Neo with deformed tail. Breeders Please


New Member
I woke up this morning to find myself a new years cham that just hatched. Being all excited I took him out and didn't even notice for about 5 minutes that he was missing something..... About 60-70% of his tail. Guess I musta just thought it was curled up. He is gettin around great, woke up really fast and started climbing.

I am worried because he seems to have what looks like a possible prolapse. It looks like the tail being curved pused the hemipenes out of their normal location. I guess it could also be like a chameleon hemeroid, but I find it unlikely as he hasn't had a bowel movement.

Here he is....

Curly 3.jpg

Curly 1.jpg

Curly 2.jpg

Anyone had this happen before?
Any ideas on what I can do to help him if possible?

By the way all 21 of his brothers and sister are perfect in every way.
You did a great job documenting the problem with photographs. Others may have more substantive advice, but at minimum I would keep the area moist so that the exposed flesh does not dry out and can be retracted.
He can probably live a very normal life with a short tail but you need to take care of the prolapse. You could try pussing it back in with a mosit Qtip but it might need a stitch from the vet. As mentioned above you will need to keep it moist with some KY jelly.
Thank you both for your quick replies.

@Mphelps- He is in a small deli container with a few plastic plants and 10 layers of papertowel at the bottom. I keep the towel moist and do my best to keep it moist as well.

@Jannb- He is a 12hr old panther neo. I don't know if either is really an option as he is so small. I tried to use a rolled up piece of paper towel and it went in a little. But when he moved it popped back out. I am kind of afraid that it has to do with the the deformed tail, he might not even have a spot for them to sit. I'm going to try to get another picture of him more from the underside.
Poor guy. Personally I would euthanize him. Its sad but he is already quite problematic with the prolapse and the tail to add to it. I definitely wouldnt grow him up to sell him but if you want to try and keep him for yourself that is up to you.

They are fine with shortened tails or no tail at all but I agree with you in thinking the tail might be the reason for the prolapse. If so its just going to keep creating problems.

Hopefully the rest of the clutch hatches out with full tails and no problems.
Yeah I'd be concerned that with his more obvious birth defect that he may some internal defects as well that may not allow a solution to that prolapse. Cute little thing though!
My experience with this is not positive. If he is already prolapsed, it is probably a structural deformity and he will keep prolapsing even if you could get it back in, which I sincerely doubt since he is a neo. I tend to agree with Mr. Cain in this case. Sadly what will probably happen is that he will slowly pass. I have had a clutch of Panthers with normal tails that have prolapsed and slowly died off one by one. I have also seen others with Panther clutches with shortened tails where most prolapsed up to 6 months-I had one of these and despite stitching and vet care, we could not get the prolapse to stay in.
I just took a few more picture of him from the underside. I need a few to upload them though.

@cainschams- From the time I saw the defect he was never going to leave my house. Unfortunately I am tending to agree with your opinion about what to do with him. I'm heading out now to get some fresh ky to keep em moist and we will see what happens with him over the next day or two.

@ferritinmyshoes- I do agree he is very cute. Thats why I would like to try and keep him if I can get him into good health that is.
Hemipenal Prolapse Treatment

Here is what I have stored on this condition. Citation is at the bottom:

