swallen toe and dark parts on the skin in wc melleri

Kian

New Member
hello,
since we live in a remote part of umbria - italy we can not get any specialized vets here. few day back we recived a melleri cuple from tanzania, one of them has 2 broken nails and a bit swollen toe, i consultet my frend vet from germany (by the phon) and he said to give a antibiotic every 5 days, soo i gave it the first dose yesterday, its this a correct treatement, or its better to soak the foot and in what to soak? the second problem is that on his skin are some thiny part dark and dificult to shead, are this skin parasites?

thx for all you help,

kian de bonaldi
 

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ChameleonsTree

New Member
Well normal dose of antibiotics here would be more like 21 days. We use baytril. He also looks dehydrated. His eyes don't seem so be as buldgy as they should be.
 

Kian

New Member
the photo was taken just upon arival, before taking the shower.
regarding antibitocs you mean one dose every day for 21 days, or one dose every 5 days for 21 days?

thx!
 

studiocham

New Member
Baytril may be called by its generic name, Enrofloxacin, in Europe. It is given once a day for UP TO 14 days for chameleons, other animals get it as long as they have the infection or for 21 days.

http://www.chameleonnews.com/year2003/jan2003/baytril/baytril.html

I'm looking at the large photo of the WC you received, and it has the same black scabs one of my WCs has- that black pebbly texture over stuck shed- in exactly the same region of the body that my WC had it. It will shed in a couple weeks. Do not try to remove it with a cotton swab, this stresses the animal out and makes it succumb further. These are not parasites, they are scabs. Here is a pic of a piece of shed that fell off with some scabs attached:



The scabbing is from a skin infection from the wild. I got 5 WC melleri in this summer, and one had this. She took the stress of captivity harder than the others, and the infection she harbored flared up as new, ugly, crusty lumps, all over. She's currently on Amakacin injectable because the oral Baytril did not help. She is supposed to also get an antifungal med, as soon as it arrives. My vet said that animals can have these infections and fight them at low levels for months or years. It is not contagious, just a reflection of the individual's immune system.

The vet did a Culture & Sensitivity on my WC's scabs and new sores, and found the bacteria was killed by: Baytril, Amakacin, Pipracylin, Orbax oral, Cephataxin, Ciprofloxacin oral. If you can get a dog or cat vet to prescribe your melleri any of these, you should be doing well. I will say that Baytril did not help, despite being shown as effective in the lab, and it is VERY HARD on melleri kidneys (they have unusually small kidneys for their size!). Amakacin and Pipracylin are the safest for melleri, in my experience.

*Do not give antibiotics unless the skin condition worsens (crusty yellow sores erupt) or the toe becomes extremely enflamed!* Some of the WCs, like the one that shed that piece shown above, did not have any trouble with their skin after they shed.

I'd say shower this animal 2x a day because it's parietal areas of its skull are convex, meaning dehydrated. If it stays dehydrated and gets meds, it WILL DIE SLOWLY of renal failure. It may just be sucking in its eyes in emotional stress.

As for the toe, if it is infected, soak therapy in conjunction with antibiotic therapy is preferred, but not always needed. Soaking it religiously, 2x or 1x a day, does a beautiful job. If it is just a sprain and swelling, soak it. If you can get a Chlorhexidine diacetate concentrate, use approx 2-5 drops per soak, and use a large plastic container so that the melleri can stretch out and lay down on its belly, in about 1-2" of warm water (lukewarm, not HOT). Here's a photo and a thread that shows how I soak my WCs with foot sores:



https://www.chameleonforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1518

You have to soak daily until the toe heals, and swelling stops. This may be 2 weeks to a month! Scar tissue may make the toe deformed slightly.

If you have any questions, feel free to PM me here, or just email me from the Melleri Discovery site. I am not a vet, but I have been working closely with my vet on what appears to be the exact same condition.
 

Dave Weldon

Avid Member
Howdy Kian,

It does look like a shedding issue more than a bacteria problem from what I can see in the photo. As was mentioned by ChameleonsTree, dehydration is a problem either way. Either use the "shower treatment" or just do loooong, warm continous misting. Try 20 minutes 2 or 3 times a day or more. Do this for many days to see full hydration. My chameleons have been getting automated mistings twice a day for 20 minutes for the last 2 years!

Melleri site:

http://www.melleridiscovery.com/

By the way, join their melleri yahoo site!! Great melleri help.


As for an antibiotic for the toe injuries. Baytril or bactrim have been successfully used to treat problem like yours. You need to make sure that the problem doesn't spread to bone. Then you've got a really tough problem to deal with. Oral dosages are much less stressful on the tissue but often more stressful on the chameleon's mental state. Daily dosages are more common than one every 5 days. Dosages are based on weight too. What was the dosage?

