What to expect with a Respiratory Infection

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Female panther chameleon approx 2 years old. In my care since March 2018.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? Maybe once a week or less.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? Dubia, bsfl, bsf, silkworms -- sometimes a small hornworm or a butterworm (I realize some chameleons have shown a sensitivity to butterworms, she does not seem to have.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Repashy Calcium Plus LoD at every feeding.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? Yes, I see her drink. Her mister goes on for 5 minutes leading up to her light turning on. for 1 minute at 4pm and for 6 minutes about an hour aftger her lights turn off. Nighttime humidity gets to 80% -- I do not wrap her enclosure.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? solid brown with white/cream urate that is sometimes a little yellow if she goes a few days without pooping.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. She's had regular vet visits and is all around pretty chill. Fecals done twice since I have had her. She has laid once clutch in January.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? Dragonstrand Large Keeper 2x24
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? 7am-7pm Arcadia 6% linear t5 uvb. 1 t5 65k plant light.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? basking 83-85, mid range 75, floor 70. Overnight 68 on the coldest night.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? I have a humidifer in the room. Day time humidity usually drops between 30-40%. I measure with a hydrometer. HOWEVER, in the past month the humidity has fallen BELOW 20% twice. I had to add another small humidifier to the room -- I place it on the other end of the room from the enclosure. I
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? Pothos, Ficus, Dracenas, more ficus, more pothos.
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? In a home office raised on garage shelving slates. Vents in the room are closed off and she is in the corner, not in a window.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Longmont, CO
Current Problem - Today, Mona got upset when I was picking a dead leaf off a plant in the back of her viv and she got mad and gaped and I saw a saliva string. I left my hand in and listened but did not hear any popping. We are heading to the vet Wednesday, but I am hoping to hear from people who have treated RI's in the past and what I should expect if we head down that road. Thanks!
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
Catching it early is key. Make the appointment watch her like a hawk and listen to her like some other big eared animal. If it was just one string one time it might be nothing. If it persists then AB's can do the trick. Just saw some treated with TMP/SMZ and they are on the rod to recovery but 20+ days of daily meds.
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
Mona is heading to the vet tomorrow. Other than the stringy saliva seen twice she shows no other signs (that I know of) of RI. No head tilted up, no gaping, no sounds coming from her, and since this post I have not seen any more strongly saliva-- so I'm a bit hopeful. She had one bowl movement (do chameleons have bowls?? ;-) ) today that is in the fridge to take with me.
 
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RyanBRZ

Avid Member
I (my chameleon) am currently being treated for one. Symptoms were stringy saliva when he opens his mouth, gaping his mouth for 1-2 minutes at a time pretty frequently, and I would hear him do a hissing noise randomly, sometimes in his sleep. No head tilting and I didn't hear any clicking sounds.

I took him to the vet and explained the symptoms and the vet agreed and put him on Ceftazidime (Fortaz) by injection every 3 days for 1 month. Weirdly he stopped most of the gaping/symptoms after the first injection at the vet; I have done 4 so far and going to finish all 10 and go back for a checkup.

Here's the thread: https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/possible-ri.171367/
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
So we went to see Dr. Mones today. He said her lungs sound good, he is now concerned with an RI right now but has said to monitor it. She did not have sticky saliva there but he said it I see it again to try to yet a picture and email it too him. Fecal will be back in a few days and he said he did not feel any egg follicles but did admit they are small--but thought it was a good sign for her egg production that she hasnt laid since January.

She is 108 grams--too skinny?
 

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AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
I (my chameleon) am currently being treated for one. Symptoms were stringy saliva when he opens his mouth, gaping his mouth for 1-2 minutes at a time pretty frequently, and I would hear him do a hissing noise randomly, sometimes in his sleep. No head tilting and I didn't hear any clicking sounds.

I took him to the vet and explained the symptoms and the vet agreed and put him on Ceftazidime (Fortaz) by injection every 3 days for 1 month. Weirdly he stopped most of the gaping/symptoms after the first injection at the vet; I have done 4 so far and going to finish all 10 and go back for a checkup.

