URI suspected. Exotic vet not available on weekends. None of the emergency vets will see my Cham. Please help.

Hshopkins

New Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - veiled chameleon, female, I have had her for 4 months
  • Handling - i have been taking her out 2x daily to give her calcium drops prescribed by vet.
  • Feeding - I order nutrigrub and calcigrub black soldier fly larvae, I have bunks and small crickets. I use Mazuri gut load
  • Supplements - calcium without vitamin D daily, calcium with vitamin D and Vitamin A in the 1st and 15th of the month
  • Watering - i have a drip system and a mistking
  • Fecal Description - recent fecal deposits were runny with a lot of liquid
  • History - she was acting strange a week ago. I took her to the vet and he took an X-ray. He said she had GI inflammation and gave her a dose of metronidazole and prescribed calcium drops as her bone density looked low in the X-ray and and low calcium could cause slow GI movement. I have been giving her Calcium drops twice daily for one week.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - XL Reptibreeze screen enclosure
  • Lighting - t5HO hood with zoomed 10.0 uvb and a grow light I need to check the brand, but it was recommended by a chameleon group
  • Temperature - 75 during the day. 67 at night
  • Humidity - i live in South Carolina humidity has been very high. I have tried to keep it down in her room, but it has been 60-75%
  • Plants - live plants from your plant list
  • Placement - she is in a room by herself and the bottom of her enclosure is 3 1/5 Ct off the floor
  • Location - Lexington, SC

Current Problem - I think she may have aspirated some of the calcium drops. She was doing really well all week. On Thursday I noticed some bubbles when giving her the drops. I thought it was just from the drops. Yesterday when k came home from work she was on the screen with her mouth open gaping. When I hold her I feel the crackling breathing. I have called all of the vets in my area. No one takes exotics on a weekend. I have a picture of the antibiotic prescribed when I first got her and she was already sick. I have called several pharmacy's as I work in healthcare and can't even find this medication. Please help.
 

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JacksJill

Website Manager
Staff member
Call the vet you got the meds from and ask for a refill. It is a third generation cephalosporin (wikipedia). Most of the time to get a dilute enough concentration for an animal this small you have to go through a compounding pharmacy.
 

Beman

Social Media Manager
Staff member
Hi there sorry you are going through this. If it were me I would not give the liquid calcium until you get her back into a vet. If she did aspirate some she could do it again. Their airway is in the very front of their mouth so you have to actually aim to the very back of the mouth and slowly give it.

Separate from the issue you are having. The chameleon group that told you to use a 10.0 bulb was wrong. You should be using a 5.0 or 6% T5HO bulb. This would then need a total distance of 8-9 inches to the branches below to put the cham in the correct UVI level.

What you are using for a lay bin with the sand will not work. It needs to be larger and at least 6 inches in depth. You would want to push that black pot on the floor to the back right of the cage and then put a lay bin in front of it on the floor of the ground.

Drop the repashy Vitamin A supplement. This will overdose her. your Reptivite with D3 has vitamin A in it. So the reptivite should be given 2 times a month say the first and the 15th and then all other feedings would have the calcium without D3 supplement.

The mazuri gutload is fine to use for crickets but do not use this for any roaches. It has a much higher than recommended protein content that can cause a build up of uric acid in a roach which then can cause issues in the cham being able to remove the uric acid from its system.
 

Hshopkins

New Member
Thank you! I managed to call in a lot of favors and get the antibiotic for her. 🤞🤞🤞

About the husbandry. I am using the grow light recommended by a chameleon plant group to keep the plants alive.

I posted my setup when I first got her and you helped me correct many issues @Beman

I had the 5.0 light, but my bet recommended the 10.0 light due to her low bone density. Do I need to change the distance of the branches?

Her lay bin is 11" deep. Do you have a recommendation for organic potting soil? I have had a hard time locating some without bark or "white dots" in it.

Oh, and one of the pictures I posted has the tiny laybin I put in at first, I currently have an 11" x 24" clear (I know not ideal) laybin. It can be seen in the other photos.

Thank you for sharing your expertise.
 

Beman

Social Media Manager
Staff member
Thank you! I managed to call in a lot of favors and get the antibiotic for her. 🤞🤞🤞

About the husbandry. I am using the grow light recommended by a chameleon plant group to keep the plants alive.

I posted my setup when I first got her and you helped me correct many issues @Beman

I had the 5.0 light, but my bet recommended the 10.0 light due to her low bone density. Do I need to change the distance of the branches?

Her lay bin is 11" deep. Do you have a recommendation for organic potting soil? I have had a hard time locating some without bark or "white dots" in it.

Oh, and one of the pictures I posted has the tiny laybin I put in at first, I currently have an 11" x 24" clear (I know not ideal) laybin. It can be seen in the other photos.

Thank you for sharing your expertise.

Hey there. So sorry I do not remember everyone I help. I get involved in too many threads lol.

Do you know which grow light?

So the issue with using the higher bulb strength is that your not going to improve bone density faster by blasting them with a higher UVI level. So the recommended level for a Veiled is a 3 UVI level which you can get with either bulb but both would require different distances to get the UVI level needed. So with the 5.0 you want 8-9 inches from the bottom of the fixture to the branch. With a 10.0 you need 11 inches to the branch. Both of these you measure from the bottom of the fixture to the branch. So you can use the bulb but you want to change the distance so baby is not over exposed either.

Lay bin is a little deep. I would pull out a few inches. Sometimes females will dig and dig to get to the bottom which can tire them out. You can use all playsand for this. I have used foxfarms organic soil. I thing it was the happy frog one. I do not remember this one having any of the pieces in it. @MissSkittles do you have a good organic soil you recommend for mixing into a lay bin?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
@MissSkittles do you have a good organic soil you recommend for mixing into a lay bin?
I just use washed play sand. It’s hard to find a good organic soil that doesn’t have perlite in it. I think all potting soils contain perlite or a similar thing. However, organic garden soil does not have perlite but usually does have small bits of shredded bark. I will say that 11” deep will give your girl a lot of extra work. Give her an easier time and make it only 5-6” deep. :)
 
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