Panther Diarrhea


New Member
Cage Info:
Cage Type -I have an all screen aluminum cage that is 4 by 2 by 2.
Lighting - I have a reptisun 5.0 that has been changed every 6 months and a regular incandescent light for basking. They are on a 13 hours on/11 hours off timer.
Temperature - Basking spot is between 88 and 90 degrees. Ambient cage temps are around 74 to 76. Night time temps from 67 - 71. I use an infrared temp gun to monitor temperatures.
Humidity - Constant humidity level is around 55% spiking to around 75% with mistings. I mist twice a day for 20 minutes and shower once a week or once every other week.
Plants - In his cage are a hibiscus, a pothos and a schefflerra.
Where is your cage located? - His cage is in my living room in a corner that has no vents and not much traffic.

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - He is a male ambanja who is almost 4 years old.
Feeding - I feed him superworms, lobster roaches, crickets, wild caught moths, the very occasional wax worm. He used to eat around 8-10 insects a day (skipping a day here or there) but has dropped down to one or two (if that) a day for the last few days. I gut load with mixed grain infant cereal, collard and mustard greens, sweet potato, squash, romaine lettuce occasionally, kale occasionally.
Supplements - I dust my feeders with pure calcium 3 to 4 times a week, calcium w/d3 every other week and with a vitamin supplement every couple of weeks.
Watering - I mist for watering, run a drip a couple of times a day for 20 minutes or so after I mist and I also have a humidifier piped directly into the enclosure. I see him drink but not every day. When I got him he was trained to only drink out of a dropper and I tried to wean him from that as I hate to handle him that much. He drinks well now from misting, but not as often as he used to. I occasionally see him drinking from the dripper.
Fecal Description - His last two movements have been very watery. Almost no brown part and what there was of it was liquid and the urates were white on one half and a yellowish orange on the other half
History - When I first got this guy 8 months ago I thought that he may have been blind in one eye. He reaches a little blindly.. grasping over and over until he touches the branch. He has no trouble catching food though and before he shoots his tongue he seems to focus on his feeder with both eyes so I am unsure. He is very slow moving, very docile.. hardly ever fires up.. the only cham i have that will tolerate any form of handling. He shows no symptoms of MBD or URI. He is the only chameleon that I acquired as an adult and didn't personally raise from a baby, so I am not very sure of his history. He has a broken tail tip and the first sheds he had when I got him were bad sheds, but those have improved with each shed. I had a vet check when I first got him and the vet said bone structure was good though *slightly* weak in the toes and his fecal was fine.
Current Problem - Lately he just seems to have very little appetite. I have tried everything.. and usually wild caught moths will instantly catch his attention but even those are being ignored. He has had diarrhea twice, the second being the one with the yellow-orange in the urates. He shows no other signs of dehydration and lately I have added an extra misting just to be sure he is getting enough water. Yesterday evening I caught him with one eye closed. I checked the humidity and it was at 60 percent. I showered him after that for half an hour and he drank well and the eye didn't close again and hasn't since. I have no idea what could be causing the diarrhea and lack of appetite.. any suggestions?
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I'd bring in a fecal sample for your vet to run (the fresher the better).

Certainly this could be only a transient problem, but there could be some parasites or abnormal bacteria (by way of the wild caught moths.)
Today he had another bout of diarrhea and several times I caught him sleeping during the day.. in fact it seems he slept more than he didn't :/ Of course I made him a vet's appointment. It is at noon. Wish me luck! Of my 9 chams this guy is my favorite :(
Suggest an Emergency Aid fluid as back-up!

It's good that you're taking him to the Vet and let us all know what the Vet recommends as the course of treatment!

Just wanted to suggest a back-up emergency aid to always have on hand although inititally seeing a Vet is always the best route....It's called Fluker's Repta-Aid and can be bought over the internet under (It comes in a powder form that you reconsitute with water).
Basically, my 6 month Veiled C. came down with a severe gastric-intestinal problem and ceased eating but still drank although he was getting extremely dehydrated. Did initially take him to an Exotic Vet who just wanted to do every test in the world but told me that he still looked healthy(I knew the Vet was wrong). Well, Heika on this forum recommended me to get this Repta-Aid and I rushed order the stuff! Well, once I got the this fluid support supplement to combact malnutrition and dehydration, I mixed it up and gave it to my C. Wow, it made all the difference and turned him around from an almost totally sickly C. to an alert, hydrated C. in a matter of hours! In fact, he ate the next day with an amazing appetite!! He's now almost 9 months and just doing great!!
Well, my vet had an emergency c-section and rescheduled my appointment for tomorrow at 11.. I am starting to freak out some.. my panther has gone from healthy and happy to extremely ill in 3 days. This morning I misted him and he drank well.. still refuses food. When I came home from work he was sleeping again. I misted him again and gave him water from a dropper. He drank forever and his eyes have become extremely sunken in, all of a sudden. They weren't like that this morning. Here is a pic. I can't wait to get to the vet in the morning :/


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Poor guy!!! have you tried some avipro in his water,its a probiotic so it may help him get his appitite back,and also something to get him rehydrated
Well, I got my guy to the vet this morning. He gave him fluids and ran a fecal check. He also tube fed him. He told me that he had a bacterial bowel infection. He also said that there was blood in his stool :/ He gave me an antibiotic to give him for 7 days and then said to have him back in a week for another fecal check. When I got him home he threw up. I called the vet back and he said that it may be from the tube feeding and that he should be fine. He gave him amoxicillin. No idea. For some reason I am just not confident with the diagnosis/treatment. Hopefully I am just worrying too much, but I have never had a cham prescribed amoxicillin before. Sigh. I am just as worried as I was before.

