swollen lip...

thepiedpiper72

New Member
hi, i'm new to this forum and i have a question regarding my velied chameleon, calvin. he is a couple months old and has been doing really well. just recently i noticed his top lip looks a little swollen and his helmut appears broken.? he lives in a 10 gallon tank with a cage attached to the top of it. he is still pretty small. he has fake leaves and vines to walk around on. i spray in there at least once a day and leave a drip cup in there for a little while each day or two. he eats about 4 medium sized mealworms a day. about 2 times a week they are dusted with calcium. he has a uvb light and a heat lamp. he sheds occasionally and seems normal aside from his swollen lip and helmut issue. actually, on a few occasions i have seen him do something funny with his eye...he kind of sucks it back into his head. i dont know if that is normal chameleon behavior or not. this is my first one. i have read about possible issues and thought maybe it is mbd? but he walks fine and his limbs appear normal too.

i would really appreciate any help or advice. thanks!
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
It would be really helpful to people who can help you here if you could post some pictures of him.
I would also suggest taking some time to read through older threads.
Specifically concerning diet and enclosures (basic husbandry).
From what you have said there are several areas where improvement is warranted but it is most important now that members here get to see how he looks.

-Brad
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
You said..."just recently i noticed his top lip looks a little swollen and his helmut appears broken.?"...I have never heard of a chameleon with a broken helmet/casque. Did he fall on it? Is the calcium you are dusting with phosphorous-free? Are you only feeding him mealworms? What about crickets? Do you gutload the insects?

You said..."he has a uvb light and a heat lamp"...there should be no glass or plastic between the light and the chameleon.

You said..."with his eye...he kind of sucks it back into his head"...he is likely just cleaning it.

You said..."i have read about possible issues and thought maybe it is mbd? but he walks fine and his limbs appear normal too"....the casque being broken made me think of this....but you say you aren't seeing any other indications.

Concerning the swollen lip...it could be the beginnings of an infection. I would recommend that you have a vet look at your chameleon.
 

thepiedpiper72

New Member
to answer some of your questions...I don't think Calvin fell on his hemut. It doesn't looked completely broken... more like it's crooked a little. It doesn't go straight up.

The calcium does have phosphorous in it. Should it not?

I mostly feed him mealworms but sometimes crickets too. The mealworms and crickets are fed, but I have mostly been feeding them with cheerios (as they are readily available because I have a sugar glider too.). I have begun to feed Calvin some greens, such as collard and mustard greens. He does eat some of it but definately prefers mealworms and crickets.

There is no glass between the lights and Calvin...the top part of the his enclosure is a cage, the bottom is glass, but he stays mainly towards the top.

I have checked out his limbs further and they seem normal. He can hold onto things just fine. In fact he kind of hopped off my hand yesterday when I was putting him back in his cage and he grabbed on to one of his vines easily.

The lip actually seems to have gone down a bit today. He is finishing shedding and seemed to have shed around his mouth. Since he shed, it seems to have gone down. Is it possible that maybe he was rubbing himself on the cage due to shedding and that caused the swollen lip? In any case, I plan to watch it and see if it continues to go down. If it does not go away in a day or so, I will probably take him to the vet.

also...thanks for telling me about his eye...I had no idea why he did that and it reassures me that he is probably just cleaning it. He is my first chameleon and I really want to do thing correctly and have him be happy and healthy. I can certainly use all the advice and reassurance I can get.
 

chrisandpugs

New Member
Hi!
When you mentioned that you have a Sugar Glider, I have a pair of them! I wonder how many other Chameleon owners also have Sugar Gliders as pets, too! Sorry to other Viewers that this is a diversion from the topic.

Christine
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
Keep watching his lip and start doing some research on the importance of variety in the chameleon diet.
Also on good gutload recipes for your feeders (cheerios are not gonna cut it).
You need 2 calcium supplements, both without phos. One with D3, one without.
The one with D3 is a once a week and the one without is 4 or 5 times a week or 2-3 times a week depending on who you talk to. But, the one w/ Phos. must go he is getting plenty from the insects.
Check old threads here on gutloading and dusting.

-Brad
 

Fate X

New Member
from what i understand when they don't have enough calcium or a imbalance of calcium/phosphorus they can get all sorts of problems. the inbalances make them vunerable to sickness,injuries etc.
which is why if your chameleon has a good balance of vitamins etc. they can recover much better from a injury or a infection etc.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
You said..."The calcium does have phosphorous in it. Should it not?"...Most insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phos. so dusting with a phos.-free calcium powder helps to compensate for it.

You said..."I mostly feed him mealworms but sometimes crickets too. The mealworms and crickets are fed, but I have mostly been feeding them with cheerios (as they are readily available because I have a sugar glider too.)"...as was said already, you need to feed a wider variety of insects to your chameleon and to gutload them with a more nutritious diet. I gutload the crickets with a variety of greens (dandelion greens, kale, collards, endive, ROMAINE lettuce, etc.)and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet red peppers, sweet potato, zucchini, etc.).

You said..."I have checked out his limbs further and they seem normal. He can hold onto things just fine. In fact he kind of hopped off my hand yesterday when I was putting him back in his cage and he grabbed on to one of his vines easily"...good to hear that.

You said...."The lip actually seems to have gone down a bit today. He is finishing shedding and seemed to have shed around his mouth. Since he shed, it seems to have gone down. Is it possible that maybe he was rubbing himself on the cage due to shedding and that caused the swollen lip? In any case, I plan to watch it and see if it continues to go down. If it does not go away in a day or so, I will probably take him to the vet"...good plan!

You said..."thanks for telling me about his eye...I had no idea why he did that and it reassures me that he is probably just cleaning it"...it can be quite scary the way that they can bulge it out and rotate the bulge around in the turret when you first see it.

You said..."He is my first chameleon and I really want to do thing correctly and have him be happy and healthy. I can certainly use all the advice and reassurance I can get"...I wish there had been forums and websites around when I had my first chameleon! Even the information in the books back then was not good.
 

roo_71

New Member
All great advise. Also want to add ...

look into the cricket/feeder gutload at cricketfood.com. Good stuff so pick some up!

A crooked casque could be MBD but in this case I just think its one of those things. Its not all that uncommon for a veiled to have a slight curve in the casque and have nothing to do with MBD. In fact my three year old vieleds casque isnt perfectly straight.

-roo
 

thepiedpiper72

New Member
thanks for all the advice. his lip is looking much better and he seems to be fine. i got new calcium without phospherous and have been dusting the mealworms with that. also feeding him more greens. he will get crickets as soon as the mealworms run out (not many left) and i'm probably going to see how big waxworms or other worms are. he is still really little so i dont think i can give him really big worms yet.

thanks again
 

jleahl

New Member
A sugar glider is a small mammal kind of like a flying squirrel. Tricky to keep as pets, but probably no harder than chams. Very cute, long life span.
 
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