Sick Chameleon, been to the vet lots of times... suggestions please!

ProudPastry

New Member
My Chameleon - Male Panther Chameleon, a little over a year old. I've had him since February.

Handling - I only handle him when I give him his medicine, or if he chooses to climb on me.

Feeding - Currently I have to give him carnivore powder, lately I've been chopping up king worms and adding that in so he can get a little more nutrients and help him gain weight.

Supplements - The vet said I didn't need to put supplements in the powder. I'm thinking all he needs is already in there?

Watering - I have a zoomed reptifogger. And I mist his cage with a spray bottle whenever it's dry. He's an excellent drinker and will even drink from the mist bottle haha

Fecal Description - His colouring is good, nothing out of the ordinary. His poop is pretty normal, although it's a different colour due to the powder.

History - N/A

Cage Type - I have a large reptibreeze cage. It's 3 feet tall and 18 inches wide and 18 inches deep.
I am currently in the process of building him a new cage that is 6 feet tall, 2 feet wide and 2 feet deep.

Lighting - Reptisun 100w UVA UVB bulb in a deep dome. His light goes on at 7:00 AM and it goes out at around 8:00 PM

Temperature - His basking spot is around 90F, it'll go up or down a tiny bit depending. It gets around to 75F at night.

Humidity - His humidity ranges around 60%-75%. The lowest I've seen it is around 30%, but I always keep a close eye on it.

Plants - I have 3 Ficus elastica decora which are growing very nicely and my Chameleon seems to really like them.

Placement - The cage is located by our computer desks in a low traffic area. The cage top is a little lower than my eye level (I'm 5'5), but that is going to change soon with his new unit. When it does want to come out, I have a 6 foot tall fake tree with vines on it that he likes to sit on.

Location - I live in Canada, British Columbia. It's summer right now and the temperature outside is very warm so I'll take him outside for some natural light from time to time.

My problem:
Hello, I have a Male Panther Chameleon who is a little over a year old.
A few months ago his appetite started to change and he ate less and less. Then one day he had his eyes closed, so I called the vet immediately and had him looked at.
They did a blood test which later relieved that he had a high white blood cell count so they gave me some antibiotics and some carnivore powder food to force feed him.
Later I gave them a sample of his poop and they said he had parasites. They said that it's normal and if he were healthy they wouldn't give him antibiotics to treat him, but he's been ill so they gave me more antibiotics.

After I finished him on the antibiotics he started to seem a lot better!
But then he started to cough, clench his body, and even vomit.
So the vet put him on more antibiotics and the coughing, clenching and vomiting stopped, but now he just rests all the time, his eyes are sunken, and he looks very emaciated. I'm starting to get desperate...
Does anyone have any suggestions? :(

Thanks so much for reading!
 

Kate

Established Member
Hi there . I'm sorry your little one is sick. I'm not sure if I can help but I will try and hopefully more will chime in. I'm not sure about carnivor powder but he needs nutrition of some kind. Using the worms is good . You could also mash up crickets, add a little water and strain. You got bug juice. Does this powder contain calcium, d3 and multivitamins? Is your vet a reptile vet? So many antibiotics are very hard on the kidneys. You say he is drinking which is good. What colour are his urates? That's the light part of his poop. What supplements was he getting before he became sick? Getting him outside just now is great.
 

ataraxia

Avid Member
If the vet is not doing any test and is just handing out the anitbiotics...I dont like to go against a vet recommendation but i would stop the antibiotic treatments.

I hope i didnt read this right...Did the vet treat the parasites found?
1. What parasites were found?
2. What drug did you get to treat them with and regimen?
3. What was he being fed before the appetite loss?
4. What was your supplement type and schedule before the appetite loss?
5. What color is his urates?
 

ProudPastry

New Member
Hi there . I'm sorry your little one is sick. I'm not sure if I can help but I will try and hopefully more will chime in. I'm not sure about carnivor powder but he needs nutrition of some kind. Using the worms is good . You could also mash up crickets, add a little water and strain. You got bug juice. Does this powder contain calcium, d3 and multivitamins? Is your vet a reptile vet? So many antibiotics are very hard on the kidneys. You say he is drinking which is good. What colour are his urates? That's the light part of his poop. What supplements was he getting before he became sick? Getting him outside just now is great.
I totally agree that he needs more nutrition, that's why I've been mashing up the bugs. I'll definitely try the bug juice you suggested haha, thank you :)
They did an x-ray today and they said his bone density was good, so he's good for calcium, but they suggested I give him some with his powder (so I guess it didn't have any e_e) but will do that now for sure.

