Rescued a yemen chameleon in a serious condition.

Nikkifer

New Member
I was offered a 12 month old yemen chameleon last week and was sent a picture of a beautiful male, nice size, large casque overall healthy looking animal.
I went and bought a XL reptibreeze and plants along with all necessary lighting.
I picked him up yesterday and words cannot describe how angry I am. I shouldnt have taken him but I couldnt leave him there.
He is so thin, his tail is all bumpy his casque is bent and he looks awful. I have scheduled him for a vet appointment tomorrow as thats the only time they could fit me in.

In the mean time Im so scared he will have to be put to sleep, I am feeding him gutloaded locust dusted with calcium, I think hes eaten them as I put two in his cage and they seem to have gone. He is rather friendly considering the mess he is in.
I just wanted to know what you guys think and is there anything I can do till tomorrow to help him. Im so scared for his life and dont want him to be put to sleep however if he is in imense pain this will be what I choose. It makes me so upset that he has gotton to this state, he is apparently 12 months old.




serious MBD? Dehydration? Malnourishment? I soaked him this morning and he was drinking for ages.
 

deadhd5

Avid Member
First off, kudos to you for taking him and getting him a vet appointment... You are this guy's hero, and my hero for the day!

To be honest, I have never seen anything like this. I would say MBD from the deformities, but his legs appear straight, so that is a little confusing. Maybe these are the affects of malnourishment, perhaps others can advise... I will PM the two vets on the board and ask them to weigh in..

Keep us posted and again, props to you for taking him... I hope everything works out and he is able to enjoy a happy life with you.
 

Nikkifer

New Member
First off, kudos to you for taking him and getting him a vet appointment... You are this guy's hero, and my hero for the day!

To be honest, I have never seen anything like this. I would say MBD from the deformities, but his legs appear straight, so that is a little confusing. Maybe these are the affects of malnourishment, perhaps others can advise... I will PM the two vets on the board and ask them to weigh in..

Keep us posted and again, props to you for taking him... I hope everything works out and he is able to enjoy a happy life with you.

Thankyou! I just want to get him healthy again.
Yes, well he can climb right the way to the top of his enclosure and stay there, so far he hasnt fallen off and he can move pretty quick! he doesnt have a bendy jaw and it seems to shut tightly. The previous owners kept him in a wooden vivarium, no idea if he had UV but when I put him in his enclosure he scooted straight to the top and has been sat under the UV for hours now. I live in England and we actually have sunny hot weather (hoo-rah!) and have been thinking of taking him outside to soak up the sun but im unsure as if he is fragile or ill I dont want to stress him via handling.

He has a solid grip also when he climbs but his back end looks really crippled? His tail is so very bumpy. Thankyou for your prompt reply and messaging the vets. I just hope my herp vet can sort him!
 

deadhd5

Avid Member
Thankyou! I just want to get him healthy again.
Yes, well he can climb right the way to the top of his enclosure and stay there, so far he hasnt fallen off and he can move pretty quick! he doesnt have a bendy jaw and it seems to shut tightly. The previous owners kept him in a wooden vivarium, no idea if he had UV but when I put him in his enclosure he scooted straight to the top and has been sat under the UV for hours now. I live in England and we actually have sunny hot weather (hoo-rah!) and have been thinking of taking him outside to soak up the sun but im unsure as if he is fragile or ill I dont want to stress him via handling.

He has a solid grip also when he climbs but his back end looks really crippled? His tail is so very bumpy. Thankyou for your prompt reply and messaging the vets. I just hope my herp vet can sort him!

From what you have described I am hopeful that you will be able to get him healthy, although I am sure the deformities cannot be reversed. I bet he would enjoy some sunlight :)
 

Nikkifer

New Member
From what you have described I am hopeful that you will be able to get him healthy, although I am sure the deformities cannot be reversed. I bet he would enjoy some sunlight :)

He cant curl his tail up either, like in the spiral they do, but he can wrap it round your finger at the end. Yeah I think im gonna take him out, do you think he will be okay just sitting on my arm for abit outside? I figured itd do him good
 

deadhd5

Avid Member
He cant curl his tail up either, like in the spiral they do, but he can wrap it round your finger at the end. Yeah I think im gonna take him out, do you think he will be okay just sitting on my arm for abit outside? I figured itd do him good

Your arm or a branch, he will be happy to get some natural sun. Its so sad that someone let him get to the point he can't use his tail, and it makes me angry that they tried to pass him off in the add as a perfectly healthy chameleon. Today is the day that is life changed for the better :)
 

little leaf

Avid Member
wow- that is just sad ! do idiots not have eyes ! I am sure this was something the guy could see happening - and just did not care :mad: so glad he is with you now - I think he would LOVE to sit on you outside- just dont let him get to hot- there is nothing better than sun :) please keep us posted on how he does for you - and even if he does need put down, at least his last few days were spent with someone who cares about him - but if he is eating , and drinking for you- that is a wonderful :D keep up the great job :D
 

Nikkifer

New Member
Thankyou guys, I just love this forum, full of helpful friendly advice :D
I am going to take him outside for abit so I will take some more pictures and will pop back later on with some updates.
 

rcdrivertim

New Member
First of all, you are a great person for taking him and not leaving him with that ******* who had him. I wish I could do to that owner as he did to the cham. Second, if he is friendly he must be so grateful already and realize you are helping him. PLEASE keep him and do not give up on him. I'm sure with a vet visit and any meds the vet says he needs will help him have a MUCH better life. Definitely take him outside. Get him a mister if you can so he can get used to the nice shower and help hydrate him. Get him some roaches and try to get him to eat some veggies to. I am sure he is lacking all the nutrients he needs. Also make sure to get the right vitamins like calcium without D3 for every day feedings and with D3 for 2 times a month.

