What's going on with my boy?

bimac6

Avid Member
Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Male Ambanja Chameleon, 16 months old, 10 months in my care
Handling - Every day usually. He enjoys coming out. (see current problem)
Feeding - He eats superworms and hornworms, and occasionally crickets as of recently as an attempt to get him to eat more. He's gradually eaten less and less over the last 2 months. Sweet potato has been the gutload for the superworms for last couple months
Supplements - All rep-cal. Calcium + d3, no d3, and a multivitamin. Full disclosure: I was slacking on his supplements for the past few months, but he was on the calcium no d3 every feeding, no d3 every 2 weeks, multivitamin every 2 weeks alternating. For the past month we've been religiously dusting his food, but again, he doesn't eat much. I was originally concerned he had beginning stages of MBD due to the lethargic/closing eyes during the day. He's always had a fresh UVB bulb though.
Watering - Spray his cage 2-3X a day, he HATES being sprayed w/ water, will shake dramatically, but eventually will start drinking. Also he will sometimes come in the shower and he enjoys drinking in there too. Likes dripper. Just got a MistKing, but haven't set it up yet.
Fecal Description - Never been tested for parasites, generally white urate, small poop as of lately.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - 2x2x4 all screen enclosure. Recently (in the last 2 weeks) upgraded from an 18x18x36
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Lighting - 5.0 t5HO UVB linear, 60w flood lamp for heat, added a 6500 bulb for the plants yesterday.
Temperature - his heat is around 87-89, and the rest of his cage is around 69-72 I believe. Temperature gauge
Humidity - 65-75% when freshly sprayed. It gets pretty dry in there otherwise, so we try to spray at least 2-3 times a day.
Plants - Always have had a Schefflera in there, then added a small Pothos to his cage to give him more stuff to climb through when he started acting funny, now we have the larger cage with a large pothos, schefflera, and small pothos in it.
Placement - He's in the spare bedroom, relatively close to a fan but not directly beneath it. Has been in the same spot since I got him.
Location - Tampa FL

Current Problem - You can go back to my previous post, but about 2 months ago, he started acting "depressed". Bernard has always been very hyper, liked coming out of his cage and climbing on everything. He just acts more lethargic, and I noticed he started closing his eyes during the day, so I got him a new UVB in January (his previous bulb was 7 months old). Like I said, I was slacking with supplements but I feel like something else is at hand here. I have a dripper set up and the other day I was dripping it onto the plant and while he was drinking a big warm droplet got in his eye and he kept his eye closed the rest of the day. I was concerned that it got irritated by the warm water, but I dunno. Then, he had a good day, ate a couple bugs, but he hasn't really explored his new cage much. Blamed this on it being new and the stress of moving into it. He's normally VERY into exploring. Now, yesterday and today, he's been keeping BOTH eyes shut TIGHTLY, not like he's sleeping, but like they're irritated. Stressed colors. When I put him in the shower, he'll temporarily open them (for a couple minutes), but I see nothing wrong when I look at them. I'm going to call the vet on Monday but has anyone dealt with anything like this before? Any suggestions that I haven't done yet? Could he have parasites? Should I try gentle saline for his eyes?
 
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bimac6

Avid Member
I just put him in the shower for 10 minutes which sparked him to have to go to the bathroom. It’s smelly, and very runny. Urate separated from the poo. He’s been eating hornworms, but is this a sign of parasites?
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jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m glad you are taking him to the vet tomorrow. Take that poop along with you. Please keep us posted.
 

bimac6

Avid Member
I’m glad you are taking him to the vet tomorrow. Take that poop along with you. Please keep us posted.
I doubt I’ll be able to get in tomorrow but I hope so :( this will probably be the last dookie for a while at this rate. I honestly hope it’s parasites just so I could be at ease. This boy has been stressing us out so much lately lol.
 

