Pair of mellers

NWD

New Member
Hello I am picking up a pair of mellers tomorrow. They are both wild caught and very large adults. They appear very healthy and have been in the shops possession for about three months. They have been treated once for worms but the medication used was not know by who I spoke with. They are housed together currently and seem to cohabitating well.
My question is for people with experience with wild caught mellers. What medications have you used for parasites and mites, what doses and how often.
Also what parasites are found in them commonly? I have read about various medications such as panacur and baytril and flagyl. Also some general stuff sold at LLL.
My uncle is a vet but not specifically a herp vet but he can test for parasites and prescribe meds if necessary. In the past I have found research and his help better than my herp vet experiences. I of course am not apposed to seeing a herp vet if someone can recommend a good one in sd.
I still would greatly appreciate if someone with successful meller assimilation can help with those questions. :)
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
In case she doesn't see this, shoot a PM to Thephotoprincess. She and her husband have something like 12-14 Meller's, many of whom are WC. They've done great with theirs, so they will probably have great advice to give you.
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
Until you know a particular cham individual well (what it does when stressed, signs of stress, level of aggression and territoriality, etc) don't assume any pair of adults is cohabiting well. They are most likely distracted and subdued in the shop situation. Three months acclimation for melleri isn't very long at all. Unless the shop was housing them in a room sized enclosure I'd be very cautious. Yes, melleri can often be housed in small groups, but you don't even know the sex of these two (most keepers won't know their sex unless they happen to catch a male everting hemipenes when they defecate) and they are quite able to injure each other or bully each other until one starts to crash.

It is safest for them to either be free ranged in a quiet room or caged separately until they are drinking and feeding well, maintaining their weight, show no signs of infections and have good clean fecals. Melleri can also carry bloodstream microfilaria parasites that won't be affected by the usual "shotgun" meds. When deciding what sorts of parasite treatments they need, I'd suggest getting them fully hydrated and eating, then testing fecals from each animal (another reason to separate them...who pooped what and when??) and only treating what is present. Repeat this 2-3 times over a couple of months. As for the microfilaria that would take a blood test to determine.

A great website devoted to melleri is The Melleri Discovery. You should read it end to end.
 

Kent67

Retired Moderator
if someone can recommend a good one in sd.
Todd Cecil. He practices out of the Emergency and Specialty Hospitals in La Mesa and Chula Vista. I've gone to him almost exclusively for the last few years and been very impressed every time.
 

NWD

New Member
Great advice

Thanks good info I was debating on whether to house them in seperate cages or to put them both in a very large outdoor enclosure I have. In the begining the smaller ones might be better to like you said moniter them. Also did you know anywhere I could find info on what medicine is used for what parasite? Also if I discover any external mites what medicines are good for those.
Also I have come across that site I have been reading every piece of information I can find but the info isn't as abundant as other species.
I really want to learn as much as i can about different medicines and proper dosing because I know the medicines themselves can cause problems.
Thanks, again
 

NWD

New Member
Also

Also I am pretty sure that one is a male he had a fairly large bulge the other has much more prominent hips and does not appear to have a bulge so she is hopefully a female.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
You can't visually sex melleri, they're the type of chameleon where you find out what they are when they either flash you their hemipenes or they lay eggs. People who are very familair with the species can recognize behavioral cues, but it's very unreliable to go by physical characteristics. Everyone I've had has been identical, but we know my current one is female only because she's layed eggs.

I would definitely still talk to Karen (thephotoprincess) but you can you try just dividing the large outdoor cage in half? Especially with WC melleri it seems that keeping them outside in something large makes the process of acclimatizing much easier. Your first priority should be to have them eating and drinking, and worry about parasites once that's taken care of. Parasites are not going to be a problem if the animal is doing well, but if they're stressed, dehydrated, and not feeding, starting a fight against parasites on top of all of that is going to get you a dead chameleon. It's better to make sure they're stable, doing ok, and then look into treatment. You can run a fecal in the meantime, but eating and drinking are priority #1.
 
Thanks Olimpia - he did PM me and I gave him pretty much the same info as you. I did tell him that keeping them together in a large outdoor cage would probably not be an issue, and what to watch for in case there were problems.

Anytime we get in WC melleri we tend to get them in pairs or groups and we keep them as we got them. In most cases they do better with a friend as they get acclimated. But then again, I have crazy ideas on chameleons living together in general!

You can't visually sex melleri, they're the type of chameleon where you find out what they are when they either flash you their hemipenes or they lay eggs. People who are very familair with the species can recognize behavioral cues, but it's very unreliable to go by physical characteristics. Everyone I've had has been identical, but we know my current one is female only because she's layed eggs.

I would definitely still talk to Karen (thephotoprincess) but you can you try just dividing the large outdoor cage in half? Especially with WC melleri it seems that keeping them outside in something large makes the process of acclimatizing much easier. Your first priority should be to have them eating and drinking, and worry about parasites once that's taken care of. Parasites are not going to be a problem if the animal is doing well, but if they're stressed, dehydrated, and not feeding, starting a fight against parasites on top of all of that is going to get you a dead chameleon. It's better to make sure they're stable, doing ok, and then look into treatment. You can run a fecal in the meantime, but eating and drinking are priority #1.
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
Thanks Olimpia - he did PM me and I gave him pretty much the same info as you. I did tell him that keeping them together in a large outdoor cage would probably not be an issue, and what to watch for in case there were problems.

Anytime we get in WC melleri we tend to get them in pairs or groups and we keep them as we got them. In most cases they do better with a friend as they get acclimated. But then again, I have crazy ideas on chameleons living together in general!
Kare you do have some crazy ideas on cham living.:) Now all I wish was that the rest of us could figure out how you do it. I would love to copy what you do, your chams seem so at home and comfortable in their free range. I was really wonderful to see. You have your chams down pat. Great job.
 

NWD

New Member
Thanks!

Sorry have been really busy the last week, but thanks everyone for the info and responding to my thread. I got the mellers in a nice big outdoor enclosure and they are loving the natural sunlight :) and are getting lots of water and have been eating. Once they get settled in will work on getting some fecals tested and also my uncle is going to try and xray them and see if we can sex them. I don't know if it will work but if they will hold still long enough to get the xray set right we might be able to see what's going on in there.
 
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