Please help! Chameleon's eyes closed. 😢

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you for your help earlier this week!

I made the recommended changes: On Tuesday, I got the Zoo Med ReptiSun T8 10.0 UVB Lamp and raised it to about 7-8" from the basking branch. I made a better fresh veggies gut-load for the crickets, and yesterday I offered her 2 hornworms in case she was dehydrated.

She seemed to be better yesterday, though still had her right eye closed. She went to sleep and got up at regular times. This morning though, she refused food. She hissed, lunged, and turned away when I offered a hornworm and a cricket.

What's next? Should I just wait to see if the uvb does its work?
Can you post new pics for us please?
So how long has she actually had the uvb now? Is she up basking under it?
Did you drop back the basking temp to 78-80max?

Have you tried doing a longer misting so she can clean and clear the eye?

With that laybin in the bottom. You want to decrease the play sand amount. It is too deep. 6-7 inches of playsand max.
 

Faithan84

Member
Are you sure she's 3-4 months ?

Do you have a lay bin in her enclosure ?
I'm not certain how old she is. I got her a month and a half ago from PetSmart. She has grown a lot since then. I can post a picture of her size when I got her.
IMG_20201228_072418167.jpg

This was taken about a week after I got her.

Yes, I have a lay bin in the bottom of her cage.
 

Faithan84

Member
Can you post new pics for us please?
So how long has she actually had the uvb now? Is she up basking under it?
Did you drop back the basking temp to 78-80max?

Have you tried doing a longer misting so she can clean and clear the eye?

With that laybin in the bottom. You want to decrease the play sand amount. It is too deep. 6-7 inches of playsand max.
I can take pictures tonight.

The new uvb light has been up for about 2 days now. I have seen her basking under it.

I lowered the room heater, but I haven't checked how it affected the basking light temp.

I have done longer mistings, but I work Wed-Fri so I've only been able to do 2 a day.

The lay bin is only 5" deep with play sand. The cage is only 30" high. That may make it seem deeper than it is.
 

Faithan84

Member
I can take pictures tonight.

The new uvb light has been up for about 2 days now. I have seen her basking under it.

I lowered the room heater, but I haven't checked how it affected the basking light temp.

I have done longer mistings, but I work Wed-Fri so I've only been able to do 2 a day.

The lay bin is only 5" deep with play sand. The cage is only 30" high. That may make it seem deeper than it is.
She was asleep when I got home a little after 7pm.. She didn't wake when I did a long spray in her cage. It looks like she ate the hornworm I left in her cage. She also had a big poop. I'm not sure this picture gives any more info. 🤷‍♀️

IMG_20210211_192330805.jpg
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
She was asleep when I got home a little after 7pm.. She didn't wake when I did a long spray in her cage. It looks like she ate the hornworm I left in her cage. She also had a big poop. I'm not sure this picture gives any more info. 🤷‍♀️

View attachment 292430
So with hornworms you want to handfeed these only because they can hurt their tongue. Horns have really powerful grip and they will hold on for dear life to anything. So when the cham hits it they do not let go and the cham can damage the tongue trying to retract it.

Do you have your lights on a 12 hour on 12 hour off timer?

I do not see anything visibly wrong with her. Let me know how she is tomorrow.
 

Faithan84

Member
So with hornworms you want to handfeed these only because they can hurt their tongue. Horns have really powerful grip and they will hold on for dear life to anything. So when the cham hits it they do not let go and the cham can damage the tongue trying to retract it.

Do you have your lights on a 12 hour on 12 hour off timer?

I do not see anything visibly wrong with her. Let me know how she is tomorrow.
Okay good to know. Always more to learn. 😔

Yes, the lights are 7am-7pm except for one light that I have to turn off manually.

Thanks for your time!
 

GrayMadder

Chameleon Enthusiast
Okay good to know. Always more to learn. 😔

Yes, the lights are 7am-7pm except for one light that I have to turn off manually.

Thanks for your time!
So if you got home after 7pm and her lights go out at 7pm and shes asleep that's normal. They go to their sleep spot an hour or two before bedtime and hang out there until lights out. It sounds pretty normal.
 

Faithan84

Member
So with hornworms you want to handfeed these only because they can hurt their tongue. Horns have really powerful grip and they will hold on for dear life to anything. So when the cham hits it they do not let go and the cham can damage the tongue trying to retract it.

Do you have your lights on a 12 hour on 12 hour off timer?

I do not see anything visibly wrong with her. Let me know how she is tomorrow.
😔 She's not doing well. This morning when her lights came on, she only took about two steps up from her sleeping spot. Both eyes were closed. She didn't react when I touched her foot or her belly. She didn't open her eyes, move, or change color. I put a cricket close to her face and she didn't react. I'm going to call the vet and see if I can get her in tomorrow. 😢

IMG_20210212_073133816.jpg
 

Fchamel

Chameleon Enthusiast
From the photo you posted last night, it looks like her eye still looks like there is something wrong. I suggest a vet.
Screenshot_20210212-104543.png
 

GrayMadder

Chameleon Enthusiast
What changes did you make for your enclosure? I suggest redoing the ask for help form with the new changes so we can help narrow down what's wrong w the enclosure.