Here's the thread: https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/possible-ri.171367/
Where do you inject it? Never had to poke a cham.
 

RyanBRZ

Avid Member
In his front arms, tricep area, every 3 days, alternating arms each time. It's not as hard as I thought it would be; it was either do it myself or pay the vet $60 a week to do it for 4 weeks. The needle is super small so he doesn't even feel it.
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
So we went to see Dr. Mones today. He said her lungs sound good, he is now concerned with an RI right now but has said to monitor it. She did not have sticky saliva there but he said it I see it again to try to yet a picture and email it too him. Fecal will be back in a few days and he said he did not feel any egg follicles but did admit they are small--but thought it was a good sign for her egg production that she hasnt laid since January.

She is 108 grams--too skinny?
Weight looks totally fine to me - casque and body condition are solid form what I can see! Maybe a little on the bigger side. My goodness, Mona's yuuuuge compared to my tiny Lily! Lily's over a year old and weighs 58g. And my girl's a tad chunky for her petite frame!

As Ryan said, the injection site for reptiles is the bicep/tricep area, alternating sites. Generally clinics give you pre-drawn insulin syringes, or similar small gauge needles.
 

Rst_Cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm also retreating my cham for an RI. The first vet only gave one shot in armpit and said that should take care of it. He got better for a bit but it flares up again after a couple weeks. So I took him to Dr Willems and she put him on the same medicine as ryanbrz above, 1 shot every three days for 30 days. We are 4 shots in so far and he seems to be feeling better but has zero appetite. So trying to get him to eat is real hard.

The shots are in his leg (alternating between front and back legs), he tolerates it well though sometimes tries to half heartedly bite me. I'm lucky he's so easy going and doesn't mind being handled otherwise this would be a lot harder.

Sounds like Mona is doing well , glad you took her in though just to be safe.
 

RyanBRZ

Avid Member
Rst_Cham, from what my vet told me, everything has to go in the front of the body or the kidneys will filter it out.

My cham hasn't had an appetite in a while, the only thing I can get him to eat consistently is BSFL's, which aren't the most nutritious thing..but I am at least gut loading them beforehand.
 

Rst_Cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Rst_Cham, from what my vet told me, everything has to go in the front of the body or the kidneys will filter it out.

My cham hasn't had an appetite in a while, the only thing I can get him to eat consistently is BSFL's, which aren't the most nutritious thing..but I am at least gut loading them beforehand.
Interesting, my vet definitely demonstrated giving the shot in the front and also the back legs. (She has a ton of chameleon experience.)
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
Weight looks totally fine to me - casque and body condition are solid form what I can see! Maybe a little on the bigger side. My goodness, Mona's yuuuuge compared to my tiny Lily! Lily's over a year old and weighs 58g. And my girl's a tad chunky for her petite frame!

As Ryan said, the injection site for reptiles is the bicep/tricep area, alternating sites. Generally clinics give you pre-drawn insulin syringes, or similar small gauge needles.
That's so funny she is small compared to the female panther at the rescue! I'm glad shes not skinny!
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
That's so funny she is small compared to the female panther at the rescue! I'm glad shes not skinny!
Huh! Very interesting, the size range. I wonder if some of it has to do with locale/care as a juvenile? Lily's so itty bitty, I always wonder if she's stunted.
 

Rst_Cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Rst_Cham, from what my vet told me, everything has to go in the front of the body or the kidneys will filter it out.

My cham hasn't had an appetite in a while, the only thing I can get him to eat consistently is BSFL's, which aren't the most nutritious thing..but I am at least gut loading them beforehand.
My cham usually an excellent eater so this is so hard. I typically feed roaches, crickets, silkworms, BSFL, BSF, blue bottle flies, superworms, and grasshoppers. Since he's been sick past 2-3 weeks, he'll only eat grasshoppers and superworms (I only feed him two supers per week). Is it the medicine causing his lack of appetite? His RI symptoms seem gone and he seems to be feeling better except for not eating much. We still have 16 days on medicine to go.
 
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