Mouth rot?

CalamityCrow

Avid Member
Howdy... Looking for some opinions. I think Boogie may have some mouth rot or at least something going on with his mouth. It's looked odd for a week or so but I think it's become more prominent.

Don't mind his super dull colors - he is VERY much on the verge of a shed.

It's a real struggle to get him to open his mouth but he fired up a couple days ago and I didn't see any discoloration or anyrhing like that. It's just as if his lip is swollen.

I was able to pull his lip down a bit and it didn't look like anything was amiss, but I didn't have a third hand for a camera to snap a pic.

Thoughts? Our vet list doesn't have any vets in the New Mexico/Albuquerque area so I'm going to have to find one local and hope they're good.

Also I follow the chameleon academy and chameleon forums guidelines. He's about 7mos old. He's got a 2x2x4 cage, Arcadia T5 linear light, incandescent bulb on a thermometer for heat... Max heat is 83 degrees. All live plants and calcium with no D3 every day, Repashy LoD on the 1st and 15th. He eats gutloaded (chard, collard greens, carrots, mustard greens) dubia and BSFL. He's been eating fairly normally, though I'm wondering if him going off dubias for a day or two is because his mouth is bothering him.

The only other thing I can think of is I did fine a single tiny spider in his enclosure when I was doing cleanup. I guess it's possible it's a bite, but it looks more internal to me.

Any suggestions? I'm going to call around to a couple of vets tomorrow to try and snag an appointment.
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I don’t care for the look of that lip. I was able to get mouth pics when my chams would gape at or try to attack my phone camera. With his mouth bothering him to eat dubia, it’s definitely good cause for a vet visit.
Yeah, I don't like the lip either. Lol I CANNOT get him to gape - I wiggled fingers, hovered my phone, put a picture of a panther cham on my phone and showed him that, he was just NOT into it. I even put my fingers on either side of his mouth and gently squeezed... All he did was look back at me like: This all you got?

Haha I'm gonna try and startle him, maybe get an open mouth. I DID pull his lip down just a little to take a look at the inside but it looks normal. I really don't like it that it's an odd shape there. I'll see if I can get some better pictures, but I'm definitely going to call around to some vets tomorrow.
 
Here are some snaps from video I took just now, he was entirely happy to eat dubia off my hand, no care in the world about the camera...

I don't SEE anything in his mouth but it is bowing out. I'm searching out a vet now... Sigh.

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Okay! Found a semi-local vet that sees chameleons... They're sending me a husbandry form to fill out (that appears to be a good sign in my book!) and the earliest they had available was 12 March. So I'll keep eyes on his lip and hopefully it doens't get worse. At the very least I'll have him seen and get a fecal while I'm there. Fingers crossed it's No Big Thing, and that the vet is experienced and excellent!
 
I don't like the look of the lip either... worry would be it is early stage infection... Which on the good side it is early. Bad side it is happening at all. I think I would go ahead and get into a vet and on oral antibiotics. It looks pretty puffy and it can start out that way before it looks just nasty inside the mouth.
 
I don't like the look of the lip either... worry would be it is early stage infection... Which on the good side it is early. Bad side it is happening at all. I think I would go ahead and get into a vet and on oral antibiotics. It looks pretty puffy and it can start out that way before it looks just nasty inside the mouth.
Thanks! Hopefully waiting another couple weeks won't be horrible, as I at least HAVE an appointment now. If it starts getting worse quick I'll try and find another place to go. The worst part is I'm going out of town for the next 5 days anyway so of COURSE I'll be worrying about him the whole time. I have to imagine he must have bumped his mouth on something or... something. I haven't fed him anything that can bite, so unless something got in there, I'm at a loss.

Can mouth rot just pop up sometimes?
 
Thanks! Hopefully waiting another couple weeks won't be horrible, as I at least HAVE an appointment now. If it starts getting worse quick I'll try and find another place to go. The worst part is I'm going out of town for the next 5 days anyway so of COURSE I'll be worrying about him the whole time. I have to imagine he must have bumped his mouth on something or... something. I haven't fed him anything that can bite, so unless something got in there, I'm at a loss.

Can mouth rot just pop up sometimes?
Yep say they decide to be a brat and bite a branch wrong... This can create a small wound where mouth rot can develop.
 
