell you guys he's brighter or darker than usual. I checked on him at around 11am (2 hours after lights go on) and he was asleep! I know this is usually a sign of severe illness/stress. I am almost positive he's just constipated and stressed from it. Please don't tell me he's been impacted because he does not eat dirt! He has rocks over most of his plants so he can not eat dirt! He does not eat the leaves in his enclosure! One more time for the people in the back, he's just constipated! I cleaned out his cage a couple days ago and found this huge gross poop so this confirms he has constipation issues. Like I said, I've adjusted my lighting so he should be able to digest things properly now. Please leave me with some advice on how to treat constipation. It may seem like this post is a bit aggressive but that's because last time I was on the forums I got bad advice and ended up wasting 2 and a half hours and $100. I will take the advice I get for treating constipation and keep in mind I'm not just being stubborn or ignorant. If these remedies don't work by tommrow I will be taking him to see the vet. My vet plans on an x-ray and exam which will likely run my mother a couple more hours and $500. We have to go out of town Sunday and if I have to board him with my local vet I will. I really need advice on how to treat constipation so if anyone knows thank you very much! There's a picture of the poop I found the other day and a picture of him today. I will be taking him to the vet if the remedies don't work. I'm aware of how bad day-sleeping is and how bad he looks. There's evidence of constipation which is usually only life-threating if no action is taken. He will live to see tomorrow and I'd rather try to treat it at home before we spend $500 on vet treatment.
I took Fred to the vet last time as suggested, and his situation was not as severe as it seemed. The vet looked at him and told me he was absolutely fine, that my husbandry looks great, and the only thing I need to fix is my lighting (which I had previously suspected). My takeaway is that the trip was an unnecessary stressor for him. He was not handled by me because only one person is allowed in with him and while he is my pet I'm still a minor so my mom had to go in. While I'm confident I was recommend to the vet with the best intentions for my cham our visit was a terrible experience (which is not the fault of anyone here on the forums). I didn't do a fecal because when he went to the vet I had no poo to bring and he still hasn't produced any to be tested. It's highly unlikely he has parasites, he has no more symptoms of parasites. I add this so we can rule it out. I did research on where he could potentially get parasites from and he was never exposed to any of those things while under my care. Since my last vet visit I upped the wattage of his lightbulb which seemed to be the primary/only problem. I woke up today and Fred looked really pale. He's been a little pale the past few days. He's usually more vibrant than he has been. I know that when he is happy his natural colors are super vibrant. He is a chromatic chameleon and his bloodline is naturally very vibrant. I know what his natural colors look like so please trust my observation when I tell you guys he's brighter or darker than usual. I add this as a baseline for comparison when assessing his coloring. I checked on him at around 11am (2 hours after lights go on) and he was asleep! I know this is usually a sign of severe illness/stress. I add this you all know I am aware of it. I am almost positive he's just constipated and stressed from it. Fred usually does not eat dirt, or leaves out of his cage. Rocks have been placed over the soil of any potted plants. I add this so impaction can be ruled out. I cleaned out his cage a couple days ago and found this huge gross poop so this confirms he has constipation issues. Like I said, I've adjusted my lighting so he should be able to digest things properly now. Please leave me with some advice on how to treat constipation. I add this because I'm going out of town soon and I don't have time to try and treat things that can possibly be ruled out. The original version of this post was written in a very agitated tone and that was because the last time I was on the forums i was told to take my animal in to the vet and it ended up being an unnecessary visit and a bad experience (again not the fault of anyone here on the forums). The visit ended up being a waste of time and money. Vet visits are not taken lightly in my household, they are treated like visits to the doctor (which we don't take unless something is seriously wrong). When nothing turned out to be wrong I was scolded because it was a waste. I will take the advice I get for treating constipation. I'm not just being stubborn or ignorant by choosing to try and treat this at home first unlike others who refuse to go get their animals checked out just because they don't want to. If these remedies don't work by tommrow I will be taking him to see the vet. My vet plans on an x-ray and exam which will probably cost us about 2 hours and $500. We have to go out of town Sunday and if I can board him with my local vet I will. I really need advice on how to treat constipation. Constipation is what I believe to be the cause of his behavior and ailment so I need advice on this right away so he has the chance to be helped quickly before we leave. If anyone knows thank you very much! There's a picture of the poop I found the other day and a picture of him today. I will be taking him to the vet if the remedies don't work. I'm aware of how bad day-sleeping is and how bad he looks. There's evidence of constipation which is usually only life-threating if no action is taken. He will live to see tomorrow and I'd rather try to treat it at home before we spend $500 on vet treatment. People on the forums are very well-meaning and I appreciate the help I get here. I get there are a lot of cases of negligence when it comes to these reptiles so you guys have to emphasize the gravity of a situation sometimes. While I will try to be more understanding of this in the future it is also very worrying to be told your animal needs to be taken to the vet straight away. Again, in my home we don't go to see doctors unless things are severe. Unless there's vomiting, diarrhea, or severe fever we don't go. The last time we needed to rush one or animals to a vet they died so please understand that telling some owners to take their animals to go see a vet can be a serious cause for alarm.

