Tail Problem

mkoe

Member
Hi all my cham is having some problems with his tail. I looked around the forum and couldn't find anything that looked quite the same as this. Let me know if I need to get any better pictures I did the best I could with these but it seems the problem is the little lump on the tail. It is a bit raised and white in color. His tail is not curling around this area. I at first thought it may have been a burn as I noticed his light had slipped a little and was touching the screen on top. Having seen other pictures of burns on here I'm not totally sure that this is the case. He has not had it squeezed in anything or closed in a door. I was thinking it is possible he fell but if he did I was not home so I can't be sure. I noticed it about three or four days ago and it popped up all of a sudden. I am also attaching the husbandry review in case that is helpful. Thank you all so much.

Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon- The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
    • Male panther chameleon about a year and a half old has been in my care a little over a year.
  • Handling- How often do you handle your chameleon?
    • Rarely once every two months or so.
  • Feeding- What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
    • Mostly crickets around four a day or so but mix in various other foods including dubia roaches. Gut-loading with carrots and calcium feed.
  • Supplements- What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
    • repashy calcium NOD every time with the other repashy calcium supplement mixed in every couple weeks.
  • Watering- What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
    • Have been hand-watering for about a year but finally put in an automatic system that runs for 60 seconds every 2 hours. I know that my misting slipped a little to around 2 minute misting twice a day or so in the week or two prior to installing the automatic system due to work schedule. Have seen him drinking a lot since I've gotten the system set up.
  • Fecal Description- Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
    • Seems relatively standard black and white pretty mushy. Had isospora about 6 months ago but has been treated for it.
  • History- Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
    • Was a dark color for the first day or two after the tail thing popped up but has since returned to normal.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type- Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
    • Glass and acrylic on front and doors
    • Screen on top
    • ventilation holes in bottom
    • dimensions 3x3x4 though slightly smaller as it is a trapezoidal prism
  • Lighting- What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
    • Using arcadia t5ho 6% light this is around a year old I know I need to replace it.
    • 40 w heat lamp as well
  • Temperature- What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
    • thermocline from about 70-80. Gets a little warmer under the basking spot.
    • Night temperature gets to around 68-70
    • Have two gauges to measure
  • Humidity- What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
    • Same gauges measure
    • Stays around 50-60% humidity during the day and a little higher at night
    • As previously stated I have the new misting system and I have started using a fogger for about an hour in the mornings to further hydrate
  • Plants- Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
    • Live plants. Large swiss cheese plant is his main plant. Also have rubber tree and some pothos and a small calathea
  • Placement- Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
    • In a corner of the room away from vents or fans.
    • Top of the cage is only about five feet above the ground. I know this isn't ideal and I'm working on make a base to raise it more but I instruct anyone who goes near the viv to sit on the ground to maintain his perceived sense of height.
  • Location- Where are you geographically located?
    • North Carolina

Current Problem - Gave the description at the top and hopefully the pictures will describe the problem well enough. But if I can provide any additional information that might be helpful please let me know. Thank you so much in advance.
Image[5].jpeg

Image.jpeg
Image[1].jpeg
Image[2].jpeg
 
Hi. I’ll go thru your husbandry and make a few suggestions in a bit, but in the meantime are you able to get any clearer pics of that tail bump?
 
