Paralyzed, Not eating, sunken eyes, throwing up

I have a one year old male veiled chameleon by the name of Smokey. Two weeks ago we put him to bed, (what I call turning off lights, misting ect.) His bedtime is at exactly eight o'clock every night and we get him up everyday at eight o'clock in the morning. This particular morning when we went to go Get him ready for the day he was at the bottom of his terrarium. There were absolutely no issues with him the night before. We had noticed that his back legs were not working at all.
I found an exotic veterinarian that said that she could see him. I brought him in where she did an examination and found that there were no broken bones. However, I saw in the X-ray. What looked to be an impaction. The vet felt that it was not an impaction. I know my little guy and I knew that that was a way too big of a stool to be inside of him. I asked for a dewormer and she also gave me some pain medicine for him and anti inflammatory As well as powdered emergency vet food for him.
I felt that he had an impaction. So my goal was to help him produce a stool. I soaked him for 15 to 20 minutes 3 times a day.In warm water & I took him in the shower with me and left him on a towel on the bathroom floor to get the humidity from my shower. And after 4 days he did produce a stool. However, it was undigested crickets and pieces of a superworm.
When I would give him these baths I had noticed that his back legs would move and twitch sometimes and then it would stop.
During this time he was very clingy, which is not normal for him. He wanted me to hold him all the time.He wanted to be nuzzled by my neck Which I was very happy to do. As soon as he had a bowel movement, he was back to his normal self. He did not want to be bothered 😂
However, his back legs are still not working.I noticed his vent was swollen.I called up the vet and asked for antibiotics. I had also asked for antibiotics the first time I went in and she felt that he did not need them. When I called her back she instead gave me some silver ointment to put on his vent. I used that for a week and no change. So I called her back to let her know that I tried the ointment.It did not work at all and now he started to develop what looks like black spots at the base of his tail above his vent. I brought Him back into the vets.He gave him an ultrasound, said he had a little poop inside of him.And everything looks good.His heart looks good.His kidneys look good.Everything looks great.
Except That smokey is mopey & feel like he's depressed and he's also starting to get worse. Now she prescribes me antibiotics that I have to inject under his skin.
I feel he's very dehydrit.Did I soak him in water with calcium and his multi vitamins as well as electrolytes. He tries to drink but is now throwing up everything. And he is clingy again. His back legs are still not working, but the black spots did go away within 24 hours of the first injection Of antibiotics.
I don't know what to do. Last night when we talked about possibly putting him to sleep.So he's not suffering anymore.All of a sudden, he was very alert.He was like here.I am everything's cool and then a few minutes later he's back to sleeping which is all he's been doing all week. I caught him throwing up this morning.He hasn't had any food because he keeps throwing it up. I.
Talked about maybe we should go take him to the vet today and put him to sleep And all of a sudden, it was like here I am i'm okay everything's good.
So he's fighting but I don't know what to do. The vet doesn't feel like there's really anything more that I could do. I'm just listening to I felt like he couldn't fight anymore. I would absolutely put him in a much more comfortable place. But he doesn't seem to be wanting that and this is my last attempt. At trying to get him healthy again.
We do not know exactly what happened in those twelve hours when he went to bed. He was not attacked by anything. He wasn't hurt by anyone.
I changed his light bulb even though it wasn't old, I tried increasing his heat, but honestly he hates that, I make sure he doesn't have any pressure on his back end.

I have No problem taking care of him for the rest of his life paralyzed As long as he can still eat and drink and he's happy, No problem for me to put in some extra effort. I actually took a picture of him the night before he woke up like this. I'm always taking pictures though of him
 

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hi and welcome! Sorry you're going through this with your boy. At first glance he doesn't that sick to me at all and some things are / could be logical if we could get some more information. For giving some correct feedback, would please fill out following form, this will help us to get the course of this. Please don't some pictures of his enclosure. And please don't yet put him to sleep!

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Smokey is a MALE VEILED CHAMELEON, got him from petsupplies when he was a couple of months old Feb. 2023. So he's about 1year 3 months old.
  • Handling - We interact with Smokey everyday at least 3 times a day, clean his area 1x a week with water/dawn soap
  • Feeding - We feed him meal worms, crickets, super worms. I gut load with carrots and baby spinach leaves ALWAYS. He LOVES apples! Ilimit them to once a month because he won't anything else. He only eats 1 or 2 times a week (before this) only a few bugs at a time & we feed him what he wants to eat that day.
  • Supplements - I use reptile calcium w d3 and exotera multivitamins.
  • Watering - we have a water dripping system that drips water into a leaf bowl that then over flows into a big bowl. He loves to drink either straight out of the leaf bowl or puts his mouth right under the dripping water.
  • Fecal Description - His poop was fine until that week, he ate an unusual amount which is what I think caused this impaction as well as him wanting to sit out on his tree. Once the impaction came out it was not digested and his back legs were still not moving. Now he has no poop but his pee does fall out of him. The emergency vet food also goes through him and falls out.
  • History - He has always been very healthy. We understood what it took to keep him balanced and healthy. We NEVER had any problems before.
 