P.S. I work with a "Kian" at my office!
 

studiocham

New Member
Here are some photos of my WC (a Blue, different color morph than yours) showing her scabs as they looked on arrival:





Dave is correct, you would need to dose meds by weight. Even a farm/cat/dog vet could help you out quite a bit, because they can consult other vets. Dr. Scott Stahl, an experienced chameleon vet, does consultations with vets:

http://www.seavs.com/

I hope this helps! It's not fun to have a sick cham and feel all alone out there.
 

Kian

New Member
sincerely thank you for all help, really nice people here!

as i said we live in a remote part of umbria in the mountains, and the vet here about 80km away from us works just with cows :p i just took some pics of the toe, and as you can see there is also a missing claw.

the antibiotic's active ingredient that i use is azithromycinum. and as i know does not afect the liver in any way. anybody knows more about this antibiotic? and how frequently to administrate?

the administration of the antibiotic was oral, the dosage was a small amount, big to fit a knife tip.
 

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studiocham

New Member
Hmm, the stretched skin on that one toe (that still has a claw) says "infected". Definitely need an antibiotic therapy. The toe without claw says "healed scar tissue" to me.

I tried to Google that drug and am at a loss, as I can't read Cyrillic! Is it the powder form, for mixing an oral suspension?

I have not heard of this drug used in chameleons before, but I'm American; you may need to ask on a European cham forum.
 

Kian

New Member
the antibiotic its generaly used in europe for oral intake and its also prescribed to humasn, comercial names here are: sumamed, azitromicin and acitromin. the antibiotic on the toe its a local antibiotic in powder for general use.

do you think this oral antibiotic is enough, kristina?
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Regarding the swollen toe: generally if the pus (which in chameleons is about the texture of cottage cheese) is not removed, the infection can spread through the chameleon's system eventually. The antibiotics can't usually penetrate the pus and kill it off. It usually needs to be removed and flushed out to get rid of it. Often, even with doing that it will swell again and you will have to go through the whole procedure again. The antibiotics would still be given, of course...but the only way to make sure that the antibiotic will kill the bacteria involved is to do a test.

Regarding the spots....keep an eye on them. Its possible that it just needs to shed, but there is a fungus (CANV) that chameleons can get. It can start out looking just like a scab and then it develops little blisters around the perimeter. The chameleon can get these blisters in other places when this starts. It needs to be treated by an oral antifungal if that's what it is, because topical fungal treatments don't kill it. This is a very serious fungus that can kill the chameleon quite quickly. There are tests that can be done to determine if this is what it is.

Studiocham said..."She is supposed to also get an antifungal med, as soon as it arrives. My vet said that animals can have these infections and fight them at low levels for months or years. It is not contagious, just a reflection of the individual's immune system"...if your chameleon has CANV then it is contagious and can be passed to other chameleons...and it can kill your chameleon.
 

studiocham

New Member
Kian, I have no idea if that drug would work, as I've said, I had never heard of it before. Further, you haven't had a C&S like I had run on my WC, so no one can tell you if that is the right drug. The only reason I know which drugs were applicable to the condition in my WC is because we had the bac grown in a lab and tested drugs on it... but if your WC came from the same locale as mine, chances are good that the results could be similar and the drugs I listed *may* help. If it is bac, Pseudomonas is pretty darn common in melleri. You might call Dr. Stahl's office yourself and pay for a phone consultation. There may be a university near you that would be of help. I am just trying to think of options besides your local cattle vet.

Regarding the spots....keep an eye on them. Its possible that it just needs to shed, but there is a fungus (CANV) that chameleons can get. It can start out looking just like a scab and then it develops little blisters around the perimeter. The chameleon can get these blisters in other places when this starts. It needs to be treated by an oral antifungal if that's what it is, because topical fungal treatments don't kill it. This is a very serious fungus that can kill the chameleon quite quickly. There are tests that can be done to determine if this is what it is.
This says that CANV is very rare... is that true in cham species?
http://www.arav.org/journals/JA021742.htm
Linda, which tests do I ask the vet for, to find out if it is CANV? In the case of my WC, and I'm speaking based on what my vet tells me, she *most likely* has been harboring both bac and fungal for many months, maybe a year or more. I have had her over 90 days, she's been in country only 4-5 more days. How quickly is "kill quite quickly"? Like a week or two? In your experience, did the chameleon show normal happy colors the whole time (with the exception of her first night pic, of course)? And have you ever run across a viral skin infection (like ig herpes) in WC chameleons? Can't rule out that we may also have viruses at work here.