The few things I see in your husbandry that could be improved upon really have nothing to do with the bump.
  • Your Chameleon- The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
    • Male panther chameleon about a year and a half old has been in my care a little over a year.
  • Handling- How often do you handle your chameleon?
    • Rarely once every two months or so.
  • Feeding- What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
    • Mostly crickets around four a day or so but mix in various other foods including dubia roaches. You could add a couple of different feeders for a bit more variety. Silkworms are one of my favorite staples to add to the rotation, along with letting bsfl pupate into flies and giving my chams some hunting fun. Gut-loading with carrots and calcium feed. Definitely can improve on this. Giving a variety of fresh produce will help your feeders be as healthy as can be which will make them more nutritious. I’m wary of calcium enhanced bug food. Would be much better to use a preparation such as Repashy Bug Burger or sprinkle a pinch of bee pollen. Adding some graphics below to help guide.
  • Supplements- What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
    • repashy calcium NOD every time with the other repashy calcium supplement Which one? mixed in every couple weeks.
  • Watering- What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
    • Have been hand-watering for about a year but finally put in an automatic system that runs for 60 seconds every 2 hours. This is much too frequent. I know that my misting slipped a little to around 2 minute misting twice a day or so in the week or two prior to installing the automatic system due to work schedule. That schedule was perfect. Have seen him drinking a lot since I've gotten the system set up. If you are able to set it to 2 minute mistings, you’ll want those right before lights go on and off. You can add an additional one at mid day or use a dripper for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Fecal Description- Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
    • Seems relatively standard black and white pretty mushy. Had isospora about 6 months ago but has been treated for it.
  • History- Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
    • Was a dark color for the first day or two after the tail thing popped up but has since returned to normal.
    • How do you feed your guy? Do you put the feeders in for him to hunt? Do you use a feeding station of some type? Do you witness him eating all of his bugs? Is there any chance that a cricket could have escaped being eaten and bit your guy’s tail during the night? That would be one thing that I might suspect. The other would be a burn. Then of course there’s always some sort of infection/abscess or naturally occurring growth. Hopefully clearer pics may help narrow the options down.
      To be continued….
IMG_0151.jpeg
IMG_1188.jpeg
 
  • Cage Type- Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
    • Glass and acrylic on front and doors
    • Screen on top
    • ventilation holes in bottom
    • dimensions 3x3x4 though slightly smaller as it is a trapezoidal prism 🤔 Is this a commercial enclosure or one you’ve made? I’d love to see a pic.:)
  • Lighting- What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
    • Using arcadia t5ho 6% light this is around a year old I know I need to replace it. Yes please.
    • 40 w heat lamp as well
  • Temperature- What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
    • thermocline Perhaps ‘gradient’ would be a drier word to use. ;)from about 70-80. Gets a little warmer under the basking spot. Basking temp can/should be around 85.
    • Night temperature gets to around 68-70 Very nice
    • Have two gauges to measure What type? Analog are notorious for their inaccuracy.
  • Humidity- What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
    • Same gauges measure
    • Stays around 50-60% humidity during the day and a little higher at night Excellent
    • As previously stated I have the new misting system and I have started using a fogger for about an hour in the mornings to further hydrate Just make sure that the lights are off/temps are below at least 70 when using the fogger or you can increase risks for respiratory infection.
  • Plants- Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
    • Live plants. Large swiss cheese plant is his main plant. Also have rubber tree and some pothos and a small calathea Perfect
  • Placement- Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
    • In a corner of the room away from vents or fans.
    • Top of the cage is only about five feet above the ground. I know this isn't ideal and I'm working on make a base to raise it more but I instruct anyone who goes near the viv to sit on the ground to maintain his perceived sense of height. OMG! I love this! Absolutely adorable! 😂🤗(y) This is truly thinking outside the box.
  • Location- Where are you geographically located?
    • North Carolina
  • Just need some clearer pics and hopefully can better help with your tail concern.
 
Thank you both so much for all the information I will definitely try to make all of these changes. Just to respond to a few of the main comments and questions:
  • I feed him exclusively with a feeding station and by hand with about a 2:1 ratio of that. I won't rule out the possibility that a cricket may have escaped the cup and bit him I know that they can occasionally get out.
  • Supplement is repashy calcium + which I believe is the recommended one to mix with the other calcium supplement very occassionally.
  • My gauges are both digital and appear to be pretty accurate. Have had some issues with analogs in the past with my frogs so definitely avoided that again.
  • Enclosure is custom made wooden by myself with some help from my roommates.
  • I do think a growth is a strong possibility it just surprised me how suddenly it showed up and his tail stopped functioning at that section.
  • I have attached a few more photos of it but I have also scheduled a trip to the vet for today.
 

Attachments

  • Image[3].jpeg
    Image[3].jpeg
    115.4 KB · Views: 57
  • Image[2].jpeg
    Image[2].jpeg
    108 KB · Views: 56
  • Image[1].jpeg
    Image[1].jpeg
    185.6 KB · Views: 58
  • Image.jpeg
    Image.jpeg
    197.6 KB · Views: 60
Thank you both so much for all the information I will definitely try to make all of these changes. Just to respond to a few of the main comments and questions:
  • I feed him exclusively with a feeding station and by hand with about a 2:1 ratio of that. I won't rule out the possibility that a cricket may have escaped the cup and bit him I know that they can occasionally get out.
  • Supplement is repashy calcium + which I believe is the recommended one to mix with the other calcium supplement very occassionally.
  • My gauges are both digital and appear to be pretty accurate. Have had some issues with analogs in the past with my frogs so definitely avoided that again.
  • Enclosure is custom made wooden by myself with some help from my roommates.
  • I do think a growth is a strong possibility it just surprised me how suddenly it showed up and his tail stopped functioning at that section.
  • I have attached a few more photos of it but I have also scheduled a trip to the vet for today.
Make sure the vet actually has experience treating reptiles and or chameleons. If they do not then they will not be able to give you proper feedback to id what is happening.

