Sick Cham, need help with meds :/

pistachiocham

New Member
hey guys, my 8 month old veiled has been having breathing trouble for about the past week. He keeps his eyes closed most of the time and when he opens them there seems to be a brown kind of gunk crusting over them. He stopped taking food and drinking about 2 days ago. I've been misting with warm water for a couple minutes about every 30-60 mins and dripping water at his nose to see if he'll drink but he just won't take it. I have also been trying to hand feed super worms (his favorite) when his eyes are open but he just won't take it. I took him to the vet 3 days ago and she prescribed him an antibiotic and told me it seemed to be a respiratory infection but he's very grumpy which makes it so hard to give him his meds. Just wondering what tips anyone has for administering oral medication to a grumpy sick cham and trying to hydrate him and get some nutrients in him. I've been watching him carefully and when I notice him opening his mouth I've been able to give him the meds if i'm lucky but I just feel so awful forcing him to open his mouth so i can give them. Any tips or advice would help so much :)



Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - male veiled, about 8-9 months, i adopted him in july from an animal shelter after he was surrendered
  • Handling - maybe once a month until lately it's been daily trying to give meds
  • Feeding - super worms and BSL mostly, he get hornworms about once a month and silkworms maybe once every two weeks or more. I try my best to gutload the worms with greens.
  • Supplements - repti-cal every feeding, D3 and a multivitamin once a month each
  • Watering - hand misting usually every two hours, more often now trying to help his eyes
  • Fecal Description - usually good, brown with a more liquid white tip
  • History - i did rescue him from a shelter so i have no idea about what his environment was like before i got him

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - XL reptibreeze 24x24x48
  • Lighting - 75w basking bulb, 60w uvb
  • Temperature - about 75 mid cage and then 85 basking spot. usually doesn't go below 65 at night
  • Humidity - maintained between 50-60
  • Plants - silk plants and a small umbrella plant
  • Placement - up high in the corner of my bedroom, not near any doors windows or fans
  • Location - Saskatchewan canada
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi. Sorry your guy is sick. A great trick my vet showed me is to use their casque as a kind of handle or grip to help give them medication. I’ll look over your husbandry and give you a review in a few. Can you post some pics of your entire enclosure in the time being?
 

pistachiocham

New Member
Plant is dying :(( hoping to get a new one soon, also forgot to mention i do use a ceramic heat bulb to help because it gets so cold where i live.
 

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kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
If you can get him to drink from a dripper, as his mouth is opening and shutting to drink you can ease the meds in. Don't squirt them and be careful that they don't go into his lungs. (The hole to the lungs is at the front of the mouth. If you bring the syringe up from below he will be less likely to notice it as well.

You could do the same thing when he's eating and the mouth is opening and shut get to chew.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Putting my feedback in red.
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - male veiled, about 8-9 months, i adopted him in july from an animal shelter after he was surrendered
  • Handling - maybe once a month until lately it's been daily trying to give meds
  • Feeding - super worms and BSL mostly, he get hornworms about once a month and silkworms maybe once every two weeks or more. I try my best to gutload the worms with greens. Attaching feeder and gutloading sheets for you. Supers should be more of a treat than a staple. You do have a good variety, but maybe use the silks as more of a staple. Roaches are great staple feeders if you’re able to get any.
  • Supplements - repti-cal every feeding, D3 and a multivitamin once a month each Not bad, but the D3 and multivitamin should be given twice a month each...usually every other week. To add preformed vitamin A which is good for eye health, you could switch your multivitamin to Reptivite. If you get the one that has D3, you’d want to give it once every other week and wouldn’t need the other D3.
  • Watering - hand misting usually every two hours, more often now trying to help his eyes Misting should be about 3 times daily for 2 minutes each time. I understand about the eye, but it sounds like he may have a respiratory infection and the added moisture/humidity can worsen that. Also, just use regular room temp water. What feels lukewarm to us can be scalding to a cham.
  • Fecal Description - usually good, brown with a more liquid white tip
  • History - i did rescue him from a shelter so i have no idea about what his environment was like before i got him

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - XL reptibreeze 24x24x48 Perfect!
  • Lighting - 75w basking bulb, 60w uvb I see a linear fixture...is this your uvb? Is it a T8 or a T5? Best uvb to use is a T5 with either a 5.0 or Arcadia 6% uvb bulb. Others aren’t able to give as broad a coverage at proper levels.
  • Temperature - about 75 mid cage and then 85 basking spot. usually doesn't go below 65 at night Perfect!
  • Humidity - maintained between 50-60 Ideal range is between 30-50%. If you reduce the frequency of misting, this should bring it down to within a good range.
  • Plants - silk plants and a small umbrella plant Trade out the silk plants for pothos or other live plants. Pothos and philodendron are my faves as they grow fast & easy and create lots of long vines to act as additional little cham roads. Place the silk on the outside of the enclosure to give him a bit more sense of privacy.
  • Placement - up high in the corner of my bedroom, not near any doors windows or fans
  • Location - Saskatchewan canada
Your enclosure looks pretty good. You could add some more branches horizontally. Neptune the Chameleon on YouTube has a video for different ways to hang them, along with many other topics.
If you feel the need to try to clean the gunk from around his eye, you could use a moistened Q tip very gently. You don’t want to irritate it any further. I gently dripped sterile saline on my guy who had a crusty eye and then very gently dabbed with a q tip moistened with the sterile water. The crusts kept returning and it was pretty much all in vain until proper supplementation healed the problem. Do be careful putting meds or anything in his mouth. Their airway is in the front of the mouth so you want to aim for the back of his mouth/throat. Hope this helps.


