Subcutaneous worm on eyelid

fluxlizard

Avid Member
I recently acquired 3 freshly imported wild caught ambilobe panther chameleon males. I'm on day 7 of cleaning them up and they have done well overall. Nice steady weight gains. One is so fat and healthy that he looks almost captive bred- except for the subcutaneous worms that I have pulled from him. They have had perhaps 10 of these subcutaneous worms that I have found among the three of them in the past 4 days. I make a tiny incision and pull them out from under the skin with tweezers. This evening I pulled one from the eyelid of one of these males. Disgusting! I'll bet he feels much better now though- I sure would! The difficulty with these worms is noticing them- sometimes you have to see them when they are in the right place when the lighting is just right, and then when you think you have them all, you find another. I was very surprised to find this one- I've never seen one in an eyelid. I got the removal on flip cam. Here is the link if you are curious.

http://livingwithlizards.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/VID00012.avi
 

little leaf

Avid Member
OMG !! that is nasty - * note to self- no more ramen noodles :p

not that I want anything w/ those - but I would like to see one in person sometime , I am glad you were able to get that out of his eye- I bet he feels so much better with that out of his eye :)
 

Chase

Avid Member
I had to remove these worms from some WC amilobes too, one female had over 20. We had to pull two or three from the eyelid.

I hope he recovers well!

Chase
 

fluxlizard

Avid Member
I had to remove these worms from some WC amilobes too, one female had over 20. We had to pull two or three from the eyelid.

I hope he recovers well!
Yeah- I just removed another one from the same eye this evening. Found these worms in 2 of 3 of the males again today. Just kind of a process finding them- I think my eyes were sharper last time I had wc panthers (1990s).

The worms give me the heebie jeebies, but overall the lizards are doing great. All 3 have had significant weight gains over the past week. One is so amazing- I've never seen a wild caught like him. He looks heavy and healthy like a captive bred, and has acted at home from day one. If it weren't for finding these worms, I would have almost thought he was captive bred. The other two are beautiful also.
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
Yeah- I just removed another one from the same eye this evening. Found these worms in 2 of 3 of the males again today. Just kind of a process finding them- I think my eyes were sharper last time I had wc panthers (1990s).

The worms give me the heebie jeebies, but overall the lizards are doing great. All 3 have had significant weight gains over the past week. One is so amazing- I've never seen a wild caught like him. He looks heavy and healthy like a captive bred, and has acted at home from day one. If it weren't for finding these worms, I would have almost thought he was captive bred. The other two are beautiful also.
Anyway you can get the video to the couple of us who can't see it? I have never had to do this but would like to be prepared.
 

deerharvester

Established Member
Ditto, Laurie. I would like to see as well. I was fortunate to get a couple ambilobe's as well. I have not noticed anything like that on any of the wc's i have got yet. The one male i have gotten is unreal, and the meanest panther I've ever dealt with. The other one had two absesses that I removed and are being sent out to see what they are. I would be interested to hear other's experiences with wc panthers or other species to further the knowledge of everyone, and possibly discourage keepers with a little less experience then most from purchasing wc's. I will let you gals and guys know what the lab has to say when I get the results.

Thanks for sharing
Scott
 
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fluxlizard

Avid Member
I'll see what I can do. I guess I need to learn how to convert the file? It is an avi format now.

OK- done- found a good video conversion website online free. Here it is in mp4 format. If this is no good, let me know a good format. Will be good reference when I start up my blog again- I'd like to do some video of my insect colonies soon now that they are rolling and some outdoor caging ideas for some of the lizards later this year and maybe hibernation boxes now, etc. So I'd like to know a good format that is universally usable.

http://livingwithlizards.com/?attachment_id=1118

There is another I took as well of removing a worm from the side of one.

http://livingwithlizards.com/?attachment_id=1117

I have not noticed anything like that on any of the wc's i have got yet.
If you got them this shipment- I'd guess it is more likely than not that they have them. Look for odd shaped slight lumps or masses under the skin. The worms move around some- sometimes I think they are easier to see than other times- maybe even the skin tightens on them sometimes so they stand out. A good strong incandescent light that will cast shadows on the surface of the skin where any lumps are so they kind of stand out is how I find them. Especially I look for "squiggles" or "loops" under the skin.

