Warning on water crystals

Ok, I put this in general discussion for a few reasons.

For one, it is a health topic. Two, it's a feeder topic.

I use water crystals to water my feeders. They're cheap, clean and work great. I will continue to use them.

I lost a baby veiled today. he was fine this AM.

I cut him open, and noticed his stomach was huge, an obvious impaction. I cut that open, and there was a water crystal, swollen up and amber colored - absorbed the color from his gut.

I put a couple large crystals in the cage so the crickets can suck on them during the day, and not the chameleon turds. No problem normally, as the crystals are large, and much bigger than their heads.

One little oversight... They can, and will, and are SUPPOSED to shrink when they dry out. They shrink and pretty much go unnoticed.

After a misting, they probably look nice and shiny and appealing. And just the right size for a 2 month old.

After being swallowed, they swell, quickly.

Larger chameleons can pass these, I've seen Ardi when he was young with a blue gel hanging out of his rear. I never considered they would be a problem with babies - because I only use the big ones. Short sighted.

These things are not dangerous unless you do something stupid like I did.
 

ToniandGizmo

New Member
Thank you so much for posting this. That's one of the reasons for this forum, so that we can learn both the positive and negative things that we've done.

I'm so sorry for your loss. His passing "however" will most likely save someone elses cham.
 
For larger chameleons, I don't think they would pose a hazard at all. They're soft, and should pass through easily. The problem would be the swelling potential of partially dried crystals. Soaking up fluid inside of the digestive tract is probably not good.

This little guy was right at the size where it would be fatal - a little smaller, and he'd never swallow it. A little bigger, and it would have probably passed.

The interesting thing is that I have not put crystals in this cage for over a month. I've given it two really good cleanings since then, in addition to daily wipe downs.

In thinking further, I think the crystal came form the cricket bin. A crystal was probably stuck to the egg crate, when I shook the egg crate into the cage, it became dislodged.

For the small crickets, I had not put the crystals into a cup, just loose in the corner. Time to find a shallow cup for them now.
 
Ok, I put this in general discussion for a few reasons.

For one, it is a health topic. Two, it's a feeder topic.

I use water crystals to water my feeders. They're cheap, clean and work great. I will continue to use them.

I lost a baby veiled today. he was fine this AM.

I cut him open, and noticed his stomach was huge, an obvious impaction. I cut that open, and there was a water crystal, swollen up and amber colored - absorbed the color from his gut.

I put a couple large crystals in the cage so the crickets can suck on them during the day, and not the chameleon turds. No problem normally, as the crystals are large, and much bigger than their heads.

One little oversight... They can, and will, and are SUPPOSED to shrink when they dry out. They shrink and pretty much go unnoticed.

After a misting, they probably look nice and shiny and appealing. And just the right size for a 2 month old.

After being swallowed, they swell, quickly.

Larger chameleons can pass these, I've seen Ardi when he was young with a blue gel hanging out of his rear. I never considered they would be a problem with babies - because I only use the big ones. Short sighted.

These things are not dangerous unless you do something stupid like I did.
I am sorry for your loss :(

Isn't this sort of the same reason we want to remove the perlite from plants before place them in the cage with our chams? Or does perlite have a chemical in it?
 
perlite doesnt' swell, it is a simple choking hazard. These things swell and shrink.

When dry, they're grape-nut (cereal) size and shape, 1/8" or so, maybe a bit more. When swollen fully, they're bigger than a cricket. The one I pulled out was about as big as a 3/4" cricket. But the chameleon would have been able to eat, at most a 1/2" cricket, with chewing.

the shrinking and swelling makes them potentiallly dangerous with small chameleons - like swallowing something that swells up inside you.
 

Syn

Avid Member
I remember once I accidentally scooped up a bit of water crystal type stuff (flukers) and didn't notice until my cham had already eaten it. He was fine afterwards but it wasn't the small crystal type. It was already soaked up. I'm sorry for your loss, but it is a learning experience for all.
 