When he did the C&S initially, the only thing found was Pseudomonas. Kept growing it, but only Ps came up. Apparently, the fungal was systemic and "hiding" in her body? It appeared about a week or so into Amakacin therapy. Orange powder appeared on her healing scabs. My pix are at the mellerichams group, and I have tons more not yet uploaded, been kinda busy.

Here's the other thing: her condition is still responding well to the Amakacin therapy. She has a double whammy of bac and fungal infection, and as we wipe out the bac, the fungal becomes more apparent, naturally. The fungal meds prescribed (I'm told they're on the way to me) are a name I can't pronounce let alone spell, but it's oral and used for severe human and domestic animal fungal infections. It is not available OTC. When it arrives, I'll share the name. Supposedly, it's the A-bomb for fungal infections.

That's really interesting about the CANV and the contagious status, I'll keep it in mind. Mine has been in solitary, and all contact has been disposable gloves, paper towels, etc. I always treat them as though they are contagious, even if vets say they aren't.

********

Kian, I hope your melleri pulls through. If it was my melleri, and I had no solid idea of the dosage or the bac/possible fungal at work, I would not medicate a disease I know little about with a drug I know little about. I would soak it 2times a day, as the warmth of the water can help speed up the walling-off process (herps do this to limit an infection, they abscess) in the toe, and soaking seems to ease pain. I would keep trying to find a vet, doctor, professor, pharmacist, science teacher, lab tech, student, anyone who might possibly help. On the phone, all day long! It won't be easy, you chose a very tricky species to keep as a captive in such a remote area.

On a happy note, I had this other WC melleri shed his black scabs off completely with no further scabs or problems. You may luck out and just have two toes that need abscesses debrided, or maybe not even that?
 

Kian

New Member
its advisable to give antibiotics and antifungal med at the same time, how melleris liver resist both medicines?

today both melleris took 3 showers, some mineral and vitami supliments, one of them has eaten and seems much more better the other one refuses to shower, becomes dark and trys to ecapae and refuses to drink when in the shower and has not eaten yet. any advices or comments?

both of them has abondant food (pinkies, grashopers, blaptica dubia), the importer said that one is a female and the other male, how to know for sure? if i take some pics of specific parts is anyone able to see it?

thx again

ps. the antibiotic are of a very large specter as i said also used for humans, in the past we used very succesfuly the same antibiotics to cure wc bradipodium tavetanum with pneumonia and c.t. johnstoni with inflameted horns. the point i can travell to rimini where my university with the lab is located but i don not want to stress the chameleon even more, the inporter handle the animal really badly this time, there where ingury on the nose, one of them had burnd feet, and latly he told me that he had them for 2 days in the car :(:(
 
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studiocham

New Member
its advisable to give antibiotics and antifungal med at the same time, how melleris liver resist both medicines?
There is no guarantee it will. The best you can do is hydrate to the maximum.

today both melleris took 3 showers, some mineral and vitami supliments, one of them has eaten and seems much more better the other one refuses to shower, becomes dark and trys to ecapae and refuses to drink when in the shower and has not eaten yet. any advices or comments?
http://www.melleridiscovery.com/acclimation/acclimation.htm

In short, keep the bathroom pitch dark, keep direct spray very light and/or off to the side, administer electrolytes.

both of them has abondant food (pinkies, grashopers, blaptica dubia),
Why pinkies?

the importer said that one is a female and the other male, how to know for sure? if i take some pics of specific parts is anyone able to see it?
Well, we can all guess at photos of the tailbase profile, and the pelvic angles, but it's still not easy. Melleri are monomorphic. It sounds like this charming dealer was trying to double his sale by calling them a "pair"...?

http://www.melleridiscovery.com/breeding/breeding.htm

ps. the antibiotic are of a very large specter as i said also used for humans, in the past we used very succesfuly the same antibiotics to cure wc bradipodium tavetanum with pneumonia and c.t. johnstoni with inflameted horns. the point i can travell to rimini where my university with the lab is located but i don not want to stress the chameleon even more,
It is your call between some stress with travel to learn more specifics, or complications/death if you guessed incorrectly with the drug. For travel, wrap a cham in a soft towel, place a wet paper towel inside for humidity, tie a pillowcase closed around it, and carry it in a dark box to a vet. It will sleep most of the trip, pretty much the least stressful way to travel. Not that this is a sure thing, but I've found melleri drowsy and compliant at the vet's office... sleep and room temperature helps keep them mellow.

the inporter handle the animal really badly this time, there where ingury on the nose, one of them had burnd feet, and latly he told me that he had them for 2 days in the car :(:(
This sounds like a bad deal all around. Is this dealer your only option for supplies? If he left them in his car for even an hour in a Mediterranean climate, they would be in renal failure. If this is true, he sold you dying animals. Putting melleri in a car for 2 days is easily the worst dealer story I've heard, second only to the jobber I saw in Los Angeles county, driving an exposed pickup truck bed full of brown-bagged imports. The fact that one had burns on the feet indicates this dealer is doing something wrong in husbandry to begin with. Did he charge full price for the burned animal? Ask for a refund, since you can't ask for vet bills to be paid.

