Please help! Vitamin A Deficiency? Closed eyes, respiratory infection, lethargy

Simba
Panther Chameleon
5 and 1/2 years (In my care for 5 years)
Male
Handled 1-3x per week: He used to love venturing out of his habitat, would walk on to my hand when I opened the door. He has had many health issues over the past 4 months and has been handled much more frequently, but with much more stress, so I have been doing my best to leave him in peace for the past 4 weeks or so, only handling him when necessary, although he does seem like he still trusts me and appreciates my company.
-Feeding: Crickets, superworms, hornworms, dusted and handfed. Usually I offer free range crickets (7-10 crickets 2-3x per week), but he has not been hunting them for the past 2 weeks (when his symptoms became more severe)
-Supplements: Reptivite multivitamin 1x/wk, Reptical w/ d3 1x/wk (i know that this is not ideal, and i am looking to rememdy this asap! The reptile specialist i have been taking him to says this is fine (obviously though, he is not fine) There is SO much conflicting information regarding supplementation! I desperately need some experienced advice quickly before I lose him!
-Watering: Filtered water always x 4 months (tap water before). Simba drinks "by hand" via a small water bottle 3x/day or "as requested" Mister in habitat, 4 mins 2-5x per day depending on season. He has never been a good drinker, ever.
-Fecal: After recent antibiotics after 2 surgeries he has been extremely dehydrated despite all of my efforts. He last defecated last week, stool was firm and dark, urates pale orange (3 wks ago, normal stool/urates)
-History: Previously to 5 months ago, Simba was happy, social, had a great appetite and was very active, then i noticed he began to lose his grip and had more falls. I also noticed one of his eyes seem to be bothering him and he frequently had it closed . In one of those falls, Simba broke the tip of his tail, vet said it was too necrotic and had to be amputated (1/4" at the tip). Abx injections every 3 days for 7 injections. One week after his last injection, he had a Hemi pens prolapse which required surgery and once again he was placed on a series of antibiotic injections. It was at this time that he took a serious turn for the worse. Initially he was only lethargic however he was still eating and drinking normally. He began keeping both eyes closed almost constantly and when they have been open I notice the inner lid is red and irritated. For the past 5 days he has been the same, almost doesn't move.

Habitat info:
- Type: Exoterra extra tall (4' H x 2 x 2), glass with screen top
-Lighting: On timer 12hrs uva (daylight blue 60w) & uvb (reptile uvb 100 by exoterra 120v/26w) (I changed this about 4 months ago after reading/online research that the tropical mini uvb (tropical) would not put out enough through the screen. He used to seem to want to be lower, and after changing the bulb, especially recently, he wants to be right at the top (6" below the screen) which I attributed to him needing either more heat/uva/uvb, which is why I changed the bulb. He became very active for a few weeks after the change, which I considered an improvement, but now I am wondering if I should change it back. Red heat bulb basking light 24hrs
-Temperature: Lowest (bottom) 70 (night)/Highest @ Top 6" under basking light 95-100/85 (night), Top (not under heat bulb) 90-95/80(night) ...It does seem a little on the warm side, but I increased his heat thinking it would be more beneficial due to his conditions.
-Humidity: Despite the Mister and frequent mists, the humidity seems to fluctuate greatly. In the morning, after 12 hrs, around20-30%, during the day, I do my best to keep it no lower than 40% supplementing with extra misting as needed.
-Location: In a small office at work away from windows, hvac keeps the room temp relatively stable at 68-72 degrees


I have heard crackling in his lungs, which suggests respiratory infection, but no discharge from nose. About 4 months ago I thought I saw bubbling from his nose, twice in one day, but not after.

His belly is also distended, however I know he is very constipated due to medication and dehydration and not eating. He also has been "holding it" since the prolapse (which I completely understand but need to remedy).

He stays warm, but he also isn't thermoregulating as he used to so I am constantly keeping an eye on his body temp


To help with the congestion/fluid in lungs and tosupport hydration I am giving him 2-3 warm mists each day. Is this too much??

