Respiratory Infection threshold limit?

Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
I am not currently having an issue. I just like to learn and know as much as I can about my little guy.

But I've seen a lot of threads lately where chameleons have respiratory infections. I know its due to high heat and high humidity at the same time.

I've tried to search the forums but couldn't find an answer to my question. All I came across is what signs to look for if your chameleon has one.

Do we have establish limits on how hot/humid is to hot/humid and if you go above these limits you are risking your chameleon to get a respiratory infection?

Thanks,

Tony
 

Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks, for the link, but it just confused me even more. They used high heat and high warm humidity to treat it. But I thought that is what causes it in the first place.

I did some reading online and found sites saying that low temperature and low/high humidity can also cause it. But isn't that what we are doing at night during the cool temps and trying to increasing the humidity as close to 100% that we can get?
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
It's a bit more complicated than saying high temp + high humidity = RI, unfortunately! Stagnant air also plays a huge part in it. If you had high temps + humidity but excellent airflow like you'd get in an outside enclosure, chances are you wouldnt have any issues. But if you had those same parameters and stagnant/limited air flow, then you'd be at much higher risk for RIs. The overall health of the animal and its immune system always plays a part. Very young and old animals of all species are more prone to illness in general.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
The old thinking was that very low humidity caused URI, that thinking changed in the last couple of years. It is mostly due to theories proposed by Petr Necas based on observations in the field.
I think the proof will bear out over time.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’ve also heard that drafty areas can cause RI. I’ve been keeping for 13+ years and helped my daughter with her chameleons before that and only had the one chameleon, Mufasa have an RI and he was an old man. I’m wondering if they are more prone to get them in glass enclosure.
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’ve also heard that drafty areas can cause RI. I’ve been keeping for 13+ years and helped my daughter with her chameleons before that and only had the one chameleon, Mufasa have an RI and he was an old man. I’m wondering if they are more prone to get them in glass enclosure.

Drafts absolutely don't help matters, especially with older/very young individuals! There's airflow, and then there are drafts - which tend to cool and especially dangerous when the enclosure and/or cham is damp!

It's a tricky one.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
So, my question every time someone says “Put a coat on, you’ll catch a cold!” Is...

What causes a cold? Temps? Immune system issues? Bacteria? Viruses?

Is moisture truly to blame here? What actually causes Respiratory infections?
For humans, the common cold is a virus. Biggest way to prevent it is hand washing. It’s a myth about catching a cold from being cold. However, any stress placed on the body does lower the immune system and makes it harder to fight off viruses and bacteria. While I don’t know exactly what causes RI in chams, I’d assume it’s bacterial. Bacteria and molds thrive in hot damp conditions. Add a bit of fecal and other matter and it’s bacteria gone wild.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I've used glass cages for years (with little vents in the front) and I've never had a chameleon develop an RI.

Cold Canadian drafts in winter can compromise their immune systems though, which is why I always say keep your cages away from the windows and other drafts in winter if you live in a cold climate.

i was always told to increase the temperature if the chameleon was sick (not just with colds) because they can't get fevers like we can so it kind of mimics a fever.

I'm not sure where I stand on the heat /humidity theories Petr Necas is putting forward being what we should do because I think it still depends on where you live and the differences in the climate, etc you're dealing with. What works in one place may not be the best answer if you live somewhere else.
 

Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for all the replies and input everyone. A lot of good information on what causes it and not just what to look for if your chameleon has one.
 
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