T. melleri shotgun treatment and establish plan

shaneofall

New Member
Melleri treatment plan w pics

So after some discussions here, reading up and with a history of doing this on other reptiles/amphibians in the past, I decided to go with this shotgun medication and import recovery plan. Figured with all the troubles of this species we should share as much as possible.

1st 5 days of treatment
  • tetracycline
  • Metronidazole 10%
  • superfood mix with probiotics
  • NutriBACdf probiotics

Followed by 3 days of...
  • Panacur
  • probiotics

I would also dust food with vitamins every few days and tons of distilled water misting (insured drinking every time) and a dripper.

Had no heat lamp initially, then added a very small puck lite for minimal heat because room was at about 85F high. Now that she/he is complete and looking well, I have moved to a cool room (73F with a bit warmer heat lamp). I also added a larger ficus and will add pothos to the upper areas. Here are some before (7/25) and after pics (8/8), I believe she is looking much better.

before treatment...


after treatment (today)...


Hard to tell because he is stressed in first, but a lot of scaring and skin issues also are clearing up, not to mention showing less stress with me in the room. My next concern is coccidia along with the second set of panacur. I am not 100% if I want to shotgun the coccidia, thinking about getting a microscope and doing my own fecal tests.

Also, after some members gave me crap about feeding a pinky, I am doing crickets only now and planning a dubia and hisser breeding closet.
 

iancorby7

New Member
Hello,

OMG! :eek: Really nice job! It looks really well and good colours on second picture. But stress is on this animal, so you need to be pacient, import animals need around 6-9 month to be installed. For me, it looks like a female :D

Good luck with her!
 

ChamMan7

Member
Your melleri is looking good, so great work. Also, those members who "gave you crap" about feeding a pinky were right to do so.

As for gender, you can't make a guess based on a photo. Melleri are not visually sexable. Some people are making headway with different locales and visual sexing during different seasons and such, but it is still quite unreliable.

Good luck
 

MSAquatics

New Member
Before treating with anything, I would get a professional fecal test done, and possibly a blood smear to diagnose what if any treatment may be necessary. Chams are sensitive, and many don't respond well to treatments. The black lines/bruising goes away with sheds, and I see yours is shedding in the second picture. I wouldn't necessarily assume the bruises are gone due to the chams medication treatments.

Leland
 

shaneofall

New Member
Hello,

OMG! :eek: Really nice job! It looks really well and good colours on second picture. But stress is on this animal, so you need to be pacient, import animals need around 6-9 month to be installed. For me, it looks like a female :D

Good luck with her!
I was thinking female too and one that has laid eggs already because of the larger girth, but like ChamMan7 said, it does not seem like you can tell without dropping eggs or the couple chance options of confirming a male.

ChamMan7, yes I am actually amazed at the nutritional advancements and understanding the community has grown to know in the years since I first got into reptiles. Some more scientific articles on the topic sold me as to the dangers. I have bred dubia in the past and will likely venture into some of the larger spp of roaches to fulfill the need to offer something hearty.

Leland, I am still a bit skeptical on getting proof to treating some of the more likely infestations with safer broad spectrum treatments; at least with the intention on freeing up the immune system for viral and other things we can't control. Until vets can key in on the root cause of Melleri's high death rate (an actual pathogen proven to be deadly) and have a medication, I am not going to trust even handling my Melleri to go to the vet or administer drugs. Even what I use to treat, I give orally and with food. No force feeding or injections, nothing to induce stress. I do understand the reason for vet visits, and will likely use this as a "confirm all is good" when I have him/her settled in.
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
Yes picture 2 does look better. I always worry about treating one as soon as they arrive. If they have a large parasite load, you can cause harm by shotgun medication, way before they have had time to acclimate. I hope all goes well. Keep posting pictures.
 

junglefries

Established Member
Schrapnel coming my way too, I guess. Was speaking with several owners of these guys on Sunday. They all fed them pinkies and other fat enriched prey. It is common amongst other keepers to do so. However, not having kept one myself or having any real bulk of knowledge on them, I refrain from advice. Just wanted to say, you aren't alone in doing so. I believe it is the Chameleon Handbook, also, that speaks of feeding pinkies to them. Book is kinda' old too though. There are wise people here, who will put you on the right path with your critter. Hang in there. Beautiful chameleon.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
A lot of us melleri keepers are thinking that vertebrates may play a bigger role in their health than previously thought, but we advocate feeding vertebrates like lizards or small birds. Pinkies are a poor vertebrate food choice all around, in our combined opinion. Mine are outside and I let them eat any anoles or geckos that sneak into their cages.