I am desperately trying to encourage him to eat, today he ate one cricket, yesterday none. He prefers superworms, but petco was out. He is extremely weak!


I am 90% positive that almost all of his issues are related to nutrition, vitamin a Deficiency, possibly too much d3?

The vet that has been seeing him initially said everything looked good when he was presented for the broken tail, but she has proven to me that her experience is not so great with chameleons. She is also overcharging me for ridiculous things and never has any appointments available. I have spent over $1000 in vet care in the past 4 months and while I want to do everything that I can, I simply do not have the money right now for repeated exams and unneccesary labs. I know this sounds awful, but I am a single mother with no one to help with the bills (and I have a lot of bills!)

I am so upset for Simba!! Please help! I know I can help him if I have the proper advice and I can't stand to see him like this!

The phot was taken today

His weight is 24.2 g, over 4 g less than he was 3 months ago
 

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jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forums. I’m sorry to hear that you are having problems with your little man. Has he had bloodwork to check his liver and kidneys? Ho looks overweight and that can cause prolapse. Where do you live? I might be able to recommend a better chameleon vet. I have an ophthalmologist for animals near me that also see reptiles. New clients cost $120 and prior clients $75.
 
Hi Jannb thanks for your response.

I am greatly aware that taking Simba in would be the best option, but he was last seen 3 weeks ago (by the only exotic specialist I can get to) and, in my opinion, this vet's only interest is making money, she won't discuss his treatment with me at all.

Simba has been in to the exotic specialist 15 times in 4 months, getting progressively worse each time. I only actually spoke to the vet once for less than 5 mins. I spoke to her assistants/techs numerous times about his eye and my thoughts that this all could be due to toxicity or Deficiency, and while I keep asking to speak with the vet, she is always unavailable and the techs/assistants seem to know about the same as I do. It's frustrating...

Initially she said he didnt look to her like he was showing signs of metabolic disease, that he looked otherwise healthy, but dehydrated. I wasn't necessarily thinking MBD due to vitamin d or calcium, but i did suggest issues with vitamin a, or possibly lighting. She said to hold off on the full blood work analysis, she amputated the tail, and prescribed lubricant and an opthamalic antibiotic for his eye (only the left at the time).

Three weeks later he prolapsed which required a partial amputation. He is just getting worse and worse...


I've heard the controversy over cod liver oil and pinkies. Does anyone have any recommendations on a "superdose" of vitamin a to "jump start" him? And possibly lighting? What effect does too much uvb have?
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
BTW, I'm not a vet...just speak from experience and whatbive learned along the way.

You said..."Supplements: Reptivite multivitamin 1x/wk, Reptical w/ d3 1x/wk" ...does the reptivite have vitamin A in it in preformed form?
Do you not use a phos free calcium powder on all feedings but two a month?

You said..."i noticed he began to lose his grip and had more falls. I also noticed one of his eyes seem to be bothering him and he frequently had it closed"....the falling could be a sign of MBD. Can you post some recent photos of him so I can see him from the side...standing rather than resting on the branch like the last photo was. Are you sure it's a male?

You said..."Red heat bulb basking light 24hrs"....how long habpve you been using that? Also, there should be no need for heat at night or light of any kind. The light at night disrupts their sleep. I'm not a fan of the blue lights either although some people will disagree with me on that.
Can you post a photo of the UVB light you are using please.

Your night time temperatures are way too hot. Although since chameleons don't get a fever, increasing the temperature a bit when a chameleon is sick may help...I think 90F at night is still way too hot. Are you misting at night?

What antibiotics was he on and when was he on each?
 

saucydragon

New Member
Hi Jannb thanks for your response.

I am greatly aware that taking Simba in would be the best option, but he was last seen 3 weeks ago (by the only exotic specialist I can get to) and, in my opinion, this vet's only interest is making money, she won't discuss his treatment with me at all.

