The Karma Progress Thread

#61
Poor little man. :( Hopefully you got some sleep last night and did not stay up googling all night lol. How is he liking his enclosure with everything you have done to it? You got a mist king too right?
Well, I got a bit of sleep... and then I woke up and couldn't quite fall asleep again! :oops:

Karma seems to be more or less content with his enclosure, and has been much more active than he had been prior to reorganizing his cage/upgrading his lights. I've been absolutely slammed at work, though, and haven't had the chance to set up the MistKing yet! I did read the manual/watch a video though, so hopefully it won't be too bad. I'll try to get it set up at some point this week. At least his hydration levels look pretty good!

I hope everything turns out well, and these are just some minor bumps along his recovery road. I'm still so thankful you had the heart to take this on. I think that's an amazing thing. :)
Oh believe me, I'm not especially discouraged! I'm very familiar with how slowly reptiles can recover. I was hoping that Karma would be a little more progressed at this point as his recovery was looking so promising, but set backs were expected. I definitely have no regrets in taking Karma on, and am grateful for the learning experience! He'll get better one way or the other if I have anything to say about it! :)

Karma and I appreciate the continued encouragement! :love:

~Amanda
 
#62
What an amazing story. I'm pulling for little Karma. It definitely gives me pause as I contemplate bringing in one of these animals to my life: it is easy to be a neglectful reptile owner...they are just so physically and psychologically different from us and the birds and mammals we usually keep.
 
#63
Phew, it's been a busy week!! Lots of late night emergency surgeries. I'm exhausted! o_O

I ran a fecal float today, and Karma's finally parasite free. I'll recheck again in a week or two just in case, but it looks promising! One of our locum vets with a special interest in reptiles was in today, so we had a long chat and she agrees that Karma may be vitamin deficient. Since he's still refusing to eat on his own, I'll be adding 1 drop of 10,000 UI Vitamin A (retinol palmitate gel capsules) to his formula once a week for 2-3 weeks, and then reassess his condition.

Otherwise, Karma's still his grumpy little self and has been quite active. He just won't eat for me right now, and I don't want to starve him out when he has so little weight to spare!

I've been putting some thought into Karma's next enclosure, and I think I'm going to go all in and try my hand at a bioactive build with an Exo Terra 36x18x36 glass enclosure, including a "Great Stuff" foam background. I'm not 100% sold yet and have some serious researching to do, but I won't be starting a build for a few months yet so why not! It seems like an awesome artistic endeavor, and it really appeals to me.

I think I'll stop by a local greenhouse and poke through their plants. Maybe someone on shift will have some ideas!

~Amanda
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
#64
Phew, it's been a busy week!! Lots of late night emergency surgeries. I'm exhausted! o_O

I ran a fecal float today, and Karma's finally parasite free. I'll recheck again in a week or two just in case, but it looks promising! One of our locum vets with a special interest in reptiles was in today, so we had a long chat and she agrees that Karma may be vitamin deficient. Since he's still refusing to eat on his own, I'll be adding 1 drop of 10,000 UI Vitamin A (retinol palmitate gel capsules) to his formula once a week for 2-3 weeks, and then reassess his condition.

Otherwise, Karma's still his grumpy little self and has been quite active. He just won't eat for me right now, and I don't want to starve him out when he has so little weight to spare!

I've been putting some thought into Karma's next enclosure, and I think I'm going to go all in and try my hand at a bioactive build with an Exo Terra 36x18x36 glass enclosure, including a "Great Stuff" foam background. I'm not 100% sold yet and have some serious researching to do, but I won't be starting a build for a few months yet so why not! It seems like an awesome artistic endeavor, and it really appeals to me.

I think I'll stop by a local greenhouse and poke through their plants. Maybe someone on shift will have some ideas!

~Amanda
Awesome girl! so happy to hear that he is free and clear of the parasites now! On the right track. I hope the vitamins will help his eye. Bioactive huh there have been a few awesome threads lately on this. :)
 
#65
Karma's eating a bit on his own again as of right now! I offered him a cricket from a pair of feeding tweezers, and he gobbled it up after I rubbed it on his lips! :D:love: I repeated this a couple times, and while he wasnt overly enthusiastic (probably because he had already been syringe fed) he did eat several crickets for me. His tongue seems a little weak and his aim was off, but he managed to get most of them at a 1-2" range. The tweezers have a pretty firm grip and I was struggling with it a little, so it was a little tougher than it could have been. Karma's very concerned regarding my fingers, so I didn't want to push him! He may have a hard time feeding with his eye/tongue have some coordination issues, and I'll try a combination of hand feeding and cup feeding going forward.

