Swollen Front Paw

chameliachameleon

New Member
Hi,
Ive been researching this topic for a day but havent had a conclusive answer as to what it might be and how to help.

Ive been watching this 2yr old female panther chameleon for 4 months. I use the ice cube drip system twice a day and turn on a humidifier at night. Basking temperature is 80°F and humidity is 40% during daylight hours and 70% throughout the night.
I also do not mist during daylight hours.
She eats 8 superworms dusted with Reptivite every 4 days. Superworms are gutloaded with kale, carrots and apples. Occasionally every 2 weeks she has 6 crickets from Petco dusted with Reptivite.
Her poops are normal looking comparing to other pictures online.

The problem arose where she was fine eating her worms, fine the next day and night. And the day after, she woke up with her front left paw swollen.
The swelling was very sudden overnight and her other paws look normal.

I offered 3 worms without dust and she quickly ate them and went back to basking.

She had a case of mouth rot when I first got her, but that was quickly fixed with diluted benzodine applying for 2 weeks. She hasnt had mouth rot in months.

Besides taking her to the vet, which at the moment I wont have a vehicle for another week. What can I do to make her more comfortable?

Any idea of what this might be? To start somewhere when I talk to the vet.

Thank you in advance.
 

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Beman

Social Media Manager
Staff member
Hi there. That looks to be a pretty severe case of gout. It would be very painful for her and you will want to take her to a vet that actually has experience with chams to know how to treat this. They would do a blood test to confirm the uric acid levels. I would make sure she has access to water dripping throughout the day.

Which reptivite are you using with D3 or without. Reptivite is not a supplement we recommend for every feeding use. Both the with D3 and without D3 version should be used 2 times a month say the first and the 15th. This is due to D3 and vitamin A being fat soluble. So it is stored in the tissues and creates toxicity. You want to use a plain phosforus free NO D3 calcium at all feedings and then the reptivite multivitamin the 2 times a month only.
 

chameliachameleon

New Member
Hi thank you for your quick response.
Is gout something that shows up in swelling overnight?

I will make sure to have her access to a drip all day. Unfortunately the breeder and store recommended Reptivite with D3 for every feeding a light dusting.
Im very heartbroken to hear that its been damaging her this whole time.

I will get on ordering phosphate and d3 free calcium.
The vet is for reptiles, but I dont know how much experience they have.

I read on this forum about gutloading the superworms with turmeric for anti-imflammatory purposes. Any insight on that?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Adding more variety to her feeders will help. I know that a diet too high in roaches can cause gout…it may be the same with superworms. I do know that superworms are very fatty and should be only a treat feeder. I’m attaching a feeder graphic which may help. Ordering from somewhere like Rainbow Mealworms or Josh’s Frogs is a great way to get several different types of feeders in one shipment.
CF6D1827-4F40-467A-A9AA-421FAB0FE09A.jpeg
 

chameliachameleon

New Member
Thank you, she was on cricket diet only.
But the last 2 months, I switched to superworms as a staple because of my car situation.

I will also be ordering online then instead of Petco and look into getting her hornworms for hydration.

What are her survival chances with modified husbandry? And what else can I expect from her vet?

Do they do surgery on the affected limb?
 

chameliachameleon

New Member
Nevermind, I read hornworms are high in calcium. I should probably hold off on those.

Edit: just realised calcium is good. I need to stray away from D3. Sorry Im just really nervous and panicked that she is in a lot of pain.
 
Last edited:

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have no experience with gout. I believe they will most likely prescribe medication though…perhaps some allopurinol or colchicine (not sure which is used for reptiles) and maybe an anti-inflammatory. While surgery is sometimes used to remove gout crystals in humans, I don’t believe it’s done for chameleons. @kinyonga is the best person to help with what types of treatment are done.
I would give hornworms. Pretty sure it’s high protein that causes Uris acid to build up. As I said, variety is best.
 

Beman

Social Media Manager
Staff member
So with the reptivite with D3. Hold off on giving her this for the next 4 weeks. Let her body flush the excess. Then you will only give it 2 times a month say the 1st and the 15th. Get a phosphorus free no D3 calcium for all other feedings.

Hornworms can help with hydration. Avoid roaches right now because they can have a higher uric acid level then other feeders.

So note I am not a vet... All of this is from what I have read on it. So there are two different types of gout... pseudo gout and then gout. One can dissipate over a few weeks on its own if changes to husbandry are made. The other regular gout is directly linked to uric acid levels being too high. Has a connection with the renal organs not being able to flush the uric acid out of the body. This one is the problematic one. And requires medication.

Either way you would need a vet and blood work.

I will say with the improper supplementing I am hoping this is a case of pseudo gout as it will resolve on its own without medication. Granted it takes a few weeks to see the changes.

With the reptivite being given at all feedings (so sorry you were given totally incorrect info on that) you need time for the tissues to flush the excess out. Making sure she is staying hydrated will help but is not the cure only time helps this because they are not water soluble like others. However the excess water soluble vitamins that she has been getting in the reptivite will flush if she is actively drinking and has access to water consistently.
 

chameliachameleon

New Member
Thank you everyone for your input, I really appreciate it and consider y'all the experts. Im calling tomorrow to set up an appointment with a vet I found that has more experience and specialises in exotics.

Ive made water available all day, but she has not moved from her basking spot all day. Which is unsual for her, and just started that behavior today. Wont move even an inch which is the closest spot I can make available to her.

I will follow all of your advice, and will come back to make an update if another person in need runs into this post. Thank you once again.
 

MzLaurie11

Avid Member
Hi,
Ive been researching this topic for a day but havent had a conclusive answer as to what it might be and how to help.

Ive been watching this 2yr old female panther chameleon for 4 months. I use the ice cube drip system twice a day and turn on a humidifier at night. Basking temperature is 80°F and humidity is 40% during daylight hours and 70% throughout the night.
I also do not mist during daylight hours.
She eats 8 superworms dusted with Reptivite every 4 days. Superworms are gutloaded with kale, carrots and apples. Occasionally every 2 weeks she has 6 crickets from Petco dusted with Reptivite.
Her poops are normal looking comparing to other pictures online.

The problem arose where she was fine eating her worms, fine the next day and night. And the day after, she woke up with her front left paw swollen.
The swelling was very sudden overnight and her other paws look normal.

I offered 3 worms without dust and she quickly ate them and went back to basking.

She had a case of mouth rot when I first got her, but that was quickly fixed with diluted benzodine applying for 2 weeks. She hasnt had mouth rot in months.

Besides taking her to the vet, which at the moment I wont have a vehicle for another week. What can I do to make her more comfortable?

Any idea of what this might be? To start somewhere when I talk to the vet.

Thank you in advance.
Hi, i was hoping you would post a follow-up on what the vet found and the treament prescribed as well as the status of your cham. Thank you
 
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