Strange Panther

Ofsthun

New Member
I have a male Panther about 6 months old and he's been acting weird. When he chases down a cricket he goes up to it and instead of getting it with his tongue he just bites it and eats it that way. I saw him try and roll out his tongue but it didn't do anything. I'm thinking about taking him to a vet but I thought maybe he's not getting enough water.

18x18x36" screen cage
Ficus tree
75F night 85F day and a basking spot at 90-95F
Habba Mist that goes for 60 sec every 6 hours
Humidity 50-60%
Constant drip on a leaf
He eats about 10-12 1/2" crickets a day with Rep-Cal powder almost every day and the Herptivite about once a week.

If I need to take him to the vet I will but I thought I'd ask about it first since he is eating fine and acting fine other than not using his tongue.
 
Holy Cow Man!

Are you saying that the only misting he gets is 30sec every 6 hours?

If so then NO he is not getting enough water! Drippers may supply drinking water but you are not providing him the opportunity to bathe or wash his eyes. Chameleons absorb a good deal of water through their skin and should be misted for ~15min at least twice a day.

The tongue issue, who knows, could be damaged, could be nutrition, could be a ton of stuff your vet could help with. It will not matter when he dies of dehydration though. Throw the habbamister in the garbage, do not take it back to Pets Mart, someone else may waste their money on it and kill their chameleons.
 

Stuey!

New Member
well, if it could go on faster ad not every 6 hours then it should be ok i think.

it might be ok, ask them they know more
 
Stuey,
even if it went off once an hour 24 hours a day we are only talking 12 combined minutes of misting a day.

The bigger issue is most chameleons do not start normal eye grooming or drinking behaviors for several minutes (some species as much as 15 to 20) after the mist starts. You want your chameleons soaked for prolonged periods of time. While in the wild they would not receive daily showers 365 days a year, they would get drenched for hours on end on a regular basis even during some of the dryer seasons. This is very difficult to reproduce indoors, so most of us rely on extended daily misting schedules. My collection gets ~3hours a day every day and an occasional (weekly) manually triggered "rain storm" that can last 6-7 hours if I am home to monitor drainage and behavior.

Mild dehydration causes a number of problems including kidney damage, due to the inability of the chameleon to process excess vitamins and minerals, salts, etc.
 

ChameleonsTree

New Member
I agree with zerah...my chameleons get 45-60 minutes a day of misting. Since i use hot water coming from the tap they love it...a few of them get their face right into the mist the whole time.
 

Stuey!

New Member
o yea....well thats y i said dont listen to me :p lol
wut mister do u use? ive heard every1 uses rainmaker and is great but its really expensive, any1 have instructions on how to build one with parts at like home depot. or somthing?
 

Jordan

New Member
Well I have heard that dehydration can affect their tongues mobility. Dehydration will show other places such as the eyes being sunk in or loose skin. The eyes should bulge full in the socket with very little to no wrinkles. The loose skin is comparable to someone with veiny hands. I would pick up the misting no matter what.

Has he did this since you got him or is this a recent thing?
 
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Ofsthun

New Member
He has been fine untill today he was eating fine yesterday and it's just today. Please don't jump down my throat about the Habba Mist. I have set up everything and he has been fine till the last day so I will get another timer and set up my other little pump to mist more. I just wanted to know if it might be because of dehydration because his eyes look fine and he's been eating fine till today.

Oh and he gets 12 hours of reptisun 5.0 that doesn't go thru any plastic or glass.
 
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Stuey!

New Member
well if its just suddenly i have no idea. do u use a feeder cup? ive heard that that can give them tounge disorders also
 

Ofsthun

New Member
OK he's using it a little bit today but only about half the distance as usual but he is using it. I have a feeding cup but he won't eat out of it and the crickets can get out if they try so he usually eats them as they are looking for a way out.

I went back to hand misting him yesterday and that may be helping. He doesn't look dehydrated at all and his eyes look fine. I've delt with a few other difficult reptiles before but this is my first on that needs this much humidity.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
When a tongue fails to extend the way it should it could be from an injury, MBD, or dehydration...or some people say cup feeding can lead to lazy tongue. It could also be caused by an infection.

http://www.adcham.com/html/veterinar...es-kramer.html
"Other symptoms of MBD in chameleons include a soft, pliable, rubbery jaw, a bendable casque, and tongue dysfunction."

http://www.chameleonsonline.com/illness.php
This site makes several comments in different sections about the tongue.