You are to be commended for what you did and are doing. Karma will come to you and that *** who had him.
 

camimom

New Member
Honestly, I don't think its full MBD.

I think the hunched spine and such is either from a birth defect, or from lack of calcium as he grew or something.

If he will eat, let him, let him eat his fill in about 5-10 minutes.

Lots of water, as he looks dehydrated, and lots of natural sun.

what supplements do you have?

How big is the cage?
 

Dr O

Veterinarian
Honestly, I don't think its full MBD.

I think the hunched spine and such is either from a birth defect, or from lack of calcium as he grew or something.

If he will eat, let him, let him eat his fill in about 5-10 minutes.

Lots of water, as he looks dehydrated, and lots of natural sun.

what supplements do you have?

How big is the cage?

I agree from what I can see. He may very well have been born with some deformities, but I suspect malnutrition/lighting issues as well.

He would be a patient that I would push a little harder to have bloodwork done. It should be very revealing regarding the current levels of inflammation in his body, along with any organ damage or calcium issues. And an X-ray would round out the visit well to have an idea of the type of disease affecting his bones.
Happy to help interpret any results should you go in that direction.

O-
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Kudos on taking him in and scheduling him with the vet! I do not think he will need to be put to sleep. The rest of spine looks pretty straight and normal. The deformed part at the base of the tail could have been from an injury when very young, a birth defect, or a developmental problem from lack of calcium or UVB or other nutrients when younger. An X-ray might shed some light on if the bones themselves are normal or look like there's infection or a birth defect. If he's able to get around well and eat and drink and poop then he may not even know he's deformed. Not being able to curl the whole tail is okay. The biggest concern with a problem with the base of tail spine is if the nerves coming out of that area are affected. Those nerves go to the cloaca/vent so if they're damaged or pinched he may have trouble pooping, and that is very bad. But if he made it this far it sounds like that's not a problem for him. If he starts dangling his back legs off branches while resting that may be a sign of pain from pinched nerves. So those are the big things to look for. Otherwise I bet he's a bit calcium deficient based on how he was previously kept but doesn't look like he has terrible MBD or anything. Sunlight, good hydration and good nutrition will do wonders for him!
 

Nikkifer

New Member
He is getting abit hot now so brought him in.

Id like to hope its not full MBD, I think hes eating im not 100% he wont eat if im in the room and im unsure of any other way to feed him, I dont want to just let the locust/crickets loose incase he cant catch them etc and then they chew on him. He wont take them from tongs or my hands. He is alright but when I tried to get him out before he bloated up and opened his mouth wide and was hissing which was good because at least his jaw looks solid.
He cant stand properly but he can climb and hang off his screen enclosure. He tends to move backwards and hunch up.

I am spraying him 4 times a day for 10 mins each time. In regards to the D3 should I try it once a week because of the mess hes in or just twice a month as usual? im dusting everything with pure calcium.
He is in a reptibreeze XL which is 4ft high and 2ft round, He has a large yukka plant for climbing on etc along with some fake branches and vines,

I have some critical care forumla from a past lizard I didnt know wether to try and syringe feed him some. Ive taken some photos of him in the sun which ill upload now
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Well, the rest of spine except his tail looks normal. ;) I've seen chameleons like that before with the tall hump over the hips then the squiggly tail. Usually it's a birth defect component, although sometimes in snakes infection of the bone will cause it to kink like that. You said he has trouble walking?
 

Nikkifer

New Member
Well, the rest of spine except his tail looks normal. ;) I've seen chameleons like that before with the tall hump over the hips then the squiggly tail. Usually it's a birth defect component, although sometimes in snakes infection of the bone will cause it to kink like that. You said he has trouble walking?
Yeah, well when we put him in his enclosure he climbes and uses his toes to grip, occasionally he will miss and keep closing his toes to grab. When he is on your hand he will hunch up and walk backwards, or like shuffle backwards, but he will climb up his enclosure like normal and he can turn and move.
 

camimom

New Member
Does his casque look odd? it sorta looks like his casque fat pads are too full, potential infection?

I know the fat pads get full when they eat well or over eat, but the rest of him doesn't look well fed or over fed.
 

Nikkifer

New Member
Does his casque look odd? it sorta looks like his casque fat pads are too full, potential infection?

I know the fat pads get full when they eat well or over eat, but the rest of him doesn't look well fed or over fed.

Its solid to touch but looks abit bent
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Does his casque look odd? it sorta looks like his casque fat pads are too full, potential infection?

I know the fat pads get full when they eat well or over eat, but the rest of him doesn't look well fed or over fed.

Nah, I've never seen infection in the casque itself. Usually just fat. My veiled had super fat casque pads when I first got him, and nowhere else was fatty. This guy's don't seem too big.
 

aramnath

New Member
What a sweet little guy. Words dont compare as to how happy myself and fellow members in this thread are for what you are doing. I got teary eyed seeing the photos. As a proud owner of a 3 month veiled, I would hate to see any chameleon in such shape. The fact that he is eating and drinking and likes to be handled shows hes in good spirits. But if I were you, no matter how bad of shape he's in, I would take care care of him until he passes. No matter how much time or assistance he requires, he deserves a shot at a happy life and that is exactly what you are giving him.
 
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