Yay! :)
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Awesome girl! so happy to hear that he is free and clear of the parasites now! On the right track. I hope the vitamins will help his eye. Bioactive huh there have been a few awesome threads lately on this. :)
Yes, I've been very eagerly devouring the bioactive threads! I think I'll start by making a "living wall" piece to serve as a free range. I have just the spot for it above my desk, and I have a spare plant/uvb light I can suspend from the ceiling. I'll do some number crunching..
I'm a little light on cash right now, but I'm feeling creative! Karma had his first dose of vitamin A today, and I've got my fingers crossed!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
#66
Karma's eating a bit on his own again as of right now! I offered him a cricket from a pair of feeding tweezers, and he gobbled it up after I rubbed it on his lips! :D:love: I repeated this a couple times, and while he wasnt overly enthusiastic (probably because he had already been syringe fed) he did eat several crickets for me. His tongue seems a little weak and his aim was off, but he managed to get most of them at a 1-2" range. The tweezers have a pretty firm grip and I was struggling with it a little, so it was a little tougher than it could have been. Karma's very concerned regarding my fingers, so I didn't want to push him! He may have a hard time feeding with his eye/tongue have some coordination issues, and I'll try a combination of hand feeding and cup feeding going forward.

Yay! :)
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Yes, I've been very eagerly devouring the bioactive threads! I think I'll start by making a "living wall" piece to serve as a free range. I have just the spot for it above my desk, and I have a spare plant/uvb light I can suspend from the ceiling. I'll do some number crunching..
I'm a little light on cash right now, but I'm feeling creative! Karma had his first dose of vitamin A today, and I've got my fingers crossed!
That is really cool. Post pics when you complete it :)
 
#68
I have a pair of the ZooMed short feeding tongs. They're very grippy! I might try a longer pair of a different style, but I definitely won't be dropping any feeders with these ones haha!

I'll definitely be posting pictures once I get started on the living wall project! I'll go and price it out and make some decisions. :)
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
#69
I have a pair of the ZooMed short feeding tongs. They're very grippy! I might try a longer pair of a different style, but I definitely won't be dropping any feeders with these ones haha!

I'll definitely be posting pictures once I get started on the living wall project! I'll go and price it out and make some decisions. :)
You might like these ones. I really like them and you don't have to hold on with a death grip. Plus they have some length between you and the Cham. I don't know how they compare to yours but they are about 8.5 inches long and comes with both the curved and straight for 6 bucks. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HRI4U7Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 
#72
Progress is slow, but we're moving forward! Karma's appetite is definitely much better now that he's parasite free, and I'm hoping that he'll start getting some meat on his bones. I'll get him some more high fat treats (Benny ate all of the waxworms haha!), and hopefully he'll be more interested now that he has an appetite. He definitely wants to eat, but seems to be having a hard time hunting due to his short shot and poor aim. He took four crickets from me by hand before he lost interest, and I left several more in his feeder run. I think I spooked him when I offered a bsfl! I made sure to remove at least one leg off of each cricket I left in his feeder, so hopefully that'll slow them down enough that he can get them. The feeder run might be too much for Karma to properly utilize right now, but we'll see! I can always put a deli cup at the bottom of the run in an attempt to contain the feeders in a smaller space.

I'll continue with supplemental syringe feedings until I'm satisfied that Karma's gaining weight and he's able to feed himself adequately. His bad eye appears to have improved slightly after a dose of vitamin A, so hopefully it'll continue to get better! I've chosen a very conservative dose for now (1x a week), and will be keeping a very close eye on it. Once he's recovered, I'll be adding Repashy Vitamin A plus to his regular supplement schedule as a preventative.

~Amanda
 
#74
How many times a day are you syringe feeding him? Such devotion! Also, what does bsfl mean?
Thank you - it's definitely been a labor of love! I've always enjoyed rehab and rescue work. 3 out of my 4 pets are rescues with varying degrees of health and/or behavioural problems. If I ever have the time, I'd love to work for an exotic sanctuary/rescue. Feathered and scaly pets are definitely my passion!

I'm currently syringe feeding Karma once a day in the morning, after offering him some insects to gauge interest. He'll eat a couple here and there, and then I'll top him up with the IC (intensive care) formula cause he's really tiny and I'm super paranoid. Until he's eating ~10 feeders on his own with no problems and has an upward weight trend, I'll keep on with the supplemental feedings! Bsfl = black soldier fly larva(e). Karma was pretty unimpressed haha! He flashed his nervous colors and started slowly backing away into the foliage when I held one up.

