uneven cheeks - something to be concerned about?

InStitches

New Member
It doesn't look severe, but I figure it couldn't hurt to post images and see if this warrants a trip to the vet for antibiotics or something.

I just got her from the pet store yesterday, and she has had her left cheek slightly larger than her right. The size has not changed overnight, she ate all of her crickets this morning, and I have seen her drink multiple times. Her waste product that she dropped today was brown, whitish and had pink speckles - is that normal?

I really hope all is well, I don't want her at the vets first thing :/

Some pictures of her face: left versus right cheek.












 

InStitches

New Member
here we go, shots of her waste product:




It's possible that's orange, not pink. So, sign of dehydration? It would not surprise me if she was dehydrated in the store, they didn't mist her enough.
 

InStitches

New Member
Also, figured I'd put out her setup info in case someone wants to straighten any of that out right off the bat :)

Chameleon Info:

Your Chameleon - Jackson, female, had her for one day, no idea how old she is.
Handling - 3 times, mostly to have a look at that cheek.
Feeding - crickets, 8 or so medium. Gutload this week is orange, carrot and collard greens.
Supplements - calcium 2x/week, with D and multivite 1x per month.
Watering - Misting 3x per day plus dripper going constantly.
Fecal Description - formed poop, white and orange/pink urate
History - she's been in the pet store a while. They didn't take perfect care of her - feeders not gutloaded as best as possible, probably no misted often enough; they did use calcium supplement but not sure how often they have used it.


Cage Info:

Cage Type - Screen, 18x18x36 tall
Lighting - reptisun 5.0, 60 watt incandescent
Temperature - 81 at basking area, 75 at bottom, I keep my room at 74 minimum via space heater because I have hedgehogs.
Humidity - waiting on gauge, should arrive in mail tomorrow. Goal is 60 - 80%
Plants - fake and dried: lots of bamboo, grapevine, fake foliage
Placement - In my room on a stand, height is taller than me.
Location - Jax, FL
 

pssh

Avid Member
Well, the pink/orange is from dehydration. Probably from the petstore and should clear up with proper hydration. Her jaw could be lke that because of infection or swelling. What does the inside of her mouth look like?
 

InStitches

New Member
Everything looks good on the inside of her mouth; no swelling, discharge or discoloration on the inside of her cheek, it's identical to the other side on the inside.

She was not happy with me for opening her mouth and shining a penlight on her :rolleyes: I felt so bad for waking her up to look.
 

pssh

Avid Member
Are you sure? It looks like its darker on the corner of the swollen side. Is it soft or hard? Does anything seep out when you gently touch it? Is there anything between her teeth and her lip? What do her teeth look like? Any discoloration or odd looking in general? Does the top set look okay too?
 

InStitches

New Member
Here, got some more photos under a spotlight. Definitely, something's up. Purulent discharge from that cheek when gently pressed; maybe some sort of cut going on where her lips meet in that corner.

I know she's not happy, but look at that gorgeous neck!


Mouth open, you can see where the purulent discharge comes out:



Yellowish discharge when the cheek is pressed:

 

InStitches

New Member
I have a friend saying it might be mouth rot :( Is that possible? Is the prognosis for mouth rot bad? I have no idea how long she has had the infection.
 

Lovereps

Avid Member
Hello and congrats on your new Jackson's girl!
She is very cute.
Unfortunately, she appears to have a temporal gland infection.

This is not an uncommon occurrence with Jackson's but it does require treatment.
Sometimes, it can be cleared up without a vet visit by treating it at home but not always.
The most important thing is that it gets treated promptly.
In the past, I have diluted Chlorhexadine (same thing as Nolvasan) 1 part to 9parts water, and used it on a qtip to apply a bit of pressure and clean the temporal gland every day until the swelling was gone.
Others have used a dilute solution of Povidone iodine on a qtip instead.
You don't want her to drink whatever you're cleaning the gland with, so the qtip should not be too wet.