Nose (rostral) injuries occur frequently in melleri when they are stuck in hard cages at import facilities. Sometimes, they knock them off on their perches by accident. Not many importers care that the rostrums get damaged, the animals still sell.

Kian, good luck with healing your melleri and with that dealer... if it is any help, I can introduce you to some melleri keepers in Spain. They are closer and may know of resources to help you.
 

Kian

New Member
usualy i go to pick up all my animals by myself with a frined bilogist in africa, this time i fund out a diler/importer from germany and hes souds like a ok person :/

we feed pinkies onece a month all ours chameleons, like in nature to provide a variety of small mammals ands insects for fats that a chamelon need as hormonal activator.

pls if possible to get any conntacts of the dilers in spain.
 

studiocham

New Member
I will send this thread to one of my Spanish friends, Juan Antonio, he might be able to help you.

Some keepers do not encourage feeding mammals to chameleons. Melleri in the wild, and here I'm quoting Josh-quoting MBT, do eat R. brevicaudatus, pygmy leaf chameleons. If you insist on providing a vertebrate prey item, try those.

It has been proven that melleri do not require vertebrate prey to breed successfully.

On the mellerichams group, there is a current discussion about the saturated fats from mammals causing fatty liver disease in herps. If for no other reason, the very fats you describe should be avoided.
 

studiocham

New Member
On the mellerichams group, there is a current discussion about the saturated fats from mammals causing fatty liver disease in herps. If for no other reason, the very fats you describe should be avoided.

That should read, "saturated fats from mammals and invertebrates"- some bugs have a lot of saturated fat.
 

Kian

New Member
yes its true and in most cases its a problem with all chamelon keepers to feed their animals with to faty food, but in small amounts this satureted fat its esential to prevent stress and normal hormonal funcion of the chamelon, the rimini university of bilogy did a extended research how this fats in really small amounts are inportant for the longevity and healt of a chameleon, i sead in the article that we feed on pinkies only ones a mont with one pinike per chameleon. the hormonal growth in chameleon is identical as in humasn, the proteins bulit the hormons and the satured fats activate the hormons.

please correct me, and share with me your experiancec on this mater.
 

studiocham

New Member
yes its true and in most cases its a problem with all chamelon keepers to feed their animals with to faty food, but in small amounts this satureted fat its esential to prevent stress and normal hormonal funcion of the chamelon
Can you share the paper with us, or can I buy it somewhere, or read it online, or get an English translation? whew I ask for a lot, don't I?

The question for us at mellerichams is: "How much sat fat is too much, and does it vary greatly by individual metabolisms?" What about Vitamin A absorption and storage, with so much sat fat consumption? Don't the sat fats in certain insect prey, particularly seasonal insect prey, do the job of those you'd get in mammals, without a risk of exposing the cham's GI tract to mammal E. coli?

the rimini university of bilogy did a extended research how this fats in really small amounts are inportant for the longevity and healt of a chameleon, i sead in the article that we feed on pinkies only ones a mont with one pinike per chameleon. the hormonal growth in chameleon is identical as in humasn, the proteins bulit the hormons and the satured fats activate the hormons.

please correct me, and share with me your experiancec on this mater.
Once a month is a lot more mammal than most keepers (those I corresponded with) feed theirs... I think one of my melleri CB owners feeds a pinky every 6-8 weeks, but I don't recommend it.

What is a "really small" amount? ~0.5cc sat fat every 30 days? Does it matter what lifestage gets what amount, and what time of year? This is pertinent for melleri keepers because normally melleri cycle once annually, not quarterly or constantly. You would not want to give them sat fats at the wrong point in the cycle.

We welcome your input over at the mellerichams group! Please join us and share the Rimini study summary.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mellerichams/

I forgot to ask earlier, is the Rimini University breeding chameleons?
 

Kian

New Member
its not a problem, but ill need some time to make a summom bonum of the research and traslate it. i think you will find new facts about chameleon metabolism, after all its not lika a human. the rimini university its not breeding chamelons directly its a collection sponozred and supported by the university.
 
