Please help! Urgent please!!!

joshua1

New Member
Please help-my cham is dying!!!

I'm at absolute freak point, I think my veiled chameleon is dying. He has been totally healthy the past couple of days (and his whole life) and been eating and pooping fine. Although (I have only had him since Christmas, he is quite small) this afternoon I went to pick him up but BEFORE I even managed to touch him he suddenly went from totally healthy and green to black speckled. He collapsed and seemed to be gagging for air. He opens his mouth really wide but that is all he has the strength to do. Never had any issues-never dropped him. He has his eyes closed and now wont move at all-looks totally dead. I'm so scared. I firstly thought he had choked so I fed him water through a syringe. He just regurgitated it. He cannot do anything-not even breath.
I have taken him to the vet-he is stone cold. The vet said that there are a few things it could be like liver/kidney failure or bone disease. Although it could be dehydration but I have given a clean supply of water each day. He has always eaten well and grown. He recently shed his skin too. The vet says that he might have to be put down. Any help? I am in absolute despair. He as at the vet over night, they will heat him and see what they can do. PLEASE HELP IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING. one last thing is he does have a ventilated cage and it isn't damp. Remember that the sudden sickness was instant. :(
 
Last edited:

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm at absolute freak point, I think my veiled chameleon is dying. He has been totally healthy the past couple of days (and his whole life) and been eating and pooping fine. Although (I have only had him since Christmas, he is quite small) this afternoon I went to pick him up but BEFORE I even managed to touch him he suddenly went from totally healthy and green to black speckled. He collapsed and seemed to be gagging for air. He opens his mouth really wide but that is all he has the strength to do. Never had any issues-never dropped him. He has his eyes closed and now wont move at all-looks totally dead. I'm so scared. I firstly thought he had choked so I fed him water through a syringe. He just regurgitated it. He cannot do anything-not even breath.
I have taken him to the vet-he is stone cold. The vet said that there are a few things it could be like liver/kidney failure or bone disease. Although it could be dehydration but I have given a clean supply of water each day. He has always eaten well and grown. He recently shed his skin too. The vet says that he might have to be put down. Any help? I am in absolute despair. He as at the vet over night, they will heat him and see what they can do. PLEASE HELP IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING. one last thing is he does have a ventilated cage and it isn't damp. Remember that the sudden sickness was instant. :(
Without knowing the details of how he was kept (his cage, the temperatures kept at, how you gave him water, what he was fed, what you dusted and gutloaded with, what type of lighting you used, everything in detail) we can't possibly help much. Most of the time chams don't just get that sick that fast. They are expert at hiding serious health problems until it is almost too late. You say he was young, yours since Christmas, and possibly he was your first cham? There are many things that could have gone wrong but we need a lot more information to figure out the problem. Hopefully your vet is experienced in reptiles and can help him!
 

jpm995

Member
What Carlton said plus pics would be helpful. Maybe something he ate or can't pass or possible parasites would be my guess. Lets hope the vet can save him.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Personally, I think you may have scared him really badly and that caused his reaction. Trying to give him water when he was in that state may have made things worse. IMHO you should never give an animal water when its gasping for air already. You could get water into its lungs or choke it.

I hope it will be okay.
 

joshua1

New Member
Thankyou for your support-here is some info

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Yemen chameleon-male
Handling - quite frequently-usually is does not mind being handled at all
Feeding - Feeds on crickets and meal worms up to 10-12 a day-I give a couple a week dusted in vitamin supplements
Supplements - Zoo-med Reptivite
Watering- Fresh water every day and don't often mist-although he does not seem to mind not being misted
Fecal Description - Big and healthy droppings-never had parasites far as I no
History - He has been very healthy indeed. Got him at christmas. Shed skin recently. Suddenly just fell and started gasping?

Cage Info:
Glass cage with wire mesh covering top. Heated well and dimensions about 75cm by 55cm
Lighting - Heat lamp bulb
Temperature - thermometer inside always about 26-30 Celsius, over night can drop to 24
Humidity - Humidity levels about 50 when I look. Never spray water in case of fungal infections. Always got clean water. He drinks it often.
Plants - fake plants only
Placement - Cage is off floor on shelf and near sun light (not directly in it) No fans or traffic.
Location - England Havant.

