Unfortunate eye issue and tough decision…

Rodya55

Member
So I bought this little guy from Petco, I know it’s a bad idea, but he’s a total sweetheart. They had him in the back due to “eye irritation” issues. Told me he got looked at by a vet that also does reptiles. He got better and I purchased him. Everyone in the store loved the little guy.

Welp cut to 4 days later he’s not better. He keeps flushing his right eye and closing it and it’s not as open or bright as his other eye. He’s so tame though, he doesn’t mind being held and on my 3rd day of having him, handling him for the first time, as I was putting him back in his cage he ate a cricket while riding my hand!
Also earlier today as I was holding him he scratched his eye on my hand.
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - It’s a male panther chameleon and I’m guessing 4-5 months
  • Handling - twice, one time yesterday for 3 min and today for less than 5 min.
  • Feeding - Crickets dusted with cal, mealworms (once), wax worms (have fed him twice). Ordered a ton of bugs which should arrive tomorrow lol
  • Supplements - repcal without D3 and reptivite with D3. And repashy bug burgers.
  • Watering - misting him 8 am, 3 pm, and 8 pm for 3 min each. A dripper running in afternoon.
  • Fecal Description - hasn’t been tested for parasites, had a bit of orange when I first got him. All better last time had more white and less orange and was covered in a little film.
  • History - Keeps flushing his right eye (moving is back and forth and swirling it around), closes it and had a little tear coming out of it. And idk if it’s all chameleons but he’s super slow and moves back and forth before doing anything.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - xl deluxe reptibreeze with corrugated plastic covering sides with a gap at the top to help ventilation
  • Lighting - Arcadia 6% T5 w/ vivarium hood. Also using regular incandescent bulb for heating and sansi 15 watt plant light on for only 5 hours a day.
  • Temperature - basking area is around 88 - 90 and bottom of the cage is usually around 74 - 78
  • Humidity - usually easily around 50% during the day and at night 70%. Have a fogger but haven’t have had the time to set it up correctly.
  • Plants - pothos plant and a cane plant and some silk plants
  • Placement - it’s in the corner of living room, it’s quiet we don’t really watch TV, next to a window and off to the side of a vent and the top is probably around 7 ft.
  • Location - north east USA
 

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Rodya55

Member
I love the little guy, gonna bring him back so they can take him to their vet. But I’m not sure if should stick with him once he gets better or give up and go with a breeder. I couldn’t really make up my mind on one lol that’s why I went to Petco to take a look. Now I’m gonna be stuck with crickets and hundreds of bugs arriving tomorrow 🤣. Any advice?
 

Jpeff

Chameleon Enthusiast
He could have something in it. Have friend that used to work at petco.he said they don't take to vet just tell customers that. They just put in back and hope they get better. Petco by my house some that worked there wasn't paying attention when sliding top open and cut about inch of tall off. Said same thing vet seen and in back. Few days later was back in cage for sell with what looked like an infected tail. Hopefully it's just something in eye and that's it. Could try longer misting to help. The vines they use at most petco break down and when they rub there eye or face there a chance a piece went in.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
If you want to keep him, you'll be better off taking him to an experienced cham vet for the eye to get looked at and probably flushed instead of using Petco's vet. As for keeping him or bringing him back to the store, only you can decide that. If you want to invest in this cham, keep him, but if you'd rather not deal with health issues, you'd be better off getting one from a breeder
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I am with @ERKleRose on this... I have seen way too many times when they end up letting a chameleon die or take it to a vet that actually has no clue.

Sure you could take him back and get one from a breeder but that does not mean it will be as friendly either.

You would need to get a fecal test done no matter where you got a cham from. Same for petco. I guarentee they do not spend the money on testing. based on his size and the look of that fecal he needs a fecal done.

He needs to be able to flush the eye... So if you have an automated misting system. Once he is up and moving in the morning do a long misting session of like 6 minutes. Do that again in the late afternoon before he tucks himself in. Go ahead and kick off the basking fixture for the late afternoon session. Do another long one. It will trigger him to clean his eye. If you see him cleaning run the session a bit longer letting him get water all in it to rotate the eye.

All of the moss vines should go. The only fake vines that are safe are the fluckers brand.

I do want to mention that if this boy is carrying a parasite load. you have now contaminated the cage. So if you return him and get another you want to clean this cage out really really well.
 
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Rodya55

Member
I am with @ERKleRose on this... I have seen way too many times when they end up letting a chameleon die or take it to a vet that actually has no clue.

Sure you could take him back and get one from a breeder but that does not mean it will be as friendly either.

You would need to get a fecal test done no matter where you got a cham from. Same for petco. I guarentee they do not spend the money on testing. based on his size and the look of that fecal he needs a fecal done.

He needs to be able to flush the eye... So if you have an automated misting system. Once he is up and moving in the morning do a long misting session of like 6 minutes. Do that again in the late afternoon before he tucks himself in. Go ahead and kick off the basking fixture for the late afternoon session. Do another long one. It will trigger him to clean his eye. If you see him cleaning run the session a bit longer letting him get water all in it to rotate the eye.

All of the moss vines should go. The only fake vines that are safe are the fluckers brand.

I do want to mention that if this boy is carrying a parasite load. you have now contaminated the cage. So if you return him and get another you want to clean this cage out really really well.
Makes sense, will do a long misting session then. I was gonna take him to a separate vet for a physical and a fecal exam but then the eye issue came up. Ugh
 

Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
It’s a though decision, but I’m with @ERKleRose and @Beman on this and you’re already attached to this fella, don’t give up on him. Biggest chance it’s just an eye flushing issue (hopefully), if all works out it will be really rewarding and the connection is already there between you two.

And like @Jpeff said, there’s always the 30 days return policy and put a claim on them.
 

