My girl scared me

Discussion in 'Health Clinic' started by Ralph Paine, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Ralph Paine

    Ralph Paine New Member

    Been worried for a few days as my girl had gotten dark and kinda grumpy. Wasn't interested in eating much but was drinking. Was thinking she might have been getting ill but then today she literally exploded into a full body shed. With other reptiles I have had in the past this would totally explain her behavior so I'm hoping it's nothing serious. Been keeping her well misted and have seen her drinking from the leaves and screen on my cage. She has both basking and uvb lighting. (dual-dome fixture right now but will be getting a new t8 fluorescent when beardies new one comes in for new terrarium.)
     

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  2. jajeanpierre

    jajeanpierre Chameleon Enthusiast

    Unless she is pulling in her eyes because her picture is being taken--and MANY chameleons do--something is going on besides a shed.er Heyes look very sunken in. She looks very dehydrated, ill or in pain. Or she hates her picture being taken.

    The eyes should not be sunk in like that.

    I don't believe chameleons care about shedding. A shed happens when lymph tissue floods in between the two outermost layers of skin. This separated the shedding skin from the layer beneath. The lymph fluid then basically dries, leaving the shed separated which falls off. I've never found a shed bothers them at all unless it impedes them such as not being able to use their feet because of a build up of shed or when it bothers their eyes. Snakes are different. They have no eyelids and instead have a scale on top of their eye which needs to shed. When they shed, their vision becomes compromised. That doesn't happen with chameleons.

    Here's a picture of a juvenile baby of mine who was not at all hampered by the shed that was until 5 seconds before that photo, covering her face and eyes. She didn't care about the shed, eating cricket and a bit piece of shed to boot.

    20170416_143906.jpg
     
    Lizzie The Chameleon likes this.
  3. Ralph Paine

    Ralph Paine New Member

    Here is a closeup in better light. I think she shadows were making things look a lot worse.
     

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  4. jajeanpierre

    jajeanpierre Chameleon Enthusiast

    Those are sunken eyes if that is how she normally looks. I've had a few that naturally had deeply recessed eyes but I don't really think that's the case here. It could be, though.

    I suggest you mist her a at least three times for a good 10 minutes. This really can't be done by hand which is why I firmly believe every chameleon from $40 veiled from Petsmart to ones worth thousands needs--needs!--and automatic misting system.
     
    Lizzie The Chameleon likes this.
  5. Ralph Paine

    Ralph Paine New Member

    Working on the misting system setup now. I have been spraying down her entire cage and also melting ice cubes on the top to create "rain" I can't afford $100 for a new misting system right now as I just had to repair our home a/c over the weekend and we don't get paid again for about a month. If you know of a good DIY or low end system I can get by with for a month or so let me know. I am home 24/7 so I can handle misting frequently etc.
     
  6. Ralph Paine

    Ralph Paine New Member

    Tonight on top of misting I took a dropper and got her to drink a little from it. Figure I will do that every few hours until she get's back to normal. On a positive note I should be able to get a monsoon this week if things work out.
     
  7. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Avid Member

    Not to go off topic or hijack, but i have read all over this site that chams commonly stop eating as much during sheds, but you seem to be saying otherwise(i respect your word, you seem to know your stuff). Even my pnther hardly ate a thing a week or so before he shed, and the day following his shed he was back to eating regularly. Curious what your thoughts on this are.
     
  8. jajeanpierre

    jajeanpierre Chameleon Enthusiast

    If something is said often enough, people believe it to be true whether it is or not. Once you believe something to be true, you look for evidence to support your belief. Just look at our recent election and the role fake news played in it.

    I just have never seen a relationship to shedding and any kind of change in behavior. I think people miss things looking for problems with a shed. The above is an example.

    I have never seen my chameleons bothered by a shed. I have a lot of chameleons. The only times they are bothered are when it balls up in the feet or interferes with their eyes. Once in awhile they have scratched off a shed but usually they ignore it. I've had difficult sheds. One import had not shed once in the year he had been with me. When he did finally shed, the shed was so thick, he couldn't use his feet or bend his legs. The shed on his casque made a snapping sound like a potato chip cracking when it broke. That's a thick shed! I was worried he had gout because he was hanging his swollen legs off branches. Once the shed cracked around his legs and feet, he was fine although he needed help getting it off his feet.
     
    jamest0o0 likes this.
  9. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Avid Member

    I like the fake news example. Makes sense, i tend to listen to who says things not necessarily how many people. This just seemed to be common occurrence for a lot of people and in this case is something you'd pick up on from experience. it took my guy about a day to shed. I'll see him rub it off, but nothing extreme. I know his first shed he was still eating pretty regularly, but the second barely anything. This was also around his 7 month mark, maybe it was more so attributed to a hormone rush than the shed?
     
  10. Ralph Paine

    Ralph Paine New Member

    We made it through the night with dropper watering and I think she looks better. Got a cool air humidifier sitting by cage . Would you guys recommend higher humidity level or keep it at normal?
     
    JacksJill likes this.
  11. jajeanpierre

    jajeanpierre Chameleon Enthusiast

    There could be a million reasons why he didn't eat around his second shed.

    I can't believe I was able to Google "humans connecting unrelated things" and come up with the term for what I was trying to get across: Apophenia.

    Wikipedia: "Apophenia has come to imply a universal human tendency to seek patterns in random information, such as gambling."

    It's a wonderful trait of humanity--the ability to take several unrelated facts and find a pattern. Unfortunately, it can also lead one astray when people find Jesus in a piece of toast.

    Also, you cannot underestimate the power of hearing the same thing over and over again even when you know it not to be true. In regimes, it is called propaganda. Think about how rumors work. One person saying the same thing to several different people who then tell others. Suddenly, "everyone" has heard it to be true from many, many different sources when in fact, it is one source.

