Sweet Grumpy

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
So I guess it’s time for me to share that my girl Grumpy hasn’t been looking so great lately. My intention is not just to share my worry and experience, but perhaps others can learn from this.
I’m really not sure when I started noticing that my sweet Grumpy was having some shadowing around her eyes. They weren’t sunken in. It was more like she had partied too hard the night before. I guess I initially thought it was just that the lighting is way above and it was normal shadow. Then I started noticing she’s looking a bit thin. Her weight around Christmas was 107 Gms, which in the past has been her weight right before she lays a clutch. Her weight then started to go down a few grams every 2 weeks until March 2nd she reached 91 Gms. Her weight goes up and down, so again I wasn’t terribly alarmed, but was starting to wonder and had that nagging little feeling (that I chose to ignore). I kept a close eye on Grumpy and started giving her more food. She gained a couple of grams, but was looking thinner than ever and then her color started to fade and pale and it was time to put aside my denial that nothing could be wrong. I spoke with @kinyonga a little and then made a vet appointment. I was thinking and hoping it was just easily treated parasites. We just got back from the vet a little bit ago.
Well, no parasites were found. She lost the couple of grams she had gained. Of course the vet told me to use a 12% uvb instead of 6% and that her basking temp should be 85-90…I expected to hear that. I wasn’t expecting to hear that Grumpy is seriously dehydrated and seriously anemic. Her hematocrit is around 10…normal level is around 30. Radiographs showed no eggs, but probable enlargement of her liver and kidneys and suspect a little constipation (even though she gave me a nice fecal for testing yesterday). Will have to wait for the blood test results tomorrow to better determine why she’s anemic. In the meantime, since she’s still got her usual hearty appetite, I’m to feed her very well for the next month and give her extra fluids orally twice a day.
Naturally I was concerned that this was something that I may have caused or that my other chameleons are at risk for the same. I was told that it is most likely just something that Grumpy inherited a predisposition to.
So, I hope by sharing this others will take heed and listen to and not ignore that nagging little voice or feeling that something just isn’t looking right. It doesn’t matter if your husbandry is good or not so good…sometimes disease can just happen. While I’m so glad to have gotten this diagnosed before Grumpy took a nosedive decline, I do wish I had acted sooner.
@kinyonga I made sure to get copies of the radiographs just for you.
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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
You said..."Grumpy is seriously dehydrated and seriously anemic. Her hematocrit is around 10…normal level is around 30"...

Thanks for the X-rays! I'm going to look at them more closely then if I see anything I'll tell you. My ability to read them for things other than eggs is limited though.

Did he say the liver is enlarged or make any comments about it?
Is the urate showing by green in it?

Normal anatomy of a veiled chameleon...
https://lbah.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Radiographs-Chameleon.jpg
 
Aww, I hope she can find her way to the road of recovery very soon! Seeing all your wonderful posts to people asking questions (myself included) has been so educational. What a great name for a veiled lol.

I also appreciate sharing what you did (or didn't) do, and for setting a good example for care of these delightful little creatures. Hats off to you.

And these radiographs are so neat. Look at those little alien toes!!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
You said..."Grumpy is seriously dehydrated and seriously anemic. Her hematocrit is around 10…normal level is around 30"...

Thanks for the X-rays! I'm going to look at them more closely then if I see anything I'll tell you. My ability to read them for things other than eggs is limited though.

Did he say the liver is enlarged or make any comments about it?
Is the urate showing by green in it?

Normal anatomy of a veiled chameleon...
https://lbah.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Radiographs-Chameleon.jpg
He did point out what he believes is her liver and said it’s enlarged.
While I don’t dig thru her substrate to check her poos/urates, all I’ve seen have been cream colored. Yesterday’s was small, but it was white.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Here’s what he pointed out to me. He also said her casque is so translucent from the dehydration and losing subcutaneous fat. He said the kidneys shouldn’t even be visible.
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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Bones look good!

I don't think there is by fat in the casque unless they are very overweight...and even then I'm not sure.
As for the look of the casque in the last photo I saw of her...it's not terribly concave...so I'm not sure about that indicating dehydration either....and if her last urates were white...you know what that should mean. Sigh.
 
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Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
Sorry to hear / read this, hopefully she recovers from it and proceed living her happy life with you.
On the other hand thanks sharing this, this is very informative and hit the nail at his head in regards for keep monitoring their behavior constantly even though your husbandry is spot on. I´ve hard learned this the hard lesson with my dog. He was my buddy and I knew his behavior for every inch and yet I failed to noticed his liver failure in time, because animals are masters in disguise when it comes to diseases and the smallest details in behavioral change matter.

For now 🤞 for Grumpy 🍀💚

Ps. just one question out of pure interest, do you use a fogger? And if, aimed at her sleeping spot?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Sorry to hear / read this, hopefully she recovers from it and proceed living her happy life with you.
On the other hand thanks sharing this, this is very informative and hit the nail at his head in regards for keep monitoring their behavior constantly even though your husbandry is spot on. I´ve hard learned this the hard lesson with my dog. He was my buddy and I knew his behavior for every inch and yet I failed to noticed his liver failure in time, because animals are masters in disguise when it comes to diseases and the smallest details in behavioral change matter.

