Our vet said we should have been using UVA

iluvrango

New Member
JT returns to the vet tomorrow

Thank you, Love Reps, for the great tips and suggestions. The more I connect with this forum, the more I learn about my chameleons.

As it turns out, JT really was losing a fair amount of blood from his infected foot. We found a significant splattering of blood on the leaves of his potted plant at the bottom of his enclosure. He went to the vet again today and she injected him with subcutaneous fluids to help offset some of the blood loss. She also gave us a styptic type powder to apply to his foot if it begins to drip blood again.

JT never ceases to amaze me. He just takes everything as it comes and when it unbearable or overwhelming, he just closes his eyes. I only wish I could learn some of JT's coping mechanisms. And he continues to fight, despite the infection, weakness and blood loss.

Tomorrow, JT returns to the vet for another subq injection of fluids. I am going to ask the vet to guide me while I administer the subq injection of the Ceftazidine antibiotic. I have to get this right, and I messed up on my first attempt last night. (The vet gave the antibiotic injection today when she was administering the fluids.) It's so hard to inject a pet who looks up at you while you are doing it as if to say, "Why are you doing this to me? I trust you." Uggh! I will remain strong for JT, although I am beginning to wear down emotionally and I still can't sleep (obviously).

I completely agree about sparing his foot. I don't want to have the vet amputate it unless it's absolutely necessary. And the vet and I both think it looks slightly better compared with how it looked two days ago.

Thanks for the moral support! Hope all goes well with our vet visit tomorrow.
 

iluvrango

New Member
p.s. has anyone heard about using Flintstones vitamins???

I forgot to mention (because it was the least of my worries) that our new vet recommended dusting the crickets with crushed Flintstones vitamins before feeding to our chameleons. This sounds like it would provide widely varying amounts of vitamins depending on how much of each vitamin the crickets delivered. Also, we gutload our crickets with organic kale, carrots and sweet potatoes to avoid pesticides and other chemicals that might be harmful to our two chameleons. The Flintstones vitamins contain artificial colors and fillers and preservatives. This can't be good for our chameleons (even though I survived years of Flintstones as a kid). I won't try this, but wondered if anyone else had heard about it.
 

camimom

New Member
Ive never heard of using flintstones vitamins.

Frankly, I would never do it because of the colors and dyes in it.

Stick with the tried and true methods we use.

either the 3 separate types, or the repashy calcium all in one, which for you, would need to be the low-d one.
 

ridgebax1

Established Member
I forgot to mention (because it was the least of my worries) that our new vet recommended dusting the crickets with crushed Flintstones vitamins before feeding to our chameleons. This sounds like it would provide widely varying amounts of vitamins depending on how much of each vitamin the crickets delivered. Also, we gutload our crickets with organic kale, carrots and sweet potatoes to avoid pesticides and other chemicals that might be harmful to our two chameleons. The Flintstones vitamins contain artificial colors and fillers and preservatives. This can't be good for our chameleons (even though I survived years of Flintstones as a kid). I won't try this, but wondered if anyone else had heard about it.
I had a vet recommend using a Centrum Silver vitamin crushed up in a gutload for crickets when Pete was ill but never heard of using human vitamins to dust with. I also think I would stick to reptile formulas. In addition to fillers, dyes, etc. you are giving D3 and A every time you use the dust.
 

Lovereps

Avid Member
Ive never heard of using flintstones vitamins.

Frankly, I would never do it because of the colors and dyes in it.

Stick with the tried and true methods we use.

either the 3 separate types, or the repashy calcium all in one, which for you, would need to be the low-d one.
Camimom, I am very concerned about the Repashy LoD, as it apparently contains far too much D3 for a chameleon.

I say this because the other commonly used calcium with D3 which do not claim to be low D, contain approximately the same amount of D3 as the Repashy "LoD" calciums.

For example ZooMed ReptiCalcium with D3 contains 10390 IU of D3 per pound

The Repashy Supercal LoD contains 10,000 IU of D3 per pound.
Repashy Calcium Plus LoD contains 8000 IU per pound

So logically, neither of the Repashy LoDs are low enough for a chameleon.

