Tongue stuck

Amber'sChams

New Member
For the past few months Yoshi has been struggling shooting his tongue out more than a couple of inches. After a round of antibiotics for some redness in his throat he got better for about a week and then unfortunately the problem came back. Because of this, the vet decided to sedate Yoshi and stretch his tongue out to see if there was any bark (or some other irritant) stuck anywhere in the tongue. They said they couldn’t find anything other than throat irritation and sent me back home with a different round of antibiotics. This is when the big problem happened. The following morning I tried feeding him and he wasn’t using his tongue at all and just tried to bite the worm. I thought he might be soar from the vet visit so I didn’t worry too much and waited a few more hours before trying again. When I came back to try and feed him again he started opening his mouth and doing something strange with his tongue. It almost looks like the sticky tip of his tongue is stuck to the roof of his mouth or in his throat (see attached pics) and he’s trying to get it unstuck. He is still drinking water, but is unable to eat (hasn’t eaten in 4 days). It’s the weekend so the vet won’t be open until Monday and I could really use some help. What should I do?
 

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Serbianchameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ive never seen this before.. jus keep patient usually people on this forum sleep around this time because its like 2 in the morning in US. I’m sorry that I cant help. I can just say to monitor him and take him to the vet asap. Wish you luck he’s beautiful!
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
First, I am sorry to hear about your chameleons issue. From the picture that al out looks like the hyoid bone. Could your chameleon have completely lost his tongue? Second, find a new vet! It sounds like your vet is doing unnecessary procedures and giving unnecessary antibiotics. Normally, tongue problems are caused by supplementing issues. Exactly what are you using to supplement and how often? They can also injury the tongue and often when they get older the tongue muscles weaken and they just can’t shoot like they use to. IMO most likely the problem he’s having now is from the vet pulling his tongue out like that. If it were me I would not try to make him use his tongue anymore, at least not for awhile and just hand feed by putting a feeder right up to his mouth and see if he will take it. Try a different feeder that he doesn’t have all the time. Hopefully, with time he will improve. @kinyonga What do you think?
 
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CasqueAbove

Chameleon Enthusiast
When mine injured his tongue like that it would get stuck on him like that. He ended up loosing his tongue.
I would just moisten and try to get it back in for him. And yes new vet
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I totally agree with the above comments....

Also what supplements have you been using and in what rotation?
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
It will likely be that it will have to be amputated. Looks like he's swallowed it already....and if so the digestive juices in the stomach have likely damaged it or even worse. Make sure they cut the rest of it off at the end of the hyoid bone and don't leave a flap of tongue left...leaving a flap causes a problem as a rule. They can still eat like other lizards do after the tongue is amputated by walking might up to the food and grabbing it.

You need a good chameleon vet.
 

Amber'sChams

New Member
Thank you so much for your responses. I’m so worried about him. To answer the supplementation question. I put rep-cal calcium w/o D3 on all his feeders. On the 1st and 15th I replace the calcium with rep-cal herptivite and on the 2nd and 16th I replace the calcium w/ the rep-cal calcium w/ D3. I’ve always been a littler nervous he wasn’t getting the right supplementation. At the moment he tries to grab at food by just biting it, but gravity takes over and the bug just falls out of his mouth as he tries to chew it. Any feeder cup recommendations that might get him to keep the bug in his mouth? Also... I live in Dallas Texas. Does anyone know of any trusty vets around the area or within a couple hours drive.
 
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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
I used those same supplements for over 25 years.
My only concern was whether they should also get a source of PrEformed vitamin A once in a while in the case of panthers.
I never really saw any signs of them needing it though.

If he's swallowed the tongue and the hyoid bone is sticking up like that and can't retract into the hole at the front of the mouth, then he's not going to be able to eat and I don't know if he will be able to swallow either. If this is the case you need to see a vet now...quickly....IMHO.
 

Amber'sChams

New Member
He only sticks the hyoid bone out on occasion to get the tongue unstuck (at least that’s what I think he’s trying to do when he’s doing that). The rest of the time he looks completely normal and he is able to drink water normally.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah I agree with @kinyonga

I do not use herptivite though because it does not have preformed A only beta carotene. Granted we are a bit passed a supplement switch making a big difference. But you never know. it could help.

I would use the plain phos free calcium without D3 (rep cal without d3) at all feedings and then 2 times a month say the 1st and the 15th you would use a multivitamin with A and D3. The two I would recommend to choose from is Reptivite with D3 or Repashy calcium plus LoD. Depending on which is easier for you to buy. Both of these have multivitamins, preformed A, and D3. So either is a great option for your 2 times a month.
 

Amber'sChams

New Member
Okay. Thank you so much. I have ordered some repashy calcium plus LoD to replace my rep-cal multivitamin and calcium w/ D3. I have brought Yoshi to an emergency vet and am waiting to hear what they suggest.
 

Amber'sChams

New Member
Thank you everyone for your help and support with Yoshi. I did decide to take him to an emergency vet on Sunday and they gave him fluids, a calcium shot, and a shot for pain, and they transferred him to an exotic vet this morning. The vet managed to get the tongue back out after sedating Yoshi. However, his tongue pad was gone and a majority of the rest of the tongue had turned black. I can say today has been one of the hardest days of my life. After a long discussion with the vet, it was decided that the most humane thing to do at this point was to put him to sleep. It looked like he had a bad bacterial or fungal infection that he was fighting which is what was causing his throat inflammation and tongue problems. So an amputation, relearning how to eat, several rounds of antibiotics and shots would have been a lot for my baby to go through. The odds just weren’t in his favor. I pray that he is at peace now. And I’m praying for peace personally as well. I just hope it was the right thing to do.
 

AmandaS

Moderator
Staff member
Thank you everyone for your help and support with Yoshi. I did decide to take him to an emergency vet on Sunday and they gave him fluids, a calcium shot, and a shot for pain, and they transferred him to an exotic vet this morning. The vet managed to get the tongue back out after sedating Yoshi. However, his tongue pad was gone and a majority of the rest of the tongue had turned black. I can say today has been one of the hardest days of my life. After a long discussion with the vet, it was decided that the most humane thing to do at this point was to put him to sleep. It looked like he had a bad bacterial or fungal infection that he was fighting which is what was causing his throat inflammation and tongue problems. So an amputation, relearning how to eat, several rounds of antibiotics and shots would have been a lot for my baby to go through. The odds just weren’t in his favor. I pray that he is at peace now. And I’m praying for peace personally as well. I just hope it was the right thing to do.
Oh no! I'm so sorry for your loss! That is so terrible to read! At least you can take comfort in the fa t that he is resting now and won't have to face all that stress he otherwise would have.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you everyone for your help and support with Yoshi. I did decide to take him to an emergency vet on Sunday and they gave him fluids, a calcium shot, and a shot for pain, and they transferred him to an exotic vet this morning. The vet managed to get the tongue back out after sedating Yoshi. However, his tongue pad was gone and a majority of the rest of the tongue had turned black. I can say today has been one of the hardest days of my life. After a long discussion with the vet, it was decided that the most humane thing to do at this point was to put him to sleep. It looked like he had a bad bacterial or fungal infection that he was fighting which is what was causing his throat inflammation and tongue problems. So an amputation, relearning how to eat, several rounds of antibiotics and shots would have been a lot for my baby to go through. The odds just weren’t in his favor. I pray that he is at peace now. And I’m praying for peace personally as well. I just hope it was the right thing to do.
So very sorry for your loss hun. ❤️
 
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