Your care looks mostly very good with one exception:
She should have her food dusted with plain calcium at every other feeding---the calcium with D3 should only be given to her 1x a month and the multivitamin 1x a month.
Jackson's are a montane type of cham which are more sensitive to being oversupplemented (which causes health problems).

Until she gets settled in to her new home, you should avoid handling her except to clean the temporal gland.

The space heater is probably drying the air out too much for your Jackson's girl.

Jackson's need humidity around 70-80% to help them remain well hydrated, since the mountainous areas that they come from are very humid.
Some people put plastic sheets on 2 or 3 sides of the cage to help keep the humidity in.
It is important that the cage furnishings dry out between mistings, though, so harmful molds and bacteria don't grow.
Many people buy automatic misting systems, such as the MistKing or AquaZamp, to enable them to keep humidity up while they're at school, work or even for a few days of vacation.
You may find this caresheet useful, as it has reliable info on Jackson's care:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/jacksons/

You may want to talk to them at the petstore, since you have every right to expect them to sell you a totally healthy chameleon.
 

Lovereps

Avid Member
I forgot to add that chlorhexidine is sold in drugstores in the US as Hibiclens and other brands.

It is used for cleaning wounds on humans as well as animals.
http://www.cvs.com/shop/product-detail/Hibiclens-Liquid?skuId=102994

It is also often available at feed stores since it is used on horses, too.
Generic chlorhexidine, as always, is cheaper than brand name.

Povidone iodine is also sold on the shelves of pharmacies.

I don't think that it has progressed to mouth rot yet.
It really does not look too severe at this time.
Jackson's have temporal glands in the very corners of their mouths but many other chams don't have this gland.
 

InStitches

New Member
Oh thank you! I have Hibiclens left over from a surgery prep, I will give it a try!

The space heater is rarely on, maybe 30 minutes per week because it is so warm here right now, but I will keep this in mind in the winter! It shouldn't be to hard to put up the shower curtain for humidity, and I will be sure to monitor that %age!

I will definitely have a talk with the pet store. ;)
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Her urate looks very strange. Not the typical orange look. It almost looks to have orange crystals in it. That could be asign of kidney disfuction. I remember reading about it on here before
 

InStitches

New Member
I will see if her urates clear up. If the swelling doesn't go down in a few days and the urates continue to have the pink, I will take her back to Petsmart and have them use their own vet with her.
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
I will see if her urates clear up. If the swelling doesn't go down in a few days and the urates continue to have the pink, I will take her back to Petsmart and have them use their own vet with her.
Just remember that herps take a little longer to respond to meds than mammals because of their slower metabolism. First I would call the store and tell them what is going on with her. MAKE SURE you ask whether you can start treatment before you decide to return her! They may say no (claiming they can't take something back that wasn't in the original condition or they had no control over what you did to her...blah blah blah).

Temporal gland infections can be hard to eradicate completely so find out and start treatment. They are probably pretty painful for the cham so she may stop eating or drinking...be ready.
 

InStitches

New Member
I returned her to the pet store with some notes to help their vet. They will call me when she is better to see if I want to buy her back. And now I have to figure out if I do want to take her back or not. I mean, I do want her back, but now I'm really concerned for her health overall.
 

Lovereps

Avid Member
I returned her to the pet store with some notes to help their vet. They will call me when she is better to see if I want to buy her back. And now I have to figure out if I do want to take her back or not. I mean, I do want her back, but now I'm really concerned for her health overall.
That's probably the best option for you.
It can be overwhelming to try to medicate a new pet and she should have been healthy to begin with.
Hopefully she will get the care she needs and will be able to be sold healthy in another week or two.
 

InStitches

New Member
That's probably the best option for you.
It can be overwhelming to try to medicate a new pet and she should have been healthy to begin with.
Hopefully she will get the care she needs and will be able to be sold healthy in another week or two.
I sure hope so!
I felt so terrible, I hurt her foot when I tried to put her in a carrier. (She doesn't like being put into things)
I think I took off the ends of two toes, but there wasn't any bleeding and I cleaned off the foot with hibiclens diluted just in case.
I miss her already :(
 
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