My panther is a peanut...should I be worried?

Tarzanfam

Established Member
Hey all.

My Panther is 5.5 months old. He came to us about 2.5 months ago from one of the sponsored breeders on this site and we spent 6 weeks doing injections for a respiratory infection he got immediately when he got here as a result of travel or stress. He is super healthy now. Vet has checked on him many times given the meds etc... and she has been happy with his growth and his health now, but he is really little. Not sure if I am talking myself into a problem here or not. All husbandry has been checked by a herp vet and he is my third cham. Poops look good and he is eating about 3 small silks and 4-6 small dubias a day. When we got him, he was 2.5 inches in body length (I never straighten his tail to measure because we are trying not to stress him out) and he weighed 4 grams. Now after all the treatments and settling in, which he has done well, he weighs 7 grams and his body length is right around 3 inches. I would have thought he would be starting to get a bit bigger by now. Breeder did say he was on the smaller side. He has shed twice since we got him. He is has a very sweet disposition and he took the shots like a very big boy even though I was terrified to do it on such a small guy! Anyhow, I would appreciate some discussion on his size or maybe some reassurance if possible.
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Cute little guy! Have you always fed him that same amount? When little they need to be fed more. I may be wrong, but I would be trying to give him 10-15 feeders daily at his age. I also wonder about if the respiratory infection has slowed or stunted his growth. He’d have been putting a lot of resources into not only recovering from it, but metabolizing the antibiotics too. Just a thought.
 

Tarzanfam

Established Member
I always make sure there are dubias in his feeder cup and I replace them daily to make sure the ones he is eating are freshly loaded. Just judging from what is left over, that is what I think he basically eats per day right now. I typically give him 4 silks and about 8 dubias and often there is one silk left and a few dubias. I always feed him each morning and check his cage midday to see if he needs more food because I definitely don't want him to go without at this age. He is terrified of hornworms (which was a hilarious discovery btw) and he won't eat crickets outside his cage despite all my attempts. It was recommended by our vet not to leave them in his cage because of potential bites. I have tried a larger container they can't jump out of. He won't go for it. I tried putting him in a butterfly cage for a bit each morning for a few weeks with them. He just stares at me like I am nuts! I tried his travel cage for going to the vets. He doesn't like being in there and won't eat in it either. But, he does love his silk worms and dubias. I feel like once he starts learning about his bigger cage and finds the feeder bucket in there, which will hold crickets easily, he will be happy, but he is so small yet, we haven't introduced him to the 4 ft cage yet.
 

Tarzanfam

Established Member
Did you get a fecal done?
Yes we did part way through his treatments just to be sure. It was clear but we had already started a dewormer, so we finished it. His poops look great and he is very healthy, just really small! I wonder now if he will catch up or if he will always be small. My human twins were born tiny and they were in preemie clothes for a LONG time and they caught up. Maybe he will too?
 

Tarzanfam

Established Member
A panther chameleon should never be sold at four grams. I have panther babies now and they will weigh over ten grams before they go to new homes.

Often if they have parasites they want grow. Has he had a fecal lately?
He did have a fecal done and he also was on a dewormer as a extra precaution. He was from a reputable breeder. He said he was just tending on the small side. I have only had veiled's before. Not sure how much they differ. Seem pretty similar to me. My first veiled fit on a quarter when I got him 20 years ago. He was not bought from a breeder, but was a gift from my sister. I had no idea what I was getting into!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yes we did part way through his treatments just to be sure. It was clear but we had already started a dewormer, so we finished it. His poops look great and he is very healthy, just really small! I wonder now if he will catch up or if he will always be small. My human twins were born tiny and they were in preemie clothes for a LONG time and they caught up. Maybe he will too?
I would get another fecal done now that he is done with the treatments. 7 grams at 5.5 months old is really small and the fact that he is being offered more food and is not taking it to me seems like something is off. Especially if feeders are size appropriate.

For example my 3 month old veiled was 17 grams when I got him. At 4 months old he was 33 grams. At 5 months old 45 grams.

They only have a certain time to grow and then they stop. For him to be halfway through his growth period this shows me he is going to be much smaller than he should be at maturity. Granted him being sick and needing treatment for so long can impact him but you really want him to be putting on the grams now and eating much more.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
He did have a fecal done and he also was on a dewormer as a extra precaution. He was from a reputable breeder. He said he was just tending on the small side. I have only had veiled's before. Not sure how much they differ. Seem pretty similar to me. My first veiled fit on a quarter when I got him 20 years ago. He was not bought from a breeder, but was a gift from my sister. I had no idea what I was getting into!

Someone that would sale a 4 gram baby IS NOT a reputable breeder. Panther babies are much harder to keep alive than veiled babies. Mine are over three months old and I couldn’t imagine sending them out to new homes, yet.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Someone that would sale a 4 gram baby IS NOT a reputable breeder. Panther babies are much harder to keep alive than veiled babies. Mine are over three months old and I couldn’t imagine sending them out to new homes, yet.
Jann what do yours weigh at 3 months old?
 

Tarzanfam

Established Member
Thanks everyone. I have looked into some new feeding options and the breeder was helpful in that and in giving me some more good leads on bugs too. I am going to reach out to the vets on Monday and see about another fecal or maybe just another round of dewormer. I appreciate the help.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks everyone. I have looked into some new feeding options and the breeder was helpful in that and in giving me some more good leads on bugs too. I am going to reach out to the vets on Monday and see about another fecal or maybe just another round of dewormer. I appreciate the help.

Please don’t just give him dewormer. You don’t want to put poison in his little body unless he has parasites and needs it.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
^^^^^^ This. I really agree with this. Every time we give meds there needs to be a real reason as in they found a parasite in the fecal and are giving the specific medication needed to get rid of this particular parasite. Meds can compromise their organ function. Kidney function being compromised can effect them greatly as they age. If they are not functioning as they should, gout can be a later outcome along with organ failure.
 
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