Syringe feeding a chameleon

Zdejong

New Member
I am syringe feeding a chameleon that doesn't want to open its mouth. As of now I am gently opening his mouth and placing the syringe round around his teeth and then pushing the food into his mouth. Should be trying to go into his throat with the syringe? Should it be a rubber tipped syringe? Right now it's a hard plastic tip. The experience is traumatizing for both of us so I would like to make this the least invasive as possible.
 

MrsM

Avid Member
If you order one like this with a long flexible tube it will be easy to administer and give you more control over placing in at back of the throat to avoid aspiration. The tiny tube can be inserted next to the teeth under the lip and squeeze a drop or so. Then when your Cham swallows or laps that first drop or if you wiggle it by the teeth like a worm it can be easily slipped in and adjusted into the back of the mouth. The vacuum pressure makes it easy to control the flow. Since using this type it is way easier for me and super gentle.
Here is a link
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241032
 

Zdejong

New Member
Thank you, I just bought that now and the grub pie. My next question is, where is the esophagus vs the throat? I don't want to put the syringe into the wrong area. I have to do this solo so it's been difficult.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I know someone recently posted the anatomy of the mouth, but I could only find this from many years ago. Was posted by a veterinarian forum member “for future reference”. Hope it helps.


DC06F642-0E8B-4988-A08D-2F4784C3C41B.jpeg




Unlike in mammals where the windpipe and esophagus are basically very close to each other in the far back of the mouth, chameleons (and most reptiles) have their windpipe at the bottom middle of the mouth and the throat is much farther back. The blue arrow points to the esophagus where the food goes. The red arrow points to the glottis, or opening of the trachea where only air should go. (in this pic the glottis is closed) That tube structure that leads to it is the trachea itself. The mouth has kind of a scoop shape. So the point is, when you squirt water into the mouth it will naturally pool at the bottom unless it is swallowed immediately. And this is bad because the windpipe is right there on the bottom of the mouth, which makes it very easy for them to aspirate! This is especially true if they are stressed and hissing, because then that glottis is already open (to hiss out air) and water can go straight down into it so easily.
 

MrsM

Avid Member
Try to get them to swallow a little bit at first rather than releasing all the food at once, that way they close their airway. Then gently tilt the chin up as you feed to avoid aspiration.
I feel your pain trying to do this alone but this type syringe is a game changer, you can feed with one hand while you cradle with the other, and if you just wiggle the end in at the teeth you will not need to apply any pressure to get them to open the jaw. It’s like sticking a straw in there. This is important because they are so fragile and so stubborn, less handling on the jaw the better. Plus if they clamp their jaw on it it isn’t super hard plastic.
 
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kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
What species?
What age?
Photos please.

Have you tried dripping water on the end of its nose and then slipping an insect BETWEEN its teen while its mouth opens and shuts? It should be less stressful.

Unless it's sick it should be eating on its own IMHO.
 
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