Current Problem - Seems to be gasping and has lost all colour and collapsed. He is my first cham.
 

Julirs

New Member
You have a lot to change if your little one makes it back to you. Are you saying he has a water dish? Weirdly enough I have known some to drink from some but it is very rare. Chameleon get their water from drinking it off of leaves generally, so if you are not misting often I would say your chameleon was dehydrated from that and the humidity has to be next to none. It is truly a requirement to mist heavily several times daily. I see only a heat lamp? Dp you have a UVB lamp? This is crucial for chameleons. What wattage is your heat bulb and what are you measuring temps with? I see far too many people cooking chameleons in glass tanks with a 75-100 watt lightbulb and a round analog thermometer that does nothing for measuring basking temps. The other issue is that you are not supplementing with calcium and are using way, way too much multivitamins. You need to get some calcium with no D3 and use that 5X weekly, and then use the multivite twice a month. I am going to have to bet that your chameleon was dieing of dehydration-were part of his droppings orange? That is a sure sign. I hope your Vet can pull him through so you can get him in an appropriate cage with live plants and start misting the heck out of him 2-3x a day. Who gave you the idea of fungal infections from misting?
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
You don't mention having a UVB light and you need to look at your supplementation. Reptivite has prEformed vitamin A in it which can build up in the chameleon's system. Don't know if yours has D3 in it or not. Also it has phosphorus in it. (read below)

Water shouldn't give the chameleon a fungal infection as long as the cage can dry out before the lights go out. You said the cage is near sunlight...is it near a window? If it gets cold at night then this can lead to fungal infections and RI's. The sunlight passing through a window glass (or plastic for that matter) does not provide UVB for the chameleon BTW. What is the heat lamp bulb you are using?

Here's some information about chameleon husbandry with some links at the bottom...

Exposure to proper UVB, appropriate temperatures, supplements, a supply of well-fed/gutloaded insects, water and an appropriate cage set-up are all important for the well-being of your chameleon.

Appropriate cage temperatures aid in digestion and thus play a part indirectly in nutrient absorption. For a hatchling veiled I keep the cage temperatures more even in the low to mid 80'sF...but for male veileds that are about 5 months old the basking temperature can be in the mid to high 80'sF during the day.

Exposure to UVB from either direct sunlight or a proper UVB light allows the chameleon to produce D3 so that it can use the calcium in its system to make/keep the bones strong and be used in other systems in the chameleon as well. The UVB should not pass through glass or plastic no matter whether its from the sun or the UVB light. The most often recommended UVB light is the long linear fluorescent Repti-sun 5.0 tube light. Some of the compacts, spirals and tube lights have caused health issues, but so far there have been no bad reports against this one.

Since many of the feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorus in them, its important to dust the insects just before you feed them to the chameleon at most feedings with a phos.-free calcium powder to help make up for it. (I use Rep-cal phosphorus-free calcium).

If you also dust twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder it will ensure that your chameleon gets some D3 without overdoing it. It leaves the chameleon to produce the rest of what it needs through its exposure to the UVB light. D3 from supplements can build up in the system but D3 produced from exposure to UVB shouldn't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it. (I use Rep-cal phos.-free calcium/D3).

Dusting twice a month as well with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A will ensure that the chameleon gets some vitamins without the danger of overdosing the vitamin A. PrEformed sources of vitamin A can build up in the system and may prevent the D3 from doing its job and push the chameleon towards MBD. However, there is controversy as to whether all/any chameleons can convert the beta carotene and so some people give some prEformed vitamin A once in a while. (I use herptivite.)

Gutloading/feeding the insects well helps to provide what the chameleon needs. I gutload crickets, roaches, locusts, superworms, etc. with an assortment of greens (dandelions, kale, collards, endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, zucchini, etc.)

Calcium, phos., D3 and vitamin A are important players in bone health and other systems in the chameleon (muscles, etc.) and they need to be in balance. When trying to balance them, you need to look at the supplements, what you feed the insects and what you feed the chameleon.

Here are some good sites for you to read...
http://chameleonnews.com/07FebWheelock.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200605020...Vitamin.A.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200406080...d.Calcium.html
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/
http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/
http://web.archive.org/web/200601140...ww.adcham.com/
 
Top Bottom