For now 🤞 for Grumpy 🍀💚

Ps. just one question out of pure interest, do you use a fogger? And if, aimed at her sleeping spot?
Thanks! 💗 Grumpy has still been active and very eager to eat so that helped my denial that anything could be seriously wrong. Only after already making the vet appointment has she started spending a little less time basking and more time in the mid level of her enclosure.
I don’t fog at night since I can’t achieve a low enough temp drop. I do have a couple of brief 15 second mistings set during the night to help boost humidity a little. Along with the central AC, I do have a room air conditioning unit for the chameleons but it isn’t strong enough to bring the temps any lower than 72 at night.
 

Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
At was nothing criticizing towards you or your husbandry and was just in general, just to clear on that.

Thanks for replying, the fogging was pure personal interest, because I notice a lot difference in their urates when fogging or not. Mostly with the montane species and the parson, but also with the rest. I had a few times that I accidentally changed something on the automatic timers, causing the fogger not to work and because they go on after weekly bedtime, I noticed it first during the weekend. Directly resulting in partly orange colored urates the following days, instead the always white.

With fog it’s supposed they consume the moisture through their lungs and goes through probably another system then their digestive system. But this is still a grey area and well I’m thinking too much, because it’s interesting….don’t mind me.

Hopefully Grumpy recovers quickly and gets back to her regular routine 🙏🏻
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
At was nothing criticizing towards you or your husbandry and was just in general, just to clear on that.

Thanks for replying, the fogging was pure personal interest, because I notice a lot difference in their urates when fogging or not. Mostly with the montane species and the parson, but also with the rest. I had a few times that I accidentally changed something on the automatic timers, causing the fogger not to work and because they go on after weekly bedtime, I noticed it first during the weekend. Directly resulting in partly orange colored urates the following days, instead the always white.

With fog it’s supposed they consume the moisture through their lungs and goes through probably another system then their digestive system. But this is still a grey area and well I’m thinking too much, because it’s interesting….don’t mind me.

Hopefully Grumpy recovers quickly and gets back to her regular routine 🙏🏻
Oh…I didn’t see you as being critical at all!
I know that when we breathe, we are losing hydration and it does make a lot of sense that to breath in fog would help reduce that fluid loss even if it doesn’t add any additional hydration (although I think it does). I’m trying to rethink a better way to keep my chameleons that may help reduce night temps so that I can boost humidity. Unfortunately the room they are in has always been the hottest one in the house. Argh! Florida!
It is only Grumpy that’s having issues…all the others are doing great. I gave her extra water this morning and didn’t even count her feeders….just shoved a bunch in. She actually looked pretty excited about seeing all the food she got. Going to run out for some hornworms in a bit and have those and silkworms en route.
My other girl Stella is looking like she’s getting ready to lay, so they’re keeping me pretty anxious.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Vikki, I am so sad to here that Grumpy is having problems. This sounds a lot like Angel’s symptoms. Did the vet check for amoebae? Angel was anemic and has a large number of motile amoebae. If you send me your email, via pm, I’ll forward you her doctors notes.
 

Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh…I didn’t see you as being critical at all!
I know that when we breathe, we are losing hydration and it does make a lot of sense that to breath in fog would help reduce that fluid loss even if it doesn’t add any additional hydration (although I think it does). I’m trying to rethink a better way to keep my chameleons that may help reduce night temps so that I can boost humidity. Unfortunately the room they are in has always been the hottest one in the house. Argh! Florida!
It is only Grumpy that’s having issues…all the others are doing great. I gave her extra water this morning and didn’t even count her feeders….just shoved a bunch in. She actually looked pretty excited about seeing all the food she got. Going to run out for some hornworms in a bit and have those and silkworms en route.
My other girl Stella is looking like she’s getting ready to lay, so they’re keeping me pretty anxious.
I had the biggest problem with humidity, way too high and had already moisture nuisance in the complete downstairs floor. Needed to drill 5” hole through to wall to install a ventilation system take sucks out the moist air from foggers. I do this during the day and let during the night the cool outside air in.

True, we exhale moisture. However, chameleons are one of the only creatures in the world that can actually absorb moisture from air through their lungs, if I’m not wrong and can remember the reading correctly. They did weighing tests with them, before and after a good night of fog and without fog. And they gained weight during a night with dense fog.

Luckily she excited with the food 👌🏻, just got a clear picture how that looks like 😊

Stella ready to lay, and the horror begins ….no just kidding 😉. Then 🤞🏻 for them both 🍀
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
@Sonny13 said..."True, we exhale moisture. However, chameleons are one of the only creatures in the world that can actually absorb moisture from air through their lungs, if I’m not wrong and can remember the reading correctly. They did weighing tests with them, before and after a good night of fog and without fog. And they gained weight during a night with dense fog"...
You might like to o read this...
https://www.monkfieldreptile.com/SS...ty/Chameleon-Hydration-Utilising-Fog-2020.pdf
 
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