Senegal Help


New Member
I just got a senegal on saturday. its a beautiful girl, but the pet store lady said it was attacked at the place they got it from and the eye is a bit messed up (im fine with that, my skink only has 2 toes on its back right leg). anyway it looks fine other than 1 or 2 bumps on the one side and veiny looking thinks on the other. I dont know if the bumps are normal and i dont know if the veiny looking things are veins or not. it looks kinda skinny but im working on that. its my first cham. and i now realize that this isnt a good starter, but i felt bad for it. i figured noone would buy it cause of the eye. if you could help me or give me advice with these issues that would be great. also a little advice on them would be nice too. thanks
Sorry to say but this is not a good situation. Yes chameleons are often injured in holding facilities by other chams because they are often crammed into cages with multiple species and way too many animals. The problem becomes that any injury is almost always infected because of the environment of the cages, the unsanitary conditions, the stress level of the animal suppressing the immune system, and the poor nutrition/hydration of the animals during transport and holding.

The veiny things you see are nematodes under the skin. This is a parasitic worm transmitted to the animals in the wild by biting insects. It is almost never found in CB animals. The only way to remove them is to have a vet remove them surgically and then go back several times for additional surgeries to ensure that they are all gone and any eggs that develop are removed. In the wild healthy chameleons do not seem adversely affected by them, but the stresses of captivity often result in the infestation of the chameleon. Do a search there are pictures of chameleons swarming with them under the skin; they will need to be removed.

In addition to these parasites the WC animal needs to be subjected to fecal floats/smears to detect the level of internal parasites it carries. There is no question of "if", only how many. You will need to run a cycle of Flagyl and Panacur then run fecal floats again. It may take several cycles to bring the internal parasites under control and eventually eliminate them. In addition you will need to treat the infections caused by the wound with Batryl, there is infection there, without doubt, and without treatment it will move into the bones of the skull and you will have no hope of saving the animal. The problem becomes that you generally need to treat for parasites before running antibiotics, you may need to run a shotgun approach however and just hope for the best because of the obvious injury.

There is a forum thread on saving chameleons and the dangers/ignorance of such attempts by novice keepers here. Sleepy Chameleon

Senegal is not a good first cham by any stretch. You can find information specific to the species and its care and breeding here.
AdCham Senegal Chameleon Profile

Did you pay for this animal or did they give it to you? If you paid for it I would take it back and let them deal with it. If they have no return policy then I would do no more business with them as they obviously do not care about you or the animals they sell.
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Yes i payed, but at a discount price. The petshop was under the impression that they were prechecked for these things, but obviously not. according to the cage setup from your post i have the right lighting and heat set up. i think the parasite may be advanced. there are at least 4 long ones on its side and there are a couple big bumps on the other. they said they would either trade for another or a forest chameleon or give me my money back. id like to get a veiled. any good sites to get a veiled from? I do feel bad though. she is a cute little thing minus the not so working eye.
I can not express to you what a good decision you are making. Get your money back. I highly recomend Mike at FlChams he is very knowledgable and has quality animals. Give him a call and he will set you up. He often has veileds that are still young but not babies, this is where you want to start.
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thanks, but the pet store wont take it back now. they are going to give me my money back. I really dont want to watch it suffer. it already started not drinking and eating. im not sure what to do
Its hard, but the humane thing to do is take it down the the local vet and have it Uthanized. I think it is $5.00 here in SoCal for small animals. Good Luck with your decision.

The Pet store wont take it back... but they'll refund your money?!

If you just heard a noise, its the sound of me bottling up even more shitty petstore frustration.
Thanks for the help in this matter, I have made the choice to have her uthenized. Her eye has become really infected and the parasites are looking pretty bad. She refuses to eat and is really looking bad. From now on I will inspect the animals more and not buy them unless they are captive breed. Its ashame, she is such a beautiful animal. I hope I will have better luck with a veiled
Hard lesson learned. I comend you for your decision to put her down. It is always a hard decision, but you are looking at the best interest of the animal. You are giving her respect that she would not have gotten from the pet store, or maybe another owner. Good On You.

Captive breed chameleons should be check over very well to. People trying to save money and cut corners can lead to unhealthy chameleons for sale.

I always start with the set-up. Look it over. It should have proper lighting. A proper flourescent bulb and heating lamp. Depending on the heat in the store and size of the chameleon they may just have a flourescent light. This is acceptable in my book.

Check the eyes. You can tell alot about a chameleon by looking at their eyes. They should be active and open. Scanning constantly to different spots. They should not be staring at stuff for more then a minute or two. They should be open at all time during the day. They should be full in their sockets. The skin that covers them should be tight with no overlapping skin. This will tell you if they are properly hydrated. The skin along the flank may also have a veiny looking line if they are dehydrated. Getting a chameleon that is a little dehydrated is okay. One that is extremely dehydrated may be starting to have internal problems and should be passed on.

Check the skeleton. The bones should be straight. The back bone should not have an "S" in it. The tail should be completely able to roll up. To check for swelling in the joints on such a small chameleon there is a good rule of thumb to follow. The front legs should be completely even all the way down when they stand straight up on them and so should the back legs. THe jaw should shut together evenly (horizontally). They should have a slight under bite. Scan the jaw over carefully. Both sides should be cirmetrical. Any abnormal swelling from one side to the other could be an oral abcess. Since it is hard to get such a small chameleon to open it's mouth this may be the only way to check for such a thing. Also check the toes. Make sure none of them are broken and all nails are present.

Ask what they have been feeding them and what supplements if any have they been using. Most pet stores that have been using them will be quick to point them out on the shelves as they will want to jack up the sells. A place that does not will usually hesitate on this question and then come up with a subpar answer. Remember that all meal worms are not healthy and can not be gut loaded very good. Crickets would be a better answer.

At this point regardless of what I am purchasing I leave. If their is a situation where maybe there is just one and you are very interest see if they will hold a deposit. Make sure you have a reciept and manager (or owner) signature if any problems should arise with getting back your money. I then go home and ponder about what I have just seen. Example: If electronic I would go home and maybe look up more in depth specs on the model and then do some comparisons. With chameleons maybe looking at some pictures of same age group to see if anything looks different. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of the moment and make a bad purchase. It is always easier to see in hind sight once away from the object or animal. Good luck. I love veiled chameleons.
Again thanks for the help everyone. I had her put down today. I tell you it sucked, I feel like a word that i probably cant say on this forum at the moment. I believe that although her live was short, she is in a better place now. One thing that are those people that are like "its not a dog, why cant you just go out side and step on it." To be honest, I like reptiles a thousand times better than I like cats or dogs. Hopefully my next chameleon adventure will be one with no serious illness or injurys. thanks again.
bodom- You sound just like me. My first cham was a Senegal that I purchased from a pet store 3 years ago....that's the first mistake, but like you, I did it because I really wanted a cham and felt bad for it. I believe what you are describing as bumps and veiny looking things is actually worms under the skin. This is a type of parasite that can kill the cham. I was able to keep my Senegal for 2 1/2yrs (she recently passed), my best advice to you is return it if you are not prepared to tackle a lonnng road of expense and heartache. I made the mistake of purchasing mine before I did my homework....that turned out to be a huge mistake! After I got her and began researching, everything I read said Senegals are not for the beginner and even experts have trouble maintaining them in captivity. Also, there has been little to no success breeding in captivity, so you can be guaranteed yours in WC.

Sorry for the bad news, but I hope it helps.

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