Simba has been in to the exotic specialist 15 times in 4 months, getting progressively worse each time. I only actually spoke to the vet once for less than 5 mins. I spoke to her assistants/techs numerous times about his eye and my thoughts that this all could be due to toxicity or Deficiency, and while I keep asking to speak with the vet, she is always unavailable and the techs/assistants seem to know about the same as I do. It's frustrating...

Initially she said he didnt look to her like he was showing signs of metabolic disease, that he looked otherwise healthy, but dehydrated. I wasn't necessarily thinking MBD due to vitamin d or calcium, but i did suggest issues with vitamin a, or possibly lighting. She said to hold off on the full blood work analysis, she amputated the tail, and prescribed lubricant and an opthamalic antibiotic for his eye (only the left at the time).

Three weeks later he prolapsed which required a partial amputation. He is just getting worse and worse...


I've heard the controversy over cod liver oil and pinkies. Does anyone have any recommendations on a "superdose" of vitamin a to "jump start" him? And possibly lighting? What effect does too much uvb have?
I'm no vet ofc but a multi and D3 once a week sounds potentially like a little much. My vet has been great for my guy Ridley (who is recovering well now - turns out the core issue was a fungal infection) and recommended using a drop of nutiva red palm oil as the only supplementation for vit a since the existing formulas risk too high of a dose. Though maybe scale back on any supplementation for now unless you know for sure he needs it. I'd also swap the superworms/crickets for silkworms and waxworms while he recovers from the amputations. I did the above with Ridley and his last fecal came back significantly improved in ways beyond what the antifungal alone would do while also helping his butt area heal with softer food. I am also starting to suspect too many superworms had contributed to his health problems. Prolapses definitely seem common with the tail amputations too.

Overall I think you really need a combo of blood work and fecal to know what is going on for sure. When Ridley got his tail amputated they also did a histopath with his tail that revealed the fungal infection was present in his spine.

in the meantime I'd keep him warm on flatter/soft surfaces and eating soft, clean, & moisture dense bugs.


 
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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
@saucydragon said...the vet "recommended using a drop of nutiva red palm oil as the only supplementation for vit a since the existing formulas risk too high of a dose"...I believe that the oil has a beta carotene source of (prOformed) vitamin A only and its controversial as to whether any chameleons can convert prOformed into the usable prEfromed vitamin A.
 

Beman

Social Media Manager
Staff member
Hi there. Sorry you are going through this. So I went through and pulled the info that stood out to me. These are the problem areas that I see in husbandry. I can not comment on the vet or treatment since I am not a vet. But husbandry wise I can help with info. I have asked some questions as well to clearly define a few things.

-Supplements: Reptivite multivitamin 1x/wk, Reptical w/ d3 1x/wk (i know that this is not ideal, and i am looking to rememdy this asap! The reptile specialist i have been taking him to says this is fine (obviously though, he is not fine) There is SO much conflicting information regarding supplementation! I desperately need some experienced advice quickly before I lose him!
Which reptivite are you using with D3 or without D3? This has vitamin A in it so it is not a vitamin A deficiency. However we only recommend reptivite be given 2 times a month say the 1st and the 15th. Vitamin A and D3 are both fat soluble so they store in the tissues. So oversupplementation of these is more of a concern. We also only recommend calcium with D3 be given 2 times a month. But if your reptivite has D3 then he is getting far too much D3. This becomes a D3 toxicity issue. Are you using a plain Calcium without D3?
-Lighting: On timer 12hrs uva (daylight blue 60w) & uvb (reptile uvb 100 by exoterra 120v/26w) (I changed this about 4 months ago after reading/online research that the tropical mini uvb (tropical) would not put out enough through the screen. He used to seem to want to be lower, and after changing the bulb, especially recently, he wants to be right at the top (6" below the screen) which I attributed to him needing either more heat/uva/uvb, which is why I changed the bulb. He became very active for a few weeks after the change, which I considered an improvement, but now I am wondering if I should change it back. Red heat bulb basking light 24hrs
Tell me more about your UVB are you using a T5HO fixture or a T8 or a screw in uvb bulb? There should be no red bulb at night. No heat at night unless your temps drop below 50. But they should not have any light at night. It disrupts their sleep cycle and the red bulbs are very hard on their eyes.
-Temperature: Lowest (bottom) 70 (night)/Highest @ Top 6" under basking light 95-100/85 (night), Top (not under heat bulb) 90-95/80(night) ...It does seem a little on the warm side, but I increased his heat thinking it would be more beneficial due to his conditions.
This seems really crazy hot to me. Normal basking for this species would be 80-85 max. You can actually dehydrate them with temps over 90.
To help with the congestion/fluid in lungs and tosupport hydration I am giving him 2-3 warm mists each day. Is this too much??
This is not recommended with chams. This can actually contribute to and worsen respiratory infections. The warm mist is what causes the issue.
 