He didn't eat any of the crickets I left in his feeder run during the day, and seemed very hungry when I got home. He was intensely interested while I was collecting the lucky survivors from his feeder! I probably shouldn't have indulged him, but I let him eat another 3 crickets by hand. Tomorrow I'll try setting up a deli cup instead and see if that helps Karma with his hunting issues.

Time to go pass out. I'm flattened!

~Amanda
 
#75
I have a strong suspicion that Karma's guts are compromised, as he appears to be having a hard time digesting and benefiting from food sources. He had a few poorly digested crickets in his stool this week, for example, though he did perk up when I stopped offering feeders and started only feeding the highly digestible semi-elemental IC formula. Even so, he's barely gaining weight even on what amounts to a very high dose and occasionally the formula passes through his system with very little color change (signifying poor digestion). I'll consult my vet(s) regarding the use of a product such as Bene-Bac in an attempt to jumpstart his gut flora. Unfortunately, at this point if nothing changes it's very possible that he'll waste away regardless of my efforts. Karma's a stubborn little boy, though, and I'll keep trying as long as he does! He has a lot of spirit, and is fighting me every step of the way. Feeding time has become a bit of a production, haha! He's great once he's out... it's just actually getting him out that can be an adventure! He'll reluctantly crawl into my hand if I catch him in a good mood, but sometimes he decides to run for the hills and if I'm not quick it's a real bugger trying to fish him out of the foliage. And he knows it, too!

In happier news, I've started collecting supplies for Karma's wall mounted "free range"! I picked up an attractive old wooden picture frame (I believe the inside measurements are 20x18 or so?) which I intend to use as the base, as well as several cans of "Great Stuff" and clear silicone. My current thought is to build the structure on the glass, and leave the frame as a nice border. Living wall art, if you will! My aunt lives on a vineyard and it's pruning season, so I'll be capitalizing on the free grapewood vines. She promised to bring some by the next time she's in town. I have no idea of the quantity (or quality!) she'll be bringing, but I figure i can find a use for it! I can snag gloves and 70% alcohol from work, and I'll pick up various planters and coco fiber some time next week. Possibly some cork as well for added texture! I have a 24" ReptiSun LED UVB hood that I couldn't return, so I figure I'll suspend it from the ceiling (or get some lamp hooks) to provide a better source of light for the plants, as well as UVB whenever Karma's hanging out. I'd like to incorporate a bromedliad or two (possibly a guzmania and a tillandsia) and a few air plant species, as well as a spider plant, a pothos or two, maybe a couple polka dot plants and nerve plants for flavor, and a wandering jew that I have hanging around. Lots of ideas to play with!

I'll be going on a trip to visit my Dad this weekend for a few days, and have a reptile-experienced vet tech friend looking after the "kids". I trust her implicitly, but I really wish I didn't have to leave Karma at home at this stage in his recovery. It does give me an excellent excuse to check out the pet supply stores in Vancouver, though! I'm sure I'll come back with far too many animal related treats. I'll be doing some antiquing as well, so I'll have my eyes peeled for display cabinets! Not that I have any room, but it'll be fun to look. And maybe I can convince dad to store it/possibly work on it a bit in the mean time. ;)

~Amanda
 
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#76
I have a strong suspicion that Karma's guts are compromised, as he appears to be having a hard time digesting and benefiting from food sources. He had a few poorly digested crickets in his stool this week, for example, though he did perk up when I stopped offering feeders and started only feeding the highly digestible semi-elemental IC formula. Even so, he's barely gaining weight even on what amounts to a very high dose and occasionally the formula passes through his system with very little color change (signifying poor digestion). I'll consult my vet(s) regarding the use of a product such as Bene-Bac in an attempt to jumpstart his gut flora. Unfortunately, at this point if nothing changes it's very possible that he'll waste away regardless of my efforts. Karma's a stubborn little boy, though, and I'll keep trying as long as he does! He has a lot of spirit, and is fighting me every step of the way. Feeding time has become a bit of a production, haha! He's great once he's out... it's just actually getting him out that can be an adventure! He'll reluctantly crawl into my hand if I catch him in a good mood, but sometimes he decides to run for the hills and if I'm not quick it's a real bugger trying to fish him out of the foliage. And he knows it, too!