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kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
CANV turned up in two of my chameleons and this started the study of it...a Parson's and a lateralis. With the Parson's, we caught it in time...but the lateralis died during the treatment. The lateralis's autopsy showed that it had a pulmonary granuloma.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=9523639&dopt=Abstract

It was found in crocodiles, snakes, and bearded dragons and a few other reptiles....and one case has been found in a human who had HIV.
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EiD/vol11no02/04-0915.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/...ve&db=PubMed&list_uids=10367652&dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/...ve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12058727&dopt=Abstract

The study continued with veiled chameleons...and "The CANV induced lesions in all experimental groups and was recovered from infected animals.".
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/...ve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16805090

This says that CANV is very rare... is that true in cham species? I don't know what to say about this, because its possible that it is more prevalent than we know due to misdiagnosis. It seems to be much more of a problem in bearded dragons though.

You asked..."which tests do I ask the vet for, to find out if it is CANV?"...I don't know the exact tests that were done, but they did involve a different dye than normal. I will try to contact the vet and see if he can tell me.

You said..."In the case of my WC, and I'm speaking based on what my vet tells me, she *most likely* has been harboring both bac and fungal for many months, maybe a year or more. I have had her over 90 days, she's been in country only 4-5 more days. How quickly is "kill quite quickly"? Like a week or two?"...with the snakes, it only took 14 days or so before they were dead. I wish I could remember how long I had the Parson's before it showed the lesions (its been about 10 years since this all happened). He had what looked like a rub on his knee (scar from being scraped) when I got him and was in the middle of a shed and that area didn't shed. I didn't take him to the vet's for that...but I think I had him there for parasites and some time later (maybe a couple of weeks), he developed lesions (looked like chicken pox, sort of) around the edge of the rub and in other areas. They did bacterial tests that showed nothing and then did a biopsy that showed fungus. Then, the problem in figuring out what fungus began.

You asked..."In your experience, did the chameleon show normal happy colors the whole time (with the exception of her first night pic, of course)?"...both the chameleons showed their happy colors...even during the treatment.

You asked..."And have you ever run across a viral skin infection (like ig herpes) in WC chameleons? Can't rule out that we may also have viruses at work here"...I have had coneheads and chameleons show up with lesions that, again looked somewhat like chicken pox. In two of the cases they found no bacteria and didn't bother to test for fungus. In the third case they said the lesions were viral....and I don't think they tested for fungus this time either, even though there was interest in it if it was fungal from the vet who treated mine. There was also a request for samples of this to be sent to someone who was studying viruses in chameleons, but to the best of my knowledge, it wasn't sent either. The chameleon received no treatment and in a few days went down hill quickly and died. I called the vet at this time, but by the time I heard back several days later, it was apparent that there was no hope.

You said..."When he did the C&S initially, the only thing found was Pseudomonas. Kept growing it, but only Ps came up. Apparently, the fungal was systemic and "hiding" in her body? It appeared about a week or so into Amakacin therapy. Orange powder appeared on her healing scabs. My pix are at the mellerichams group, and I have tons more not yet uploaded, been kinda busy"...I'll go and look at the pictures after I finish answering this. With the bearded dragons, I was told that there is almost always a bacteria involved and that it seems to be followed by the CANV. I've never noticed an orange powder.

You said..."her condition is still responding well to the Amakacin therapy. She has a double whammy of bac and fungal infection, and as we wipe out the bac, the fungal becomes more apparent, naturally. The fungal meds prescribed (I'm told they're on the way to me) are a name I can't pronounce let alone spell, but it's oral and used for severe human and domestic animal fungal infections. It is not available OTC. When it arrives, I'll share the name. Supposedly, it's the A-bomb for fungal infections"...the medication used for the two of mine was itraconazole (sp?). The body of the Parson's was taken in for necropsy when it finally died and there was no evidence of the CANV at that time.

You said..."That's really interesting about the CANV and the contagious status, I'll keep it in mind. Mine has been in solitary, and all contact has been disposable gloves, paper towels, etc. I always treat them as though they are contagious, even if vets say they aren't"...it never spread to any of my other reptiles. Like you I took all precautions.

Weeks after the Parson's was cured of the CANV, it was acting strange and when tests where done, its liver was enlarged and it was anemic. We opted not to take blood and did nothing else at that time and at the time of autopsy quite a while later, the liver was no longer enlarged and there was no anemia either. Both could have been to do with the treatment of the CANV...but I have no way to be sure.

I hope all goes well with your meller's and that its problems all clear up. If you have any other questions, just ask....and I'll get back to you about the tests if/when I hear from the vet.
 
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