Hi kinyonga,

Thank you for your reply!! Experience is exactly what I need!
You said..."Supplements: Reptivite multivitamin 1x/wk, Reptical w/ d3 1x/wk" ...does the reptivite have vitamin A in it in preformed form?
The reptivite with d3 ingredients say vitamin a acetate
Do you not use a phos free calcium powder on all feedings but two a month?
I do not. Up until these forums I was advised calcium with d3 would be sufficient.


You said..."i noticed he began to lose his grip and had more falls. I also noticed one of his eyes seem to be bothering him and he frequently had it closed"....the falling could be a sign of MBD. Can you post some recent photos of him so I can see him from the side...standing rather than resting on the branch like the last photo was. Are you sure it's a male?

Regarding your hypothesis that it could be MBD: that is what i originally suspected, but the vet said no....He is most certainly male.

This photo was taken in June of this year, in comparison, the one below is from last year, so that everyonecan see the progression. I will try to get a better one from the side tomorrow morning.
20220613_122947.jpg
. He does have bright orange, red and white bars when extremely excited (and black bars when extremelyangry), white when frightened (I've only seen this twice thank goodness), blue/teal when happy and relaxed, and green/brown when "blending/hunting". He "puts on pj's" for bed- a brown/red/yellow beige (which does resemble the female coloring of his species)
You said..."Red heat bulb basking light 24hrs"....how long habpve you been using that? Also, there should be no need for heat at night or light of any kind. The light at night disrupts their sleep. I'm not a fan of the blue lights either although some people will disagree with me on that.
Can you post a photo of the UVB light you are using please.
I only recently added the red light for heat about 6 wks ago when the weather suddenly changed. I will definitely turn it off now that I know!

The uvb is currently:
1667617656254.png

Previously I was using the Tropical version of this light (13w/100)
Your night time temperatures are way too hot. Although since chameleons don't get a fever, increasing the temperature a bit when a chameleon is sick may help...I think 90F at night is still way too hot. Are you misting at night?
I increased the temperature thinking it would help and his temp seemed too low, he was very cold. Maybe I've gone too far the other way, but he does seem to thoroughly appreciate it (although I know that doesn't necessarily mean it's beneficial).
I do not mist at night.
What antibiotics was he on and when was he on each?
He was on baytril IM injections post surgery (the entire month of August) and opthamalic ab drops twice per day (ciprofloxacin)
 

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I'm no vet ofc but a multi and D3 once a week sounds potentially like a little much. My vet has been great for my guy Ridley (who is recovering well now - turns out the core issue was a fungal infection) and recommended using a drop of nutiva red palm oil as the only supplementation for vit a since the existing formulas risk too high of a dose. Though maybe scale back on any supplementation for now unless you know for sure he needs it. I'd also swap the superworms/crickets for silkworms and waxworms while he recovers from the amputations. I did the above with Ridley and his last fecal came back significantly improved in ways beyond what the antifungal alone would do while also helping his butt area heal with softer food. I am also starting to suspect too many superworms had contributed to his health problems. Prolapses definitely seem common with the tail amputations too.

Overall I think you really need a combo of blood work and fecal to know what is going on for sure. When Ridley got his tail amputated they also did a histopath with his tail that revealed the fungal infection was present in his spine.

in the meantime I'd keep him warm on flatter/soft surfaces and eating soft, clean, & moisture dense bugs.


