Nervous system disease in veiled chameleon?

Julio.ReptileIT

New Member
Hello, everybody, my name is Julio Eduardo -biologist-, I am taking care of a lot of veiled chameleons, they have been very well for more than a month and a half. However, lately they have begun to die, apparently due to damage to the nervous system, I suppose something viral, maybe adenovirus, but it can be anything. More than 30 dead chameleons have arrived with these same symptoms. Has this happened to anyone yet? Anyone know what it can be and therefore what can be done or with what can be medicated?

I attached a video where you can see how mobility affects them and they are very stunned:
Sick veiled chameleons

Any help would be welcome, thanks in advance.
 

Decadancin

Moderatoris Americanus
Staff member
I have to be honest, I did not see anything that unusual in the video. You say that more than 30 arrived with the symptoms? Where are they arriving from?

Have you tested them for parasites or had a necropsey done to see if there is a specific cause? It would be difficult to tell what is going on without one.
 

Jack135

Member
I’ll ask my dad he’s a vet, although I doubt he will have much of an answer as he was a small animal vet for a while but now does mainly large animal and equine
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think I see what he's talking about, correct me if Im wrong.

Both chams seem to be trying to climb up from the base of whatever that is they're climbing on but instead or reorienting them selves by rotating until they're heads are right side up, they seem to be doubling back on themselves putting them in a very awkward position to climb, even for a chameleon.

You mentioned that they "came in", meaning they aren't yours, so I suppose its possible they didn't want to turn their back to you given you are viewed as a predator. That may be contributing the awkward ness here... So maybe its not so much about how they are moving, more of a disconnect between what their brain is saying to do and the limbs failing to respond appropriately?

Watch closely, every time one of them tries to move the double back on themselves.

Is that correct or am I completely lost over here? lol
 
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kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
@JacksJill thats the first thing I thought about...but I'm not sure the symptoms seem exactly the same. @Julio.ReptileIT will have to confirm it.

There was a lot of issues with an adenovirus in England at one point but I don't remember the exact symptoms. It was in quadricornus chameleons. I will try to find a link.

@Julio.ReptileIT ...Dr. James Wellehan in the states is studying viruses in chameleons...he may be able to help...ill see if I can find a link to him for you too.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
"Central nervous symptoms including head tilt, opisthotonus, and circling have been described" in adenovirus...
I can't find the link to the quads though. Sorry.

Any blood work done on them?
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
To me it just looks like an awkward juvenile cham trying to climb a spherical object. Would throw me for a loop if I had to try and figure that out on the fly. If you had/have multiple chams dying I would say it's more likely to be something contagious such as parasites or bacteria. Unless they're all related, a neurological disorder would be astronomically unlikely. (Unless the actual cause of the nero issue was an environmental factor...)

All of which we could speculate on with some information about where they came from, where they were sourced, where they're housed, etc.

Regardless, best of luck to you.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
@Julio.ReptileIT ....when you do figure it out please let us know. It helps us too.

What supplements have you/their owners been using?
What insects have you/owners been feeding them?
What have you/owners been feeding the insects?
Are/were there any plants that could be toxic in the cages?
 
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Julio.ReptileIT

New Member
Something to consider as a potential cause of neurologic symptoms. https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/aflatoxicosis.158656/#post-1360956
Thanks for the answer, jajeanpierre went through a situation paracedia to that of the chameleons that I care for, in fact this quote taken from his post describes very well the symptoms:

"Symptoms in the living animals started with depression, poor growth, and dark colors. As they got sicker, they ended up seeming to avoid light and ended up on the ground. Some exhibited neurological symptoms and at times appeared blind and having seizures. seemed to be skin infections or skin integrity issues as I marked up the cheeks of many just from restraining them when I was supplement feeding. Many ended up writhing on the ground in apparent agony for days at a time. on the ground rolling around a few minutes later. Others lay in a crumpled heap on the ground, sometimes on their backs or sides "

I find it interesting the possibility of aflatoxins, the crickets with which I feed the specimens are fed with "chicken feed", I remember having ever read the presence of aspergillus and therefore aflatoxicins is this type of food (chicken feed). That is why this possibility seems pertinent to me, I will grow mushrooms with the chicken feed if I find something.
 

Julio.ReptileIT

New Member
I think I see what he's talking about, correct me if Im wrong.

Both chams seem to be trying to climb up from the base of whatever that is they're climbing on but instead or reorienting them selves by rotating until they're heads are right side up, they seem to be doubling back on themselves putting them in a very awkward position to climb, even for a chameleon.

You mentioned that they "came in", meaning they aren't yours, so I suppose its possible they didn't want to turn their back to you given you are viewed as a predator. That may be contributing the awkward ness here... So maybe its not so much about how they are moving, more of a disconnect between what their brain is saying to do and the limbs failing to respond appropriately?

Watch closely, every time one of them tries to move the double back on themselves.

Is that correct or am I completely lost over here? lol
It is not that, it is not just a clumsy chameleon, it is a manifestation of a recurring symptom that leads to death, it occurs in several enclosures separated from each other.
 

Julio.ReptileIT

New Member
@Julio.ReptileIT ....when you do figure it out please let us know. It helps us too.

What supplements have you/their owners been using?
What insects have you/owners been feeding them?
What have you/owners been feeding the insects?
Are/were there any plants that could be toxic in the cages?
1. I'm using calcium at 1% of weight of food every day and vitamin supplement (A, B, D3, aminoacid, electrolites) at 1% 3 times a week, with the cricket dusted method.
2. I'm feeding them with crickets.
3. The crickets are fed with "chicken feed" and with supplemented carrots (the same supplement as crickets dusted).
4. No.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
It is not that, it is not just a clumsy chameleon, it is a manifestation of a recurring symptom that leads to death, it occurs in several enclosures separated from each other.
I'm not saying it is just a clumsy cham, I was just trying to identify the behavior you were concerned about as other members did not see anything out of the ordinary.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for answering my questions @Julio.ReptileIT . I'm just trying to cover all he bases.
Can you tell me what country the chameleons were living in when this happened please?

@Brodybreaux25 ...I did see neurological issues in the chameleons...and was just trying to figure out what might be the cause. I think @JacksJill did too.
 
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