Please Help - Chameleon doesn't seem healthy

So for 60 bones the mobile vet was able to rule out what Houdini doesn't have? Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm no doctor!) but he's treating something he's not able to diagnose?

Best of luck to you and Houdini, you two deserve better!
For 60 bones- he had a consult and examined him, gave me advice on husbandry, and told me my options- which is still cheaper than any vet I've been to. You have to pay for the consult no matter where you go.
 
Without a biopsy or observation of a response to treatment you can't get a definitive diagnosis.
I cannot afford a biopsy of 500 dollars. He said the top two were burn and bacterial. The medicine I have is what he was going to prescribe and it treats both (burns and all spectrums of bacteria). The vet would've prescribed it while awaiting results of a skin test anyway. Since I have the medicine and cannot afford a 350-500 dollar biopsy, I was advised to give it a try because it couldn't do any further harm. Also as noted in the post- Houdini is already doing better 2 days on the medicine I had, and after removing the old cream and applying new- it does appear to be helping. So we may have gotten lucky.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
You said..."Advised that I could try a topical cream- total cost around $200." ...so $200 just for cream??? Ridiculous.
"Said I could do cream and an antibiotic injection- around $350."... again ridiculous.
"Said we should also do a strip test (in addition to the above meds) to take a sample of the skin and see if anything grows for more specific treatment- looking around $500.
Said if it was something we couldn't figure out with that, then a biopsy for cancer cells and potential chemo ranging in the thousands could be attempted." So the biopsy would be another cost on top of the $500 for the strip test?? What is a strip test according to the vet?

SSD...silver sulfadiazene?


IMHO without testing you won't know the species of fungus it is if it is fungal and some of them like CANV need an oral anti fungal medication to treat it.
I don't know if the topical cream you have will kill all bacteria or not.
If it's cancer I would think it would be growing in size....but I can't be sure since I have no medical degree.
 

Mawtyplant

Chameleon Enthusiast
I still think it’s a minor burn.. anyway if you dcant afford test to identify the disease better be safe (have you test your lamps btw? With your hands? 5 minutes under the most accessible spot ((accessible = stock on the mesh ) i think this vet prices are exaggerated a bit .. you can try to call some other place for how much they charge for culture test ) b
You said..."Advised that I could try a topical cream- total cost around $200." ...so $200 just for cream??? Ridiculous.
"Said I could do cream and an antibiotic injection- around $350."... again ridiculous.
"Said we should also do a strip test (in addition to the above meds) to take a sample of the skin and see if anything grows for more specific treatment- looking around $500.
Said if it was something we couldn't figure out with that, then a biopsy for cancer cells and potential chemo ranging in the thousands could be attempted." So the biopsy would be another cost on top of the $500 for the strip test?? What is a strip test according to the vet?

SSD...silver sulfadiazene?


IMHO without testing you won't know the species of fungus it is if it is fungal and some of them like CANV need an oral anti fungal medication to treat it.
I don't know if the topical cream you have will kill all bacteria or not.
If it's cancer I would think it would be growing in size....but I can't be sure since I have no medical degree.

I agree this is scandalous! seriously, bacterial/fungus test here is bout 50-125 cdn depending of the test.. all they need a sample of the tissues.. Dont give antibiotic without confirmation of a bacteria.. gut flora is fragile you dont want to imbalance it just with a guess...
 
Hello everyone, I know it's been a while, but I wanted to reach back out and let everyone know the status of Mr. Houdini.

He is doing much better now- it was a LONNNGGGG process but it ended up being severe deep burns that needed months of care and healing to get better. My final herp vet turned out to be absolutely fabulous. It is a good 45-minute drive whenever I go to her clinic, but it's worth it for a great vet. She was very knowledgeable and her rates were extremely reasonable. The only thing I can deduce about everything is that the Zilla bulbs are what burned him. I've been reading a lot about this issue on other forums/groups and apparently, some of those basking bulbs (especially off Amazon), have a tendency to surge hotter and eventually pop as mine did. It was good that I switched to the household bulbs when I did, otherwise, he may not have made it- tbh I think he was close to that after I saw how deep his actual burns were. The large black patches in the photos above ended up getting bigger over time because it was scab tissue that was forming. The scabs eventually crusted up and got knocked off with his movement/misting. As they came off, I began to freak out and thought I was going to need to put him down (I felt so horrible for him), but when I took him to the vet, she said I was doing a great job caring for him and what I was seeing was a part of the healing process for deep burns and things were looking great (despite the gore). She actually told me she sees chameleons in way worse condition (which is scary because mine looked like someone filleted his sides and tops of his knees off). He actually had a hole at one point when the larger scab came off, that went INTO his chest cavity.

She gave me SSD cream and I had to give him antibiotic shots every other day for a few months in his little arms. He surprising took it well and never fought me on it. Despite hating roaches in my apartment, I gave him Dubias for much of this time because I know that the body needs the best protein for best healing and cell repair- and honestly, I believe they really helped. I took photos of everything over the process. How it started, how I cared for him before I freaked out and went to the final trustworthy vet, how I proceeded from that point on, and up until now. Since this seemed like such an unknown topic- I figured it may help someone else down the line.

I still have to pull all the photos together, some are VERY gory (raw meat kinda gory), but I've attached a photo of him from today (both sides). You can see he has some scarring and is still healing where the deep wounds were (which sheds more often and over time, appears to be slowly changing back to his coloring- from the outside edges of the wound inward). If the mods here are cool with it (I will need to see permission to post), I can post some of the scary photos from when he was really in the weeds so people can see the transition and the end result. He is back to his normal self now, with some shedding around the spots. Houdini enjoys coming out and hanging in his house trees watching everyone out my window. I also ensured I had good lighting fixture regulators on all the lamps to prevent any surging that could hurt him again, and even though I had temperature gauges prior on his basking spot- I went out and purchased a more expensive one to be certain all was good. I'm looking into building him a bigger habitat hopefully during quarantine- hell, he deserves it after what he went through. I can say I will never buy reptile basking bulbs like that again after this- because clearly they are not the quality they used to be. :/

Also, if anyone has any neat corner cages they have their reptiles in, I'd love to see them! I'm trying to figure my options on how to build/buy a corner unit that is enjoyable to him, but also considers easy clean-up and limits the space (considering the drainage, etc...)

Thank you all for taking the time to provide your insight/experience toward helping Houdini!
 

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Poor little fella but so glad he's doing better. You've taken excellent care of him. Being new to chams I am trying to soak up all the info I can.
 
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