PLEASE HELP IDK WHATS WRONG WITH HIM

auheen

New Member
A little background of my chameleon bc he has gone through a lot:

- he is over a year old, i’m thinking at least a year and a half, and used to belong to a family member until about a year ago (when i decided to take him in)
- while he was in that family members care he got badly injured, breaking all 4 limbs and was diagnosed with MBD when it took him to the vet
- he has been doing really good for a while now and is completely healed


Now for the issue:
For about a week I have realized that when I feed him he will occasionally leave his entire tongue out of his mouth for a couple seconds. He hasn’t been doing this until recently and I’m really worried something is wrong with the muscle in his tongue due to the trauma he experienced last year.
Also, for the entire time I’ve had him, he is rarely closing his mouth completely. He is my first cham so I thought it was normal at first, or maybe from an injury he sustained for before I had him.

I have attached a picture of him doing the weird tongue thing (he just leaves his tongue sitting in the cup), and a picture of him normally (for the issue of him never closing his mouth). I really need some advice and need to know if this is something I should take him to the vet for. I have a video of the tongue thing but I don’t know how to attatch videos to the forum. Thanks!
 

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nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
As long as he is not in distress, the vet will not help.

The MBD has affected the tongue structure and odds are its permanent. This can take several forms. Always missing food and only being able to shoot out an inch or two is the most common problems. You have one of the more rarer cases along with those that swallow their own tongues.

You may be able to mitigate some of the muscle problems by having a good supplementation schedule, as and imbalance will cause twitching and lack of muscle coordination.
 

auheen

New Member
As long as he is not in distress, the vet will not help.

The MBD has affected the tongue structure and odds are its permanent. This can take several forms. Always missing food and only being able to shoot out an inch or two is the most common problems. You have one of the more rarer cases along with those that swallow their own tongues.

You may be able to mitigate some of the muscle problems by having a good supplementation schedule, as and imbalance will cause twitching and lack of muscle coordination.
Thank you so much for your reply! What supplements and things do you recommend I get for him?
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
So when you first got him he wasn't doing this with his tongue at a all? Did his tongue look like it does now when he shot it out?
Has it always been that bumpy on the long thinnest part of it?

What did the vet tell you to do to correct the MBD he has when you got him? Is the vet a chameleon vet? Did the vet do X-rays or tests after the treatment to see if the bones were strong again?
 

auheen

New Member
So when you first got him he wasn't doing this with his tongue at a all? Did his tongue look like it does now when he shot it out?
Has it always been that bumpy on the long thinnest part of it?

What did the vet tell you to do to correct the MBD he has when you got him? Is the vet a chameleon vet? Did the vet do X-rays or tests after the treatment to see if the bones were strong again?
When I first got him he was really scared and wouldn’t eat around me. I also do not remember what his tongue used to look like.

The vet told me to keep doing what I had already been doing (giving him calcium and getting him a UVB, because he previous owners did not give him any vitamins or a UVB). The vet office was the only vet near me that took in reptiles, I do not think he did a very good job. They did not do any treatments or x-rays after or during the visit. It was pretty obvious that he had broken legs, and to be honest the vet wasn’t very helpful. The only thing the vet told me to do was to give him gatorade to replenish his electrolytes because he was dehydrated.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
His tongue could also be getting stuck on the bottom of that cup...

The exo terra does not have vitamin A in it. Could also be an issue with that since that can effect targeting. You want to buy Repashy Calcium Plus LoD version. Make sure it is this version. Give it 2 times a month say the 1st and the 15th.

I would fill out the how to ask for help form so we can review everything. and post pics of the entire cage and more of the cham.
 

auheen

New Member
In addition to what supplements you are using and their schedule, what type of uvb are you using?
I am using Flunkers Repta Calcium powder and the ExoTerra multivitamin powder. I don’t know if these are very good, so if you have any suggestions please let me know.

The UBV I use is the Thrive 15 watt tropical 18” bulb.
 

auheen

New Member
His tongue could also be getting stuck on the bottom of that cup...

The exo terra does not have vitamin A in it. Could also be an issue with that since that can effect targeting. You want to buy Repashy Calcium Plus LoD version. Make sure it is this version. Give it 2 times a month say the 1st and the 15th.

I would fill out the how to ask for help form so we can review everything. and post pics of the entire cage and more of the cham.
I don’t think it’s the cup because it happens even when he’s not eating from the cup.

