what to w/ premie jax babies?

junglefries

Avid Member
I bought a sub-adult [8-9 mos.] Jackson's the other day. today, she dropped a small litter of premies. some slugs, some still a yellow egg, some horribly small, some half formed, and two who seem like they MAY make it. there are a couple of babies just squirming around. they can stand but have no real coordination. my question is: what to do with the squirmers. euthanize? are they in pain? i'm looking for input to help me make up my mind or anyone with previous experiences. please be considerate, this is even upsetting for a 40yr. male to look at. thanx.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
That sounds traumatizing! I don't have experience with jackson neonates so someone else will have to offer help there. All I can say is remove them from the cage so they don't get acccidentally eaten. For the squirmers: you can give them 24-48 hours to see if they can gain some coordination and be functional. Or they may die during that time because they're not strong enough (in that case you don't have to do anything). If after 24-48 hours they are still squirming and unable to right themselves then it is unlikely they will be able to survive well and may just die slow deaths not being able to eat or drink. So in that case I would probably euthanize. I don't know if they are in pain - they may be squirming because they are conscious enough to know they should be trying to get up and walk around, but are not developed enough to do so. Or it may be pain. If you decide to euthanize the best way would be to crush them. As horrible and cruel as it sounds it is the fastest way to stop brain function in a reptile since their metabolism is so slow. If it were me I would put them in something like a bag where I couldn't see them and use a brick. You may find on the internet that freezing them is okay since they're reptiles but it is actually more inhumane and painful to do that since they feel the pain of their tissues crystallizing.

I'm sorry you have to go through this and I hope that the two babies make it!
 

junglefries

Avid Member
update

Three of these LITTLE guys are alive as of 9/7/13 @ 7pm. Even one of the squirmers has gained stability and capable movement around surroundings. None will eat still though. I think. Every day i have offered the baby fruit flies (both kinds). after a while they escape so i'm not worried about the flies harming the chams. I'm wondering what to do and how long to wait. I think i probably should have panicked already. How long will egg sac support them. I was under the impression 1-2 days.
 

little leaf

Avid Member
:( I feel so bad for you and the babies - I know when we lost a female and she was full of babies, to small to make it - but they still lived for like 20 min - it was heart wrenching to watch - they had no chance- they really did not even have skin - I would just try to keep them warm, not hot- and very moist - lost and LOTS of misting - keep offering the FR/ flies - can you take them out for some sun - that seems to do wonders for chams- but be sure they can get out of the sun also and do not get to hot - but as ferret said- if you need to put them down- please do not freeze them - but dont give up yet - keep us posted - you are a good person to try to help them
 

junglefries

Avid Member
outside

I am fortunate enough to have a back deck with our row of townhouses blocking the harsh direction. i get full sun from 11am-1pm back there. I have taken them outside almost everyday at least once. we have had perferct cham weather all summer. Rain like 5 times a week. It is like bahama weather here, soooo weird for us. High temps of 80-85°. They enjoy the afternoon sun the most 5-7pm, is when they move about about the most. they have ideal rh (inside house is 55% @ lowest, usually 65%: thats just around the house not in cages) I am at a loss. Every aspect of them is normal now, except a little smaller and unwilling to eat.
 

