Respiratory infection - no vet for a couple of days

Myou

Member
My 7 month male Veiled is starting to show signs of a respiratory infection. He is gasping very occasionally, seems energetic at times and lethargic at others. Just in the last couple of hours he has started closing his eyes. He has no appetite and won't touch crickets but he will devour horn worms right away so I have been feeding him those.


I have a vet appointment but not until Wednesday. It is challenging to find a Vet that will take him in and sooner than that, but I'll call tomorrow when they are open and ask for an appointment sooner.

I am worried in the meantime, clearly he has some discomfort. I sprayed him with some warm water and he really enjoyed that. What else can I do between now and the vets to make him more comfortable? Should I let him close his eyes and sleep in the day? Should I spray him more and up the humidity?
 

Remkon

Chameleon Enthusiast
He is gasping very occasionally, seems energetic at times and lethargic at others.
Gasping continuously would be more a sign of RI i think since he would have yrouble breathing. Does he have slime/bubbles in his mouth? Do you hear him breathe?
Gasping could also mean he's overheating.
What exactly do you mean by being 'lethargic'? Chameleons will sometimes just sit on their branch just looking around for longer periods of time, this conserves energy, they often rather just thermoregulate by gasping than move to a cooler position...

So closing eyes during the day can be a bad singn, maybe its related to the possible overheating, maybe he's exhausted or just tired and turning in for the night (they may do this like an hr before lights off) . Can you fill out the 'how to ask for help' form so we can get a better insight on your situation?

Now, if he actually has RI there's usually a reason for it, this could be a draft, an ac blowing over his enclosure or a lack of ventilation (stale air) etc... Review your husbandry and the placement of the enclosure. You will need to fix that first.
 

Myou

Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon -Male Veiled. 7 months old. I have had him for about 4 months now
  • Handling - 1-2 times a day- he is constantly demanding to come out of his Viv and we indulge to let him get used to us
  • Feeding - Was crickets until a couple of weeks ago - He will not touch crickets and will rarely touch phoenix worms. Feeding him butter worms and horn worms until I can find out why he is turning his nose on other feeders
  • Supplements -Exoterra Calcium ever feeding, Extorra Multi Vitamin once every two weeks and Zoo Med Repti Calcium with D3 once every two weeks
  • Watering - Mistking system mists 3 times a day for 5 minutes each
  • Fecal Description - Poops pretty regularly, fecal looks firm and a little moist, urate is usually white and a little watery at the moment - probably due to the hornworm diet
  • History -He has been healthy up until a couple of weeks ago when he stopped eating crickets, he used to not let us touch him but 3 weeks ago it was like a switch and he was ok with being handled. He most of the time will reach for us when we enter the room where his cage is.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type -Screen 18x18x36 - will upgrade when he is a little bigger
  • Lighting Mega Ray Mecury Vapor Build 75 watt - I am aware these can get high in heat ad UV but where we were climate wise we were haven't a really hard time with the incandescent freezing him. The MV bulb was recommended by a specialty reptile supplier in the area
  • Temperature -basking is between 82-86, ambient is between 75-80 and our house goes down to about 68 at night
  • Humidity - 30-60% I try to keep it up there but our climate it can prove difficult
  • Plants - live plants, umbrella, dracena and pothos
  • Placement - Cage is in our bedroom so limited traffic and none during the day. His cage is along one wall and on an end table, top of the cage is at the 4 foot mark or around
  • Location - Alberta Canada\

Issue - Seems like he is sick. He is energetic some of the time but others will be lethargic away from his basking spot- he will turn dark colours and not be interested in anything around him. There are no bubbles or mucous but we have heard him gasp a few times now, there is a little laboured breathing and sometimes opening the mouth for no apparent reason.


I don't think it is from overheating, in fact I think the house is a little too cool for him as our weather here is really cooling off for winter. He usually gapes when he is too warm but I haven't seen him do that for a while now.

I have seen him hunker down for bed a little bit earlier, but he started closing his eyes around 3pm and his bedtime is 10pm. I think I will turn his lights off earlier tonight to give him some rest.


Thank you for the help - I just want to make sure he will be ok until I get him to the vet. Ok and comfortable
 

bobbydigital

Avid Member
I've read before that bumping up the temps can help treat a respiratory infection. In my personal experiences my veiled started to show signs of a RI and I bumped up the temps and used a ceramic heat bulb at night and he didn't show any symptoms after that. Took him to a vet shortly after and he said he was fine. Similar situation with one of my bearded dragons. I feel that if it is just starting it can help nip it in the bud, but a vet visit (which obviously you are going to do) is always the best.
 

CJ's Exotics

Chameleon Enthusiast
I've read before that bumping up the temps can help treat a respiratory infection. In my personal experiences my veiled started to show signs of a RI and I bumped up the temps and used a ceramic heat bulb at night and he didn't show any symptoms after that. Took him to a vet shortly after and he said he was fine. Similar situation with one of my bearded dragons. I feel that if it is just starting it can help nip it in the bud, but a vet visit (which obviously you are going to do) is always the best.
I'm glad you mentioned this. OP, this is called a behavioral fever, where an animal seeks warmer temperatures to battle illness. It is like a fever for us, but they are cold blooded, so they have to go to warmer areas to create that "fever" like effect for them. Be careful not to raise the temp too high.
 
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