Sick Panther

Cage Info:

Cage Type -16" x 16" x 30" Aluminum Screen Cage.
Lighting - 100w ZooMed Repti Basking Spot Lamp and 18" 15w 8.0 UVB ReptiGlow both on from 8am till 8pm.
Temperature - Ambient room temperature during the day 82F and at night 75F, under basking lamp is 95F.
Humidity - Fluctuates due to misting system, I have my misting system set to mist 3 times, at 8:30am at 12:30pm and 4:30pm for three minutes at a time.
Plants - I have both artificial plants as well as Pothos.
Location - On a bookshelf which stands 4 ft high in a low trafic area, one side of the cage is blocked off by a black cotton sheet to devide the cages of the male and female.

Chameleon Info:

Your Chameleon - Ambilobe Panther, Female, 4 months old, I have owned for two weeks.
Feeding - This seems to be a problem. The only thing she will eat regularly is fruitflies. I have gotten her to eat a few crickets and a few silkies in the two weeks I have owned her. I have gut loaded the crickets and I always offer every type of food to her first, then I give her a few fruit flies because she doesn't eat really anything else.
Supplements - When she has eaten crickets they have been dusted with both the Rep-Cal Herptivite and Calcium with D3.
Watering - Again misting system 3 times a day for 3 minutes at a time.
Fecal Description - Also, not much of this either. I have seen her go once and it seemed to be very liquidy and only brown, but again it was very little.
History - I bought both a male and female panther 2 weeks ago and had both in the same cage because I was told that when they are under 6 months old it will be ok to keep them in the same cage. Then I noticed that the female was getting irritated with the male so I separated the two about a week ago. When they were together she would stay in the middle of the cage most of the day and occassionally go to the top where the male was to sun then get irritated and return to the middle of the cage. Once I seperated the two she began to go to the basking bulb and sit up there all day. At this point I thought she may have an URI because she was gasping a lot for air and sleeping on at the top of the cage and not really eating at all. I took her to see a vet and he told me that she looked fine just keep misting her and keep the lights on her. Well, she stopped gasping and began just to bask all day. During this time she was fairly active walking around between baskings but now a week later she seems to just sit in the middle of the cage and sleep all day. She still isn't eating very much, she only accepts fruit flies and just looks at any other insect. I have tried silkies (she at maybe 3 1/4"), roaches smaller than 1/4" and crickets smaller than 1/4".

Here is a picture of her sitting in the middle of the cage just sleeping the entire day and one on my hand.

Any suggestions or advise?


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She definitely shouldn't be sleeping all day. Her tail looks a little thin in one picture....but the picture isn't clear enough to be sure.

Does the UVB light have glass or plastic over it?

Do you have any substrate in the cage?

There should be urates (white part) as well as the feces (brown part)...and it shouldn't be runny. If there are no urates being passed, this is something that I would wonder about.

Have you had a fecal done?

I know you took her to a vet, but I think she needs to see a good reptile vet.
Yep, the sleeping is what worries me. The UVB light has not glass or plastic. There is no substrate on the bottom of the cage but there is just a little moss no the top of the live plants, very little. I have not had a fecal done yet but definately am considering it. Also, I would like to add I took her to a very good reptile vet, he told me to turn off the basking lamp and see if she comes to the top of the cage for the UVB, but she didn't respond. She still hangs out in the middle of the cage sleeping during the day. This was two days ago and I haven't gotten back with the vet yet, but I was just wondering if anyone else had any ideas, can't hurt.
Not sure if you had already tried this but if possible put him outside during the day, the sun will usually cheer him up. I know sounds stupid but it works. I noticed he looked a little on the skinny side especially in the tail, he definitely needs fluids. Hopefully he gets better quick, but if not I have some nosy be babies I'll give you for a steal but hopefully it won't go that way. Good Luck!
Well, sad to say it but she passed away yesterday. I kind of saw it coming with the way she looked and how she was acting the last few days. I did everything I could to try to help her (took her to the vet, placed her outside, offered her every food source I could get my hands on, read every piece of literature on panther chameleons I could find) but the worst part is I don't even know why she died. I have a same aged male panther living happily in the same conditions (misting same times, feeding same times, same lights, similar cage set ups, same temps). I know that these chameleons are very delicate creatures so my only guess is that she got stressed out too much from being with the male that first week I owned her. I just don't know but it's sad :(
I am sorry to hear about your loss. Stress is a powerful enemy with chameleons and other animals as well but can't be 100% sure that was the factor here or at least the direct cause of death. Did you consider doing a necropsy on her? I know they are not cheap but they help in shedding light on cause of death sometimes. There are many cases where animals can be kept in identical conditions yet they don't fare the same for some reason.

From the pics you provided I have to agree with others and say that she looks quite thin. Did she always look like that or was this already after being sick for a while? You mentioned on your description of symptoms that you noticed her gasping for air, sleeping a lot and not eating. Did the Vet say anything about these symptoms? Why exactly were you instructed to turn off the basking light? Is your UVB bulb a combo one (UV and heat)?

Sorry for the questions but I am trying to see if I can piece this together for you a bit even though I will not be able to tell you what happened exactly. My thought is that maybe the stress of being housed together and the dominance exhibited by the male could have driven the female to be a bit anorexic and a suppressed immune system. She could have developed a URI or other similar ailment because of poor feeding and low immune system (not being able to fight basic microorganisms) and that could have led to her demise. Of course this is just a theory and could be a far fetched one, but at the same time it could fit the bill. Reason I asked about the light is because sick chameleons do prefer to be kept warm and turning off the heat lamp with a non-heat emitting UVB bulb could lead to even lower body temperature and better chances for an infection to spread.

At least it is good to hear your male seems ok and hope he stays on that path.

Ok, right after that first week when I separated the male and female is when I noticed her gasping for air. At this point the vet told me to crank up the heat until she gets off the top of the cage and basks on a branch. I think this was a good call because a few days after basking in warmer than average conditions she stopped gasping for air, yet she never started eating regularly. At this point in time she seemed to be looking up, basking during the day and sleeping during the night. Well, since she never began eating regularly she began to appear weak and started sleeping during the day. I kept offering everything; crickets, roaches, fruit flies, and silk worms. She would occassionally eat the fruit flies but that was about it. Near the end she started staying near the bottom of the cage sleeping all day. This is when the vet instructed me to turn of the basking light for a day and see if she would bask with just the UVB light. At this point in time she really didn't do much, she did go to her basking branch for a little while but still hung out near the bottom of the cage the majority of her last few days.

I think she was stressed from the beginning with the male. When she was with the male she would stay in the middle of the cage and just look up at the male all the time. And eventually she would make her way to the top to try to get some basking time in but then retreat to the middle after firing up at the male. I think this is what lead to maybe a slight URI or she was just very stressed gasping all the time. Then once I separated the two she just never really got her appetite or strength back. SAD DAY! :(
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