We, as humans can do this to an animal???

panthercrazy

New Member
I received call from local shop to come see if I could help this guy out. He was dropped off by current owner for the store to sell him, as he is no longer wanted.

I have given him a shower, set him up appropriately , and have him outside for the benefits of the natural sun, hoping this will help better. ( He previously was housed in a 22gallon mesh tank sideways, so no height, 1 bio vine, no greenery at all, and a water bowl. Lights = Black bulb & 24" zilla T5 - Old style)

His arms/hands look beyond horrible, eyes sunken, bites & wounds along back & side. He has hardly any grip, I had to support him on the tree he's own during the shower.

I really don't know that this guy can be saved or if it's more humane to euthanize :( Unfortunately, the herp vet here is away right now. I already am certain that this is MBD in a very bad way. He is not eating whatsoever I've been told and without being able to obtain injections for him, how else can I safely get calcium into him?

Why???? To take on such a creature, or any for that matter, and allow them to get this bad?? Research! Even if he was an impulse buy, why wouldn't someone consider resarching to find out what the "pet's" requirements and needs are? I am just sick to my stomach that someone could do this to any animal.

EDIT: Forgot to mention he has mites too!!
 

Attachments

Rocky

Established Member
ooo sorry I thought you meant thats what you were using to rehabilitate him >.< I was like uhmmmmm I dont think that is correct
 

panthercrazy

New Member
The previous owner had a waterbowl
Yes water bowl, shallow dish & bark substrate. Bio vine went from one side to the other side to provide one little branch across the length of flex. enclosure :( No plastic plants, no live plants, nothing else.
 

Zen Reptiles

Avid Member
Playing a little bit of Devil's advocate here, I don't think it was the owner's fault.

Breeders should have the integrity and diligence to make sure every cham they
sell goes to someone who has done or will do research, or to a pet store on the
condition that they will at least hand out a care sheet (provided by the breeder)
to whoever is interested in the chameleon + purchases the chameleon.
With contact information of the breeder so whoever buys it can ask questions directly.

Why is it that phones and computers have so much customer support, but when it
comes to LIVING, BREATHING ANIMALS, people just make their buck and forget about them.

Good for you taking him in though, and it was good of the pet store to contact you.

However, shame on whoever sold the person the chameleon in the first place.
 

panthercrazy

New Member
Playing a little bit of Devil's advocate here, I don't think it was the owner's fault.

Breeders should have the integrity and diligence to make sure every cham they
sell goes to someone who has done or will do research, or to a pet store on the
condition that they will at least hand out a care sheet (provided by the breeder)
to whoever is interested in the chameleon + purchases the chameleon.
With contact information of the breeder so whoever buys it can ask questions directly.

Why is it that phones and computers have so much customer support, but when it
comes to LIVING, BREATHING ANIMALS, people just make their buck and forget about them.

Good for you taking him in though, and it was good of the pet store to contact you.

However, shame on whoever sold the person the chameleon in the first place.
I agree Brock, yes the customer should have been provided proper care guidelines upon purchase, but this veiled is over 1 year old - I do think some responsibility lays with the owner as well. Let's face it, my pet has stopped eating, his arms look bent abnormally, etc - wouldn't or shouldn't an owner, more so I guess a responsible owner, start question why & looking for the remedy??
Oh well, he is in better care now & with a huge miracle, hopefully will pull through.
 

Myerz77

New Member
I say don't have him put to sleep, if he made it like "that" he's a fighter. And with your quality care he will either get better,or atleast enjoy better days and feel better from good care. He's at rock bottom health wise and i wouldn't have him put to sleep unless he's miserable and in horrible discomfort, the only way is up from here for him. Or atleast some happy days, even if only a few. If i was him I'd want a chance to eat one more cricket or bask one more time :)
 

Zen Reptiles

Avid Member
Reptiles are resilient creatures. I had a baby river dragon with a broken leg,
it was bent like you would snap a stick, which occurred after jumping around in her cage.

I tried a splint, I tried taping the leg to her tail so it would be straight, but being a river dragon,
and always being wet, nothing worked.

Within 2 weeks she was healed, within a month there was just a small bump,
and now, several months later, you would never even know.

And I mean it was BENT BACKWARDS. And this was just a baby river dragon.

Anyways, given proper care, he should pull through. The point of all this is
that I really don't think reptiles feel pain the way us mammals do.
 

haleybobl

New Member
I took in a Cham in the past that was not in the best shape. Living conditions are pretty close to what you have explained. However I did learn that I had to keep the water dish and bark in for quite some time to make it feel comfortable. When I took the bark out, it stressed because that's what it was used to, and refused to eat. I also noticed in the first couple days that he was getting dehydrated due to just misting and a dripper. He was used to a dish.