Thank you for suggestions!

I am currently researching better quality feeders (and softer, moister ones that will be easier to pass). I was using flukers before but wasnt thrilled. Does anyone have suggestions for a subscription delivery service that has variety?

I've also thought about pinkie mice once a month or so to boost up, but it seems this is also pretty controversial.

I haven't done any supplementation in the past week and a half, since I am suspecting that is the main issue.

Until I find an experienced vet, I am tempted to do my own fecal. Has anybody used a mail in lab that will offers test for reptiles?

It seems like I will be doing many changes (lighting?, heat, nutrition, supplementation. How slow do I need to go? I am worried, especially in the state that he's in, if too many changes will cause more stress.
Thanks so much everyone for all of the help and suggestions 😊
 

CalamityCrow

Established Member
Thank you for suggestions!

I am currently researching better quality feeders (and softer, moister ones that will be easier to pass). I was using flukers before but wasnt thrilled. Does anyone have suggestions for a subscription delivery service that has variety?

I've also thought about pinkie mice once a month or so to boost up, but it seems this is also pretty controversial.

I haven't done any supplementation in the past week and a half, since I am suspecting that is the main issue.

Until I find an experienced vet, I am tempted to do my own fecal. Has anybody used a mail in lab that will offers test for reptiles?

It seems like I will be doing many changes (lighting?, heat, nutrition, supplementation. How slow do I need to go? I am worried, especially in the state that he's in, if too many changes will cause more stress.
Thanks so much everyone for all of the help and suggestions 😊
I would ABSOLUTELY get the right UVB light first and foremost - it shouldn't upset your guy much especially since he'll be getting the proper UVB and will be able to better process the volume of vitamins in his system. The heat, same deal - put things at the right temperatures immediately. The changes I suppose could be somewhat stressful, but they're not really big visual changes so your adorable little guy shouldn't get stressed out too much from it, especially since you're going to be setting his environment to a much more desirable state. If you did a whole cage reorganization that'd be way more stressful (I'm about to face this since I FINALLY got my Dragonstrand cage in and will be moving Little Guy into it as soon as I get it built).

As for feeders, I wouldn't feed ANYTHING but insects. I'm pretty sure pinkies would be hard to digest, if he even eats it at all, and they're built as insectivores. I'd stick to the bugs. I may have missed it - what part of the country are you in (or are you in the US at all?) I use dubia.com for my feeders and they've got a pretty good selection and have treated me very well. THeir bugs have always been healthy in my experience too - they're in Missouri so they're much closer to me in Ohio than many of the feeder sites that are out near the west coast. They definitely have hornworms, and are working on getting silkworms as well. IF you're closer to being out west, hopefully someone else can suggest something. I think @kinyonga is out that direction.

If you get any hornworms, be careful with them - their jaws can be pretty bitey so I'd suggest crushing their heads before you feed them to your cham. Also, they stick REALLY WELL to branches, so you may want to hand-feed those (not with tongs, just with hands, or from a bowl) so that you don't risk your cham injuring his tongue or getting bit because he got the worm from the wrong end. Silkworms are super ideal for hydration but they're admittedly hard to find. I feed dubias gutloaded with fresh greens as my staple, with BSFL and the rare hornworm as variety.

Hopefully that helps!
 
I would ABSOLUTELY get the right UVB light first and foremost - it shouldn't upset your guy much especially since he'll be getting the proper UVB and will be able to better process the volume of vitamins in his system. The heat, same deal - put things at the right temperatures immediately. The changes I suppose could be somewhat stressful, but they're not really big visual changes so your adorable little guy shouldn't get stressed out too much from it, especially since you're going to be setting his environment to a much more desirable state. If you did a whole cage reorganization that'd be way more stressful (I'm about to face this since I FINALLY got my Dragonstrand cage in and will be moving Little Guy into it as soon as I get it built).