bimac6

Avid Member
Well, I called the vet and they said they can’t bring me in for a week, so I’m just going to go there tomorrow and wait until the Dr can see me. There are no other doctors in the area that I trust with chameleons. He’s been trying to keep his eyes open but upon looking closer, there’s definitely something funny going on in there. Here’s some photos:
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Left eye, his normally round pupil has sort of, an extension on it. Like if you imagine Mickey Mouse but with one ear. Zoom in, you might be able to see what I’m talking about. This eye just started bothering him two days ago.
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Right eye, it looks like it has something dark in there that’s possibly pushing his actual eye back? I don’t know, it doesn’t look like eye boogers that I’ve seen on a past chameleon that I’d flush out with saline. Do you guys see what I’m seeing??
 

bimac6

Avid Member
I’ve never heard of a vet making you wait a week when you have an animal in need of care!!!!
I was really frustrated, too. I was trying to explain to the girl that this is urgent and I really can't wait a week and she was like, "well, sorry about your luck" pretty much.

Anyway...

Went to the vet today and the Dr. was able to see me within a hour, so I'm really glad I just showed up. I explained all of this to her and she was most focused on the eyeball issue, and at this point any progress is progress to me, so hopefully some terramycin antibiotic will get his eyes feeling better and then in turn gets less lethargic. I am going to bring a fecal to my re-examination next week (hopefully have one by then) to rule out parasites. He hasn't been eating much for a couple months now, and the eye thing has just been a few days/week maybe. That's what makes me feel like there's a bigger issue at hand. She said his right eye shows trauma or a possible scratched cornea. Dunno if the warm water stream could've done this or if he tried rubbing his eye afterwards and hurt it. She didn't see anything wrong with his left eye (but doesn't it look funny in the pic above?) Thinking he's lethargic due to not being warm, but I explained that even under the heat lamp, he just sits there with his eyes closed lately. Like I said, one thing at a time for now. I force fed him a few dusted (multivitamin this time) superworms and one juicy hornworm, and ordered the Repashy Vitamin A supplement. Proud of him for eating 4 bugs! D: Vets instructions are terramycin in right eye every 12 hours. Would it hurt to put it in his left eye just to see if that pupil thing clears up?
 
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Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Good for you on “forcing” them to see you! It’s easy to turn you down on the phone but when your looking someone in the eye it’s a bit harder!

I just went look at my Nosy be’s pupil very closely and it is perfectly round, I have no idea why she wouldn’t see that his left pupil is misshapen. Yes you can put the drops in both eyes.
 

bimac6

Avid Member
Good for you on “forcing” them to see you! It’s easy to turn you down on the phone but when your looking someone in the eye it’s a bit harder!

I just went look at my Nosy be’s pupil very closely and it is perfectly round, I have no idea why she wouldn’t see that his left pupil is misshapen. Yes you can put the drops in both eyes.
It definitely looked different than before he started closing it, and I kept emphasizing that. I dunno. I was referred to this vet by the user "Julirs" who was a chameleon veteran when I first joined the forums back in 08 or 09. She's right down the road from me, which is fortunate. It seems like the next referred doctor is in Orlando, which is a 2 hour drive for me. When Bernard and I left the vet, he had both eyes open and was the most active that I've seen in the last week. I was anxious to know how he would be doing while I was at work and unfortunately my boyfriend hit me with the news that hes laying low under the heat lamp (where I put him) with both eyes closed again. I'll hit him with more terramycin when I get home and a steamy shower.

I'm going to write a timeline below for my own sanity, and also if anyone can tell me if this sounds like parasites or anything else.