I say baby steps when adjusting. Start with proper lighting, supplements and a vet visit when you can. When you turn their whole world "upside down" they tend to stress more. Good luck with the guy! :)
 

Syn

Avid Member
I've seen worse chameleons come back basically from the dead.

Give him some time, maybe take him to a reputable vet.. wishing for the best.
 

jojackson

New Member
The point of all this is
that I really don't think reptiles feel pain the way us mammals do.
Care to elaborate on that? and the point of saying it? I think thats the kind of statement
that requires clarification.
 

sandrachameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Poor creature.
He'll never be pretty, but there's still a chance he'll survive now that you're looking after him. Obviously get to the vet as soon as possible. The vet will need to measure the uric acid and calcium levels in the blood. An x-ray will determine the extent of bone loss.

I am not a vet, and I've never treated a chameleon in bad shape like that. So take the rest of this post for what its worth.

In the meantime, until you can get to a vet, if the chameleon is unable to hunt /eat, you can make some bug juice (literally liquify or severely squish up some gutloaded bugs), add some liquid calcium (Calcium Sandoz or Calcium Lactade Soluble is available most any drug store - dosage will depend on his weight), add a little water, and get that into him gently with a needless syring. If you have it, add a little reptaid or pedialite or dioralite to the bug juice. Small amounts every few hours might be better than too much all at once - Chameleons have small stomachs so take this into consideration when force feeding. Be real careful when handling him, which of course you are, as MBD makes for fragile bones easily subject to injury .

Leave the water bowl in there for the time being, if that's what he's unfortunately used to, but make sure its shallow if he is weak and might fall into it. Add a dripper and mist him. Some natural sun is a good thing. But try not to over-stress him with too many things all at once.
 
Last edited:

panthercrazy

New Member
Poor creature.
He'll never be pretty, but there's still a chance he'll survive now that you're looking after him. Obviously get to the vet as soon as possible. The vet will need to measure the uric acid and calcium levels in the blood.

I am not a vet, and I've never treated a chameleon in bad shape like that. So take the rest of this post for what its worth.

In the meantime, until you can get to a vet, if the chameleon is unable to hunt /eat, you can make some bug juice (literally liquify or severely squish up some gutloaded bugs), add some liquid calcium (Calcium Sandoz or Calcium Lactade Soluble is available most any drug store - dosage will depend on his weight), add a little water, and get that into him gently with a needless syring. If you have it, add a little reptaid or pedialite or dioralite to the bug juice. Small amounts every few hours might be better than too much all at once - Chameleons have small stomachs so take this into consideration when force feeding.

Leave the water bowl in there for the time being, if that's what he's unfortunately used to, but make sure its shallow if he is weak and might fall into it. Add a dripper and mist him. Some natural sun is a good thing. But try not to over-stress him with too many things all at once.
I picked up the liquid calcium this evening. I know that dosage would be based on weight, how would the dosage work though? I will weigh him in the morning as he is sleeping now.

Unfortunately, yes, I've left the water bowl with him and understand this might be his only knowledge of a water source for now. A good sign though in the shower, weakly he attempted to open his mouth quite wide and get water, then continued licking lips.
 

sandrachameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I picked up the liquid calcium this evening. I know that dosage would be based on weight, how would the dosage work though? I will weigh him in the morning as he is sleeping now.
having no experience with this, I cant help re dosage. You might want to start a thread with that as the topic, see if someone who uses liquid calicum can assist.

Unfortunately, yes, I've left the water bowl with him and understand this might be his only knowledge of a water source for now. A good sign though in the shower, weakly he attempted to open his mouth quite wide and get water, then continued licking lips.
agreed, his trying to drink is a good sign.

good luck
 

Zen Reptiles

Avid Member
jojackson, I'm sure that reptiles DO feel pain since they have a nervous system
similar to us, but I don't think it's as intricate/intense as ours. And when you take
human emotion out of the equation, pain is pretty insignificant.

Just look at all the injuries reptiles and amphibians endure all year, what with
losing limbs, being partially run over, burned, dessicated, starved, frozen, etc.

And most of them live to tell the tale.

A perfect example of this is thermal burns from heat rocks and basking lights.
Many reptiles, thousands of them yearly, are burned in these two ways, so
the fact that they don't have the pain response to 'get me the heck out of here'
like we would if it was too hot, is an example of their pain threshold.

I'm sure there is no way to tell exactly what any other animal actually feels,
but I believe that animals are well equipped to deal with pain compared to us.
As I mentioned, human emotion plays a huge role in the severity of our pain.
There are many Eastern traditions that teach the body to increase the
pain threshold through meditation and it's really amazing what we can do
when we take human emotion out of the picture.