On the bright side, he does seem more alert and active already, moving in and out of his basking spot all day and drinking well.
He is doing a little better. Still not eating. I have been giving him the repti-aid. He is still drinking pretty well, but he is also still sleeping quite a bit during the day. Sigh. I don't know what to do. He is supposed to go back to the vet Saturday. He has been moving around some, which is more than he was doing yesterday or the day before. His urates are bright white again, but his poop is a jelly looking texture. I am unsure if that is from the repti-aid.. the antibiotic or just the illness.

Has anyone ever had a cham prescribed amoxicillin? If so, do you remember the dosage? I am not saying that I don't trust my vet but.. well.. i guess maybe I don't. I am just worried about my guy :(
It is a antibiotic that some vets use for reptiles:
3-6mg/kg q12-24 hours. Not a big gun drug, but safer to use if dealing with dehydration. (It might also be the only liquid that he could easily dispense to dose that small an animal...)

My personal preference is Trimethoprim-Sulfa or Metronidazole in situation like that, but other vets have equal success with other protocols. (He also saw the fecal and cham, and I didn't...). In mammals, you expect to see a clinical response to the antibiotics in 3-5 days. In reptiles, it usually is on the back end of this time, as their metabolism is slower.

It maybe that it has just not been long enough to work.

Make sure your baby is getting as hydrated as you can, and keep the lights and heat in the POTZ.

Did he give you anything to feed while your cham is not eating? (Critical care-Oxbow Carnivore/ ensure/ anything?)
No, I was not given anything to feed to him, though I did order repti-aid and have been giving this to him once daily. He fell off of his branch last night and has been pretty lethargic seeming still. He hasn't even been drinking as much. I made an appointment with another vet (3 hours away, ack) for a second opinion. I am kind of at a loss at this point.
If he is still not eating I would suggest that you give him some food. If you don't have any critical care food, I used to use the following formula in a pinch (when I practiced out in the country.)

Blend (in a blender or cuisinart) 2 parts insects (waxworms or crickets or roaches or silkworms) and 1 part ensure to a liquid. If too thick either add additional ensure, or water.

Give 1 cc every couple hours if no vomiting . The point is not to get your cham full, but to sustain the gut and get things moving. If your cham gets really stressed when you handle him/her, I would limit feeding to 2 times a day. I would make sure that he has access to insects throughout the day just incase his appetite comes back.

Good luck
I got my chameleon to the other vet today. He seemed very competent and was very informative. He took another fecal exam and said that he did definitely have a bacterial infection. He prescribed Flagyl once a day for 7 days and said that he wanted to see him back on the 7th day. He also tube fed him (again, poor guy) and contemplated giving him a shot of fluids, but decided against it. He said that he wasn't as bad as he thought by talking to me on the phone, which is a relief I suppose. He also gave me some critcal care food and said to mix it with a bit of veal or chicken baby food and to shower him at least once a day and to increase his misting to as often as possible without keeping the cage soaked (which i had been doing).

I feel much better about the situation now. My guy still seems very very lethargic so I am hoping that he pulls through. At least I now definitely feel better about his chances and I know that I have definitely been doing all that I can for him.

My last question (of the day at least!) is that when I got him home today I put him back in his cage and misted him. He pooped almost immediately and the poop had blood in it. I understand that he has a bowel infection but this definitely alarmed me. Is this cause for more concern? Or just a side effect?

Thanks everyone (especially Matthew) for all of your answers and support!

As far as the blood in the is what it is.

You are doing what you are supposed to be doing. The metronidazole that you're giving (flagyl) acts 3 ways. 1) anti inflammatory for the gut 2) antibacterial for the gut, to knock back abnormal bacteria and allow normal flora to grow back, 3) an antiprotozoal, just incase.

It's kind of a shotgun approach and at the very least should make him feel better.

The trick is giving this time to work. Supportive care is the key. Warm side of the POTZ. Good hydration. Calories to allow healing.

Good luck,
I went through a stomach bacterial infection with Spencer, my panther chameleon. It started the same way that you mention.. with runny stools. Spencer was about 8 months old at the time, and it literally took months to get him back on track. I force fed daily for well over a month, and then every other day for another month. It was a good two more months after that before I would say he was back to normal. He did pull through it though, and has turned into the huge, useless, non-breeding but very friendly adult that he is today. One thing on your side that I didn't have.. Spencer had an immediate and severe reaction to the flagyl. He had 2 doses and then it was discontinued. He became disoriented, fell from branches, etc. After that, he was on baytril for 10 days.

Good luck, you are a good keeper and can help your little guy through it. I am a big fan of Fluker's Repta-Aid Critical Care.. it sounds like you have some other stuff now, but don't toss the Repta-Aid. I realize that Fluker's isn't known for the highest quality stuff, but the critical care formula works very well. It has saved some lives around here.

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