I was actually questioning the antibiotics because when I put him back on them he started getting worse so I think I'll stop them.
His urates are white, his poop looks normal :)

If the vet is not doing any test and is just handing out the anitbiotics...I dont like to go against a vet recommendation but i would stop the antibiotic treatments.

I hope i didnt read this right...Did the vet treat the parasites found?
1. What parasites were found?
2. What drug did you get to treat them with and regimen?
3. What was he being fed before the appetite loss?
4. What was your supplement type and schedule before the appetite loss?
5. What color is his urates?
As I said to Kate, I agree about the antibiotics and I think I'll stop them for a bit to see how he does.. because I am worried about his kidneys.

1. They did treat the parasites. I'm not sure what they were exactly but they said it was just regular parasites that reptiles do often get and it wasn't a huge deal.
2. Metronidazole for the parasites found and Baytril liquid is the antibiotic.
3. I gave him king worms, wax worms on occasion, horn worms when they were in stock at the store for a treat, and crickets. I would dust them with calcium and multi vitamins on and off.

and I believe I answered 4 and 5 :)

Thank you both for your replies!!
 

ataraxia

Avid Member
1. What was dosing frequency for the parasites? How many times in a row and was there any follow up?
If there was only one dose given and no follow up. He still has parasites.
2. I must be over looking it. What was your supplement schedule before the change?
If he was given too much D3. This would put him through a hard time.
3. Of the feeders. What were you using as his staple?
If he was given super worms or king worms for too long. These things are phosphorus fat bombs. They are bugs that are nutritionally poor. Abused, they will cause your animal hardships and appetite loss. To be honest your animals organs will be what suffers. They truly dont gain weight significantly faster with these bugs and the organs have to process more fat per content with them. I would switch to using crickets, roaches, silk worms, horn worms or even butterworms to put in your mixture.
 

bradley

New Member
Many people notice changes in their chameleons when their uv bulb needs replacing. The bulb you are using gives out very irregular uv. Some last months and some last only a few. I would recommend ch shiny to a normal household spotbulb for heat and a separate uv bulb to provide uv. Many. People would recommend a 5.0 but I would personally use a 10.0.
 

draco11

New Member
I had a Beardie that was put on the carnivore powder for not eating, though he died a week later.
I purchased his brother and come to find out he had the same problem. That time I would blend Bearded dragon total bites with a different kind of baby food each time I would feed him. Also give him Sub-Q or fluids under the skin as needed. It took awhile and the vet did'nt find any reason for either of them not eatting. But the brother now has been eatting on his own for a year now.
Reptiles normally don't throw-up. Ask your vet if they could teach you how to give fluids to make sure he keeps hydrated.
IMHO the carnivore powder is a bit hard for their system to handle when sick.
 

ProudPastry

New Member
1. What was dosing frequency for the parasites? How many times in a row and was there any follow up?
If there was only one dose given and no follow up. He still has parasites.
2. I must be over looking it. What was your supplement schedule before the change?
If he was given too much D3. This would put him through a hard time.
3. Of the feeders. What were you using as his staple?
If he was given super worms or king worms for too long. These things are phosphorus fat bombs. They are bugs that are nutritionally poor. Abused, they will cause your animal hardships and appetite loss. To be honest your animals organs will be what suffers. They truly dont gain weight significantly faster with these bugs and the organs have to process more fat per content with them. I would switch to using crickets, roaches, silk worms, horn worms or even butterworms to put in your mixture.
He probably still has the parasites then :( I was only given a 1 week bottle to give him and there was no follow up.

Oh sorry haha I'd powder his food with calcium and multi vitamins very lightly a few times a week because I read that you should do it on and off? not sure if that's right... but I've been adding some multi vitamin powder to his mix now :)

I was using crickets and super worms. Mostly super worms though because he was pretty skinny... He was in a cage at the store that had little to no privacy for him and was pretty stressed with all the people looking at him and tapping his cage.. But the animals that came in to the store were worse for him :/

Many people notice changes in their chameleons when their uv bulb needs replacing. The bulb you are using gives out very irregular uv. Some last months and some last only a few. I would recommend ch shiny to a normal household spotbulb for heat and a separate uv bulb to provide uv. Many. People would recommend a 5.0 but I would personally use a 10.0.
Thanks for the suggestion! :D I'm in a little bit of a financial dip at the moment... but I'll keep it in mind for when I finally come out of the dip :)
The bulb has a warranty, do you think I should ask for a free bulb just to be safe? Zoo med has excellent customer service :)