Yep say they decide to be a brat and bite a branch wrong... This can create a small wound where mouth rot can develop.
Yeeeep okay that makes sense. That goober head makes me worry. Thanks for the input! I am always on this forum reading through posts but information sure does hit different when it's your own little one.
 
Shoot I'm sorry to hear this. Please keep us updated on your beautiful boy. ❤️
Will do. The vet I called sent me a whole husbandry sheet to fill out, asking BASICALLY what we ask here! They asked for the issue, if I have any other pets, what his enclosure is like, what's in it, what my lighting/heat sources are, what my UVB lamp is, what my supplements are, how I'm measuring heat and humidity, what I'm feeding, what I'm gutloading, etc. etc. So I'm hopeful that a visit with them will be a positive one and we can add a New Mexico vet to your list. My fingers are crossed it all goes well!
 
Will do. The vet I called sent me a whole husbandry sheet to fill out, asking BASICALLY what we ask here! They asked for the issue, if I have any other pets, what his enclosure is like, what's in it, what my lighting/heat sources are, what my UVB lamp is, what my supplements are, how I'm measuring heat and humidity, what I'm feeding, what I'm gutloading, etc. etc. So I'm hopeful that a visit with them will be a positive one and we can add a New Mexico vet to your list. My fingers are crossed it all goes well!
I love that! If you have a good experience with them, please share their contact info with me so I can update our vet sheet.
 
Will do. The vet I called sent me a whole husbandry sheet to fill out, asking BASICALLY what we ask here! They asked for the issue, if I have any other pets, what his enclosure is like, what's in it, what my lighting/heat sources are, what my UVB lamp is, what my supplements are, how I'm measuring heat and humidity, what I'm feeding, what I'm gutloading, etc. etc. So I'm hopeful that a visit with them will be a positive one and we can add a New Mexico vet to your list. My fingers are crossed it all goes well!
Sounds really promising that they know reptiles at least. 🤞
 
Sounds really promising that they know reptiles at least. 🤞
Yeah, I asked if they had experience with chameleons specifically and they said yes buuuut who knows what that means. This place does a lot. Dogs, cats, and most exotics. Birds, ferrets, hedgehogs, reptiles, turtles (but I repeat myself), etc. It has great reviews overall on Google so I am praying they're great!
 
So I'm back from my trip and was relieved to not come home to a dead Cham (lol the anxiety is real!). In fact, his mouth actually looks better I think. Still gonna keep the vet appointment anyway just for a fecal for peace of mind and to establish a rapport with them, but hopefully this is gonna come to nothing! First Pic is this morning, the last one was a week ago (also he FINALLY shed, so now he's looking much more bright lol)
 

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Had my vet visit! Boogie's mouth really seemed to clear up on its own before today but I went ahead and kept the appointment.

Sadly, he didn't give me a fresh fecal to bring in but they said I'd be able to drop one off.

They LOVED him there! They don't get a ton of panthers so he got to take a tour and see the whole staff lol. They loved him and he was such a good boy.

The vet was amazing with him. He wasn't interested in gaping puffing up even when she gently palpated him to check for abnormalities (he's a chill dude) but she was magic. She let him climb onto her shirt and was able to gently put a hand around him in a way that made him both upset enough to give her a big 'ol open mouth, AND he didn't wiggle around too much. She was able to get a real good look and deemed him nice and healthy. She handled him carefully and delicately, encouraging him to be "big mad scary Cham" and didn't force anything.

He's 50 grams even, and about 8 months old. She said he's got a nice strong grip, no soft spots in his bones or jaw, and that he's in great shape. If I have any more concerns I'm welcomed back/advised to give a call for sure.

She also thought my husbandry was excellent and lamented how much bad info was out there for these guys. She called them the "birds of the reptile world" in that their husbandry is veeeery specific. I mentioned it before but they wanted a full husbandry form filled out for him prior to the visit and they asked all the right questions, and reviewed it with me when I got there.

All in all, it was an excellent experience and I'd definitely recommend this vet! @elizaann2 here's the vet info if you want to add to the list. I missed the vet's name but looking at the staff list I believe I listed the correct person.

Southwest Veterinary Medical Center
10141 Coors Blvd NW Suite A
Albuquerque, NM 87114
(505) 890-8810
Email: [email protected]
Vet I saw: Dr. Laura Hedemann

And of course, a couple pictures of Boogie while we waited to be seen. He was a bit fired up (understandably), and his colors are coming in so pretty!
 

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