    How many of those pure fake news stories that were created in Macedonia are still believed by a large number of Americans? You might not remember the immediate aftermath of 9/11, but one false story that came out was that the terrorists came into the US from Canada when in fact they were legal residents of the US. Even to this day, I've heard members of congress spreading that patently false story.
     
    #11 jajeanpierre, Apr 21, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
    jamest0o0 likes this.
  12. Ralph Paine

    Ralph Paine New Member

    Also when she passed her stool this morning it was all white urates but no dark matter. I can't seem to get her to eat this morning but I have hornworms on the way. Wish there was a place here that sold them.
     
  13. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Avid Member

    Very true i like your examples. I guess it was just easy to assume that when others have said it and my guy happened to hunger strike with no other obvious things going on. I recently got him checked at a reputable vet along with a fecal, said everything was perfect. So idk, he's eating a little more now, but definitely something to think about. I'll keep that in mind in the future, appreciate the response.
     
  14. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Avid Member

    @Ralph Paine what is your humidity readings at? you might need to fill out the help form.
     
  15. Ralph Paine

    Ralph Paine New Member

    Just did a misting and ran humidifier for a few so it's up to 70. Took her to vet and she has some parasites and dehydration. Vet actually said she looked really good and he thought she would bounce back pretty fast. Have me the antibiotic to give her once a day for 10 days ( Orbax ) and a meal supplement to feed her with syringe (Carnivore Care). I'm hoping he wasn't just trying to pump up my spirits . She's acting tired but moving around good when she wants to go to another spot in terrarium and she did swallow food in both feedings. Will update tonight or tomorrow but right now I just need some sleep.
     
  16. Ralph Paine

    Ralph Paine New Member

    She took a turn for the worse this morning and went downhill really fast. I don't know if the stress of Dr visit and meds was too much or if she was just too sick to recover. My amazing wife however instead of taking back the new mister and all today suggested we get the last male they had. They were on sale and I had been looking at him for over two weeks. He is in a 20 gallon high for a few days because I want to sterilize the old reptibreeze and I'm also concerned that it might be a bit too big for him. He's supposed to be about 2 months old and is doing a full body shed.
     

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  17. jajeanpierre

    jajeanpierre Chameleon Enthusiast

    @Ralph Paine I'm sorry for your loss.

    There were a whole lot of things that might have been wrong.

    I don't know if good vet care could have saved her but I am not impressed with the care you got.

    Unfortunately, your story is more common than it should be: Chameleon is ill and dehydrated, vet treats with medications and chameleon dies within a day of the vet visit. There are a whole bunch of reasons for this that many vets do not appreciate. Even though I know better, I still find it goes against my very nature to decide not to treat because treating is often dooming an animal. My real lesson was when @jpowell86 took in a dying Parsons trying to save it. I desperately wanted to give it either subcutaneous fluids or tube fluids into him. Joel stopped me telling me that doing that would send him into shock and kill him. He's seen it a lot with his work with the zoo's chameleons. Still, I was itching to stuff a tube down his throat and try to hydrate him. He practically had to tie me down.

    It is not uncommon for a very ill chameleon to present to the vet as stronger than it really is. Sometimes the stress of the vet visit and basically being on high alert during the visit is just too much for it and it later succumbs. Also, in most cases, you need to stabilize the patient before you do any medicating and antibiotics plus antihelminthics (worming meds) are often just too much, especially when the chameleon is already dehydrated.

    Again, I am sorry for your loss. I hope your new boy will give you a lot of joy.


    antihelminthics
     
  18. Ralph Paine

    Ralph Paine New Member

    Just in the last hour or so of observing the new chameleon I am seeing lots of good signs I never saw with the female. I am of a mind that she may have been a worn out breeder. The new guy is drinking off the glass of the aquarium actually using his tongue. My old girl would kind of "nibble" at it for lack of a better word. I don't like using the aquarium but I was concerned that the repti-breeze might be way to big for a baby. Also the male is more feisty. I have a live pothos plant that I got from home depot that I might put in with him . First I want to repot it but I want to make sure anything I do is 100% correct this time. I appreciate your patience with my lack of knowledge and all the time you guys spend helping. I am going to have to buy some fake plants in the mean time to give more cover since the big dracenea won't fit in the 20g. With the baby I suppose newspaper will have to be the substrate or would a topsoil/sand mix be ok?
     
  19. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Avid Member

    Hey man not trying to be hard on your or come off in any wrong way, but you need to put him in a different cage. Aquariums are not suitable, they need a lot of vertical space. The repti breeze wouldn't be too big. He also needs much more foliage. Umbrella trees and pothos are great for this. You need many more branches going horizontal as well. People here will tell you, it should be hard to spot your cham through all of the leaves.
     
  20. Ralph Paine

    Ralph Paine New Member

    Gotcha, the plan was to move him to the reptibreeze anyhow just want to sanitize it and all since the female died. Also, you're not coming off bad at all. I ask a lot of questions and often the same ones more than once ( I have terrible memory issues due to fibromyalgia) . My biggest complaint with the reptibreeze is the substrate tray leaves room where crickets can slip out. Planning to swap to dubia so as long as I can teach this guy to eat from a cup that they can't climb out of I'll be golden. Right now I'm just trying to determine what amounts and sizes of dubia I need to order to sustain my beardie , chameleon and leopard gecko (all juveniles) . Would like to set up breeding pairs and just order enough mixed to get me by until the breeders are producing.
    Any recommendations on good places to buy plants cover for the Reptibreeze?
    Thanks again,
    Ralph
     
    Glen the Jackson's likes this.

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