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To quote the advice I gave you when he had diarrhea and dehydration, “I would suggest a vet visit with a fecal to check for parasites.”. I can’t apologize for how you perceived that. Putting that in the past and moving on....
Have you tried giving him some hornworms? The additional hydration they provide may help lubricate and help the poo pass.
I went to my local pet shop and picked up some hornworms for hydration and superworms for some extra fiber. I will offer them tommrow though he didn't like them very much the last time they were offered. I think he was just intimated by their size though, so I got some smaller ones this time. I've revised the post I made earlier today, and I think that should help give more accurate representation of what I was meaning to say. Thank you for the tip! It is seriously, greatly appreciated.
 

aleagueofherown

Established Member
I took Fred to the vet last time as suggested, and his situation was not as severe as it seemed. The vet looked at him and told me he was absolutely fine, that my husbandry looks great, and the only thing I need to fix is my lighting (which I had previously suspected). My takeaway is that the trip was an unnecessary stressor for him. He was not handled by me because only one person is allowed in with him and while he is my pet I'm still a minor so my mom had to go in. While I'm confident I was recommend to the vet with the best intentions for my cham our visit was a terrible experience (which is not the fault of anyone here on the forums). I didn't do a fecal because when he went to the vet I had no poo to bring and he still hasn't produced any to be tested. It's highly unlikely he has parasites, he has no more symptoms of parasites. I add this so we can rule it out. I did research on where he could potentially get parasites from and he was never exposed to any of those things while under my care. Since my last vet visit I upped the wattage of his lightbulb which seemed to be the primary/only problem. I woke up today and Fred looked really pale. He's been a little pale the past few days. He's usually more vibrant than he has been. I know that when he is happy his natural colors are super vibrant. He is a chromatic chameleon and his bloodline is naturally very vibrant. I know what his natural colors look like so please trust my observation when I tell you guys he's brighter or darker than usual. I add this as a baseline for comparison when assessing his coloring. I checked on him at around 11am (2 hours after lights go on) and he was asleep! I know this is usually a sign of severe illness/stress. I add this you all know I am aware of it. I am almost positive he's just constipated and stressed from it. Fred usually does not eat dirt, or leaves out of his cage. Rocks have been placed over the soil of any potted plants. I add this so impaction can be ruled out. I cleaned out his cage a couple days ago and found this huge gross poop so this confirms he has constipation issues. Like I said, I've adjusted my lighting so he should be able to digest things properly now. Please leave me with some advice on how to treat constipation. I add this because I'm going out of town soon and I don't have time to try and treat things that can possibly be ruled out. The original version of this post was written in a very agitated tone and that was because the last time I was on the forums i was told to take my animal in to the vet and it ended up being an unnecessary visit and a bad experience (again not the fault of anyone here on the forums). The visit ended up being a waste of time and money. Vet visits are not taken lightly in my household, they are treated like visits to the doctor (which we don't take unless something is seriously wrong). When nothing turned out to be wrong I was scolded because it was a waste. I will take the advice I get for treating constipation. I'm not just being stubborn or ignorant by choosing to try and treat this at home first unlike others who refuse to go get their animals checked out just because they don't want to. If these remedies don't work by tommrow I will be taking him to see the vet. My vet plans on an x-ray and exam which will probably cost us about 2 hours and $500. We have to go out of town Sunday and if I can board him with my local vet I will. I really need advice on how to treat constipation. Constipation is what I believe to be the cause of his behavior and ailment so I need advice on this right away so he has the chance to be helped quickly before we leave. If anyone knows thank you very much! There's a picture of the poop I found the other day and a picture of him today. I will be taking him to the vet if the remedies don't work. I'm aware of how bad day-sleeping is and how bad he looks. There's evidence of constipation which is usually only life-threating if no action is taken. He will live to see tomorrow and I'd rather try to treat it at home before we spend $500 on vet treatment. People on the forums are very well-meaning and I appreciate the help I get here. I get there are a lot of cases of negligence when it comes to these reptiles so you guys have to emphasize the gravity of a situation sometimes. While I will try to be more understanding of this in the future it is also very worrying to be told your animal needs to be taken to the vet straight away. Again, in my home we don't go to see doctors unless things are severe. Unless there's vomiting, diarrhea, or severe fever we don't go. The last time we needed to rush one or animals to a vet they died so please understand that telling some owners to take their animals to go see a vet can be a serious cause for alarm.