And on an unrelated note, juust in case you haven't read it anywhere else- these guys have the unfortunately apt nick-name of the "90 day chameleon." Because they can seem like they have acclimated really well and then suddenly crash several weeks later, because they didn't really. So with mine I always keep them in quarantine at least the 90 days and don't think I'm out of the woods until they've been ok and healthy at least that long.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
As Olimpia said he looks good in the picture but you just never know with these guys. I never buy WC's but my daughter use to and our reptile vets recommend doing a fecal and only treating for parasites that the animals have. Why give these fragile animals a drug that they don't need? One of the parasites that most of her WC's had was coccidia and none of the drugs that you used would treat coccidia. I believe your chameleon still needs a fecal. if you nave a good relationship with your vet they might do a fecal for you without bring in the animal.

One of our senior members had a great article in the Reptile magazine about Melleri. You might want to read that. It had allot of good info for the Meller's keepers.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/reptile-magazine-cover-article-cf-member-thephotoprincess-133317/
 

shaneofall

New Member
A lot of us melleri keepers are thinking that vertebrates may play a bigger role in their health than previously thought, but we advocate feeding vertebrates like lizards or small birds. Pinkies are a poor vertebrate food choice all around, in our combined opinion. Mine are outside and I let them eat any anoles or geckos that sneak into their cages.

And on an unrelated note, juust in case you haven't read it anywhere else- these guys have the unfortunately apt nick-name of the "90 day chameleon." Because they can seem like they have acclimated really well and then suddenly crash several weeks later, because they didn't really. So with mine I always keep them in quarantine at least the 90 days and don't think I'm out of the woods until they've been ok and healthy at least that long.
I have read everything I can find on melleri, so by no means do I feel in the clear and will continue the work required. By the way I read a lot of your blogs last night; good job on your collection. Yours looked very healthy and it actually made me want to investigate your set-up/care. I am fairly new to Chameleons as a personal project, but not so new to treatment and dealing with imports as I worked for an importer/wholesaler in my teens and many ventures with direct imports for most of my past breeding projects. I did find Anoles induced breeding weight for a giant Uroplatus spp ( 13+ inches) a long time ago for me. They would not produce for 1.5 years as adults, and then I started with Anoles and they started breeding like eyelash geckos. So I definitely believe there is some truth to Anoles. Geckos, at least house geckos and other cheap geckos I would be concerned about the types of parasites they can harbor, though Anoles can be just the same depending on how the distributors have kept them (or with). I will have to dwell on that option and how to insure from re-introducing anything.

Hi jannb,

I did pick that article up first thing the day it came out. I am a bit disappointed and sad that with the loss of 14, no one found a culprit for the die off, that is very scary. One of the best doctors looked at these guys too.

As far as the coccidia, that was actually one point of this post and something I am looking into, I wanted to wait for the other stuff to be done and the melleri settled in as this type of medication has side-effects. Chances are, I will do future fecal's though and am pricing out (researching) the tools for this right now. I might feel more secure in being able to do fecal's on a regular basis and learning that part of the hobby. Could be just as fulfilling as every other aspect of keeping melleri.
 

junglefries

Established Member
To address the coccidia: if other reptiles in the house, I would separate their rooms. Use different everything for both. You don't want to contaminate. ALWAYS WASH HANDS! I would even clean enclosures on different days to avoid accidental transference. It is common, so other herps may have and not even know. I was once told by a site sponsor that if you have live plants, then you have coccidia, anyways. My opinions usually aren't the norm, as I tend to believe in common sense, and never leaning to far to one side or the other. I believe in keeping an open mind, that may be swayed with a logical argument or proven fact. Being a melleri, chances are issues will arise, and this will be a learning experience. Keep records and share.
 

shaneofall

New Member
To address the coccidia: if other reptiles in the house, I would separate their rooms. Use different everything for both. You don't want to contaminate. ALWAYS WASH HANDS! I would even clean enclosures on different days to avoid accidental transference. It is common, so other herps may have and not even know. I was once told by a site sponsor that if you have live plants, then you have coccidia, anyways. My opinions usually aren't the norm, as I tend to believe in common sense, and never leaning to far to one side or the other. I believe in keeping an open mind, that may be swayed with a logical argument or proven fact. Being a melleri, chances are issues will arise, and this will be a learning experience. Keep records and share.
Yeah I have a room dedicated and laundry tub with scalding hot water and soap. Would be something just to research coccidia species and determine if a difference between strains that are deadly vs probiotic if a type. There are a lot of tropical species breeders who believe very strongly in some types of parasites, even worms can fall under probiotics. Very complex subject that will have many different opinions, but like you said, keeping records and sharing even if bad finding is good for the community.

