Persistent eye problem + possible blindness

Geckoflora

Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Ramses- male panther chameleon, approx. 5-6 years old, been in my care for 4 years.
  • Handling - Fairly frequent- when the problem began, it was warm outside, and he's good with handling, so I often gave him the option to climb out onto an arm so he could go outside for some sun.
  • Feeding - Mainly crickets and superworms when the problem began, but currently feeding mostly superworms with some waxworms. Gutloaded crickets on leftover veggies (carrots/greens) and cricket diet (Pangea brand).
  • Supplements - Plain calcium for every other feeding, calcium with D3 every two weeks, vitamin A every two weeks.
  • Watering - Misting system set to go off 4 times a day for 2-3 minutes each time + I offer water from a hand-pump spray bottle a few times a day which he usually drinks from. Currently not drinking on his own due to his eye problem (as far as I can tell), so using a syringe to give water.
  • Fecal Description - No change as far as I can tell except more dehydrated from not drinking on his own, so urates aren't as white.
  • History - Has had a previous infection a few years back- not sure if any of the info is relevant, but I made a thread on it at the time which is here

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 2x2x4 screen cage, paper towel substrate, two sides covered in shower curtain
  • Lighting - Arcadia 6% T5 UVB bulb, 22 inch
  • Temperature - 100 w CHE for basking, keeps a hot spot around 90-95 degrees F. The rest of the cage is around 70-75 and drops a little lower at night.
  • Humidity - Not sure of the exact humidity but usually stays up a bit
  • Plants - Two pothos and a standing plant which I can't remember the name of
  • Placement - Sitting in the corner of a room on the floor near a window
  • Location - Florida panhandle

Current Problem -

Since back in the beginning of September, Ramses has had an ongoing issue with his eyes. It started with a bit of discharge and swelling in the inner part of the eyes, and there was some eye irritation, as he would occasionally try to rub his eyes on other surfaces. He would also keep his eyes closed completely as it got a bit worse. For awhile the problem seemed to not really be getting better or worse- his eyes would sometimes clear up bit/get rid of some of the discharge, but then it would come back, so nothing really changed. He was still eating and drinking normally during this time and mostly keeping his eyes open.

Then around the end of October, he started keeping his eyes closed more often, and seemed to have more discharge in his eyes (or they just weren't clearing it out as well). This became a problem for eating/drinking, since with closed eyes he couldn't see when I was trying to feed or offer the water bottle, though I think he was still interested in both (the few times he did open his eyes and see I had food/water, he was interested), so I had to start force-feeding to get food into his mouth and using a syringe to give water (which I'm currently still doing).

Throughout all this, he has been to the vet four times. He has tried antibiotics (oral ciprofloxacin and some eye drops when his eyes were still open), SSD cream + an oral antifungal, and vitamin A drops. The antifungal and SSD cream were given because the vet checked him under a UV light and said he looked like he may have a fungal infection around the top of the head (I can share pictures of this as well if anyone with experience would like to take a look and see). None of these medications seem to have fixed the problem completely, unfortunately, if they've had any effect.

I'm currently working just to keep Ramses at a proper weight and keep him hydrated- he doesn't take water or food real easily and it seems to stress him, as we're several months into this now. He seems functionally blind at the moment, if not actually blind from eye damage from this problem that has been going on for so long. In this past week after being on the antifungal + vitamin drops he's cracked his eyes open a bit here and there (which I'm not sure if it's a sign of improvement or simply from annoyance at being manhandled a lot more), but I took a picture of what his eye currently looks like which you can see attached. And I know his eyes are sunken in the picture as well- unfortunately it's been a struggle trying to keep him hydrated.

I'm not really sure what to do at this point- my vet's suggestion now is to try another vet clinic which is 2.5 hours away (my area doesn't really have any specialists for this). But even then, I'm not sure it matters if he's blind, as I'm not sure I can provide him a good quality of life if he can't see. I'm not sure he can really adjust to eating/drinking on his own if he's unable to see his food and water, or it would at least be a very stressful process for him.

Does anyone have experience with anything similar and can offer any suggestions or might have any idea what's going on with his eyes? I'm just pretty lost- I appreciate any help!
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Doubt that I can really be of any help. Your husbandry looks ok except aren’t you giving him a multivitamin?
 

CBee7726

Avid Member
I'm sorry to hear that this is happening. Unfortunately, I'm not a vet and cannot provide any professional advice. How long has he been on the Vitamin A supplement for? Was he receiving a multivitamin containing Vit A prior to this?

