URI Emergency - can't get antibiotics

agdrac8

Member
Hello,

So in August I borrowed a female panther cham from a breeder to breed with my male. I was initially only supposed to have her for 2 weeks but they've been impossible to get a hold of. So now, 6 months later I'm still taking care of this female. Since she's not mine, she is VERY against being handled. Now it seems she has an upper respiratory infection (wheezing/popping, mucusy/thick saliva, bubbles from mouth) and it seems to be escalating. I first noticed a bubble coming out of her mouth on Friday and contacted the breeder. They said to just boost the heat and humidity and they'd pick her up on the 30th. I've done all that (insulated her enclosure with a blanket, warm mistings, varied feeders/supplements) but now she's curled up and has her eyes closed (and it's mid-afternoon). I've been playing endless phone tag with all the vets in the area with no luck.

I collected some of her saliva so a vet could test the bacteria and prescribe the right antibiotics. However, every single vet I've called says they won't prescribe/diagnose without physically seeing her. I KNOW handling her right now would put her over the edge in regards to stress, especially since she already is having difficulty breathing. I obviously can pick her up but even if I just look at her too long she gets immensely stressed. One vet said I could bring the whole enclosure in but they'd still need to take her out to weigh her/do a physical. I'm not hearing anything from the breeders at all and I'm worried she's not going to make it. I'm fine paying any vet bills necessary but I can't get any help from them right now. Bringing her in really isn't an option (plus most of them are booked for the next week+).

Any tips/suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated. She has a good temp range right now (95-75, usually much more ambient) and up until today she was eating, drinking and pooping regularly. I'm just worried since she has her eyes closed and seems very lethargic.
 

Mendez

Avid Member
First off, reduce the basking temperature down to the lower 80s. 95F is way too hot for a panther.

Second, the last thing you want to do with an RI is to increase the humidity during the day. RIs can happen due to high temps and high humidity (=stress=weakened immune system response=more susceptible to infections). I would lower the temps and definitely stop the warm mistings during the day. Warm mistings are never recommended. I would also stay far away from the guy who lent you this female. His knowledge is terrible and seems like he doesn't care. He should be paying for the vet bills if it really is his cham. If he asks for her back, I would negotiate a deal to keep her. Frankly, the vet bills to keep her alive should be enough for you to keep her without it being called "stealing".

Third, schedule a vet appointment to get her in asap.

Fourth, it seems like your only option is to take her in. If nothing is done, she will die. She needs medication asap. I wouldn't worry about the short-term stress of getting her out of the cage--it must be done. If you don't go to the vet, she will die. If you go to the vet, she will be stressed out (possibly die???) but if she gets that medication, her chances of recovery are far greater.

I speak for everyone when I say get her to the vet ASAP. She needs the medication or she is going to die.
 

agdrac8

Member
First off, reduce the basking temperature down to the lower 80s. 95F is way too hot for a panther.

Second, the last thing you want to do with an RI is to increase the humidity during the day. RIs can happen due to high temps and high humidity (=stress=weakened immune system response=more susceptible to infections). I would lower the temps and definitely stop the warm mistings during the day. Warm mistings are never recommended. I would also stay far away from the guy who lent you this female. His knowledge is terrible and seems like he doesn't care. He should be paying for the vet bills if it really is his cham. If he asks for her back, I would negotiate a deal to keep her. Frankly, the vet bills to keep her alive should be enough for you to keep her without it being called "stealing".

Third, schedule a vet appointment to get her in asap.

Fourth, it seems like your only option is to take her in. If nothing is done, she will die. She needs medication asap. I wouldn't worry about the short-term stress of getting her out of the cage--it must be done. If you don't go to the vet, she will die. If you go to the vet, she will be stressed out (possibly die???) but if she gets that medication, her chances of recovery are far greater.

I speak for everyone when I say get her to the vet ASAP. She needs the medication or she is going to die.
Thank you for the quick reply!! The 95 is only in one hard to reach area. Most of it is 75-85 right now and she seems to be regulating. The breeders thought the RI came from lower winter temps and thought the increased temps could help her fight off the infection. Good to know about the warm mistings, thank you!