In happier news, I've started collecting supplies for Karma's wall mounted "free range"! I picked up an attractive old wooden picture frame (I believe the inside measurements are 20x18 or so?) which I intend to use as the base, as well as several cans of "Great Stuff" and clear silicone. My current thought is to build the structure on the glass, and leave the frame as a nice border. Living wall art, if you will! My aunt lives on a vineyard and it's pruning season, so I'll be capitalizing on the free grapewood vines. She promised to bring some by the next time she's in town. I have no idea of the quantity (or quality!) she'll be bringing, but I figure i can find a use for it! I can snag gloves and 70% alcohol from work, and I'll pick up various planters and coco fiber some time next week. Possibly some cork as well for added texture! I have a 24" ReptiSun LED UVB hood that I couldn't return, so I figure I'll suspend it from the ceiling (or get some lamp hooks) to provide a better source of light for the plants, as well as UVB whenever Karma's hanging out. I'd like to incorporate a bromedliad or two (possibly a guzmania and a tillandsia) and a few air plant species, as well as a spider plant, a pothos or two, maybe a couple polka dot plants and nerve plants for flavor, and a wandering jew that I have hanging around. Lots of ideas to play with!

I'll be going on a trip to visit my Dad this weekend for a few days, and have a reptile-experienced vet tech friend looking after the "kids". I trust her implicitly, but I really wish I didn't have to leave Karma at home at this stage in his recovery. It does give me an excellent excuse to check out the pet supply stores in Vancouver, though! I'm sure I'll come back with far too many animal related treats. I'll be doing some antiquing as well, so I'll have my eyes peeled for display cabinets! Not that I have any room, but it'll be fun to look. And maybe I can convince dad to store it/possibly work on it a bit in the mean time. ;)

~Amanda
Wall-mounted? Cool!
 
#77
I hope it turns out well, anyway! I have a pretty good sense for art and flow, so I'm hoping that'll lend itself to this project. I haven't seen any examples of anyone basing a wall mounted free range project off of a picture frame, so I figured "why not?" Plus, I have a big old bare spot on my wall that's just screaming for color! I found this frame while I was at a local thrift store, and it struck my fancy. It needs some cleaning before any work can begin, but I think it's pretty neat. I have a known weakness for wicker haha! I'll be hanging it horizontally above my desk, in between two windows. It fits almost perfectly! And I can always extend a vine or two over to the window(s), where I intend to have additional plants plus another grow light. When I have the space, who knows: maybe I'll have a bunch of linked plant pictures! :p

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
#78
It sounds like a really neat idea Amanda! I look forward to seeing it. I am happy you are getting some time to go play. I know how hard you have been working and what you are going through with Karma to get him healthy. I am sure it has to be exhausting. I hope Karma's digestive track is not damaged. Maybe he is just having issues digesting because he is not chewing them enough. I know Beman will pass undigested BSFL if I don't pin them first. <3
 
#79
It sounds like a really neat idea Amanda! I look forward to seeing it. I am happy you are getting some time to go play. I know how hard you have been working and what you are going through with Karma to get him healthy. I am sure it has to be exhausting. I hope Karma's digestive track is not damaged. Maybe he is just having issues digesting because he is not chewing them enough. I know Beman will pass undigested BSFL if I don't pin them first. <3
It's definitely been an adventure! The timing definitely could have been better regarding bringing home another expensive, needy pet... but Karma's worth it! I'm looking forward to a short break, though I'm sure I'll end up obsessively checking in on the critters and driving my friend nuts.

My initial thought when I saw poorly digested crickets was that Karma hadn't chewed them well enough... but then it continued happening even though I was feeding them by hand and distinctly saw him rather thoroughly chomp them. I'll mention it to my vet and see what she thinks, though that may be tricky as I'm on the graveyard rotation this month (10:30p-7a)! I'll figure something out. It could be that I'm being overly paranoid, but I don't want to feed Karma anything that he might be struggling to digest right now when he's so underweight. I'll take a look at the exotic formulary tonight and see what it says regarding rebuilding gut flora and digestion issues post heavy parasite loads.

~Amanda
 
#80
I believe Karma shed at some point late yesterday/early today. His colors are much brighter/clearer, and he wasn't nearly as cranky this morning as he has been for the last couple days! I can't see any evidence of shed skin anywhere in his enclosure, but he does still have a couple flakes around his eyes and a bit or two around his feet so he may very well have eaten it.

Karma's starting to show some lovely warm earthy tones. What a handsome little boy! :love: I love the little "freckles" around his casque and turrets.

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