When one is found, get a pair of tweezers and pull the skin out a bit, put a gentle as small as possible nick with a razor. I did not show this part on the video, only the removal. The hole can be very very small as the skin is loose and you can move the hole a bit into exact position by gently slipping the skin about until you can see the worm in the hole. It will stand out and be very obvious as white or yellowish white on the pink background. Then I take a clean pin and slip it into the hole and under the worm- imagine the worm is a thread you are going to pull a bit with a pin. Once the worm is out of the hole a little, I finish pulling with the tweezers, which is what you see in my videos above.

I would be interested to hear other's experiences with wc panthers or other species to further the knowledge of everyone
Deerharvester-

Not saying you should do what I do, go with what your veterinarian recommends. I developed my routine with a veterinarian (my father) in the mid 90s and it has always worked well for me and since the late 90s I haven't done much with wc chameleons anyway, so I've never updated it and really it probably should have a good update. But for experiences with wild caught chameleons-

I generally "shotgun" my wc chams to clean them up over a period of 10 days, and then a couple more followup treatments at day 10 days later, after the end of the first 10 days, with flagyl and fenbendazole. During the 10 days I have them on some sort of antibiotic as well- in this case I'm using flagyl at a dose recommended for anaerobes. I've also used baytril sometimes instead in the past, but I prefer the flagyl as I feel I am taking care of multiple problems with one stroke that way. I want to get the worms all cut out before I'm done with the the 10 days so the lizards have a little protection from the cutting. I start the 10 days at the highest recommended dose for flagylites and repeat on day 10, with the in between days at the lower dose. This time I also ran albon the first 7 days at the recommendation of the dealer that they be treated for coccidia.

I treat at night at bedtime for the lizards so they can sleep off the stress and behave normally during the day. If messed with early in the day, they tend to spend the rest of the day hiding and on alert, rather than behaving normally. After the cutting the worms and giving the meds, I give a home made slurry mix to assist feed, help with bacteria in the gut and keep them hydrated. The slurry is simple and consists of 1 part human baby food- chicken, 1 part yogurt unflavored with live bacteria, and enough pedyialite to make it into a thinnish shake consistancy- thick, but not so thick that it holds shape when the spoon is removed from stirring. To this I add a small pinch of reptivite or minerall 0, alternating between the days.

Each panther this time has recieved 3 ccs of the mix each night. I give them this immediately after giving them the oral meds. I then return them to their cages to sleep it off overnight. The slurry is such that it is quick and easy to absorb and digest and seems to go through them pretty quickly- they still eat insects and drink during the next day.

Weight gains so far have been as follows (forgot to record day 1) -

Panther 1 - day 2 84 grams day 8 100 grams (84g 85g 91g 93g 96g 96g 100g)

Panther 2- day 2 106 grams day 8 116 grams (106g 108g 109g 115g 119g 120g 116g)

Panther 3- day 2 118grams day 8 130 g (118g 122g 118g 131g 134g 136g 130g)

The dramatic jumps in weight for 2 and 3 happened after feeding large dubia during the day. weight loss a couple days later probably occurred after those were digested and pooped out. Yesterday there was probably some water weight lost as well- I had frozen pipes and no water until I was able to get them thawed last evening, but watering was very late in the day- they only had about an hour between misting and lights out. You can see weight goes up and down a bit day to day anyway (check out panther 3 days 3 and 4 and 5) but overall it climbs so that is good.