Can you post pics of the front label of your supplements. Just want to double check these. I do not think they have anything to do with the tail.

I am betting it is a growth. Depending on type these can develop very quickly. Could be an injury as well but I am not seeing any obvious wound.
 
Hi everyone just got back from the vet. Seems that it was an accumulation of pus in that spot so I got some meds for it. I am attaching pictures of the supplements (the NOD is the one I use almost always) and my cham. I don't think his weight is too much of an issue and the vet seemed pretty satisfied with it. Sorry my camera isn't very good so his colors aren't extenuated properly but hopefully this gives a sense of his weight.

Thank you all so much again for being so helpful with this all.
1687294661973.png
1687294705264.png
1687294833637.png
 
I'm not completely sure. I know he poked the spot and got some out but he did not tell me if he got all of it out and it was a little difficult to tell. I will call them again today though.
 
Hi everyone just got back from the vet. Seems that it was an accumulation of pus in that spot so I got some meds for it. I am attaching pictures of the supplements (the NOD is the one I use almost always) and my cham. I don't think his weight is too much of an issue and the vet seemed pretty satisfied with it. Sorry my camera isn't very good so his colors aren't extenuated properly but hopefully this gives a sense of his weight.

Thank you all so much again for being so helpful with this all.
View attachment 339567View attachment 339568View attachment 339569
Supplements are good with the NoD being your calcium without D3 at almost all feedings. But switch out the calcium plus for the calcium plus LoD version. Use it 2 times a month on the 1st and the 15th. The version you are using has much higher D3 and A amounts. Both are fat soluble so they store in the body. So we are more cautious about how much they receive of these. :)

I would get a fecal sample run on your man just to rule out a parasite issue. He is a bit on the thin side. The casque is what we look at when we determine weight in a panther. His is very concave it should be fuller so it is even with the ridge line in the middle of it.
 
What meds did you get for the tail?
I hope the vet cleaned it out properly because if he didn’t, it will likely not go away…even with the meds.
 
Oops thank you for letting me know about the supplements I will make that change. I talked to the vet and he confirmed that he removed the pus it was all liquid so it came out quickly. The vet prescribed metacam. I believe there is an antibiotic and a pain management component. He has not been eating much the past few days so that may be contributing to the thinness but thank you for letting me know about the casque thing.

Thank you all again for your responses.
 
Metacam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). I don’t think that means it’s an antibiotic. Usually an antibiotic is needed for infections in chameleons to get rid of the bacteria.

Do you know what colour the pus was? Did it smell something like rotten grapes.
 
Sorry took me a second to find my prescription sheet. The other medication is ciprofloxacin. I am not sure what color or smell the pus had. I did not smell anything when it was extracted though it was a few feet away from me. His tail did not smell to me when I gave him the Metacam today.
 
Hi all I gave my little guy his meds yesterday but the past two days he has seemed really weak and has been refusing to eat and hasn't moved much. He's started closing his eyes which I know can be a sign of shutting down. I just wanted to see if there was anything that anyone knows that I could do besides continuing to give him his medicine.
 
Hi all I gave my little guy his meds yesterday but the past two days he has seemed really weak and has been refusing to eat and hasn't moved much. He's started closing his eyes which I know can be a sign of shutting down. I just wanted to see if there was anything that anyone knows that I could do besides continuing to give him his medicine.
The meds are going to make him feel crappy. Make sure you have a dripper on the cage so he has constant access to water. if you can get him to gape at you then you could try to put a feeder in his mouth.

With the med make sure your aiming at the very back of the throat... Their airway is in the front so if you put it in there you can aspirate them. http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/2014/05/how-to-give-different-medicines.html
 
Back
Top Bottom