Old Age???

Kitch

New Member
Hello,
I have had my female panther chameleon for just over two years now (since she was a baby) and she seems to have slowed down... in everything recently. She doesn't eat hardly anything at all anymore, she's lost quite a bit of weight as I can see her ribs and her skin is all wrinkled in some places... she has trouble climbing on her branches and she falls out quite often... she hasn't had a bowel movement in about 2 or 3 weeks now either. She just sits on one branch (she used to sit on one that she had to hold on to, now she finds the thickest one and lays out flat on her belly) sometimes with one side of her belly sticking out like she's bloated.

I have always fed her properly (I believe), and until recently I used an automatic mister/sprayer in her cage, until I realized that it no longer works. So I thought that she might be dehydrated, (even though her eyes are not sunken in) and gave her water directly from the spray bottle a few times a day. I've been doing this for a few days now and she doesn't seem to want water all the time, so I don't really think that she's dehydrated.

Do all of these signs indicate that she's just at the end of her line or is there likely something wrong??? Any help will be VERY much appreciated!

Ryan
 

roo_71

New Member
Ryan,

Firstly, how old are you? I am starting to realize that I need to adjust my responses depending on how old people are in this forum.

Secondly, I am not a panther keeper but I know at 2 years they are in no way getting old and close to the end of their life span.

Thirdly, the cham is CLEARY having problems so why are you not taking it to the vet? Your lack of attention to these (from what I am seeing SERIOUS) issues absolutely boggles my mind and upsets me.

-roo
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
Something is really wrong if she hasn't pooped in 2 to 3 weeks. I don't believe it's "old age".
It was time to go to the vet about two weeks ago.

-Brad
 

Kitch

New Member
I am 27 years old... I am sorry that I upset you. Up until now she has been absolutely fine. I wouldn't call it a lack of attention, rather, I just started to notice these things. And seeing as how I read somewhere that FEMALE panther chameleons have a captive life span of 1 - 2 years I just assumed that she was getting old... hence me making this posting.

Only in the past two days did I start to think that maybe it wasn't old age as she became a little more active, albeit strained action, but still had not pooped.

I read somewhere that I can give her a few drops of mineral oil to help, but I do indeed intend on taking her to a vet, as soon as I find one where I live (and after I go to my interview for teacher's college this afternoon... It's hard for me to concentrate on this very important part of my life since all I can think about is that my chameleon might be suffering... so please, I appreciate your concern, but don't assume that I don't care and am neglectful... intentionally).

So on that note, thank you for your replies. What do you think about the mineral oil idea??/??

Thanks again,

Ryan
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
You said..."I have had my female panther chameleon for just over two years now (since she was a baby) and she seems to have slowed down... in everything recently. She doesn't eat hardly anything at all anymore, she's lost quite a bit of weight as I can see her ribs and her skin is all wrinkled in some places... she has trouble climbing on her branches and she falls out quite often... she hasn't had a bowel movement in about 2 or 3 weeks now either. She just sits on one branch (she used to sit on one that she had to hold on to, now she finds the thickest one and lays out flat on her belly) sometimes with one side of her belly sticking out like she's bloated...two years is not old for a female panther. From the things you describe, she needs to see a vet ASAP....which you have said you intend to do.

Has she ever laid eggs? Does she have a proper place to dig to lay eggs in the cage?

Have you made any changes to her set-up in the way of temperature or lighting recently? Have you changed anything to do with your gutload or supplements? Do you use a substrate?

Is the automatic mister/sprayer the only way she got water?

I don't know what to tell you about using mineral oil....I've never had to do that with any of my chameleons.

Hope your interview for teacher's college went well!
 

Kitch

New Member
Thank you for your reply Kinyonga,
I called a vet yesterday and made an appointment. They told me, however, in the mean time not to use mineral oil as it is easy for chameleons to inhale (which is a bad thing I suppose!). Also, they told me to put her in a warm water bath to help her have a bowel movement... which, I don't know if it happened immediately after I did so or some time in the past few days, but there was some fresh stool in the bottom of her cage. That was a big relief.