As for feeders, I wouldn't feed ANYTHING but insects. I'm pretty sure pinkies would be hard to digest, if he even eats it at all, and they're built as insectivores. I'd stick to the bugs. I may have missed it - what part of the country are you in (or are you in the US at all?) I use dubia.com for my feeders and they've got a pretty good selection and have treated me very well. THeir bugs have always been healthy in my experience too - they're in Missouri so they're much closer to me in Ohio than many of the feeder sites that are out near the west coast. They definitely have hornworms, and are working on getting silkworms as well. IF you're closer to being out west, hopefully someone else can suggest something. I think @kinyonga is out that direction.

If you get any hornworms, be careful with them - their jaws can be pretty bitey so I'd suggest crushing their heads before you feed them to your cham. Also, they stick REALLY WELL to branches, so you may want to hand-feed those (not with tongs, just with hands, or from a bowl) so that you don't risk your cham injuring his tongue or getting bit because he got the worm from the wrong end. Silkworms are super ideal for hydration but they're admittedly hard to find. I feed dubias gutloaded with fresh greens as my staple, with BSFL and the rare hornworm as variety.

Hopefully that helps!
Thanks CalamityCrow 😊

Im planning on doing a major overhaul with all of Simba's nutrition and habitat asap! I'm searching threads for nutrition guides and want to get/make Simba a new house and Im shopping for new lighting as soon as i figure out the best options that i can afford. I know the screw in uvb bulb is not the best, but are they sufficient until i can afford something better?

I took out the heat the night before last. It surpringly didn't change as much as I expected, around 5 degrees. Simba seems somewhat disappointed 😞 he keeps climbing higher and higher to the spot where it was and sticking his nose to the top of the enclosure.

He has had no supplementation of any kind for about 2 weeks now (until i get his proper nutrition lined up, and he might have toxicity. He ate two crickets for me last night. (He hasn't eaten in 4 days) But, no defecation this week and I know he has to go! How can I help him? Chameleon enema?

Great news though!! This morning my little man had both eyes open when his lights came on! He was climbing! And in a much more controlled way and he didn't look nearly as weak. He was looking around all over like it was his first time opening gis eyes. He kept them open for about half the day and then returned to his previous state, under basking light, eyes closed, lethargic & still.

It looks like we're headed in the right direction, but it will be a long road. I am so grateful I found this forum!
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
You said..."The reptivite with d3 ingredients say vitamin a acetate"...acetate is a OREFORMED source of vitamin A so he shouldn't be deficient....

You said regarding calcium..."I do not. Up until these forums I was advised calcium with d3 would be sufficient"...it's not sufficient IMHO. The ratio of calcium to phos found in most insects is off...not enough calcium for the amount of phos...so we recommend dusting at all feedings but two a month with phos free calcium powder lightly. Then to dust twice a month lightly with a vitamin powder that contains D3 and a prEformed vitamin A not a prOformed source which is usually beta carotene).
By doing it this way and providing the proper UVB, we hope to balance the D3 with the vitamin A ...and calcium with the phosphorous so that the chameleon will be healthy.


You said..."Regarding your hypothesis that it could be MBD: that is what i originally suspected, but the vet said no....He is most certainly male"...did the vet do tests or xrays to determine this?

you said..."I only recently added the red light for heat about 6 wks ago when the weather suddenly changed. I will definitely turn it off now that I know!"...good to hear. If you need heat at night, which you shouldn't...there are other methods of providing it.

You said..."The uvb is currently:
View attachment 331142
Previously I was using the Tropical version of this light (13w/100)"...the most often recommended UVB lights are the long linear tube light Reptisun 5.0 or the Arcadia 6% long linear tube light. @Beman knows all about lights so I've tagged her.

You said..."I increased the temperature thinking it would help and his temp seemed too low, he was very cold. Maybe I've gone too far the other way, but he does seem to thoroughly appreciate it (although I know that doesn't necessarily mean it's beneficial).
I do not mist at night"...raising the temperature in the day and night slightly can sometimes help since chameleons don't get fevers when they get sick...but that's the only time I think it should happen.