Given the levels of D3 in the other calcium with D3 added supplements, Repashy Supercal contains ALL the D3 that a Jackson's should get in an entire month and I would not use it more often than that.
 

ridgebax1

Established Member
I just read your post about the subq injections. Does he really get 1.2 ml of antibiotic or is it .12 ml? I am thinking it is .12 ml since you said it was such a small amount. If you are able to give meds, you could probably give fluids as well. I gave Clouseau and Omar saline subcutaneously instead of forcing water down their throats. I really hated forcing fluids on Clouseau because he really hated it and would thrash around when I would try to do it. Omar was better about it but towards the end he hated it too, so the subq route was less traumatic.
 

OldChamKeeper

Chameleon Enthusiast
I forgot to mention (because it was the least of my worries) that our new vet recommended dusting the crickets with crushed Flintstones vitamins before feeding to our chameleons. This sounds like it would provide widely varying amounts of vitamins depending on how much of each vitamin the crickets delivered. Also, we gutload our crickets with organic kale, carrots and sweet potatoes to avoid pesticides and other chemicals that might be harmful to our two chameleons. The Flintstones vitamins contain artificial colors and fillers and preservatives. This can't be good for our chameleons (even though I survived years of Flintstones as a kid). I won't try this, but wondered if anyone else had heard about it.
< Comes out of his cave >

Holy Crap Batman. That's one - of - the - dumbest -things I've ever heard from a Vet if this is accurate. This vet needs to be educated.

You have plain calcium available from a variety of vendors. I use that on my feeders 5 days out of the week.

You have some wonderful products from Repashy. I use their Calcium plus Medium D3 once a week on a few feeders.

Lastly I still love Herptivite. Been using that as my multi vitamin source for well over a decade. I only dust with that once a week and I go light on all my dustings.

I feed all my feeder insects kale or carrots as well as other veggies.
 

iluvrango

New Member
I just read your post about the subq injections. Does he really get 1.2 ml of antibiotic or is it .12 ml? I am thinking it is .12 ml since you said it was such a small amount. If you are able to give meds, you could probably give fluids as well. I gave Clouseau and Omar saline subcutaneously instead of forcing water down their throats. I really hated forcing fluids on Clouseau because he really hated it and would thrash around when I would try to do it. Omar was better about it but towards the end he hated it too, so the subq route was less traumatic.
Yes, Ridgebax1, you are right. It is a much smaller dose - 0.02 mL. I admit, profound sleep deprivation and exhaustion (and a generous glass of wine) definitely messed with my recall. I haven't slept well in two weeks worrying about poor little JT. I wish I could take on all these treatments and the pain he is surely experiencing so that he could be spared. It's interesting that you recommended the Subq injections of saline. I was planning to call the vet tomorrow and ask if I could pick up some fluids and syringes so I could combine his Ceftazidime with the saline. It really is traumatic trying to force anything into his mouth. Since he hasn't voluntarily consumed anything, including water, in a week, I think the injection would be better, especially since he has to endure a daily injection anyway to receive the antibiotic. And this new vet informed me that he will probably need antibiotics for 6 - 8 weeks! I can't imagine injecting him or force feeding him oral antibiotics for such a long time. On a brighter note, JT's leg is clearly less swollen than it was a few days ago. He still won't eat or drink voluntarily, but we canceled the amputation surgery that the vet advised my husband to schedule for today. JT is such a trooper! Thanks for everyone's support. My husband and I are exhausted from the roller coaster ride of seeing him apparently doing great one minute and the next minute he is dark and he has his eyes closed and he is not visibly breathing. My coworkers don't understand my deep affection and concern for a "lizard", so I don't even try to talk to them about this. I really don't have anyone to share this with besides the forum members. Thank you all for being there.
 

iluvrango

New Member
So I just checked our products and we have been using Repashy Super Cal No D on a daily basis; then once every two weeks we dust with Fluker's with D. The label indicates it has a minimum of 100,000 IU of D3 per pound. We follow this protocol for JT, our male Jackson's (approximately 10 months old) and for Jade, our 14 month of female veiled. Although JT is still quite ill with his infected leg, Jade is thriving. She looks amazing after laying her first infertile clutch about a month ago. She is still a little wrinkly, but she is a mercenary when the crickets are in the cage. She has beautiful turquoise and green colors with nice tan patterns. Does anyone know if Jackson's and Veileds have different D3 requirements?
 