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This may come off as harsh, but I believe it needs to be said. I apologize if it is perceived in the wrong way, as my intention is only to assist. Humans are not like chameleons. Our definition of something being "seriously wrong" is laughable in comparison to reptile veterinary needs. As it has been recorded in the past (both here on the forums, and in scientific studies), reptiles (especially chameleons) will often not indicate illness or disease until it is close to "too late". In the fashion which a dog hides a limp, chameleons will follow suit. For this reason, many symptoms and signs are taken very, very seriously. The thing is, just because your first vet visit was "pointless and expensive" does not mean that your chameleon does not need care. If the vet is not well-versed in chameleons specifically (not just reptiles), it could make or break your situation. Even experienced chameleon vets miss something sometimes.

Again, I am not trying to sound like a worry wart. But, animals are an extreme financial responsibility. Their care is to be taken seriously. If you or your family have the money to purchase an animal, you should plan to have even more to pay for their vet bills over the course of their lifetime. Especially a chameleon. I would not rule out parasites just because you believe your chameleon has not been exposed to any. The first thing that anyone says about owning a chameleon is to get a fecal done.

I hope that your attitude toward veterinary visits changes. I appreciate that you are willing to go in tomorrow (because it is likely needed), but I urge you not to feel so jaded toward the care of your reptile. You'll be better off for it, and he will be too.
 
Can you please show me where it was said "he didn't have days left to live". (I did see the suggestion about taking him to the vet. This is a normal suggestion when we don't have a definite answer and there is something said to be wrong.)
I appreciate all the help I get here on the forums. I understand why that advice was given. I've since made a revision which was made with better use of my communication skills. I had to make my last post between classes, while on a lunch break, in the middle of three different phone calls to vets and a message left to the breeder. I don't like the way I worded the last one and I hope the new revision is a little bit more insightful.
 
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aleagueofherown

Established Member
I appreciate all the help I get here on the forums. I understand why that advice was given. I've since made a revision which was made with better use of my communication skills. I had to make my last post between classes, while on a lunch break, in the middle of three different phone calls to vets and a message left to the breeder. I don't like the way I worded the last one and I hop the new revision is a little bit more insightful.
Having read this, I apologize if I came off too strong in my last comment here. Thank you for re-wording and clarifying! It is normal to feel this persistent anxiety regarding the care of these fragile guys. Sending Fred well wishes!

Liv
 
This may come off as harsh, but I believe it needs to be said. I apologize if it is perceived in the wrong way, as my intention is only to assist. Humans are not like chameleons. Our definition of something being "seriously wrong" is laughable in comparison to reptile veterinary needs. As it has been recorded in the past (both here on the forums, and in scientific studies), reptiles (especially chameleons) will often not indicate illness or disease until it is close to "too late". In the fashion which a dog hides a limp, chameleons will follow suit. For this reason, many symptoms and signs are taken very, very seriously. The thing is, just because your first vet visit was "pointless and expensive" does not mean that your chameleon does not need care. If the vet is not well-versed in chameleons specifically (not just reptiles), it could make or break your situation. Even experienced chameleon vets miss something sometimes.

Again, I am not trying to sound like a worry wart. But, animals are an extreme financial responsibility. Their care is to be taken seriously. If you or your family have the money to purchase an animal, you should plan to have even more to pay for their vet bills over the course of their lifetime. Especially a chameleon. I would not rule out parasites just because you believe your chameleon has not been exposed to any. The first thing that anyone says about owning a chameleon is to get a fecal done.

I hope that your attitude toward veterinary visits changes. I appreciate that you are willing to go in tomorrow (because it is likely needed), but I urge you not to feel so jaded toward the care of your reptile. You'll be better off for it, and he will be too.
I think I've found a better vet in my area, and I share your optimism when it comes to getting Fred a better vet. I do get worried about him, and unfortunately the decision to take him to the vet is not all mine. I can't drive there or pay for it by myself. Fortunately my parents are starting to realize he's super high maintenance and are concerned by the same symptoms that would ordinarily be brushed off. I care a great deal for my reptile and I only want the best for him, as soon as I can get him to poop, it'll be sent off to a lab. I didn't have anything to send before and it wasn't as pressing of an issue since he was examined and then determined to be in good health not too long ago. I hope he doesn't need to be seen again because it's a very stressful situation for him but I'm definitely willing to take him in.
 