  • Cage Type - combo 2ft by 4ft
  • Lighting - I use a reptisun uvb light and a heater
  • Temperature - 85 degrees top and 70 bottom I have 2 temperature and humidity thermometers, one by the top and one by the bottom
  • Humidity - We mist ourselves and keep it between 65 and 80% we do this 3 times a day and wait for it dry out before doing it again
  • Plants - yes, he has a hibiscus tree and a pothos plant, vines
  • Placement - he is not near any windows or vents and he's of the ground on my son's computer desk. Smokey loves to watch him and sometimes like to sit on his shoulder or head. He will get his attention.
  • Location - south carolina
 

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This is him right now, he had no energy, his eyes are sunken and he wants to be held, this morning I believe he threw up whatever was in his stomach, wharves stomach fluids they have, he also had lost a lot of weight, the vet said 15 grams on Friday, he was 5.6 ounces when I first brought him in
 
I’m not a vet and can only tell you what I think…please be aware of that.

He needs to see a good chameleon vet asap IMHO. His vent looks like there is some issue with it…maybe infection.

Your husbandry needs some changes asap…especially supplements, gutloading, feeding. More on that later if nobody else replies to your husbandry answers while I’m asking/commenting about other things.

You said…”I soaked him for 15 to 20 minutes 3 times a day.In warm water & I took him in the shower with me and left him on a towel on the bathroom floor to get the humidity from my shower”…soaking won’t likely do anything to help and you want to be careful that the water doesn’t burn him anyway.

You said…”he started to develop what looks like black spots at the base of his tail above his vent”…did they go away? Do you have a photo of them?

You comment on how he’s likes to interact with you…they do not…they tolerate what we do to them sometimes. Sometimes they look at us like a safe tree to sit on. I wouldn’t be handling him so much…especially while he’s sick.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Smokey is a MALE VEILED CHAMELEON, got him from petsupplies when he was a couple of months old Feb. 2023. So he's about 1year 3 months old.
  • Handling - We interact with Smokey everyday at least 3 times a day, clean his area 1x a week with water/dawn soap DO YOU CLEAN THE SOAP OUT WELL WHEN YOURE DONE?
  • Feeding - We feed him meal worms, crickets, super worms. SUPER WORMS ARE SOMEWHAT ADDICTIVE…THEY GET SOMTHAT THATS ALL THEY WILL EAT SOMETIMES. TRY ADDING ROACHES, SILKWORMS, once in a while, hornworms, waxworks. I gut load with carrots and baby spinach leaves ALWAYS. SPINACH BINDS CALCIUM SOMITS NOT RECOMMENDED. YOU CAN ADD DANDELION LEAVES, COLLARDS, ENDIVE, ESCAROLE, KALE, SQUASH, SWEET RED PEPPER, SWEET POTATOES, ZUCCHINI. He LOVES apples! Ilimit them to once a month because he won't anything else. He only eats 1 or 2 times a week (before this) only a few bugs at a time & we feed him what he wants to eat that day. EATING ONCE A WEEK ISNT ENOUGH…AT LEAST TWO FEEDINGS OR EVEN THREE A WEEK IS BETTER IMHO. MAYBE 5 insects per feeding.
  • Supplements - I use reptile calcium w d3 and exotera multivitamins. It should be phos free calcium at all feedings but two a month …and on those days a vitamin powder with a D3 and prEfromed source of vitamin A should be used.
  • Watering - we have a water dripping system that drips water into a leaf bowl that then over flows into a big bowl. He loves to drink either straight out of the leaf bowl or puts his mouth right under the dripping water. Water bowls are hard to keep clean and frowned upon.
  • Fecal Description - His poop was fine until that week, he ate an unusual amount which is what I think caused this impaction as well as him wanting to sit out on his tree. Once the impaction came out it was not digested and his back legs were still not moving. Now he has no poop but his pee does fall out of him. The emergency vet food also goes through him and falls out. It could be to do with the supplements to some extent…more in a few minutes.
  • History - He has always been very healthy. We understood what it took to keep him balanced and healthy. We NEVER had any problems before.
 