Lovereps

Avid Member
I'm glad JT's leg is starting to show improvement.
Sorry to hear you've been so worried.
The cham forum is one of the few willing ears for cham discussions.
Elsewhere, most people just think you're odd for caring about chameleons or any other reptile.

You may want to try the cham shower method , as described here https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/water/
Both your chams may benefit from it.

Jackson's can be very shy about drinking and often it takes several minutes of misting before they seem to realize they should drink.
This and their high humidity requirements are why my Jackson's have automatic misting with MistKing systems.
Some of them like to sit in the mist and it isn't often that you catch them drinking.
They seem to dislike being watched while they drink, so I avoid disturbing them.

Does anyone know if Jackson's and Veileds have different D3 requirements?
Yes, they sure do.

Jackson's need only about 1/2 the supplementing that Veileds do.
Jackson's tend to have problems when oversupplemented.
The forum caresheet has plenty of good info https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/jacksons/

A typical Jackson's supplement schedule is:
Plain calcium every other feeding
Calcium with D3 1x a month
Multivitamin 1x a month

The Fluker's with D3 does have a huge amount of calcium, so I'd dust fewer crickets with it , rather than all of them in a feeding.
Then I'd offer the dusted ones first.


I've been keeping Jackson's for a few years and have bred mine.
You can see a few of my young Jackson's here https://www.chameleonforums.com/young-cbb-jacksons-females-133320/
 

iluvrango

New Member
Interesting information

Thank you, Lovereps, for the great information. It's counterintuitive that our female veiled almost never allows us to watch her drink, but our Jackson's readily thrusts his head/horns straight up in the air and drinks with abundance (when he needs to) while we spray him with purified water from a spray bottle. He isn't the least bit shy about drinking in front of us. I just assumed this was a characteristic of the Jackson's. I only wish he felt well enough to voluntarily drink water now.

Good to know about the supplementation. We will plan to cut back on the D3, once he starts showing interest in eating on his own again. We are still providing the "Lafever's Carnivore Care Emeri" perishable frozen powdered food (reconstituted with warm purified spring water) as prescribed by our vet. JT really resists eating, so we can't get very much into him without undue stress.

Once JT recovers and begins eating voluntarily, we will follow the schedule you recommended:

Plain calcium every other feeding
Calcium with D3 1x a month
Multivitamin 1x a month

Could you please recommend a good multivitamin, and would it work for both our Jackson's and our Veiled?

Many thanks!
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
You could try using Susan James and Kenny Lopez's bug juice recipe. He might like it better since it contains bugs.
 

Lovereps

Avid Member
I would cut back on D3 now, before it causes any problems.
Jackson's in particular, are susceptible to oversupplementation problems.
Even in a cham with MBD , D3 is not increased, as it is unsafe to do so.
Excessive supplementation with D3 affects nerves and damages internal organs permanently by calcifying them.
You can read tons more about that here https://www.chameleonforums.com/supplementation-mbd-1-a-2451/
OR a much shorter writeup by forum member Olimpia, here http://muchadoaboutchameleons.blogspot.com/2012/03/chameleon-physiology-supplements.html
No D3 supplementation is needed at all when chams have regular exposure to unfiltered sunlight because their bodies make the exact amount needed.
As a nurse, I'm sure you're aware that D3 is stored in the body and excess is not excreted, unlike the water soluble vitamins and minerals.

Reptivite is one good brand of cham multivitamin
I agree with Kingyonga that the bug juice is far more palatable for a cham.
Kenneth Lopez is a vet who also keeps chams.

Laurie posted her bug juice recipe which is nearly the same as the James/Lopez version
"Originally Posted by laurie
If you need the homemade way to make food, make bug juice. Bug juice is easy and really good for your cham. Take a small blender add 4 oz of pedalite, 4 oz of ensure, some calcium, and a lot of well gut loaded feeders, I use crickets cause they blend best. Blend it until everything is liquid, strain it to get out legs and thinks that did not blend. Put it in a syringe and give it to your cham. i have kept extra in the frig for a max of 3 days. It makes more than you need but it doesn't blend well unless you have sufficient liquid."

