Parasite load and Panther Chameleon care /Issues

chloe924

Member
Chameleon Info:

· Your Chameleon - Around 8 month old Panther that has been in my care for nearly 5 months.
· Handling - Depends on my work schedule but I try and get him onto his free range for an hour a day if I can. He will willingly climb onto my hand and I pop him onto the free range and then to put him back. Total less than 5 mins on my hand. On the free range I leave him to his own devices although I am near, it has never stopped him walking right by me or even to try and sleep right by me.

· Feeding - His staples are locusts, crickets and calci/pheonix worms. I also try and get him silk worms as often as I can. Unfortunately delivery is an issue and I suck at keeping them alive so can’t have my own colony. He shows no interest in black soldier flies and while I have an active breeding Dubia colony, frustratingly he wont touch them no matter what I try. For treats he gets wax worms and Morio/superworms.

· I try and feed 10 mixed crickets/locusts every other day but he’ll eat 2 to 4 currently if I am very lucky, none at worst. He’s even lost interest in treat foods.

· Due to lack of appetite, currently I’m popping a dish full of calci worms dusted with Repashy plus od every morning, he’ll only eat a couple but I’m hoping it will keep some nutrients in him.

· I gut load with rapashy bug burger, fresh veg included on the positive list here (whole for locusts and blended for crickets) and another plate of store bought dry bug food mixed with added bee pollen, alfalfa, spirulina, kelp and dried dandelion leaf. I have repashy superload but have yet to use it.

· Supplements - I normally use Arcadia calcium earth pro daily, then switch between reptivite multivit with d3 or reptical with d3 every other week. However with his poor appetite I’ve been using repashy calcium plus lod with every feeding instead to try and keep his nutrients up.

· Watering - I have a mistking with 2 nozzles that cover the front 50% of the cage that sprays for 2mins at 8:30, 11:30 and 1:30. Twice a week I increase the mid-day spray to 7 mins. He also has a Zoo med big dripper that lasts a day at a reasonably fast rate but he ignores.

· Fecal Description - He will only poop outside his cage and preferably as close to me as he can manage ( odd bod that he is). He’ll go as often as possible, no matter how small and so I try and let him out the cage daily if I can. His urate has gone from egg white leaning towards yellow ( it has never been pure white in my care) to more yellow and today, far more orange than I’m comfortable with. His poop has been tested and he is currently being treated for round worm and ‘maybe’ pin worm.

· History - He is a little ball of scaly malice that loves to explore more than anything and much prefers time on his free range than the cage. He has had issues shedding in the past, both times with me it has taken him a few days as aside from irritating areas like his eyes, he doesn’t put much effort into it. He has never been a big eater but as winter has drawn in, he has gotten increasingly worse. When he is super thirsty I’ve seen him drink from leaves, but not often at all.


Cage Info:

· Cage Type - XL zoo med reptibreeze

· Lighting - I have a Arcadia solar spot 75w on a dimmer for heat, in a duel deep done fixture along with an arcadia deep heat projector bulb. The Arcadia deep heat I turn on for night time heating. There is also an arcadia 6% t5 linear strip bulb and an Arcadia jungle dawn spot to try and save all the plants in there.

· Temperature - Basking spot is 29.5celcius kept with a dimmer. I’ve had issues raising ambient temperatures, It used to be around 63f at the bottom of the cage, by using loft insulation to wrap two sides and a mini oil radiator outside the cage (but not near) I’ve managed to increase ambient temp to 70f at highest. I use an arcadia deep heat bulb overnight which doesn't produce much light, otherwise he wont move from his sleeping spot in the mornings. To the point where I wake up early when I don’t have to too make sure he is up. I measure with multiple digital temp/hydro meters at top, mid and lower levels of cage. I also have a temp gun.

· Humidity - Humidity in my house is very high. With a dehumidifier in my room I manage to keep things around 60/70% for the most part after misting has dried with only 2 sides of the cage covered.

· Plants - I have a large ficus at the bottom and a baby one up top to offer cover at basking site/ the dripper to drip on. I also have a monstera deliciosa plant and a fake vine to cover the spot he likes to sleep on. Soon I plan on getting real Pothos vines and an umbrella plant.

· Placement - The cage is in my living room. Only I live there so it has low traffic as I work a lot. The cage also gets covered by a bedsheet on a night-time. I may open a window sometimes and there is usually a dehumidifier on the floor below it, the top of the cage is 6foot 2inch high.

· Location - North east England

Current Problem -So my stress levels with my lil guy seem to be growing exponentially with each passing day. He won’t eat or drink much, despite being very active otherwise in his cage and on his free range.Unfortunately, he does have parasites (roundworm and maybe pinworm) which are currently being treated and he is due his second shot of anti-wormer asap.

I’m not convinced parasites are the full issue causing his lack of appetite/thirst however. I’ve researched as much as I can and have tried everything I can think of to try and help him. I’ve dripped water on the top of his head with a syringe and plastic catheter tube I stole from work, I’ve tried the shower method and keep trying once every week (he stresses too much to increase much) to no avail. He has two drippers, one that lasts about 4hours and one all day. I’ve seen him look at them and lick his lips but not try. I’ve increased cage mistings and currently feed his bugs increasingly wet food but since he barely eats it doesn’t help much. Humidity in my house is high, so I can’t increase mistings too much without risking respiratory tract infections and he runs from the spray regardless.

I have issues with his ambient temperature. While it doesn’t seem to affect his activity as he will regularly explore the entire cage, it is hard to increase lower levels of his cage to the required levels, not sure if that would have much affect? I have even lowered his basking site to try and dissipate heat as much as possible. Do Chameleons go through a hybernation-esk low food period over winter?