I had a Beardie that was put on the carnivore powder for not eating, though he died a week later.
I purchased his brother and come to find out he had the same problem. That time I would blend Bearded dragon total bites with a different kind of baby food each time I would feed him. Also give him Sub-Q or fluids under the skin as needed. It took awhile and the vet did'nt find any reason for either of them not eatting. But the brother now has been eatting on his own for a year now.
Reptiles normally don't throw-up. Ask your vet if they could teach you how to give fluids to make sure he keeps hydrated.
IMHO the carnivore powder is a bit hard for their system to handle when sick.
I'm sorry about your beardie :( I have two beardies and they are both amazing animals.
The vet actually did give him some fluids under the skin, and she did teach me to do it, but she didn't want me to accidentally puncture his ribs because he's pretty skinny right now, so they offered to do it again on monday :)


Update on Pitri's progress:
He's still pretty skinny but I've been giving him bug juice mixed with a bit a carnivore powder (I'm using less powder, more bug), with added multi vitamins. He took it extremely well.
I also put him in the shower with the head facing the wall and let the hot water run and he REALLY enjoyed that haha, I think I'll keep doing that for him because I got a very positive response from it :)
I think he's slowly improving, I'm not going to give up on my boy <3
 

ataraxia

Avid Member
Heres what i would do for your guy if he were mine.

*TREAT THE PARASITES CORRECTLY ASAP* (You can call the vet and find out what they found and then ask for a correct course of treatment)
1. Administer food three times a day in small increments. I would use the food choices that i listed above in a bug mixture. No more Superworms!
2. I would use liquid calcium in the mixture. No powders with D3!
3. I would also put a small amount of pedialyte in the mix.
*You can de-leg the bugs with legs and put them in a zip loc baggie and smash/mix it up. can cut the tip off and squeeze it out like a pastry bag.
4. Long shower 15+ minutes three times a day.
5. Outside sunlight as much as possible.

Note: if you have been giving too much D3. Like if it is in the carnivore mix, its in the calcium powder or even the multivitamin. I would crush up a tums and put a pinch in the mixture also. Tums will help detox the body of excessive VitD.
 

ProudPastry

New Member
Heres what i would do for your guy if he were mine.

*TREAT THE PARASITES CORRECTLY ASAP* (You can call the vet and find out what they found and then ask for a correct course of treatment)
1. Administer food three times a day in small increments. I would use the food choices that i listed above in a bug mixture. No more Superworms!
2. I would use liquid calcium in the mixture. No powders with D3!
3. I would also put a small amount of pedialyte in the mix.
*You can de-leg the bugs with legs and put them in a zip loc baggie and smash/mix it up. can cut the tip off and squeeze it out like a pastry bag.
4. Long shower 15+ minutes three times a day.
5. Outside sunlight as much as possible.

Note: if you have been giving too much D3. Like if it is in the carnivore mix, its in the calcium powder or even the multivitamin. I would crush up a tums and put a pinch in the mixture also. Tums will help detox the body of excessive VitD.
Roger that! :)
Wow you can give chameleons tums?? I had no idea lol
But I think he's okay with the D3 :) I haven't been giving him calcium with D3 in it.
 

ProudPastry

New Member
I gave him another shower today, he was a little pale this time.. probably because my dad was there?
But anyway, I gave him some cricket juice and he took it okay... but then a few minutes later he seemed to be in a lot of discomfort and then had a very watery poop :( the urates were still white and normal looking though... but the rest was very watery... probably why he is so dehydrated :(
I'm trying everything I possibly can to get him well hydrated. His humidity is good, and he's getting showers... I mix water in with his food, I mist him...
I called the vet and left a message (not open today) but I asked them to call me ASAP...
I hope my little guy will be okay :( I hate seeing him in so much pain...
 

ProudPastry

New Member
Since my last post I've taken him to the vet (a reptile/exotic specialist) 2-3 times, and had another fecal test done for parasites, which came back negative... The vet actually took him home with her to keep an eye on him over night and give him fluids and food directly into his belly... but he didn't last the night :'(
The vet still has no idea what the problem was, so she's going to perform an autopsy.

Miss you Pitri :'( <3 I'm just thankful you're not in pain anymore... xoxo
 

Kate

Established Member
Oh no that is not the news I expected. You did everything you could for your little one.
 
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