I merely wanted to express that putting the animal down because it is 'in pain'
isn't the best option, and anthropomorphizing could have lead to an
unnecessary death.

As John Hammond says in Jurassic Park: Life will find a way.
 

jojackson

New Member
Brock, understood.
My angle of interest would be more the purpous/level of pain response in reptiles.
Many folk who discuss the subject cite the same heat source burning example, as evidence of difference.
I beleive this to be misunderstood, little studied and as a result, not entirely accurate.

Given reptiles are thermally designed by nature, is it not too much of a leap to suppose
examples cited may be because of dermal structure rather than dulled pain response.
I suppose a herp biologist could tell us, but for the purpous here, lets assume that reptiles skin is primarily devoid of nerve endings, atleast in the outer layers.

Consider monitor species, many of whom live in , to us, extremely hot enviroments.
Monitors have been recorded basking on rocks in the midday sun, measured at 70c/158f
and above for long periods. If reptiles skin was anything like ours, they would suffer severe burns akin to those cited from exposed bulbs/ceramics/heat rocks.
Yet they dont, and its a good thing since they reqiure these temperatures to function.

A monitor, or any diurnal reptile with sensitve skin like ours full of nerve endings is going to have real problems.
Snakes, the most common reptile victims of such burns, even desert species, simply dont enclounter anything like these temperatures in the wild, infact most species avoid the heat of the day.
It is not uncommon for a snake to wrap its coils around a bare light bulb because it is attracted to the warmth that the light emits. So, it must feel the warmth, why then, does it not feel the burning heat?

One possible answer is that the nerve receptors that sense heat and the receptors that sense pain are different. It is possible that, since in the wild, such pain receptors have no evolutionary significance (reptiles do not come into contact with intensely hot objects in the wild). Therefore, evolutionarily, there is no reason that a reptile should have a hot-pain withdrawal reflex.

However if another another animal is biting it, it does indeed respond just as quickly as we do, its fight or flight survival mechanism is triggered. Likewise any non thermal injury provokes the same response and speed of response. This would seem to indicate that from an evolutionary POV , pain is a survival mechanism in any vertebrate, just as you suggest. ("get me outta here")

Given that even rocks in the desert mid summer dont approach the kind of temperatures
given off by malfunctioning heat rocks, and ungaurded ceramics & spot bulbs etc, then its not surprising such injuries occure, nor that people see this and assume the animal must not feel pain etc. Im sure once a burn becomes deep enough to hit nerve endings the animal does indeed feel pain just as intensly as us.

Regarding euthanising animals in pain if they are considered moribund, I think that its a matter of prognosis. Emotion or not, an animal that may be in long term pain due severity of injury, permanant bone injury etc may or may not survive in the long term.
Im sure constant sever pain will illicit the same long term immunological response (going down hill, suppression of immunity to disease, failure to eat etc etc) that it does in us.
The descision should take into account the quality of life during enforced convelescence,
with the likelihood of eventuall healing and recovery.

Just my thoughts :)

P.S. well known page about UV penetration of reptile skin that notes

Reptile skin, like that of many vertebrates, has two principal layers: the dermis, which is the deeper layer of connective tissue with a rich supply of blood vessels and nerves, and the epidermis which in reptiles consists of up to seven sub-layers or "strata" of closely packed cells, forming the body's outer protective coating. 46
intresting reading.

http://www.uvguide.co.uk/skintests.htm

'46' refrence

46.Wu, P., L. Hou, M. Plikus, M. Hughes, J. Scehnet, S. Suksaweang, R. B. Widelitz, T. Jiang and C. Chuong. 2004. Evo-Devo of amniote integuments and appendages. Int. J. Dev. Biol. 48: 249-270 (available online: accessed 21st Oct 2005)
http://www-hsc.usc.edu/~cmchuong/evodevo_01.pdf
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
I have been just where you are. I took a adult male velied a little over a year old who had spent his entire life in a 22 gal mesh cage, but at least upright. Everyone one told me to put him down, but I couldn't do it. I won't say he was ever a pretty cham in the traditional way, but he was beautiful to me. He was with me for a little over 2 years. When his tounge wouldn't go back in his mouth the vet did put him down. That was Jan of this year. As I sat their holding him after his shot, I had no regrets for the many hours his recovery had taken. Was he the biggest challenge I had taken on with a chameleon, oh yes, but he was also the only male veiled who would walk out on my hand, eat out of my hand and go on hunger strikes anytime I was away form home. All i can say is I know he had a good last 2 years. The vet also told me his life was shortened by his early lack of care, so he may not live to 20 but the time he lives well cared for is wonderful for him

I know this may not be your expierence but I thought i would share my rescue with you. Good luck with what ever you decide.
 
Top Bottom