I will purchase that thank you!

Where can I find the ask for help form?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I don’t think it’s the cup because it happens even when he’s not eating from the cup.

I will purchase that thank you!

Where can I find the ask for help form?
What I mean by the cup.... If you are holding it really close and he is targeting wrong and hitting the cup that hard.. If the tongue is getting stuck make sure you are not pulling the cup back in any way. Or he will strain his tongue. Also if he is having issues releasing his tongue it could be straining it.

You will want to copy and paste the form below into your reply. Then fill it out with as much detail as possible. Take pics of the entire cage along with your lighting on top. The more details we have the better we can help you.

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.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
I am using Flunkers Repta Calcium powder and the ExoTerra multivitamin powder. I don’t know if these are very good, so if you have any suggestions please let me know.

The UBV I use is the Thrive 15 watt tropical 18” bulb.
Which Flukers Calcium? You'll want to use a quality phosphorus-free calcium without D3 at every feeding, except for one feeding every two weeks, where you'll use a quality multivitamin with D3 and preformed Vit. A instead. Repashy LoD and Zoo Med Reptivite With D3 are the main options.

For your UVB, you'll need to get a linear T5 HO UVB light. Arcadia is an amazing brand! Get their linear T5 HO 6% bulb and hood (at least the width of his cage, if the cage width he currently has is smaller than 24", get one at least 24" or the width of the cage you plan to upgrade to), and place the light fixture where the bulb is 8-9" away from his basking branch
 

Mendez

Chameleon Enthusiast
I would also hold off for a few days before feeding him again. Constantly missing a food item over and over again until they get it just exacerbates the problem in the first place. His affected hyoid bone (from mbd) and a lack of preformed Vitamin A sounds like the root cause of why he is missing his food items. And now with each time he misses, the worse his aim will get. Let the strained tongue rest for a few days. Then place a large food item (dusted in a supplement with preformed Vitamin A) that is hard to miss pretty close to your cham. And listen to the supplementation recommendations above.

If your cham wasn't missing his prey when you first got him, then a warped hyoid bone from mbd is unlikely the root cause--though I doubt it's doing the cham any favors.

Giving the Tongue a Break + Proper Supplementation is what will get your cham back on track.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'd also try to find an experienced chameleon vet near you, even if it's a one or two hour drive. Having a reputable chameleon vet is literally a life saver and worth its weight in gold! Where do you live? We can try to help you find one!
 

auheen

New Member
Which Flukers Calcium? You'll want to use a quality phosphorus-free calcium without D3 at every feeding, except for one feeding every two weeks, where you'll use a quality multivitamin with D3 and preformed Vit. A instead. Repashy LoD and Zoo Med Reptivite With D3 are the main options.

For your UVB, you'll need to get a linear T5 HO UVB light. Arcadia is an amazing brand! Get their linear T5 HO 6% bulb and hood (at least the width of his cage, if the cage width he currently has is smaller than 24", get one at least 24" or the width of the cage you plan to upgrade to), and place the light fixture where the bulb is 8-9" away from his basking branch
The Flunkers calcium has vitamin D3 and is phosphorus free. I didn’t know I needed one without vitamin D3 so I will definitely be getting some asap!

It may be a while until I can get a new UVB because they are very expensive and I don’t have the funds for one right now. But I will try to get one soon.
 

auheen

New Member
I would also hold off for a few days before feeding him again. Constantly missing a food item over and over again until they get it just exacerbates the problem in the first place. His affected hyoid bone (from mbd) and a lack of preformed Vitamin A sounds like the root cause of why he is missing his food items. And now with each time he misses, the worse his aim will get. Let the strained tongue rest for a few days. Then place a large food item (dusted in a supplement with preformed Vitamin A) that is hard to miss pretty close to your cham. And listen to the supplementation recommendations above.

If your cham wasn't missing his prey when you first got him, then a warped hyoid bone from mbd is unlikely the root cause--though I doubt it's doing the cham any favors.

Giving the Tongue a Break + Proper Supplementation is what will get your cham back on track.
Okay thank you!
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
The Flunkers calcium has vitamin D3 and is phosphorus free. I didn’t know I needed one without vitamin D3 so I will definitely be getting some asap!