You said..."He was on baytril IM injections post surgery (the entire month of August) and opthamalic ab drops twice per day (ciprofloxacin)"...did you keep him well hydrated during the time he was on antibiotics?
 

Beman

Social Media Manager
Staff member
You said..."The reptivite with d3 ingredients say vitamin a acetate"...acetate is a OREFORMED source of vitamin A so he shouldn't be deficient....

You said regarding calcium..."I do not. Up until these forums I was advised calcium with d3 would be sufficient"...it's not sufficient IMHO. The ratio of calcium to phos found in most insects is off...not enough calcium for the amount of phos...so we recommend dusting at all feedings but two a month with phos free calcium powder lightly. Then to dust twice a month lightly with a vitamin powder that contains D3 and a prEformed vitamin A not a prOformed source which is usually beta carotene).
By doing it this way and providing the proper UVB, we hope to balance the D3 with the vitamin A ...and calcium with the phosphorous so that the chameleon will be healthy.


You said..."Regarding your hypothesis that it could be MBD: that is what i originally suspected, but the vet said no....He is most certainly male"...did the vet do tests or xrays to determine this?

you said..."I only recently added the red light for heat about 6 wks ago when the weather suddenly changed. I will definitely turn it off now that I know!"...good to hear. If you need heat at night, which you shouldn't...there are other methods of providing it.

You said..."The uvb is currently:
View attachment 331142
Previously I was using the Tropical version of this light (13w/100)"...the most often recommended UVB lights are the long linear tube light Reptisun 5.0 or the Arcadia 6% long linear tube light. @Beman knows all about lights so I've tagged her.

You said..."I increased the temperature thinking it would help and his temp seemed too low, he was very cold. Maybe I've gone too far the other way, but he does seem to thoroughly appreciate it (although I know that doesn't necessarily mean it's beneficial).
I do not mist at night"...raising the temperature in the day and night slightly can sometimes help since chameleons don't get fevers when they get sick...but that's the only time I think it should happen.

You said..."He was on baytril IM injections post surgery (the entire month of August) and opthamalic ab drops twice per day (ciprofloxacin)"...did you keep him well hydrated during the time he was on antibiotics?
I posted my feedback above... I do not think they saw it.
 
Thanks CalamityCrow 😊

Im planning on doing a major overhaul with all of Simba's nutrition and habitat asap! I'm searching threads for nutrition guides and want to get/make Simba a new house and Im shopping for new lighting as soon as i figure out the best options that i can afford. I know the screw in uvb bulb is not the best, but are they sufficient until i can afford something better?

I took out the heat the night before last. It surpringly didn't change as much as I expected, around 5 degrees. Simba seems somewhat disappointed 😞 he keeps climbing higher and higher to the spot where it was and sticking his nose to the top of the enclosure.

He has had no supplementation of any kind for about 2 weeks now (until i get his proper nutrition lined up, and he might have toxicity. He ate two crickets for me last night. (He hasn't eaten in 4 days) But, no defecation this week and I know he has to go! How can I help him? Chameleon enema?

Great news though!! This morning my little man had both eyes open when his lights came on! He was climbing! And in a much more controlled way and he didn't look nearly as weak. He was looking around all over like it was his first time opening gis eyes. He kept them open for about half the day and then returned to his previous state, under basking light, eyes closed, lethargic & still.

It looks like we're headed in the right direction, but it will be a long road. I am so grateful I found this forum!
20221105_133329.jpg
 
After researching some threads and some great posts by Beman and kinyonga, I believe that I have a proper supplentation schedule (using Beman's recommendations from a post) and I am going in tomorrow to pick up Supplements tomorrow.

I plan to use:
-Arcadia revitalize w/ d3 (looks like every 8th feeding per Beman's recommendations? That would 3x/month?)
-Repashy supercal no d (every feeding)

With this, do I need anything else (magnesium)?

Should I wait a week or two to start introducing Supplements again? I am trying to detox him, but don't want him to be lacking in other nutritients)

I am also picking up new lighting. I'm thinking he is receiving too much uvb? Until I am able to get the tube lighting, does anyone have any recommendations for dome uva/uvb bulbs (screw in)? Is the uva doubling as a basking light as well?
 