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I would give him a little liquid calcium everyday and some Reptaboost. Mix the Repta boost runny so to help keep him hydrated.

If your weather permits some outside time works wonders for these guys. If you take him back to the vet make sure you take him to a vet that is knowledgeable with chameleons. Where are you located? I might be able to recommend a good vet.
Thank you! I don't have any liquid calcium and I don't know if I'll be able to get any before I go away, but I did pick up some Repta-boost. If I have time, do you know where I'd be able to pick up the liquid calcium? I will defiantly let Fred have some time in the sun after it starts to shine over here, it's been cold :( We live in Las Vegas (which I wish was the sunshine state right about now). Thanks for your help, I hope to hear back on the vet!
 
Great advice here, especially from @MissSkittles and @jannb. I know how frustrating it can be when you're feeling attacked and panicked. Think - most new people here feel that way because they are overwhelmed by the amount of husbandry mistakes they're already making. And with something medical (because chameleons are fragile, sensitive assholes), it is taken more seriously because there have been cases in the past of people not taking corrective action before it was too late. So while I understand your approach, you must also put yourself in the shoes of someone on the other side of the line.

That being said, I have not read the husbandry on your previous post, so I apologize if this is repetitive.

- When was his last void?
- What are your current humidity values and how do you observe them? (What device do you use to measure?)
- Do you have a sufficient drinking area for him, and how often do you observe him using it?
- How often and when do you mist him, or do you have a misting system? If so, when is it set for?
- What color are his urates now?
- How long has it been since you made the previous changes to his enclosure?

Dehydration can cause constipation, so it is important to consider them both. A chameleon that is too dehydrated will be met with chronic constipation. I am not an expert on this, but I have seen some cases of it with other reptiles (I have previously owned other species, this is my first chameleon).
That's okay I've made a lot of changes since then so it needs to be updated anyway
-Not sure what a void is
-His humidity is between 20 and 40% depending on weather or not I have the fogger on
Humidity is measured with: Humidity and thermometer combo on the outside of the front panel of his cage.
-Yes, he has a dripper which is on the opposite side of his basking spot
Yes but rarely since he'll only drink when I'm there when he's really thirsty
- Urates are bright white but liquid
- He got a grand update but I don't quite remember when, might've been closer to last month or the month before that (will post new pics of enclosure in the morning) I changed the lightbulb to a true 75 watt about 3 days ago though
- I don't think he's dehydrated but there's always a chance. I'll treat him as such until he's back in good health :)
Thank you! I have a major deadline today but I'll be back with an update soon
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you! I don't have any liquid calcium and I don't know if I'll be able to get any before I go away, but I did pick up some Repta-boost. If I have time, do you know where I'd be able to pick up the liquid calcium? I will defiantly let Fred have some time in the sun after it starts to shine over here, it's been cold :( We live in Las Vegas (which I wish was the sunshine state right about now). Thanks for your help, I hope to hear back on the vet!
I get my liquid calcium from my vet. I check Amazon and see if they have the right kind.
 

aleagueofherown

Established Member
That's okay I've made a lot of changes since then so it needs to be updated anyway
-Not sure what a void is
-His humidity is between 20 and 40% depending on weather or not I have the fogger on
Humidity is measured with: Humidity and thermometer combo on the outside of the front panel of his cage.
-Yes, he has a dripper which is on the opposite side of his basking spot
Yes but rarely since he'll only drink when I'm there when he's really thirsty
- Urates are bright white but liquid
- He got a grand update but I don't quite remember when, might've been closer to last month or the month before that (will post new pics of enclosure in the morning) I changed the lightbulb to a true 75 watt about 3 days ago though
- I don't think he's dehydrated but there's always a chance. I'll treat him as such until he's back in good health :)
Thank you! I have a major deadline today but I'll be back with an update soon
Apologies, void = bowel movement.
- You said the combo is measured on the outside of the front panel of his cage. Do you also have a probe set up at his basking branch where his back would normally be?
- When do you normally turn the fogger on? I would record the humidity/temp in a journal or on a piece of paper to check consistency.
- Do you have a Solarmeter? What is his measurement at his basking branch?
- Again, how often/how do you mist?
 
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