Tongue Issues

ajwtwywell

New Member
My young chameleons tongue has started to protrude from its mouth and in appearance is very limp and sometimes unable to retract back into its mouth. It is of a dark appearance, possibly dark blue/black. I am hand feeding and regularly offering droplets of water in order to retain the moistness.

The crickets appear to be digested and faeces is apparent in the viv.
I am dusting the crickets with vitamins before offering but he/she seems uninterested in capturing food. He/she is spending a considerable amount of time at the bottom of the viv where water is available. She/he has very little strength and appears to be quite listless. He/she has just had its 3rd shed but appears to be retaining some skin to the rear of the creature.
 

Dave Weldon

Avid Member
Howdy,

What you've described is a chameleon that is on the slippey slope of no return without a qualified vet's care. What part of the country are you located?

This list can help you locate a qualified exotic vet. Call them and see if you can find one in your area that actually knows chameleons.
http://www.herpvetconnection.com/

In the meantime, before your appointment (which is hopefully Monday or sooner!), answer as many of these questions and post photos of your critter and setup. Lots of detailed, well-focused photos can help a lot.

https://www.chameleonforums.com/how-ask-help-66/
 

Julirs

New Member
Vet visit cetainly in need. You said you are dusting with vitamins-what would that be? You need to be using a calcium dust almost daily, and vitamins maybe 2X monthly. Also-what kind of UVB lighting are you using? Caging?
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
You need to get this chameleon to a vet ASAP. The following information won't matter if you don't help the chameleon now.

You said..."My young chameleons tongue has started to protrude from its mouth and in appearance is very limp and sometimes unable to retract back into its mouth. It is of a dark appearance, possibly dark blue/black. I am hand feeding and regularly offering droplets of water in order to retain the moistness"...when you say "protrude" do you mean just the very tip of it is out at times and other times the whole thing is out? While the tongue is out and limp it needs to be kept moist. What I have done/recommended for a short period of time until you can get it to the vets when this happens is to put the chameleon in a plastic pet pal with no branches and some water in the bottom so that the tongue is able to lay in the water and keep moist. I can think of no other way to keep it moist enough.

You said..."I am dusting the crickets with vitamins before offering but he/she seems uninterested in capturing food"...if the tongue isn't working and sore, this may be part of the reason. What do you mean by vitamins? The insects should be dusted with phosphorous-free calcium powder regularly.

Does the chameleon get exposure to UVB light either from UVB tube lights or sunlight? Neither should pass through glass or plastic. This enables the chameleon to produce vitamin D3 so that it can use the calcium in its diet.
Since my chameleons only get UVB from tube lights, I dust twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder. D3 from SUPPLEMENTS can build up in the system and cause problems, so don't overdo it.

You didn't say what species of chameleon it is, so other information can only be general. Assuming since you can't sex it it isn't a veiled.

I dust with a vitamin powder that has a beta carotene source of vitamin A twice a month. Beta carotene won't build up in the system...but preformed can. There is controversy as to whether chameleons need preformed vitamin A or not....so some people give a little once in a while. Excess preformed vitamin A can build up in the system and prevent the D3 from doing its job and lead to MBD.

Phosphorous, calcium, D3 and vitamin A are the main players in bone health, etc. and need to be in balance.

You said..."He/she is spending a considerable amount of time at the bottom of the viv where water is available"...why is the water available at the bottom of the cage? Do you mist and use a dripper?

You said..."She/he has very little strength and appears to be quite listless"...not good signs. You didn't say how old this chameleon is or whether it lays eggs or not. If its an egglayer, it should have somewhere in the cage to dig to show that its ready to lay eggs. Some chameleons lay eggs even without having been mated...some don't.
 
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