Very swollen foot, please help

ReptileNovice

New Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - 1.5 year old, pink panther chameleon, rescued 1 year ago
  • Handling - Varies, for pleasure only occasionally or when she wants, but medically quite often lately
  • Feeding - Most of diet consists of small dubia roaches, ~10-12 every other day, gut loaded with kale, mustard greens, carrots mostly, will feed crickets, BSFL, horned worms (especially lately), occasionally to vary
  • Supplements - fluckers calcium without D3 almost time fed, reptivite 2x month, CD3 x2 month
  • Watering - Mist cage anywhere between 4-10x a day (will explain), drinks from screen only
  • Fecal Description - normal until recently, drier than normal, unformed urates this past time, been fecal tested twice, positive for overgrowth of commensal organisms both times, being treated again currently
  • History - When I rescued her: had open, displaced jaw fracture, stomatitis, early MBD, and was emaciated.
    • earlier this year she had terrible pneumonia, never did radiographs but diagnosed by vet based on clinical signs, it was very persistent, treated with ceftazidime for 2 months (didnt work) then cultured (3 bugs, very unusual and resistant to ceftaz) nebulized with amikacin, and then finally treated with oral baytril for two months
    • About 2 months ago now, she had a swelling in left front ankle, foot, it has gotten worse and worse now looks terrible
    • she is also icteric (jaundice), has fluid in her abdomen and the swelling is spreading to the other foot
    • last time she defecated, her urates were not formed
    • She has also lost quite a bit of weight since this started
    • The vet initially thought it was an abscess, so we lanced it, attempted to culture but nothing came back. The material didnt look quite like an abscess or like gout. Did not look at it under microscope (kicking myself now!!) She has been on baytril for the past 6 weeks, and getting subq fluids intermittently. Saw another vet who thinks it is possible that it is gout, but could also be sepsis, we are waiting on blood results now (tried to do blood first time and lab made an error)

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - screened- zoomed terrarium XL
  • Lighting - Zoo med 10.0UVB bulb (had my reasons for that bulb due to the plants blocking a lot of it, but have recently been told its too much), UVA/heat 75w bulb, and a 75w infrared blub. Lights are on 12hr daily and heat on 24/7
  • Temperature - Basking spot: 90-98 depending on ambient temp (trying to control that but is has been very challenging since recent move), 67-70 low end, ~70 + night time depending on where she sits.
  • Humidity - between 35-80 depending on misting, soak cage 2x daily but mist screen as much as possible
  • Plants - Large dracaena as her main plant, small dracaena, bromielad, pothos
  • Placement - Cage is on ~3ft tall table, located next to window in bedroom (spend most of my time in living room so they wont be bothered too much)
  • Location - Pomona, CA

Current Problem - so many things but im mainly wondering about her foot. Has anyone seen anything like this? Has anyone ever seen a cham turn around? I am hydrating her like crazy, orally and with SubQ fluids at home, as well as trying ceftazadime again, deworming, and pain medication.
I know her situation is dire, I am actually in veterinary school right now and have been reading like crazy. I did consider putting her down so she isnt suffering but we are waiting on blood work. She is still eating well, and moves around the best she can. I know it is painful for her but she still is able to grip with that foot. She just recently stopped moving around her cage as much, but still will go down to eat and check things out (I try to make it easy for her so she doesnt have to but she goes on her own). I have significantly modified her cage so she cant fall. She is the sweetest little thing, and so tough. I don't want her to suffer, but also would do anything for her if it meant she could get better.

(Although my name says reptile novice, I made this account over 2 years ago and am the proud momma of this panther and a rehabilitated veiled, so now Im actually very well versed in the world of chams).
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The upclose pictures are how it started, and the large swelling was taken just today. The black on the tips has been that way since we lanced that area, not necrotic.
 

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Thehippie

Chameleon Enthusiast
I mean it looks like an abcess, its a distinct shape, try the meds and if it doesn't get any better then go again but make sure you get the blood work back too
 

ReptileNovice

New Member
Yeah she has been to two vets, plus I am a vet student which is of course not the same thing but I have access to a lot of experts and text books. Thats basically the consensus, abscess or gout haha which have polar opposite treatments. I was just hoping maybe someone had seen something like it before since both vets are very experienced with chams and have never seen it. The bloodwork may tell us, but also I have been let down before so I figured I would start trying to find some answers elsewhere just in case.
 

ReptileNovice

New Member
Well I read you're waiting on blood work so obviously.
Do you have any experience with gout and chameleons? Text books say they typically do not improve even if original cause is fixed but I have never known one personally. Hers would likely be secondary to kidney failure so it would be a long shot if she did get better at all, but just wondering for future cases (or hers if we are very lucky).
 

bobbydigital

Avid Member
Do you have any experience with gout and chameleons? Text books say they typically do not improve even if original cause is fixed but I have never known one personally. Hers would likely be secondary to kidney failure so it would be a long shot if she did get better at all, but just wondering for future cases (or hers if we are very lucky).
Please look at my previous threads on my profile. My Male veiled who passed away last year had gout for over a year. It includes pictures of his swollen joints and even a picture of what came out after it was lanced by the vet.
 
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