ChrisnLisa

New Member
Eric-

So sorry for your loss, but thank you for making everyone aware of this potential threat to little ones.
 

Ryan Jarosek

New Member
Two weeks ago my Bulldog Puppy ate about 1.5 teaspoons of the dry crystals when she found a bag and tore into them.

I rushed her to the vet where they took an xray. They had swollen up but did not cause any blockage. The bulldog drank a lot of water and that probably prevented the type of fluid absorption. She digested most of the crystals and passed the rest. If she would have eaten the entire bag it was enough to make 2 gal of hydrated crystals. Water Crystals swell 400x their size. That is scary.
 

dodolah

Retired Moderator
Two weeks ago my Bulldog Puppy ate about 1.5 teaspoons of the dry crystals when she found a bag and tore into them.

I rushed her to the vet where they took an xray. They had swollen up but did not cause any blockage. The bulldog drank a lot of water and that probably prevented the type of fluid absorption. She digested most of the crystals and passed the rest. If she would have eaten the entire bag it was enough to make 2 gal of hydrated crystals. Water Crystals swell 400x their size. That is scary.
oh no!!!!
I am so glad Sushi is ok.
Does Giada still jealous of her? :)
 

Syn

Avid Member
Two weeks ago my Bulldog Puppy ate about 1.5 teaspoons of the dry crystals when she found a bag and tore into them.

I rushed her to the vet where they took an xray. They had swollen up but did not cause any blockage. The bulldog drank a lot of water and that probably prevented the type of fluid absorption. She digested most of the crystals and passed the rest. If she would have eaten the entire bag it was enough to make 2 gal of hydrated crystals. Water Crystals swell 400x their size. That is scary.
Animals must think this stuff is yummy, I wonder if it tastes good? It's tempting me to eat some if I ever get the clear kind and not the flukers.

What are water crystals made of?
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Eric, sorry for you loss. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Another thing to be careful of is the size of the rocks that you use in the top of your plants. A few years back one of my daughters chameleons ate one of the rocks. The vet didn't exray and kept thinking it was an egg. Gave her a shot to help lay the eggs. It wasn't until she passed away and the necropsy showed one of the stones from the top of the plant. Be sure to use LARGE river rocks.
 

Champhibians

New Member
I heard awhile ago, that water cystals might have an effect on the feeders kidneys, does anyone know if this is true? I have allways stayed away from them because of it.
 

Weekendherper

New Member
I am sorry for your loss :(

Isn't this sort of the same reason we want to remove the perlite from plants before place them in the cage with our chams? Or does perlite have a chemical in it?
I lost a baby Rudis from ingesting perlite from a live plant container. I felt terrible about it and felt really stupid for not removing all of it before I put it in the cage.
 

Nicodemayo

Avid Member
Warning!!!! Graphic!!!!!!

Eric it is crazy you mentioned this because I too have lost a cham from the same thing TODAY. Only difference is that I have not used these water crystals in over a month because I ran out, and I have been buying large crates of oranges from Costco and collard greens for hydration. I have absolutely no clue where this crystal came from and I am calling Ghanns cricket farm tomorrow to investigate. I believe they use potato's there but there is not even one water crystal to be found in my facility and its been like that for quite some time. I know it didnt come from the cricket bins because I order 10-15k crickets per week, and I clean the bins before each shipment and theres no way a 3/8 cricket can consume a dry crystal. Not to mention i clean the baby cham cages bi-weekly.

I dont need to post the rest of the photos. This one pretty much shows it all.
 

BocaJan

New Member
I use the crystals all the time for my crickets. I have always kept the crystals in the cricket bin and would never put them into my cham cage. I am also aware of my dog... It reminds us that our chameleons are what they eat. Keep things out of the cage that is dangerous to them because they will probably try to eat it at some time...just like a little kid puts everything into their mouths.

I am so sorry for the losses incurred because of these crystals getting into chams. We are so attached to those little guys I just hate to hear about them dying from something avoidable.
 
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