I do think you need a vet, but we can at least help you correct the problem when she returns from a visit to the vet.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
😔 She's not doing well. This morning when her lights came on, she only took about two steps up from her sleeping spot. Both eyes were closed. She didn't react when I touched her foot or her belly. She didn't open her eyes, move, or change color. I put a cricket close to her face and she didn't react. I'm going to call the vet and see if I can get her in tomorrow. 😢

View attachment 292450
Ok move her up under the uvb on the branch. Hopefully you have a Vet that has chameleon experience. Biggest thing they need to know is that she had no uvb for 2 months because the fixture had plastic over the bulb. They will probably want to do bloodwork and an xray to see what is going on. If you can get a fresh fecal take that in as well to test for parasites.

Any chance she has been eating the moss in the plants? this is an impaction risk. I would take that out and use 1 inch or larger stones over the dirt.
 

Faithan84

Member
From the photo you posted last night, it looks like her eye still looks like there is something wrong. I suggest a vet. View attachment 292452
Thank you. I'm going to try to get her in tomorrow.

What changes did you make for your enclosure? I suggest redoing the ask for help form with the new changes so we can help narrow down what's wrong w the enclosure.

I do think you need a vet, but we can at least help you correct the problem when she returns from a visit to the vet.
I'll work on that tomorrow.

Ok move her up under the uvb on the branch. Hopefully you have a Vet that has chameleon experience. Biggest thing they need to know is that she had no uvb for 2 months because the fixture had plastic over the bulb. They will probably want to do bloodwork and an xray to see what is going on. If you can get a fresh fecal take that in as well to test for parasites.

Any chance she has been eating the moss in the plants? this is an impaction risk. I would take that out and use 1 inch or larger stones over the dirt.
I wasn't able to move her since I had a long day at work. I had my roommate check on her in the evening and she was on her basking branch. She ate two crickets. I didn't want my roommate to feed her too much before bed, but she said that Kiwi seemed "enthusiastic" about food. She had one eye open. This was the picture she sent me.
24249.jpeg

She went to sleep there and her colors changed when I sprayed her cage. There was a fresh poop at the bottom of the cage. The urate seemed runny but white.

I haven't seen her eat the moss, but some has moved around when she crawls on the plants. I can definitely change out the moss for rocks. I'll work on that tomorrow. Question... If impaction occurs, can they still defecate?

I appreciate everyone who is helping her!!! It's been a stressful week and it's been better having you all to turn to! ❤️
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you. I'm going to try to get her in tomorrow.


I'll work on that tomorrow.


I wasn't able to move her since I had a long day at work. I had my roommate check on her in the evening and she was on her basking branch. She ate two crickets. I didn't want my roommate to feed her too much before bed, but she said that Kiwi seemed "enthusiastic" about food. She had one eye open. This was the picture she sent me.
View attachment 292488
She went to sleep there and her colors changed when I sprayed her cage. There was a fresh poop at the bottom of the cage. The urate seemed runny but white.

I haven't seen her eat the moss, but some has moved around when she crawls on the plants. I can definitely change out the moss for rocks. I'll work on that tomorrow. Question... If impaction occurs, can they still defecate?

I appreciate everyone who is helping her!!! It's been a stressful week and it's been better having you all to turn to! ❤️
If she is passing fecal than she is not impacted... So this is good. But I would remove it so this does not become an issue. And remember you want 1 inch or larger rock so she can not eat them.

When you get a chance show me the bad eye side.
 

Faithan84

Member
I figured I owed you all an update. I made several changes to the cage, and took her to a vet. The vet gave her fluids and vitamins and sent us home with both an oral antibiotic for respiratory infection and topical antibiotic for her eyes. I followed the medication schedule for two weeks. Kiwi didn't eat for a few days but eventually regained her strength and started eating again. If she didn't hate me before, she really hates me now. With the poking, medication, and changes to the cage, she's been super jumpy and annoyed. She seems to be doing better, but last night I found her asleep in a new place low in her cage around 5pm. Here's the updated form:

Chameleon Info:

Your Chameleon - Kiwi is 5-6 months? Female Veiled. I've had her since December 20, 2020.

Handling - I had to handle her to give her the oral and topical antibiotic for two weeks. She hated this. I haven't handled her since the medication course ended.

Feeding - While she was sick, she refused food for nearly a week, then she would only eat one or two wax worms a day. I got her to eat a few hornworms (handfed) during this time. When she started feeling better, I offered her silkworms and black soldier fly larvae in a cup and wax worms with the tongs to encourage trust again. She's been eating all I offer. I cut back on her food to 5-6 feeders every other day.

Supplements - Zoomed Repti Calcium without D3, and Zoomed Reptivite. I've been dusting the worms/larvae with the calcium at each feeding, and dusting with the Reptivite once every other week.