While on the subject of plants, have you ever heard of treating plants, tanks and/or water for coccidia? It would be interesting to find out if the fish or bird community has tackled this type of approach.
 

junglefries

Established Member
The main three fish chemicals: Malachite Green. Methylene Blue. Acriflavin. All 3 are very toxic and banned in most states without permits, last I checked. For birds, we used a spray product called CavaCide. Said it would kill HIV on the label. Careful with ALL!
 

shaneofall

New Member
I am thinking a good choice will be Toltrazuril or Panazuril for direct treatment and some more investigation on cleaning of the environment. I am wondering if spraying down the cage with amprolium on a regular basis while treating?
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
I would never treat a chameleon for coccidia unless you have had a fecal from a vet to confirm coccidia. We do our own fecals in between vet visits. We also have a good relationship with our vets so if we see something in the fecal we can email a picture of the slide for proper idenification and dose of which medication to use.

Here's some info about coccidia, clean up and quarantine.

https://www.chameleonforums.com/chameleons-coccidia-ponazuril-offers-new-hope-16409/
https://www.chameleonforums.com/coccidia-cleaning-need-advice-tips-please-42444/
https://www.chameleonforums.com/quarantine-36078/
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
A biologist I worked for told me that he had crickets from multiple major suppliers tested for coccidia and that all of them came back positive, and usually positive for other things as well. So parasites are in almost everything we feed them, whether they are wild caught vertebrates or captive bred inverts. That's why I just run fecals every few months and monitor the situation and treat if/when needed. But it's clearly impossible to completely avoid all parasites!

I am also starting to think that keeping them outdoors makes acclimation significantly easier. My most recent WC was one I purchased back in October, so almost a year ago, and he struggled indoors. He seemed nervous and scared of everything, even though he hand fed, drank, and gained weight. After the "cold" of winter past I moved everyone outdoors and he has been thriving ever since, he has never looked more comfortable. The other two (one CB and the other LTC) also look great. That's why I would like to set up cages outside to keep any new WCs (and everyone, ideally) outdoors almost year-round. I think the change from the wild to a bedroom is too stark, and some can't deal with how dramatically different things are.

It's something to consider if your weather is good!
 

shaneofall

New Member
A biologist I worked for told me that he had crickets from multiple major suppliers tested for coccidia and that all of them came back positive, and usually positive for other things as well. So parasites are in almost everything we feed them, whether they are wild caught vertebrates or captive bred inverts. That's why I just run fecals every few months and monitor the situation and treat if/when needed. But it's clearly impossible to completely avoid all parasites!

I am also starting to think that keeping them outdoors makes acclimation significantly easier. My most recent WC was one I purchased back in October, so almost a year ago, and he struggled indoors. He seemed nervous and scared of everything, even though he hand fed, drank, and gained weight. After the "cold" of winter past I moved everyone outdoors and he has been thriving ever since, he has never looked more comfortable. The other two (one CB and the other LTC) also look great. That's why I would like to set up cages outside to keep any new WCs (and everyone, ideally) outdoors almost year-round. I think the change from the wild to a bedroom is too stark, and some can't deal with how dramatically different things are.

It's something to consider if your weather is good!
Unfortunately, Southern California does not get the rain and humidity like you guys get in Florida, and our highs/lows are rather extreme at least compared to Tanzania Highlands and Coastal climates the Melleri inhabit. Hopefully with your set-up, you get some cb going and captive lines become better established. I kept a group of Rankin's Bearded Dragons in my area outdoors and it ended up being too much work shuffling them indoors on some days due to the frost days and over 100F days and just the general dryness throughout the year. So in my circumstance, I have a humidifier and an a/c to get close. With my programming background, I was thinking about simulating temps from Morogoro or Dar Es Salaam 27/7. That might get me some props in both of my hobbies.

As for the crickets, once I get my roach colonies up I will not touch those things and likely treat that supply.

Jannb,
I will do some investigation before treatment for sure. Thanks for the links. I will consider a microscope that has a camera/video attachment for those types of sharing. Do you have to pay for a visit like this or just the prescription? Also, do they seem to be aware of what drugs work best for each type of coccidia? I would be very interested in goung this route if I trusted my vet would investigate as much as myself.
 

shaneofall

New Member
So I ended up ordering some Baycox Liquid Toltrazuril, as it seems to be safe, effective and easily injected into food items.
 
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