  • Cage Type - combo 2ft by 4ft
  • Lighting - I use a reptisun uvb light and a heater UVB ..long linear type? Heat bulb …what type?
  • Temperature - 85 degrees top and 70 bottom I have 2 temperature and humidity thermometers, one by the top and one by the bottom
  • Humidity - We mist ourselves and keep it between 65 and 80% we do this 3 times a day and wait for it dry out before doing it again
  • Plants - yes, he has a hibiscus tree and a pothos plant, vines
  • Placement - he is not near any windows or vents and he's of the ground on my son's computer desk. Smokey loves to watch him and sometimes like to sit on his shoulder or head. He will get his attention.
  • Location - south carolina

Regarding supplements…you’re overdoing the D3 and that can lead to MBD. MBD can cause issues with muscles including those in then intestine, possibly a reason for constipation.

The vent definitely needs a good chameleon vet to look at it. That shouldn’t be because of the vitamin D3 …don’t know if the lack of vitamin A has anything to do with it or not.

Eyes sunken in are worrying me. It’s either pain or he’s getting sicker.
 
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Welcome to the forum. So the supplements would be incorrect. Both of these have calcium with D3. The multivitamin also is lacking in vitamin A. D3 overdose is very much a possibility because it is fat soluble. This is why chams are recommended to get calcium without D3 at all feedings and then a multivitamin like repashy calcium plus LoD that has D3 and A in it only two times a month.

Spinach is not recommended as it is calcium binding. Also they should not be fed any fruit because they are insectivores and do not process the fruit correctly through their digestive system.

I am betting he is declining due to an infection. Might be becoming septic due to whatever he has going on with his vent. That is not normal. And soaking a chameleon is not effective it is extremely stressful for them and they do not hydrate by sitting in water.

I would go to a vet that knows chameleons to get him treated. The eyes being so sunk in indicates he is declining severely.
 
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Ah crap, the picture you now posted looks less hopeful. Something that stands out directly and which my initial thoughts were, is following.

You have dusted the feeders every feeding with above mentioned supplements? And you're using Reptile calcium with D3?
I use the calcium and vitamins once a week now, these were his xrays from March 12th. His bones look great no signs of MBD, but that stool concerned me and I was right about that because when it came out it was crickets and a superworm undigested. Something happened overnight, there were absolutely no signs prior to this, no weakness, no lethargy, no problems gripping. I really believe it was from this impaction as well as his overeating the days previous to this, but now that's it out what the heck is going on and why did it take a complete 180 after he passed it. We are trying to hydrate him in a much more aggressive way and it seems he's getting strength back, he's lifting his head up, but his eyes are still closed and sunken in. I don't get it, his colors have been amazing except for his legs and tail, those have been pale compared to the rest of his body from the start of this. Also his tail is starting to curl, for the past few days good tail has been hanging straight.
 

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This is the only vet that takes care of lizards, and actually he does like to climb and watch what's going on, sorry you haven't experienced that yet, kinda of what makes him special awesome guy. I am doing what the vet told me but something did not feel right. I read so many things on Cham forums and this is the first time I heard anything negative about soaking in water, which is fine, I'm doing everything I can, he's on antibiotics like I said,we have to inject them and like I said before the black spots went away within the first 24 hours of his first shot. So I'm getting a bit frustrated because the only vet I have told me this is pretty much it. And I can't accept that there isn't anything more that can be done.
 
The black spots could and will probably be the result of the injection(s). Him not using his legs, was this after the first injection? Can’t read it so quickly.
Bathing your Cham is really stressful for them and mostly the temperature is too hot for them. What feels right for us is already too hot for them. But I’ve read some successful stories with impaction, however it’s completely non-beneficial for hydration.
The stool itself could have caused an injury / infection to his butt.
The supplements should be corrected, for calcium without D3. Because this is definitely the long term cause for troubles now.
This will interesting
https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/d3-poisoning.2401/

Hopefully he will continue improving and it’s not (an) infection taking over. But, I would try to keep him hydrated with a dripper. I’m unfortunately no vet and can’t help you at this point.