Hi Kinyonga,

The vet did not do any tests. She was concerned that he looked pale, a bit dehydrated, but good otherwise. We did do radiographs but all they revealed was a broken tail. She didn't say anything about bone density or deformity. Although, if you look at his last pics, it looks to me that he has swelling, edema, precalcification on his ankles.

And, I'm just thinking out loud, but his hemipenis prolapse is my certification that he is male. (And, no eggs & his color changes) (unless maybe he's a hermaphrodite?) Why do you ask?
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
You said..."The vet did not do any tests. She was concerned that he looked pale, a bit dehydrated, but good otherwise. We did do radiographs but all they revealed was a broken tail. She didn't say anything about bone density or deformity. Although, if you look at his last pics, it looks to me that he has swelling, edema, precalcification on his ankles"...I do see a bit of edema but I'm not a vet and can't comment on the issue of his ankles. It could be a number of things.

You said..."And, I'm just thinking out loud, but his hemipenis prolapse is my certification that he is male. (And, no eggs & his color changes) (unless maybe he's a hermaphrodite?) Why do you ask?"...why did I ask what? If he's make?
Of course he's make if he has hemipenes (although I did read about one hermaphrodite chameleon once.)
 

MzLaurie11

Avid Member
Hello Simbas mom. I am so sorry you are having all these troubles with your sweet little guy. Your vet is horrible. I would call every privately owned reptile shops and ask them who they use. And call all of the ones in thenext town too! Also most avian vets also treat reptiles. I want you to read Bemans recomendations again and stick to that. He is right on the money with his advice. You must remember, Simba is cold blooded and the he generates no heat. So being cold is not bad for him. At night their bodies cool down and the self healing begins. It is very important for this to happen. he goes lower to get away from the high heat you have for him. As explained no red or blue lights, they can hurt vision. A respitory infection needs antibiotics. Baytril works best; however, it is not listed in the vet handbooks so you have to tell a newbe vet. orbax works too. I know you have spent a fortune and it seems to me with him being on antibiotics for so long, it should take care of it. you can rarely find calcium without D3 at petco or petsmart so you have to order it online. Flukers has some. Petsmart does carry liquid calcium. If he will drink from you, you should try that. Also, if he isnt hunting put some greens in his food dish to give that a try. I compared vitamins of all.lettuces and collard greens are highest of all. One of my chams love it the other doesnt. Also, I hate to bring this up, but in chameleon years Simba is an old old man. Therefore, his system maybe slowing or even shutting down which is why he cant heal properly or ward off illnesses. like humans, they will rally too. you must correct his husbandry first. No more night heat light. As long as the office doesnt go below 50 he is ok and change basking temps to 80-85. Reduce the wattage of the bulb and lower his basking branch till you get it right. As explained, You really should have a linear uvb light. dust your crickets and worms with calcium w/o d3 and the reptivite 2x a month. i would stop the d3 for a month or longer and take him outside in the real sun a few times. (D3 and billirubin cannit go throw glass) If he is not eating, give him some liquid calcium with the water he sips from you or with a needleless syringe directly into the back of his mouth ( front has airway to lungs and you could drown him). Liquid Calcium= 0.2cc every 12 hours. Simba has had such a hard time of it. It is so sad to hear when they are old and start going downhill. You being a mom are having such a frantic time of it too. I am so sorry that the vet is misleading you and is not there for you during this hard time. dont worry if he is super cold, they are not warm blooded like us. He has lights to warm up and knows where to go. It may be his bodys way of healing or coping, so dont be alarmed. I wish i had more advice for you. Oh i did want to say that the tip of his tail maynot have broken. Most likely was stuck shed that cut off the circulation slowly till it was dead. This is common in the older chams. So if you see stuck shed help him out. Tips of the tail and joints in the legs/arms and ankles are problematic. Because it happens slowly they dont feel the pain. i wish you And Simba the best of luck.
 
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