Does the UVB light pass through plastic or glass?

Do you dust the insects with D3?

Do you gutload the insects with a nutritious diet? If so, with what?

Do you see him drink?
 

Jordan

New Member
I would use this thread to check your husbandry to rule out possibilities.

Could be possible that your guy over shoot his prey. This would be similar to you stepping in a pot hole and hyper extending your knee. When accurate the tongue goes straight out, captures the prey, and some times when they bring it back to their mouth it may lag down some. A mis hit like I am talking about the tongue would shoot out, hit the prey, the misjudgement of distance would make the tongue want to keep going foward, with the barrier instead this would force the tongue up or down. The problem there is that this in essence is the power stroke. The akward pull on the tongue could range from some minor discomfort for a day or two all the way up to tearing the tongue. I would keep him under close observation for the next couple of days not that you are not already. Again I would keep checking for husbandry issues on this thread too. I guess one reason I could see a scenario like this is that it has happened to one of my guys in the past, so maybe a little biased. The suddeness of it too. My guy did get back to normal after two or three days.
 

Ofsthun

New Member
The UVB light does not pass thru anything. I removed the plastic light when I originally bought it a couple years ago. I also purchased a new Reptisun 5.0 light bulb when I recieved him.

The crickets get dusted with Rep-Cal Calcium with Vit D3 every day except the one day a week I use the Rep-Cal Herptivite.

The Crickets get Romain Lettuce, Tomatos, Carrot Shavings, and Broccoli Shreds. If this is not a good gutload for them then I am completely willing to try anything new. I just haven't come across any recipies for gutload online yet.

I usually watch him drink almost every morning when I get home from work. Sometimes I go to bed before he is up so I miss it.

I did see him get a cricket from about 6 inches away and he barely got it. I was amazed at how far he was considering he's only about 5" snout to vent. He is using it some today so maybe more misting and letting the crickets freerange in the cage when I'm here will work out better.

Any other ideas would be great and I am completely willing to add anything I need to.
 

Scrappy

New Member
Sounds like your gutload is okay. Do you vary his diet any with other insects? Maybe try silk worms....most chams love them. Just don't overdo the silkies, they should be more of a treat than a staple. He could be bored with crickets.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I use Repti-sun 5.0's almost all the time. The only time I change is if I can't get a Repti-sun 5.0.

You said..."The Crickets get Romain Lettuce, Tomatos, Carrot Shavings, and Broccoli Shreds. If this is not a good gutload for them then I am completely willing to try anything new. I just haven't come across any recipies for gutload online yet"...I gutload with a wide variety of greens (dandelion greens, kale, collards, endive, ROMAINE lettuce, etc.) and veggies (potato, sweet potato, squash, carrots, zucchini, sweet red pepper, celery leaves, etc.).

Here is a site with a gutload that has been widely recommended...
http://adcham.com/html/husbandry/gutload.html

You said..."The crickets get dusted with Rep-Cal Calcium with Vit D3 every day except the one day a week I use the Rep-Cal Herptivite"...I dust with rep-cal calcium at almost every feeding, twice a month with Herptivite and twice a month with Rep-cal's calcium/D3. I have had no problems with my chameleons since I have been dusting this way....so I just keep things the same.

You said..."I did see him get a cricket from about 6 inches away and he barely got it. I was amazed at how far he was considering he's only about 5" snout to vent. He is using it some today so maybe more misting and letting the crickets freerange in the cage when I'm here will work out better"...its quite possible that, as Jordan suggested, he simply over extended his tongue...or is slightly dehydrated. Just keep an eye on him for a few days and see what happens.

(Just in case...if the tongue shoots out and won't retract, then it needs to be kept moist and to be kept from sticking to anything until you can get him to a vet. I don't really expect this to happen, but I hate not mention it.)

Hope it will be okay!
 

Ofsthun

New Member
Hey thanks for the link to the gutload. I was looking at that earlier today after I posted at the health information on that site and I saw that recipe. I'm going to try it and see if it helps. I'll keep a good eye on him and see if he improves. It has been so dry here lately that I thought it might have been part of the problem added to the crappy habba mister that doesn't work that well.
 
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