Possible kidney disease? Need opinions please


Avid Member
So my boy Cameron (panther chameleon) will be 5 years old on December 14. Within the past couple months he’s been loosing weight. Today I weighed him and he weighed 131 grams. About two months ago he was 138 grams. In his prime he weighed about 181 grams.
So for awhile I’ve been worried about kidney disease since I had seen crystals in his poop a couple months ago and he had sever MBD when I got him as a baby at 3 months old. Other than loosing weight he seems pretty normal besides slowing down. Every now and then his back ankles seem like they swell a little bit then go away but he never seems affected by it.
I’m going to make dietary changes and cut back on crickets and give him more silkworms. Any other recommendations for dietary changes? Critical care or carnivore care?

I am also wondering if it would be worth making a vet appointment for him. Can they and do they prescribe medication for chams with kidney disease besides dietary changes?

I don't want to seem like a bad owner but I would really like to not spend $300+ on an appointment and bloodwork if they are just going to tell me to change his diet and that’s all they can do. He is also almost 5 years old.

I know that chams usually don’t present their illnesses until it’s to late or pretty sever. If I have to I will take him. I just want to make changes before it becomes kidney failure if that is what it is. (I don’t think he would loose so much weight from old age but I guess anything is possible.)
I also know that it may not be kidney disease and bloodwork could either confirm it or something else.

I would like some experienced opinions on what to do, and if you guys think it would be best (I know it’s always a good idea but you know what I mean) to take him and how soon.

I will post some pictures of him shortly so you guys can see what he looks like. (His spine does really show and his cheeks have kinda of sunken in a little.) I have increased his food a little and how often I feed him because I was concerned. It doesn’t seem to make a difference, he is still loosing weight.
On another note, it is time for him to get another fecal again so I will be doing that. His last fecal had come back negative for parasites.


Chameleon Enthusiast
I would make a vet appointment for him.

What supplements have you been using specifically and how often for each?

If the swelling in the ankles was permanent I'd suspect gout...and kidney issues then as well....but...

Please post some recent photos.


Avid Member
Gout is caused by uric acid crystal deposits, and a textbook symptom of this is swollen ankles/joints. This is due to high circulating levels of uric acid in the blood, which could also be indicative of renal disease. Unfortunately with gout and renal issues, chams don't present symptoms until the disease has progressed.

However, you would need a visit to the vet to confirm this (they will do bloodwork) and rule out other potential issues. To answer your question, there are medications that can reduce circulating uric acid levels as part of the treatment if this is the issue.

Please post recent photos of your cham.

  • How is his appetite (what do you feed him and how much/often)?
  • Is he staying hydrated/ do you see him drinking? What do his urates look like?
  • Is he showing any signs of constipation?
  • What supplements do you use and what is your schedule?
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Avid Member
I would make a vet appointment for him.

What supplements have you been using specifically and how often for each?

If the swelling in the ankles was permanent I'd suspect gout...and kidney issues then as well....but...

Please post some recent photos.

I will post recent photos when I get home in a little. The swelling is not permanent and I can’t even really tell. Sometimes his ankles just look like they may be larger but it’s really hard to tell. I usually touch/squish them a little and it seems kind of squishy. I have been using this

I use it every feeding about every 2-3 days. I’ve been using this for years for all my chams and have not had issues. All my other chams are doing great. He doesn’t act like he’s sick but I know something is wrong. I feed him about 15-20 crickets. Occasionally he gets waxworms. He also get silkworms, hornworms, butter worms, and BSFL. He only gets a couple of those at a time. I also had been feeding him Dubia roaches but ran out. He eats like a pig and is always hungry.
I spray him often and he gets long showers every other day. He also has a dripper on his cage. He drinks a ton. He’s always been a very good drinker.

This does not seem or look like gout to me. My veiled girl got gout from a bad vet and directions they had given me, so I have experience with gout (Long story)

It just looks like every now and then he gets a little edema and it’s so little I can’t really tell most of the time.

His urate is white and he poops regularly. I haven’t seen crystals in awhile, they seem to come and go but I realize they are small and I can’t always see them.


Avid Member
Here are some pictures of him. I can get better ones tomorrow. I woke him up so his eyes are slightly sunken.


in this picture you can see some edema in the left ankle

his crest is very sunken




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