Respiratory Infection, already went to the ER. What should I expect?

Hi everyone, it looks like my chameleon has an RI. All exotic vets are closed right now on weekends here and honestly they probably wouldn't have taken her right away. Her symptoms are: nose in the air, gaping her mouth for air, sunken eyes, and lethargy. For a few days I have only seen lethargy and sunken eyes and I assumed it was from stress or incorrect lighting. She is not constantly leaving her mouth open. She gapes her mouth every once in a while. Anyways, after seeing this sudden change today we went straight to the ER. They did a radiography and told me that her bone density looked a bit off (keep in mind I got her from a pet store on Nov 23). With this, they prescribed calcium gluconate 23% twice a day. She has not been given this yet. On the other hand, they did diagnose a respiratory infection and felt that Ceftazidime 95mg/ml injections would be the best course of action as it would be the least stressful. I agree as I really do not want to pry her mouth open.

After reading a lot of the threads here, I haven't seen much about this injection. I'm curious if anyone could maybe tell me when I should see improvement, or how many doses normally show improvement? My problem is that I am currently at school and I HAVE to be back home by Thursday for an appointment. I have already extended the time I am at school so that she could get 5 doses of the injection instead of 2 and also I think pushing back that 5 hour car ride would be best so that she has limited stress and a better immune response. I can get this injection at home too at a local exotic vet, I just would rather wait to limit the stress in the prime of this illness. Anyways, in my opinion its better than I don't give the calcium until she is better. My supplementation is on a good schedule, I just don't think she is eating enough to get the proper amount. I think that it would be okay to wait until she is showing signs of getting better and that way I can see if she'll eat and get the dustings instead of prying her mouth open. Do you guys agree with this decision? Can anyone tell me about recovery time, chance of recovery, this particular injection vs. the oral antibiotics, and opinions on waiting for that supplement. I have a video of what she is doing I just don't really know how to upload videos on here.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Veiled, female, juvenile. Has been in my care for 3 weeks
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I really never handle her at all, although now I need to for the daily antibiotic injections.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? I have BSFL, crickets, superworms, hornworms, and dubias. Gutload with sweet potato and collard greens every day - right now as I am trying to keep the stress to a minimum, I just leave a ton of crickets in there with collard greens and they are dusted with calcium no d3.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Reptivite and calcium without d3 or phosphorous. Schedule is without d3 6 days, with d3 twice a month and vitamins twice a month.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? She will not drink in front of me. I hand mist for about 2 minutes every 3 hours. I also have a dripper
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? She has not been tested. I will attach a photo of the last droppings.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. - bought from a pet store (my mistake, but I really wanted her in particular!!)

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? large reptibreeze (will be moved to an xl)
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? using a 60W regular bulb and UVB is t5 5.0
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? basking is 84 - raised it to help her with increasing her temp and fighting the infection. Ambient is 70-75.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Humidity is 36.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? dracaena, croton, pathos.
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? She is above a bin. She is next to a tv, but in a corner and it is pretty low traffic. She is usually about 6-7 feet off the floor but right now she is 4ft because my drainage system needed to be tested and now I don't want to stress her out even more by changing things.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Currently in Pennsylvania, going home to New York.

Current Problem - Respiratory Infection

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Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
@JacksJill @kinyonga @Kaizen if you guys have any thoughts I would appreciate the help. You can be honest if you don't think treatment will go well. @Beman helped me understand that she most likely came with this infection and the stress of moving really didn't help it.
 

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Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
There’s a ton of info here, and it’ll take me a minute to go over everything, but cephtazadime is a great AB for chams, and way easier on their systems than baytril! Good job! If the RI was caught before sever respiratory distress, then I think you have a good chance. Don’t stress about the pins. It’s super easy!

I’d stop misting during the day. The dripper will be sufficient. Low Rh during the day, high at night. Mist when lights out. How cold are you getting her at night?
 
There’s a ton of info here, and it’ll take me a minute to go over everything, but cephtazadime is a great AB for chams, and way easier on their systems than baytril! Good job! If the RI was caught before sever respiratory distress, then I think you have a good chance. Don’t stress about the pins. It’s super easy!

I’d stop misting during the day. The dripper will be sufficient. Low Rh during the day, high at night. Mist when lights out. How cold are you getting her at night?

Okay thanks, no rush! I can hear her right now wheezing every once in a while, which is why im getting very nervous :(. About temps... I live in an absolutely horrible apartment because I am at college. Heat is only one setting and it basically just heats up at whatever temp it wants and we shut it off when we feel too hot. I would say the temperatures aren't dropping below 60 just because me and my roommate are really sensitive to the cold. Hard to tell though because I don't have a gauge set up to my phone where I can see what the temp was while we were asleep.
 
Forgot to attach photos of last droppings sorry.
 

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JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
If she is still sitting with that head up posture I would not attempt to force oral meds. The stress might push her over the edge. If she responds to drops on her nose and will drink that way you might sneak some in.
Injections are a valid treatment option. I would expect to see a leveling off or starting to improve gradually by the 4-5 day mark. If not then a discussion about other treatments with your is in order. I haven't treated a veiled at home for RI but that seems to be the time frame for a positive sign in Jackson's and panthers I've treated for other infections.
Bumping the heat a degree or two can help them metabolize medications. You just don't want to cause dehydration.
 
If she is still sitting with that head up posture I would not attempt to force oral meds. The stress might push her over the edge. If she responds to drops on her nose and will drink that way you might sneak some in.
Injections are a valid treatment option. I would expect to see a leveling off or starting to improve gradually by the 4-5 day mark. If not then a discussion about other treatments with your is in order. I haven't treated a veiled at home for RI but that seems to be the time frame for a positive sign in Jackson's and panthers I've treated for other infections.
Bumping the heat a degree or two can help them metabolize medications. You just don't want to cause dehydration.

Okay so - definitely not doing the calcium then, I still think its a result of the pet stores horrible care plus the fact that she isn't eating well. And since you said 4-5 day mark, I'm glad she's getting the chance to have 5 days of antibiotics before I go back to New York. If things aren't looking good, there are much more exotic vets where I live then here in Pennsylvania so I don't see further treatment being a problem. Hopefully she won't be horribly stressed during the car ride.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I don't usually use a box...I use a pet pal and wrap it in a towel...so it's dark but some air can get through.
I live in Ontario which isn't a much different climate than Pennsylvania. I also would put a hot water bottle filled with very warm but not hot water inside the towel along one side (not under...don't want to burn the feet if it stands on it) of the pet pal.
 
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I ship overnight without holes. If you are worried use a larger box for more air.
I don't usually use a box...I use a pet pal and wrap it in a towel...so it's dark but some air can get through.

Okay. I don't really know what a pet pal is, but I guess if you can ship overnight without holes, I can do 5 hours. There's a crack in the top anyways that I've been covering with a towel to keep it dark. I guess that will help a little with air. Hopefully that isn't a huge concern especially with her having an RI.
 
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