It may be a while until I can get a new UVB because they are very expensive and I don’t have the funds for one right now. But I will try to get one soon.
Okay, so you'll want to get a calcium without D3 then, Zoo Med ReptiCalcium Without D3 is a good one and is sold at most pet stores. The Fluker's calcium with D3 has way too much D3 in it, so to save money and simplify life, just get a multivitamin with D3 in it instead of a calcium with D3 and a multivitamin without. Zoo Med Reptivite With D3 is perfect and is also sold at most pet stores! So you'll use the calcium without D3 at every feeding, except for once every two weeks, wheel you'll use the Reptivite With D3. Because of the quantity of D3 in the Fluker's, I'd get bloodwork done from a cham vet to see if he has too much D3 in his system. @kinyonga should OP just use calcium without D3 and a multivitamin without D3 because of this (@auheen you'd buy and use Zoo Med Reptivite WITHOUT D3 instead of the Reptivite with D3)?

If it's not too stressful, taking him outside for natural sunlight will help until you get a T5 UVB bulb and fixture (you can look on FB Marketplace for used fixtures so you only have to purchase the bulb at full price, look for promo codes at online reptile stores from YouTube Channels, and/or see if there is a reptile convention near your soon where you can get a deal on them), which is a priority. If he's outside long enough, he won't need any D3 supplementation either
 

auheen

New Member
What I mean by the cup.... If you are holding it really close and he is targeting wrong and hitting the cup that hard.. If the tongue is getting stuck make sure you are not pulling the cup back in any way. Or he will strain his tongue. Also if he is having issues releasing his tongue it could be straining it.

You will want to copy and paste the form below into your reply. Then fill it out with as much detail as possible. Take pics of the entire cage along with your lighting on top. The more details we have the better we can help you.

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 - Male Veiled Chameleon. About 1.5-2 years old. I’ve had him since March of 2021 (So I’ve had him for a little over a year).
  • Handling - Not too much. Maybe once a month or when needed.
  • Feeding - I feed him large crickets and giant mealworms. About 5 mealworms and 5 crickets (sometimes more) every other day. Im not sure how to gut-load meal worms but I do put some of the calcium powder and multivitamin’s in the cup of meal worms when I first get them. I gut-load the crickets using Flunkers High-Calcium cricket diet. I also give the crickets Flunkers Cricket Quencher Calcium Fortified.
  • Supplements - Flunkers Repta Calcium with Vitamin D3 & Phosphorus Free powder and Exp Terra Multiviamin powder. I don’t really have a schedule for them, I just sprinkle them on my feeders every feeding.
  • Watering - I use a spray bottle to spray onto surfaces where it’ll drop down for him. I also have the Little Dripped by Zoo Med but I don’t use it much. I spray water into his cage about 3-5 times a day until it seems like he’s had enough. I do see him drinking.
  • Fecal Description - From what I can find in his cage, his urine dropping are slightly yellow and he has dark brown poop.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. We do believe he has MBD and had broken limbs when I first got him. His limbs seem to be healed now. His previous owner neglected using any type of UVB or supplements, nor did they use a correct heat bulb. I am honestly surprised he has lived this long knowing everything he had been through.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Full Screen cage. Height is 29 inches, Width and Length are both 16 inches.
  • Lighting - His heat bulb says it’s an Aqua Culture 120V 60W. His UVB is a Thrive 15W 18” Ampoule UVB bulb. His lights turn on at 9:30am and turn off at 9:30pm (I have a timer plug that his lights are plugged into).
  • Temperature - The area he basks in (underneath the heat bulb) is 90°. I’m not sure about the temperature on the rest of his cage. I do plan to lower his branch where his heat bulb is because it’s too close. I measure them with a digital thermometer that measures humidity and temp (picture attached), it’s by ZooMed.
  • Humidity - The humidity is about 42 percent. I don’t do much for the humidity. I use the same ZooMed digital thermometer to measure humidity.
  • Plants - I have 2 live plants in his enclosure (a snake plant and a golden pothos). I plan on putting more smaller golden pothos. I also have a fake ivy plant thing.
  • Placement - My cage is located in a corner of my room farther from my door (for less traffic), it also happens to be next to my bed. There is a heater vent on the opposite wall and occasionally a fan on the other side of my bed usually during nights. From the top of the cage to the floor is about 54 inches.
  • Location - I am located in Western North Carolina currently, moving to central Tennessee in a couple months.

Current Problem - Sometimes when he shoots his tongue out for food he leaves the entire thing out for a little bit (around 30 seconds).
 

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