Sick Jackson's Chameleon: Tongue Weakness, Insect Calorie Count, General Update

Connorology

Established Member
I have a positive update regarding my chameleon's condition: After 12 days of treatment for an oral infection he has improved noticeably (See: https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/assistance-needed-palliative-care-for-sick-jacksons-chameleon.146572/). His mouth is almost entirely healed and after about two weeks off feed he willingly ate a dubia roach and a waxworm this afternoon. He is still more lethargic than I would like, but he's awake and alert all day.

I got his weight back up to 50 grams via a week of force feeding with bug juice, and his stool once again appears normal (it had been rather watery when he was refusing food and before I started the bug juice syringe feedings). So, good progress and I think his condition is stable for the immediate future.

That said, there are a whole new set of issues I could probably use suggestions on (and that I'd like to have ideas about before my follow up with the veterinarian).

1) He appears to be having difficulty deploying his tongue. I fed him with a tong and when it became clear he was interested in the food item I just put it next to his head and he gobbled it up without hitting it with his tongue. I'm guessing this could be residual swelling from his infection. Or potentially atrophy from a couple weeks of not using it. Does anyone have experience with tongue weakness after illness?

2) He is willingly eating, but not actively hunting. He has a food dish that I have kept stocked with dubias and waxworms, and he's showing no interest in it unless I dangle one in front of him with tongs.

3) Is there calorie information for feeder insects available somewhere? I want to know how much he needs to be accepting daily in order to maintain body weight. I've been weighing him daily too, but if I need to resume bug juice feeding I don't want to wait for him to drop a bunch of weight again.

Thoughts? Feelings?

Thanks again for your feedback.
 

Connorology

Established Member
Supplements are within recommended parameters, I do calcium minus D3 a couple times a week, multivitamin and calcium with D3 once or twice a month. The multivitamin is zoomed reptivite without D3. The calcium supplements are "exoterra calcium" and "RepCal with D3." He gets fed crickets, dubias, superworms, waxworms, and hornworms when I can get them. Feeders get fed carrots, apples, oranges, spinach, lettuce or whatever other produce I have on hand to feed myself. I give them a little oats and bran to, depending on the feeders (ie, superworms are swimming in it, crickets and dubias don't get much).

Keep in mind that he's sick though, and has been undergoing injections of antibiotics for two weeks now with at least another week to go. He was also looking a little peekid before I took him to the vet. So we're on about week three of illness and all he's eaten for the past two weeks are bug smoothies. I don't know what that does to his metabolism but I wouldn't imagine it's good. I also wouldn't be surprised if he had parasites, since his husbandry is within recommended parameters but something had to lead to the infection. I'm going to get that checked out when I go back to the vet.

And that link is exactly what I was looking for, thank you. Time to do some math. Hooray...
 

Connorology

Established Member
As an update, my chameleon has almost completely recovered. He's off the antibiotics and is eating normally. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.
 

leedragon

Avid Member
I have a positive update regarding my chameleon's condition: After 12 days of treatment for an oral infection he has improved noticeably (See: https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/assistance-needed-palliative-care-for-sick-jacksons-chameleon.146572/). His mouth is almost entirely healed and after about two weeks off feed he willingly ate a dubia roach and a waxworm this afternoon. He is still more lethargic than I would like, but he's awake and alert all day.

I got his weight back up to 50 grams via a week of force feeding with bug juice, and his stool once again appears normal (it had been rather watery when he was refusing food and before I started the bug juice syringe feedings). So, good progress and I think his condition is stable for the immediate future.

That said, there are a whole new set of issues I could probably use suggestions on (and that I'd like to have ideas about before my follow up with the veterinarian).

1) He appears to be having difficulty deploying his tongue. I fed him with a tong and when it became clear he was interested in the food item I just put it next to his head and he gobbled it up without hitting it with his tongue. I'm guessing this could be residual swelling from his infection. Or potentially atrophy from a couple weeks of not using it. Does anyone have experience with tongue weakness after illness?

2) He is willingly eating, but not actively hunting. He has a food dish that I have kept stocked with dubias and waxworms, and he's showing no interest in it unless I dangle one in front of him with tongs.

3) Is there calorie information for feeder insects available somewhere? I want to know how much he needs to be accepting daily in order to maintain body weight. I've been weighing him daily too, but if I need to resume bug juice feeding I don't want to wait for him to drop a bunch of weight again.

Thoughts? Feelings?

Thanks again for your feedback.
it is always more about gutloading that the insect itself, have a look at the her blogs https://www.chameleonforums.com/members/sandrachameleon.1614/
 
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