The James/Lopez version is
Bug Juice Recipe
Created by Susan James and approved by Ken Lopez, DVM
Crushed or blended insects

Add only enough of the below ingredients to liquefy the crushed insects enough to draw into a syringe:
Ensure Plus
Pedialyte
Raw egg yolk
Refrigerate remaining bug juice for no more than 48 hours. Discard if not used within two days.

Probably it was changed due to the fact that Salmonella is present in a majority of eggs on the market today.

The veterinarians who are also our fellow forum members have not said anything negative about Laurie's Bug Juice recipe and many have used it for their sick chams.

He also may surprise you by finding Phoenix worms irresistible, as he improves.
FWIW, I feed them to all my chams as a part of their diet and none of them ever refuses a Phoenixworm, unless very ill.
I have put a few in a syringe and simply squeezed them into a sick cham's mouth.
None has ever spit them out.
 

ridgebax1

Established Member
I talked to my co-workers about my boys all the time and surprisingly received condolences from several of them when they passed. I keep a betta at work and two of the girls I work with told me they feed Copper on my days off because they would hate for me to lose another pet. I thought that was really sweet of them. But I know what you mean, some folks just cannot understand how one can truly love a lizard! I know we tend to anthropomorphize our pets but I do not devalue an animals life just because their brains work differently than mine. They are certainly capable of feeling pain and being terrified so they do deserve our love and attention. I miss my boys every day and find it difficult to look at pictures on the site or my personal photos because it makes me want to rush out and get another cham. I have a certification test I have to pass for my job and I am in grad school so it would not be fair to put an animal in the circumstance of not receiving my full attention so I will force myself to wait:(. I am glad JT is a trooper and seems to be improving. This is truly a great forum with so much knowledge and experience willingly offered to those of us who are still learning.
 

iluvrango

New Member
Thank you - more information to digest

I appreciate the very helpful information on supplementation. I assumed that both our veiled and our Jackson's needed D3 every two weeks. Yet another mistake I made. I wish I had thoroughly researched the needs of veileds and Jackson's before we brought them home. And yes, as a RN, I do know that Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin (along with A, E and K). I just didn't understand that Jackson's were more susceptible to D3 than other subspecies. I feel terrible for JT. We will discontinue the D3 for now, especially since he is going outside with one of us twice a day for 15 - 20 minutes in the morning and late afternoon/early evening sun. This evening, he raised his horns straight up toward the sun, and he exposed his throat and chest to the sun. Our new vet said he would do this under the basking bulb for heat, but I wonder if there is something more to this when he does it under the sun? He seemed to be trying to expose the underside of his body. What is really disheartening to me is that he showed noticeable improvement today - until we brought him in after his last outing (and his subq antibiotic and fluid injections). Although he thrashed about during the injections, and we had to pause to let him calm down, he seemed to recover well when I held him in the late day sun afterward. As soon as he was placed back in his enclosure, though, he slumped across two vines and laid his chin/throat down on the vines. He looked exhausted and not very well. I hope this was just because he had a big day. I will feel so much better when he starts eating and drinking on his own. On a brighter note, he turned a pale yellow-green color when I held him up to the late day filtered sunlight. I feel comforted when I see him that color. The leg had less swelling yesterday, but by the end of the day today, it had swollen back up. We feel like we're back on the roller-coaster again. I hope tomorrow will be a wonderful day of recovery for JT. He's always in my thoughts and prayers.
 

iluvrango

New Member
Thank you, Ridgebax1, for the encouragement and support. It is comforting to know that others love their chameleons deeply, as I do, and that we know chameleons feel pain, fear, and even trust and recognition of a person. Before he became sick, JT used to come wobbling to the front of his enclosure whenever I came home from work, as if to greet me. He would come down as low as he could on his vines at the front of his enclosure, and look at me with his inquisitive eyes. Then he would turn slowly, watching me the entire time, and he would parade around his "High Five" loop of vines which wrap around the upper section of his enclosure. He kept looking back, as if to say, "See me, I'm cruising on my High Five!" He has made me so happy for the past 8 months. I hope he graces my life with many more months, and I hope I can give him the best life possible. Perhaps you can understand when I say that JT is one of my very best friends. I'm sorry you lost your little guys. I lost my first cham, Rango, just over a year ago when she became egg bound for the second time in three months. When the time is right, perhaps one day you will have more chameleons to tug at your heart strings and bring joy to your life.
 
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