I'm not saying what I do is what everyone should do, but it has always worked well for me. I've used it for several species, with groups of up to 20 individuals with really excellent results sometimes. Once I had several melleri sold to me for almost nothing because they were the last of a shipment and "bottom of the barrell" and not expected to make it. And they looked horrible- skin and bone. This routine saw nearly all of them make huge weight gains over 2 weeks time. I got my first breeding in the 1990s from that group.

and possibly discourage keepers with a little less experience then most from purchasing wc's.
I strongly believe wild caught lizards of all sorts are better left to those who first have plenty of experience with captive bred ones and secondly have the plan to try and breed and establish terrarium populations of the species- not only keep them as a "pet". Even with the best veterinary care they are a gamble and ethics totally aside- should not be purchased if you cannot afford to loose the purchase.

And it is just better for everyone involved- the lizards end up in more experienced hands, the breeder has someone tell support his efforts when he produces terrarium bred animals and the buyer ends up with healthier, easier lizards who are happy to be in a terrarium...

I feel this way about everything from the cheap little lizards sold in most pet shops to unsuspecting new owners to the more expensive exotics that take some finding to get a hold of.

As more experienced keepers, we should be working towards self sustaining populations and edging the imports out of the market- as has been done with leopard geckos, fat tailed geckos, ball pythons etc- wc are still available for these species, but the terrarium bred are so readily available and affordable, that they wc are no longer worth it.

The only reason I purchased the wc ambilobe males is because I am working towards a self-sustaining population (I hope- chameleons are tricky and the big breeders of panthers seemingly rely still on imports to ensure the viability of their projects- I am trying to build a genetically diverse gene pool and then after I feel I have enough diversity (probably in 1-4 years, depending), close the doors to new blood or only very occasionally adding cb blood from outside if something strikes my fancy, and see if I can keep things going over many generations).

If someone reading this post is just a casual pet owner or someone who thinks breeding a panther or veiled is a big deal- stay away from imports. They really aren't for everyone.

I will let you gals and guys know what the lab has to say when I get the results.
I plan to do fecals on mine after I'm done with my initial routine. I would love to know what you find out from the lab.
 
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laurie

Retired Moderator
Thanks so much, I was able to see the video. Completely gross, but something I need to be aware of. You did a good job removing it. Not a lot of us could do that. Most people don't realize how tough the skin on our fragile chameleons really is.
 

deerharvester

Established Member
I will keep you posted, im sending everything out next week. I got a couple this recent shipment, and a couple ambilobe's the previous i now have a nice group of wc/cbb ambilobe's to work with. I also have a small group of falys from the Last shipments that came in from nosy Faly. I too shotgun treat with panacur, and Metronidazole. My group of falys came along nicely right away. But, my ambilobe's were a pain in the butt. So, ill let you know what comes of the fecals and what they say about the absesses i removed.

Thanks for all the great information
Scott
 

fluxlizard

Avid Member
Not a lot of us could do that.
Yeah- I guess I should add the disclaimer that if someone finds these worms under the skin, it is best to take the lizard for professional veterinary treatment. It's a little different when you grew up in a veterinary household.
 

MelissaB

Avid Member
Thank you so much for posting those videos. As gross as it was, it was really interesting. I never would have guessed they could be that long.
 

deerharvester

Established Member
That would be awesome to have a vet in the household! I grew up on a farm, so we learned to do as much as we could to the animals ourselves or else we would have been broke lol. Also, I've had extremely pleasing results with ponazuril @ 90mg/kg every 3 days for 5 treatments, and then repeat in 2 wks. Which was recommended by my vet, for the coccidia.

Scott
 
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deerharvester

Established Member
Im sorry to mislead, on the ponazuril treatment. I just reviewed my book and realized that what i had posted was wrong, as my memory isn't as good as i thought it was. The treatment was 90mg/ml once every other day 2x, repeat in 3 weeks. Im very sorry for the mix up.

Scott
 

deerharvester

Established Member
Just wanted to let you know the results, they all came back with coccidia( which im now going to have to run a couple of doses of ponazuril). One of the males came back with entamoeba as well, which ill run another 5 doses of metranidazole.

Scott
 
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