Possible RI ?

RyanBRZ

Avid Member
Chameleon Info:
•Your Chameleon - Ambilobe Panther, male, 14 months.
•Handling - Lately 2-3 times a week, usually to go outside for sunlight for 15-20 minutes
•Feeding - June-August primarily BSFL's and superworms because he would not eat anything else. He ate a few BSFL's around a week ago. I am trying to get him back on gutloaded dubia roaches and is on a hunger strike.. I am not offering him anything else but dubia's.
•Supplements - Repashy Calcium Plus Lo-D & ZooMed plain calcium, but as mentioned above, on a food strike so its hard getting anything into him.
•Watering - Automatic mister, Mist King, drinking has slowed down a bit the past few days
•Fecal Description - He does not poop very often, maybe once a week, and when he does his urates look orangish. Poop looks hydrated
•History - Was recently showing issues that I thought was calcium/phos deficiency, or pre-MBD. The vet did find he had a 1:1 c to phos ratio and gave him a calcium injection and had him on oral calcium glubionate and his issue was clearing up after around a month.
See https://www.chameleonforums.com/thr...ometimes-misses-branch-with-rear-legs.170670/

Cage Info:
•Cage Type - ZooMed Repti-Breeze 24"x24"x48"
•Lighting - Zoomed ReptiSun T5 5.0, replaced at 6 months (5/1)
•Temperature - Basking area is 90-95, ambient is around 72-75F. Lowest area in his cage is ~68F.
•Humidity - Consistent 40%-70% throughout the day. I have a humidity/temp combo digital gauge.
•Plants - Large dwarf umbrella
•Placement - In my bedroom, low traffic as I work all day. His cage is on a stand that is around 2 feet high. The top of his cage is at around 6 feet from the floor.
•Location - New Jersey

Current issue: Lately he has been randomly opening his mouth for 10-20 second intervals and the little pouch under his mouth seems more pronounced than usual.. On occasion I will hear a slight hiss, sometimes in his sleep. I do not see any excess mucus, just what appears to be strings of saliva. He's drinking still but not as much and I caught him taking a nap this afternoon. While I was dealing with his original issue linked above, I had elevated his enclosure floor to prevent him from falling and getting hurt. I eventually found that the drainage system I had set up with this elevated floor cage leaked and it began to smell, I moved him into a different room while I cleaned that and let it dry, but I'm wondering if it was too humid for him and/or he breathed in mold/mildew.

Since he appeared to be feeling/acting normal again from his original issue, I decided it was a good time to give him his full size cage back, this is right around the time I discovered the leak in the drainage system. I moved his cage into a different room and did a full size cage redesign and thought maybe his behavior could be attributed to stress of a new enclosure.

Here are some pics I just took. I have a vet appointment tomorrow morning and wanted to see if you guys have any advice for his issue and/or questions/advice I should bring to the vet.

No rude/useless comments please, just looking for help/advice.

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RyanBRZ

Avid Member
The 90-95 temp is a ballpark. I have a sensor on the side of the main basking branch that reads ~88F, so I am assuming 1-2" above is 95 but could be off. I moved the lamp up slightly to bring it down a bit.

This vet was much better than the one I went to previously. My previous vet gave him a calcium injection in the base of his tail and this vet said the way chameleons blood flows, you need to inject things towards the front of their body (or something). She said his bones feel good and she checked his heartbeat & examined his teeth.

Leo gaped a few times while in the office and she did agree with the symptoms being most likely associated with an RI. She prescribed Ceftazidime (Fortaz) via injection every 3 days; she said they do not use Baytril due to side effects. She said we could do the tracheal flush/testing & blood work to verify effectiveness of the antibiotics but the vet bill would be well over a thousand which I was not prepared for. I am going to proceed with the antibiotic injections for now and if I see no improvement in 2 weeks I am going to go back in to get an opinion.
 

RyanBRZ

Avid Member
I have a temp gun, but wont that only measure the temp on a surface? You theoretically want the temperature at 3 inches above the branch where the chameleons body is. Would it be better to hold my current metal temp sensor 3" above the branch for 3 minutes or so?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Exactly what Jox said. My cham does not like it any hotter then about 88-89 on his casque. I take the reading directly from there with the temp gun. Then I have adjusted his thermostat for the basking fixture to stay at 84 because that is where it needs to be on the branch to get the right temp higher.
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
Exactly what Jox said. My cham does not like it any hotter then about 88-89 on his casque. I take the reading directly from there with the temp gun. Then I have adjusted his thermostat for the basking fixture to stay at 84 because that is where it needs to be on the branch to get the right temp higher.
You using a temp gun to measure the cham, and a regular wired reader for the branch?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
You using a temp gun to measure the cham, and a regular wired reader for the branch?
Yep... I have a wired in at the branch secondary to the wired in probe for the herpstat thermostat. With his casque sitting so high it is the only way I could tell exactly what he was getting. I found anytime his casque was hitting temps over 91 he would gape. The rest of his body would be 85-88 but the casque being hotter would immediately cause him to gape and retreat lower to cool off.
 