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pistachiocham

New Member
Putting my feedback in red.
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - male veiled, about 8-9 months, i adopted him in july from an animal shelter after he was surrendered
  • Handling - maybe once a month until lately it's been daily trying to give meds
  • Feeding - super worms and BSL mostly, he get hornworms about once a month and silkworms maybe once every two weeks or more. I try my best to gutload the worms with greens. Attaching feeder and gutloading sheets for you. Supers should be more of a treat than a staple. You do have a good variety, but maybe use the silks as more of a staple. Roaches are great staple feeders if you’re able to get any.
  • Supplements - repti-cal every feeding, D3 and a multivitamin once a month each Not bad, but the D3 and multivitamin should be given twice a month each...usually every other week. To add preformed vitamin A which is good for eye health, you could switch your multivitamin to Reptivite. If you get the one that has D3, you’d want to give it once every other week and wouldn’t need the other D3.
  • Watering - hand misting usually every two hours, more often now trying to help his eyes Misting should be about 3 times daily for 2 minutes each time. I understand about the eye, but it sounds like he may have a respiratory infection and the added moisture/humidity can worsen that. Also, just use regular room temp water. What feels lukewarm to us can be scalding to a cham.
  • Fecal Description - usually good, brown with a more liquid white tip
  • History - i did rescue him from a shelter so i have no idea about what his environment was like before i got him

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - XL reptibreeze 24x24x48 Perfect!
  • Lighting - 75w basking bulb, 60w uvb I see a linear fixture...is this your uvb? Is it a T8 or a T5? Best uvb to use is a T5 with either a 5.0 or Arcadia 6% uvb bulb. Others aren’t able to give as broad a coverage at proper levels.
  • Temperature - about 75 mid cage and then 85 basking spot. usually doesn't go below 65 at night Perfect!
  • Humidity - maintained between 50-60 Ideal range is between 30-50%. If you reduce the frequency of misting, this should bring it down to within a good range.
  • Plants - silk plants and a small umbrella plant Trade out the silk plants for pothos or other live plants. Pothos and philodendron are my faves as they grow fast & easy and create lots of long vines to act as additional little cham roads. Place the silk on the outside of the enclosure to give him a bit more sense of privacy.
  • Placement - up high in the corner of my bedroom, not near any doors windows or fans
  • Location - Saskatchewan canada
Your enclosure looks pretty good. You could add some more branches horizontally. Neptune the Chameleon on YouTube has a video for different ways to hang them, along with many other topics.
If you feel the need to try to clean the gunk from around his eye, you could use a moistened Q tip very gently. You don’t want to irritate it any further. I gently dripped sterile saline on my guy who had a crusty eye and then very gently dabbed with a q tip moistened with the sterile water. The crusts kept returning and it was pretty much all in vain until proper supplementation healed the problem. Do be careful putting meds or anything in his mouth. Their airway is in the front of the mouth so you want to aim for the back of his mouth/throat. Hope this helps.


thanks so much!! uvb is a t5 5.0!
 

pistachiocham

New Member
Hi guys, little month and a half update if anyone sees this and still looking for some advice. Since the last post I've taken pistachio to a new reptile specialist vet and he's been on a 2 week dose of baytril, as well as a meal replacement because he won't open his eyes or take live prey. I've tried force feeding BSL but he spits them out :(. I have been cleaning his eyes with saline to see if that will help with opening them and nothing has seemed to help. He takes water when I drip it by his mouth a few times a day so at this point he shouldn't be dehydrated. I have been mixing his calcium everyday with water and force feeding that, and his other supplements alternating weeks and still nothing. He is strong and can grip well but I'm starting to lose faith that he'll ever open his eyes and take live food. Does anyone have any kind of experience with this? He's booked to see the vet again in 5 days but i'm just looking for anyone with advice or a similar experience.
(vet has ruled out mbd and took an x-ray and doesn't think that it's a respiratory infection so we are just at a loss)
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Wish I could offer some help. Did you start using the Reptivite? Has the vet tried eye drops...maybe antibiotic one? I can’t recall the details, but I recall reading something about vets flushing the sinuses/nasal tracts. Hopefully another member has a better memory about this than I do and can chime in.
 
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