Rodya55

Member
It’s a though decision, but I’m with @ERKleRose and @Beman on this and you’re already attached to this fella, don’t give up on him. Biggest chance it’s just an eye flushing issue (hopefully), if all works out it will be really rewarding and the connection is already there between you two.

And like @Jpeff said, there’s always the 30 days return policy and put a claim on them.
Yeah I think I might stick around with him. I held him in my hand and while he was riding it he ate some wax worms I left on the table. If that’s not trust idk what is 😁. I just hope he gets better.

By the way this is a brand spanking new Petco and they have their own in store vet clinic so who knows 🤷‍♂️. Fingers crossed he gets all better. Even my mother who hates reptiles, fell in love with the little guy.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah I think I might stick around with him. I held him in my hand and while he was riding it he ate some wax worms I left on the table. If that’s not trust idk what is 😁. I just hope he gets better.

By the way this is a brand spanking new Petco and they have their own in store vet clinic so who knows 🤷‍♂️. Fingers crossed he gets all better. Even my mother who hates reptiles, fell in love with the little guy.
So vets that actually have the specific training are accredited differently. Kind of like how a Vet that cares for dogs and cats would not treat a horse. They have their specialties. The issue with not going to a vet that has the specific training is that they are just pulling up info that may be out of date. They do not know real husbandry either. So they may tell you basking should be 100 degrees which is not what we recommend in the hobby for a Panther( 80-85). Or that you should soak your chameleon because they believe that to be true since it can be done with other reptiles. With chameleons however it can cause major issues.

Go to this site and plug in your info. It will return vets that have the accreditation to treat a reptile. https://arav.site-ym.com/search/custom.asp?id=3661

I would recommend getting an appointment with an experienced vet and taking in a fresh fecal to be tested.
 
Like you said it was a bad idea to buy from Petco or even Petsmart there really crummy and don't care for the animals right 🙄 :/. He is adorable tbh I wouldn't give up on him just yet. Could be the wrong lighting or even to much of it sometimes even Eye irritation or the wrong care when he was younger. Just Also for the crickets and bugs just store them in a container but if ur not thinking of getting another Cham maybe jst get a refund or start breeding them and sell them? Hope ur little guy gets better soon :) :D
 
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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Like you said it was a bad idea to buy from Petco or even Petsmart there really crummy and don't care for the animals right 🙄 :/. He is adorable tbh I wouldn't give up on him just yet. Could be the wrong lighting or even to much of it sometimes even Eye irritation or the wrong care when he was younger. Just Also for the crickets and bugs just store them in a container but if ur not thinking of getting another Cham maybe jst get a refund or start breeding them and sell them? Also next time buy a Cham from ( LLLREPTILE) Hope ur little guy gets better soon :) :D
LLL Reptile is just as bad as Petco, PetSmart, FL Chams, Backwater Reptiles, Underground Reptile, etc. You don't want to buy chams from them
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Like you said it was a bad idea to buy from Petco or even Petsmart there really crummy and don't care for the animals right 🙄 :/. He is adorable tbh I wouldn't give up on him just yet. Could be the wrong lighting or even to much of it sometimes even Eye irritation or the wrong care when he was younger. Just Also for the crickets and bugs just store them in a container but if ur not thinking of getting another Cham maybe jst get a refund or start breeding them and sell them? Hope ur little guy gets better soon :) :D
Not all chams from Petco and Petsmart are unhealthy. It depends on how long they have had them in the store as well. I have bought two Veileds from there in perfect health without any parasites. It is all about knowing your risks... And knowing how a healthy cham presents. If you buy one with eye issues then you get eye issues. If it looks underweight and sickly then that is what you are buying. I would buy from Petco before I would ever go near LLL reptiles.
 

Provancha65

Avid Member
I love the little guy, gonna bring him back so they can take him to their vet. But I’m not sure if should stick with him once he gets better or give up and go with a breeder. I couldn’t really make up my mind on one lol that’s why I went to Petco to take a look. Now I’m gonna be stuck with crickets and hundreds of bugs arriving tomorrow 🤣. Any advice?
If it is an issue which can be treated I would stick with him. Health issues aside he is an excellent looking little dude, and based on the fact he is not fully emaciated and is still displaying plenty of color it seems like he has a great chance of recovering. Also, not to 100% guilt you, consider that if you choose to return him he will likely be tossed in the dumpster. Have you used any animal safe ophthalmic solution to flush his eye yet? And if it is an infection then a vet can irrigate the eye and provide you with a topical solution(medicated drops) to treat it. As long as its not a chronic/congenital issue it shouldn't really be all that difficult to handle

I received a WC Ambanja that was in the process of dying, but instead of returning him or demanding a refund I did everything possible to improve his health. It was difficult, but educational and worth it. You'll discover whether you truly want to keep chameleons the moment you have to break the bank and invest copious amount of time into providing care for them. It can be quite stressful on occasion. They are absolutely not a simple convenience pet, truly nature's mood ring. But the experience can be exceptionally rewarding.
 
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Jpeff

Chameleon Enthusiast
And if they are incapable of remedying the issue they SHOULD cover the cost of a visit to an exotics vet that has experience with chameleons. Ofloxacin Ophthalmic 0.3% are the medicated drops I have seen prescribed for chams.
They won't do that. They will take and treat them self and give back when better or refund meaning what they say is better.
 

Rodya55

Member
.

Go to this site and plug in your info. It will return vets that have the accreditation to treat a reptile. https://arav.site-ym.com/search/custom.asp?id=3661

I would recommend getting an appointment with an experienced vet and taking in a fresh fecal to be tested.
this is a beautiful link. Glad to see that the vet that I was going to take him to, is listed there. Thank you.
 
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