His eyes are a little sunken maybe? Sometimes looks normal, others a little sunken. He is wrinkly but due a shed very soon as his colours have dulled and cask more white.


TLDR
I’m afraid I’m unable to not ramble. Especially about something I care so deeply about. In short my chameleon has parasites, maybe since I got him. He isn’t eating or drinking well which is concerning, especially as I’m about to load his little body with another bout of de-wormer drugs( advertised for sheep and livestock but used regularly for reptiles at the vet I’m at) that will likely affect his dehydrated kidneys.

I guess. Any issues with husbandry that I’ve mentioned? Is ambient temperature super important to Panther chameleon diet even if it doesn’t affect activity? Anything I’ve missed, any issues. Honesty I adore this little guy & all the evil looks he gives me from the top of his free range. I will do anything and pay whatever to try and help him. Currently I feel like I'm being a better owner to his bugs as they are all living long happy lives in my care. But l will bend over backwards for my lil' guy as I love his little malice so much.
 

Dave85731

Established Member
What’s the main ingredient on the dewormer did they test for the worms... did he stop eating before or after you started giving the dewormer
 

chloe924

Member
It is a de-wormer called Parafend. My paranoid freakout is here ( https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/dreaded-vet-visit.166857/#post-1448372)
Personally I don't believe the anti-wormer is the issue as I emailed the vet with my concerns and it is regularly used & I had done the fecal sample as a bqckup without thinking it was the issue.. My main concern is hydration as he refuses it and the drugs have to be bad on the kidneys. He was poor at eating before the treatment however... I dunno, honestly I will pay all I have to make him well but unfortunately the vets near me don't have much of a clue.. This forum is probably the main reason he is still alive and honestly any advice, however small is worth so much and I appreciate such a massive amount!!!! As while my Cham seems ok at the moment, I don;t want him to dip negatively any more.
 

Dave85731

Established Member
You can always try the shower trick to see if he’ll drink but a plant in the shower point the water at the wall and let it bounce on the plant some times it takes a while for them to start drinking could take up to 15 mins to get them to drink when doing that
 

SharpShooter

Avid Member
One of mine has stopped eating for a week and it's happened twice in the last 7 months, so I appreciate your worry. Top Xmas present this year was him eating a single super worm!

Do you have a dripper? Mine drips onto pothos leaves and he's happy to drink from this. I often put him up to it when putting him back from his free range and so I know he's definitely drinking, even if he's off food, he drinks directly from the tip of the leaf. I've seen him doing the same on his own as well but he seems to drink more when I offer him up to it.

I have no tips for loss of appetite though, I wish I had. He doesn't take free ranged feeders but will take from my hand or a pot/feeder. Both times he stopped eating, I just offered food, worried, offered food and repeat.

If he keeps hydrated, hopefully he'll start eating when he's ready. Hope all goes well for you.
 

chloe924

Member
Hey
Thanks for the replies and sorry mine is so late. It’s been crazy busy over the holidays for me.

You can always try the shower trick to see if he’ll drink but a plant in the shower point the water at the wall and let it bounce on the plant some times it takes a while for them to start drinking could take up to 15 mins to get them to drink when doing that
I tried a few variations of the shower method but he just doesn’t like it. I guess because of the strange environment and the fact that my bathroom is an extension and so pretty cold. This pic is of him desperately trying to run up my arm when I tried to take a pic in the shower. I’ve managed to get him drinking though! Just a little bit but I’m so happy! Turns out if I hand spray him with warm water in his cage he will drink and even lick water off of the leaves around him. Since I’m not sure how to heat up my mist king reservoir without creating a nasty bacterial breeding ground, I’m now hand spraying him once a day for as long as he happily stays in the spray. *fingers crossed*

One of mine has stopped eating for a week and it's happened twice in the last 7 months, so I appreciate your worry. Top Xmas present this year was him eating a single super worm!

Do you have a dripper? Mine drips onto pothos leaves and he's happy to drink from this. I often put him up to it when putting him back from his free range and so I know he's definitely drinking, even if he's off food, he drinks directly from the tip of the leaf. I've seen him doing the same on his own as well but he seems to drink more when I offer him up to it.

I have no tips for loss of appetite though, I wish I had. He doesn't take free ranged feeders but will take from my hand or a pot/feeder. Both times he stopped eating, I just offered food, worried, offered food and repeat.

If he keeps hydrated, hopefully he'll start eating when he's ready. Hope all goes well for you.
I have two drippers, a big dripper and another smaller one that both drip onto leaves. I’ve seen him look at them and lick his lips, but as far as I can tell he hasn’t drank from it.

His appetite is still shocking. He'll eat the odd thing but really isn't interested. I mix cup and free range feeding. To him my hand is an invitation out of his cage and so I can no longer hand feed unfortunately. I took him to the vet today though and somehow he has gained weight, even though he has barely touched any food for weeks. I dunno, going to stop freaking out as much and try and trust that he know what he needs.

I hope your lil’ man is doing well too! :)
 

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Thehippie

Chameleon Enthusiast
it could be the new worm treatment is stressing himm out and that's why he doesn't want to eat, it doesn't have to be anything in the treatment but maybe hes just stressing because there is a new substance in his body. assuming you don't sedate him everytime you inject treatment
 

Dave85731

Established Member
Sorry for the late response I was working a expo over the wknd but I should of mentioned when doing the shower trick keep the water Luke warm not straight cold but good you got him drinking try supperworms they always love those most of the dewormers don’t effect them you can give as much as you want and it won’t effect them to be honest when ever I get parasites I won’t feed for a few days during the first dose just cuz I don’t want anything in the stomach but the meds then give a huge meal on like day 3
 
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