Sunken Casque

Isaacswift

New Member
Hi everyone, my male panther chameleon has a very sunken casque, I’m concerned because it never used to be like this and was like a normal healthy casque. Over a period of about 2 or 3 months it has become more sunken and I’m not sure why? I doubt it is dehydration because he has running water all day as well as I offer water from a syringe which he accepts when he’s thirsty. His appetite has not changed and neither has his behaviour noticeably. He had a parasite test in the past week which all came back negative - any comments would be much appreciated!

I’ve attached some photos that may help.
 

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Isaacswift

New Member
I haven’t been to the vets yet, he eats about 5 or six large locusts every other day at the moment, I’m using an Arcadia 24w desert t5 tube which is 12% and I changed it about a month ago.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I haven’t been to the vets yet, he eats about 5 or six large locusts every other day at the moment, I’m using an Arcadia 24w desert t5 tube which is 12% and I changed it about a month ago.
Did a vet run the fecal test? You will want to get him into a reptile vet. The bump just under his chin is not normal at all. Could be infection like mouth rot or it could be a growth.

With the 12% are you running it in a single bulb T5 fixture? What is your distance to basking under it? The 12% is normally higher then we recommend.
 

Isaacswift

New Member
Did a vet run the fecal test? You will want to get him into a reptile vet. The bump just under his chin is not normal at all. Could be infection like mouth rot or it could be a growth.

With the 12% are you running it in a single bulb T5 fixture? What is your distance to basking under it? The 12% is normally higher then we recommend.
No a vet didn’t, it was a chameleon breeder who did it, I’m going to the vets anyway so they will probably do another one then too. I hadn’t even noticed the bump under his chin I thought that was bone. The light is a single bulb yes and it’s about 20 cm from the highest branch.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
No a vet didn’t, it was a chameleon breeder who did it, I’m going to the vets anyway so they will probably do another one then too. I hadn’t even noticed the bump under his chin I thought that was bone. The light is a single bulb yes and it’s about 20 cm from the highest branch.
ok so google pics of Panthers... You will see that their jaw when relaxed has no puffy anything there. It is smooth going down. So definitely something wrong there. Good news is he is still eating and has a good appetite. Bad news is he needs to be seen before he does a major decline. Take a fecal to the vet to make sure there is not a parasite issue.

Now for the UVB with a 12% in a single bulb fixture sitting on top of screen. Your 20cm is too close. The little man is getting exposure to a UVI level that is too high. You want to drop this back to a 6% bulb and leave it at the 20-23 cm for an approximate 3 UVI level at the branch. If you keep the 12% you need to have a distance of 28-30 cm to the branch for the 3 UVI level he should be exposed to.
 

Isaacswift

New Member
ok so google pics of Panthers... You will see that their jaw when relaxed has no puffy anything there. It is smooth going down. So definitely something wrong there. Good news is he is still eating and has a good appetite. Bad news is he needs to be seen before he does a major decline. Take a fecal to the vet to make sure there is not a parasite issue.

Now for the UVB with a 12% in a single bulb fixture sitting on top of screen. Your 20cm is too close. The little man is getting exposure to a UVI level that is too high. You want to drop this back to a 6% bulb and leave it at the 20-23 cm for an approximate 3 UVI level at the branch. If you keep the 12% you need to have a distance of 28-30 cm to the branch for the 3 UVI level he should be exposed to.

Yeah I can see that it is slightly swollen now, I was focusing more on the other parts of his body to see if they were ok and completely disregarded his chin area. His UV is actually 25/26 cm from the branch so I might still move it up a bit.
He’s going to the vets in two days so I will see what they have to say but I will mention the swollen chin.
Do chameleon casques usually deflate if their immune system is dealing with an infection?
 

Thatcher

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah I can see that it is slightly swollen now, I was focusing more on the other parts of his body to see if they were ok and completely disregarded his chin area. His UV is actually 25/26 cm from the branch so I might still move it up a bit.
He’s going to the vets in two days so I will see what they have to say but I will mention the swollen chin.
Do chameleon casques usually deflate if their immune system is dealing with an infection?
I know that the casque is where they store fat and extra calories so maybe he's not getting enough food or had a parasite that is taking all of the energy.
 

Isaacswift

New Member
I know that the casque is where they store fat and extra calories so maybe he's not getting enough food or had a parasite that is taking all of the energy.
I’ve tried feeding him every day instead of every other and it doesn’t change the state of the casque and he’s also just had a parasite test that all came back negative so I’m not sure
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah I can see that it is slightly swollen now, I was focusing more on the other parts of his body to see if they were ok and completely disregarded his chin area. His UV is actually 25/26 cm from the branch so I might still move it up a bit.
He’s going to the vets in two days so I will see what they have to say but I will mention the swollen chin.
Do chameleon casques usually deflate if their immune system is dealing with an infection?
I have seen it where this is the case... I am also looking at his entire body. He is not a weight I would think he would be with the amount of food he is taking in. Limbs are on the thinner side. Also looking at his eye turrets they are a little sunk in. Not much to strike an alarm but a bit. How are his urates looking? What color are they?

Just make sure the vet really knows how to treat chameleons. They may want to aspirate the bump to see if it is fluid or solid. They will look at the inside of the mouth to ensure it is not mouth rot that has gone into the jaw bone.

With where your UV is at that distance it would still be within range. Nothing that would cause overexposure. But still would be sitting on the higher end between a 4-5 UVI. Personally I would lift it so that your more within the 3 uvi or get the lower strength bulb.
 

Isaacswift

New Member
I have seen it where this is the case... I am also looking at his entire body. He is not a weight I would think he would be with the amount of food he is taking in. Limbs are on the thinner side. Also looking at his eye turrets they are a little sunk in. Not much to strike an alarm but a bit. How are his urates looking? What color are they?

Just make sure the vet really knows how to treat chameleons. They may want to aspirate the bump to see if it is fluid or solid. They will look at the inside of the mouth to ensure it is not mouth rot that has gone into the jaw bone.

With where your UV is at that distance it would still be within range. Nothing that would cause overexposure. But still would be sitting on the higher end between a 4-5 UVI. Personally I would lift it so that your more within the 3 uvi or get the lower strength bulb.
It’s very strange because his urates are white, not orange but sometimes he doesn’t digest his food properly and other days he does, it really varies. His eye turrets never seem to be sunken either, and if they are it’s only slight so I get the impression that he is drinking enough.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
It’s very strange because his urates are white, not orange but sometimes he doesn’t digest his food properly and other days he does, it really varies. His eye turrets never seem to be sunken either, and if they are it’s only slight so I get the impression that he is drinking enough.
Yeah if they are white then he is drinking... what size are the feeders your giving him? Sometimes smaller sized feeders can be easier for them to chew up more thoroughly. This aids in them digesting them better.

If you can get a pic of the inside of the mouth. Like if he gapes at you. I am interested to see if there are any signs of mouth rot on the bottom jaw. I am leaning away from it being mouth rot just because he has not gone off food. A lot of the time when mouth rot is an issue they stop eating.
 

Isaacswift

New Member
They’re fifth instar locusts most of the time which are 35-50mm. He also has waxworms, calciworms and occasionally roaches.
I’ll try and get a photo of the inside of his mouth
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
They’re fifth instar locusts most of the time which are 35-50mm. He also has waxworms, calciworms and occasionally roaches.
I’ll try and get a photo of the inside of his mouth
ok yeah so that translates to roughly an inch and a half to 2 inches. So they are larger. We do not have access to them the way you do. lol Might try smaller ones see if he digests them better.
 
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