If your current vet isn't an exotic specialist, but the one they recommended that's 2.5hours away has experience with chameleons it might be worth the trip for a second opinion.
 

Flick boy

Avid Member
Looking seriously dehydrated. so ut out super worm and waxworms Add hornworms as their full of water hydration bsfl dubia . Get rid of che add incandescent 90 to so hot get down to around 80 . Please fill in husbandry form ASAP. Supplements no vit a or d3
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Ramses- male panther chameleon, approx. 5-6 years old, been in my care for 4 years.
  • Handling - Fairly frequent- when the problem began, it was warm outside, and he's good with handling, so I often gave him the option to climb out onto an arm so he could go outside for some sun.
  • Feeding - Mainly crickets and superworms when the problem began, but currently feeding mostly superworms with some waxworms. Gutloaded crickets on leftover veggies (carrots/greens) and cricket diet (Pangea brand).
  • Supplements - Plain calcium for every other feeding, calcium with D3 every two weeks, vitamin A every two weeks.
  • Watering - Misting system set to go off 4 times a day for 2-3 minutes each time + I offer water from a hand-pump spray bottle a few times a day which he usually drinks from. Currently not drinking on his own due to his eye problem (as far as I can tell), so using a syringe to give water.
  • Fecal Description - No change as far as I can tell except more dehydrated from not drinking on his own, so urates aren't as white.
  • History - Has had a previous infection a few years back- not sure if any of the info is relevant, but I made a thread on it at the time which is here

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 2x2x4 screen cage, paper towel substrate, two sides covered in shower curtain
  • Lighting - Arcadia 6% T5 UVB bulb, 22 inch
  • Temperature - 100 w CHE for basking, keeps a hot spot around 90-95 degrees F. The rest of the cage is around 70-75 and drops a little lower at night.
  • Humidity - Not sure of the exact humidity but usually stays up a bit
  • Plants - Two pothos and a standing plant which I can't remember the name of
  • Placement - Sitting in the corner of a room on the floor near a window
  • Location - Florida panhandle

Current Problem -

Since back in the beginning of September, Ramses has had an ongoing issue with his eyes. It started with a bit of discharge and swelling in the inner part of the eyes, and there was some eye irritation, as he would occasionally try to rub his eyes on other surfaces. He would also keep his eyes closed completely as it got a bit worse. For awhile the problem seemed to not really be getting better or worse- his eyes would sometimes clear up bit/get rid of some of the discharge, but then it would come back, so nothing really changed. He was still eating and drinking normally during this time and mostly keeping his eyes open.

Then around the end of October, he started keeping his eyes closed more often, and seemed to have more discharge in his eyes (or they just weren't clearing it out as well). This became a problem for eating/drinking, since with closed eyes he couldn't see when I was trying to feed or offer the water bottle, though I think he was still interested in both (the few times he did open his eyes and see I had food/water, he was interested), so I had to start force-feeding to get food into his mouth and using a syringe to give water (which I'm currently still doing).

Throughout all this, he has been to the vet four times. He has tried antibiotics (oral ciprofloxacin and some eye drops when his eyes were still open), SSD cream + an oral antifungal, and vitamin A drops. The antifungal and SSD cream were given because the vet checked him under a UV light and said he looked like he may have a fungal infection around the top of the head (I can share pictures of this as well if anyone with experience would like to take a look and see). None of these medications seem to have fixed the problem completely, unfortunately, if they've had any effect.

I'm currently working just to keep Ramses at a proper weight and keep him hydrated- he doesn't take water or food real easily and it seems to stress him, as we're several months into this now. He seems functionally blind at the moment, if not actually blind from eye damage from this problem that has been going on for so long. In this past week after being on the antifungal + vitamin drops he's cracked his eyes open a bit here and there (which I'm not sure if it's a sign of improvement or simply from annoyance at being manhandled a lot more), but I took a picture of what his eye currently looks like which you can see attached. And I know his eyes are sunken in the picture as well- unfortunately it's been a struggle trying to keep him hydrated.

I'm not really sure what to do at this point- my vet's suggestion now is to try another vet clinic which is 2.5 hours away (my area doesn't really have any specialists for this). But even then, I'm not sure it matters if he's blind, as I'm not sure I can provide him a good quality of life if he can't see. I'm not sure he can really adjust to eating/drinking on his own if he's unable to see his food and water, or it would at least be a very stressful process for him.

Does anyone have experience with anything similar and can offer any suggestions or might have any idea what's going on with his eyes? I'm just pretty lost- I appreciate any help!
It’s vet time asap.
 
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