Watering - I got a MistKing and PETSPIONEER Reptile Humidifier Digital Timing Fog Machine that I have set up to go off at the intervals suggested by chameleon academy. I have a Little Dripper that I fill each day. I've seen her drink occasionally. She still gets nervous with me near her cage. I've been using spring water for the dripper and distilled or RO water for the rest.

Fecal Description - She's been pooping less frequently. The last couple poops looked hydrated, sometimes with runny urates. She has not been tested for parasites. I misplaced the fecal sample on the way to the vet and haven't made it back up there yet to drop one off.

History - She has been pretty happy. Her colors are pale green when sleeping, and she's been darker on her basking branch. I see her most often on the basking branch through the day. She darkens and gets defensive when I get near the cage and always has an eye on me. She turns more green when I feed her. Unfortunately, I had the wrong uvb lamp with a plastic cover for the first two months I had her. She was treated for conjunctivitis and a respiratory infection with a 2 week course of topical and oral antibiotics. She has regained more strength and appetite, but doesn't seem 100% yet. I have a cat, but she seems more interested in the crickets than the cham. I don't think she's stressing the cham. The medicine course and changes to the cage really stressed her out. I've been trying to give her as much space as possible.

Cage Info: I am another victim of the Zoo Med Repti Breeze Chameleon Kit. It's a 16"x16"x30" screen cage. I ordered a Dragon Strand 2x2x4 tall hybrid cage that will hopefully arrive sometime in April.

Lighting - Zoomed HO T5 5% uvb 24" bulb/fixture 8" from the basking branch. I have an Eco Incandescent Natural Light 100W replacement bulb for basking/heat. The new cage will also have a SANSI 24W LED Plant Grow Light Full Spectrum bulb. All lights are on a 7am-7pm timer.

Temperature - Floor - 70-73°F, middle of cage - 75-77°F, Basking - 78-80°F. Night temps drop to mid 60's. I have an Infrared Thermometer Gun, the Zoo Med digital thermometer that came with the kit, and a ThermPro digital thermometer/hygrometer that records highs and lows. I also have a space heater about 2' from the cage.

Humidity - Day humidity is around 30-50%. Night humidity goes up to around 70%. I have the hygrometer that came with the kit and a ThermPro digital thermometer/hygrometer that records highs and lows. They are currently on the other side of the cage from the mister and fogger, so I'm probably getting higher night humidity on that side (the place she usually sleeps) than is registering. I put another digital thermometer/hygrometer on the other side, but the extra moisture messed it up.

Plants - Yes. I have a money tree, 2 pothos (one big, one small), a nerve plant, a spider plant, a polka dot plant, and a maiden hair fern. I have natural branches placed throughout. The plants need to grow a bit more to provide more privacy. She's taken a bite out of nearly all of them but prefers the pothos and money tree. The new cage will also have a monstera and schefflera. Soil in plants are covered with 1" rocks.

Placement - My room is in the basement of the house. It stays cooler down here, which is why I've struggled with temperature. It is on one end of a long room. My desk is close to it and I often sit there to do school work. The top of the cage is about 6' above the floor.

Location - I am in central North Carolina.

Current Problem - Still recovering, stressed, and I'm not certain my feeding schedule is right. I have a few questions about the laying bin. Do people keep the laying bin in the cage at all times? Also, I've seen different recommendations about the size and depth of the bin. I'd like to hear a consensus before setting up the new cage. Kiwi seems to be doing better but I found her asleep in a new place low in her cage at 5pm last night.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Last night early to bed:
View attachment 295031

This morning, both eyes open and alert, moving quickly through her cage to avoid me...
View attachment 295033
View attachment 295034

The current setup:
View attachment 295032
Hi. Your husbandry looks good to my eyes. Not sure why she’d be sleeping a couple of hours early. Often chams will get ready and go to their sleep spot about an hour or so before lights out, but 2 hours before I don’t know. I prefer keeping the lay bin in the enclosure all the time. Not only does it reduce our stress of trying to guess when it’s needed, but it also reduces your chameleon’s stress of having a new item placed in her home.
 

Faithan84

Member
Hi. Your husbandry looks good to my eyes. Not sure why she’d be sleeping a couple of hours early. Often chams will get ready and go to their sleep spot about an hour or so before lights out, but 2 hours before I don’t know. I prefer keeping the lay bin in the enclosure all the time. Not only does it reduce our stress of trying to guess when it’s needed, but it also reduces your chameleon’s stress of having a new item placed in her home.
That's a relief! It's been a struggle getting things right! Hopefully it was just an odd day. Thanks for the tip with the laying bin.
 

Faithan84

Member
So in the morning when lights go on she is up and moving around correct? As in acting normal with basking and eating? No lighting to disturb her at night right, she has total darkness? No red lamps etc?
Yes, she's been more active during the morning, basking, eating. Because she's in my living room, I cut off the main lights and dim one lamp. So not total darkness. I've also added the mister and fogger in the past week. Perhaps she's not used to it yet? I can try total darkness tonight.
 
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