January- started noticing him closing his eyes during the day in his cage. at this point i probably hadn't been supplementing for maybe 4 months? i regret it now, but a lot was going on in our house and I just was making sure he was fed. Bought him a new Reptisun 5.0 bulb as I did the math and it was about 7 months old. Nothing really improved but it was simply sleeping during the day at this point. He was still hyper and was eating maybe 5 bugs every other day.
February- Started supplementing again but noticed that he was eating much less. Maybe 2 bugs every other day, sometimes not even that. Posted my concerns on here and was suggested to buy a larger cage, but unfortunately the post fell off before I was able to get any more criticism or suggestions. I knew that his lethargy wasn't likely based on his small cage, but we had been putting off buying a larger one, so I used that as motivation to get it for him. We also bought a Mistking we're setting up now, just having leaking issues. -_- We also put an additional little Pothos plant at the bottom of his 18x18x36 enclosure encase he wanted more to climb through. I did not repot either this plant or his existing schefflera, I'll point out.
March-Cage arrives, bought a large Pothos and some fake leaves for it. Put him in and I noticed he didn't really crawl around much in it. He was wide eyed and fine, I blamed it on the stress of a new cage. He eventually crawled around to drink water, but I don't think he traveled up to his heat lamp once before his eyes started acting up. I'd put him up there and he'd immediately start basking as if he was cold but wouldn't crawl up on his own. Set up a dripping system and put warm water in it. Big drop fell right into his eye and I noticed he flinched, I felt bad but didn't think it was major. He kept that eye closed from then (maybe 5 days ago) til now. He ate maybe 3 worms, then 3 days later after his right eye became an issue, his left eye closed as well. This looked different than his "sleeping during the day" in January. His turrets were clenched closed and would often try to wash them out by blinking hard, but rarely opening them. He pooped Sunday, it smelled and was very mucousy (hornworms or parasite?! could be either) and It's been since Saturday that he won't open either eye. Now we're here.
 
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bimac6

Avid Member
NEVER put a chameleon in a hot shower! They do not feel heat the same way we do. Showers should never exceed 90*F, preferably 85*F.
It's only slightly warm, almost cool for me. With the shower door closed, it gets steamy in there due to our house being around 73-4 degrees. He isn't directly under the shower head, either. He just benefits from the steam and drinks drips as he pleases.

Still no poop. I've given him 2-4 supplemented worms every day so far. Drinks multiple times a day with my assistance and peeks around every once in a while. Doesn't move from one spot in his cage all day. His eyes/lethargy definitely doesn't have to do with warmth. Really frustrated and feeling helpless. I just want to help him get better.
 
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bimac6

Avid Member
Hows are the eyes looking today?
Thanks for checking up. His right eye still looks lumpy and irritated. If he rotates his pupil to look at a certain angle (where the lump is) he will twitch his head and immediately close it in pain. :( That being said, he is attempting to open it a little more today. Unsure if this is because he's stressed and wants to make sure he's alright, but its a small victory in my book. Left eye still looks the same as well but I was pleased to see him at least open it this morning when I turned on his lights. Still very frustrated, but at least he's drinking and eating. I don't mind helping him out as long as he's progressing, I just hate to feel like he's suffering.

How long do fecal examinations usually take to get a posi/neg reading for parasites?
 

bimac6

Avid Member
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Took some more photos of his right eye. I can’t tell if it’s better or worse but I can say he’s making some sort of progress. He’s more alert, crawling around and keeping both eyes open for much longer. I just brought him outside to get a better look at the blob and he LOVED it out side (he’s never been on a tree out in the FL sun).
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I really can’t tell if it’s a part of his eye or not.
Here’s a video of him flinching when it hurts.
 
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bimac6

Avid Member
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More photo dump of different angles of this thing. It definitely sticks out further than his eyelid. It almost looks like a blister on his actual eyeball. I can’t find anything similar on here. Hopefully I hear from them on Monday. I don’t know how long it takes to analyze a fecal.
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Man I really had to zoom in to see that. Didn't look like it's causing him to much of a problem right now which is good. Hopefully the vet will know what to do. Did you start the Vitamin A supplements yet?
 

bimac6

Avid Member
Man I really had to zoom in to see that. Didn't look like it's causing him to much of a problem right now which is good. Hopefully the vet will know what to do. Did you start the Vitamin A supplements yet?
Eh...he has it closed 80% if the time, and he will twitch in pain then close his eye if he looks in a certain direction. But he definitely has been keeping it open a lot more the last 2 days which is nice. I did buy Repashy vitamin A, but have been unsuccessful with having him eat a dusted bug. He hasn’t accepted food today or yesterday after he pooped (will just keep spitting out the bug). He’s probably gotten some on his tongue from the attempts though lol. So stubborn. We got his misting system finally set up today, have it set to 4X a day @ 6 minute intervals.
 
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