Small note, if starts laying on his side with his eyes sunk in, then he’s shutting down 😔
 
  • Cage Type - combo 2ft by 4ft
  • Lighting - I use a reptisun uvb light and a heater UVB ..long linear type? Heat bulb …what type?
  • Temperature - 85 degrees top and 70 bottom I have 2 temperature and humidity thermometers, one by the top and one by the bottom
  • Humidity - We mist ourselves and keep it between 65 and 80% we do this 3 times a day and wait for it dry out before doing it again
  • Plants - yes, he has a hibiscus tree and a pothos plant, vines
  • Placement - he is not near any windows or vents and he's of the ground on my son's computer desk. Smokey loves to watch him and sometimes like to sit on his shoulder or head. He will get his attention.
  • Location - south carolina

Regarding supplements…you’re overdoing the D3 and that can lead to MBD. MBD can cause issues with muscles including those in then intestine, possibly a reason for constipation.

The vent definitely needs a good chameleon vet to look at it. That shouldn’t be because of the vitamin D3 …don’t know if the lack of vitamin A has anything to do with it or not.

Eyes sunken in are worrying me. It’s either pain or he’s getting sicker.
Here's his xrays, no MBD
Welcome to the forum. So the supplements would be incorrect. Both of these have calcium with D3. The multivitamin also is lacking in vitamin A. D3 overdose is very much a possibility because it is fat soluble. This is why chams are recommended to get calcium without D3 at all feedings and then a multivitamin like repashy calcium plus LoD that has D3 and A in it only two times a month.

Spinach is not recommended as it is calcium binding. Also they should not be fed any fruit because they are insectivores and do not process the fruit correctly through their digestive system.

I am betting he is declining due to an infection. Might be becoming septic due to whatever he has going on with his vent. That is not normal. And soaking a chameleon is not effective it is extremely stressful for them and they do not hydrate by sitting in water.

I would go to a vet that knows chameleons to get him treated. The eyes being so sunk in indicates he is

The black spots could and will probably be the result of the injection(s). Him not using his legs, was this after the first injection? Can’t read it so quickly.
Bathing your Cham is really stressful for them and mostly the temperature is too hot for them. What feels right for us is already too hot for them. But I’ve read some successful stories with impaction, however it’s completely non-beneficial for hydration.
The stool itself could have caused an injury / infection to his butt.
The supplements should be corrected, for calcium without D3. Because this is definitely the long term cause for troubles now.
This will interesting
https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/d3-poisoning.2401/

Hopefully he will continue improving and it’s not (an) infection taking over. But, I would try to keep him hydrated with a dripper. I’m unfortunately no vet and can’t help you at this point.

Small note, if starts laying on his side with his eyes sunk in, then he’s shutting down 😔
You have no idea how much I appreciate your help and kindness. From the very first day we brought him home there are so many directly opposite opinions, strong ones at that, as to how to care for these guys and even from the so called expert that tools is how to care for him, I found I was practically starving him, but after learning and taking pieces that fit Smokey, I was able to get what worked for him, and I 100 percent agree with you, I think he was injured from this impaction, which I learned about online, never knew of this before, and when I brought him to this exotic vet I asked her for antibiotics to prevent an infection because of the possibility of getting cut or scratched from what came out of him. All I know is that I really worked hard at learning how to care for him, spent almost $1000 to help from the very first sign of trouble, and did everything and anything that could help, and of course wouldn't hurt him. Very much a team effort over here. Again your kindness and just trying to help figure anything else that can help is very much appreciated 🙂
 

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Sorry your little buddy is not doing well, was reading through the posts…did the vet ever do a fecal to check for parasites? I know that some parasites can cause the food to be undigested.
 
Here's his xrays, no MBD



You have no idea how much I appreciate your help and kindness. From the very first day we brought him home there are so many directly opposite opinions, strong ones at that, as to how to care for these guys and even from the so called expert that tools is how to care for him, I found I was practically starving him, but after learning and taking pieces that fit Smokey, I was able to get what worked for him, and I 100 percent agree with you, I think he was injured from this impaction, which I learned about online, never knew of this before, and when I brought him to this exotic vet I asked her for antibiotics to prevent an infection because of the possibility of getting cut or scratched from what came out of him. All I know is that I really worked hard at learning how to care for him, spent almost $1000 to help from the very first sign of trouble, and did everything and anything that could help, and of course wouldn't hurt him. Very much a team effort over here. Again your kindness and just trying to help figure anything else that can help is very much appreciated 🙂
How is everything working out? I'm hoping for a positive reply.. I read that undigested crickets and worms would indicate the UVB was not getting to him to digest properly. I could be wrong. (I read this about my bearded dragon because he was pooping undigested worms)
 
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