Hemipenal Prolapse
Prolapse of one or both hemipenes is occasionally seen in male chameleons. The prolapsed structures must be kept moist and well-lubricated (e.g., with water-soluble lubricant). Prior to attempting replacement of the prolapse, the surface of the hemipenes should be cleaned of dirt and debris. Next, there are several treatment strategies that may be used to reduce hemipenal swelling. Hyperosmotic solutions (e.g., sucrose) applied to the prolapsed structure can draw extracellular fluids from edematous tissue. Cold compresses can reduce inflammation and stimulate vasoconstriction which will minimize edema. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents may be beneficial, and hyaluronidase injected directly into the prolapsed hemipenes can also be useful. When some reduction in the swelling is achieved, manual reduction should be attempted. Black, or deep purple, or dry and crusty tissues are likely necroticand should be amputated.
When reducing a prolapse, the use of anesthesia/analgesia should be encouraged. This is likely a painful procedure for the animal and general anesthesia and analgesia will help minimize stress, straining and struggling and overall facilitates the veterinarian’s work. Additionally, prolapsed tissues are often fragile and will tear easily, especially if the prolapse is a recurrence or if the tissue has been prolapsed for a while. To push the tissues back in, a non-sticky, smooth-surfaced implement should be utilized. The plastic caps of hypodermic needles, small plastic blood collection tubes, or rectal thermometers are good for this purpose. Reduction starts at the base of the prolapsed tissues. Patience and persistence, along with a delicate touch are necessary.
After the prolapse is reduced, one should consider placing two monofilament nylon, simple interrupted sutures across the vent laterally on each side. Instilling a very small amount of cortisone/antibiotic ointment in the hemipenal sacs, only once, can aid in reducing the inflammation. The stay sutures may be left in for days to weeks, making sure the animal can still defecate. The male chameleon should not be bred until long after a full resolution of clinical signs. Underlying medical issues should be addressed to treat the hemipenal disease once the tissues have been replaced.

From: Veterinary Management of Chameleons
Marc H. Kramer, DVM
Avian & Exotic Animal Medical Center
Miami, FL, USA
I just put a good dab of lube on him. I'm going to give him a little while and see what happens. Unfortunately I don't think its going to go all that well.

@julirs- The second clutch you were talking about, did they not prolapse until around the 6mnth mark? Just curious, if maybe the shortened tail didn't allow room for the hemipenes after they started to really develop? Thanks for the input, I was writing my last reply when you wrote, didn't mean to leave you out.

@Spadefish- Thanks for the info. I'm going to save that in my files myself if you dont mind.

Here is the best possible pic I can take of what hes dealing with. The contrast, brightness and sharpness have all been increased, it is not nearly that red. More light pink.

Curly 4.jpg

Thanks all for looking, anymore suggestions are greatly welcomed.
It is really hard to tell from the pic-but that looks more like a bowel prolapse. Still very bad in a neo.

And yes-in that clutch some prolapsed at 3 months and some at 6-growth and development did not allow room for the hemipene.
Thanks for clarifying about that clutch. That was basically my fear for the future of this little guy, that he would never have a spot for them to go into.

I know I am 50/50 as to wether it is the hemipenes of the bowels. I know its not a good outlook either way though.

What is the best and most humane method of euthanasia? For both him and me cuz I really do like the little guy hes got character. Either way I am going to give him a day or so and see what transpires with a little bit of extra care.
ok this may sound stupid but sometimes frogs will have this and a way to get the rectum back inside is put some sugar on it. Yes, sugar. You have to try and not to get it on their skin but the sugar helps it retract it back into the body. Doctors will actually inform people to do this when they have the same issue. lol strange yes but it may help.....:confused:
yea just table sugar. I dont know anyone that has used it for a chameleon though so I would talk to your vet before doing anything with it. lol
I am headed to the vet on monday to get some ponazuril for a new import. I will find out what they would use. That is very interesting though, thank you for the idea. I may just have to call my vet at home tomorrow and see.
What is the best and most humane method of euthanasia? For both him and me cuz I really do like the little guy hes got character. Either way I am going to give him a day or so and see what transpires with a little bit of extra care.

The vet can put him down more humanely if you want to pay for it. Freezing, drowning, starving or just letting go down hill (if that is the case) are inhumane ways and much suffering. This is going to sound messed up but besides taking him to a vet you can smash his head with your foot, a brick etc. You get the idea:(:eek: The point of that is you will destroy his brain in a split second resulting in no or very very little pain. Much less pain and suffering than the ways I mentioned.

I hope that he somehow pulls through for you and can live a normal chameleon life.
Well i'm probally gonna get flamed for this but in my opinion i belive that Carbon monoxide aka Car exaust is prob the most humane form of euthanizing and not nearly as Barberic as crushing his little head.:(
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