RyanBRZ

Avid Member
WIth that, I need to get him to bask with his cask under the focal point of the light output and get that to be at 90F (for panther)?

@Beman, what does your thermostat on the basking bulb do? Reduce wattage to keep it where you want?
 

RyanBRZ

Avid Member
Yep... I have a wired in at the branch secondary to the wired in probe for the herpstat thermostat. With his casque sitting so high it is the only way I could tell exactly what he was getting. I found anytime his casque was hitting temps over 91 he would gape. The rest of his body would be 85-88 but the casque being hotter would immediately cause him to gape and retreat lower to cool off.
To set your basking bulb, do you measure the chams body temp with the temp gun after a certain duration of time being under the light? I have a metal temp sensor under a second basking area which gets up to 89-90, but that's after sitting under the light for hours.

I know this should be one of the simpler things in husbandry, but I couldn't find anywhere that explains measuring the temp, most caresheets just say to get the basking area to 85F-90F.
My chameleon HATES my temp gun, he literally tries to attack it once he sees it.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
To set your basking bulb, do you measure the chams body temp with the temp gun after a certain duration of time being under the light? I have a metal temp sensor under a second basking area which gets up to 89-90, but that's after sitting under the light for hours.

I know this should be one of the simpler things in husbandry, but I couldn't find anywhere that explains measuring the temp, most caresheets just say to get the basking area to 85F-90F.
My chameleon HATES my temp gun, he literally tries to attack it once he sees it.
Yeah I gave him 30 minutes to warm up lol. My secondary probe is a really good one because it is part of my herpstat dimming thermostat. It is pretty much the best thing I have bought for my own piece of mind. But this is exactly what I do. Because I too could not find the exact how to with this. I measure the branch.... If it is 90 there then it is going to be upward of 2-4 degrees hotter where your cham sits higher. So I have my thermostat set at 85 where Beman sits in the heat is perfect for him. I do have mine raised up off the screen to ensure he does not get thermal burns as well. Beman hates the temp gun as well. I hide it behind my back and take a reading when his head is facing away from me. I do get within about 8 inches of him to get the closest read I can. Because I found a large difference if I tried to take it through the screen or the clearside.
 

RyanBRZ

Avid Member
Yeah I gave him 30 minutes to warm up lol. My secondary probe is a really good one because it is part of my herpstat dimming thermostat. It is pretty much the best thing I have bought for my own piece of mind. But this is exactly what I do. Because I too could not find the exact how to with this. I measure the branch.... If it is 90 there then it is going to be upward of 2-4 degrees hotter where your cham sits higher. So I have my thermostat set at 85 where Beman sits in the heat is perfect for him. I do have mine raised up off the screen to ensure he does not get thermal burns as well. Beman hates the temp gun as well. I hide it behind my back and take a reading when his head is facing away from me. I do get within about 8 inches of him to get the closest read I can. Because I found a large difference if I tried to take it through the screen or the clearside.
Ok, I was pretty much thinking the same thing..measure branch temp then add 2-4 F to account for a few inches of chameleon body. And lol, I wonder why they hate the temp gun so much, maybe they can see the invisible laser taking the temp? He lunged at me earlier and almost got the gun.

Does your thermostat dim the basking bulb to keep it where you want? If so, which bulbs do you use? I have a dial dimmer fixture and I noticed some bulbs make an annoying noise when not at 100%, not sure if this will annoy the chameleon.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok, I was pretty much thinking the same thing..measure branch temp then add 2-4 F to account for a few inches of chameleon body. And lol, I wonder why they hate the temp gun so much, maybe they can see the invisible laser taking the temp? He lunged at me earlier and almost got the gun.

Does your thermostat dim the basking bulb to keep it where you want? If so, which bulbs do you use? I have a dial dimmer fixture and I noticed some bulbs make an annoying noise when not at 100%, not sure if this will annoy the chameleon.
Make sure you running incandescent bulbs with a dimmer otherwise yes you get a funky noise. I have had no issue at all with the herpstat making noise and yes it dims down to next to nothing when it is adjusting. I had the fluckers dimmable dome and it made me nuts I was constantly adjusting it. I am currently using these and I really love them. The 75 watt one has a night broad face to it and fits my smaller diameter fixture beautifully. https://www.amazon.com/Zilla-Reptil...&sprefix=zilla+day+white+light,aps,207&sr=8-6

I would also in your case count on a 4 degree temp rise where his body hits. Better to over estimate then under. So shoot for 83-85 on the branch. Just watch him because just because the caresheets say 85-90 does not mean you have to go to 90 for him. He may prefer it more to the 85.

My temp gun actually has a red laser and I think that is what Beman reacts to. lol
 

RyanBRZ

Avid Member
@Beman, do you have a link to the thermostat dimmer that you use?

And how do you account for if the chameleon is sitting on the branch, blocking the point of sight from bulb to sensor?
 
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