I wholeheartedly agree with you! He doesn't care in the slightest about the animal and it's heartbreaking.

I'll try and get her a vet appointment. I've been so torn because I know that the stress is going to be a lot for her. Wanted a second opinion (that wasn't the breeder) regarding the urgency. I've been trying to call every exotic vet in the area for advice, so your reply is MUCH appreciated.

I was also considering getting Reptaid but I know medication is the only thing that can help her right now. Just really don't want her to pass when she's not even mine. Thank you!!!
 

Mendez

Avid Member
I was also considering getting Reptaid but I know medication is the only thing that can help her right now. Just really don't want her to pass when she's not even mine.
I wouldn't worry about her dying in your care because I can say for certain that she would die in the care of the owner. You are a much better owner because you came here for help. Plus, it is easy to see that you actually care while the owner does not.

The 95 is only in one hard to reach area. Most of it is 75-85 right now and she seems to be regulating. The breeders thought the RI came from lower winter temps and thought the increased temps could help her fight off the infection. Good to know about the warm mistings
Does she frequent the 95 degree spot? It still seems dangerous to have temps that high. What are your ambient temps? Unless the temps are super low, I couldn't see that being the cause of an RI.

I'll try and get her a vet appointment. I've been so torn because I know that the stress is going to be a lot for her. Wanted a second opinion (that wasn't the breeder) regarding the urgency. I've been trying to call every exotic vet in the area for advice, so your reply is MUCH appreciated.
Good to hear! While it may seem like the pros and cons are equal (stress vs no stress), they are not. The only way for her to get better is with the medication at this stage of an RI.

Thank you for the quick reply!!
You are very welcome! Keep us updated with the vet.
 

agdrac8

Member
I wouldn't worry about her dying in your care because I can say for certain that she would die in the care of the owner. You are a much better owner because you came here for help. Plus, it is easy to see that you actually care while the owner does not.


Does she frequent the 95 degree spot? It still seems dangerous to have temps that high. What are your ambient temps? Unless the temps are super low, I couldn't see that being the cause of an RI.


Good to hear! While it may seem like the pros and cons are equal (stress vs no stress), they are not. The only way for her to get better is with the medication at this stage of an RI.


You are very welcome! Keep us updated with the vet.
Well thank you for your kind words. I know my husband and I have taken wonderful care of her. It's just hard to see an animal suffering. I'm actually in the parking lot right now, waiting for the vet tech to come out. Ended up bringing her whole enclosure.

As far as the 95, she can't even reach that spot. The spots she can reach don't go over 85. Normally I keep my cham enclosures with a range of 70-low 80s but I was boosting her temp to help her fight the infection.

Hopefully we can get her some medication soon!
 

agdrac8

Member
When were the clutches laid? How many eggs? I assume you're incubating them? Did she bury all the eggs properly?
I think about every 6 weeks since mid September. Each clutch was different but it was about 15-20 eggs with each, all healthy looking so far. She laid them properly too no problem. Do her reproductive habits connect to immune system?
 

agdrac8

Member
Wow, that was quick! I'm glad they were able to see you so quickly. I hope everything goes well!
Thank you! Went to my old vet in their emergency care. $400 later she seems like she'll be okay. Going to have to transport her 4 more times for more injections. Vet confirmed it was upper respiratory and mouth rot from all the excess saliva. We'll see, she's a young one so hopefully she can pull through!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you! Went to my old vet in their emergency care. $400 later she seems like she'll be okay. Going to have to transport her 4 more times for more injections. Vet confirmed it was upper respiratory and mouth rot from all the excess saliva. We'll see, she's a young one so hopefully she can pull through!
Well, imho she is now your chameleon. Obviously the breeder showed no interest in reclaiming her and little interest in getting her prompt life-saving care. So, breeder can reimburse you for all you spend for medical care of give you the cham.
 
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