As for her cage, no I haven't changed the setup or the temp recently and no substrate. The only thing that I can think of that I've done is use some "cricket water" jelly type stuff to keep the crickets hydrated. She has never laid eggs and doesn't seem interested in doing so... she's never climbed down to the bottom of her cage to dig... and I DID have a pot in there for a long time after she turned 1 and she showed no interest. So I just took it out. I usually give her water directly from my spray bottle... she just comes up and drinks drops right off the tip... it's kinda cool... but she doesn't seem any more thirsty now than she did a year ago.

And as for her falling out of her branches, she's always done that. I don't think that there was anything wrong with her before... she's just not the brightest chameleon around. She'd try climbing up the side of her cage even after she got too bid to do so... she'd fall, and try it over and over again.

The only other thing that I've noticed about her is that her nails seem to be a lot longer... maybe too long?

At this point I don't have a clue what is wrong with her, if anything. Her colour is good, she seems happy, she's not dehydrated, she pooped (a relatively small one since she hasn't eaten a lot lately), and she seems to move around the cage... slowly and sort of weakly (is that a word??). Do you have any more advice aside from taking her to the vet?

Thanks again for your help!!

Ryan
 

Cherron

New Member
To me, the weakness, falling and the lack of energy seem to be symptoms of a pretty big problem. The lack of truncal lifting (where she is resting her belly on the branches she is on) is also a big sign of MBD and perhaps a vitamin deficiency. Your best bet at this point is to take her to the vet before the more severe symptoms kick in.

Females can produce eggs at any time. I would recommend putting a digging container back in her enclosure to alert you if she ever does need to lay.

Good luck with your girl.. and please.. take her to the vet.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Cherron is right...lack of truncal lifting is a sign of MBD. A vet can do tests to tell you for sure if MBD is part of your chameleon's problem....and if it is, she can be treated and recover more quickly than if you were to try to do it at home. If she has got MBD and nothing is done to correct it she will eventually die. It affects not only the bone health but eventually the organs.

MBD is the result of an imbalance in the chameleons system. It can play a part in not being able to lay eggs, poor appetite, slow bowel movements. Other symptoms of it are rubbery jaw, weakness, tongue dysfunction, tremors, etc.

I think you should go over your gutloading and whatever supplementation/dusting you do. (I'm particularly concerned with the balance of calcium, phosphorous, vitamin D3 and vitamin A since they play a part in bone health.) If she has MBD and these things are not in balance, even if the MBD is corrected, it will recur.

Appropriate basking temperature is important for good digestion....and chameleons need a source of UVB light...either from sunlight or from UVB tube lights...neither of which should pass through glass or plastic.

Cherron is also right about putting the egglaying container back in the cage. I wouldn't be surprised if she has eggs to lay. I just hope if that's the case she can lay them. According to this article panther chameleons grow their nails long when they are getting ready to lay eggs...
http://www.chameleonnews.com/observations.html
 

Kitch

New Member
The problem with my panther sounds exactly the same as the guy/girl who posted about their jackson. My girl would often be at the bottom of the cage... not digging, and I just assumed that she had fallen out, she won't eat hardly anything (I got her to eat a silk worm last night), she looks like she's lost a lot of weight, and she just flops herself on top of her vine. She sort of balances either side of her belly right on the vine with her feet dangling off the side.

You all have given me some great advice, and I do plan on taking her to the vet but the next available appointment that I can make is the middle of next week. Does anyone have any other suggestions in the mean time???

Just to let you know, I do have UVB light in her cage (I am going to change the bulb tonight), I gut load her crickets with Tropical fish food (the guy at the pet store suggested this too me). She used to go through 3 dozen crickets in a week. I dusted them every other time with repti-cal I think it's called. I do not have a pot in her cage for eggs at the moment but I will put one in as soon as I get home. Is there ANYTHING else that I can do????

Thanks again for all your help... you've helped me rule out some possible ailments!

Ryan
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
I would stop feeding the insects fish food.
Gut load with a diet from the kitchen: sweet potato, squash, collard greens, rolled oats, apple, cooked egg yolk etc. no spinach, tomato or brocolli though.
Fish food is a really bad choice (sorry you were given that info) You could arguably sustain your insects on it, but it is not a good gutload. The vitamin proportions are not suitable for your cham.
This doesn't help the present situation but will help in preparing better food for her.

-Brad
 
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