Lovereps

Avid Member
Glad to hear they're still hanging in there for you.
Sorry for not responding sooner but I've been dealing with my own Jackson's xanth babies and haven't been on the forum.
What a shock to have to deal with babies within days of getting a new cham.
I don't know your level of experience with Jackson's but their care differs somewhat from Veileds and Panthers.
The Jackson's really like higher humidity and lower temperatures than most species, so if the babies are kept around 70% RH and around 70-75 degrees, it will help them to remain hydrated.
If they are always a bit dehydrated, that can cause an appetite loss.
It would be very difficult to extend a tongue from a dry mouth.
It may be like when you're rather thirsty and your lips stick to your teeth
They should be kept away from a/c vents, since a/c dries the air..
There is the possibility that there is something developmentally wrong which is keeping them from eating--- though I'm surprised they're still alive, if that's the case.
I hope you've been spraying the enclosure and leaves a few times daily.
The fruit flies are the flightless types, I hope.
Babies need to eat throughout the day, so the more food, the more often, the better.
Here is a link to some good info about Jackson's with details on temps, humidity, etc.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/jacksons/
Perhaps they have been eating--just not while you've been watching....
If you've lined their enclosure with paper towels, the tiny little poops will be easier to see.
They may need a huge number of flies wandering about in order to be able to catch some.
You can put a piece of fruit in the cage, which will attract the fruitflies, so they will stay in the cage longer.
Maybe the babies will eat some extra small Phoenix worms or baby silkworms.
The temps in the late day sun may still be too high for the neonates, as they may not "know" to regulate their body temps very well. 75 to 80 is a good basking temp range for babies.
Hopefully, an increase in humidity and more frequent, generous meals are what's needed, as those things are easily rectified.
 

junglefries

Avid Member
response to lovereps

On papertowels. both fruit fly types are flightless (orange slice in cage) & abundant. outside temp is 70-75°f. house is 60-65% rh not including mistings. they are in a cricket container set up like all my other cages. in my room with other jax babies, so they receive better parenting than my kid. there is a couple of small poos, i believe. believe me when i say their care is beyond perfect to natural habitat. They were my first chams, all still alive and in perfect health (knock on wood). Just looking for reassurances and "they'll be ok & don't worry" more than anything. Thank you for chiming in. I am always open to advice or any input, even though i may have sounded cocky. I have read every book with chams in the title and even some others, even some books out of print. I spend about 2-4 hrs a day on this stupid site (like crack). I wll post updates to the little ones as events unfold for anyone interested. 3 out of 4 still alive and looking good as of 9/9/13 @ 4pm.
 

junglefries

Avid Member
update

Well I awoke today and 'Squirmer' had moved on. Talked about depressing. I had finally gained confidence that he would make. I was sure of it. I have been in a noticeable funk since their arrival. I haven't even hooked up my new cable box i got that week. Luckily my kid's birthday is tomorrow and that will distract me. I just knew he was gonna make it. Now I'm worried about the last two all over again. (RIP 'Squirmer' 8/27/13 - 9/11/13).
 

absolutbill

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm so sorry to hear about Squirmer. I know you are doing your absolute best in a very difficult situation, and my hat is off to you. Good luck with the other 2. :eek:
 

xbrokenbabydoll

New Member
Sorry about Squirmer :( . From what I've read you've been on pins & needles with these guys I wish you all the luck in the world that your remaining 2 pull through for you. :)
 

junglefries

Avid Member
stayin' alive

The two remaining are hangin in there. i have them on paper towels for humidity and fecal retention. they are so small it is hard to tell the difference between a poop and a dead fruit fly. i have been offering both sizes, a little more of the smaller size ones. the D Hydei are almost the same size as their heads. Just barely the eye to eye rule. These litle two are driving me crazy. I feel like walking around with a valium iv drip. Not to mention i can definitely tell when it is 7am & 7pm : blood pressure med time. Anyway other 8 jax babies are in perfect health and these two are alive and kickin' as of 9/12/13 @ 1:40pm.
 

little leaf

Avid Member
hang in there - may I also suggest a glass of wine to go w/ your IV :p keep us posted, and keep up the HARD great work :) can you post any pics of them ? I would love to see them
 

junglefries

Avid Member
final update

The last two were put to rest this morning. Yesterday they were alert and moving. I even definitely identified one poo. This morning one couldn't move and the other was laying there unable to lift his head, but watching the food desperately wanting it. They just had a way of communicating with me. Anyway i removed them from their agony. I never would have thought this would be a part of owning chams. 28 years of working in the pet business, never prepared me for this moment. This is my final post on this thread, I will not close as to let others unsterstand the responsibility of proper breeding. Wait until females are ready people, please. Thanx for your comments and support. It is not an experience you want. None alive as of 9/13/13 @ 9am.
 
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